Australian punk troublemakers Cosmic Psychos are set to raise some hell when they hit the stage at Thrashville in the New Year alongside fellow headliners and punk heroes, The Hard-Ons.
Vocalist, John ‘Mad Macka’ McKeering says the festival show comes at point when Cosmic Psychos are preparing to write and record their next record, the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Cum The Raw Prawn’. “Thrashville should be good,” he says.
“I hear it's really good when it's happened before and we're looking forward to it.
“There's a bit going on; we're getting ready to do another record, so that's good and we've got a few ideas coming together for that. In due course we'll put that together and then we'll go from there.
“We're going to get together in January to have a practice and get some more of the songs down, and hopefully we'll do a couple more off that record then. We’ll release a new album maybe next year or longer, we just have to see with everything going on.”
Cosmic Psychos have been rampaging across the Australian punk scene in various forms for over 30 years. Still featuring original frontman Ross Knight, John took over lead guitar and backing vocals in 2006 following Robbie ‘Rocket’ Watts death.
In the intervening decade, John has made his own, primal mark as part of Cosmic Psychos and taken them in a new, sonic direction with his raw oi-punk vocals and brash lyricism.
He reflects kindly on the time he spent with Robbie and whether he feels he has to live up to his legacy. “In some ways I do, because I learned a lot of tricks to playing guitar from him, but that doesn't mean I can play like him and I don’t think I do,” he says.
“I remember times when we'd speak about different things to do with playing and I learned from him, because when I played with The Onyas we played a lot of shows backing them up in Europe a few times and I saw a lot of Cosmic Psychos shows.
“So I learned a lot from that. Whether I’m filling anyone's boots or anything like that, I don’t know; I don’t know whether it's better, worse or in-between. I tend to think it's just something different, but it's not that different,” he laughs.
Whatever John brings to the band, it clearly works as Cosmic Psychos retain legendary cult status in the punk scene and gain new fans with each show they play. Neither John nor the rest of the band are shy about their love for beer and the influence it has on their music.
When they hit the stage at Thrashville in January, crowds can expect a well-primed band ready for a good-old-fashioned, punk-rock throwdown. “That's what we do whenever we get together; we have a few beers and just play, that's it,” John says.
“It's not really that much different when we play live; we get together, we have a few beers and play. To an extent even when we play live, on certain songs we're jamming.”Cosmic Psychos headline Thrashville at Belford (Hunter Valley) 21 January.