Interview :: Velociraptor
September 28th 2012
We’re all excited about the new release from Brisbane’s biggest musical orgy, Velociraptor. Jeremy Neale opens up to the Flog’s Emily Smith about the challenges of recording their new mini LP and the tasty results.
As the key songwriter of a band with 12 members, front man Jeremy Neale knows his shit. The band has made a bunch of catchy tunes, toured the nation and have a legion of fans, but Neale has just one piece of advice for all struggling musicians,”You’ve just got to get out there and get your image put on a mug.”
Despite little time and money, the band have successfully released a mini LP, The World Warriors. It has been three years between releases, but not from lack of trying. Neale says they even tried recording all 12 in one room which “seemed like an awesome idea, but it wasn’t an awesome idea.”
Before embarking on a tour of the East coast, Velociraptor’s Jeremy Neale talked to FBi about The World Warriors, choosing music over “nerdism” and making ridiculous merchandise to earn money.
FBi: So Jeremy, tell us about the mini LP, The World Warriors. Is there a driving theme?
Jeremy Neale: It’s tough because the songs stretch from three and a half years ago ’til today. Some of them are really old. Like, ‘Riots’ is three and a half years old and same with ‘Scientists’, but some songs aren’t about much. ‘Surf City Raptors’, the last song on the album is about surfing, which none of us do. Complete with classic lines like ‘we’re surfer type guys, yeah that’s cool, ’cause surfer type guys get surfer type surfs’.
The clips you’re doing have a Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World vibe. Do you have a thing for comic books?
I love comic books. The nerd part of my life kind of had to be put on hold so I could do music. I only had enough spare time in my week to either do music or follow nerdism. Like, I can catch up to everything later on, I can get a whole lot of comic books and play a whole lot of video games, but I’m just going to create music now.
This is your way of combining the two?
Yeah, totally. Anyway I can is very valuable to me.
Why a mini LP? Why not a full debut record?
Well, one: We didn’t have the money for the full record [laughs]. And two: We didn’t have the time to do it justice. A full length kind of, in some way, demands more focus and more dynamic variation than I think what we could have offered at this stage, so it’s nice to take things in steps as we go. We had the EP, now the mini LP and maybe next year we will look at doing full length. We will get more of the songwriters in the band involved and get a good indication what the band is about. So you’ve had your taster, now you have your Whitman’s sampler and later on you will have whatever the biggest box of chocolates is. [pauses] It probably is still a Whitman’s sampler. I’ve seen those 1kg Whitman’s samplers, they’re crazy.
That is a glorious metaphor. Your band is so big. How did you creatively collaborate to produce that Whitman’s sampler?
We sorted it all out in a live environment so we knew what we were going to transfer through to record.
It has been two years since your last release. Why have you made us wait so long?!
That is a good question. It would’ve been out a year ago but we had a few failed attempts at recording. We did try to record all 12 in a room at some point which seemed like an awesome idea, but it wasn’t an awesome idea. We also tried a number of engineers which didn’t work out either. So I guess it was trial and error, but now that we know what works and doesn’t work, the next release won’t be so far off.
You guys are a pretty hilarious bunch. Any great stories coming out of the band recently?
This is my go to story and the most recent in memory. We went to Newcastle on a train and Rohan, the most surfer looking Raptor, by the time we got to Newcastle, he didn’t have a phone, and decided to go for a walk. So, dressed in a poncho, carrying a carton of beers, he just disappeared. We sent out a Raptor search party and found him an hour later. But who knows what he did in the time he showed up.
Did he make it on stage?
I don’t think he actually made it to the show. I think he just slept, but these are the consequences of starting the party too early.
Apart from losing members, what are other challenges of having a band so big?
The logistics are kind of tough, but the main thing is money. It just costs so much to do it. The flights are just outrageous and they’re all just sitting on my credit card at the moment. So let’s hope the tour goes ok!
So what do you guys do to raise funds?
[Laughs] Sometimes we have ridiculous merch auctions. For a while we had mugs and we had pens and we had a calendar. I think we are about to move into stubby coolers. Our home town is really supportive of us as well. Playing Brisbane shows is the way we can tour.
So any advice for struggling musicians?
Make ridiculous merch! You gotta get out there and get your image put on a mug!
And any last words from your fans?
Buy a mug!
What: The World Warriors Tour
Where: Goodgod Small Club
When: Thursday 4 October, 8pm
How much: $10 + bf at moshtix