Getting Desperate With The Meanies

Long standing Melbourne punk rock institution The Meanies are about to detonate their sonic blitzkrieg upon South East Queensland stages as part of their ‘Better Late Than Never Desperate Measures’ tour. Forming over 30 years ago, they initially burned brightly on the 90’s Australian alternative music landscape, carving out a dedicated fanbase both here and abroad and influencing a host of imitators with their melodic punk/hardcore hybrid.

The band are also no strangers to overcoming adversity, rising above the devastation of losing two guitarists in tragic circumstances during 2008. And following a 21 year recording hiatus, the Melbourne buzzsaw-miscreants have since been enjoying somewhat of a second renaissance, delivering two albums worth of new material since 2015 and capturing the imagination of a new generation of punk rock fans. Having released their killer new album, ‘Desperate Measures’, in 2020, the unique challenges of COVID meant that the band are only now getting out on the road to promote it – better late than never indeed!

The tour sees them perform their renowned loud, fast and catchy schtick as part of the bumper ‘party like it’s 1994’ Spring Loaded Festival line up on Saturday, 19 June, together with era-kindred spirits such as You Am I, Magic Dirt and Regurgitator. They’ll also be hitting the Miami Marketta on the Gold Coast on Sunday 20 June (sold out) with a smattering of the Spring Loaded line up, as well as sneaking in a club show in Brisbane on Friday 18 June, at The Zoo.

In the lead-up we got the goss from front-man Link Meanie ..

You’ll shortly be up in town as part of the Spring Loaded festival line up. For those with a fondness for this era of alternative Australian music these types of shows are cause for much excitement. As a band how do you feel about riding this type of rock-nostalgia wave?

I don’t feel we need to ride any sort of nostalgia trip. It’s not like we got back together to cash in on the past. We’ve never stopped playing and have just released an album that got our first 10 out of 10 review. So if anything we’ve improved and evolved as a band. There are some negative connotations with the whole nostalgia tag; like it somehow invalidates the fact that we are very passionate about music and it’s our whole lives. Having said that it will be great to play with all those bands and catch up (nostalgically) and have a blast.

Is there a degree of camaraderie amongst the bands on the bill – I’m thinking there may be a bit of irreverent banter and light hearted rivalry going on backstage before you each get out there to play!?

The last time we did one of these types of tours it was probably one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in music. I was a completely miserable prick when i was younger and probably didn’t appreciate the good moments as much as I should have. So, it feels like things are in a much better place mentally then they ever were. I really love catching up with all the old heads and having a laugh.

Being that you are very much punk rock ‘elder statesmen’ these days how do you go about preparing or pacing yourselves for the onslaught of a Meanies live show?

Personally I drink alcohol. I should probably do some stretches but I’m too busy drinking and chatting.

What’s your fan base like these days – have you found yourselves picking up a bunch of new disciples off the back of your newer material in addition to your rusted on original disciples?

I’m blissfully unaware of those kinds of things. We do a show and I see lots of people there. There’s definitely older fans at the shows and it seems like a good spread of age groups.

As a band you’ve overcome a lot of tragedy/adversity across your journey. What do you think has been the defining factor in keeping the flame alive for you guys as a band, and do you see a finite timeline to the band, or do you suspect it will be a case of ‘rock until you drop’?

We’ve had some shit times that’s for sure but we’ve been doing it for so long it’s all muscle memory. We’re family, and it’s always a good excuse to see the guys. I don’t ever see there being a finish line; that doesn’t make any sense to me as its only getting more enjoyable for me as I hope it is with the others. I think it is for them as well .. guys???

With a killer new’ish album to showcase and a stack of classic punk rock belters locked and loaded, The Meanies will be bringing their loud, fast and catchy live show to the Sandstone Point Hotel at Bribie Island as part of the Spring Loaded Festival line up on Saturday, 19 June. They’ll also be hitting the Miami Marketta on the Gold Coast on Sunday 20 June (sold out) with a smattering of the Spring Loaded line, as well as belting out a club show in Brisbane on Friday 18 June, at The Zoo.

Their latest album, the rather-excellent ‘Desperate Measures’, is available now via Cheersquad Records and Tapes.


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