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Interview: Jeremy Neale 'Velociraptor'

When a band names themselves after a dinosaur there can be doubts about them rising up to the coolness of our Jurassic friends. This is not the case with Velociraptor. The 10-15 person superband, who describe themselves as the drunk Avengers, are back to protecting the streets of Brisbane with the release of their first full length album. AAA Backstage caught up with front man (so, drunk Ironman?) Jeremy Neale to discuss girls, new tunes and puking onstage.

AAA: Ok so this question cannot go on unanswered any longer, who is Ramona?

Jeremy: Oh wow, can’t reveal identities but it was the source of unease. You know what, it was a relationship that had a tough time transitioning to friendship but now there is a great friendship. All the inspiration for that [Ramona] was in that tough transition period.

AAA: So, she’s not some heavy handed metaphor for life’s curveballs?

Jeremy: No she’s real, it’s something real that people can grasp onto and then somebody else gets them feels.

AAA: Is this type of relatability a theme throughout the new album?

Jeremy: I think so; I think there is actual lyrical focus on this album. It’s like, I guess a lot of the album has kind of a mellow feel through it and I guess it’s because the lyrics are kind of holding it there. Even though I tried to write a kind of upbeat party album it just wasn’t happening. I had to get through all of these songs to get them out and I feel I could write way more upbeat stuff now and I feel in that zone it’s like that was what had to happen.

AAA: Do you think musically it’s much different from your previous releases?

Jeremy: I don’t think it’s worlds away, I just think it’s kind of got a little bit more of an 80’s tinge than what we were doing before and maybe a lot more focused it a way.

AAA: Because this is your first full album, do you think the way that the band collaborates has changed?

Jeremy: Kind of, I think it’s really important for us to craft something that, as an album, peaks and dips and was going to stand on its own two feet as an album because there was so much direction from everybody building towards something that wasn’t just rehashing. I think letting everybody do what they wanted to do with the record made it the most interesting thing it could possibly be

AAA: With a band of ten plus at any one time was it ever hard to stay focused while recording?

Jeremy: I think it works pretty well, how we run the studio is that we get everybody in for their day or their half day and they do everything they want to do to the songs. Everybody’s pretty tuned to what’s gold and what’s going to work and having an active producer in the room is good too because they can kind of offer their objective perspective outside of the band. There’s no kind of ego play going on it’s just everybody working on trying to make it good.

AAA: You’re telling me there was no diva style walk outs during recording?

Jeremy: No, no! It was more like pass outs if anyone had been drinking the night before!

AAA: Pass outs not walk outs, official Velociraptor band slogan?

Jeremy: Yep! Sorted.

AAA: The Raptors live shows have got quite the reputation for being outrageous; can we expect the same wacky antics on this album tour?

Jeremy: Yeah, of course the wackiness will be in full force, we tour very infrequently now so all the wackiness is condensed.

AAA: It’s pent up and ready to be released?

Jeremy: It’s ready to go! I mean testament to that was like the Ramona tour was just so out of control and it was great to get it out of our system but we were just lucky that someone didn’t die. So now I feel we can have a sensible but wacky tour, it’s going to be all good things.

AAA: Do you have a particular favourite memory from the last tour?

Jeremy: The moment that stands out in most recent memory is the Adelaide show of the Ramona tour because we thought we were set to go on at like 11pm or 11:30pm and then ended up pushing us back to 12:30am. We’d reached our peak moment just before we thought we were going to go on and then it kind of just went downhill very quickly and by the time we went onstage we could only play 70% of our set because I threw up twice onstage and everything else was just shambolic. I think we cut out three or four songs just skipped to Ramona and got out of there!

AAA: What’s your favourite song off the album to play live?

Jeremy: It’s still Ramona, there’s something we couldn’t even capture in recorded form to how powerful that feels live. It’s a lot of gang vocals and a lot of intensity. Its definitely my live favourite from the album.

AAA: So, what Brisbane bands are Velociraptor listening to at the moment?

Jeremy: Good question, Well Woodboot just put out a great album we’re putting them on at the Brisbane show. White Lodge is really good and Babaganouj, that new Bluff single is a winner. Oh and Tempura Nights! That’s a great band.

AAA: The juggernaut Velociraptor is riding right now doesn’t seem to be slowing and with so many of you it’s only a matter of time before you take over Brisbane, what would the band’s first act be if they were put in charge of the city for a day?

Jeremy: If we only got one day, just immediately bronze statues of ourselves and put them around Brisbane and some kind of fencing to stop them being vandalized.

AAA: Maybe hire security guards on thirty year contracts to protect them, you could get away with a lot of permanent stuff.

Jeremy: Yeah! They’d be like it’s only a day, how much trouble could they get in? You fools! We renamed popular landmarks!

AAA: Brilliant plan! Well thanks so much for talking to us today, Jeremy!

Jeremy: No problem! Thanks heaps.

You can get tickets to Velociraptors album tour over here and pre-order the album over here 

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