Interview: With Joel Orford (Mother Junkst) of Lagerstein

Lagerstein are Brisbane’s most loved pirate metal party band and next weekend on Saturday October 6th fans will be treated to one of Brisbane’s biggest music party festivals, Lagerfest! Not only do you get to hear and witness live music from an awesome line up of bands, but it is also a super fun filled party day full of games and good times! We had a chat with Mother Junkst about all things Lagerfest and whole heap more.

Next weekend Brisbane will be treated to the fun party times that are Lagerfest! You’ve already hit up Melbourne and Sydney, how did they go?

They were awesome. I feel like the festival is just getting easier and easier to run it and really capture the vibe that we’re going for. I feel like we really want Lagerfest to be this kind of thing where it’s not just a really big gig, but has a very festive and fun vibe with all sorts of games and stuff going on. I think that we captured it better this year, especially down south. It was better this year than ever before. This was the second time taking it out of the state, so it was a little bit of an unknown last year and seeing how the audience would react. I just had an absolute ball.

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Mother Junkst captured by UmmaGummaMumma – Live Music Photography at Dead Of Winter Festival 2018

So how did Lagerfest first come about?

The very first one was in 2012 and it was originally not envisaged to be something we would put on every year and something that we would make into our festival. It was just a bit of like a fundraiser gig because we had it the day before our first tour of Europe. Our old drummer Daz, he managed The Aussie National at Wooloongabba and he managed to talk them into letting us use the car park for the festival. So it was kind of his idea really. We just got a heap of mates together, if you look at the line up, we got a heap of Brissy bands that we were friends with and then it was born! Then it just seemed natural that we would keep putting it on. The second one was similar to the first I think, a bit of a big gig. Although the first we went all out, we had a dunk tank there, where someone is sitting above a tank of water and you’ve got to throw balls at them, that was so much fun. And we had a bungee run, like an inflatable castle. There was so much space; it was in the Dan Murphy’s car park. Definitely when we first put it on it was just like let’s throw a big bash before we go away on the first tour, cos we were such a young band and we didn’t really think that much into the future at the time but then it just seemed natural to just keep putting it on. I feel like it was about when we did the third one and we put it on at the Triffid and we launched ‘All for Rum and Rum For All’, that we really got the vision that we want to make Lagerfest a yearly festival that is going to kind of really capture its own feeling and essence in the Australian Music scene.  

You have an absolutely stellar line up for the Brisbane Lagerfest, how did you go about selecting the bands?

I think that we really just brainstormed a lot of bands together of what we want to hear. Something that we aim to do with Lagerfest is have a really diverse line up, stylistically. I mean Lagerstein is a pirate metal, folk metal band but we are not aiming to create a folk metal festival. I think this year, it has kind of leant itself, like it’s a bit more rockin’ than other years. But that is kind of just a bit of a happy accident. We really pick the bands by wanting them to have a killer live show; a really high energy band. Then a bunch of bands for the first time ever actually applied to play it and we listened to them all and filled out a couple of spots from that. But mostly just thinking who would we like to play with, who would we like to hear and naturally when you are booking a festival you get a lot of no’s because people are unavailable or all sort of things, so it kind of comes together in its own way. We have two stages and then a beer garden area where we will have a microphone and we will be running all the party games, so there will be three areas. It’s a pretty sick line up, I am looking at it now and thinking a lot of these bands would be headlining their own gigs! I am going to try and catch them all; I am going to be running around like a maniac. I especially want to see Hobo Magic, they are my top pick because I haven’t seen them play before and Hanson is just such a sick drummer. So I am pretty much in love with anything he does. Minus life, I went to their comeback show at Crowbar. The Majestic Beast was so into them, he used to listen to them when he was younger, so on him and Jacobs recommendation and they are sick, they are doing awesome things.

Recently you guys premiered your new single via Overdrive Music Magazine, ‘Party All The Time’ which is an Eddie Murphy cover. It is a huge hit and a definite favourite with your fans, is that why you chose to release it as a single?

Yeah I think so and also we really like playing covers in Lagerstein and taking our spin on songs. I think it was two things, everyone was really into the song but also we were really happy with the version of this song we were able to create. Especially now we have done that covers set; we have probably played about 15 different songs as a band together. It’s not like we would record all of those songs, but I think ‘Party All The Time’ came out as a really fun and pumping version of the sing and Greg especially just sings the shit out of it. So we were really stoked to record it and do some work with Fredrick Nordstrom. It is kind a of a little bit of a tester for us as well before going into the album, just trying out tracking with Freddy and trying a bit of a different process.

