Frenzal Rhomb have been synonymous with Australia punk music for over twenty years. Recently announced for Soundwave 2016 we were lucky enough to chat to the Frenzal Rhomb guitarist and newly married Lindsay “The Doctor” McDougall. He shares his excitement to play the festival and gives us his vegan hangover cure.

SCENEzine
Firstly congrats on recently getting married.

The Doctor
Thank you. It was really a bloody fun thing. We did the wedding in a very strange way. There were a lot of traditional aspects but we had a lot of fun. We showed people who might not know me or Jen that well what we are really like. I got to play a guitar solo at the ceremony.

SCENEzine
Has life changed much being a married man?

The Doctor
Apart from the little five day holiday we had in Cairns not at all. I still spend my days at home casually looking for work and playing guitar and doing not much else. Except I had to go to hospital for eye surgery and I got to tick the box that said married. So that was pretty cool.

SCENEzine
What happened with your eye?

The Doctor
No one knows really. It was a detached retina. It is supposed to be caused from trauma like if your a boxer or if you bungie jump and your eye kind of pops out a bit. But I haven’t done either of those things. I’ve fallen over and people say I head bang on stage a lot but I don’t think that does it. It was really lucky that I went to the optometrist when I did because if I hadn’t of caught it I probably would of been blind eventually. It just gets worse and worse so I caught it at a good time. Also how rad is this none of my American friends can believe that it cost me nothing for the surgery. Twelve stitches at the back of my eye, overnight surgery, stayed at the hospital, ate breakfast and cost me not a cent. My Americans friends are saying dude that would of cost tens of thousands of dollars. How good is our medicare. So don’t fuck with it government.

SCENEzine
Apparently your wedding was full vegan. I’m guessing people had a few drinks. What is the vegan cure for a hangover?

The Doctor
Very good question. For me well obviously you can still have a greasy fry up with hash browns, baked beans and mushrooms. One thing I do in my spare time is marinate tofu that is how exciting my life is. I fucking marinate tofu so I fry some of that business up and it goes pretty rad. You can get vegan sausages, vegan bacon all that stuff if you want. Actually we did have a hang over cure for after the wedding it was our wedding cake. We forgot to cut it.
So the next day we went back to the pub where we had our reception at and invited a bunch of friends, cut the cake and drank beers all afternoon. So the vegan lifestyle choice hangover cure is more beer and cake.

SCENEzine
Can you recommend any good vegan documentaries?

The Doctor
Yeah there’s heaps of those things. I don’t like to watch them cause I’m vegan and get a little sad when I do.
Lucent is a really good one its about that life of a pig but is quite sad. I did the narration for it so I apologise if you watch it you have to hear my voice. A lot of people talk about cowspiracy as well.

SCENEzine
I guess right now you are probably gearing up for the December tour. Is that the focus or is it more about songwriting?

The Doctor
Definitely touring because we’ve pretty much written the new album. We were ready to go record then Gordy broke his arm. Once his arm gets better we will probably go back in studio and write some more. I’ve just been getting ready for this tour. I didn’t even know we were going to do it. Our manager was like hey do wanna do these beachy shows to make some money for Gordy and have some fun and I was like shit yeah that’s awesome. I’m also playing some shows with Briggs the hip hop musician so I’ve been getting my hip hop guitar rig together with looping pedal.

SCENEzine
How does a Frenzal Rhomb song writing session work. Do you just bring some riffs to a jam session?

The Doctor
The words jam session are not allowed in the Frenzal Rhomb rehearsal room. There’s very little jamming. We kind of write separately. Jason and I and Thomas and Gordy will record stuff in our own different ways. I just record stuff on a cheap multi track program and Jason has a pro tools setup that he uses to record bands. We just record ideas then bring them to the band. In Jason’s case he will play them and we will love them and I’ll learn the guitar parts or add some. Tom will add his wailing bass sounds then Gordy will take about two minutes to learn the entire song.
Then with my songs everyone will laugh at them and go and have a cigarette. The reason we called the last album Smoko at the pet food factory is because most of the time is spent outside with Gordy smoking while we have a drink and occasionally talk about the music.

SCENEzine
Do you have input on the lyrics?

The Doctor
Oh yeah, we all do. Jason prefers it if we all have a go at it. We all come up with different ideas. Gordy comes up with all the ridiculous ideas. The song forever Malcolm Young came from us just sitting around thinking up bad Malcolm Young comparisons. Back in the nineties Jason and I would sit at a table with a bottle of whiskey and shoot lyrics back and forth until we came up with something.


SCENEzine
Looking past your next tour a lot of people are excited that Frenzal Rhomb have been announced as part of Soundwave 2016. Is that something you’re personally excited about?

