05.05.2019

Ezekiel Ox’s latest punk rock EP takes on the global state of affairs

Words by Christine Tsimbis

Tackling topics such as Israel-Palestine relations and the far right in Australia.

Rock’n’roll troubadour Ezekiel Ox has been on a captivating musical journey – he is best known as the frontman of Australian bands Mammal, Superheist and Over-Reactor, among many others.

A few years ago, Ox bravely embarked on a solo route in order to establish his own personal mark on the world. His new politically-charged punk rock EP, Cheering Bombs From Deckchairs is the second extended play from such venture.

The story behind the release is quite confronting, but highlights Ox’s musical ingenuity and unique perspective on global events.

“I saw some video footage of Israeli people sitting up on a hill in Israel, looking over the wall in deckchairs with drinks and eskies,” Ox says. “They were cheering as Palestinian people were bombed. That’s actual footage I saw, and I was obviously appalled.

“I’m sure there are people in Israel that are fighting for what’s right – I’m not saying Israelis are the problem, Zionism as a political concept is a problem. From my perspective, it was something I just couldn’t get out of my head.”

Ox’s urge to instigate social justice combines well with his love for creating music. “I wrote this second track called ‘Nature’, that’s really about this urge I feel daily to make music, to perform. It’s a visceral thing, I will continue to perform and sing ‘til the day I die.”

Cheering Bombs From Deckchairs certainly represents the songwriter’s political stance – he wants to deconstruct socially ingrained acts of prejudice and violence.

“In 30 years of deeply embedded systematic racism around Aboriginal people, we’ve got serious issues here with white supremacy. These people want power, control, and they want to round up anyone who doesn’t agree with them and put them in a camp.

“They don’t want gay people getting married, they don’t want Muslim people moving in down the street and having a mosque, they don’t want multiculturalism, they want a white ethnostate.

“That’s what we had in this country for a long time with the White Australia policy and the invasion in 1788, but now what we see is multicultural Australia. The [supremacist] people are losing the battle, because they are losers and always will be.”

Ox is honest and blunt – he actively condemns individuals such as Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Pauline Hanson for their racist and anti-Islamic rhetoric.

“These people are fascists; what they do is they divide so they can rule,” he states. “We’ve lost sight of how you deal with these people, like fucking egg ‘em, yes, but if a fascist or some racist person gets punched in the face, I’m happy to just laugh and move on.

Ox wants to change the world through his music, uniting people in a socially conscious yet fun atmosphere where they can embrace their individuality and freedom.

“My main mission is to get people up and moving and energised,” he says. “[I want] to teach them that it’s okay to fight back, and it’s okay to form something and to stuff up. What’s unforgivable is using racism, homophobia and sexism to meet your political goals.

“What I’m trying to do with my activism is to change the world; with my music I’m trying to say to people ‘you know what’s more fun than Peter Dutton? This. Do you know what’s smarter, funnier and a better dancer than Pauline Hanson? This.’

“I’m trying to say to people that the path of social justice is also the path of the party, because what the fascists want is to destroy the planet and everything in their path.

“What I want is freedom; move your body, shake your bum, have a beer, scream along, get sweaty – do something you wouldn’t do in the office Monday to Friday. Dance, love, enjoy your time with your fellow humans moving to the music.”

Ezekiel Ox’s new EP, Cheering Bombs From Deckchairs, is out now. He’ll be launching the release at Belgrave’s Sooki Lounge on Thursday May 30 and the Northcote Social Club on Friday June 14. Grab your ticks via Oxtix.