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Cello-whales, AC/DC, and stripping for the Hells Angels: The things Tantrum Fantasy’s gear has seen

Tantrum Fantasy took their name from a term coined by a friend; The greatest comeback or quip often springs to mind after you’ve walked away from a heated discussion. Similarly, it took more than two years to release debut single Marrickville Whalescape after recording it, after cellist Kate and producer/guitarist Martijn headed to The Blue Mountains and drummer Dave moved back to Darwin. The logistics are now challenging, but not impossible.

It’s now just singer Paulie and bassist Chris who remain in the Inner West, so we caught up with Paulie to get some history on their favourite pieces of kit.

Fresh off the release of their new single Marrickville Whalescape, we caught up with Tantrum Fantasy for a run-down on the gear that helped shape their sound.

Kate (Cello and whale SFX)

KATE: My cello was made in some German factory then set up by Olaf Grawert, an instrument maker in QLD. I’m the first owner and I’ve had it since 1994. I’ve broken the bridge once but it seems pretty indestructible and keeps its tuning really well. I’ve used a Fishman pickup and Sansamp DI with eq control since I started playing amplified gigs.

Chris (BASS) – Gallien Krueger 200W head + Fender Jazz Bass (Japanese)

CHRIS: The Gallien Krueger 200W head I bought from Mark Evans, the original AC/DC bassist. I used to live above the Bass Player shop he worked at. Mark played bass on AC/DC’s albums between 1975-1977 such as T.N.T and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap but I highly doubt it’s my amp featured on any of those albums! I got my Fender in 1994, it’s been a real workhorse, I’ll never get rid of it.

Dave (Drums) – Zildjian K Class Hybrid hi-hats + Pearl Export Select

DAVE: Playing with nylon hotrods means often not cracking the cymbals while playing, so the tones when played lightly is important, my favourite is the Zildjian K Class Hybrid hi-hats. My Pearl Export Select drumkit, I bought it while I was with the metal band Paulie and I played in together as teenagers. Every setlist I’ve had from gigs since then kit is inside the Bass Drum and helps with dampening.

PAULIE: Is the setlist from Mary’s birthday party at the Hells Angels clubhouse still in there?

DAVE: A friend’s band was booked to play at a party for the Hells Angels, but their drummer was sick. They asked if I could bring my drumkit and sit in, but I didn’t know their set. The bikers would be pissed if they didn’t have a band that night, so I said we’d do it ourselves.

PAULIE: Long story short; we played our first two sets for more than a hundred Hells Angels MC members and their families. It started getting rowdy, then the entire party was told to come into the bar – a big tin shed. I don’t know why the dancer picked on me, awkwardly hiding in the corner, but suddenly I was in the middle of the bar being slowly stripped down to the Bugs Bunny boxer shorts my Mum had bought for me, as Guns N’ Roses’ Don’t Cry played on the stereo. Afterwards, as I dressed myself in the corner I’d been shoved back into with my t-shirt and jeans chucked at me, a big bearded bikie appeared, slapped my bare back and said: “So what do you think of the stripper?

Amazing?

That’s my wife! My name’s Mary, it’s my birthday party!

Anyway, back to our favourite pieces of kit…

Paulie (Vocals, rhythm guitar) – Esteve classical guitar (Spain)

PAULIE: For a long time, I played my Yamaha students nylon string guitar, but eventually required a guitar with a pickup to play live gigs. I don’t tend to play with a pick, so the nylon strings are best for switching between finger-picking and strumming the hell out of it. It’s the Esteve I’m strumming in the music video for Marrickville Whalescape, stripped down to boxer shorts once more!

Tantrum Fantasy’s single and music video for Marrickville Whalescape is out now, with the sequel due mid-2019.