It’s always a laugh with Australian alt-folk-country duo AlfanAnt.
The duo of Ant McKenna and Alf - aka Aaron Favell - were once a regular sight across the Sunshine Coast (QLD), playing and bantering on stages and growing a fan base. “And the bizarre thing is as we’ve started to make a bit of a mark, Alf moves to Tasmania. I haven’t taken it personally,” Ant laughs.
Alf and Ant had known each other for a long time, being on bills together with Ant in the band Those Bloody McKennas and Alf in Nebo. Even as long-time friends and sharing a lot in common, the two forming a duo wasn’t their idea. “We got together through a friend of ours who’d book gigs on the Sunshine Coast when I was living there,” Alf says.
“He just said: ‘Look, I’m putting a line-up together and you and Ant have to play as a duo, so you’ve got to practice.’ It was a hell of a lot of fun and we kept it as an on going thing.”
After years of working hard, AlfanAnt has proved to be a very relaxed project for the pair. That relaxation comes across on their debut EP 'Lucky', which was recorded at the spur of the moment. “That was quite literally a birthday present to myself,” Alf says.
“I was going to get the boys up from the Coast and go surfing and stuff. I thought recording would be something different to remember my birthday, and it just became the best weekend ever. And because we weren’t doing it as a thing we had to put out and sell units, it was really relaxed.
“Then Ant and I thought this was actually sounding really good, so we thought we should do it properly. Within a weekend we did the four tracks with a whole bunch of our old band members and friends.”
With the pair not only living in two different states, but also two different islands working together should be a lot of work. But for AntanAlf it’s even more fun. “We just make it work,” Alf says. “If I’ve got an idea for a song I’ll shoot Ant an audio file and work on it from there.”
“And I’ll press delete,” jokes Ant.
“It’s got a lot to do with your attitude,” adds Alf. “As long as we look at it as an opportunity rather than a negative thing it’s enormous fun. So lesson to young bands; get one guy to move out of state.”
With the EP now available, AlfanAnt have decided to hit the road. With the duo split across two states, the band is actually able to cover more ground. It’s a rare opportunity to see the two performing together again, with their live shows always being filled with soulful tunes and delightful banter.
“The guy who actually put us on the bill together in the first place described us as two comedians masquerading as musicians,” Alf says. “Really it’s just the one really, really funny guy, and another guy who’s a bit stupid. We let the audience decide which is which.”
“We also do a vote for whose songs are better,” Ant jokes.
“One guy asked us who writes all the songs, and I said I write all the good songs and Ant writes all the songs that fill in time,” Alf laughs.
AlfanAnt Tour DatesThu 25 Jan - Ric’s Bar (Brisbane)
Fri 26 Jan - Solbar (Sunshine Coast)
Sat 27 Jan - Mr Henderson’s (Brisbane)
Sun 28 Jan - Burleigh Brewing Co. (Gold Coast)
Sun 4 Feb - The Wheatsheaf Hotel (Adelaide)
Sun 11 Feb - The Townie (Sydney)