RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With Piss Factory
Melbourne-based punks Piss Factory create short, sharp noisy tracks that are bursting with anxious energy. What started as a solo project by Sydney’s Scout Albertine, eventually became a fully fleshed out three-piece, delivering raw punk-rock madness with ease. The trio recently released their chaotic new single ‘Bug’, a minute-and-a-half of commanding vocals, thrashy drums and groovy guitar work. The single is taken from their forthcoming Simplify EP which they will be launching this Friday as part of Leaps & Bounds festival. The band will also be part of the Psychic Hysteria B-52s 40th Anniversary show on Saturday 6th July, with performances from Hearts & Rockets, Shrimpwitch and more. We had a catch up with Piss Factory ahead of this week’s run of gigs - get in the mood below.
Your latest single ‘Bug’ has a real sense of urgency, both in length and sound. What’s the track about?
Scout is the sole songwriter for the band. I don’t think we ever really discuss what songs are about, and I kind of like not knowing and drawing my own conclusions from my own perspectives. For me, ‘Bug’ is about struggling to keep moving forward in a world that is constantly working against you, and especially in a world that seems to be slowly collapsing with climate change and all of the fucked up politics that keep appearing in the news.
Your new EP is set for release next week. Can you tell us a bit about the recording process?
We recorded the EP at Rolling Stock studios with Evelyn Morris (of Pikelet fame, but also who has recorded a whole bunch of other great bands like Shit Bitch and Scratch Match). We smashed through the whole thing in an afternoon because we record live, so we don’t really do any tracking aside from vocals. Ev provided a really nice space for us (physically and psychologically) to just do our own thing while they pressed the buttons and made it all work. We went in knowing what we wanted to achieve because studio recording is a pretty intimidating and exposing process, so we just kind of wanted to get in and out.
What was one of the weirdest recording techniques or instruments you used on the new EP?
I don’t think we actually did anything weird! But maybe my limits of what I consider weird has become skewed… Maybe the weirdest thing is that on ‘Bug’ I play guitar and Scout plays drums, and Scout had never really played drums before!
This is your first release in close to a year. Did you still make music during that time or was it more of a break?
We spent that time rehearsing and gigging a lot and the songs for the EP were solidified during that time as well. For most of this year I’ve actually been living in regional Queensland so we’ve been using that time as “admin time” to prep for this release, so we actually haven’t played a proper show since December!
It’s hard not to move when listening to your music. Do you find that making such raucous rock music is therapeutic/a nice release?
As the drummer in the band I can absolutely say it is. I agree our music can be very physical at times, and it sort of invokes something inside of me that makes me want to be very loud when I’m normally a pretty quiet person. I think maybe because it’s got that short/fast/loud thing going on, but is rarely very angry.
What is it like creating punk music in Melbourne as compared to Sydney? That’s not to put the two cities up against each other, they’re both great in different ways. But does the punk culture that Melbourne permits give you more freedom to be yourself musically?
I think any scene in any city is what you make of it and the connections you forge. I would say Melbourne has a lot of easier and more attainable opportunities, while Sydney has become increasingly difficult over time, and because of this there are simply more bands who are happy to give things a go and not necessarily take themselves too seriously. Obviously this can also only happen because there are venues in Melbourne that support this as well.
How do you think your sound has evolved since your first release?
Piss Factory started as just Scout in her bedroom and featured a lot more samples and sound collages. Scout would do all of the recording herself and mostly use a drum machine, so it wasn’t so much bound by what we were physically capable of playing in a live setting. I guess we’re more of a traditional band now that myself and Thomas are official members.
What do you want people to feel when they walk away from a Piss Factory show?
Finally, you obviously have an ear for music. How do you go on the dance floor?
Scout and Bianca: awkward; Thomas: very well