Le Bongé look to the future with their unique blend of punk spirit and DIY ethos

In the heart of Melbourne’s inner North pulses the vibrant energy of Le Bongé, a dynamic duo entrenched in the city’s punk and pub rock scene

United by a friendship forged in the early 2000s, Le Bongé combine their musical talents to create an authentic sound that reflects their shared passion and deep camaraderie.

Fresh off their self titled debut EP, we caught up with the duo to chat about a future filled with boundless possibilities, where they continue to captivate audiences with their unique blend of punk spirit and DIY ethos.

Le Bongé

Happy: Hey there, what are you up to today?

Le Bongé: Currently working on new material for our next release!

Happy: Tell us a little about where you live, what’s the scene like, and what do you love about it?

Le Bongé: We are from Melbourne’s inner North – the scene has been thriving here for some time, and punk/pub rock is no exception.

Venues like the Tote and the Old Bar have kept the flame burning and don’t look like slowing down.

Happy: As long-time friends and bandmates since the early 2000s, how has your dynamic evolved over the years, and how does that camaraderie contribute to your creative process?

Le Bongé: Early on, we both played in separate bands, but played gigs together all the time as both bands loved what the other was doing.

That time we spent in those years has solidified our process now, knowing that what the other person is going to produce/create is only going to be quality.

Happy: What drew you to punk as a genre, and how do you see Le Bongé contributing to the broader punk music scene?

Le Bongé: I think punk is quite honest, simple yet intricate despite the trashy cover. There’s a reason why it never really goes away!

The reason we keep doing it is because of that honesty, and seeing a great punk band in a sweaty band room is something that cannot be replaced, whether that be any incarnation of the word Punk, ethos, style or some sort of weird sub-category.

Happy: Can you share some of the key influences, musical or otherwise, that have shaped the identity of Le Bongé?

Le Bongé: Well everything, but Melbourne as whole. The scene and the people are constantly shaping what we do, from radio shows like ‘Fang It’ on PBS to the Local bands that pull 800 people to a show, and the local bands that pull 8 people to a show.

After spending almost 5 years away from Melbourne recently, coming back and reconnecting with the Melbourne culture was an absolute breath of fresh air, and it is constantly offering ideas and feeding the soul.

Happy: The pandemic has been a challenging time for many. How did you navigate the difficulties of the past couple of years, and how did it impact the themes explored in your debut EP?

Le Bongé: The pandemic was quite productive for us creatively, it gave the both of us the chance to sit back from otherwise busy lifestyles, and decide why we wanted to do.

The beauty of tech these days is that we don’t need to be in the same room to create, recording and sending ideas back and forth for the project off the ground.

Happy: In what ways does the DIY ethos play a role in your approach to creating and presenting music as Le Bongé?

Le Bongé: Part of the idea was exactly that, we wanted to make something that was made in house, and it gave me a great excuse to buy and acquire new gear for recording!

We also wanted to make sure that it sounded that way as well, you don’t need a flash studio to make music sound good anymore, but we still wanted to lean into the DIY sound, if there is one, but keeping an amount of filth was important.

Happy: The EP features a mix of sounds, from harsh vocals to pop-punk elements. How do you approach genre blending, and what do you think it adds to the overall listening experience?

Le Bongé: The type of genre that is heard on the E.P is not a conscious decision, we wrote a bunch of songs and these were the ones that we both looked the most.

Maybe that’s got a bit to do with the music we listened to growing up, but I think even now, we listen to so many types of music, but there isn’t a conscious decision whilst approaching the genres heard in the music.

Happy: As a punk band, you’ve incorporated political and socio-economic commentary into your music. How important is it for Le Bongé to address these issues through your art?

Le Bongé: I wasn’t really aware how much social commentary is in the music until this question was asked!

But, the process is very simple for us, discuss things that we think are ridiculous and/or annoying, and really extract the humor from it.. regardless of how frustrating life can be, there is always something hilarious within it.

Happy: What challenges did you face in bringing your vision to life, especially with the debut EP, and how did you overcome them?

Le Bongé: Ooft, the recording and production was the challenging part, but also the most enjoyable and rewarding. We spent quite a lot of time re-recording things as we were both learning how to do this properly!

Listening to something a week after thinking it was good, and then scrapping it entirely, happened more times than I’d like to admit!!

Happy: Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for Le Bongé as a band, both musically and in terms of reaching your audience?

Le Bongé: We are just happy to keep doing what we are doing, writing and recording music that puts a smile on our faces. If we can make other people happy in the process, we’ll take that too!!

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Le Bongé: As above!!