What’s the worst lie you’ve sugarcoated? Catching up with Clint Ossington of The Dead Love

Sydney-based grunge maniacs The Dead Love are relentless in every sense of the word. Their live show, DIY ‘tude and even their release schedule would scare off any right-minded muso in the biz, yet somehow they’ve sustained it for years.

Ahead of their monster tour with Grinspoon and Hockey Dad (should be a quiet one), we took five with bassist Clint Ossington for the latest.

the dead love interview sugarcoat

Staying DIY, Canadian crowds and keeping the rural gigs alive: we chat to The Dead Love ahead of their biggest tour to date.

HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

CLINT: Shit’s rad!! Happy place right now, no pun! Just dropped the new single Sugarcoat and kicking into some shows, it’s a fun time in TDL camp.

HAPPY: Your live shows are infamous for being fairly gnarly – what’s on the cards for your upcoming tour with Grinspoon?

CLINT: We’re super pumped for the shows with Grinners and Hockey Dad as well, they’re going to be killer! Injecting new music into the set always brings new energy, so the shows will only be more gnarly if anything! Can’t wait!

HAPPY: You get to do one cover with Phil Jameson on vocals – what’d it be?

CLINT: Blur – Song 2.

HAPPY: You’re jumping on the mainly regional leg of their tour – how important is playing regional shows for you guys? Is it a part of your band ethos to tour as widely as possible?

CLINT: Rural crowds rule, always so keen to do them! It’s so important to reach as many areas as you can, it definitely does get hard sometimes to clock up the k’s and run in the red being an indie band, but we have a committed goal to get everywhere we can as we grow – if people want to see us in a rural area we’ll do out best to get there!

HAPPY: The artwork for Sugarcoat is such a perfect visual accompaniment to the track… how did you start working with Sindy Sin and what keeps you coming back?

CLINT: Yeah cheers, it was kinda an accident! Originally it was just one of the characters and for another tune we decided not to release, anyway Sindy sent the comic strip style version across, more for us to choose what colour we wanted than anything, but we loved it instantly! So when Sugarcoat came along it made perfect sense to use that version, so we got it tightened up and tweaked it a tad with the one character facing the other direction… could’t have worked out more perfect! Sindy is a legend and a good pal, he’s always understood what our vibe is so we continue to make fun shit together.

HAPPY: What’s the best or worst lie you’ve sugarcoated?

CLINT: “That’s red texta on my c&*k!” (answered by Jordo from Frankie’s, he’s sitting next to me and interjected for that one).

HAPPY: ‘DIY’ seems to be something that’s synonymous with The Dead Love. In what ways are you self-sufficient and how important is it to operate this way as a band?

CLINT: That’s how we’ve always rolled, Stevie has a studio which has been a massive help but even still, we’ve learnt to run the all the other shit ourselves. These days bands need to be agent, manager, publicist, social media master, video dude blah blah blah – the more you learn and grow the better you get at it! Get out and make your own perfect storm!!

HAPPY: Sugarcoat definitely has this raw DIY punk aesthetic. Is recording everything yourselves an integral part of the Dead Love sound? In what ways?

CLINT: Yeah for sure, I guess we just know what we want from our sound, we track live to capture what you’re going to get live!

HAPPY: You guys have spent a bit of time touring in Canada and the States over the last 24 months. In particular Canada. What were those experiences like? How different is the touring circuit in North America to here?

CLINT: So fun! You learn allot touring overseas, when no one knows who the fuck you are (and in some places don’t even fully speak your language), it’s 150% about the music and show – you gotta rule! It’s tightened the band up heaps not only musically but also as pals, we’re closer now then we’ve ever been.

HAPPY: Whose crowds are looser, ours or theirs?

CLINT: Hmmm dunno, Aussies know how to party pretty hard and we always take that ethos with us!!


Catch The Dead Love around town:

September 15 – Coogee Diggers, Sydney (with Wolf & Cub)
September 20 – CSU, Wagga Wagga, NSW (with Grinspoon)
September 21 – Barooga Sports Club, NSW (with Grinspoon)
September 22 – Paddy’s Beer Deluxe, Albury, NSW (with Grinspoon)
September 23 – Nex, Newcastle, NSW (with Grinspoon)