Josh Smith is regular homegrown legend in his native New South Wales, having played with a host of kick arse bands including Steel City All Stars, Skinpin and a veritable shit ton of other bands. So I got a little excited when he announced that he was coming south of the border to ‘Mejico’ to share his latest project, Radio Rejects with the VB swilling Hellbourne masses. Describing the band as ‘dadcore’, punk music focused on the challenges and fun of being a dad only adds to the attraction for me as well, I’m dad and I’m punk. Sounds like this could be my thing.
It seems old punks don’t die, they just purchase a more comfortable minivan, and keeping this in mind I jumped online to have a chat with Smith about the new band and upcoming mini tour.
MG: Radio Rejects is a relatively new band made up of old heads. Can you tell us a little about how you guys got together and this whole dadcore thing?
JS: Basically it started as some songs I'd written to keep me busy. Then living kind of nowhere I hit up Brander to jam and just make them come to life. So I played guitar and him on drums. Then all of a sudden I’d hit up my best mate Dima to join, who went to guitar and me on bass. Mattress got wind of it and came and jammed too. After realising how fun the songs were we thought we would get a singer and play my birthday gig coming up. I chucked it up on Facebook where Andy messaged me saying he was keen. Next thing we were writing rad songs and having fun. The whole dad core thing came about as we vowed that family always comes first and that being all dad's we could play songs our kids could love and have fun with. We try and play shows where we can bring the kids and they can enjoy it too. Then I began writing some songs about how rad it is being a dad too haha.
MG: Sounds awesome! So when you say 'songs our kids could love', I'm guessing it's still not Hot Potato, Hot Potato? What's Radio Rejects sound like?
JS: Haha no but there's talk of doing some kids T.V. show covers. We have a few songs in the works like "Go Ask Your Mother" and "Road Trip", songs about being a dad and dealing with your kids. We draw influences from a lot of killer band's but I guess you could say good old fashioned punk rock‘n’roll. We don't take much seriously and love a good laugh. Especially like to make fun of people who take EVERY THING too serious.
MG: Cool we'll keep an eye out for the Wiggles tribute album complete with street punk b-sides! As you mentioned you are all dads and the band is about to come down to Hellbourne (the capital city of Mejico apparently). Does being a dad pose particular challenges for touring (I have a vision of 5 mini vans hitting the road)?
JS: Haha not far off, 3 actually. Everyone is bringing their kids down for the trip which will be awesome. My munchkins are sticking in the ‘Gong but the rest are making the trip. Unfortunately our lead guitarist can't come down due to starting a new job but Mik From Strawberry Fist Cake is going to help out and fill in.
MG: Ah Mik, not a dad, but definitely the master of the dad joke (in fact we had a dad joke competition one time driving SFC to Sydney and the ‘Gong. Mik won the competition by a country mile). Speaking of which, can we expect plenty of dad joke banter between songs?
JS: Haha he's old enough to be my dad so that kinda counts. Yeah dad jokes are always part of the criteria… and you know me I welcome banter always. As long as people know what they are getting into I sometimes forget my moral compass so it's always interesting.
MG: Okay quick quiz if you had to pick a punk rock dad who would it be?
JS: Milo from the Descendants. He has a PhD in science and life’s lessons. He can obviously teach you a thing or two about the evil ways of girls haha!
MG: And what's the most important thing you can teach your kids about punk rock?
JS: Just about it's the best release in life. No other music genre focuses on such important stuff like positivity, unity, friendship, partying and sometimes even heart break. I'm so proud my kids will turn on their iPads and put on great tunes to chill with. It's pretty rare the likes of Sublime, Street Dogs, Streetlight Manifesto and Bouncing Souls aren't on regular rotation..Oh and of course "What Does The Fox Say".
MG: ha ha ace! Last question. You're playing some pretty rad venues down here, Bombay Rock, Woody’s and Black Hatt (Geelong). Is there anything the punters can do to make you visit to Mejico more memorable?
JS: Come hang, listen to some fun new tunes and most of all get drunk. Melbourne trips are always fun and I'm hoping this one's no different We love the scene you guys have down here and always feel right at home. It's like a home away from home. Being our first trip as RR we hope people come enjoy themselves...oh and try and touch Miks nipples.
You can catch the Radio Rejects at:
Friday 22nd June - Bombay Rock, Brunswick
W/ Strawberry Fist Cake, Smash Bros and Paul 12FU
Saturday 23rd June arvo - Black Hatt , Geelong
W/ Speedball (NSW), In The Esky and All Hope Remains
Saturday 23rd June night, Woody's , Collingwood
W/ Speedball (NSW),, Commissioner Bourboun, Undamaged and Hand Of Fear