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Soundtrack To My Early Teens With… Apes


Melbourne indie rockers APES have just kicked off an east coast tour in support of their new banger, “Dimensions”. To learn a little bit more about the four-piece, we had the band’s resident tub-thumper Rowan Mullett-Treloar give us the soundtrack to his early teens. From AFI to Grinspoon, it all began with punk…

For about eight years now, the majority of music that I feed to my ears comes from British bands between the late ’80s and today. From the Madchester scene (The Stone Roses), to Britpop (Oasis and Blur) to modern mainstream British bands like Muse, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood. This works a treat for drumming in APES, as we have quite a British rock sound ourselves. But when I first started playing drums as an early teen, I was on a different path musically.

A turn of the century skater, like so many young teens at this time, I had a love for the punk and rap driven by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series. Some of my favourite tunes come from this franchise! Fitted out in a flex-fit cap, skate belt, long socks, wallet chain, dreadlocks and wrist bands, I joined my first punk band at the age of 13. We were called Weed Hornet and used to unleash our skate punk sound at local FReeZA events and community festivals around Melbourne for about three years, our highlight being when we competed in a battle of the bands show headlined by FAO [For Amusement Only]. The singer of my first band Weed Hornet was in fact Tom Mitchell, who plays bass for Belle Haven. It’s funny because during this time I knew Sam [Reale, APES bass player] and we used to bang on about how cool it would be if we didn’t live so far apart because we could form a band together. Six years later of course I joined APES! Every now and then I throw on one of my favourite punk band’s records, which takes me back to my early teens when my love for drumming in a band began. Without this first chapter I probably wouldn’t be playing drums in APES.

My five favourite punk/heavy rock/ska artists and albums are as follows:

AFI – Sing The Sorrow

This album showcases AFI’s amazing songwriting ability and can appeal to your average rock listener more than any other album they have created.

Grinspoon – Guide To Better Living

One of my favourite Grinspoon albums. This one qualifies in the list because of the quality punk rock vibes coming from the fast and tight drum beats combined with dirty/clunky guitar and bass tones.

NOFX – Punk In Drublic / The War On Errorism

I couldn’t decide which I prefer out of these two. I love these albums because you hear everything in between punk and ska, infused with political messages and touches of humour.

Sublime – Sublime

Many of my favourite punk bands have a ska twist and Sublime are definitely at the ska end of the scale. Great guitar solos, drum fills and some seriously impressive vocal performances on this album too.

The Living End – Modern Artillery

Not as punk as their earlier material but I see The Living End as a great Aussie punk rock band and therefore this album qualifies. I’ve always dug the hooky choruses on this diverse album.

Honourable Mentions…

Suicide Machines, Millencolin, Goldfinger and to be honest, most bands featuring on the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. My punk rock days taught me how to drum fast with energy and got me addicted to a distorted guitar tone. I’ll forever be thankful for that and will always enjoy revisiting these records from time to time!

Catch Apes on their ‘Dimension’ tour throughout November and December.

APES Tour Dates

Thu Nov 26th – The Foundry, Brisbane (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au
Fri Nov 27th – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach (18+)
Tix: Free Show
Fri Dec 4th – Major Tom’s, Kyneton (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au
Sat Dec 5th – The Workers Club, Melbourne (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au
Fri Dec 18th – The Workers Club, Geelong (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au
Sat Dec 19th – The Loft, Warrnambool (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au
Thu Dec 24th – Karova Lounge, Ballarat (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au

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