Naked fans and sneaky saxophones: a chat with Los Scallywaggs

Los Scallywaggs have toured extensively, booking headline shows in Australia and Europe as well as appearing beside rowdy acts such as Skegss, Pist Idiots, Crocodylus, and heaps more. If there’s one thing they know how to do, it’s turning a crowd to paste.

This live energy is what their most recent LP Smile Stranger aimed to capture, a rapturous 40-minute collection of breakneck tunes built to push heart rates to dangerous levels. Ahead of July’s album tour, we caught up with the band for a chat.

Before they hit the road with Smile Stranger, we grab the latest goss from raucous garage rockers Los Scallywaggs.

HAPPY: Hey, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Hello, we have been laying pretty low last couple of months but getting ready for Smile Stranger album this tour in July! It’s gonna be busy.

HAPPY: We’re loving the album, it’s a real versatile mix between hard-hitting garage rock and some softer style tunes, what was the process of making the album like for you guys?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Thanks stoked you like it! We basically wanted to make a record that was in your face from the get go and we wanted to link a lot of the songs together so once you’re in you kinda can’t get out. We had a lot of fun experimenting with synths and keyboards on this album, even a sneaky saxophone. It made the whole process feel new and exciting for us. The mixing process was definitely the hardest part because you are listening non stop to the same song so I guess it can bum you out. But looking back this record was by far the best time we have had recording.

HAPPY: A lot of the songs are really fast paced, is it ever hard to keep up with yourselves on stage?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: If we have had quite a few beers then yes. We try to record a song exactly how we would play it live so I guess we can tell if it will work on stage or not.

HAPPY: You’re asking strangers to smile, but do you smile at strangers? Or do you walk with your head down?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Smiling at a stranger never hurt anyone ey? I think it’s hard to smile at every person that you walk past but.

HAPPY: I’ve seen you guys play live and without a doubt, it goes off and shit seriously hits the fan. What’s the wackiest thing that’s happened at one of your gigs?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: We were playing a show in France last year with Tijuana Panthers and this guy got completely naked and danced on stage for like four songs during our set. He tried to crowd surf and I don’t think anyone caught him. He ended up getting a LS tattoo on his ass after the show, he had pink spray paint and we sprayed it all over him. But then the dude ran outside and spray painted his name on our tour bus and ran off into the night. Old mate must have been on something else. Maybe he will resurface next time we go back there.

HAPPY: You’re all fellow NSW folk, who are some local artists you’re loving at the moment?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Been really loving a band from the Gold Coast call Gee Tee. They make epic garage music. A friend also put me onto a band called R.M.F.C. who are rad as well. So many great bands popping up everywhere it’s hard to keep track.

HAPPY: You’re touring the new album around Australia in July, what Australian snack is your go-to for the road?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Bundaburg creaming soda and traveler pie. Can’t go wrong.

HAPPY: You’re playing at Umbrella Winter City Sounds festival in Adelaide. What can we expect for that one?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Every time we come down to Adelaide to play we have the best bloody time. We will he playing Rocket Bar on the 12th of July right in the heart of the CBD and I expect it will be sweaty, fast and very fuckin’ loud!

HAPPY: Can we expect any more of your classic music videos anytime soon?

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Our mate Nathan Shennan has just finished an animated film clip for the song New Sense off the new record. He is one talented human. Super keen to show people this one!

HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!

LOS SCALLYWAGGS: Thanks Happy Mag.


Catch Los Scallywags live on their Smile Stranger album tour:

Fri 5 July – The Tote, Melbourne
Sat 6 July – Newcastle Hotel, Newcastle
Thu 11 July – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Fri 12 July – Rocket Bar, Adelaide – part of Umbrella Winter City Sounds
Sat 13 July – Four5Nine, Perth
Sat 17 August – Hot Tropics #2 – The Lounge Room, Port Macquarie

Grab all the info you need here.