The Eight Miles High mini-fest is flaring up a second time around at Alhambra Lounge on Friday 8 June, indulging in all things psychedelic, ’60s, surf, shoegaze and garage pop. I caught up with Julian from Brisbane’s biggest musical orgy Velociraptor ahead of their spot on the bill.
The velociraptors were the coolest dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, but ultimately got the shit kicked out of them by the T-Rex. Who would win in a fight between Velociraptor and T-Rex the band, and what would be your finishing move?
I’m pretty sure the raptors let the T-Rex win because raptors are horrible gamblers and owed a bucket load of cash from a bet gone wrong. Out of us and T-Rex (the band) however, we would win. We have more members, more super powers and three of us can breathe underwater, which I can imagine would really come in handy. After a collective bashing, we’d finish them off with a ‘Knights of the Round Table’ from Final Fantasy 7. Ultimate finishing move.
You guys are playing the Eight Miles High festival of psychedelic music in the next couple of weeks. What level of wasted should I get before arriving, and what can I expect to see at your show?
We go from a twelve piece to a twenty-four piece, and sometimes onward depending on how blurred your vision is, so the more wasted the more amazing the spectacle. Expect shenanigans, techdeck tricks, a white leopard, little green men, an ant kingdom and truck load of guitars. We literally have a truck dropping off out instruments before the show.
Most of the time Velociraptor consists of twelve dudes playing brutal garage pop, but how do you agree on what tunes to listen to before a show, or on the tour bus? I’m imagining the band splitting into two camps – one insisting on the Hives while the other screams for the Kinks?
It’s literally like being in hell. Take the two camps, and then split them again – it’s more like 6 camps between the 12 of us. Each member has their one taste, and yes we all scream for the Hives, and we all scream for the Kinks, but in the end we realise we didn’t bring any of their albums because we only had room for ourselves and gear. Luckily our super powers can take form of a sing-a-long and Kumbaya drowns out everyone’s screams until we’re thousands of kilometres away from home.
What can you tell us about your next EP? When do we get to experience its delights?
All I can say is that we’re casting a spell on every copy, so expect some fuckin’ magic.
Your bio describes Veliociraptor as ’12 Ultimate Party Dogs’. But have you ever had a moment of thinking “fuck this, I’m quitting to become a train driver and/or an acupuncturist”?
We are 12 Ultimate Party Dogs, but we already have the shitty day jobs that you speak of. Some of us are sales reps and some of us are accountants. Some of us are loans processors, glassies, and some of us are tradies. The list goes on. The true thought in our heads is “fuck this, I’m quitting my job and Velociraptor, and becoming a train driver”, because that would be way cooler than what we do.
One time my bass E string broke and hit my thigh. I couldn’t walk for about two weeks. What’s the worst or funniest injury you’ve had in the line of duty?
Several of us have been face punched at several different locations – we can’t go more than a year without one of us being struck down. Our instruments are usually injured far more than we are. I’d hate to see how much cash has been splashed on drum skins, tambourines, guitars and costumes – we’ve bought masks and the like before and thought “this will be rad” and they’re broken within 10 minutes of the show because we’ve head butted everything in the room. Costumes are clearly for bitch bands.
You must get some pretty crazy fans at your shows. Tell me about the craziest thing a fan has ever done to get your attention.
When we played Byron I think a majority of our fans wanted to fight us. They enjoyed the show, but they thought that by fighting us they could truly become fans. After we whooped all of their arses we gave them lemonades and we all laughed. They were crazy, but in the end they realised that fighting isn’t the solution.
If Velociraptor could share a stage with any act living or dead, who would it be and why?
The cast of Happy Days…but playing their characters from Happy Days. We’d play Arnold’s diner and really get down. There’s an episode when Fonzie’s cousin comes to visit, and he’s actually really nerdy and nobody can believe that he’s even related to Fonzie. After some hilarious mishaps the gang finally realise he’s not that bad and accept him into their arms. He’s not in any more episodes, so I really hope he could make it to that