The Wardens relish 'rock'n'roll' reputation


March 2

Barcode, Wollongong

Tickets: $10 at the door

If you’re planning on heading to The Wardens’ show this weekend, bassist Andy Simpson says it might be a good idea to bring some wet-weather protection.

He is only half joking, after he and his brother Mick got a reputation in their previous Wollongong-based outfit Rockafella for being the ‘‘beer-spitting band’’.

‘‘My brother drinks a lot of beer while we play on stage and a lot of it stays in his mouth and a lot comes out of his mouth onto the rest of the audience and onto the band members,’’ he says.

‘‘It got the point where we got this reputation as this beer-spitting band. I think my brother did it once and it just caught on to the point where everybody would come up the front and they’d be spitting beer on us. You had to bring a towel to a Rockafella show.’’

Simpson and his brother formed The Wardens after moving to Melbourne for  the greater musical opportunities. Although the group has been together since 2006, they are only now releasing their first single, as each member also has commitments to other musicians.

Not that Simpson considers that a bad thing, because it works with the laid-back attitude these guys have.

‘‘To be honest, we’re a bit hopeless at getting together at the same place at the same time, but I suppose The Wardens’ songs are relatively simple, it’s straight, rock’n’roll, punk rock. It’s not complicated, so we don’t need to get together that often, whereas with other bands I play in you have to get together weekly to rehearse to hold it together,’’ he says.

This suits him and the other members just fine, because it means their songs are raw, honest and uncomplicated by introspection.

‘‘It’s young people grabbing guitars, getting together and making some noise, there’s nothing really premeditated about it, it’s whatever just comes naturally,’’ Simpson says. ‘‘We don’t spend a lot of time sitting down analysing the songwriting process, we sort of just bang it out and it’s us, it’s natural and it’s primal, that’s what we love about it.’’

The Wardens’ sound is reminiscent of the punk and rock tunes of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Simpson says while they do like more recent bands, their main influences are groups such as The Stooges, Radio Birdman and AC/DC.

Lyrically, most of their songs come from the group’s interest in crime stories,  with their vocalist once calling them ‘‘love songs about desperation and murder’’.

But Simpson says that just because they sing about unsettling situations doesn’t mean they focus on them during everyday life.

‘‘We’re all interested in the darker side of life, but we’re not dark people. To meet us, we’re just a bunch of dudes having a laugh, really, and having fun playing music.’’

Five-piece rockers The Wardens have just released their first seven-inch vinyl single.

Five-piece rockers The Wardens have just released their first seven-inch vinyl single.


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