Interview – The Ampersands

The Ampersands are an alternative rock band out of Geelong, comprising of four bands members who spend days annoying neighbours with rehearsals and writing original upbeat music. With an EP on the way and live performances full of energy, the Triple J Unearthed contestants are surprising audiences across the local area.

I had the chance to interview the entertaining quartet, who were more than happy to reveal dreams and antics away from the stage.

For those first hearing about The Ampersands, how would you describe your music? Which bands have had the biggest influence on your style?

Our genre is somewhere in the vicinity of rock, but we haven’t been able to name what sub-genre we are. We are influenced by many different bands, so pick and choose a band and we are probably influenced by them.

What has been the band’s most memorable gig played so far, and why? And in reverse, what has been the best gig you’ve watched?

We supported Northeast Party House and Wax Witches in September and that was crazy fun. Under 18’s froth over them. It’s hard to pick a favourite gig. In the last 6 months or so I’d have to say Dune Rats and The Bennies at The Grace Darling. Most of the band are still 17 so they can’t really get into many shows, but they’ll catch up soon enough.

How do you go about the creative process in creating a new song? For example, in ‘Evil Girl’, who is Evil Girl?

Normally Chris writes the songs and the lyrics and then we add all our own parts. After that we change parts here and there until we ultimately get a finished song. Evil Girl is about this girl working at subway, and she made honestly the worst subs ever. The thing was we couldn’t really take the subs back and complain because she was pretty hot, so we decided to write a song instead.

Who’s the most annoying band member?

Josh. Without a doubt. Currently waiting on him to show up to a recording that we planned for 2 hours ago. He also has an unhealthy obsession with Ratchet and Clank and a bit of a Peter Pan complex; the kid never wants to grow up. Wub u Josh!

If you could play at one festival in the world, which would it be?

Coachella would be incredible but that’s just a pipe dream.

Away from music, what antics does the band get up to?

We eat a lot of fish and chips, we tend to muck around a bit. Hobbies include watching HR Puffin Stuff while listing to Pink Floyyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Will isn’t very good at soccer so he dresses up like a woman and plays for the female teams, and he still warms the bench. We like to lounge around in snuggies watching the Bachelor, just the perfect night in with the lads.

What’s on the agenda for The Ampersands in 2015?

Well we’re about to release our first EP, just 1 track left to record. We’ve recorded it in our garage with a whole bunch of equipment; Will and Nick are mixing it. We are going to get a small run printed but we’re release it for free on Bandcamp too. Hopefully we get to play a whole heap of gigs as well.

What is each band member’s favourite song?

S Club 7: Bring it all back! That’s our collective jam. No joke we blast that 24/7

The Ampersands; is there a meaning behind the name?

Not really, apparently Josh’s dad came up with it, we were testing a few names. Yeti Family is still my favourite, can’t win everything though.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

We’d like to give a shout out to the lady across the street: cheers for calling the cops in the middle of the day on one of our rehearsals because we were “too loud”. You’re the real MVP.

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Interviewed and written by Chris Sutton

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