Blast From the Past: The UV Race
This originally ran in MRR 329, Oct 2010, which is now sold out.
The UV Race is a punk band from Melbourne, Australia. This September they are going to the United States of America to play some shows, including Goner Fest in Memphis, Tennessee with a shitload of other bands like fellow Melbournians Super Wild Horses and Total Control. If you like going to punk shows, dancing, partying, and having fun, I guarantee you will dig UV Race. If you like going to punk shows and standing around the merch table and then spending all night taking photos of the band on your iPhone, I guarantee you are a fucking loser.
I spoke to DX, Snake and Alex Microwave next to a swamp in a park where the mighty Pisschrist were playing their last ever show. It was freezing cold and I hadn’t prepared any questions. The band ganged up and nearly threw me in the swamp, but you couldn’t really blame them.
Interview by Tim Scott
MRR: Alex, you are an interview virgin so I will start with you. Is the UV Race the best band you have ever played in?
MRR: What is the second best band?
Alex: The Penetrating Stares (the only other one).
MRR: And why is UV better than Penetrating Stare?
Alex: Because that Johnny from Extortion is not in it.
MRR: Do people in the US know Extortion?
Snake: Yeah they’re popular there.
MRR: More popular than UV Race?
Snake: You’d hope so. They hope so.
Alex: We don’t wanna hope so.
MRR: What do you think the US think of UV?
DX: I think that’s the kind of question that if we answered we would sound like fuckwits. Anyone that speculates on their level of attention sounds like an idiot.
MRR: OK then what do UV expect from the US?
DX: I think we are going to have a fucking good time. I know everyone says that in magazines and it does sound retarded, but it’s true. I expect to have good times.
Alex: We are actually hoping for a really terrible time and then we may be surprised.
MRR: DX and Snake, you have been to the States before with Straightjacket Nation. Does that make it easier this time?
DX: Fuck yeah. I was shitting myself last time. Getting into America, it’s scary.
Snake: Yeah, I was scared going through customs last time.
MRR: Especially with that bag of heroin strapped to your leg.
Snake: Yeah that too (laughs), but I was thinking they were going to hassle me because I’m in a band. I was the last in the line. But, they just gave me a stamp and let me through, they were like “whatever.”
DX: But every time I have been to the States they’ve looked at me like I’m basically going there to rape and pillage. They look at you like you are a fucking scumbag.
Alex: I’ve only been in the band for six months. I’ve never been to the States before. I’m looking forward to going to Graceland and Disneyland. Lands.
DX: We’re not going to Disneyland.
Alex: We’re not? Is it too late to cancel my ticket?
MRR: I expect touring the States is different from Australia.
Alex: I expect it’s going to be different to Adelaide.
DX: American cities are a lot closer together than in Australia so you don’t have to drive as far and there’s just fuckloads of more people.
MRR: My questions are pretty shit. They are not so much questions as they are ramblings.
DX: You are giving us statements to respond to.
Alex: We know you too well. That’s how you talk in real life.
MRR: I wish Marcus [UV Race vocalist] was here. How do you think he is going to go in the States?
Alex: He likes to party. If someone is going to be making out in the mosh pit it’s going to be Marcus.
Snake: We are all going to take it in turns to mind him. I think we are going to take it in shifts. Nightshifts, too. He gets the night terrors. Mostly waking up mid-sleep, crying for “comfort.” A comfort we assume is unattainable.
Snake: Hey why don’t you ask Alex if she thought she would be touring the United States twelve months ago.
MRR: Hey Alex, twelve months ago did it ever occur to you that you would one day be touring the United States of America with the band UV Race?
Alex: No, twelve months ago I started a university degree because my Mum wanted me to. When Al first asked me to join the band I agreed but told him that I couldn’t go to America because I would be doing my degree. A few weeks after joining the band I realized that was an incredibly bad idea. So I told my Mum to lend me the money to go on tour, or I would drop out of university and earn my own money instead.
MRR: Wow the ultimate punk rock ultimatum!
Alex: No it was just blackmail.
MRR: What does she think now?
Alex: She thinks it’s a good idea if your life ambition is to be a musician.
MRR: And is it? What is your ambition?
Alex: That’s a very existential question.
DX: It’s probably the best question he’s asked! (laughter)
MRR: Besides playing shows, what else do you want to do in the States?
Snake: Marcus wants to go to a gospel church. Like an evangelical church with all the singing and dancing.
MRR: I can imagine Marcus speaking in tongues.
Alex: Imagine getting a Marcus tongue transplant! Y’know how you hear about people who get heart transplants that start to empathize the same way as their donor? If you got his tongue, you would start speaking and singing like Marcus.
