(Photo by Reuben Beck)
Tell me a little about the birth of your band and what your band name means.
SCART: The Molotov started as a solo project with me rapping, singing & playing at gigs, rallies & parties. I then had various musos collaborate with me till settling on the first permanent line-up w/ KT, Stu, Matt & myself. We had a blast doing that for 2/3 years & produced the “Last Rites for Capitalism” & “Manifesto” CD. During that time Dan joined & after Manifesto we wanted to continue the heavier, more progressive direction. Some members had personal stuff, work, study etc that they needed to focus on so in a very short time we changed members till we now have our “band family” of Jayde (main vocals, keys/flute/guitar), Dan (keys/guitar), Claire (vocals/bass) & Paul (drums) and myself, Scart (vocals/guitar). The sound now has a heavier, more complex & melodic feel, the vocals are more varied & the lyrical & writing direction would probably be classed as more aggressive.
The name came from the idea of a Molotov being a working class weapon, a way to strike back even when it seems people have nothing left. The idea that each person is capable of being a point of resistance, regardless of nations, borders, religion or colour, regardless what corrupt governments or corporations try to do. Everyone’s a potential molotov & has the ability to fight back.
Your band bio states that your music has a “hard left twist”. Can you elaborate?
SCART: While we write about personal, social & imaginative ideas, we’re also well aware of how much politics controls society & media, sets agendas, seeps into culture & basically controls peoples lives, whether they acknowledge it or not. Punk is my core background & has always, to me, has spoken out against the right-wing, big-brother corporate/government mentality. Right-wing is fascist, racist & fear-mongering (i.e. Nazis) while we sing about the opposite, a free society, equal rights & a better world & society, not just for one colour, gender, nationality or orientation etc but for everyone, which is seen as “left-wing”, hence the “hard-left twist”.
Some artists seem scared to state their values & where they stand in case it’s not popular or commercial enough but for us, it’s one of the reasons we do it, to make a difference.
You “create songs to inspire, challenge and provoke.” This is evident in your lyrics. Can you go into a little detail about what inspires, challenges and provokes you as a band and as human beings?
SCART: Bands like the Dead Kennedy’s & Rage Against The Machine, authors like Chuck Pahlniuk & Arundhati Roy, comedians such as as Bill Hicks & Steve Hughes as well as artists & poets like Sara Moss, whose eloquent words have always inspired me & who I’ve frequently “borrowed” from, with her consent. Just talking with people, reading & looking at things from different points of views is a good way to challenge yourself. There’s a lot of shit in the world but when you open your eyes you find a lot of people doing great things with no chance of personal gain. I find those people more inspiring than a thousand self-interested “rags-to-riches millionare” stories”. I also find it inspiring to get feedback, whether it’s someone in another country writing to us about In The Red, people singing along with “Go Back To Sleep” or a young women cheering along with Jayde’s words in DOLL, it gives you energy to keep moving forward.
Four of the band members are credited as Writers. What is the writing/creative process like for you, especially since there are 5 personalities and a lot of messages involved in the songs?
JAYDE: Writing with these guys is the best. Never gelled so well with anyone else (in any musical sense, actually, but especially writing. Often-times someone will come in with a riff and I’ll be like “yes. YES. I need to go home and put some fragments together for vocals” and then, sometimes even that night or the next day I have the vocals together, because the music is so inspiring, and we jam on it next session. 3 or 4 of our songs have gone from a rough idea to stage ready in one or two weeks because of this. So exciting.
Also, what never fails to make me smile is the shorthand that has evolved within the band. None of us relies on much solid theory to communicate ideas, so to have us all in a room violently gesturing and singing to explain guitar ideas, or making weird noises (and more violent gestures, of course) to communicate drum flow is super fun
SCART: Yeah, each song is different these days. Sometimes it starts with a tune jammed in the band rooms at Rock City, other times I’ll send something on to Jayde or Dan & if it sparks an idea we’ll go from there. Even when something is almost fully written before being brought in it rarely stays exactly the same. People change, add & rework their parts, from both an instrument & voice perspective. We essentially start with the bones & then each person helps create the layers till everyone’s happy with it & a new little animal is born.
What equipment do you use?
SCART: My Amp is a Mark 4 Mesa Boogie, my main guitar is a Schecter Omen & my back-up is an old Ibanez (that I think is only being held together by stickers, stale beer & attitude).
