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Spiderbait: Turning Japanese.

15 January 2002 | 1:59 am | Craig Butcher
Originally Appeared In

Spiderbait play the Java Java Stage at the Big Day Out, Gold Coast Parkland, Sunday.

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Kram's back home in frosty Melbourne but his touring with Spiderbait isn't finished by a long shot. It's just a few more sleeps until they hit the road with the Big Day Out so I'm sure he's appreciating the rest, especially after Five to Midnight...

“I nearly passed out it was so hot,” he said. “It did take a lot out of me, it's been a long time since a show has exhausted me that much.”

Drummers have got it tough; it was hard on the Resin Dogs too.

“Yeah, Dave was just a. I've never seen him so sweaty, and I was the same. There were a lot of sweaty bodies backstage.”

That's all he wants to say on that point, so what's next?

“I think pretty much the whole of next year we'll be touring quite a lot, so it'll be good fun. I think we'll go back to Japan and New Zealand, I'm not sure about the U.S. as yet, we just like going to Japan.”

From here Japan seems like the ultimate consumer culture, they just lap it up.

“They really like Australian music at the moment that's for sure. For big stuff like the Fuji Festival it's like everywhere else... all the kids turn up to the big shows and they really dig it. On a smaller level it's very… they're very into one particular style of music, they're either mods or they're punks, or they're into acoustic or blues or the Beatles. Everyone takes their own subculture very seriously and dresses accordingly.”

So how do they dress for a Spiderbait show?

“Exactly, that's the weird scenario, I think we sorta threw them a bit. But we did really get some great responses, one of the best shows that we've ever done overseas was in Tokyo at this club. It was just awesome. When the set is working well and it's all flying together, it just works really well on those guys.”

Do you get much time to get out and see the sights?

“Yeah definitely, it's a very motivational culture, they really wanna get out and do stuff all the time. They're always really motivated. The only negative factor is that they smoke too much (laughs). I'd given up smoking when I arrived and I'd taken it back up by the time I'd left. And ya gotta love the food, if you don't like fish I wouldn't bother going there, but if you do get over there as fast as you can.”

Thank you Kram, spokesperson for Tourism Tokyo. He didn't stop there but column space is column space. Closer to home, Spiderbait will be playing a farewell gig at the Punters Club, one of the first Melbourne venues to play host to the trio.

“It's a bit sad that it's finally closing down, but all good things must come to an end.  It's interesting how it does make you see how much the music scene changes over the years when certain things start to drop off.”

We're losing Festival Hall up here…

“You're joking!”

Nope, it'll probably get turned into office block.

“Apartment buildings, it'll end up on Hot Property on Channel 9. I'm verrry tired of reality TV. I can't believe they get people to participate in it!”

I can feel another conversation tangent coming on…

“Ya know that you're fucked, I mean look at Big Brother. If they're lucky a few of those people will get a career out of it, but what about everybody else? I guess the point I'm trying to make is that whoever invents these shows is the one who makes the money out of it, not the people involved and certainly not the people who watch it. If you're out there and you like reality TV then come up with a concept for a show if you really wanna make big bucks out of it. Don't bother going on one.”

Where were we? Touring. New album. The Flight of Wally Funk. The Spiderbait bio says Wally Funk was a pilot who passed all of NASA's astronaut testing but wasn't allowed on any of the actual missions because she was a woman.

“She contacted us recently, she sounds like a really cool person. I think she was a bit iffy about whether she wanted her name used first and we didn't really have any way of contacting her when were coming up with the name of the album, as you do. And being cheeky pop musicians that's what you kinda do, you don't ask permission (laughs). We just thought it was a really cool story.”