DX: If you were to get a tongue transplant it may as well be Marcus’. He has a big tongue.
Snake: He has a huge tongue. It’s extraordinarily long.
MRR: OK, let’s change the subject from tongues. What releases you got coming up?
DX: We have a seven inch coming out on Fashionable Idiots for the tour and we’ve got a new LP.
MRR: You are all bagging me for my lack of questions, then the ones I do pull out of my arse you all laugh at!
DX: It’s a delightful insight into how not to do an interview. (laughter)
MRR: Normally I’m a little more prepared. I at least have a piece of paper with some semi-coherent questions scribbled on it.
Alex: You are like George Costanza with this shit.
MRR: Yeah, this is Penski file of punk rock interviews. But you guys are my friends and it’s difficult asking questions that you already know the answers to.
Snake: Is there anything you don’t want to know about us?
Alex: Let’s just change it to truth or dare. If you lose, you get thrown in the swamp.
MRR: Alex, is it true that you are called Microwave because you once placed a baby inside of one?
Alex: No, although I once did tell my brother that when he was very small, our grandfather was a television repairman, that he had a fabled twin brother who got trapped inside a television set which burned down inside a house. He believed it. He believed it for quite a while.
MRR: How old is your brother?
Alex: He is two years younger than me. He is now in Afghanistan. If he gets MRR over there…hey, if HE IS A PUNK SOLDIER!!?? Michael, give peace a chance!
MRR: So are you excited about the tour?
Alex: I’ve got a buttload of work to do before I go to America. I work at the Collingwood Children’s Farm where we have goats that make noises like men lost in the mountains.
MRR: Maybe we should finish it here, I still don’t have any questions.
Alex: Sorry I wasn’t very good, it was my first time (laughs)
MRR: I feel bad for destroying Alex’s first interview experience. It was like I popped her interview cherry in a bad way. How about I transcribe this, then send to you to add more comments?
DX: So we can add more insults? We will actually just redo the whole interview. (laughter)
Snake: Can I ask you a question, Tim? You lost your virginity when you were an exchange student in America. What can we expect from US lovemaking?
MRR: Not sure about the lovemaking but if you pass through Kansas you may find a fifteen year old kid asking if you know their Australian father who they have never met. (laughter)
Alex: They will be like a Manson child only worse. (laughter)
DX: I think when we get there some kid is going to blow up a car full of babies and rape all these nuns and they will be asked, “Why the hell did you do it?” and it’s going to be “Tim Scott is my father. He told me to do it.” (more laughter)
Alex: Like it’s a genetic predisposition to bad behavior.
MRR: You all think of me in the wrong light. I’m a nice guy.
Alex: You are. I wouldn’t walk to a secluded swamp in a park in the dark with just anyone.
(Power during the Teargas show goes out).
DX: Hey, look, the power blew out and now they are booing.
Alex: It’s punks for power!
MRR: The punks want their money back.
DX: Responsible punks are about to get lynched by irresponsible punks. Punks are getting pissed off that they can’t headbutt their friends to another Teargas song.
MRR: We are sitting in a park in Footscray. For people who don’t know, how would you describe Footscray?
Alex: Cultural mecca. Cheap Vietnamese salad rolls. Coriander. Salt and pepper mayonnaise.
MRR: Where do you get those? By the station?
Snake: Anywhere. Any bakery. $2.50. Also Em and Dave from Straightjacket Nation live here. And UV Race used to jam here.
MRR: What do you do in the tour van for entertainment?
Alex: The boys talk about the boners they have and Georgia and I just get flabbergasted.
MRR: By the amount of boners or just that they are talking about them?
Alex: Both. We also worry about Marcus turning around and looking at the back seat when he is supposed to be looking at the road.
Snake: Yeah, when Marcus is driving the hardest task of others in the van is to make sure he focuses on the road.
Alex: You can play I Spy but only if it is something that is directly in front of the car. (laughter)
MRR: What are your plans after the US tour?
Alex: Marcus is going to go skiing.
MRR: Is Marcus a good skier? I know he worked one season in the snow and wrote a song about it.
Alex: Yeah the “Baw Baw Blues.”
Snake: Skiing is actually a sexual position where a person in the middle wanks two men on either side. Marcus has always been into skiing, the normal alpine variety, but when he and I were fifteen we were hanging at the Warragul Bus Station and overheard a girl who had been “skiing” and we were perplexed by the idea.
DX: We just did a new record. It’s called Homo. The name was Al’s idea.
Snake: It came to me in a dream. I actually woke up and thought “Oh homo.” I won’t write it down, but if in the morning I remember it, then that is what the next record is going to be called. I never normally remember my dreams except two weeks ago I did have a dream about having a threesome with three Americans. One being Lady GaGa, the others Beyonce and Jay Z.
