One of our initial intentions for Grisl was that it would be used as a travel guidebook filled with recommendations from people who have been outside and around the block. For many reasons, this portion of the site has been slow developing. We’ve expanded on this concept to include recommendations from bands who would like to share guidance on getting around their own hometowns. After all, nothing makes a traveler more appreciative of where they hail from than being on the road. The feature is called No Place Like Home. The best part is that when one of our readers travels to a place that is foreign to them they will have some solid recommendations from an awesome source, one of their favorite bands! I know I look forward to checking out some of these places and am sure that there are many others who would be interested.
For this installment of No Place Like Home we had an opportunity to ask our questions to Jem from one of the most badass bands I’ve ever seen…. DEAD.
Where does DEAD call their hometown and how long have you been there?
We Live in Castlemaine in Central Victoria, Australia. I’ve been here just over a year and Jace has been here since around the time the band started. I think. 4 years or something. It’s a town of 5,000 ish.
If friends or family from out of town were visiting you where would you have to take them for must eat grub? What sort of food does the place serve? Any specific dish that you would recommend? What do you like about this place? Price range?
Shit man where do I begin? Taste of The Orient on Barker St do great Yum Cha. Not too oily, really high quality stuff. Naam Pla next to Theatre Royal is also pretty special if you like Thai which I do.
The Diggers Store just started doing bagels and make the best milkshake and cakes in town and let me tell you the cake bar is set pretty high up here. You can buy records there while you’re at it.
Ice Cream Social get around in an Ice Cream van to all the events in town and no bullshit it is the best Ice Cream I’ve ever had. They also do a thing called Growing Abundance and they serve up great food, at low prices with locally sourced ingredients from a few different venues.
I’m also partial to a vegie pie from McShanags – a bakery that looks like it hasn’t changed since the 60’s.
There are these ladies at the Wesley Hill Markets every week who sell cupcakes (a way to my heart if there ever was one) and sponge cake and it’s all gluten free. It’s all great and they are no bullshit. Hand over $2.50 and you get yourself a cake for breakfast with a smile.
Here at Grisl we are big into the craft beer scene, dive bar scene and regular bar scene (basically we love bars…). Assuming you also enjoy grabbing some drinks with your pals, where are the can’t-miss spots that you would recommend? What makes these places special to you? Any specific drinks that you would recommend? Price range? Vibe (i.e. bow tie or acid wash jeans?)?
Well if you want to drink at a great pub that hosts live music regularly, has a beer garden, pub sports and legends behind the bar you gotta get to The Bridge Hotel. This place is beyond special, it allows us, in this tiny town to see so many great bands that would otherwise not play here. It’s cheap as fuck.
If you want to add a touch of class to your drinking experience then hit up Hickster where Loudon will make you any cocktail you want. The dude is commited to this mixology stuff. You get a cuddle too – it’s basically better than seeing a therapist. You pay a bit more but hey if you want a bloody hand made espresso martini that gives you super powers you oughta pay for it.
My porch is also pretty bloody great, you can drink a beer with me on it if you like.
What is your favorite music venue in the area to catch some shows? Any memorable shows you watched there off of the top of your head?
We play a lot at The Bridge Hotel, it’s an exceptionally good venue repping live music more than anywhere else. By far. I saw Cyberne (Jap) play an incredible show there; frightening band really. Hard Ons packed the place out. I mean shit dude I saw this band from Bendigo called Black Aces there last week and there was 15 people max and the guitarist was still dishing out solos from atop the bar. That stuff just makes me so happy.
Theatre Royal is also great, they show movies there too.
There are a lot of makeshift venues too here which are always great. Like Sound Recordings; an entirely analogue recording studio where we rehearse. Played a sweet show there. And the old hospital – where our radio station turns into a venue from time to time.
After a night of drinking and/or live music where are the best places to get some late night munchies/more drinks? What sort of food are we talking about? Price range?
Look this is the country mate. Don’t expect much food wise beyond 8 or 9pm! You gotta prepare. Keep some nuts in your bag and plenty in the fridge for when you get home. As for late night drinking just stick with a local and they’ll know where to take you.
After a night of drinking and/or live music where is the best place to get breakfast? What do you specifically recommend?
