Street Sweeper are one of the latest rock 'n' roll gangs to come out of Melbourne and today we have the pleasure of sharing their brand new debut 7" that's channeled with rage and a love for early rock 'n' roll. To celebrate the release, we caught up with guitarist-vocalist Allan Stacey to discuss the band's origins and what it was like recording the debut at Button Pusher.
Having spent time in various rock institutions including Altar Boys, Hydromedusa, and Grim Rhythm, Street Sweeper are one of the hottest rock 'n' roll gangs playing in Melbourne right now. Composed of guitarist-vocalist Allan Stacey, guitarist "The Doze," bassist Joe Steele, and drummer Abe Pedroza, Street Sweeper let loose with their razor-edged rush of searing guitars and jabbing rhythms that bring to mind legends like Coloured Balls, Thin Lizzy, and Slade.
After having shared bills with Romero, the Neuros, and most recently their labelmates Split System and Smooch, Street Sweeper have shared with us today their self-titled debut 7" on Legless Records (Stiff Richards, C.O.F.F.I.N.). In their quest for speed, the three tracks here are fueled by the band's full-throttle, eardrum bursting boogie rock 'n' roll that sounds just as good now as it did in the 1970s. To celebrate the release, we caught up with Stacey to discuss the band's origins and how highly satisfying the experience has been to play primal guitar rock.
Paperface Zine: How exactly did Street Sweeper form and what were your ambitions going into this new project?
Allan Stacey: Started as a little brainchild for me out of the smouldering pile that was Grim Rhythm. Tired of trying to be budget Motorhead I figured it was time to rip something else off. I started writing and messing with more pop sensible song structures and melodies purely to try and learn how to write more conventional tunes. I sat on some ideas twiddling thumbs for a bit before I decided to rope some fools in to do it for real about nine months or so ago. There were zero ambitions really, I'm surprised its even got this far [laughing].
PZ: Lay on me some of your musical influences. I certainly hear some Coloured Balls and Nick Lowe/Rockpile.
AS: There isn't a single song Street Sweeper will ever do that doesn't have some Lobby Loyde thread woven through it, so Coloured balls is definitely a big one! But Heaps of '70s stuff really like Slade and Thin Lizzy. Australian bands like Hush and Skyhooks. All the way to the punk and power pop bands that released like one album or even a single then fell into obscurity only to be resurrected through YouTube. Outside of that though, the Dictators are also huge. Catchiest songs imaginable with some hard ass riffs to boot. Also, the cover art of the new 7" is a straight tip of the hat to their Bloodbrothers record.
PZ: Talk to me about the three-track debut 7". What was it like putting these tracks together and when and where did you do it?
AS: We recorded it around September/October last year at Button Pusher in Preston. Julian Cue who's a legend, recorded, mixed, and mastered it. Going in, we wanted to have it as low touch as possible. We Tracked it all live. Didn't spend a whole lotta time worrying about tones and pedals and shit. Used a couple of 30-Watt amps. Chucked three mics on the drums then off we went. Managed to get it all done in half a day which was highly satisfying.
PZ: How was the approach to this project different compared to Altar Boys, Hydromedusa and Grim Rhythm?
AS: Outside of it being stylistically different, I think we have all said that it's the least fussy thing we have done. The approach has been just to keep it as fun as possible and try to not let some kind of end goal or expectation outshine the process of trying to play a decent tune. It's also probably been a bit different because I was the only one that knew everyone prior to putting the band together. The others hadn't met before. Bit of a rag tag bunch. We had to learn to how play music with one another and are very early in the process of learning to like each other.
PZ: What's it like to be part of the Legless Records crew alongside bands like Stiff Richards, C.O.F.F.I.N., and Split System.
AS: It's an honor! Mawson is a true king! All the other releases he puts out are nothing but top tier, so it feels extremely gratifying to be a part of that. The dude puts a lot of time and effort into it and we have lucked out for having him do this one with us. His work ethic is unmatched.
PZ: How did last weekend's show at the Gem Hotel go with Volt Jolt?
AS: It was fun! The Gem Is a great spot to play, nice and cozy floor show. Was cool to see so many heads in there despite all the better stuff they could have been doing. Keen to get back and play there again, so Kit if you're reading this, let's talk. And it was good to have Volt Jolt on. These dudes are fresh in their twenties and drove all the way from Ballarat to play then left immediately after. That's pretty rockin' if you ask me. Gotta put the younglings on sometimes so they can see people like us and make better life decisions down the line.
PZ: Following the debut release, what's the rest of the year looking like for Street Sweeper?
AS: We are going back into the studio in about a week to do a few more. Not sure how it will be released but will be good to have some in the arsenal anyway. We started writing for what will be an LP aiming to have that done this year sometime. Other than that, we'll just be rockin' whenever the opportunity comes knockin'.
Street Sweeper is out now on Legless Records. Order a copy of the debut 7" here.