Things That Go RAWR

Adam Burke investigates specialty radio show “Things That Go RAWR”. Things quickly spiral out of control, just the way we like it..

For about a year and a half now if you’ve been tuned in to 101.9 FM on a Tuesday night around 8 o’clock you’ll have been greeted with the smooth and sultry voices of local musicians Sam Jansen (ex-Almost A Square) and Peter Bullis (Salacious) for their two hour specialty show Things That Go RAWR. Joined more recently by new co-host Jess Powles, TTGR showcases the heavier side of unsigned Australian talent, mixed in with news, debate and maybe an inside joke or two that you’ll have no idea how to follow.

Let’s make no mistake of this, it’s a difficult gig competing with other quality programming like SBS1’s Antiques Uncovered, re-runs of the Big Bang Theory or having to talk to your family. With this in mind, I figured what better way to celebrate the work of this fine trio than doing a plug-for-plug interview (I’ve held up my end, guys!) with the brains trust of the heaviest segment CoastFM can stand! Sam, Pete and I sat down for a good chat about all things ranging from the FNQ live music scene to cheesy 90’s pop punk, then right through to the cleanliness of bathroom facilities in the Brisbane CBD.

Here’s all the stuff I could be bothered transcribing:

AB: Let’s start at the beginning then, so who’s idea was it to start TTGR?

SJ: I was always interested in radio in some shape or form, and when the opportunity rose I just jumped at it.

AB: What was the opportunity?

PB: Sam was doing a course on the radio at CoastFM, the station manager asked him, so I guess he did.

SJ: CoastFM is a Community Radio station, so virtually anyone can become a member and anyone can have a show on here. The membership is $20 and with a good idea and a bit of dedication it’s open. At the moment there are good timeslots open too, there are only a handful of specialty shows-

PB: And unfortunately we’re one of them!

SJ: [Laughs] Yeah, so there’s vacancies, and we’re really looking for more people to join up!

AB: When you started TTGR, what was the synopsis that you two pitched to each other?

SJ: Well actually when I started I was going to do this with Kelly (Montgomery, Almost A Square guitarist).

AB: Oh Pete, second?

PB: [Laughs] I know it sucks.

SJ: Yeah, but Kelly didn’t want to do it so I got Pete on board and the pitch was always going to be unsigned bands. We knew the feeling that bands get when our music is played on the radio, so we thought… why not just play everyone’s song on the radio.

AB: There’s that big reliance on unsigned artists and especially those mainly lurking around FNQ, was there a plan to help expose the bands from up north that battle to get the same exposure as say a band from Brisbane or Melbourne?

SJ: Sort of, part of that though was that we were finding it hard to get on to bands from down south, although last year though we’ve had four or five bands appear on the show from Perth-

AB: How did that work out? Did they find out about you guys and then they talk amongst themselves and get in touch with you?

PB: A fair bit of showcasing bands outside of FNQ starts a lot on Facebook. We’ll look up one band from say, Brisbane, get links to other bands they’re gigging with. A few of the Perth bands did get in touch with us directly though.

SJ: We listen to them and make sure they’re worthy, then maybe send them messages.

PB: Well not so much worthy, we do play pretty much anyone

SJ: But social media plays a big part right now, we’ll hear about one band, see their gig poster and get linked to another and another. For example I saw a gig poster with WA band called We Are The Emergency playing with two other bands Vica Versa and Make Believe Me who are both really good bands. I got in touch with the last two though, because I was too much of a fanboy to get in touch with We Are The Emergency.

AB: Are these bands appreciative when you’re in contact with them? Do they get surpised or excited that they’re reaching ears in North Queensland?

PB: Yeah absolutely, bands are real appreciative and they do send us a lot of their stuff and get excited about being played on the radio. I mean right now if you were to go through my phone it’s pretty much just unsigned Australian artists and it’s all great music from guys who’ve sent me their work for free. It hugely outnumbers the major label bands, and that’s great.

AB: Do you go out of your way to find the hard to find bands? I say this because I saw recently you’ve been digging a band from Mount Isa… now, I didn’t even realise they’d have a music scene-

SJ: That was the band Grave City, they got in touch with us which was a little bit of a new thing, but on hard to find bands, I go out of my way to find bands I really like and hit them up.

