From the underbelly of Australian punk comes Tirade, bringing a breath of fresh air into the Melbourne scene. With their unique blend of politics, mosh parts and sound-clips à la Chokehold or Haymaker, Tirade only played a handful of shows before their hiatus but left people wanting more. We sent them through a couple of questions to coincide the release of their debut tape AMBUSH YOUR ENEMY and you can read the responses below.
Can you introduce the band and who does what?
- Tirade is a bunch of fuckwits who make half assed music that gets way more credit than it deserves. And we love it.
- Tirade is Nathan, JJ, Hep G, Sam 666 and Stacey. That is to say drums, git, bass, git, vox. There are multiple anonymous answers given to each question, sorry if that's confusing.
Tirade was always going to be a short lived band with members going overseas, what was the catalyst for starting the band?
- I hadn't played music with most of these people before and we're all good mates. Getting to know your friends in a creative and fun context like making music is often refreshing and inspiring for me. This style of hardcore is a sort of guilty pleasure for all of us too, so it was for a laugh but awesome to get together and write serious stuff with a big tongue in the cheek. It was a good way to stay driven toward something for the winter period.
- Peer pressure and bongs. The others were stoned as and rang me up being like 'wouldn't it be crack up...'. I was initially quite resistant to the idea of starting a beatdown type band Nathan, Stacey and JJ lathered it on and I caved. It was tonnes of fun though. Gurney just joined cause he knew we'd be fucked without him.
- I wanted be involved because I like hardcore and I thought it would be fun. It's also been a really long time since I've played guitar in a collaborative project so I figured this would be a good project to use to reacquaint myself.
Tirade playing their last show (to date) at Essendon in September, 2016.
Before you played with Shackles and Magrudergrind you gave you lyrics sheets, why did you feel that was important?
- Ego. Nahbutyeah.
- I don't necessarily think its important. But it sets the tone in a way. If a band is giving out lyric sheets it means that they consider the words to be crucial to the project. I've always liked when bands have gone to that effort so I suppose I enjoy going to that effort myself and it gives people the opportunity to be critical and think about shit
– Agree/disagree – whatever. It also gives you the opportunity to put a visual aesthetic across as well which potentially adds another layer to people's experience of the live show or their expectations or something.
Continuing on from that, what are some issues that are important to Tirade?
- Supporting your friends to live however they want. Deconstructing the privilege and prejudice within ourselves and trying to improve the way we live with others.
- Indigenous struggle, black power, self determination, self organisation and ecology.
- The homogenisation and increasingly desperate blandness of Melbourne youth cultures. We came here to promote juvenile delinquency, public lawlessness, militant fare evasion, risk-taking behaviour, overt criminality and a mildly politicised disregard for the rules of 'fair' street combat. Kick 'em in the fucking nuts and fuck off. Is that a metaphor? No. Two of us are qualified youth workers that can't find or refuse to undertake youth work. Three of us are eligible to receive 'youth services'. Only one of us is both a reluctant youth worker and a youth themselves. We hang out in the inner western and northern suburbs of Melbourne, where the ongoing process of gentrification's rapid disfigurement is starkly obvious. We could be more or less defined as anarchists. Is such a term too simple, too restrictive? No.
- Thinking about decolonisation and indigenous solidarity. Hopefully acting on that. Thinking about community responsibility and hopefully acting on that too. Public disorder, lawlessness and the promotion of behaviour that engages with such concepts.
Tirade openning for Magrudergrind at Phoenix YC in Footscray, August 2016.
Tirade was always an outspoken band about the ever increasing issue of youth detention, would you be able to give us your background in this and tell us about what you believe is the best solution to a broken system?
- I don't have any real solutions in mind as my understanding of the system is pretty shallow but when I was young I had a few friends get taken by 'youth justice' motherfuckers. When I was 15 my first band was recording and Child Youth and Family Services came and abducted our vocalist Emmanuel (rip bro) and it took us over a year to track him down as he got biffed around from place to place. Not so much detention but he was stripped of his autonomy and childhood by a bureaucracy that didn't give a fuck. Such an amazing person. Miss him heaps. Anyway, fuck the pigs and their meddling in young peoples lives removing them from the people they love and who love them.
- I don't believe that it is up to us to make decisions for other people. But all I can say is that putting kids in cages for reacting to an environment that works against them is definitely not the solution. If I were in a position to propose a new way then I'd at-least start with re-evaluating societies values, listening to those kids and trying to understand them in order to work with them and help them find themselves as well as what they need materially. It's sounds more philosophical than practical, that is because it is a starting point and I think that solutions or results only come through engagement. Engagement is hard work that involves meeting others face to face as unique human beings. Prison is mere containment, not engagement that leads to transformation.