This is a sensitive topic actually. I just ate my very last rice pudding from Belle’s Bells who are apparently closing down this week. I’m not generally a huge fan of paying people to cook me eggs not as good as I would cook them myself. But I’ve had some great parfait (and yes I feel like a wanker saying that) from The Old Castlemaine Gaol and the view from up there will cure a hangover for sure.
We are always looking for great coffee while traveling. What is your favorite spot to grab some joe?
Jace says The Diggers Store wins the best coffee award here. I don’t really drink it ‘cos I freak out when I do but I believe him ‘cos Tina who runs it is a Kiwi and New Zealanders are well known for making great coffee in Australia.
Do you have any lodging tips for people passing through (e.g. specific places or general areas)?
Well I never I had to pay for accom in my own town. Apparently Campbell St Lodge is where it’s at. You can stay with me if you’re happy to throw the stick for Scally and in turn get licked to death.
What kind of day trips and/or outdoor activities in the surrounding areas would you recommend to our readers?
Drive in any direction and you got yourself beautiful trees, Kangaroos, historic towns, old gold mines etc. I like Mt. Alexander, I’ve seen some great wildlife there including a huge mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Eagles.
Travel/On Tour :
Favorite city the band has played a show:
There are too many. Minot, ND, Tacoma, WA, Arcata, CA, Missoula, MT, Minneapolis, MN are all up there.
City with the best live crowd:
Again no one city but Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is a solid contender.
Best venue & why (e.g. acoustics, stiff drinks, etc.):
I really like The Know in Portland. Good size, sounds good to us and they seem to have their shit together.
Weirdest thing you’ve seen on tour:
Saw a cat ejaculate onto the road once. That was weird, I couldn’t look away.
Longest length of tour:
First US tour was a month but I swear that one took years off our lives.
Skuzziest place you’ve slept:
It was a hallway in Cleveland and it was full of cat shit. A part of me died that night.
Oh and a punk house In Napier, New Zealand where the whole floor was just broken glass. Eventually I packed up and went and slept in the park.
I want to thank Jem for taking the time to do this interview. I know that I asked about it right when they were getting ready to depart on their U.S. tour and it was super kind of him to squeeze it in. I had an opportunity to travel in Australia a few years ago but didn’t make it to Castlemaine. Now I am kicking myself thinking about what I missed out on! Next time it will definitely be on my list of places to go and you can bet I will take Jem up on that porch beer!
So, Captains Of Industry was actually released via DEAD’s very own label (We Empty Rooms) back in 2014. Their label in USA is Eolian Empire and they only received a few copies of the Australian version of the album (and they sold quickly). The guys are bringing the USA version with them on their current tour so I am finally going to get my mitts on one! They do all of their own artwork and take great pride in the aesthetics of their merch (including clothing items).
This band has been on our radar since Eolian Empire released their album Idiots back in 2013. During their U.S. tour following that album we were lucky enough to see them play a small but powerful show at The Victory Lounge in Seattle. The last song they played was one of the best moments in live music for me in all of 2013. I messaged them on Instagram and asked what that song was and they replied that it was something new and didn’t have a name yet. That song ended up making it on the new album. It is called “Beyond The Digging Stick” and it is just stupid how good it is. There are eight other tracks on the album and there isn’t a dull moment. You may recognize a song that was on their split with VAZ (“Check The Exits”). They know how to pummel your brain at a ferocious pace and then ease up with mind altering interludes of sorts. This is a must-have so stop wasting your time and get on it!
They recorded even more new material when they got to L.A. on this trip. Toshi Kasai is their dude and if we are lucky we may see some of their Captains Of The Void records at their upcoming shows!
We get all sorts of opportunities to see them play in the Pacific Northwest. I urge you to go to one (or multiple) of these shows and support them. A few heads makes a big difference at each show!
August 20 – Total Fest – Missoula, MT
August 23 – Spokane, WA
August 24 – The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA **I will be here for sure! Buy tix!!! BUY BUY**
August 25 – Le Voyeur – Olympia, WA
August 26 – New Frontier Lounge – Tacoma, WA
August 27 – Black Lodge – Seattle, WA
August 28 – The Know – Portland, OR
August 29 – House show – Portland, OR