Jayde: Mic, megaphone & flute, so far.
You cite Che Guevara, Richard Dawkins and Noam Chomsky as just some of your influences. What have you learned from them and how does this translate into music?
SCART: From Che, I’d say probably to stay true to your cause & your bottomline when it’s something you believe in. I’ve sometimes thought “Ah, that lyric is too political or provocative” & then thought “FUCK that, say what needs to be said”. Richard would be that evolution is life, all things change & evolve & what could feel like a train wreck now may simply be everything falling chaotically into place. Noam would be to not be scared to think shit through, examine things, work out other peoples motivations & don’t look at the world from one angle.
JAYDE: Yeah, what he said. I’ll just add that Dawkins, in particular his older works, makes poetry out of reality, and reading his descriptions of nature (even seemingly “cold” stuff like how ribonucleic acid works) inspires me to write about stuff I am passionate about, because it’s the passion that makes it enthralling, and poetry comes from any subject matter, really.
EarCandy #5 is coming up and The Molotov are on the bill. Have you been to an EarCandy event before? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?
JAYDE: I haven’t, and I’m super excited. Some of my favourite bands lately are locals that we either play with or support. There is so much talent around, it’s fantastic.
SCART: Haven’t been to one yet as the last one conflicted with a gig but two of our favourite Brissie bands are on the bill, Flannelette, one of the best brisbane bands I’ve ever seen live as well as Ghost Audio, who have a great alternate vibe & range of sound.
What is “earcandy” to you?
SCART: It’s above & beyond what you’d normally hear, a chance to see some of Brisbane & the Gold Coast’s best band in one place & party with em.
JAYDE: Lollies for your ears: they get stuck in your head and f* with your brain, but you don’t want to dig them out because they’re so so sweeet.
What can people expect from The Molotov at EarCandy #5?
SCART: We’re using a projector to run freaky vid projections as well as bringing our usual high energy aggression, melodic tunes, mildly psychotic exuberance and doing some of our new tunes as well as the more well known ones. Jayde will probably get scary with the megaphone, Dan will probably get naked & there could well be an explosion or 2.
JAYDE: plus I get really sweaty when I perform. Expect sweat.
What are your favourite Brisbane bands, who have you played with and who would you like to play with?
SCART: As I mentioned, Flannelette are one that have been going for years, Matt’s voice & their overall groove is just a joy to bounce to. Their lyrics are meaningfull & they just have an uplifting vibe to their music. LoveHate Rebellion are another we love playing with. Their dynamics & Jimmy’s range suit each other perfectly & there’s a real hypnotising feel to their shows. Feed were also great to play live with, really enjoyed their set & Gold Coast band The Black Swamp are probably our favourite heavy local band, massive grooves, powerfull voice & great riffs & beats as well as having a very positive live feel.
JAYDE: Pretty much what he said! I also feel bad listing names because there are so many good acts that I feel as though failing to mention one is inevitable.
What are your thoughts about the Brisbane “scene”? Do you think it needs improvement?
SCART: There’s some great bands out there and what I think the music scene in Brisbane & the Gold Coast needs more than anything is advertising and promo to get peoples arses off couches & out to gigs. Bands put a lot of energy & money into rehearsing, writing & gear and then think that just posting on facebook to your mates counts as promotion. People aren’t going to magically turn up, you have to create the sort of event that would get you out the door on a Fri or Sat night & then put money & energy into making sure as many people as possible know about it. Radio/Street Press ads, flyers & postering, promotional stunts, whatever it takes to punch through the apathy & let people know you’re about to go on a stage with the intention to blow them away.And if that’s NOT your intention then get out the way so someone else can.
What is on the horizon for The Molotov?
SCART: We’ve started recording the new album, loosely titled “Soundtrack To A Revolution”. We’re excited about it & looking forward to showing people what our new heavier & more progressive/alternative sound is like. It’ll feature new songs as well as getting a few of our older ones down with the new style & arrangements in mind since people have asked for it. We’ll be making several videos from the album & touring it from Brissy/Gold Coast to Melbourne, Sydney, etc. We’ll also continue writing & evolving the bands sound, pushing what we’re all capable of & expanding on some ideas we’ve got in the works. Everyone in the band plays multiple instruments & are artists so it’s sort of a musical anarchist collective in that anything that works is fair game & I’m looking forward to seeing what’s possible.