If you haven’t already checked out Beaker, the new video from Perth outfit Flyball Gov’nor, stop what you’re doing and go watch it now. Clocking in at less than three minutes, the clip is a burst of creativity and kookiness.
So, fresh off the clip’s release, we caught up with frontwoman Mel Anastas to chat all about it, the Perth music scene, what the future holds, and a whole heap more.
With an amazing new video clip fresh under their belts, we caught up with Perth-based outfit Flyball Gov’nor to chat all about it.
HAPPY: Hey guys! How’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
MEL: Well, we’re all feeling a lot better after being finally allowed to get together and play on the weekend! We’d all been kinda bummed-out for about the past fortnight with how much we were missing each other. We got to play together live for a Breaking Punk Lockdown Session last weekend (you can see the vid on their Facebook page), so we were all happy again after getting to be with our band fam. We’re a bunch of sooks.
HAPPY: Congrats on getting the new video out! We’ve been loving it. How does it feel having it out there in the world?
MEL: We tend to have a lot of ideas on the go at the same time so, as excited as we are that people are digging it, it’s kinda behind us as far as our creative focus goes. It is very cool that people have enjoyed it from both a musical and cinematic perspective – that was a bit of a surprise. We didn’t expect as many people to appreciate the little moments of pastiche and get our weird nerdy humour.
HAPPY: You’ve mentioned before that the song has endured a few lineup changes. How does the song’s current form compare to its original?
MEL: When we finalised this current lineup in 2017, we found that the musicianship brought into the project from Spanish (lead), Cam (drums), and Lucas (rhythm) allowed the full personality of this, and all of our existing numbers, to be expressed. It needed to be way heavier, but without losing that cheeky bounciness. That balance only really happens when you have players who are careful with decisions around their placement and timing – and then cut completely sick in the performance. Intent is king in how we write our music, so we pack heaps of energy into how that needs to be delivered musically for the song to communicate that intent. I think what I’m trying to say is we are all into the storytelling that can be achieved in composition, so the difference is that we all really fleshed out the characterisation of our instruments… I think that’s especially true for this song, which has more narrative elements than a lot of our stuff.
HAPPY: The video is insane. Could you walk us through how it came together? Who was involved?
MEL: I’d had this creepy found footage since film school in 2014. When we started thinking about a video for Beaker I spent a couple of weeks scripting out the plot for a murderous Dr Moreau-type scientist who’d trick us all into becoming part of his disembodied undead live band for eternity. That idea actually popped into my head on my cycle into work. Biking through an industrial section I passed this run down looking workshop whose external signage shouted “HEAD SHOP” in classic 40s title font. It was pre-coffee early, and I immediately imagined heads on a dusty workbench inside singing away, Life of Brian style.
For some reason, as I was laughing to myself at the hilarious visual pun just gifted to me, that giggly joy was immediately shadowed by the sheer dread and visceral horror of images in that old found footage. Most of our songs are like that. Superficially upbeat and vibey, dark AF underneath. So yeah, once it all came together in my head, we found a decommissioned high-school science lab and used science education resources to dress the set, and we were off.
HAPPY: I’ve got to ask, how did you pull off the whole dismembered heads thing?
MEL: I’ve directed a number of projects with Aidan Edwards (Manticore Productions), and he’s who we work with behind the camera (he did the Three Legged Fox video for us too) so that means I can, like, be in the band for the videos. He’s a great DOP; he and I have that awesome shorthand way of communicating ideas that only happens when you share a similar way of observing the world. When I told Aidan about the Beaker video idea he was really excited to do the VFX, which would involve some green screen – and the time-vampire that is rotoscoping. Once I’d edited the video down he made all the magic happen, sending us through little samples as he went. We watched them together via chat – we were all cackling like ten-year-olds at a slumber party.
HAPPY: How is the Perth music scene fairing through COVID? Do you think it’ll reemerge in a good state?
MEL: Ah god, Perth. We are the most isolated city in the world, so what we’ve probably realised the most during this time is how well we do isolation. We have an incredibly diverse and innovative music scene here that has to be creative all the time in how it reaches audiences, because there’s not actually much to draw on locally, especially if you’re a bit niche. Personally I think it’s given us more confidence in our autonomy from the industry. I don’t know what that means yet, but I’m betting some phenomenal action will come out of it. So yeah, if you’re measuring “good” as diversity and innovation, Perth is poised to blow shit up.
HAPPY: We’ve seen a lot of artists getting quite creative in lockdown. Have you been working on anything new?
MEL: Always and forever working on new things. We’re always in a process of writing and recording, so with no shows taking up rehearsal time, we are really focused on getting ahead with a bunch of releases and accompanying videos. To be honest, Beaker is our simplest tune, the easy-listening number, so we’re quite curious how our more complex stuff will be received.
HAPPY: Are there any other artists you’re really digging at the moment?
MEL: If you haven’t checked out Triangle Fight, sort yaself out! We have a healthy competitiveness with each other, out of pure artistic respect, and because we’re all really great friends. When we play shows together we try to beat each other at whose set went better. Neither of us care when we lose. They’ll be doing a live performance vid with us on May 30th. It’ll go up on our Facebook, so come by and see why we froth over ’em.
HAPPY: What’s next for Flyball Gov’nor? Any other exciting plans in the works?
MEL: Three more singles out before the end of the year, two with music videos and the other just footage from the insane fest we’ll throw at our place once this shit is over. We throw a couple of fests a year at ours (I go door-to-door with earplugs for our neighbours the day before) so we figure there’ll be a lot of pent-up music party energy getting let out at this. We are putting on all the bands who missed out on releasing or launching stuff because of lockdown. It’ll be a time.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
MEL: Thanks for having us Happy Mag! And to all you music people out there, don’t forget to go to shows once this is over. We got some hugs and high-fives for you.
Beaker is out now. Watch the video above.