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Unwritten Law

This is the first interview I've ever done, I tell Unwritten Law vocalist Scott Russo. I'm really quite nervous. He laughs. "I'm glad that I could be a part of that, that's amazing," he says in that peculiarly sunny Californian drawl I heard coming from stage four at Brissy Soundwave earlier this year.

"My boyfriend Toby was supposed to talk to you but he made me do it, because I'm such a massive fan," I admitted.

Scott thinks this is hilarious. "Let me ask the questions! Nah, that's cool. That's so cute, I'm glad your boyfriend put you up to it." He pauses, suddenly concerned. I think he can hear my frantic panting. "Let's take a minute to relax here."

I can't, I admit. I've just listened to their new track Starships And Apocalypse on their Myspace and it's really good for a band missing its drummers.

"Yeah, we've lost two drummers and a guitarist," sighs Scott. "We lost Wade [Youman], our brother, to years of addiction and several other things." He sounds genuinely saddened by this. But then he scoffs: "We've lost Tony [Palermo] to Papa Roach…"

Has that cut the band's life into pieces?

"I guess the writing part of the band has always been me and Steve [Morris, guitar]; we've basically written everything, for a long time in this band," he muses. "So it didn't really affect anything. Dylan is a combination of Wade and Travis Barker. He's super-technical, but he beats the fuck out of his drums like it's the last thing he's gonna hit in his life. Dylan is hands-down my favourite drummer of all time. To me, he's more technical and plays with more soul than Travis, and he hits harder than Wade. He's awesome to see."

What about when Rob Brewer left, has that messed with Unwritten's law?

Scott doesn't think so. "There are two different kinds of music: there's the art and craft of writing and recording music, where one person can do eight guitar parts. Then there's the art and craft of performing music, and so for us, Rob hadn't really written anything after 1996's Oz Factor, and… hey, hold on real quick."

I can hear him lambasting someone or something in the background: "You puked in my backyard, and it's all over everything. You've gotta clean that up because I'm not cleaning up your fuckin' puke. I tried to rinse it down, but I'm doing an Australian interview, okay?"

That's exciting! Did someone yak in your yard? Did you guys have a massive party last night?

Scott's still giggling. "Yeah he did, my homie. Not last night, but the night before. He puked in the backyard, off my balcony, down two floors - splat! Like, oh my God."

That's funny!

"It is pretty funny, but it wasn't funny for the first two minutes where I had to look at it and kind of rinse it down."

This reminds me of something I heard about his house burning down. "Yeah, my house burned down about two years ago," he exclaims. "My best friend is Danny Way, the skateboarding legend; we have a band together called The Click as well. When my house burned down he saw me all over the news and he hit me up, and he was like, 'Yo man, are you cool?' and I was all, 'No, I'm pretty far from cool, man. My house burned down, my kids are homeless, and I have no insurance.' He's like, 'Not any more, man. I just moved out of my beach house - you can have it.' So me and my children moved into Danny's beach house, and we just kinda took it over, put a studio in it and recorded Swan."

UNWRITTEN LAW are playing Billboard The Venue this Sunday March 27 and tickets are available through Ticketek.