Getting To Know: Luke Frizon of Jack The Stripper
Keen to more about your favourite up-and-coming bands? Sick of the same ol’ studio questions? From the albums they crank before they head out on stage to their must-have items when the tour van pulls into the service station, we quiz musicians about life on the road and how they came to love what they do. Up next: Luke Frizon, voxlord for Melbourne metallers Jack The Stripper. The quintet are currently underway with the Nibiru tour across Australia, bringing their unique brand of ravenous shred to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Of course, there’s a lot more to Frizon and his band than just some ridiculously mind-blowing metal jams – get to know all about the frontman below!
I first discovered music when…
I’ve been fortunate in that I was raised with music. Both my mum and dad were immersed in it. Dad worked as a sound & lighting engineer for a lot of those bikie country bands throughout the 70’s and 80’s, and when mum wasn’t singing she was listening to Pavlov’s Dog, Metallica, Radiohead, George… It’s one of the things I appreciate most about my upbringing.
I realised being in a band was the best way to waste time when…
I started my first band when I was about 13 with my two best mates and I haven’t not been in one since. Before that I was studying music, but was openly mocked by my music teachers for not being into 50’s showtunes or whatever trite shit they were into. It was understandably cathartic being able to be a part of a group where we were trading music, talking music, and engaging on a deeper level than just as schoolmates.
My first band was…
That first band, we never agreed on a name. The next one I joined was called Subversa. I never worked out what that means. I played bass. Our singer littered the song titles and lyrics with Halo references – never being that much into games I didn’t actually pick up on that until later. I was into it because we played Sabbath covers and got gigs, and to me there has never been anything better than a sweet gig. Especially if I get to play Sabbath.
The first show I ever played was…
It would have been a school battle of the bands where we fumbled our way through covering a lot of dad-rock bands, and then those songs about Halo. I appreciate everyone’s patience in watching the whole thing.
The worst job I’ve ever had is…
I’ve worked in construction largely for the last few years, so of course there’s some horror stories. Usually they’ve involved human waste, asbestos, or nasty behaviour from tradies. One guy I worked for installed air conditioners. He’d force me to carry these 90 kilo evaporative units up a ladder onto the roof for him. Would constantly mess up jobs, and made us fix it. I was desperate for cash so I went with it. Turns out he never had a license to do the job even after claiming to be a mechanical plumber for 15 years or so. He actually set a house on fire one time. That was the day I quit.
My favourite band is…
It’s an extremely close one due to different reasons, between Judas Priest, Pig Destroyer and King Diamond. But ultimately in terms of their whole back catalogue, I think the King wins out. His albums are like Goosebumps books with 4 octaves of spooky falsetto with some gloriously arrogant guitar solos on top. Never fails to lift my spirits.
A band that should never have broken up are…
As far as Australian acts go, I wish Robotosaurus were still around. Their music only kept getting stronger and their live show was unmatched. I know they probably felt they’d given all they needed to, but my selfish ears demand more. I would have loved to see where Woods Of Ypres was headed with their music and lament David Gold’s passing frequently.
“Highlight was probably going to the bowling alleys, and using each other as bowling balls first night we hung out. When we go back in September I’ve challenged them and The Donor to an eating contest.”
One album I play before I hit the stage is…
World Coming Down by Type O Negative. Something about that opening track just gives you a sense of power amidst all the hopelessness in that album. Plus it’s a great album to warm up vocals to, which is a bonus.
I love being on stage because…
When I’m onstage I’m not me anymore. I feel completely dissociated from all grief, angst and other distractions. I’m allowed to forget everything else in my life. It feels pure and for 30 minutes I get the chance to communicate in my most visceral way possible. It’s both uplifting and grounding all at once.
My favourite tour memory is…
All the time we spent with our friends in NoLA over in Japan. We spent a lot of time together and the whole experience was awesome. Highlight was probably going to the bowling alleys, and using each other as bowling balls first night we hung out. When we go back in September I’ve challenged them and The Donor to an eating contest. The guitarist of The Donor is one of those competitive eaters, the ones that make it onto TV over there. I can’t wait to show them the endless appetite of 5 gross Australians after living out of a van for a month.
The worst thing about touring is…
The commute gets pretty rough when you’re going from one show straight to the next. Once you’ve hit your third show on no sleep, playing as hard as you can, that’s when things start to get negative and pretty scary. We’re really strict with our driving schedule as a result. I’ve fallen asleep while driving my car before and woken up on top of road barriers going 80kmph. I was alone at the time, but it’s something that can happen to anyone and would be unimaginably bad for a band to experience in a vehicle filled with heavy gear. We’ve had some interesting encounters with maverick truck drivers in the small hours of the morning too. They’re the worst.
My favourite servo/gas stop purchase is…
I have a penchant for gross energy drinks I can’t seem to shake. The weirder the flavour the more I like it. They stink out the van pretty bad. The van smells bad enough already with 5 sweaty dudes in it, but then there’s that sickly sweet aroma on top to make the discomfort level absolutely exquisite. To my bandmates or anyone else driving in the van, regarding this issue, I say, “Suck it, nerds.”
On the road I can’t live without…
I listen to a gratuitous amount of audiobooks on the road, so I’d have to say a smartphone with Audible installed. It’s the best. I’m using it to learn two other languages currently while in between shows.
My favourite place in the world is…
My family’s home in the Otways, Belgrave, or Disk Union in Tokyo. The Otways because it’s isolated and exudes an aura of quiet mystery. Everything has a sense of history and heritage up there and there’s always a story that’s interesting to hear- seems every building seems to have a cool provenance. Time moves a little differently there. I feel at peace when I’m there.
Belgrave has been more or less my hometown from a very early age and I love it here. It’s far away enough from the city that there’s not many idiots to deal with, the town is heavily focused on independent music and art, there’s dogs and secondhand books and trees everywhere, and the all day breakfasts on offer are amazing. I like breakfast foods. Disk Union because it’s 7 stories of hard-to-find music and merchandise. Everything I could ever want to listen to is there. Plus, where else can you buy a super old Nunslaughter shirt for $10?
If I could, I would trade lives with…
Sir Christopher Lee. In a heartbeat. That guy lived 10 lives’ worth of adventures in one, and his work in the heavy metal scene is legendary. Also, getting to be The Mummy, Dracula, Fu Manchu and Saruman is definitely a plus.
Jack The Stripper
June 25th – Enigma Bar, Adelaide (18+)
July 2nd – Crowbar, Brisbane (18+)
July 3rd – Phoenix Arts Theatre, Brisbane (AA)
July 8th – The Basement, Canberra (18+)
July 9th – The Factory Floor, Sydney (18+)
July 16th – The Worker’s Club, Melbourne (18+)
July 17th – Wrangler Studios, Melbourne (AA)