- Could you really say the youth detention system is broken? It depends if you see it's aim as really being 'rehabilitation'. I think the current system fully satisfies it's real purpose - feeding the ever growing prison industrial complex that sees Australia equal with the UK for the highest percentage of prisoners held in private prisons in the world. We currently sit at 18.3, the UK at 18.4 percent. That doesn't take into account the vast amount of privately-run immigration detention centres Australia operates at home and elsewhere. This is not to say that most youth detention facilities in Australia are privately run, but that their inmates' experiences inside these often unforgiving and overcrowded gaols are more than likely to set them on a course for 're-offending' resulting in repeated incarceration through adulthood. The multi-national corporations (Serco, Geo Group, G4S) who build and run detention facilities in Australia and all around the world have a vested interest in repeat offending and extended incarceration. It would not be a stretch to assert that they also profit massively therefore, from the continued displacement and genocide of Australia's indigenous population. As of 2016, roughly 54 percent of children in youth detention were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. As if this figure isn't absurd enough, they make up less than 3 percent of the population. It seems obvious to me that the government's interest in the incarceration and general displacement of indigenous Australians stems from their desire to mine the ground in these peoples' traditional homelands for the purposes of exporting uranium and other valuable minerals. You may say that I've strayed off topic here, but the picture I'm trying paint basically shows the link between economic expansion of Australia and it's mining industry, the voracious appetite of the prison industrial complex here, and the crucial role that juvenile detention plays in feeding it, and sustaining it's growth. Aside from this particular set of circumstances, I find the notion of prison overall to be entirely repugnant and inhumane. I advocate for the complete and total dismantling of the prison system. If another sector of society is adversely effected by this then the "problem" can most likely be solved by the subsequent dismantling of another part - if not the whole - of society. We are not reformists.
- The recent events and ongoing situation in the areas of youth detention and juvenile “justice” have, for me, been incredibly inspiring. The riots that occurred multiple times (and are continuing) in both the Parkville and Malmsberry facilities have caused so much damage that they've effectively forced the government to abandon the (Parkville) facility whilst constantly applying running repairs to both. The 50 or so young people who did that (to the Parkville prison) achieved what many youth workers and human rights advocates have actually been trying to do for years – they fucked the place up and rendered it a historical artefact. Since the largest riot multiple wings were deemed unfit for their intended purpose and the continuing escapes and riots show the young people have exposed the weaknesses and continue to exploit them. Thus forcing the government to plan to abandon the facility outright (eventually, they gotta build a new one first).
The outcomes for the kids themselves I'd imagine to be quite difficult. Repressive tactics that punish and intimidate have led to many of these young people being locked up in Barwon adult prison (for 'lack of space') or, one could imagine, be having a pretty shit time where ever they've ended up either way. More recently when seven or so young people escaped from the Malmsberry facility they were sent directly to Barwon with no double speak in tow regarding bed availability due to damage done – its purely punitive. Just to be clear on this, human rights advocates went boontah when the government put kids in an adult prison, so they ran a new legislation through re defining the Grevelia wing of Barwon as a youth facility, fucked ay.
The media's impact on people's perception of this issue, and therefore perceptions of these young people involved is omnipotent. So I feel for the participants and hope that they are ok and have no regrets despite what they're up against. The cries for law and order and punitive responses are all we hear. More gaol, more time, more laws, more criminalisation, more prisons, 'idiot thugs,' is the ever ready response from outlets like the herald sun (and the rest, really). Its never that simple though, this version is blind and has only a single narrative for these young people – that they're criminal, they don't have the right to have demands, they don't have the right to speak up, that you forfeit all of your dignity once you become a prisoner, lock em up, they're obvs fucked people. However as both a 'qualified' youth worker and crime advocate, which are not mutually exclusive in the slightest, I encourage folks to recognise the rage and action of these young people firstly as a natural reaction to their circumstance and position in this society and secondly as fucking brave.
So what's the solution to this “broken” system? Fuck knows. Community development? On the ground work with communities of young people by diverse groups of people that don't care primarily about the continuation of capitalism but the improvement of people's quality of life? Open minds towards concepts of “criminality,” maybe we can call aspects of it survival, maybe, just maybe, some laws are fuckin stupid and reinforce power relationships. Transformative justice approaches. Asking young people what they want, what they hate and how we can work broadly toward a liberatory process together? Solidarity and the dismantling of the prison system. Reforms will again be reformed, so we need to remove the problem, rather than try change it.
Can you tell us about your upcoming tape 'Ambush Your Enemy'?
- It's sick. The five songs we managed to write played in the same order we played them in at our only 5 or 6 shows. Al authentico 90s HC bass tone. Thankfully being released by Life Lair Regret (that's you, mate), a label that likes this sort of music, rather than our crusty mates who think we're 'good dudes'.
- Give it a go if you like aggressive riffage with the beatdown effect tainted with some overly righteous diatribes...or tirades if you will.
- It sounds surprisingly good haha. Adam did a mean as job and when we got the mastered tracks back we were all blown away! So huge. Churr to those who made it possible.
Will Tirade ever play again?
Tirade playing at Esso in August, 2016.
What is next for it's members?
- I'm doing a few projects and tossing up what to do with my life.
- Finishing off the next set of live shows in my other bands then I'm taking a break from live music indefinitely.
- A carton.
- I was thinking about finding a reliable cult leader for whom to dedicate the rest of my days.
- Esso: home
Taxes: paid for the northern territory intervention
Ticket inspectors: come at me cunt
Masking up: good for the herald sun
- Esso - the suburb
Footscray - the hood
Taxes - who cares
Ticket inspectors - scumbags
Masking up - is funny as fuck
Social war - is constant.
- Esso – burnt the fuck down. Home of many of the best GC's over the years and some ripper gigs.
Footscray - home for the past 5 years and getting the shit buffed out of it.
Taxes – off the books thanks, mate.
Ticket inspectors – total jobbers. As in jobronis like the Rock used to call people.
Masking up – a safety measure, a provocative image to sell and funny as fuck.
Social war – reality.
Thanks for the interview, any final words?
- Yes, please note that this interview was done via correspondence, and the members had time to think over their answers before typing them out. Actual conversations with said musicians may be far more irrational and less relevant on the whole.
- Pay the rent to mob. Show full respect to mob, show full respect to this land and have respect for yourself. Peace and love.
- Engage in risk taking behaviour. Tonight.