The Rude Magnificence of Barbariön

Watching Barbariön play live is like watching Nigella cook topless. Just trust me on this; there’s a lot of flesh and you don’t know where to look first… it truly is a feast for the senses. “It’s confronting,” admits guitarist and songwriter Chris Evans. “Like watching your parents having sex. But also exciting and satisfying – like having sex.” The band are big, their sound is bigger and their singers are mighty; they are seemingly all that is masculinity. Hell, the name says it all: they are a rampaging hoard. They are Barbariön.
‘Forged metal’ is their sound, best described as a brutal, angry version of Play With Me by Extreme (or anything, really, from the Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure soundtrack) meets topless men in leather. The Barbariön experience is like the last few minutes of being a passenger in crashing plane: screaming, swearing, fire, explosions, and everything resulting in vows to live a fuller life. In short, they’re what the word ‘awesome’ was invented for. Featuring the vocal assault of dual singers, Barbariön have a full metal sound, squealing, crunchy guitar riffs over pounding bass and drums; they are relentless in their quest to first rock Melbourne, and then, to rock the world.
The band are also launching their latest EP, the enigmatically (and excellently) titled AAAAARRGGHHH! at The East Brunswick Club on Saturday November 20 (with support from the ever bombastic Money For Rope and Brat Farrar). Speaking from their bunker of sound equipment where they’re currently mixing the final tracks for the EP, Chris and bass player Yuri Pavli
nov do not shy away from stating the significance of their latest offering.
“It will sound like the greatest heavy metal EP of the decade, inclusive of the previous decade and also the coming decade,” Pavloniov claims. “Barbariön is like watching Robocop, 300, Braveheart, Conan and an all-man porno, all at the same time,” offers Evans. “We’re like a three tonne bearded lady with volcano boobs riding a giant metal eagle,” he adds. “Or a fat, seven headed flesh beast ambling through a live minefield,” comes Yuri’s reply.
Such proclamations might just be the result of too much time behind the sound desk, working on the EP. “You can empathise with Phil Spector, that’s for sure,” Yuri sighs, while mixing down the 56 guitar parts on one of the new tracks, My Rock. “People are annoying, sometimes you do want to kill them; Phil just took it to that point.”
“We were drunk at Cherry Bar, talking about our dicks,” Evans explains further of the track. “But you can’t write a song that goes ‘My cock is the key to your heart,’ so we just changed the ‘C’ to an ‘R’ and here we are.”
Indeed with lines like, “My rock emboldens your life, to wit oh a oh / Drink from the fountain of life take the stairway home / Kneel before my rock, he is a titan, he blacks out the sun,” they’re not necessarily the most subtle of lyrics, but metal is a great repository for such turns of phrase. A good metal lyric should sound tough and cool, but a great one should also be able to make you smile and that’s what Barbariön do so well.
Touch The Devil, that’s just about parting,” Evans explains. “I wrote it after a long night of being smashed… close to death but not quite.” As the lyrics go, “Scrape yourself up off the floor / Smash your balls against the wall / Stimulate your lust for more, head butt through the door / Walk through the flames, leave the jackals behind / Touch the Devil / You will live long if he has got you in mind / TOUCH THE DEVIL.” Whew. “And we’ve rerecorded Barbariön for the EP,” adds Chris of one of their previous favourite tunes. “It’s bigger and better, we have added epic bits and taken the munt out; there are at least six guitars and 62 guitar parts on it now.”
As good as AAAAARRRGGHHHH! may be, it’s in a live capacity that Barbariön rock without peer. Their theatrics are becoming the stuff of legend, spoken of in hushed awe in dive rock bars across Melbourne. They stole the show at this year’s Cherry Rock festival, with so much buzz generated from their midday they became the most-talked about band of the day. “There will be much pyro,” Yuri says of their upcoming EP launch. “We have bought a series of flame projectors from China, which explains the charring on my bass head; I think we have four now, and we have a lighting girl that owns an axe rack. A full rack of axes!” he grins. “I have visions of having our own plane, somewhat like Iron Maiden,” he adds.
Such dreams could well be achievable as Barbariön continue to build stream, having just been booked to support Andrew WK as well as swirling rumours of sets at some of the big summer festivals. “We are on the road of ascension to play eastern-bloc metal festivals,” Yuri explains. “Albums, T-shirts, the next thing we will bring out are Barbariön condoms that don’t work; they are just an open ended tube of latex.”
“Barbariön,” Evans aummarises, “are five eskys full of fuck yeah!”
BARBARIÖN are set to explode their new EP AAAAARRGGHHH! while pillaging The East Brunswick Club this Saturday November 20 with support from Money For Rope and Brat Farrar. The AAAAARRGGHHH! EP will be available from the band on the night. BARBARIÖN also support Andrew W.K at The Hi Fi on Saturday January 29.