PB: I like to use word of mouth a lot, I ask bands to look us up, link me to some of their tunes. The funny thing is that the word of mouth really spreads and now we’ve got bands from other states and even countries looking us up.

AB: Really? Where from?

PB: There’s a group from Norway which we’re going to interview in future, obviously there will be an issue with the time difference but we’ll find some time to skype and sort something out for the listeners.

The next part of the interview gets rather confusing, but I decided to leave it open like a reading comprehension quiz for our readers to literally fill in the blanks.

AB: Has anything bad gone down on the air?

SJ: Not so far this year, I think last year I dropped the F-bomb once on air. Pete’s never dropped it.

PB: Not even swear once!

AB: I’m surprised that cursing has only come up once in what, 15 months of live radio?

PB: Someone thought I said the “C” word last week, so I had to go through the tape to defend myself and prove that I didn’t say it! Which was of course the case.

SJ: But we’re pretty good with swearing on the show. I think we’d be fine to say words like
_____ or_____, and _______ is heard on commercial radio ten times a day so I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world. So I think it’s mainly _____ and _____ that you can’t say.

PB: Yeah definitely can’t say ____ and ____. I’ve never said ____ either, but I don’t think it’d be a big issue…

AB: Just ____ and ____, really?

PB: Yeah.

AB: ____.

The quick money round. There’s no money.

AB: Who’s your favourite Ninja Turtle?

SJ: Raphael

PB: Donatello (I should mention that Pete went through every Ninja Turtue and stated their pro’s and con’s before deciding on this, it was a three minute process.)

AB: Milo or Nesquick?

PB: Milo

SJ: Nesquick

AB: If I wrote an app which was like trip advisors of toilets, whereby if you really needed to take a mad dump and you were lost in the city you can whip out this app and read reviews of nearby public toilets, would you two invest in it?

SJ: Absolutely

PB: That’s such a good idea!

AB: Who’s your favourite mock-up band? Like Spinal Tap, or Dethklok, Flight of the Conchords or Wyld Stallyns?

PB: Mine would be #:) (pronounced “hashtag smileyface”). That’s one of Sam’s hillarious side projects with Kelly from Almost A Square.

SJ: There’s also Anal Prolapse which we play in, we wrote our hit single Daddy NO!

PB: It’s pretty dark, man, but hillarious.

SJ: But in all seriousness, mine would have to be Deathklok

AB: I’ve been reading about your song challenges, and I see most recently you two have collaborated on a challenge to write a pop-punk song about pug dogs, “I didn’t choose the pug life, the pug life chose me”. Which I actually thought was a bitching song.
How on earth did this start?

SJ: [Laughs] We’ve been wanting to do this for ages, you know Pete and I have always wanted to write with each other and we figured this was the opportunity to do it. We told Jess (Powles , the shy third host) about this and she challenged us with a genre and a topic and it really went from there. I got home, sat down and just wrote and wrote. The next day I sent it to Pete and he came up with all the lyrics for it.

PB: Moreso than we expected, Pug Life came out super catchy-

AB: It threw me way back to mid-days Blink 182!

PB: Yeah, that was it!

SJ: We were at Pete’s place working it out, and was like, you know “I’ll do this, and you do this, and we’ll be just like Blink 182!” [Laughs]
AB: Are there anymore on the horizon?

PB: Yeah there’s one we’re working on right now, a power ballad about meeting a bad Lara Croft impersinator at comic con, and it’s difficult. For the last week I’ve had the chorus stuck in my head and the lyrics “Your supersoakers don’t fool aaanyone”, which is so, so bad. The word camel-toe gets thrown around a lot, we’re looking forward to having it finished.

SJ: If we have time we’re going to try to do these challenges once a month, and we have a lot of challenges coming in. We’re trying to not get ahead of ourselves because thinking ahead and getting ideas the future it makes it harder to work on the job at hand.

You can catch Jess, Sam and Pete every Tuesday from 8pm on CoastFM. 101.9 on the FM dial. If you’re interested becoming a member of Cairns community radio just email on coastfm@coastfmcairns.com.au or call (07) 4058 4358.