Olly talks to Whipped Cream Chargers’ Lucas
Oliver Heath has a few words with Lucas from Whipped Cream Chargers about birthdays, wizards, the end of the world and the band’s Sydney gig:
So I hung out with you guys a lot when you lived in Sydney and now you live in Melbourne, where girls don’t know to stay away. Nice one. Nuh, you’re nice boys and people yell ‘Bob Dylan’ at you and ‘Nick Cave’ at me, so we’re clearly spiritually bound. What was the idea behind going to Melbourne?
The troubadour spirit! The great thing about playing music is that you can take it wherever you want to.
Did it work out as expected?
We expected the unexpected, so ‘yes’ must be the answer. Since we got here we have followed strange coincidences into the back of limos, met amazing musicians from the last four decades of Australian music, and watched hot air balloons fly over the city at 6am. Starting over playing to nobody again has given us a chance to really focus on our next record and to think about where we wanted to go next with our sound. I think an unexpected element of the move was that this place, with its interminable cold but receptive artistic atmosphere, has helped us to refine our music, and while we have kept all of the old stuff we are moving quite freely towards a more epic kind of space cowboy psychedelia as well as the more sleazy and groovy styled music that we love.
Tell me about your attitude to being an independent band?
Wherever it is that we fit from an industry perspective we are happy because we know that we are uncompromisingly doing what we love. There are plenty of amazing bands who are not independent, and plenty who are. I would love to travel around the world playing music. I would not mind having our music exposed to a larger audience. These things will happen fast if we get picked up by a label who can help to support them, and slower if we have to do them ourselves. Either way they will happen, and either way we will still be smiling.
How do you get stuff done?
We don’t really have a formula. We are a democratic band, and everyone has equal say in what is going on. As far as songwriting goes, everyone is free to bring stuff, when someone does we chuck it through a rehearsal or two and see if it sticks. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Mainly we just try to make each other laugh, and then our jokes become stories, our stories become allegories, and our allegories become songs.
I love my WCC pink vinyl, which I paid for as part of a crowd-funded project. How’d this go?
That went really well. I think that this kind of thing is the way of the future, it allows stuff to appear that does not go through the ‘quality’ (read ‘passive censorship’) control of the traditional money guys. For us, because of the help from those lovely people we have been able to press that record and are able to record and press our next.
Is it hard to juggle call centers and the dole office with babes?
Where there is a will there is a way.
What’s the weirdest medical trial any of you have volunteered for?
Felix [from the band] offered himself to volunteer for a trial of medicinal marijuana, but they didn’t accept him. Any advice? He is desperate.
Move to Cali. If you had the opportunity to sell out would you do it?
It really depends on the situation. If it was for a pure water company or for some other equally ethically-sound place, then why not? The good thing about the globalized internet culture which has dismantled the music industry is that you can do much of what the labels once exclusively offered without needing to sell your soul. All you have to do is go online, be nice, organize it, then devote yourself to living it out. The only difficulty that comes from not having backing from corporations or labels is you get less exposure. Regardless, we all know that the unpopular kids get popular AFTER school finishes, when everyone else has gotten married and had kids. Life is about having fun, and we’ve lived and will continue to live like rock-stars even if nobody ever knows about it.
An apartment and no shit job would be nice, tho?
I’ve got a nice house and a recording studio, and I am on the dole. I am happy. What a label or some sort of corporate injection of money would give us is some more press and a quicker way to travel. If it happens and it is right then I would jump straight on it, but I tend to trust fate more than I trust playing my cards right in an industry sense. All you have to do is carry a guitar in certain third world countries and you are playing in front of thousands of people while dosed up on anti-psychotics before you know it.
So I’ve seen a flyer saying you’re having a show in Sydney. 12/12/12 = 3 3 3
Is this what the Mayans predicted?
This is the first part of what the Mayans predicted, yes. You know that scene in the second Matrix film where they are all dancing and fucking to celebrate their humanity as the machines are making their way down into the city? Its kinda like that. The music will be WAY better though.
Ha! I’m turning 33 that day. I guess I’m ending the world, yes?
Maybe Olly, maybe. I never pegged you for antichrist, but he is always the last place you look.
Ending the world is a lot of dead puppies, Why am I such a dick?
It’s not your fault, it’s all in the script.
