Welcome to The Fresh Squeeze, where every week, BLUNT gets down to the wire with an up-and-coming act we simply can’t get enough of.
In this week’s shiny new edition, we get the juice on Sydney pop-punkers Bellwether, who with the perfect amalgamation of punchy beats and catchy hooks, mind-melting lyrical prowess and infinite charisma, should be headlining stadiums in no time. The quintet cite Kisschasy and Weezer as influences, and after one spin of their sharp new scorcher ‘Shortsighted’, we can easily see how they aim to follow in their idols’ footsteps – there’s the saccharine, foot-tapping pop sensibility of Weezer’s ’94 debut (or de-blue), meshing wondrously with the barbed and bruised wit of Kisschasy’s seminal Hymns For The Nonbeliever. All the while, Bellwether have carved out a sound all of their own – one they’re sure to make enormous waves with in due time.
Who’s in your band, what do they play, and what would be your non-musical superpowers?
James Graham: I sing, and my non-musical superpower would be to be able to quote the entirety of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World off by heart. [Ed’s note: HOLY SHIT, SAME!]
Zac Wallace: I play guitar and do vocals, and my non-musical superpower would be teleportation. I want to visit so many places, but plane tickets are dumb expensive.
Gabrielle Michael: I play bass, and my non-musical superpower would be to catch all Pokémon, including the shiny ones, in every single game.
Josh Nicholas: I play drums, and my non-musical superpower would be to always come first in Mario Kart.
Heath Joukhadar: I play guitar, and my non-musical superpower would be drawing all five pieces of exodia every time I play the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game.
When you’re not tearing shit up on your instruments, what do you legends like to get up to?
Graham: Probably watching old basketball highlights or playing video games.
Wallace: I love watching sport, playing video games and being over-the-top critical of movies.
Michael: Trying the newest, weirdest and heaviest craft beers available.
Nicholas: Watching Spider-Man cartoons.
Joukhadar: Watching anime and reading manga.
What would your hometown’s landmark be?
In Sydney? Easily the Young Henry’s Brewery.
What’s the usual first topic of conversation when you take a break at rehearsal?
Almost always, as soon as we take a break, we start talking about and sharing music we’ve been listening to lately. It adds an extra layer of excitement going into rehearsals, because you know you might find a new favourite song or artist.
What’s your pre-show warm-up routine?
We’ll find out when we get to our first show, but there’s probably going to be a fair bit of sinking beers and hyping ourselves up for our first live performance with a terrible sing-along to ‘All Star’ by Smash Mouth (we love Shrek).
Tell us about your most memorable show, what made it so special?
We haven’t played a show together as a band yet, but our first show is in December, supporting Waxflower at The Lansdowne. We’re all very keen and excited to play that show!
What band would you most like to share the stage with and why?
We’d love to share the stage with Stand Atlantic since we’re all big fans of their music, and they’re one of the best pop-punk acts, not only in Australia but the world right now!
What’s the most exciting album you’ve listened to recently?
Graham: Not an album but I’ve been jamming both Meet Me @ The Altar’s Model Citizen and lil aaron’s YEAR OF THE DOG EPs. I love the throwback sounds of a time when pop-punk was so much fun, and those easycore riffs on Model Citizen had me bedroom moshing!
Wallace: Not an album, but Meet Me @ The Altar’s EP Model Citizen is probably my favourite release of the year.
Michael: I’ve been really getting into SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE// by KennyHoopla. James got me to listen to it and it’s been growing on me. It has a lot of catchy tunes and good vibes, and we know by now that anything Travis Barker touches turns to gold.
Nicholas: I recently stumbled upon I thought you didn’t like leaving by Prince Daddy & The Hyena, and the emo in me has had it on repeat for weeks.
Joukhadar: Trash Boat’s Don’t You Feel Amazing? is probably the most exciting record I’ve heard recently. Very few bands can successfully transition from one genre to another, but they executed it flawlessly. The record has a wide array of sounds and styles, not to mention absolute banger songs.
If you could be endorsed by one company, who would it be?
Graham: World Industries, is it just me who misses when they were popular?
Wallace: G FUEL obviously, there’s a gamer or two around these parts.
Michael: Vans! My personality is built around Vans and I’m not ashamed.
Joukhadar: Cool Shirtz, because they make cool shirts, and I like to wear cool shirts.
Why are you going to make it to the top over all the other contenders in the musical arena?
If we had to list one reason, it’d probably be our influences. While we might be a pop-punk band writing pop-punk songs, it’s rare that we ever look towards other bands within our genre for influences. Instead, it’s common for us to look at J-pop, EDM, indie, emo-rap and pop for inspiration, which we believe allows us to create fresh, exciting and eclectic tracks. For example, our debut single ‘Shortsighted’ was initially inspired by Kisschasy, and later we started drawing in influences from alt-rock acts such as Weezer!