The Doctor
Yeah I’ve always gone there so to be able to go and actually play my guitar I’m very excited about. Also I get to have my own rider instead of stealing everyone else’s. They used to have a free bar out the back. So one of the best things was when I would go out the back and get as many Sailor Jerry’s as I could then go watch a band. Last time though the free bar had gone so I was forced to ask bands I knew for drinks. But this we will have a rider and I can’t wait to play on stage and see a bunch of cool bands.

SCENEzine
Any bands in particular you are keen to watch or catch up with?

The Doctor
Well obviously we will catch up with our mates NOFX and Northlane I love to watch.
I married a metal head so she is teaching me all the things I need to know about Disturbed so that’s really good.
It’ll be good to see Refused I love them. I got to see them two years ago when they toured Australia and Jen had just been introduced to them. So she was like I found out about Refused, loved them then a month later they toured Australia. So she got the whole fifteen year experience wrapped up in a month. I’m also keen to see Soulfly as I used to play a Max Cavalera esp guitar. I guess since I haven’t seen the full list there will probably be a lot of smaller bands worth watching earlier in the day. Also I’m sure Public Enemy will be fun.

SCENEzine
Do you still get a massive buzz like when you would play shows like Big Day Out when you hit a festival stage these days?

The Doctor
I get a buzz no matter what the size of the show. The difference is at a big festival it’s more anxiety about what if things go wrong there’s a lot of people watching. A lot of the time when you watch videos of us on big stages my guitar gear doesn’t work properly (laughs)

SCENEzine
Is it hard for Frenzal to put together a setlist for something like that?

The Doctor
No. The hardest bit really is remembering how to play all of the songs. Our bass player Tom is actually a genius who knows everyone of our songs. Jason is very upfront about not remembering all of the songs though especially with the very small amount of rehearsal we do.

SCENEzine
What would you say is the reason that Frenzal has lasted so many years? Is it because you stayed true to being a punk band and never jumped on any fads?

The Doctor
The thing is we have never actually been in fashion so as a result you can’t go out of fashion. We never tried to go ska or add turn tables at any point. We did once tour with The Herd and we got a couple of the dudes to freestyle at the start of “Punch in the face” but Frenzal Rhomb did not sound good with rapping underneath it. We’ve just really plodded along with a few little spikes in the timeline but mostly just doing what we always do. If you wanna come to the party you can come and hang out that’s fine.

SCENEzine
We were in Canada back in September and were lucky enough to catch Teenage Bottlerocket playing with Menzingers. It’s deeply saddening news to hear of Teenage Bottlerocket’s drummer Brandon’s recent passing.
Can you share any memories of playing with Teenage Bottlerocket?

The Doctor
When he was in the coma I started looking through everything trying to find a photo of the tour that we did.
It was so much fun. We had just finished recording Smoko at the pet food factory and were so stoked on how it sounded. Then Gordy was a massive Teenage Bottlerocket fan so he decided they were coming to Australia.
They had no plans to come but Gordy made it happen. We had been hanging out with some of them in Fort Collins where we recorded including Brandon and his wife. But we had never seen them play. After being in a band for twenty years you occasionally get a bit cynical and bored but that band was so positive about everything. Especially Brandon he was the most joyous, positive, ray of sunlight. He was always so much fun and just rad. This year a lot of people who are awesome have died it sucks. Bad shits happening to really good people. I remember we played at Groezrock Belgium this year and Teenage Bottlerocket played as well. Every time I saw him he was either watching other bands or high fiving every person that walked past. Just to see his bright light was so fucking good. But as a result of the world being unfair he’s dead now and it sucks. At least I have some awesome memories and I know he had a rad time in Australia.

SCENEzine
One of Frenzal’s biggest crowd favourites is “Punch in the face”. Would you say that the band has mellowed over the years or are there still plenty of people Frenzal would love to punch in the face?

The Doctor
Well that song is more about us needing a punch in the face. But as we’ve gown up it’s not so much mellowing out it’s just there is too many people who need to be punched in the face. It would just hurt too much. Our knuckles aren’t as robust as they used to be. These days we just leave the punching in the face to the professionals. Basically there’s too many faces not enough punches.


SCENEzine
Lastly can you leave Soundwave fans with the reassurance that you have some crazy stage antics in mind for the festival? Piñata’s  possibly?

The Doctor
I’ll be honest we haven’t discussed it as yet. But if your going to play on a big stage like that and there’s only four of you and your songs are kind of half assed you really need to do something else. We played a festival once in Germany and Nickelback were also playing and I remember they had giant amp stacks that were empty.
I remember pushing them onto stage during NOFX‘s set which the stage guy didn’t like but the crowd went crazy for it. So maybe what we will do is find out if whoever plays after us has a cool stage prop and we will reappropriate it for us. Maybe Bullet For My Valentine will have a huge heart in a gun or something we can use.

SCENEzine
Awesome. Thanks so much for your time.

The Doctor
No worries. See you at Soundwave.
(interview by Christian Ross)

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