Velociraptor have come to break your stuff. All 12 of them.
â€œI just write stuff that's really basic,â€ explains frontman and principal songwriter Jeremy Neal, â€œstuff that everyone can play three chords to, dance to, yell to, break stuff to.â€
The Brisbane garage rockers' style might be primitive, but that doesn't make it any less potent. Neale cites The Hollies, The Monkees and other three chord wonders as inspirations, but 'inspiration' might not be the right word - it's more like Neale and his buddies directly channel the spirits of those '60s greats, infusing the perfect pop songs with an energy The Hives would be jealous of. And yeah, there are 12 of them. Sometimes.
â€œIt started,â€ Neale explains, â€œwith me, Shane (Parsons) and Si (Ridley), the two guys from DZ â€¦ but it just kept growing. I can't say no to friends! Actually, it was because the DZ guys kept going out of town, so I got some of the guys who play in my other bands to fill in.
â€œI had a home team and an away team. Then we all kind of got together and it sounded cool, it sounded huge, so we left everybody in. Then I met some more people I liked. It's cool; it just gives us another interesting way to play really simple pop songs. It's entertaining, at least.â€
Today, the line-up consists of anyone who answers Neale's emergency signal on a given day, most of whom are drawn from Neale's other bands - a â€œreally inbred sceneâ€ that includes Running Guns, Mt Augustus, Merman, Flying Colours, Strange Attractors, Tiger Beams, Droids, a solo folk project, and a few others he can't remember.
But no matter who else is up there with him, Neale is the centre of attention. In real life he might be more like Michael Cera, but on stage he's straight-up Mick Jagger.
â€œAh, I'm brand new to the frontman thing,â€ he laughs. â€œUsually the plan is just to get drunk, but at Valley Fiesta I was completely sober. I just kind of struggle through it, smile and sing good.â€
All in all, it's a fitting tribute to Neale's favourite childhood dinosaur.
â€œI don't know, what's mightier than a velociraptor?â€ he asks no one in particular. â€œT-Rex, T-Rex is the answer, but T-Rex isn't as nimble. Anyway, it's a mighty beastâ€¦ and it's cool because, you know, 'velociraptor' has 12 letters, and there are 12 members. Boom!â€
Scene is fostering Velociraptor throughout November to assist them in gaining a berth at next yearâ€™s Sunset Sounds festival, as part of the Foster Band campaign. Voting begins Nov 1. sunsetsounds.com.au