The West

Straight up rock n roll at The Prince
Straight up rock 'n' roll at The Prince

Johnny Phatouros, lead singer of Perth band The Volcanics, is chilling at this desk, doing some writing. But it’s not a song.

“No, just writing,” he said. The Volcanics, four scruffy rockers from Perth, have been slinking around the shadowy edges of the city for some time — playing dirty, straight up rock ‘n’ roll.

And that would be what?

“Straight up rock ‘n’ roll is not grunge, metal or soft rock,” he said.

“Think Ramones, Motorhead or Radio Birdman.”

But isn’t Ramones punk? “Exactly,” Phatouros said.

“Of course there is an element of punk in rock ‘n’ roll — they are like brother and sister in a way.”

Phatouros said the band had lain pretty low since releasing an EP about a year ago, but warned fans to get set for 2013, and a new full-length Volcanics album.

“It’ll be out around March or April, when it’s ready,” he said.

“We don’t have a name for it yet, but it’ll be something cool.”

He said the band would tour on the new album, with the invitation to play in Europe and Japan at a later date.

“You meet bands from all over the world and they invite you to their country,” Phatouros said.

“It’s very low-key, but still pretty cool.

“And I’d love to go to Japan.”

After 10 years in the music biz Phatouros conceded it’s not what you know but who, hence the invitation to play in Japan.

“It’s all about people,” he said.

“You can be terrible, but if you know the right people anything can happen.

“It’s got nothing to do with how good you are, and all about who can help you.”

Phatouros said although the Perth scene was only small, it was vibrant and a community where bands supported each other, for a love of music.

“If you’re around for long enough you get to know the different genres,” he said.

“We all support each other.”

The Volcanics, with support from I’m a Spaceship and T-Bone Hopkins, will play at the Prince of Wales Hotel on December 21.

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