Sons of The Ionian Sea
Come on down to The Tote on Xmas Eve if you have an appreciation for a fine beard and love your stonking riffs! Mighty Melbourne stoner rock collective Sons Of The Ionian Sea (SotiS) are launching their brilliant new LP this Friday night and they require some assistance in celebrating not just Christmas and the fact that we’re all going to be sorted for underwear and socks for at leats a couple of weeks, but also to rejoice in the epic swathes of mind-bending rock gluttony on A New Deadly Intravenous. Born from the ashes of the legendary local axe-grinders Peeping Tom, SotiS have been storming around Melbourne for a couple of years now, slowly making their way around to a full length recording. It’s finally ready to go, and just in time for the birth of little Baby Jebus – hallelujah! (Excellently as well, you can show your beardy face for a discount copy of this slow metal gem – hairy men will get $5 off the 12-inch vinyl edition of A New Deadly Intravenous. The rest of you will get a full price but worthy slice of the mangiest guitar grooves in town.)
Who are you and what do you play?
“I'm the Lord Sith, and I play the Devil's Advocate at polka and when I lose, I win. Oh, and I sing and play the guitar. Some people call me Gerasimos Grammenos, I don't know why.”
What do Sons Of The Ionian Sea bring to the Melbourne music scene?
“SotiS bring a touch of the missing link to Melbourne. By that, I mean that slowly the riff bands of Melbourne are retiring or morphing into ambient rock whores. I like ambient rock whores, so that's not a bad thing. However, in a world of how-loud-can-you-be, we're a browner version of that, and always have been. By that I mean that we bring a sense of structure in the guise of free jamming rock dogs from yesteryear, where as we're really quite structured, in a loose way and volume is less important than the colour of our tone. Brown vs white. Brown wins.”
From Peeping Tom, it must be an interesting story as to where this band comes form?
“Several years ago, when Peeping Tom went belly up, I decided to do something with the swag of songs that were waiting in the wings to be Peeping Tom-ed. I asked my brother (Nik, ex-Wicked City) and Squizzy (Mustang bass lunatic child prodigy ace finger maestro) if they would join with me to keep busy while the misery of being out of a killer band was sinking in. My brother and I were shopping for a name and he kindly accepted my lame suggestion for a band name that referred to our heritage. We're proud wogs, our parents are both from Corfu in Greece. Anyone gotta a fucking problem with that?”
How have Sons Of The Ionian Sea changed since you first came together?
“We started off as a three piece, with the idea that my brother and I would alternate playing drums as we're amazing musos and can do that. However, we weren't as good at drumming as drummers are – know what I mean – and we started taking the whole SotiS thing more seriously so we enlisted the help of a real drummer, Cam ‘Hammer Hands’ Cairnes. Couple that with the eventual arrival of brown note maestro Josh Waddell (replacing Squizzy) and now we're back to the familiar four-piece-feed line up of brick crushing riff attack formations we're accustomed to.”
It’s been a big year, so what was your most memorable gig of 2010?
“Well, there were a few to be sure, but playing with Acid King and Looking Glass and Clagg and Agonhymn and a bunch of others (hey I'm old, I can't remember everything! ) up the east coast a couple of months ago was killer.’
Give us a bit of back story on A New Deadly Intravenous – when and where was the album recorded?
“Okay, now you're testing me... hmmm.... probably recorded just over a year ago at Headgap Studios in Thornbury, at Sloth and Neil's lovely studio, headed up by the renowned knob twiddler Dav Byrne. Dav also mixed it ‘cos he's a nice guy and did a ripper job might I add. You should all use his services if you wanna sound huge!”
What’s your favourite track on the record?
“The first one, Hugh Hefner. When you hear the opening lyrics you'll know why. It's a direct quote that one of my sources swears he heard Hugh utter once to a press gallery. Ah fuck it, I'll let you in on it. He said ‘I'm going to be eating pussy from the cradle to the grave.’ And whether he said it or not, I already have Link Meanie requesting I play that song at his funeral should he depart before I do. Let's face it, what else can you eat all night and not gain weight?? Jenny Craig should sell it in a vacuum bag: it would be bigger than Facebook!”
It’s Christmas! What do the band have planned for the show this week – and tinsel or sexy elves or anything?
“We have a bunch of great bands playing on the night other than us, like Agonhymn, Ancient Man and Fire Witch so upstaging them with scantily clad vixens would be a travesty of the highest order (fantastic but a travesty none the less) so we'll offer a free BBQ, some drunk dancing guys and of course a $5 discount on the vinyl to anyone with a beard! Also, we're giving away our first album, fuck it! We're sick of holding onto it and we don't see people buying CD's anymore, so they can have it! It's grouse and full of songs to root to.”
What do Sons Of The Ionian Sea have planned for 2011?
“I would very much like to record an album in a month this time, on vinyl again, ‘cos CDs suck balls, and then I would like to play a bunch of killer shows. Then I wanna take that shit overseas. We'll see, but Melbourne first. Best city in the world as it turns out for live music. Worship the riff Melbourne; come down to The Tote on Friday night, Xmas eve, and spend Xmas day hung over. Jesus would.”
What would Jesus do? Well, he’d probably head down to witness SONS OF THE IONIAN SEA at The Tote on Christmas Eve, as they launch they’re ridiculously excellent new album A New Deadly Intravenous – which is out now on some ridiculously nice looking vinyl. They’re joined by Firewitch, Ancient Man and Agonhymn. Excellently, in the spirit of the season, there are free CD giveaways and a $5 discount on the vinyl to anyone with a beard. You know who was a proud beard bearer? Oh, just someone by the name of Jebus. So you know where he’d be… at The Tote this Friday. Celebrate Xmas in style.