Mamby pamby musical nonsense: chatting album #9 with Regurgitator’s Quan Yeomans

Regurgitator are a band who will never call it quits. They’re one of Australia’s finest in the rock space, and over 20 years since their debut album Tu-Plang the Gurge is still attacking things like it was ’93.

At the end of June, with a massive tour already on the cards, Regurgitator announced they would be releasing their ninth studio album HEADROXX on August 1st. More than enough excuse to catch up with frontman Quan Yeomans, we thought.

regurgitator interview headroxx

What can we expect from Regurgitator’s ninth studio album HEADROXX? With the LP and a big old tour just over the horizon, we sat down with Quan for the latest.

HAPPY: Just listened to the new album… and hooly dooley! It’s pretty whacked, gentlemen. What was it like watching this thing come together?

QUAN: It was like watching two unicorns made of fairy floss having sex on a cruise ship made entirely out of tempeh embedded with cubic zirconia gems.

HAPPY: Mad. I read that a couple of the songs on the album came together overnight. What kind of sound does this frantic songwriting process give a track?

QUAN: It generally makes it fresher, less overworked. It’s very easy to labor a track and ultimately fuck it up by overthinking it . The time-constrained tunes inevitably end up being the singles. Whereas the ones you fiddle over always sound end up being the ‘album’ tracks.

HAPPY: Around the same time you were writing this new album, you were also writing a ‘kids punk album’… which at one point you said you liked better than HEADROXX. Is this still the case now that you’ve heard the finished product?

QUAN: In retrospect I think the album turned out quite well. Sometimes you don’t gain confidence with a work until you finally abandon it. And then again the way you feel about it as you live with it on tour and further down the track inevitably alters. Sometimes it dips and other times it’s better than you realised.

HAPPY: Speaking of the ‘kids punk record’, could you walk us through what this is all about?

QUAN: At this point it will be loosely based on a theatrical one-off kids show we did at the Melbourne Recital Centre earlier this year. It was spawned from the feeling of dread we’ve felt collectively as fathers of having to sit through our children’s exposure to mamby pamby musical nonsense that seems to be the common vibe of young kids’ entertainment (with a few exceptions) these days.

We wanted to give kids and their parents something a little more meaty, warty and generally fun. Whether we can achieve that without the wrath of the Child Protective Services is of course currently an unknown .

HAPPY: You recently played a series of gigs where you performed all Velvet Underground tracks. How much influence do you think Velvet Underground have had on Regurgitator?

QUAN: Sometimes it’s hard to say how the music you listen to now or listened to in your adolescence shapes your creativity. I think the maverick outsider nature of the VU definitely inspired all of us though. The raw punk nature of things always encouraged us as youths to tap into unfettered sides of our personalities I think.

HAPPY: In those shows you played alongside a guzheng player. Could tell us a little about this instrument and what made you want to include this in the show?

QUAN: The basic anatomy of band for the VU show was the brain child of Ben. We were asked to put something together for an Andy Warhol/Ai WeiWei double show at the NGV. The idea that The Velvet Underground and Nico record would represent Warhol and the Guzheng element would represent Ai Weiwei was what spawned the ensemble. Seja was a perfect choice for Nico’s parts as well.

HAPPY: You’re about to head on a pretty huge national tour, can we expect to hear any VU at those shows?

QUAN: No I doubt it. That was very much a different hat for us and it’s state with Mindy (the Guzheng player) and Seja was perfect and doing it without them would just not be the same. Our national show will be very much our own material and we certainly have plenty of material to puck from now after nine albums!

HAPPY: The tour is looking pretty extensive… how important is it for you to tour around the less-visited areas of the country?

QUAN: I think it’s great us as a band to play to new faces in unfamiliar venues as it keeps us inspired. It’s also hopefully good for the people in places that wouldn’t normally get a chance to just stroll down to their local and cop an earful of us :)

HAPPY: Any other plans in the works beyond the album and tour?

QUAN: Oh plans within plans within plots within schemes. Of course!


Catch Regurgitator live on their upcoming Life Support tour. Pre-order your copy of HEADROXX here.

Life Support Tour

Thursday 2 August – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – with Glitoris and Shrimp
Friday 3 August – The Metro Theatre, Sydney – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 4 August – Servo Food Truck, Wollongong (afternoon) SOLD OUT! – with The Nah and Enfant Terrible
Saturday 4 August – The Basement – Canberra – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 5 August – SS&A Club, Albury – with Glitoris
Thurday 9 August – Wool Exchange – Geelong – with Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine (feat. Tony Martin) and Dicklord
Friday 10 August -170 Russell, Melbourne – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 11 August – Republic Bar, Hobart – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 12 August – Republic Bar, Hobart (afternoon) – with Glitoris and Native Cats
Friday 17 August – The Gov, Adelaide – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 18 August – Badlands, Perth – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 19 August – Badlands, Perth – with Glitoris and Nerve Quakes
Friday 24 August – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 25 August – The Tivoli, Brisbane – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 26 August – Solbar, Sunshine Coast – with The Stress Of Leisure