BB AND THE BLIPS
WHERE ARE EACH OF YOU FROM AND HOW DID YOU END UP IN AUSTRALIA?
Bryony: Ben and I moved here on a two year working holiday visa because Ben got a tattoo apprenticeship, and after undergoing some intense visa-mandated farm work, we met Rowe, Will and Max on moving to Sydney.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO PUNK MUSIC? EARLY INFLUENCES?
Max: The same way everyone born in the late 80s pretends they didn't: Korn and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. (I kid, I kid…I thank Flipper, Wire, The Replacements and Butthole Surfers for showing me that punk wasn't just terrible fashion and telling everyone you're an anarchist)
Bryony: I grew up in South Wales (old not new) and had some years in the early ‘00s metalcore trenches before moving to Brighton, UK where I quite literally fell in love with the terrible fashion and started telling everyone I was an anarchist.
HOW DID YOU MEET AND FORM BB AND THE BLIPS?
Bryony: At a ‘Ladies’ Day’ baseball game.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
Will: Two six string electric guitars, one four string bass guitar (also electric) and a set of a drums with one ride cymbal and two hi hat cymbals. We also use a microphone and various amplification devices.
Bryony: We’re contractually obliged to let you know that we are sponsored by Jesus Water, Racing Cars, Frozen Veg Spring Rolls, Monjay Mezza Garlic Dip and ‘Peace’ snare drums.
WHAT OTHER BANDS HAVE THE MEMBERS OF BB BEEN IN? HOW DO FORMER PROJECTS COMPARE?
Max: I played in a guitar-pop band called Point Being, a weird synth-punk thing named Dry Finish and now with rock dogs Basic Human. None really compare to the Blips as they're all very very different, I really hope every project I'm involved in sounds completely dissimilar! As for Ben and Bryony...how much space have you got?
Bryony: All the bands Max play in sound exactly the same. I started quite late (20, I’m 32 now) and made lots after that to make up for lost time, have played in lots of bands in London, UK, like Good Throb, Efialtis, Dregs, SEMI (with Ben) and a bunch of others. The first band I sang in was called The Sceptres and someone said the other day that BB and the Blips sounds like a grown up version of that, which is hilarious to me because I think i’ve become a lot more juvenile and less serious in my old age.
WHAT IS YOUR SONG WRITING PROCESS LIKE? WHO WRITES THE LYRICS?
Max: Bryony is the empress of the written word (and the spoken, sung, wailed and shrieked), and thus heads the lyric department. Will and Rowe live together so often have whole songs worked out before practice, I think I brought a riff once... The rest is all a strange magic that means we can write a couple songs in a practice session and be shocked at how happy we are with them when they're done (which is of course the merit of having an incredible drummer).
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO RELEASE YOUR SONGS AS A DEMO RATHER THAN A TITLED ALBUM?
Bryony: It’s pretty normal in diy punk universe to try out recording how you sound as a first step. We also didn’t have enough songs to make an album! It’s a funny old game because I am old enough to remember when demos tended to be CD-Rs and streaming services didn’t exist, whereas now making music for the hi tech bandcamp world and the obsolete format of the tape is pretty on trend. I don’t know. I like cassettes and I like recording ourselves. I recorded the vocals for the demo on a dictaphone in my cupboard.
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES OF STARTING A NEW BAND/PROJECT?
Bryony: The biggest one is finding people who are obsessed with music but not obsessed with being a musician.
WHAT IS THE MUSIC SCENE LIKE IN SYDNEY? IS IT HARD TO BOOK SHOWS AS A NEW BAND? DO YOU BOOK OUT OF TOWN?
Max: The Sydney scene can feel small and quiet because there are only a handful of shows most weekends, but it's also very strong and productive in spite of the city's limitations (regulation, living costs, rental prices and the Australian obsession with being laidback which motivates you primarily towards a beer and a nap).
Bryony: Compared to the UK everything here is very far apart, but we have been lucky to play in Melbourne and Canberra and are going to play in Brisbane soon. I actually love Sydney’s music scene because it’s small enough that there’s pretty much just one band of every style, so you can kid yourself that you’re doing something much less derivative than if you lived in a city where there’s ten bands pedaling ever-more specific subgenres of punk.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN EVERYDAY LIFE BESIDES MUSIC?
Bryony: We’ve got two apprentices - a tattooer (Ben) and an electrical engineer (Will) Rowe works in community radio, I work in sexual violence prevention and behind the counter at Repressed Records and Max is a mad scientist.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO START A BAND?
Max: Find three or four people with similar values who you want to spend more time with, find a room to make a racket in, learn on the fly and see what happens. Every city needs new ideas and you're probably just the person it's looking for.
Bryony: Do not take advice from men.
WHAT'S COMING UP FOR BB AND THE BLIPS?
Bryony: Ben and I have to leave Australia due to visa restrictions but we just recorded and as a wise person once said: REAL BANDS DON’T DIE.
above photos by lucy white