The West

Wire vs...Royal Headache
Royal Headache. Picture: Supplied.

Sydney garage punks Royal Headache scored 8.0 from Pitchfork for their self-titled debut LP and hit Arena Joondalup for Rock-It on October 28. We caught up with guitarist Law to see what the four-piece has been up to lately.

What's in a name?

"Shorty, the drummer, came up with it and I'm not too sure why other than it was a kind of really nice, kind of 80s name. You know, you're up against the monarchy, a bit of a royal headache . . . I guess that's the kind of vibe."

Do you feel an affinity with the anarchic punk bands coming out of the UK in the late 70s?

"Yeah, some incredible music was coming out of that period and it was definitely an influence in the early days when we were starting out."

Your singer goes by the name of Shogun, does he have much in common with a samurai master?

"Well, they both have very dominating personalities. He always gets his way. He's a force you can't reckon with - he lives up to his name."

You formed in 2008, what's the back story?

"Shorty and Shogun have known each other since high school and they were in all these bands; these kind of thrash/heavy-style bands. And I met them when I was about 16, watching PCYC shows. And then all our bands broke up around the same time and me and Shorty met each other randomly at a pub one night and started talking about records we were into. We decided to have a jam, invited Shogun and Joe, the bassist, along and that was how it happened."

You've been nominated for a bunch of Jagermeister Independent Music Awards, including best album for your debut. How does that feel?

"I'm not too concerned about whether Jagermeister are recognising my band or not but it's kinda surreal just to be nominated for an award. I never thought I'd see the day that would happen to me, coming out of playing really crappy venues to about 20 people..."

You've been nominated with the likes of Temper Trap, 360, Jezabels...

"Those are some pretty big names; it kinda feels like we're in a different category all together. We're not really complying - we don't have a manager, we don't play really big festivals, we just play pubs to about 200 people. We're not going to be comfortable playing a weird show because someone offered us a few thousand dollars more, it's not going to happen for us."

Spoken like someone who has never been offered a million dollars to be in a Volkswagen ad...

"That's true! I guess when that time comes, I don't know..."

So, what do you know about Perth?

"The only thing I really know about Perth is they've got a really good baseball team."

That's news to us...

"Yeah, Australian baseball's back! I've played baseball all my life, and Perth Heat has won the premiership the last two years.

Fair enough. If you were suffering from a "royal headache", what should a doctor prescribe?

"Watch a dumb movie and get a pizza - that would probably cure a royal headache for me."

The West Australian

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