Having only been playing shows for a year, it’s somewhat surprising that Ulladulla-via-Sydney four-piece RMFC (Rock Music Fan Club) have established such a strong presence in the local Sydney music scene. But then, if you listen to their two tapes—The Hive, volumes 1 & 2—it’s not very surprising at all.
Recorded entirely by 18-year-old multi-instrumentalist Buz Clatworthy, the two tapes are full of fuzzy, Devo-inspired garage punk. So before they play our Issue 12 Launch Party on Friday night, we caught up with Buz to chat about their entry into the local music community, working with international record labels, and Guns N Roses cover bands in Ulladulla.
Ahead of their performance at our Issue 12 Launch Party this Friday, we caught up with local punk prodigies RMFC for a chat.
HAPPY: You’re from Ulladulla, correct?
BUZ: Yes, correct.
HAPPY: What’s the music scene like up that way?
BUZ: It’s non-existent, unless you cover Guns N Roses. You’d be killing it up there if you covered Guns N Roses.
HAPPY: Do you have an RSL up there?
BUZ: The main pub’s called The Marlin…
HAPPY: Oh, I’ve seen some alright bands playing The Marlin…
BUZ: Yeah, some surprisingly bigger bands come through and play there. Skegss played there.
HAPPY: What connected you to the Sydney music scene?
BUZ: I met my current girlfriend Grace at a POND show or something. Then I just made a bunch of friends here, which I suppose got me into it. But it was mainly from putting out that first tape… I made some friends out of that.
HAPPY: Were you still listening to local Sydney stuff before you started playing out here?
BUZ: Yeah, I’ve always been a fan of the stuff Ishka (Edmeades) puts out. Like Satanic Togas and Set-Top Box.
HAPPY: He put out your cassettes on Warttmann Inc, right? How did you get connected with him?
BUZ: Well the first tape was through Slime Street – they’re my mates in Brisbane. We played our first three shows with Togas, so I just befriended Ishka, and he put out the second tape.
HAPPY: Where were those first run of shows?
BUZ: The first one was down in Wollongong at Rad Bar, which is now closed, the second one was at The Lansdowne, and the third one was at The Petersham Bowlo.
HAPPY: Pretty solid run of first gigs…
BUZ: Yeah, they were good fun.
HAPPY: When you were first starting out, I know you were underage. Cracking into the local music scene as a new band is hard enough… I can’t imagine trying to do it underage and from Ulladulla.
BUZ: Yeah, it’s really weird the way it’s all turned out. It’s been less than a year, but the past year has been very generous.
HAPPY: Yeah, well the tapes are great. They were both done in your bedroom, yeah?
BUZ: Yeah they were both done in my bedroom by myself.
HAPPY: What’s your setup look like?
BUZ: I’ve got my drums set up in the corner, and I’ve got this little digital Tascam Portastudio desk, so I record drums first, then bass, then guitar, then vocals. That’s usually the way it goes.
HAPPY: And you don’t send it anywhere for mixing or mastering?
BUZ: Nah, me and my friend Beau just mix it. I don’t have a computer with FL Studio or anything, so I take it over to his and we mix it together. Then we put it out.
HAPPY: Is there more unreleased stuff in the bank?
BUZ: Yeah, I’ve got a few new things. I’m starting a new band actually. It’ll be a bit more hardcore. I think we’ll call it Cartoon. It’s got Kel from Gee Tee and Ishka from Togas. There’s some more RMFC stuff too.
HAPPY: Is there any timeline for that new stuff?
BUZ: Nah, no idea. Maybe next year. We’re doing a 7″ of that recent Melbourne tape… like a split 7″ with Set-Top Box.
HAPPY: What was that Melbourne tape actually?
BUZ: Yeah, so we did an original each and one cover of each other’s songs. They covered Television and did a really good job of it.
HAPPY: You’ve had a bit of label attention from overseas labels too. Who pressed your first two tapes to vinyl?
BUZ: Erste Theke Tonträger. They’re a German label.
HAPPY: How did they get in contact with you?
BUZ: He just emailed me. I was really excited too, because getting something out on a 12″ was a longtime goal. He’s put out a lot of stuff that I really like as well. He did the European pressing of the Lumpy & The Dumpers Collection EP.
HAPPY: It’s sick how there are all these overseas labels frothing local Sydney shit.
BUZ: Yeah, it’s funny, a lot of Australian’s seem to think America’s where it’s at, but everyone else seems to think Australia’s where it’s at.
HAPPY: Finishing up, you’re playing the Happy Mag Issue 12 Launch Party on Friday night… are there any bands your keen to see?
BUZ: Hell yeah! I’m definitely keen to see A. Swayze & The Ghosts. Flight To Dubai as well. Every time we’ve played with Flight To Dubai, I’ve missed them, so I’m actually yet to see them in the flesh. I’m really keen to see Buzz Kull too.
HAPPY: Too right. I’ll catch you there.
Catch RMFC at The Marlborough Hotel on Friday, August 16th as part of Happy Mag’s Issue 12 Launch Party. More info here.