Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Interviewed

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Interviewed

” I was working in a workplace, for an oil business,” states Jack McEwan, hirsute frontman and lead songwriter of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets over videochat, what with the whole pandemic thing, and him living in Perth, Australia.

” Anyhow, I noticed there was a drum set there, so I asked the guy about it.

Fast forward to today, on the eve of their 4th album– pedal-to-the-metal psych work of art ‘SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound’– and we’re catching up with Jack McEwan to learn what makes his band so irresistibly, infectiously active.

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How come the psychedelia you make is a lot more enjoyable than most of the other dross which passes for psychedelic music nowadays?

We were indicated to be a punk rock band, in the start. Every other band coming out at the time was called, like, The Trips, or The Velour Rainbows.

I reckon what sets you apart is that other psych bands just stack random lyrical images and sounds onto tracks, whereas you appear to have a bit more discernment.

Thanks guy.

You make no secret of your fondness for the ol’ persian rugs. What’s your favourite drug, and why?

It’s evolved over the years. Turns out they ‘d been in his pocket all week, and had actually gotten all warm and mushy, I ended up throwing up and shitting myself, desperately attempting to discover my method back to the hotel.

Not a great appearance. Generally speaking alcohol is fair game isn’t it? Although I can become a complete idiot. I’m more placid when I’m tripping, definitely, however there needs to be a beer involved somewhere does not there? For balance. It’s an art.

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On your last record you discussed finding god in a tomato while high. Please tell me some of these more recent tracks–‘ Sawtooth Monkfish’, state, or ‘Mango Terrarium’– have likewise mangled inspirations?

‘ Sawtooth Monkfish’ is practically a tattoo that a buddy offered me, that looked, to me, exactly like a sawtooth monkfish. All the songs have a reason for them, they all speak about a moment of clarity that we had. [SHYGA! closing track] Gurney Gridman is about Sam, an engineer who assisted tape-record our drums in the studio. Sam needed to get jaw surgical treatment due to the fact that he ‘d been gurning too much. We ‘d listen back to him gridding– quantizing, putting in time– our drumkit and we ‘d hear his jaw just gurning away on the microphones. Hence the tale of Gurney Gridman.

Anyway, just after COVID kicked off whatever shut around here basically, except my regional bottle store. It has this remarkable selection of gins and good white wines, like a store, miles far from your regular Stellas.

Dealing with the record from house it entered into my morning regimen, to head out at like 10 am when everyone else is drinking coffee. I ‘d go to the bottle shop and bang on the shutter until he let me in, then I ‘d buy like a six pack of this Matso Mango beer. My studio ultimately had all these bottles stacked all over around so I was like, huh, I’m residing in a Mango Terrarium.

So are drugs, and your songwriting, kind of inextricable from each other?

I truly like digging around in those weird circumstances. Discussing the unusual aspects, finding the humour, telling a little tale. It’s more entertaining for an audience than, fucking, ‘here’ a love song! Here’s a rock tune!’

I believe what makes tripping so profound for me is I never ever wake up with a hangover, or that anxiety of stressing over who I pissed off. After tripping I wake up with a head filled with strange ideas, which flood back, piece by remarkable piece.

Just up, up, up, up all the way.

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What was your goal making this record– as in, existed like an over-arching vision you had going into it?

With tunes, just like drugs, it’s extremely simple to rabbit-hole yourself into them, to the point you’re making these 8 or 10 minute legendary tracks all the time. The end result is much better if you pare it down to a tight, cohesive 3 minutes. Which takes work, and discipline.

This time I wanted to use that same technique, but for an album. I wanted something that began with a style, ended with the exact same style, with a middle that correlates musically, lyrically, and structurally. To the extent that if one track was taken out and put on another album, it simply wouldn’t work.

The Beatles did that with ‘Sgt Pepper’. ‘Youth And Young Manhood’ by Kings of Leon does it too. And obviously Nirvana ‘Nevermind’. There’s a flavour in those records that’s so fresh and special– the band were thrilled. You can literally hear it.

You studied graphic style eh. Did that impact how you turned out as a muso, do you think?

Absolutely it did.

The lesson was generally trying to get you to believe about logo style– that’s what I was doing for the oil business. The first 100 concepts you get out will be shit, but after that you get imaginative.

I believe making a tune this way is kind of like finishing a Rubik’s cube. And where SHYGA! is different is, we used that approach to the entire album.

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Sick. You were voted the very best brand-new guitar player worldwide by MusicRadar, have you been lording it up over the other bands playing in Perth?

I indicate the truly great thing is we’re still playing live programs in Perth. Plus the crowd isn’t all packed in, so you don’t get pints sloshed all down your back when the band begins.

Why do you think Perth is producing so many excellent bands right now?

There’s fuck all else to do, for one thing.

When we tour in the UK there’s constantly these ‘disco loadouts’, which implies the second your show’s over the band requires to clean out their gear so the DJ can relocate. Here in Perth the bars are literally developed around the music scene. So after you play you go and chill in the garden, smoke a dart and chat to other bands.

That indicates the musicians all form neighborhoods, and there’s a lot of hopping between bands. You’ll meet a guitar player from another group that’s ideal for a particular job, and you form a supergroup. Tame Impala is technically a Perth supergroup, so is Methyl Ethel.

Also, we don’t truly get a great deal of big bands come out by doing this. Perth is the bumfuck of Australia, and Australia is the bumfuck of the world. Whereas substantial acts dominate over in the east– Elton John, or Celine Dion or whatever playing seven nights in Sydney– in Perth the big places are filled with regional bands and the weekends.

It’s fertile soil. It’s simpler to grow, much easier to become intriguing.

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Do you miss out on touring, now the rest of the world is crippled by pester?

A few of my best memories are from exploring. Like getting up in New york city with some homeless guy, sharing a coat. I in fact caught scabies that night.

Go on …

It was the best night of my life. We ‘d had a rare day off in New york city City, and I ‘d never ever been there previously. Incubus were dipping into the theatre where I think Colbert is recorded, White Jeans were playing in Brooklyn, with Ty Segall doing a set later on a couple of doors down.

Finest night of music ever, however like fucking foolish cunts we started drinking Long Island Iced Teas at the Acid Rock Coffee Shop at 4pm – I remember Incubus, and I believe we rocked up to Ty Segall at like 2am. At some time I attempted to cross a road. It was truly hot so I was carrying my coat. Anyway, intoxicated as fuck I believed “i’ll just rest here”.

After a while I woke up, with our manager shouting at me, and there was this homeless guy next to me and we somehow both had my coat on.

Finest night ever. Okay last question– if you were eradicated to a desert island with only one of the following things, which would you prefer to load: psychedelics, pornography, or crumpets?

I wish to say psychedelics, since I ‘d have a fun time on the island. Truthfully I ‘d most likely say porn, but if I state porn everybody will believe I’m a pervert. I guess crumpets would be a smart move?

I’ll put you down for pornography.

What.

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‘ SHYGA! The Sunshine Mound’ is out now.

Words: Andy Hill
Image Credit: Tristan McKenzie

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