Kaleidoscopic punk and a Nick Cave feature: Party Dozen speak on their surprising forthcoming album

March 30th 2022


  • Party Dozen (Kirsty Tickle and Jonathan Boulet) :: Interview with Ben Hansen

Sydney-band Party Dozen are following up FBi SMAC Award nominated Pray for Party Dozen with their third album The Real Work. It will be released through US label Temporary Residence on July 8. The noisy, kaleidoscopic punk and experimental duo are made up of saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan Boulet. They joined Ben Hansen on Mornings to chat about their new single, upcoming album, exciting collaborations and getting back into live music.

Party Dozen’s new single ‘Iron Boot’ was recently released alongside an epic and cinematic music video. The clip also marked the directorial debut of Jonathon Boulet.

“We borrowed a camera off a friend and got some cheap boots and spray painted them silver. Then we ran around Enmore and Marrickville over a couple of nights just filming stupid stuff. It was really fun, so we just DIYed it.”

‘Iron Boot’ punches you in the gut in true Party Dozen fashion. The triumphant combo of sax and drums that characterises the group’s sound return with a vengeance on the track. In spite of the busyness and the unabashed clamour of Party Dozen’s music, the duo still manages to make noise that’s palatable to their ever-growing fan base. Kirsty puts this balance down to her love of melody.

“I just like melody, and I like hooks and riffs. So it sort of comes naturally in the studio… Some of the songs we create don’t have that element, but most of them we want to try and make something catchy at least.”
“The crazy stuff feels really good live, but it feels like the more accessible stuff translates better on a record.”

Jonathan and Kirsty attribute their big and wild sound to the method they use for recording music. The band record their songs live rather than in parts. It is also just the duo together making all the noise. That said, they told Ben Hansen that they’ll have a special guest appearing on their upcoming album.

“So we were just sort of buzzing listening to the track that we’d just recorded. It comes up to a part in the song and I’m like the only thing that could make this song kick harder is if Nick Cave just dropped in on this part.”
“Jokingly we were asking our manager can we just get Nick Cave on this and he was like ‘Yeah alright’… and then he did something, we think he made a deal with the devil and then the devil recorded some vocals.”

The band explained to Ben how they received a call from Nick Cave to talk about the track and what he wanted to do with it. It turns out Nick’s brooding image is starkly contrasted by a generous and creative spirit.

With new music on the way, Party Dozen are also getting back into the swing of playing gigs. Playing such intense and wild shows is no easy task. Jonathan told Ben that by the end of their gigs fatigue becomes a big factor and that warm downs are a necessity.

“Whatever song is at the end of the set… By that point my arms are giving way… It’s making me tense up just thinking about it.”

The new album is growing closer but Kirsty let slip that we will be treated to a few more singles before that time comes. Don’t expect the signature Party Dozen sound on all of them however: the duo have promised some surprising elements.

“It’s just the most original thing we’ve ever done. The most musically experimental and exciting project that I think either of us have been involved in.”

Party Dozen are playing at Mary’s Underground tomorrow night (Thursday 31 March) with some personally picked supports: Dust and Behind You. Jonathan’s other band Pleasure will also play a six-hour show in Marrickville this Friday, with Kirsty promising to jump up on the saxophone for parts.

Want to hear more from Part Dozen? We’ve got you well and truly covered. Stream their full interview with Ben Hansen up top, find the details for their upcoming show below, or listen to ‘The Iron Boot’ here:

WHO: Party Dozen
WHAT: The Iron Boot Tour
WHERE: Mary’s Underground, Circular Quay, 
WHEN: 7:30pm, Thurs 31 March
HOW MUCH: $25.54 + BF
More info and tickets here


Read more from Cal Flannery