DX: That’s a foursome.
Snake: Oh yeah. It was still a strange dream.
MRR: Do you dream in black and white or color?
Snake: Well Jay Z was black.
MRR: Ahh! America, UV coming to get you! So when you took the name Homo to the band, what was the general consensus?
Snake: It was positive from everyone. Marcus needed some more time to think about it.
MRR: Who is most PC member of the band? Do they get on a high horse?
Snake: With this band, there is no high horse. There is a low horse.
Alex: We got a fucking Shetland pony that is kneeling down at all times (laughter).
MRR: When is Homo coming out?
DX: Exactly. When is he coming out? I’m waiting.
Snake: It should be out in November in Australia. We are going to put it out on tape, too. There will also be a limited edition record at Goner.
MRR: What day are you playing Goner?
MRR: Are you staying for the whole festival?
DX: We will be there for two days. The two most important days.
MRR: The day you are playing?
MRR: What is the attraction to America?
DX: I think the fact that when I was growing up all my favorite TV shows were American. All my favorite movies were American.
MRR: Like what?
DX:Sesame Street for one.
MRR: Do you think Fraggle Rock was a poor imitation?
DX: Fraggle Rock wasn’t set in a street with Latino shop owners arguing with dogs.
MRR: How was your involvement in the recent Muppet Show?
Snake: It was a tribute to Jim Henson where local bands played Muppet Show songs. We did “Ma Na Ma Na.”
Alex: But people said we were the worst of the night. Everyone else was pulling Kamahl’s caramel penis.
DX: Caramel penis. What the fuck! You have to leave that in.
MRR: For those who don’t know who is Kamahl?
Snake: A singer/songwriter. A crooner from the 60s.
DX: Like the Tom Jones of Australia.
Snake: Or Sri Lanka. His catch cry is “People Are So Unkind” or “Why Are People So Unkind?”
DX: That sounds suspiciously like “War. What is It Good For?” (laughter)
MRR: Did you get to meet him?
DX: Yeah, I shook his hand.
Alex: I thought it was someone impersonating Kamahl. (laughs)
DX: Yeah, she didn’t think he was a black guy either. She goes, “That’s pretty fucked actually.”
Alex: He has a strange hue to him.
Snake: We were accused of turning what should have been the best song of the night into the worst and ruining the whole show.
Alex: But, Mikey Young from Eddy Current said he thought it sounded like Beefheart.
Snake: That guy who gave us a bad review. I read some of his other reviews and one of them started with “This is the twelfth time I’ve seen Pearl Jam and probably the fourth best time I’ve seen them.” (laughter) So that gives you some idea about the guy.
DX: We actually get a lot of good reviews. They are not all bad. Some people see us and think, “Oh this is the most disgusting fucking awful thing I’ve seen in my life.” There’s a few of them on the internet. But some people actually like us.
Alex: How old were you when you lost your virginity?
Alex: How old were you?
Alex: And you?
DX: Fifteen, no sixteen.
Snake: How about you?
MRR: Do you think kids are having sex at a younger age nowadays?
DX: I don’t want to talk about kids having sex. (laughter) Let’s speculate on other matters that won’t get us detained at the border.
MRR: But the sexualization of youth nowadays is interesting.
DX: Oh come on man, Nabakov, it’s been around for a long time.
Alex: Josef Fritzl.
DX: Fritzl Youth is probably our favorite Melbourne band at the moment.
MRR: Who’s in that?
Alex: His daughters.
DX: That prick over there in the pink hair.
Alex: I spoke to that guy the other night. He seems pretty loose.
Snake: He went to school with Moses [UV bassist].
Alex: Oh private school. His parents must be a little upset (laughs)
DX: Most of these people here today are from private schools.
Alex: I went to a school that had a crayfish logo on our shirt.
MRR: Where was that?
Alex: Jurien Bay, Western Australia. A population of about 1000 people where everyone was white and nobody was gay or disabled.
MRR: Sounds like paradise.
Alex: Lots of people got pregnant. My dad was the only doctor for about five towns; so I used to step out the door and trip over all these boxes of crayfish.
MRR: Was that payment for medical treatment?
Alex: No, I think it was just dudes who had been fishing and were trying to suck up to my dad. There wasn’t much to do in Jurien Bay but get pregnant, smoke heaps of weed, or do lots of extracurricular activities. I was in the Brownies.
Snake: I love how they call it the Brownies.
DX: And in the Scouts all you are trying to do is finger a Brownie.
Snake: Or not get fingered by a Scout Master. (laughter)