Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer.
Melbourne’s expressive souls of hardcore, DREGG are not a band that gets lost in the crowds of bands around today. They stand out because they embrace their individuality and creativity through their music, videos, live performances and appearance. Being a big fan of self-expression and being true to yourself, I am a huge fan of their work. Their music hits you hard, on a deeper level than perhaps expected from a band who appear so ‘out there’ and fun. Their music addresses things and topics they are passionate about, sometimes confrontational and most definitely a little in your face, but that’s what DREGG are all about. Peaceful protesters through their music. This is what real music is all about. This is DREGG.
I got to have a chat with frontman, Chris Mackertich today to talk about their hot new track, Hyperbole + the new video and their current tour with Hellions.
So tonight you guys play The Triffid in Brisbane as part of the Hellions tour! Have you played the Triffid before?
“No, I haven’t even been there before. We were looking at photos of it this morning actually. It should be a great gig!”
I read somewhere that you are originally from Queensland?
“Yeah, me and the guitarists, Jordan (McQuitty) and Sam (Yates), the three of us are from Queensland. Jordan and I moved down maybe 4 or 5 years ago to start the band and Sam used to play in a band with me maybe like 6 years ago and then he moved down to join this one as well. Jordan and I didn’t even know each other when we moved to Melbourne, we met here, both with the intention of playing music and just got together and started putting some songs together and then DREGG kind of came into formation.”
Last weekend you guys were in Adelaide and Perth as part of the Hellions tour, how is the tour going so far?
“Well we didn’t make it to Perth unfortunately. When we were on our way there our plane took an emergency landing in Kalgoorlie and we got stuck in a terminal for like 6 hours and we didn’t end up making the show. But it wasn’t all too bad because we ended up getting stuck with (Alex) Shooter Williamson, the comedian, he was on our flight, so we got to hang out with him for a while and it is looking like we are going to be heading back to Perth soon as well. So, it all worked out in the end. It was just unfortunate we couldn’t make the show.”
Oh well, it is always good to look at the positive in everything!
“Oh definitely, that’s the DREGG way!”
Your new single Hyperbole that you’ve also got a sweet new video for has just been released, can you tell me a bit about the single and the video?
“It is kind of just like, the idea of the song is, the best way to explain it is like the band itself is a Hyperbole, we don’t want to be taken to seriously, we say one thing, we mean another and don’t take the whole situation of what we are to serious. I guess we kind of wanted to do that with the video as well. To just kind of take the piss but also be serious at the same time, which is what we are. One minute we are taking the piss, one minute we are actually being quite on point, so we wanted to do that with the video as well.”
I think you guys are the perfect blend of that, if you really listen to your lyrics and vibe on where you are coming from with your film clips and music, you are getting important messages out there but you are not doing it in such a way that it is dull or boring…
“We try to sit right in the middle…I feel like people don’t like to be preached at in like a bland tone. If you give them some entertainment as well, they may take some things on board. And you can’t really be dishing out information if you’re not taking the piss out of yourself at the same time you know?”
The single before Hyperbole was This Is The Return Of The DREGG, I read on a Facebook post around he time the single was released where you wrote “This is the return of creativity, This is the return of individuality, THIS IS THE RETURN OF THE DREGG” I love that you guys are so creative and definitely all individuals, do you think that DREGG is a great way for you all to express that side of yourselves?
“One hundred percent! and I think that’s what we are trying to do with it for other people as well, so it’s like if it works for us and if you’re a fan of the music and you listen to it, it would make sense to get on board as well. Like when you come to the shows, get into the same mentality as we are, just let go, be yourself, don’t worry about what the outside world is telling you, like the media, political correctness, fashion, anything like that. You can just come to the shows and do whatever you want, be whatever you want. As long as you are not hurting anyone else.”
That’s a brilliant philosophy and thing to have behind you as a band, I love that about DREGG. I think people need to get into your music and come and see live shows and see what you are all about to really appreciate the depth behind DREGG…
“Well that’s what we have found, we have found people might think oh it is what it is, they dress funky and they play some riffs but when you come to a show you get more of an experience of more what the whole I guess movement is about and what it is all aiming towards sort of thing.”
You guys address things you are passionate about through your music and videos. Music is such a great platform to kind of almost, peacefully protest things and express feelings on confrontational topics, would you agree?
“One hundred percent, the whole idea of using music as a medium to get through to people, I can’t think of any better way, without actually being a politician or something like that. I feel like with the arts, there is something about music that works. People use it for escapism on such a daily basis and if you can use your platform for some sort of good with people’s escapism and get them to question stuff and get them to do their own thing then I think that is a plus for everyone.”
Absolutely. So touching on the band name, I read somewhere that it is referring to the dregs at the bottom of your beer?
“Yeah, we were just saying this morning, it is like the end of a ciggie or like the last bit left in the bowl, or whatever is left over. So, like I guess in our sense it is like whatever has been leftover in the scene and in society and whatever collective word you want to use, like whatever is left over and trying to make something good with it… I think having meaning to everything is what makes your art, art. You know? If you don’t have meaning behind everything you’re doing then it is kind of just nonsense for the sake on nonsense, even with your band name.”
So what’s next for DREGG?
“Like we have always said and probably always will say, if we told people, then this wouldn’t be DREGG. The whole point it is, you have no idea what is going to happen next! So unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything. But, it is not going to slow down and it’s going to keep getting louder and it is going to keep manifesting into something bigger and greater.”
You can catch DREGG in Brisbane tonight at The Triffid with Hellions, Young Lions and Yours Truly. Tickets are almost all gone, so get in quick! GC Live highly recommends you check them out! Tickets HERE!
Follow DREGG on Facebook HERE!