Brisbane’s Velociraptor is a wicked garage-pop band. Their music is drenched in 60s nuanced backing vocals, beachy guitar sounds, and upbeat and thrilling rhythms. This twelve-piece–yes, we said twelve-piece– are simply great. Working towards a new record for release in 2014, AMBY spoke to Velociraptor’s Jeremy Neale about a castle in the clouds, describing band members, and discmans!
AMBY: Hello Velociraptor! Thanks for having a chat with AMBY, what have you been up to lately?
Velociraptor: Hey AMBY – no worries! We just got back from a tour / holiday of the UK and Europe. We played Great Escape Festival and a few related shows and then The Paradiso in Amsterdam before heading our separate ways on various European quests.
AMBY: How would you describe Velociraptor ‘s sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Velociraptor: Garage Pop w/ elements of spoken word. By elements of spoken word I just mean we’d be keen to work with William Shatner one day.
AMBY: The band now has twelve members. If you had to describe each member with one word, which word would define them?
Velociraptor: Shane Parsons – Party
Simon Ridley – Tequila
Michael Fletcher – Tea
James X Boyd – Homer
Joshua Byrd – Dreamy
Julien James – Friday
Daniel Dunne – Chip&Egg
Rohan Dodd – Iggy
Lauren Jenkins – Ultimatebrochick
Jesse Hawkins – Wildcard
Corey Herekiuha – Business
Jeremy Neale – Responsible
AMBY: In The Springtime is such an infectious song. What is the story behind it?
Velociraptor: It’s quite an old song now really – I think it was written in 2009 and released in 2010 – so it has an excellent juvenile angst to it haha. It was written about a relationship where the other person is always asking you to change so, etching about yourself and then when you do they find another problem. Turns out the problem was theirs all along. Life hey?
AMBY: We hear the band has been in rehearsal lately. What can we expect from you guys next?
Velociraptor: We’ll be working towards a new record for release in 2014 with the first single coming out at the end of this year. Until then we’ll be pretty quiet on the tour front. Building maximum suspense y’know? And that we all have various other musical endeavours that we’d all like to give some priority to.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Velociraptor: I don’t know if they’re funny things or just incredibly unfortunate. At the show we played recently at The Paradiso in Amsterdam the entire Backline of amps had no gain settings so we couldn’t get anything but an ultra-clean guitar sound.
It was a wall of sound…of acoustic toned guitars. Ah. Brutal. In the least brutal way. But hey, we’re professionals – we made it work. Kind of.
AMBY: You seem to take a lot of inspiration from Scott Pilgrim vs The World and your music has been said to sound like retro garage rock. What are your influences and inspirations?
Velociraptor: I guess it all starts out with a pretty basic pop tune which we make work for a ridiculous amount of people on stage and to work for the audience too. Inspiration wise it all stems from a lot of 60′s pop and 80′s punk pop. Gerry and The Pacemakers meets The Ramones meets The Hives maybe?
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
Velociraptor: Forgive me cos two of them are greatest hits records but those are generally the most easily accessible items in parents’ record collections.
Spandau Ballet – Singles Collection
The Beach Boys – Best Of
The Strokes – Room On Fire. I know I’m supposed to say ‘Is This It’ and that was important too but Room On Fire spent more time in my discman. Oh the discman.
AMBY: Cynthia is a recurring character in your music videos for Cynthia, Riot, and The Walk On By. Can you tell us a bit more about Cynthia, how you came up with the idea for her to be a recurring character, and if we’ll be seeing more of her in the future?
Velociraptor: I think that was mostly our bud and most esteemed director Jeff Andersen Jnr. We generally just either throw a general idea in his direction or let him just go completely to town on whatever he’s interested in making a reality. He’s incredibly easy to work with and gets great results. However as for Cynthia – she’s finished. New record, new direction, new girl.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Velociraptor: It’s really exciting to be putting out some new music. We’ve been sitting on a bunch of stuff for a while now and not even playing it live. Even the last record was really just a snapshot of a few live favourites from over the years so this time it’s all new and with any luck quite cohesive.
AMBY: What would a movie based on the band be called?
Velociraptor: “When Close Enough Is Good Enough.”
AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about Velociraptor that nobody knows?
Velociraptor: We all met at a golfing tournament where we finished 1 through 12. We now train in a castle in the clouds under the guidance of Greg “The Shark” Norman. The band thing is just a facade to keep Tiger Woods off the scent.
Thank you Velociraptor, for giving us your answers!