EXCLUSIVE: Art Vs Science Tell Us Why They Recorded An Anti-Lockout Song

12 February 2016 | 1:46 pm | Neil Griffiths

"I’d have a great chat with Mike tomorrow if I could, I’ve got a paper already lined up for him..."

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Following a tough week, to say the least, for NSW Premier Mike Baird who has been thrown from pillar-to-post since he defended Sydney's lockout laws, dance trio Art vs Science have been the latest to chime into the discussion with the release of a song directed at the politician and in an exclusive interview with The Music today, group member Dan McNamee has opened up about the inspiration behind the track.

"It sort of makes him seem out of touch with how everyone is feeling," McNamee said of Baird's comments, describing what his government has done with the lockouts as "curing the disease by killing the patient".

"I feel the venues are forced to become very tame and they’re forced to kick anyone out who is being a bit crazy...because there’s such a huge financial pressure on them to make sure that no one is intoxicated…" McNamee explained.

"They really have to be rigid with their security so much that it makes the going-out experience not as enjoyable as it could be."

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McNamee went on to say his perspective of the lockout laws are exactly the same as they were before they were introduced. 

"I’d have a great chat with Mike tomorrow if I could," he laughed, adding, "I've got a paper already lined up for him with sources and studies from other countries.

"I did this in 2013 when they were conducting a review into the laws then. I’ve got the same advice now as I did then and that’s the main problem – there are too many drunk people on the streets. Just get them off the streets and into clubs or somewhere else and that’s half the battle over. Get them where there’s something to do, there’s music to dance to, there’s people to talk to and there’s food and drink. You’re going to have a harder time finding angry people when they’re allowed to do what they want to do."

While he concedes it will be tough to get rid of the laws completely upon the upcoming review, given Baird's stance on the subject, McNamee said he would like to see a "less stringent version of [the laws]".

"I've personally never been in office so I don’t know how hard it is and I've never been the commissioner of police or all these sorts of things, but if I were…I would be taking the approach of diverting the flow," he said.

"For example, I would have taken where we were at before the lockouts and said, ‘OK, the venues close at 3am, taxi changeover time is 3am. This is the problem’. It’s not the people who are the problem, there are just two things you can change. You can allow venues to choose their own closing times, like in the UK, and you can change the taxi changeover to 4am on weekends and add more public transport. That’s an example of creatively assisting the flow, rather than cutting it off."

McNamee continues by suggesting that the likelihood of the laws being relaxed would increase if the Australian drinking culture changes. 

"When you’re going out to drink, don’t think that because you’re drunk you can sort of be a dickhead," he argued.

"Don’t just pee everywhere on the street and yell at everyone that walks past. There’s a whole range of behavioural things we need to fix as a society.

"I constantly refer to Berlin because it’s the city in the world with the least amount of laws when it comes to nightlife and in my experience, the least amount of fights as well. The one thing you will realise when you go there is that Berlin [locals] do not look kindly to people who are obviously drunk. When you go into a club and…you’re sort of being a larrikin Aussie…it’s not a cool thing. You can go and have fun, like, nightclubs open on a Friday afternoon and close on Monday morning, on the weekend anything goes. But what doesn't go is showing a lack of respect to your fellow man and I think that’s something we need to address just in our drinking culture…"

McNamee is confident that if the calls for the end of lockouts increases, it is only a matter of time before the government will be forced to make changes. 

"Sydney can be a really, really, really awesome place because we've got amazing natural beauty and really, really cool people too," he said.

Meanwhile, following a performance at next week's Mountain Sounds festival, Art vs Science will commence a national tour throughout March with support act, KLP.

Head to theGuide for more details.