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Q&A - Bugs Are Ringin' In The New Year With A Bang(er) And Now We Are Too

Image credit: Jaden Marc

Loveable larrikins Bugs are back with long-awaited new single ‘Old Youth Feeling’, the Brisbane trio delivering a nostalgic anthem for us to shout along to as we close out the end of a very interesting year.

So to celebrate the year that was, we asked Bugs about their 2020, what they have planned for the silly season and what we can expect from the year ahead.

Just downright fun, ‘Old Youth Feeling’ is packed to the brim with classic Bugs exuberance, their fast-paced style and catchy lyrics sure to put a smile on your face as you dance around to snapping guitars and old-school power-pop hooks.

Written as an ode to the idealistic comfort of youth perceived as time goes by, vocalist and guitarist Connor Brooker explains ‘Old Youth Feeling’ captures a sense of nostalgia, and how as life progresses, many seek comfort in old habits.

What inspired your latest single 'Old Youth Feeling'?

I think at some point in time everyone wants to find a more energetic, charismatic, hopeful version of themselves from a time gone by - so we reminisce on our youth quite idealistically. We generally gloss over the cracks and exaggerate the highs.

As the pressure and reality of adulthood constrict our imagination, we socially regress by watching Disney films, crying to our parents, buying dumb ‘immature’ outfits, meeting up with an old friend from school - the list of behaviour goes on. We generally try to recapture that spark for life when things were more comfortable and simple. It can be a healthy coping mechanism, it can be a mid life crisis, it can be a mental breakdown, it can be a bad habit. Truth is we all experience it to varying degrees, nostalgia is a visceral & powerful emotion.

Seeing an old family photo, driving past your childhood school, finding a box of toys and outdated pop culture artefacts. Our memories are so intrinsically tied to who we are, it’s not often you have those moments but when you do they are quite profound.

How has this year been for you guys and how have you dealt with the ongoing uncertainty?

It’s been a pretty weird year, really emotional. Lots of ups and downs but that’s the nature of dealing with uncertainty for any group of friends. We’ve just been trying to get together more recently, separation is only healthy for so long when you’re a group of like minded people working toward a common goal. I guess we’ve tried to be more understanding of each other as well, the whole experience has put in perspective how lucky we are.

How are you planning to celebrate the end of 2020? Any Christmas / New Years plans?

At this stage probably take our first proper break of the year. We’re doing a local tour to promote our new single in December so that will be a nice way to celebrate still being here hahaha. We were busy recording all year so it hasn’t been quiet in our camp despite all the shutdowns.

What has been your favourite Aussie album from this year?

Tough question, has to go to Mindless Joy by LOSER. Tim is a songwriting gold mine, his diversity of style, knowledge of production and skill for hook writing all come together to crest such a well thought out and impactful record. It’s one where you feel like every single second was considered and each part HAS to be there. It’s basically perfect, and diverse. They rule.

Which Aussie artist would you most like to collaborate with?

Another tough question! I’d really love to work on some stuff with Egoism. Olive and Scout have such a beautiful, complete sound. It’s so remarkable considering their age, truly shows the irrelevance of ‘experience’. Honestly the most exciting band in AU for me at the moment.

What is your favourite song to perform?

Personally I’m a sucker for 'Stutter', the crowd always get in to the ba da da parts and it’s just a really effortlessly, infectiously happy song :)

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Getting accidentally locked out of our accom the night before recording Like A Version was a bit of a slog haha. We called some ridiculous 24 hour locksmith with an exorbitant fee to basically break back into the apartment we’d paid for. I think we maybe got 2 hours sleep? So if we look tired in the videos, we were :)

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

I’ve been lucky enough to have had a lot of really great mentors, be it friends or family. It’s hard to single out any piece. I think it’s pretty simple, just try and be a good person. Help other people. Life is fundamentally pretty simple.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

The inequality and lack of diversity, both on and off stage. It’s given me a lot of hope seeing the next batch of musicians and managers coming through Brisbane have a more culturally and gender diverse representation.

What does 2021 look like for you? Live shows? Any deets on your third studio album?

We finished up tracking the album a few months ago but we’ll probably release some singles before going hard at a full tour and album release around the middle of the year. It’s all pretty dependent on developments with the pandemic but we're really hopeful we can do some interstate shows at least next year.

With the promise of some banging singles, a third studio album and an interstate tour (pandemic pending), 2021 is shaping up to be a ripper year for Bugs and their stoked fans. Happy New Year indeed!

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