Related Items Go Here
Music

Premiere: Drastic Park admit they suck ass with god-awful new single ‘Snakes And Ladders’

Ever caught yourself listening to a Blink-182 song and thought, “Man, this just sounds too good – I wish it sounded like absolute dogshit”? Wish no longer, my sweet child, because Melbourne’s own tone-deaf abomination Drastic Park have returned with a song so bad it’ll make you long for the days where you didn’t know this “band” existed.

Alright, nah, we’re just playing – the new Drastic Park jam, ‘Snakes And Ladders’, is actually pretty good! It’s a big, crunchy pop-punk banger with an effortlessly catchy refrain: “Embrace the hate and feed the flame.” That’s also the trio’s mantra – because in 2021, there’s no escaping the haters. The Internet has made it so easy to hang shit on anyone, anywhere, at any time of the day; people are going to say whatever is on their mind with no deliberation on the consequences, because there oftentimes aren’t any. What are you gonna do when some random kid from Sweden calls you a slur from behind his blown-out Anime avatar? Block him? Report him? Please.

Rather than let the haters get them down or dissuade them from their dreams, Drastic Park have swung a hard left in the opposite direction: they embrace the criticism wholeheartedly, welcoming old mate Anime-face and his Reddit-dwelling crew with open arms. Hell, the band even have their own Facebook group dedicated to hurling abuse at themselves: Drastic Park Trashposting. ‘Snakes And Ladders’ is dedicated to that stack of legends, making themselves out to be a meme because… Well, they kind of are one.

Alongside the release of ‘Snakes And Ladders’, the band have given us the unique opportunity to premiere its music video, shot during their national tour alongside Clay J Gladstone and Wolf & Chain back in April. It’s full of middle fingers, mosh pits and bare arse… We truly do wish we were joking about that last part. Take a look at the clip below, then read on for our exclusive interview with frontman John Stokes!


So most bands would usually do anything they can to ward off their haters, but Drastic Park welcomes them with open arms. Was it difficult for you, coming to terms with the fact that doing so is the only way your band will ever get attention?
First off, can I just say I love how “BLUNT” you are with this question? Honestly, it’s easy because we’ve gotten used to being mediocre our entire lives, even outside of music! In terms of why, it all started when we actually copped some legit hate. We just kind of really enjoyed it. It almost became more enjoyable than the praise!

For a band with no fans, it makes sense that Drastic Park would have a dedicated anti-fanbase in the form of the Drastic Park Trashposting group. How does it feel to have built an entire community around having shit music?
It’s actually great! We played at Bang a while ago, and a guy from the group came up to us and was all like, “Man, I hate your music so much. Like it actually sucks. But I love you guys. I’m coming to every show.”

Have you ever considered just being talented instead? Or is it just more fun to write bad music?
Honestly, not being talented is so much easier. We just mash our guitar strings, yell at the top of our voices and see what happens. Can you imagine how boring it would be to spend all that time learning your instrument? [Shudders]. In all seriousness, though, this doesn’t apply to our drummer Joe. He is actually genuinely talented and people only come to shows to see him. [Editor’s note: Fuck off, Joe.]

Somewhere out there in the crushing void that is the Internet, some dude has just clicked on this article, listened to ‘Snakes And Ladders’, and thrown up in their mouth a bit. Congratulations: you’ve just reeled in yet another hater. What would you like to say to them, as a little introductory message?
“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Please accept my sincerest condolences.” We’re considering selling barf bags with our logo on them. We think they’ll sell really well.

It’s no stretch to say that Jack Newlyn has one hell of a portfolio: Stuck Out, Between You And Me, Bukowski, Snark… What was it like forcing him to make this song with you?
It was really easy actually. We’re good mates with Snark, and when we heard the sound from their latest EP, we were like, “Ah, that’s amazing, I wonder if he knows how to polish a turd.” So we got in touch with Jack. He didn’t respond to our emails, so we found his address and told him we would only stop watching him through his bedroom window if he did this single with us. For real though, Jack is a gun. He’s like this kind of boy genius. Except he isn’t a boy. He’s a man. But boy, is he a genius!


“The boys from Wolf & Chain pressed their ass cheeks up against their van window with ‘Fuck Drastic Park’ written on them…”


On a serious note, this song does take a positive spin on the concept of ‘haters’, which is really unique – and definitely welcomed in this day and age. How do you find the drive to push through the shit stuff and keep your head up high?
I think we – myself especially – used to really let criticism get to us in older bands. But then for this one, it just kind of clicked that it was more fun to not have everybody like you! While we play pop-punk, we still hang out with the people in the hardcore scene, so they were all making fun of us in a friendly way. We noticed it more and more over social media and thought it was a great laugh, so we decided to make the Trashposting group, which just blew up. It was so heartwarming to see how many people hated us!

This music video is stacked with clips of you guys performing live on a run of shows you played between lockdowns. What were the highlights of that tour?
Oh man, there were so many highlights. I’ll break it down by state. In Sydney, the singer of Clay J Gladstone took his pants off and threw them into the crowd, and Tannah [Chris Tannahill, bass] put them over his head and ran around until security tried to kick him out. During our set we had a fan shouting “Fuck Drastic Park”, and everyone in the crowd thought she was an actual heckler so they were looking around the room awkwardly. In Melbourne, we had Clay J Gladstone pumping us up before we got on stage by shouting “Fuck Drastic Park” in the bridge of their final song. I think this really started the trend. And then in Adelaide, on the road, the boys from Wolf & Chain pressed their ass cheeks up against their van window with “Fuck Drastic Park” written on them… They had just played a show wearing tight leather skinny jeans, so I can only imagine how bad it would have stunk in that van. So yeah, basically every highlight includes us getting insulted. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Congratulations on signing to the Destroy All Lines agency last week, too! How did that partnership come about, and what made them the perfect team to wrangle Drastic Park?
I wish we could take credit, but man, it’s all our boy Jayden. We knew him as Terra and Wolf & Chain’s manager and we met him in person on the tour. He saw us live and just loved the energy (obviously not the music, yuck). So he took us on for bookings, and because he was just so resilient in a tough time for live music and absolutely smashed it with booking quality shows left, right and center whenever possible, Destroy All Lines took him on, and us with him!

Anything else you have to say to the fans (and haters)?
As much as we take not taking ourselves seriously very seriously, we’re super proud of this song and can’t wait for everyone to hear it. We’re not accepting any praise, though, only roasts!

>> KEEP READING: Between You & Me show us what songs to check out after spinning ‘Deadbeat’ <<