Tag Archives: Les Jobson

The Dreamkillers – Les Jobson

The Dreamkillers are something of an institution in the Brisbane underground heavy music scene.

They are a band who come from humble beginnings in a time where internet was not around and heavy metal music was much less accepted.

There were a band who literally forged their name through blood, sweat and tears – on stage and off.

Their early shows were ferocious and relentless, and their vocalist Les Jobson quickly earnt himself a reputation as a warrior of rock, led by the metal Gods and unleashed on a music scene that was not quite ready for his brashness.

Legend has it that in the early days a fire breathing Jobson used to prance the stage like a man possessed, void of all his clothing bar gaff tape covering his nether regions, with a body full of ink covering about 90% of his anatomy.

They were a band known for their drive and passion, and also a band feared for their take no prisoners attitude and uncompromising nature.

In short, they were the saviors of metal in Brisbane, carving a niche that has yet to be surpassed.

They are, quite simply, metal royalty, and are a band for who respect and honor are not merely words to be bandied about.

Things may not have panned out this way however, as Les explains, had the Dreamkillers kept on their original intended musical path.

“The other boys were all young but I was old, even in the beginning,” he laughed.

“I was in my late 20’s and the others were only teenagers. A young drummer by the name of Paul McCallum was only 17 and Terry (McDougall, original guitarist) and I were the old dudes. We originally wanted to be a punk band to be honest but when we did auditions for drummers Paul rolled up and he was like a Tankard fan and Napalm Death and we didn’t even configure the riffs that we had with that sort of tempo so we were like ‘fuck, we’ve gotta reverberate this’ so we became metal/punk. We were confused back then mate, haha.”

The new fusion of sounds worked quickly through the Brisbane underground scene and before long Dreamkillers shows were having the full house sign put up out the front regularly. Clever marketing in the early years helped spread the word and the interest when the band made a conscious decision to not play more than once in any city in a six week period. This ensured fans didn’t tire of the band and made sure that tickets to gigs were hot property.

From this fans became fanatical about the band and the music, a legacy which still carries on today.

“I don’t know about fanatical mate,” Les countered modestly.

“It’s all about longevity in this industry. if you put enough posters in enough alleyways people will get to see them. We’re just having fun now. There’s no ambitions to sign to any label or be anything other than just a fun time band. We’ve done the full gambit- signed to the biggest metal label in the world and did two albums with them – and you look back and you think ‘fuck, you couldn’t have asked for much more’. We come from Loganlea and Marsden so our ambitions weren’t ever that high, we didn’t even think we’d achieve anything like what we have.”

“In retrospect, I think we did it the hard way. It would have been good to have management and to be honest we probably should have fucked off and gone overseas to probably Europe in the early stages. We just haven’t got the same population here. In those major cities in London etc 2000 different people can see you a night. It doesn’t take long for you to build up a cult following when you’ve got that many people coming to see you.”

One thing the Dreamkillers, and particularly Les, have always been labelled is is a political band and Les concedes that it is a hard tag to shake.

“Oh well, you try not to be but you write about the things that annoy you mate,” he said.

“It’s politics that annoys you isn’t it? It’s greed and stupidity and double standards. Just today watching TV -we’ve got a football player – who’s name I won’t mention, he got such a tap on the wrist for what he got caught with. You and I, if we got caught for handling contraban like that we would have got probation. It would have gone on our record, we would have got community service and a massive fine. There’s just so many things. You try not to be political but it’s everywhere. same as with the boys that they are gonna hang… Get it over with! Stop rocking it for the press value. It’s quite sickening. Humanity has hit a really low spot. We’re not a very nice species humans. We’ve raped this fucken planet and all over money. That’s the bottom line – and I won’t even start going off in tangents – but if you look at the world’s problems it all comes down to a dollar, what’s in it for me?’

From their debut release Poison In the Soup to Carnival of Skin, and then Fairgrounds For Insanity, the Dreamkillers quickly forged a reputation as a hard playing band. Their mosh pits were the stuff of teenagers dreams and parents nightmares, and their live performances were definately not for the faint hearted.

At one of their shows at 4ZZZ’s Market Day, Les witnessed first hand the extent of police brutality upon members of the metal public, and it is a fight he still takes to the man with every performance.

“Market Day was a shithole,” he seethed.

“The coppers just….. everyone that had short hair, dreadlocks or whiskers or any chicks that had short skirts or boots they all got chucked in the panel van. You couldn’t even get the message back to people inside quick enough. There must have been half a dozen vans grabbing everyone and throwing them in. There’s no fucken need for that. We got to finish off the show but we were lucky. They waited around until the end of the show when there was about 20,000 people wanting to get out of there and they started picking them off like plums. It fucked the whole night up. One minute you think you’re going home for a couple of top up drinks and the next thing you know you are in the cop shop.”

Les has never been shy of an opinion and has covered many controversial issues in his lyrics from teenage prostitution (Sarah) to real life murder cases (The Monster), and Les says even age cannot slow him down when it comes to standing up for his morals.

“Yeah it’s gotten me into alot of trouble mate,” he offered, “but everyone forgets that I can take it back. I can cop it as well. I’ve had some horrendous things suggested and pointed out at me and I take it on board, but some people are very sensitive. They don’t like you speaking your opinion so you’ve got to bite your tongue in some circles. I’m slowly learning that,” he laughed.

The early first releases have always played a large part in the make up of a Dreamkillers live set, but Les says for their upcoming show in Cairns the band has decided to mix things up a little.

“We’ll be doing stuff from Character Building Hell Trip (a Roadrunner Records release) and The Dark Years. Past line ups have concentrated on the first three E.P’s and Scorched Earth Policy and we played those songs for nearly six years so I thought we’d do the other stuff. It’s exciting because you forget those songs somewhat. It’s been a long time since you wrote them and when you get to play them again it makes you feel fresh.”

The Dreamkillers are of course coming to Cairns for one show only, being one of the headlining bands at this weekend’s Rumer’s Rockfest, and Les says the band is only coming here for one reason.

“Because of that little girl,” he said.

“There it is again mate. You asked me about politics and here it is again. Look at our health system. If you haven’t got private health you’re on your own. Our bass player died just before Christmas. He needed a pacemaker…It’s a 45 minute operation. If you could go private you could get it done for $30,000. He was a proud person and didn’t tell us how bad it was … we could have raised the money for him. We could have taken him over to Asia where the operations are inexpensive. Something’s wrong mate. This little girl needs help. The health system in Australia is decrepid when rock and roll’s gotta reach out to help this little girl. Everyone around her, her family, has paid tax since they left school… why aren’t our loved ones looked after? Because we don’t have the big circles. We don’t have the dollars, but she’s got us mate. She’s got you and you’re organising all these great muso’s to come up. Look at the boys from The Poor and the Angels and the Jets getting together. That’s a supergroup right there. Ten cheers to those boys. That’s why we agreed to it. It’s in good hands. We know that any funds raised are gonna go to this little girl so we can all join together to help get Rumer back on her feet.”

Kris Peters.

Dreamkillers headline Rumer’s Rockfest along with Bon But Not Forgotten and ten local bands at the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron from 1 p.m this Saturday. Tickets are $70 general admission or $99 VIP and are available from reception at the club or on the door on the day. For more information check out the Rumer’s Rockfest facebook page or call 40355115

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