For his latest musical project, Sam Agostino took the name of the protagonist from a book who impersonates another character in order to secure an inheritance. It was a choice made with some thought - in finding a title for his first notional 'solo' project, Agostino was able to avoid the perception that Brat Farrar was about himself, rather than a particular musical direction."I felt like if I was going to do something myself, I'd be sort of impersonating myself," he nods. "When someone plays under their own name, I find that really weird - does that mean every song they do is about them? Where does the line blur between being creative and being yourself?" he asks rhetorically.
When Agostino and Andy Moore released the most recent Digger And The Pussycats record, DIY, in 2010, he decided, subconsciously at least, that it was time to do something under his own steam. "It seems like I've been plugging away on the songs on my computer for over a year," Agostino grins. "After we did that last Digger record, DIY, I decided I really wanted to do something by myself. So I guess it's been trickling away ever since then."
With Digger And The Pussycats, Agostino and Moore celebrated and indulged the garage trash aesthetic; with now-retired Kamikaze Trio (another of Agostino's bands), the style was based on the early 1990s grunge music that the trio had come of age listening to. For Brat Farrar, Agostino wanted to write pop songs using the wonders of digital technology.
"I really wanted to write pop songs, but also for me it's a bit of a novelty factor trying to learn how to use all this new technology."
Having written and recorded a couple of tracks for a single - which German label P-Trash had previously committed to releasing - Agostino started looking around for a band to play his Brat Farrar songs in a live setting. Agostino eventually settled on Simon and Andre Fazio, lately of local garage band YIS."I'd actually approached some other people to play in the band, but then Simon approached me and said if I needed anyone to play, then they'd love to help out," he recalls
"And I was a bit obsessed with the idea of playing with brothers. I just think of the Jackson Five - this is great! I've been really luck with those guys - they just so good together."
Agostino's regular forays to Europe with Digger And The Pussycats has resulted in a healthy reputation in the surprisingly lucrative European garage scene. Along the way, Digger secured record label support with P-Trash; the label's owner was so impressed with Agostino that he offered to put out Brat Farrar without any prior consideration."All the Australian labels that I've been on, they never seen to be getting to the point of 'we'll just put out whatever'," Agostino explains.
"But [label owner] Peter said 'you need never to worry again - I'll put out whatever you do'. It's probably the closest I've ever been to the situation that I can just keeping on making stuff and someone will keep releasing it," he laughs. "He seems to have worked it all out - he'll do a run of 500 or 1000 of a record, and it all sells."
With Digger back in temporary hiatus (drummer Andy Moore has recently become a father, confirming that the 'journey into maturity' theme of DIY was more than a simple gimmick), and Russian Roulettes an infrequent (but always invigorating) sighting on the live scene, Brat Farrar are - for the moment at least - Agostino's primary musical vehicle. But while Agostino is understandably very proud of the band, don't expect to find him using Brat Farrar to lay his soul and emotions bare for the world to see.
"I don't know that there's much to see!" he laughs.
BRAT FARRAR launch the 12" of It's On Me with Midnight Woolf, The Ocean Party and Bad Aches. at The Tote this Saturday July 2.