Your birthday is the next day. You see, we’re spiritually bound! Are you starting the world up again?
My role is to help us make the transition.
Thanks bro, what are you going to change?
You see the world doesn’t end, we are just given the opportunity to ascend into a higher way of being. They say it ends by fire, that is a clue. Our physical bodies still exist, but more of us become ‘switched on’ in the coming aeon. The physical plane is, as a result, affected by a greater amount of people willing things to happen using the force of love as their impetus. Over time negative forces will be overcome and a massive change will come. What we communally consider to be possible and impossible will shift radically. The world ‘ends’ according to the Mayans because on this date we officially exit out of the traditional mechanics of existence that we have lived within for the last few thousand years and essentially enter into a new world in which we realise that the material plane that we inhabit is only the final manifestation of a much deeper process of which we are a part.
Why are you so nice?
I am nice because the only route to true power over the self is through absolute and unceasing compassion and love for others. People may laugh or take advantage of those who are nice and loving, and as such the path of love is more difficult at times that the other way, but they are jerks because they don’t understand that they are running around in circles, they havent noticed that they keep going past the same landmarks. They think that by stepping on other people they will reach some height. That is their lot, I am nice to them as well because I know that they must awaken eventually to the fact that the height to which they strive is an illusion and the only thing that matters in this life is the process of giving and receiving love. I have suffered and caused suffering, I have experienced and experimented. I have learned valuable lessons, and I know without doubt that love is all you need.
How many wizards are in the band?
There are six wizards in the band. We each follow our own schools.
What does it mean to be a wizard in a band?
Music and shamanism are integrally connected from the beginnings of human history, as has been reported many times before. Living in this modern age, the magician who would have once been either an outcast wise person who was consulted by the tribe for their oracles, or part of a Mystery School, is drawn to particular roles if they choose to remain ‘on the grid’, so to speak. One of those roles is as a performer. I do other wiz biz things but I guess what it means for me is using the medium of music to spread as far and wide as I can the ideas of Liberty and Love, as well as trying to let people know that the world is a much more interesting place than they give it credit for. Plus, playing music is really really fun.
Pop wizard test… Is Crowley’s alchemical egg about auto fellatio?
Is a cowboy a kind of wizard?
A cowboy is an apprentice wizard.
What does my tarot say?
For the event, the four of Wands, Completion. It represents the creative will of the cosmos manifested through the channel of humanity and become physically real. Means a homecoming, celebration, harmony, community. Neat, huh?
Yes. I know, come to the show.. but what does it really say?
For yourself, I did a three card spread, and the overall meaning suggested that this birthday will signify a change, you will be walking away from things that have made you unhappy in the past.
Sweet. It’s been great to watch you guys develop. I’d seen most of you in other bands with the notable exception of front man Seb.
It’s been great to see his showmanship develop from belt tight, to plumber bum hanging out in all it’s glory. Why do Seb’s pants refuse to stay up?
Is it a form of wizardry?
As I said, each of us has our own school.
Ha! It speaks to the primal Bonobo inside everyone watching.
Does it give everyone a primal boner?
It certainly snaps me to attention. Is there plans to Merchandise Seb’s arse?
It could be iconic like that Sex Pistols/Westwood tit shirt. Maybe Seb’s arse should have a fashion collab.
We’ve actually been talking to Yoko Ono about doing a fashion line. We’ve been looking at fabrics all week.
I love her. Do you remember the time the bouncer thought you were Wolfmother?
Yeah, that was great. I told them that my name was Steve Whipper and the album we had just released was called The Golden Unicorn, and they didn’t even bat an eyelid.
Where is the song you promised to write about me fuckers!!!?
I have the riff for it, it is called the Ballad of Oliver Heath. Love you Olly.
Interview by Oliver Heath. Photo of Lucas by Simone Eyssartier. Whipped Cream Chargers play with Day Ravies, The Nugs, Mangelwurzel and DJ Velvet Gallagher 8pm at Goodgod Smallclub in Sydney on 12/12/12. It costs $10 and deets are on Facebook. Head along to wish Olly a happy birthday and celebrate the end of one world… and the beginning of another. Fuck you Myans, it aint done till we say so.
You can hear WCC tracks at whippedcreamchargers.bandcamp.com
This interview also appears at theaureview.com