Lagerstein now have their own fan page on Facebook, The Lagerstein Drinking Crew, which only came about recently. It‘s a great place for Lagerstein fans to come together and share their love for the band, obviously that was your mission in creating that?

Yeah exactly. As facebook develops it is hard to be seen all the time by people and we wanted to make somewhere where you can really directly connect with the band and with other people who enjoy the music. It is not just about connecting with people, we want to also create a unique space that is just genuinely fun to be a part of, and we have a lot of plans for it. We want to do all sorts of things like some live stream drinking sessions or some competitions and just in general have a bit more community around the lager crew.  It is something that is ours now that we can keep growing with the crew. As Lagerstein, we are a bunch of musicians but also we want to just be kind of bringing the party into people’s lives in any way we can. I think that this is another opportunity and our YouTube channel is another way we do it. All of these just provide some fun content for people and a way to kind of connect with the music and also the feeling behind the music… I think with music there is room for all sorts of bands, with Lagerstein our thing is that we want to create happiness in people. We want people to listen to the music, laugh, smile, dance and that’s what the purpose of the music is and we are really serious about doing that well. We absolutely love what we do and we want to take our party to every corner of the world basically. It takes as much dedication to do that as it does to take really serious black metal for example. We want to make something that is really memorable and really unique and a kind of one of a kind experience. We are really serious about doing that well. We definitely see a lot of smiles at the shows, mostly from me and my band mates *laughs*

And that’s the best thing too! If you guys are having a good time, then the fans are having a good time and the energy is reflected from the stage to the fans and then back again…

It’s a good time! *laughs* and Lagerfest is the ultimate pinnacle of that, especially Brisbane. Where we really bring everything that is Lagerstein and us as well. It is not forced; we just love having fun and being silly together. When we just sit down at the table and think about what would be our ideal festival that really encapsulates everything that we do, that is what we are trying to bring with Lagerfest. Each year we are trying to think more and more, it is not just a big gig with a bunch of bands but it is Lagerfest! And that’s why this year we have had things like the chili eating competition and it has been funny as f**k! *laughs* It is cooked by me and each time I am cooking it I am like Ohhh is it going to be spicy enough? But both times they were crushed. I see the people afterward and they are looking a little bit down, this one dude was crying while he was eating it *laughs*

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Cptn. Gregarrr at Dead Of Winter Festival this year – Captured by UmmaGummaMumma – Live Music Photograpy

So the Lagerfest Party Master is a thing! A competition you have going, can you tell me some more about that?

Yeah I mean it is just once again trying to find more and more ways to make Lagerfest a unique experience and I think that we want someone who is really the person of the day, they are the party master and they have a party apprentice. It is a little bit inspired by the king and the queen of the prom but cooler, and more party! We are really stoked, the people who have got the position have really loved it and we had some really fun things in store for them and also they get to know that they are there to really shape Lagerfest and make it the unique and crazy party that it is meant to be. So closer to the date for Brisbane it will be announced and we will have people tell us why they should be the Party Master for Lagerfest.

After the huge party time that Lagerfest will be, I believe there are no more gigs for Lagerstein this year because you guys will be focusing on album number 3?

That is 100% correct. We are bunkering down. We have kind of never done that, we are always going full pelt. So we are really going to take some time off and get the album finished. It is well on its way, I was actually working on songs before this interview. At the moment it is kind of like there is too much stuff basically. Like we are just writing and writing and writing and we are going to throw ideas out there and then we are going to carve it up into what is the best thing we can give people. We want to just take some time off to really do that well and prepare for launching Lagerstein 3.0. We have a lot of cool ideas that are going to come along with the album and taking the band to just a whole new level. So we are going to step back a bit, we are still going to be going full ball but make in a little bit more of a hidden way from people. We still have our documentary coming out this year, which we filmed during the Yeast Coast Brewery Tour. So I am looking forward to that. That will be coming out online, we went around and captured some really interesting interviews with all the brewers. And people related to the brewers. I am looking forward to finishing that project off; once again it is something different that we have never done before. But yeah besides that we are really really keen to get a new album out and get some new music but we want it to be the absolute pinnacle that it can be, the best, So it needs our love and attention to shape it into something that really kicks ass and gives all of the lager crew what they have been waiting for. Big things are coming. More parties. We are partying right now right? The party in your heart…

Lagerstein are forever in our hearts as the party loving pirates of Brisbane and we can’t wait to catch them play at Lagerfest on Saturday October 6th at The Brightside car park along with a carefully selected line up of amazing bands. Get your tickets now through OzTix by clicking HERE.

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Lagerstein at Dead Of Winter Festival this year. Photo by Elizabeth Sharpe of UmmaGummaMumma – Live Music Photography

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