Indie, Pop, Punk
Early 2000's Pop/Punk, Iconic Australiana
Connor, Brock & Jordan
DNM'S at 4AM, beers with mates, beach culture and suburban young adulthood.
Bugs are no longer reserved to the confines of the Brisbane scene in which they made their start, with the last twelve months shepherding the band and their heartfelt, honest and relatable brand of pop rock to the national stage.
Towards the release of their delicately introspective, pop-laden sophomore album ‘Self Help’ in September 2019, Bugs swiftly caught the attention of long-time listeners and first-time callers with their bouncing, infectious hit single ‘Seriously’. The track was picked up for high rotation by national youth broadcaster triple j, consistently sitting in the station’s most played tracks for several weeks.
With a quickly growing fanbase in tow, Bugs soon after hopped on a huge national run with Australian legends Grinspoon, alongside The Gooch Palms and The Hard Aches, where the trio played some of their biggest shows to date.
Without missing a beat, Bugs launched head first into their own sold out national tour immediately afterwards, joined by their best mates Sweater Curse and TOWNS, and performing to adoring fans across the nation in 500+ capacity rooms.
Early 2020 has already seen the fruits of their labour continue, with an appearance at Falls Festival in Marion Bay, and ‘Seriously’ landing at #194 in triple j’s coveted Hottest 200 list, while the text line rang out with many a “shoulda been higher!”.
Rumours of new music have started to bubble, and if 2019 is anything to go by, Bugs are going to have a seriously good year.
Management - Ruby-Jean McCabe:
Get to know your Byran Bay Falls Festival Winners, BUGS. Expect nothing less than sweaty torsos, mops of hair flying around and a whole tonne of bad puns at their live show!
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I used to record tonnes of distorted demos on my laptop and that's how the project came about. A few singles got picked up for radio play, The band got offered live shows and support slots and it all just went from there. Over the last few years since Brock and Jordan joined, our songwriting process totally evolved. After playing together for so long, our sound is just naturally super different from all the years making bedroom trash. We practice pretty regularly and naturally have honed our collective ideas for what we want our band and music to be since becoming so close. As we are great mates, we are all generally on the same page so it makes for a fun and easy creative process.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Music has always been a great processing mechanism for me. I’m a huge over thinker and tend to be pretty observant which is where a lot of the socially topical content for our songs comes from. Whenever I can’t understand something I have felt or experienced it helps to process that confusion by writing it out so it doesn’t just swirl around inside my head forever. Making music gives me that ability to become more self-aware by questioning thought whilst simultaneously expressing my creative, instinctive passion. I guess after all that the ultimate inspiration is the opportunity to connect with other people who might think in a similar way and understand what you are trying to say. The world can feel like a huge and lonely place, so I think it’s important to feel a sense of community in whatever capacity possible. When you connect with other people over music, it is amazing, so I guess our songs are like our own little message sent out into the airwaves trying to reach people who will understand. Hopefully, it feels like a big warm hug from a mate you haven’t seen in a while.
What can punters expect from a Bugs live show?
Jordan's sweaty torso, my mop of hair flying around, a whole tonne of bad puns and knee slides. We just really like to create a bit of a house party kind of feeling in the room we play in. It’s always important to establish the necessity for respect and a safe space in the venue we play in though. It’s a funny catch 22 and a fine line between getting wild and being an over-assertive, aggressive night ruiner. Oh, and maybe a kiss or two.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
I think it’s the cliche of not being so hard on yourself. My mother, girlfriend and mates always try to reinforce a firm belief in myself. It’s easy to self-impose pressure when you work hard and desperately want to achieve something, but if by doing that you’re making yourself miserable it generally defeats the purpose of doing it at all. I can be a pretty intensely analytical thinker so I guess it’s important to steer that in positive directions and harness the power of it for progression, and it’s even more important to stay calm and relax when you start getting overwhelmed. I make terrible choices when I’m stressing out, so the most important piece of advice to remember for me are to chill and go with the flow. I think that goes hand in hand with a deep-rooted self-confidence, one I am yet to find.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Probably 'Young Drunk' by The Smiths, an infectiously cathartic anthem from my youth. Or 'Never Had So Much Fun' by Frenzal!
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
'Blood' by The Middle East gets me every damn time. It hits home super hard.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Either ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ by The Angels or ‘Whats My Scene’ by Hoodoo Gurus. Straight up. Pub bangers. I am such a proud bogan.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
We played with British India a few weekends ago at The Triffid and they absolutely blew the roof off. It was surreal to stand side of the stage and watch some of our heroes belt out tunes that soundtracked my youth and teens. The guys were super nice and we knew the other support band Eliza & The Delusionals who are super cool people too. I ran some chips out on stage cause they shouted me a free burger earlier but it hadn’t come by the time they started playing.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Brisbane music community that inspire you.
Brisbane is way too great to list all the awesome people who make it such a vibrant community. The Violent Soho guys are like royalty. Artists like Good Boy and Waax are really inspiring. It has been remarkable to watch brilliant and considerate people do incredible things this year. Jeremy Neale has been an enormous influence for me personally. The amount of carefully thought out advice, compassion and time he has afforded me since starting this band has been overwhelming. Our manager Ruby and booker Dom are like family. The venue managers and booking agents around town are invaluable and it breeds this sense of welcoming and teamwork that is conducive to shared success and makes for some ripping memes by Cael (Valley Ledge). Also, not to take away from the punters and gig patrons (one of which is myself). The frequency with which you will see full rooms in multiple venues on any given night in the valley is heartwarming. People care about and feel really connected to the music community here, because the equality and serenity in lack of competition breed a really positive connected industry.
What are your plans for 2018?
Opening Falls on New Years Day is certainly the brightest beacon on the calendar, but we’re barrelling into a busy month in Jan. We have a show with our good pals The Hard Aches at Black Bear Lodge on the 19th so that should be super fun. It’s really close to selling out already and the guys are absolute legends so it will be awesome to catch up and return the favour of a couch to crash on. Then we have a single coming out just before we play Brisbane's ‘Mountain Goat Valley Crawl’ festival in early Feb. Personally, I am so dang excited to get this next tune out, we have about 6 ready to go for an EP shortly after but we’re just tying up all the loose ends to make sure the release reaches its full potential. Valley Crawl is this amazing multi-venue night that always has the punters going wild and we’re stoked to have a nice late spot at the Foundry which should get pretttttty dang juicy to say the least.View Profile Hide Interview