Artist Profile: The Unofficials

I'm sure we can all relate to having loud neighbours, but try having a five-piece, psychedelic/rock/experimental band practicing across the road from you! I suppose it's lucky they are emerging The Unofficials; five guys who will take you on one hell of a musical ride. With their head-bopping, toe tapping, groovy tunes that have something for everyone, living across the street from their practices and jam sessions is not so bad at all! The Unofficials have one of the most diverse sounds and impressive live shows I’ve seen in a long while, and it’s only a matter of time before they truly break out to reach their full potential. To sum them up in one word would be “experimental”, with each member bringing their vast backgrounds and influences into every song including Blues, Jazz, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Pop with even some sneaky Latin and Western vibes.

Lead guitarist and vocalist, Davey Romain, has been with the band from the start, and seen the affect changes such as relocating from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane, as well as adding a few more members to the main line-up has had on the music. Davey’s charismatic, and at times quite humorous, antics as front man for the band definitely enhance the visual and aural extravaganza that is The Unofficials live performance. They will be headlining The Zoo this Wednesday night (27th March) for only the price of a drink on a night out - with tickets available on the door, so come down and see for yourself!

1. The Unofficials in three words?
Insane, experimental and honest.

2. What is inspiring you at the moment?
Prog *chuckles* 70’s prog…and pop.

3. Tell us a bit about the other members of The Unofficials?
I’ve known [drummer] James since I was 16; he’s been a mate for ages. Jaydon [bass] - we met through an ad, we met TJ [guitarist/vocals] through music college, and Levi [keyboard/vocals] through a friend of friend. They all play with because James and I thought they “fit in” I guess. They fit the profile.

4. Who would you most like to collaborate with (living or dead)?
Definitely Beck.

5. What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
When you pull off a song that you’ve tried to get together, that you’ve tried really hard on - when it all comes together.

6. Who or what are your biggest influences?
Jimi Hendrix, the Os Mutantes and probably… I don’t know... The sky. Seeing the sky every day. The sky is moody – every day it’s different but you still know what it is.

7. What motivates you?
*Laughs* I don’t really think I have much motivation. Mainly it’s everybody else hassling me to do something. But when we’re all together, sometimes between the band we come up with a song, or sometimes it’s just coming from in my head, from random things and I’ll write it down for later.

8. Favourite place/venues in Brisbane?
Ric’s Bar is always good, and the Zoo is one of the best venues down here.

9. How do you find the Brisbane music scene in terms of being an emerging artist?
It’s dominated by a couple of particular genres, and there are a lot of people who don’t go out to listen to the music, but to be seen. That’s probably everywhere though, I guess.

10. What’s the most notable change you’ve seen from performing in the Sunshine Coast to performing in Brisbane?
It’s harder to get gigs in the Sunshine Coast and not many people at all go to see original bands. There are more people here willing to go out and watch original music - the crowd receives the music more willingly here. Hard-core bands dominate the Sunshine Coast. I don’t what it is about skaters and surfers, but they just seem to love hard-core music.

11. What sets you guys apart from other emerging bands around Brisbane?
I don’t think there is a single band that sounds anything like us, just because of the vast influences and the input from all of us from such varied backgrounds. James comes from heavy metal and I grew up listening to a lot of Blues. Jaydon is trained in Jazz, Levi is from the Conservatorium and has a huge classical background (I like to call him "Bach"), and TJ is really into your classic rock like Led Zeppelin. You can see all of this in our songs – how we write and even perform.

12. What’s next for the Unofficials?
Hopefully to do some good recordings; some that weren’t done in our garage. We’re doing a 4 track EP on our own, and a split EP on vinyl with our friends in Magenta Voyeur (one side each). It’s going to be a concept album. It’s going to be really cool. We’re also putting on a pretty big gig, Psych Night 3, on the May long weekend. That will be really fun!