are Adelaide's answer to lo-fi pop, their toe-tappin' songs a charming blend of strung-out good times and self-deprecation. The act is a relatively new project from Pat Telfer, Liam Kenny and Scott O'Hara (who you may know from such bands as The Weevils, The Dud Pills and True Radical Miracle), and they make their film clips in their awesome warehouse apartment — the video for 'Bad Decisions' was recently released ahead of their upcoming record Big Time
, and combines questionable indoor sunglasses-wearing with everyone's favourite pastime: jump-rope!
Melissa Kenny: Bitch Prefect, huh — a play on words? Pitch perfect?
Scott O'Hara: No, nothing that cool. We've heard that before though. I really prefer that to the much more common mistake of 'Bitch Perfect'. Gross. That's not a band name. Bitch Prefect on the other hand, well, it just sorta conjures up an image of someone that simultaneously repels and attracts me. In that regard, it's probably not a great name for our band, or maybe it is, I don't know, but at the end of the day you've gotta name your band something I guess, so for us, it's Bitch Prefect.
May I please have a little rundown on how this musical assemblage came to be?
Sure thing. We all lived in a share house in Keswick together and one day Pat and Liam recorded some music which they didn't have a vocal part for. They called me in to improvise some, then Pat made a film clip, then we were a band.
And you're all in a bunch of other bands?
Yep! Pat's main other outfit at the moment is called Old Mate. They are brilliant, I just got to see the full band version live. There's something about a six foot something skinny, white Wu Tang fan, seducing the microphone while singing, "Do you have any credit? Can I borrow your phone?" as a sax wails in the background. He just released a tape that is called Word is Bond. As for Liam — well, he is in demand big-time. He plays in Brisbane's Kitchens Floor who are really awesome and has another project called Peak Twins. Oh man, they are so good. He sings in that outfit with a friend and fellow house mate Joel Carey. Those boys have angel voices. They've been blessed, and it's damn nice of them to share their talents with those of us who care, and I really do. Peak Twins just released a split 12" with Scott and Charlene's Wedding (just between you and me, I get a little jealous of Old Mate and Peak Twins, I think they're going to take over the world). I play in a band called True Radical Miracle. We're a Melbourne-based band that's been together for nine years. We're about to wrap that up, though. We've got a bunch of shows booked around the country to launch our new 12" Termites and once they're done, there will be a send off show in Melbourne, then that'll be a wrap. That's a brief rundown of all our main bands, but there's a good chance you can see us playing any instrument in any band at anytime, there's a freedom in failing to commit.
So you guys are from Adelaide. If you'll pardon my naivety: what's the music scene like over thattaway?
Adelaide has always had great bands, really great bands. I just saw Grong Grong on the weekend. They totally blew my mind. It's funny — and this is a bit representative of the Adelaide scene — there are people on the other side of the world who would lose their shit to see Grong Grong play, they would line up for hours and pay top-dollar for the privilege, yet ask any standard Adelaide music fan to name their favourite Grong Grong song, and there's a pretty decent chance that they will answer with, "What's a Grong Grong?" Yet ask the same person to name their favourite Birthday Party song, and that's not gonna be a problem. Thankfully there is a small and committed group of individuals that really appreciate good music. There's also no shortage of great venues to play at, and as I mentioned before, there will always be great bands coming out of Adelaide.
Your debut LP is due for release shortly (by way of Bedroom Suck Records). What sort of touring plans do you have?
Nothing too fancy, probably just the standard Aussie tour, which isn't much of a tour — you play Brisbane, you play Sydney, you play Melbourne, you play Adelaide, then you're done.
I watched the clip for 'Bad Decisions', it was really a lot of fun. Is that one of your houses? Everything about that room is rad.
Oh, thanks! That's the warehouse that Liam and I live in. It's actually a recording studio in Northcote. Beaches are recording here right now as I type this. Living in a warehouse has its ups and downs — on the positive side it makes for a convenient set for film clips, on the down side I lose shit here constantly. Don't put anything down, it'll get swallowed into the void.
One line really resonated with me: When I go back inside/ I ate some food/ but I even make bad decisions with my food. I've had afternoons of severe irritation in the past, as a result of picking the wrong lunch. It's this niggling, incomplete feeling. It's really nice you can see how important that is. But onto bigger things, what's the worst decision you've ever made?
I've made plenty of bad decisions. I've made a few good ones too. Last year, I decided to go and spend a month in the rainforest with not a lot more than a tent, a kayak and my pet parrot. That was a good decision. Only taking three books was a bad decision. Rectifying this later by purchasing reduced-to-clear Michael Crichton novels was a terrible decision. Michael Crichton novels are the worst, except Jurassic Park, that was okay.
I know that you do all the shooting yourself, Pat. Obviously the quality you achieve lends itself to the band's style, i.e. the whole lo-fi pop thing. Wait, am I allowed to call it that? Do you call it that? Most bands don't want no pigeon-holing.
Pat Telfer: I'd probably call it DIY before lo-fi to be honest. When I'm shooting I'm trying achieve the best quality on screen that I can, given my limited knowledge of the cameras and lenses that I'm using, so it does end up looking kind of lo-fi I guess, but that's what you get from shooting on a budget of $0 and only allowing yourself like two hours to set up and nail a take because you ran out of fuel on the way to the warehouse and spent an hour swearing in the carpark of Northcote Plaza. I'm learning about this stuff though — doing heaps of shooting and reading and watching YouTube tutorials about the nerdier side of Final Cut Pro — so hopefully next time we'll be talking about how overwhelmingly professional and polished my shit is.
Introduction: Lucy Jones
Interview: Melissa Kenny