We stood around in the rain and caught up with Tommy & Paully from Bagster on what they have been up to lately and how pumped they are for the upcoming ska gigs. Whether you’re an original Bagster fan – seeing them play on the back of a truck in McDonald’s car parks – or just discovering them now… crack a beverage and enjoy!
Chopdog (CD): You ready for this?
Paully (P): Make it all about how Tommy should feel inadequate.
CD: Sure thing! But let’s go back to the very beginning… What the f^%k is a Bagster?!
P: A free T-Shirt essentially! We were playing a gig when we were sixteen (a 16th birthday party) and we needed a band name. Koby’s dad had come across some motorbike company with ‘Bagster’ as the name.
Tommy (T): Like the capsules sit on the back of a motor bike. There has since been another company that has started called ‘Bagster’ that sells garbage bin tip things that are made of tarp materials. You buy a packet that folds out and the Bagster company sends a crane to get it.
P: Classic, in our wake.
T: One ‘Bagster’ is the collective noun for five or more drongos.
BAGSTER ARE BACK AND LOOKING AS BRUTIFUL AS EVER...
CD: Ahh it all makes sense now! Well almost – how did it all start?
P: We were in year 9 at school – Koby and I, and Derek Holt, our old drummer. We had just heard the Porkers – they were the first ska band we heard, and we were heaps into them and through that we got into ska. We were just playing Chilli Peppers covers at the time and we found this band MU330. They did badass ska which is right up our ally. Then Tom came along a couple of years later.
T: Yeh that’s right.. it was once it had already kicked off.
P: That’s right the band didn’t really start until Tom joined the lineup… on guitar… and vocals…
T: When Bagster started I had another band at the time called the ‘Kirbys’ (not the ‘Koby’s) and we were trying so hard to get it off the ground, but it didn’t really happen. But the guys in Bagster were keen to get something going and have a real band… I only played guitar at the time, but they didn’t need one because they had this guy called Kirby (Koby), so I played (and learnt) Trombone and spent a few years in Bagster playing that.
CD: Wait so you didn’t play trombone before that?
T: Na, not trombone.
CD: Impressive! So who are you looking forward to seeing most at the Manning Bar gig?
T: I’ve actually never seen Los Capitanes before!
CD: No Way!
P: You would have! We played with them HEAPS!
T: I was at a gig they played once, with the Optionals but I didn’t get to see them. It was in Canberra and I couldn’t stay. So never actually saw them.
P: We only ended up playing three or four bills with them I think in our time.
CD: How about you Paully?
P: Oh look… errr… Mad Dash for sure. The Porkers are fucking sick, Area 7... all the bands are fucking sick. Actually, we know all the horns from Area 7 these days.
T: All the Area 7 horn players used to be in Mr Coffee.
P: It’s more like a mates catch up I suppose. Actually, we never really knew the Porkers guys. Oh wait, Dave Berry’s in the Porkers. Dave Berry is in everything! Dave Berry is playing every set that night except Area 7.
T: And Chris Duke and the Royals?
P: Ahh he’ll hop up!
T: Then Murcho is gonna play Bagster, Mad Dash and the Porkers. And I’ll play ‘bone for Mad Dash too.
CD: Talking band feuds now… This gig is all about Area 7 vs. the Porkers, but have you guys ever had beef with another band?
P/T: The Quickening!
T: We toured with them for two weeks, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, it was one of the very best Bagster experiences ever. We played it like Bagster VS the Quickening, at some shows we even did mashed up sets, like 2 songs per band, swap guitars, the other one plays. That was pretty unique.
CD: I don’t know if I’d put that in the beef category. But that sounded awesome! You’ve played with some epic bands over the years (RBF, CKY, Taste of Chaos etc.) Is there any other shows/tours that stands out?
P: Goldfinger, Guttermouth, Pennywise, Lagwagon
P/T: Billy Talent!
T: I reckon it was the tour – Reel Big Fish and Guttermouth. That was really good. To get to spend time with those guys and actually sit in rooms and have conversations with guys you really grew up on. Guttermouth & RBF were especially like that for me.
P: Yeh and playing Roundhouse sized venues that were sold out.
T: Like yeh Guttermouth to a 12-year-old punk fan is just heaven.
P: Mine would be the RBF tour before that with Goldfinger – we just did Melbourne and Sydney. They were the best – that could just be because I love both those bands!
CD: What sort of songs can we expect this time around?
P: Just the old Classics!
T: Greatest hits… the ‘Brutiful’ era
P: The ones that usually got yelled out that we didn’t play because wanted to play our newer, heavier stuff.
T: But then the latest Bagster stuff is so complex it would take us an extra couple of months to get it really right.
P: Plus no one wants to see fucking songs they don’t know hey!
T: Since we put out that ‘Secret Sessions’ thing (on bandcamp) there are a few more of them available for people. But I don’t even know how much people engaged with that. I think they just like their Skeletons and 8 o’ clock’s.
CD: Can we expect any new music out of this?
T: Potentially, I don’t see why we shouldn’t write a song and record it.
P: Yeh I love playing in a 5-piece with horns.
T: Yeh the horns! Oh when it’s mad it’s so fucking mad!
T: Something on a similar vein. Bit more like that God God Dammit Dammit thing. I also love this band the Dub Trio which is big beat stuff. After I left Bagster the first I time, I spent years playing in reggae and dub bands. I feel like ska-punk is something that has been and gone. And while people have a sense of nostalgia for it, it’s all well and good but…
P: That doesn’t mean horns can’t be in music!
T: There’s a future too. I feel like the fourth-wave (I guess if it’s a real thing) is going to be dub-punk. It’s the big groove. People these days are loving that booming bass sound.
P: AND THE SLIDING BASS LINES!
T: I feel like that big beat rock – people would accept horns in that! Where as if you’re like “HEY GUYS REMEMBER 1997 – MUSTARD PLUG WERE THE BEST”….
P: Pick it up..
T: Although yeh we mostly being nostalgic…
*** descends into some weird Irish/ska/punk - fiddle-de-dee pick it up, pick it up… ***
CD: Ok I’ve given up and it’s raining. Last question: Is Ska dead or alive?
P: It’s dead… but it’s always alive in our hearts.
T: It died in 2003 or so…
CD: Is that the same time Bagster broke up?
T: Yeh kind of… It was dead before that.
P: Yeh we flogged a dead horse for quite a while.
CD: I should re-word that: Who killed Ska?
T: Yeh it was Bagster’s fault.
P: We were definitely around for the death of it! So law of elimination, it was us!
Well if you’re still awake and want to see what all the fuss is about. Pick up a ticket as they support Area 7 & the Porkers along with Los Capitanes, The Mad Dash and Chris Duke & the Royals and join in the festivities of the annual
Chopdog, Def Wolf & Pee Records Xmas Bash!
Brush up on some Bagster tunes here:
Area 7 vs. The Porkers
With Los Capitanes, Bagster, The Mad Dash & Chris Duke & the Royals
Saturday 1 December 2018 – Manning Bar, Sydney Uni
Tickets $36.25 (inc. all fees) from Oztix:
Chopdog, Pee Records & Def Wolf Xmas Bash 2018
With Jeff Rosensotck (USA), Dan Potthast (USA), Nerdlinger, The Great Awake and more...
Friday 14 December 2018 – The H Live, Sutherland
Tickets $24.99 (inc all fees) from Mostix: