If you haven't heard of Shag Rock yet, where have you been hiding? Shag Rock is the Brisbane band delivering infectious surf-rock vibes to soundtrack your lazy afternoons. Since the release of their debut self-titled album in 2015, Shag Rock have toured all over Australia, New Zealand and the US. The band followed up with Barefoot in 2017, with the iconic ‘Sunbleached Girl’ now boasting over 14 million Spotify streams.
The band are set to play at a charity benefit concert hosted by Youturn Youth Support at the Sunshine Coast’s brand spanking new venue Night Quarter Sunday, April 11, alongside the likes of Tia Gostelow and more.
Not only that but Shag Rock have begun to give us a taste of their upcoming album with the release of ‘Flicker’, ‘Creaky Minds’, and ‘Golden Lungs’. These loveable larrakins have kicked 2021 off with unstoppable energy, headlining sold out shows at The Tivoli and BBQ Bazaar in February. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Alex Wilson (vocals and guitar) about some band highlights and what's to come.
How did Shag Rock get started making music together?
"We sort of started jamming in Grade 11 together on acoustics and eventually started jamming on Friday afternoons as a band. We just really enjoyed it and that was the crux of why we were doing it together. We had a tennis court gig we played that went off without a hitch. We kept playing and started booking some gigs. We were all underage at the time so we couldn’t play a hell of a lot. We managed to play a couple around the Valley and when we started uni, we got a support gig from Ginger Safari who we were massive fans of at the time. It was such a random call up and we were stoked. We played a packed out Zoo and it was so much fun. I think that support inspired us to keep going, we sort of felt like we were worth something."
What’s your favourite part about being a Brisbane band?
"The Valley. 100%. It's like a petri dish. Everybody is in the same place, it's so condensed and everybody benefits from knowing everybody. Every music business and every venue is in like a 1km radius."
What’s the most memorable gig you’ve ever played?
"Probably the other week when we headlined The Tivoli. It was just mental, we’ve seen so many great bands there. It was just crazy to be able to do that. It was half capacity because of COVID and maybe that’s a blessing because we were able to get out there and do it. Just being backstage and being with everyone... Selfish Sons were such nice blokes and Citrus Daze were such lovely people. Peach Fur are so much fun. Everyone was just stoked to be there and nobody was too big for their boots."
What’s an Aussie band you’d love to play a gig with?
"We played with Lime Cordiale back in 2015 but we’d love to play with them again. I saw them at The Tivoli the other day and thought 'god these guys are fantastic’. It's just magical how good they are."
What topics have influenced your songwriting in your upcoming album?
"We’d like to think it’s a pretty worldly album but it's probably not. I think there's a lot of stuff about relationships in there but we tried to branch out a bit. ‘Golden Lungs’ was more broadly about making massive mistakes and learning from your regrets and just trying to be ok with the things that you’ve done."
What direction is your sound taking in the next album?
"There’s a lot more upbeat stuff in the back half of it. We’ve tried to stick to our original vibes but I think we’ve strayed from it a bit. There’s a lot of really different stuff across the album. We haven't really stuck to one particular sound. There's some really rocky stuff and some really fast paced stuff and there's some classic surf rock pop tunes like ‘Fuzzy Connection’."
If you could play any city in the world, where would it be?
"We've played in New York so we've ticked that off. Since New York is like the classic place, I reckon Paris would be the next classic place. We've never been to Europe so I'd love to go. Maybe Amsterdam or something would be fun. London would be pretty good too".
When international acts can come to Australia again, who are you dying to see?
"I was listening to Yungblud a hell of a lot the other day and though 'jeez id love to see that guy live again'. I saw him at Splendour 2018 and it was a really small crowd and we walked away from the set going 'that was the best set I've seen at Splendour to date'. We saw him the at The Triffid like a year later. We were playing an acoustic gig in the beer garden and he walked past. We didn’t even know he was playing that night so we managed to get last minute tickets and it was off the chain."
Who were you rooting for in triple j’s hottest 100?
"I was really hoping to see Lime Cordiale all the way up there. I think it comes down to the ‘ too many good songs effect’ where everybody is divided in their voting."
You have a charity benefit concert for Youturn Youth Support coming up next month. You must be stoked to be playing a gig for such a good cause!
"I think it's great. We got the email and we thought 'hell yeah this would be fantastic to get behind'. We try to schedule in a couple of charity gigs every year. We're just stoked to be a part of it and hope we can help out in any way. We're keen to play with Tia Gostelow."
What should people know about your upcoming album?
"It's gonna be really long and nothing is gonna sound like any other song. It's coming mid this year."
Grab tickets to see Shag Rock play in April alongside a legendary lineup at the Sunshine Coast here. Check out the brand new video for Shag Rock's dreamy new single 'Golden Lungs' for a dose of Vitamin D.