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Singer Jacob Boylan talks PUNK & ART!


By Ian Browne Shamrock News

It turned out that a friend of mine from Cronulla, Steve Leuver, has a nephew who is the singer of Byron Bay’s Mini Skirts, Jacob Boylan. So, I wasn’t about to miss the chance to interview this charismatic front man from the Triple J ‘Unearthed’ punk band.

What do you like most about a life in Byron Bay?

I love the diversity in characters, the ridiculousness of it, the natural environment, the character and the lifestyle.

Life before the Northern Rivers?

I grew up in Cronulla which, despite stereotypes, I’m quite proud of. I was super into Australian hardcore and lots of metal. I think I scared my parents a bit when I went from listening to Eminem and 50 Cent in early primary school to listening to Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Parkway Drive, Carpathian etc. by Year 5. Haha. I grew up listening to the Sex Pistols, The Jam, Dead Kennedys, The Saints - thanks to Dad. Then bands like Carpathian, Minor Threat and Parkway Drive were a massive influence through my teens. After that I kind of re-discovered all that earlier stuff that Dad had showed me and delved deep into early English and Australian punk. Then came the discovery of more contemporary punk bands like Eddy Current Suppression Ring, UV Race, Parquet Courts, The Peep Tempel and the whole Melbourne scene like Drunk Mums, WOD, etc. who I’m lucky enough to have now befriended and shared stages with.

What was the best band you've seen play live?

Those early Parkway Drive shows at Sutherland Community Centre will always stick with me.

Who turns up to your gigs; the types of subcultures?

All kinds of people. Obviously, lots of young crew, some surfy kids, skate kids, trendy kids, bogans, other bands and occasionally older punk dudes and chicks that have seen a lot of music, which is nice.

In terms of fashion and culture, how does punk vary between say Sydney, and smaller towns like Byron?

Well I think in smaller coastal towns, such as Byron, there’s always a little bit of surf influence, no matter how hard someone tries to get away from it. In terms of the culture in small towns, you’re generally a big fish in a small pond, so it’s always daunting playing somewhere like Melbourne because you realise, you’re a tiny, tiny fish. I think overall though, the culture is the same between cities and smaller towns, there’s a strong sense of DIY and community you share through the music. Because of the Internet, the fashion is pretty much the same everywhere, maybe smaller towns are a bit less caught up in it in some ways, especially when it comes to the punters, a bit less attention to detail and probably a bit more carefree - which can make it even more unique. I feel that we were lucky to form in a smaller town because even though we share a lot of the same influences as city bands, we were able to make our sound stand out a bit more maybe, just because we weren’t constantly smothered in other bands.

Describe your sound: I like to think we sit somewhere between English post-punk and Australian pub rock. We get a few (very flattering) comparisons ranging from Eddy Current to Wire. Lyrics are very important to me, and it’s pretty much the only thing I contribute to our songs, so there is very often some kind of message, or at least my personal observations in our songs. I find it hard not to comment on what’s happening around me in a broader sense and the things that frustrate me. I try not to get caught up in metaphor and wishy-washy phrases. It’s fairly straight up and to the point.

What types of gigs do you prefer to play?

Definitely smaller dirty pubs, there’s nothing better.

Who was the most memorable band you played live with?

So many I wouldn’t know where to start, we have such an amazing network of bands that we have played with. Amyl and The Sniffers, Pist Idiots, Tony Dork, Dumb Punts, POWER, Stiff Richards, Charging Stallion, Skegss - the list goes on.

Who would a dream Mini Skirts' tour be shared with?

Pist Idiots. We’ll take over the world with them one day- Haha.

What did a Triple J 'Unearthing' mean to you and the lads?

Kind of heaps and not much at the same time. It’s nice to get acknowledgement from the Australian music monopoly that is Triple J, but at the same time it’s not really our focus, and we understand that we’re not overly palatable to their general audience.

Band Dynamics?

I love everyone in the band, and no one is really replaceable. Cam defines a lot of our sound sonically because of how he plays guitar, and he really knows how he wants it to sound, he’s also my housemate and he is hilarious. Jacob, our drummer, is the workhorse. He’s the one that keeps us on track and keeps us excited, bloody love him. Jesse, our bassist, is Jacob’s brother and the eldest in the band, he’s a crazy good blues guitarist and can sing way better than me. We call him Uncle Pumps, he’s kinda like the glue and keeps everyone grounded. I’m the youngest by quite a bit, I’m kind of like an annoying little brother, I try to keep everyone entertained. I think they like me.

Jacob Boylan the Artist!

Art is kind of my number one, and music is an extension of this. Art is my more thought out, subtle version of what I do in the band. I collect old Australiana books from op shops and make collages and screen prints out of the images. I have my first proper solo show at an awesome new gallery in Mullumbimby called Yeah Nice Gallery in March.


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