Home is where the punk is: A tale of two cities by Kacper Majchrowski of Hey Baby!

Kacper Majchrowski is the frontman of Brisbane punk rock 4-piece Hey Baby!

I think I was about 11 or 12 when I discovered punk. When I say that, I don’t mean Green Day’s Warning. I mean a recording of The Sex Pistols, brought to me live via cassette on my dad’s boom box.

“Why are they yelling at each other during songs dad?”
“Cause they’re angry and don’t take music so seriously.”
“Why don’t they take it seriously?”
“Cause they don’t want to be rock stars.”
“Why are they spitting on each other?”
“Cause they’re punk.”

I was immediately hooked.

Hey Baby
Photos: Don’t Think That Photography

I stopped going out and high tailed it to Brisbane ’cause bands like Velociraptor, DZ Deathrays, Dunies and Soho were from there and I really dug ’em.

I think that moment shaped me more than I let on at the time, flowing onto the The Clash, Conclict, Crass, Bad Brains; anything that was punk I pretty much swallowed up like stale pizza on a hungover Sunday. But when The Pixies came into it – that’s when it all changed.

I had this incredible urgency to make music so I tried making it the easiest way I could – with an acoustic guitar, Garageband and the built-in microphone. It sounded terrible so my dad got me an interface; I thought those recordings were the shit. But that’s how I started making music, writing four or five Hey Baby! songs by the time I found a crew to jam with.

Our first gig was a festival which was sick! We were mostly underage and they gave us artist wristbands so the bar staff thought we were eighteen… don’t think I’ve ever had beers that tasted that good since! After that we played a bunch in Sydney to really small crowds and a bunch in the mountains to slightly bigger crowds.

I remember one gig where the only people I could see were our mates from the mountains that trekked it down to Sydney to watch us play. Cheers ya legends!

I feel like the mountains and Newtown had a really similar bohemian vibe to them. Of course Newtown was a lot more vibrant, had a more diverse population, and the music and arts were en masse; but Katoomba definitely felt like a mini-Newtown with a bunch of trendy cafes, organic food stores, loads of pubs and a very progressive community.

The community itself was great and really supportive; once a caretaker let us play a gig at an abandoned hotel which was rad! A bunch of people showed up and we had a mad show. That’s what it was about though; just having a rad time with a bunch of mates, playing a show and staying up swapping tunes and talking shit until the sun came up.

I moved to Sydney just before the lockouts came in, witnessed the whole transition and I’m not gonna lie; the lockouts and rising rent were the reasons I left. Less people were coming to gigs and Hey Baby! couldn’t get any so we just stopped. The bands were wicked and the community was awesome but venues started shutting down and people couldn’t chance seeing a show at one end of the city only to be locked out of the venue their mates were chilling at during the show.

Then a bunch of losers started coming to Newtown just so they could get on the piss for a longer amount of time. Artists and musicians loved Newtown for its culture and progressive attitudes, then all these fools showed up just kind of mocking it and killing it a little. Security got more enforcing and aggressive, and violence on the streets, whether just drunken idiocy or based in prejudice, sky rocketed.

I kind of stopped going out and then high tailed it to Brisbane ’cause bands like Velociraptor, DZ Deathrays, Dunies and Soho were from there and I really dug ’em. Plus it’s warmer.

Not long after that I met Jaeger Brodie at a wicked party called Couch House which had a bunch of sick bands like Port Royal, Dangerpenny and Concrete Surfers playing next to an emptied out pool which a bunch of kids were skating in.

When Jaeger describes it he says it was like “two kids in a playground locking eyes and deciding they were gonna be mates and cause trouble”. We bonded over punk, hung out and realised we meshed really well whilst jamming. Then Sam came over one time and we jammed and talked and really got along so we snapped her up.

I think it was during one of our early jam sessions when we wrote 1-800 WEED! which was us just taking the piss, and talking about how weed should be legal, imagining if it could be delivered to your house – with the most cliched stoner lyrics ever.

We had another bassist but it didn’t work out, so we got Dan (Chicken) on and everything started to mesh perfectly. I can honestly say this is the best and funnest line up I’ve ever had and wouldn’t trade anyone to play with anyone else. We’re all just heaps good mates playing tunes that we dig and that’s the best thing in the world to me. And the music scene is rad!

Hey Baby! Kacper Majchrowski

All the bands know each other, support each other a tonne and it’s a great scene to be a part of. Our lockouts aren’t as bad as Sydney’s and our entertainment isn’t as spread out, so it hasn’t suffered much. We still manage to go out and have a great time playing to some new faces at each show.

Either way I love bands in both scenes and both the cities… but the conservative government needs to think more about the arts and the little guy (like those working in hospo) and focus less on making James Packer more packed with cash haha!

Educate people and don’t punish the mass for the mistakes of a few.

Hope to see some of you lot at one of our shows!



Kacper Majchrowski is the frontman of Brisbane punk rock 4-piece Hey Baby! You can catch them on tour this August:

August 3 – The Tote, Melbourne
August 5 – Valve Bar, Sydney
August 11 – The Wooly Mammoth, Brisbane