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20 Up For The Potato Stars

7 December 2015 | 11:16 am | Bob Gordon

"We peaked out at over 300 people, so they were renowned exercises in debauchery."

In 1995 a band of unlikely heroes took to the stage of a party house dubbed Gaskrankinstation and the legend of the Potato Stars was born. They celebrate their 20th anniversary (and 90-odd members) this Saturday, December 5, at Jimmy's Den with help from Shimmergloom and Midnight Wranglers. BOB GORDON chats with frontman, Brian Dunne.

From memory, Potato Stars' last Perth appearance was to launch your Feedback Stoner Concerto EP. How'd all that go?

Well, we've actually played a few gigs here since then, some low key ones. The Feedback Stoner Concerto launch last year was a hard task on the night, probably the worst weather I've ever seen in Perth, the rain was coming in sideways and freezing cold. Inside the venue was hot, though, but that was because we were on stage.

Are you going to release a live recording from that show? You were considering it at the time...

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The show was recorded on video, some of which can be found on YouTube. It came out quite well, but the audio on the video you can see up there is straight from the camera. We have better audio from that gig recorded on a digital recorder; we're hanging on to that for a later DVD release.

Since then what have been your movements and where are you now residing?

Surprisingly, I've moved back to Perth for the foreseeable future. My daughter is old enough for school now, so we decided to return to Oz. She's in pre-primary at the moment. And loving it.

You're celebrating the 20th anniversary of those Gaskrankinstation days. Set the scene...

The Gaskrankinstation parties were too wild to describe, really. We held them every year for six years in the backyard of my old Wickham Street house, we peaked out at over 300 people, so they were renowned exercises in debauchery. Potato Stars made our public debut at one in 1995.

Who's in the line-up for this Saturday's show?

Strangely enough, after 20 years flogging this bastard cabaret act around half the world, PotStars - 90 members in - is currently stable with the best line-up yet. It really is! Tony Pola from Beasts of Bourbon has been drumming with us for nearly two years now. Cissi GuitarDemon toured Cambodia with us in April this year; she's just fabulous, you don't get to be called GuitarDemon without earning the name. We also have Hurb Jephasun from The Beautiful Losers on guitar and Pete Lisiewicz from The Misfits on bass. Also, for Saturday night only we'll enjoy the rare pleasure of having our former guitar hero, Evil E, back up on stage again.

What's the future for the Potato Stars?

The future for the Spuds, keeping in mind the history of the band, is blindingly bright. We're going back into the studio very soon to record an EP, later this month we'll also be recording a song with Tomas Ford which will blow people's minds. Then, early next year, we're releasing a retrospective album which will include virtually every extant Potato Stars recording. I think the name of that forthcoming album pretty much says it all... Success Is Not An Option.

Originally published on X-Press Magazine