Visible dongs, a debut EP and Christmas miracles: we chat with the naughty lads from Borneo

Jubilant Sydney five piece Borneo are back on the attack, ripping out new tunes with their eyes on one thing: a massive debut EP come 2017.

Once a staple of their live set, Hold Me In The River is a feel-good tune you wanna jump around to, jovial but dangerous like a good, splintery children’s playground. Before they round out the year with a select few festive gigs, we caught up with their frontman and guitarist Tim Pembroke to bump heads over their latest track, visible dongs and Christmas fun times.


Underneath the sleek pop rock sound Borneo treads so well, they boast an even tougher trait to nail: an addictive silliness that hits the mark time and time again.

HAPPY: Congrats on Hold Me In The River getting out! Are you stoked with the way it came out?

TIM: The way it came out was like an adventure on a small boat travelling down a rocky ravine. We’re definitely stoked.

HAPPY: What’s the song about? Something about Zook?

TIM: The song is a tale of left and right and how parents shape and influence the core beliefs of their children. Zook is a character. He’s an alien looking at the people on earth saying “These Cretans are insane! They’re killing each other.”

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HAPPY: You’ve been playing this one live for a while now right? Did the reactions you got influence the final track in any way?

TIM: We probably drank a few too many fresh pots before we recorded it, but I reckon we’ve captured a live energy. The song always gets a good response. People dance.

HAPPY: How’s next year’s EP shaping up?

TIM: It’s close. It’ll be our first EP – we’re pumped.

HAPPY: Which idyllic park did you take those hypnotic press photos in?

TIM: You mean the press photos where you can see our dongles? We can’t say – there’s a bounty out for the trespassers.

borneo happy

HAPPY: The GD FRNDS bash looks too good to be true, looking forward to it?

TIM: The last time we played a GD FRNDS night it was a full house at Miami Shark Bar. Looking forward to much of the same – heaps of crew in terrible Christmas outfits.

HAPPY: Who on the lineup are you keen to play alongside?

TIM: Yes Sir Noceur!

HAPPY: How does Borneo usually celebrate December 25?

TIM: With our family’s listening to How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly. Wally who plays keyboards also loves wearing Christmas hats.

HAPPY: Apart from the EP, what’s going on with Borneo in 2017?

TIM: We’re touring New Zealand in January starting on New Years with Dave Weir and Arthur Ahbez then straight back into the studio for EP number two, more releases then a sneaky trip over the pond for Eurovision.

GD FRNDS are celebrating A Christmas Miracle on December 10th at Miami Shark Bar with Borneo, Wren Klauf and more. Don’t miss out – all the details you need are right here.

For more gigs, check out our gig guide to see what’s happening in your city.