Melbourne alt-rocker punks, Okay Dane are ready to administer a healthy dose of fuzzed-out punk with their fiery new single, 'Headache'.
Alongside 'Headache', the newly extended four-piece are buttering us up for their five-track EP 'Alienation'.
These guys have had a jam-packed year as it is – honing their craft, introducing an additional member to their line-up, and switching up their band name to something a bit more palatable. “We are now a four-piece [band],” lead singer, Jake Kougioumtzis says.
“We've been going for a couple of years and have recently undergone a name change. I guess we found a better sense of identity. We're all about the fuzzy, alt-rock that harkens back to the early '90s.”
Formally known as Funk Dancing For Self Defence (a reference fans of 'The Simpsons' are sure to appreciate), the lads decided it was time to ditch the wordy moniker for something easier to wrap your head around.
“When we started, we needed to find a name; we kind of thought band names were a bit dumb, so we put a bunch of 'The Simpsons' references in a hat, and that was the one we picked.
“We were sort of throwing people by having the word 'funk' in our name, when that's not really what we're about.
“When it came to picking the new name, we wanted a shorter, catchier one. We had a huge list of over 100 names, and we kind of threw it around with our PR team and our producer. . . and they all ended up liking 'Okay Dane'. Essentially I was taking the dog breed Great Dane, and finding one that wasn't that great.”
Regardless of the Dane in question's calibre, the band never fail to deliver energetic music with the 'Alienation' EP no different. The inspiration for lead single 'Headache' stems from the desire to open their live shows with an aggressive, high-energy track, coupled with the boy's need to blow-off some steam after developing a spot of cabin fever during the recording process for 'Alienation'.
“When we were going on tour, we wanted a really fast punk song to open the set with. We started writing something that was really high energy. And the lyrics didn't come until closer to finishing recording.
“We'd already done all the music. We thought it was quite thrashy and sounded quite angry, and that this would be a good time to air out any frustrations we had with each other or anyone else in the world. It was mostly just a big f... you to anyone who had wasted our time. It's sort of multifaceted in that way.
“The last lyric we tracked for the EP was the gang vocals: 'You're such a f... face!'. It was all of us, the producer and all band members. After being cooped up all together for about two weeks, it was really good to get that out!”
When it came time to record the EP, Jake says they brought a swag of potential songs to the studio. “We took about twenty songs in [to Homesurgery Recording Studio], and four out of the five that were chosen for the EP were earlier ones that we had written hastily for the tour – they ended up being the best songs!
“Our secret weapon is our producer Jon Grace (Bakers Eddy, Dear Seattle, Kingswood). Every time we recorded with him, he became another member. He's an absolute mad man. He told us that out of all the bands he's had in [the studio], we were the worst when it came to the messed-up banter. We really pushed him to his limits, but he was able to keep up.”
In light of their slew of new material as well as a new band member, Okay Dane are planning to tackle the new year with plenty of gusto. “In 2020 we will be writing some new music,” enthuses Jake.
“Now, we have the luxury of having two guitars and more people to harmonise with. If next year is anything like this year, we'll going on another tour or two and probably do another single or two. We've had a really busy year, but we're going to up the ante in 2020.”
'Alienation' EP is available now. Okay Dane play Bar Open (Melbourne) 29 November – with Doonie Way, Signs and Symbols, and Tina Growls.