What Ever Happened To The Babe Rainbow?
Main man Angus tells Stab they’re back and “three times as deadly.”
After missing an initial interview window (Angus was still out surfing), a phone call was finally linked up the following day with The Babe Rainbow frontman. With almost a year of radio silence from Byron’s favourite 60’s sunshine aficionados, Stab wanted to firstly congratulate the young man on his recent tying of the knot, and secondly, find out whether the Babes were still a thing. Where had they been? Why, after gifting us with their first EP, had they vanished from our playlists and high rotations? After a sprightly exchange and a sneaky link to their highly anticipated album (sorry, not just yet), it turns out Angus, and the rest of the outfit, have been quietly busy. An album was produced, a lineup was shuffled, New Zealand was explored and the waves have been very enjoyable.
Angus! How are you? What’s happening? Hey baby! I’m out working on a farm out at Billinudgel. Just getting the farm cranking, growing all the stuff, selling it at the markets. We’ve been making this cool stuff like sauces, Thai lime trees, and Kaffir trees and this Thai chilli sort of thing, and people have been loving it. But yeah, really nice couple I’m working for, they’re such groovers. It’s beautiful out here. Man, we were just in Hervey bay on the weekend, it was super bizarre. Hervey bay is such a strange place. It’s like ex-veteran, weirdo ex-veteran, in like goofy hats and they’re not sure if they’re even there. Just sitting around. And we were just really bringing the vibe up.The gig was really good. The band’s just so deadly now with the new level. We’ve got this unbelievably deadly 19-year-old Parisian that’s moved into the studio in our backyard and he’s just like the beat-master.
Is that the drummer in that clip you did with Rasta? Yeah, he’s on beats and he’s also a bit of a synth genius. So he’s teaching me lots, so now I’m on keys, as well as front-manning and percussion. We’ve got a new guy on bass, Nicko from the Frowning Clouds, who is also a beautiful singer. It’s so nice now. Jack never really liked singing but Elliot always used to sing. So I’ve just been singing alone. No matter what style the voice is, if there’s two of them its twice as deadly and if there’s three it’s three times as deadly. Nick and little junior Parisian, they are such beautiful singers, so then I just come over the top and it wouldn’t even matter if I was out of key.
So what’s going on with the album we’ve been waiting for? Me and Eric (King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard) just put it in to press, but there’s been some complication with the new American label and the old label. So we’ve had to break out of that so Sony and Columbia could come in behind in Australia. But it’s been done and the record is in production so pre-sale should go up next week with the first two singles. And man, Pantone Colour Of The Year, you heard of that?
No? Pantone is a colour agency, they choose colour, and they predict colour fads in fashion. Last year they predicted 2017 Colour Of The Year to be this greenery, this beautiful olive-y forest green and I just told them that I had decided that all the vinyl was going to be this beautiful green with the big iconic spiral in the middle. Can’t wait to see it.
So I heard one of your songs on Reverberation Radio the other day, one I’d never heard before? Yeah that’s funny a friend of ours found that on a friend of our’s computer and then it went to the Allah Las dudes, they’re all just surfing buddies and then they just chucked in on there. It’s so funny cos we get asked a bit about that and I was like, ‘how the fuck did they get that?’ It’s actually like an old version, a demo version of one of the b-side songs from the first album. Most exciting thing of all though, is that the second album’s demos have all passed through and we’re going back into the big new studio in Byron next week. So that’s real exciting.
Next round? Oh yeah, there’ll definitely be two this year. That one and then the next one like straight up.
So with the new album, are you digging any new sounds? Definitely man. We’ll I guess that was sort of last year, so we were really girl power, electronic French-vibe coming in and merging with our salt of the earth acoustic 60’s scene. So that kind of blended in a cool way. Have you listened to it?
No, I’ve just got the baby pink Ep vinyl. Oh man I’ll have to send you a link to the new one, get a little secret listen. There’s a couple of upbeat earth-trance-disco type things, and the cool old folk ones and there’s some chaotic psychedelic numbers. Bit of Beach Boys doo-wop, bit of T-Rex…
So have you guys been getting waves up north? Yeah brother, we surfed at Noosa with that swell last week. Before we left, just off the corner at the Pass with Harry and the crazy 88 crew, just getting the craziest ones down in the corner there.
How good is the 88 scene! They’re so funny, they kill me, they absolutely kill me. Where I’m living now with Frenchy and Sarah is like right on the beach at South Golden and its like this cool as little beach town that looks so 60’s. There’s still no gutters on the roads and were like right on the beach. It’s 15 or 20 minutes into Byron depending on what day it is. But we’ve been getting these big banks, these beach breaks out the front most mornings at the moment on the high tide and it’s just so powerful and so good! Just trying out these old Hawaiian guns and stuff.
That sounds like a hard scene to leave. I just got back from NZ actually. I was there for like five weeks with Sarah just surfing everywhere, and right up the top of the North Island. We were over there hanging with the guy that shoots our films Kristovski, he was shooting me riding this board that Wayne Parkes made, with a dome housing he had on this super 8 camera.
Oh yeah? He’s done most of your videos right? Yeah man, we’re about to do the next one too. Its going to be so cool. You know the red double decker bus that’s in Byron? You might have seen it around. Like a big English bus. Anyway, we got that and we’re going to fill it with like 300 girls and paint people’s faces, all these girls, heaps of nudies, maybe a few babies. We’re just going to be cruising out through the hills shooting from a drone and through the bus. Then we’ll drive it down to this beach show we’re playing. So it should be pretty interesting. It’ll be like one big film clip. Bit of a Mystery Tour vibe – it always come back to that.
Well hopefully we’ll be able to cross paths real soon then, super thrilled to see this new lineup. Well maybe its a little less cute looking from the crowd, but man, the sound, it’s just 50,000 times more legit. It’s got so much more raw energy and stuff. Okay I gotta run, I’ll see you next weekend, we’ll get flared up.
Right now The Babe Rainbow are traversing their way down the east coast of Australia with Jagwar Ma and Jack River, part of the Summer Sessions free tour. Dates listed below, so if you’re craving a little twisting and shaking all you’ve gotta do is show up…
Fri 17 Feb Kingscliff Beach Hotel Kingscliff
Sat 18 Feb Secret Garden Byron Bay
Sun 19 Feb Hoey Moey Coffs Harbour
Sat 25th Feb The Bucket List, Bondi Beach
Sun 26th Feb Towradgi Hotel Wollongong
More details, here.