Regurgitator’s Ben Ely On His Fave Music Venue and Making Invader

A noir synth backbeat meshed with a powered 80s metal and punk inspired sound come together on Regurgitator’s new album Invaderout this week.

The new album has been two years in the making, and proof that the trio’s love of electronica and rock influences still stand the test of time more than 30 years on.

Invader is a clever melding of musical influences, always packed with humour and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It swerves between the 80s romance of films like The Breakfast Club combined with the metal chaser urgency of Dio. But the album is so much more than these nostalgic moments-and that’s what makes it repeat worthy listening.

Regurgitator also recruit Pseudo Echo’s Brian Canham to appear in the first single Cocaine Runaway, Peaches joins them on the bendy electronic track  This Is Not A Pop Song and Australiyeah gets a glittery metal top coat in the catchiest anthem the country needs right now.

“As we get older, we want to make the best album we can,” begins Ben Ely from his home in Brisbane. “That means we are highly critical of ourselves and kept rewriting and working on songs until we felt it was right,” he says.

“We’ve been doing this for 30 years and feel eternally grateful that we are still around and people still come to our shows,” says Ely.

It’s also been 25 years since Regurgitator wrote their second studio album Unit in 1997 – cementing their penchant for 80s electro pop and saw them go on a national tour with The Prodigy at the time.

This time they enlist First Nations rapper JK [Jacob Paulsen] on the country drone of Dirty Old Men while That’s Not Normal heroes in on a sludgy guitar glam moment, winning us over one epic riff at a time.

The working chemistry between Ely and band mate Quan Yeomans remains strong.

“We have a mix of competitiveness and playfulness I still really enjoy,” says Ely.

“There is a childishness we have when we come together to make music and it takes me right back. The older I get, it’s nice to get lost in that,” he says.

“I also like my art to be humorous – whether it’s music, visual or theatre I am making. I like it when people take the piss out of the world too. If I do a painting and laugh at the picture because it looks silly, it brings a joy into my life which doesn’t come from any other place. That’s what I love about Regurgitator. I have played in so many other groups, but that combination with Quan is something I don’t have anywhere else and I value it,” says Ely.

MY CITY

Brisbane. It’s a great city. I love going to a great independent bar called The Bearded Lady in the West End. The venue is great for nurturing young bands and it’s where I go to the most. The one I like to play the most is The Princess Theatre in Brisbane – it’s like hanging out in Batman’s lounge room. A beautiful theatre.

Taken from Regurgitator’s Official Facebook page.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Café O-Mai in Adderley.  Delicious Vietnamese food and I’ll drop by for lunches here.

FAVE GIG

A stand out for us was touring Europe and America in the 90s. It was a hard slog, but when we realised Asia was more our market, we fell in love with Japan and focused on going there more. We would go to Japan twice a year.  In 2002, we played Fuji Rock Festival – that entire weekend was magical from Friday to Monday morning.

YOUR MUSIC INFLUENCES

I was a teenager in the 1980s and loved heavy metal. Black Sabbath are still my favourite band. I also love Ronnie James Dio and Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and punk too. With Regurgitator, we have a degree of energy and vibe about our live shows and like to create an intense hysteria when we’re on stage and I channel these eras. You’ll hear my influences on this album – there’s an 80s punk and metal vibe to many of the tracks.

NEXT DESTINATION

Holy Diver bar in Melbourne. Gonna check it out.

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