...with The Chats singer/bassist Eamon Sandwith
Interview by Robin Ecoeur
Written by Steffen Armstrong
"So let me set the scene, it's 2 in the afternoon at 34 degrees. The Queensland harsh summer heat, has me sweating buckets up and down the street. 'Cos there I spy the bloke, perched on top of his milk crate throne. He eyed me up as I approached, then he said...
I'm on Smoko so leave me alone!!!
Fucking inspired, that's all I can say. Eamon Sandwith and his band The Chats pay homage to the most sacred of moments in the working man's day; Smoko. But hidden behind all of the cultural connotations and indeed (so I'm told) former Aussie PM Tony Abbott's battle against the ritual, all we're here to say is that this is one mega tune by one mega fucking original band.
I mean come on, it's a hell-raising-ginger-mullet-sunglasses-parading style icon screaming down the mic (is he in tune (?) he does not care)!! This is youth. This is making music for fun. This is non-conformity. They don't care if it's approaching a million Youtube hits. They'd rather be on Smoko with a packet of Winfield Blue so long as they're not broke.
The Chats are the spirit of Smoko and thus nothing more needs to be said. So I'm not writing anymore. Just take a listen and agree. Oh, and the EP Get This In Ya is pretty good too, in case you were wondering. Listen to that and read the full interview with Eamon Sandwith below. I'm off on Smoko...
3rd: Smoko has been stuck in my head for weeks. How've you managed that?
Eamon Sandwith: Sorry to hear it! That must be shit. I guess it’s the three chord formula and repetitive lyrics that make it catchy. I wasn’t trying to make it catchy when I wrote it.
Smoko is the "most Australian song of all time". Do you agree? // Nah, no way. There are definitely songs that are more Australian than Smoko, like anything by Cold Chisel.
What's the story behind the yellow surf rescue T-shirt? // Matisse’s Dad Jason (Matisse filmed and edited the video for Smoko) gave that to me about a year ago. He said he wanted me to wear it at a gig, so I did, but I held onto it. I hope he doesn’t want it back.
What do you smoke on your smokos? Is it possible to go on smoko when we're not smoking? // Usually Choice blue. Maybe Winfield Blue if I’ve gotten a good paycheck. I did smoke a few tar mongrels for the video, but Matisse decided to not use the footage for whatever reason. You can be on Smoko without smoking but it probably wouldn’t have the same effect.
Being from the Sunny Coast, how many jet-skis do you own? // Zero. Is that a Sunny Coast stereotype? I don’t know anybody who owns a jet-ski.
Is it important for you to sing with a thick Aussie accent? // Yeah, I don’t know how to sing, and I don’t plan on learning.