Drastic Thinking or Wishful Park? Ship them however you like to ‘cause regardless these Aussie pop-punk bands are teaming up for an AVVC collab and a national tour! I had a chat with Carl from Wishful Thinking AND John from Drastic Park about the double release of their new singles ‘You Can’ and ‘Meltdown’ (both dropped yesterday). Plus I found out about their plans for upcoming tour shenanigans #AllBandsWillBeHeckledTheSameAmount #fuckdrasticpark #fuckwishfulthinking
Interview took place on Monday 24 May 2021 via Zoom
I want to know, who slid into who’s DMS first to organize this tour and vinyl release?
Carl (Wishful Thinking): I believe it was our bass player (Alistair Elkins)
John (Drastic Park): Yeah he slides into people’s DM’s all the time [laughs]
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Al genuinely loves Australian punk rock. So, you know like, he doesn't just schmooze, he generally makes contacts with bands that he thinks are awesome. He had mentioned to me, probably three or four times before I actually did myself a favor, and listened to their music, but kept on telling “me you got to check out this band Drastic Park, you gotta check them out, they're really good”. So I think it happened that way. How was it from your side?
John (Drastic Park): I mean if we go back as far as before COVID, we had just supported Antiskeptic and For Amusement Only at the Corner Hotel, and after the gig, Sean (Antiskeptic bassist) came up to us and said, “You guys have to book a tour with Wishful Thinking you have to get in touch”, and before we even had a chance to breathe. Alistair had already messaged us, telling us he digs the stuff and yeah we say the same back anyway. Obviously, COVID hit, and obviously nothing could happen.
Then we played a couple of headline shows, we did The Wolfstone Park Tour 2021 (with Clay J Gladstone and Wolf & Chain) and then met Jayden (from Yeah That Agency) through that, and then he took us on, and then probably the first thing he said in our little first meeting was “I love Wishful Thinking I want to make a Wishful Thinking Tour, and obviously what came to mind was having you guys as main support. I'm like, “Yeah, lock it in!” I didn’t even think about the dates.
Carl (Wishful Thinking): So yeah, it’s been a match made in heaven really.
And this will be Wishful Thinking’s first headline tour in over 15 years. Carl how do you feel about having Drastic Park as main support? Did you know that their fans chant “Fuck Drastic Park” at their gigs? [laughs]
Carl (Wishful Thinking): [laughs] I learnt this about three days ago when John and I were doing another zoom interview, and he was just like “if you hear people swearing at us, it's okay, it's all done in love”.
So, I have heard that, but it's really funny to think that with punk bands and punk crowds, it’s just something that they do. You know we have had a dedicated group of hecklers who have followed us around the country. In fact, I did an interview for a radio station in Adelaide today, and I asked the guy who called me, I said, like do I know you have we met before. And he said, “not really…” he goes “I was one of a group of people that used to come to your shows and heckle you” [laughs]. So when it comes to
having Drastic Park on the tour with us it just kind of feels right in that regard. I'll probably actually be jealous if people don't come out screaming “Fuck Wishful Thinking” [laughs].
John (Drastic Park): I think it's gonna be our job in the last bridge of the last song or something to make sure that everyone's chanting that [laughs]
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Thanks, man! I appreciate that.
Yeah everyone's gotta be included. Everyone has to be heckled the exact same amount!
Both bands are currently promoting new singles at the moment, Wishful Thinking’s releasing You Can, and Drastic Park are releasing Meltdown, both are set to drop on June 3. Can you guys talk about your band's new singles? Carl, we will start with you.
Carl (Wishful Thinking): I was gonna say it's a really cool song, but that makes me sound wanky [laughs] like I love it, I like I really like it and I’ve really liked it from the moment my brother, who's our other guitarist, he played it to me, and the song's got sort of three parts to it, and you know it's got that standard punk rock beat, it's got a fast punk rock beat, it's got a six-eight kind of beat as well.
My brother played it to me and he'd written most of it and I just thought it sounded like so many bands that I used to listen to, and love, and it also sounded really kind of new and fresh with what he done with it and he was like “can you write some lyrics to this, put some new words over it”. What I wrote sent through to the band, everyone was really excited, and even our drummer was on to me like he was messaging me going, “Man, this sounds great, this song sounds awesome”.
Alistair and I have been writing a lot, and the song is just about this whole sort of anxiety thing that everyone is swept up in, it just kind of seems like it's everywhere, and when I was a kid I remember feeling really alone, suffering anxiety. Now it's kind of like, now we know that it's everybody, so
it's just about that generalized anxiety, that you feel trying to live up to the expectations of other people, whoever that might be, it also kind of touches on like how we kind of do it to ourselves too.
The chorus of the song is ‘try as I may, I just can't do the things that you can’. Yeah,
it's a cool song I think. There I said it. It's cool [laughs].
Very good, it sounds very relatable.
And John, what's Meltdown about?
John (Drastic Park): Yeah it’s also a very relatable one. I write lyrics very cryptically so you can read into it however you want, but from on my end, it's about losing your cool with work, and it's kind of like, you know, I've had two times now when I’ve been hired, and I had all of this like warmth I guess like ‘oh it's so welcoming from my boss’ and things like that, and it's all been great, but then because you're there with each other for so long, it ends up just fizzling out to just business and then there's micro-managing and things like that, it just kind of starts getting to the point where the relationship just crumbles. People can read into those lyrics as relationships or friendships or, you know, like living in a rough home or going through a rough spot with someone else.
It's basically all about hitting your boiling point. And for me personally, my whole life I haven't been a very aggressive person ever. But it's like working, especially in the last job I had, towards the end of that,
it just got to the point of feeling that full aggression, not like violently but like I just wanted to punch my computer. So, it's kind of like how a toxic work environment can slowly turn you toxic in a way.
There is a whole lot of symbolism around that, that’s just spread out throughout the song, you know with words like ‘ready to erupt’ and ‘ready to ignite’, it's all these things that relate to literally melting down. We've got some samples of the witch from Wizard of Oz in there [laughs] Super randomly. So, that was fun!
In terms of production, we actually wrote this song before that Antiskeptic, gig before COVID hit, and we were saving it. And we were thinking that we were going to record it for the last EP, but then we thought “hmm nah”, because that last EP was just a bunch of songs that we didn't think we're going to release because we didn't really like them [laughs]. And then we just did it anyway cause someone told us to and everyone loves them but we just can't wait to get rid of them. We ended up just recording Meltdown ourselves, just at home, but then this time we sent it off for mixing, rather than ourselves, and we sent it to Nick Sjogren from Thornhill and he smashed it, and he also did our first EP for us.
I want to talk about vinyl collaboration with Anti Vinyl Vinyl Club (AVVC). How are your singles and the vinyl going to work and come together?
Carl (Wishful Thinking): So it’s just a song each.
John (Drastic Park): on a seven inch, we’re not going to go crazy with that one. Especially since it's intended to be sold on tour, which is a first time for AVVC, cause normally they just do a presale, and so it's been kind of a rush to the finish line. But yeah,
the plan is first in best dressed, so whoever gets a ticket and actually gets to have the first shot of getting the vinyl on tour.
Normally, these things are snapped up in about four minutes. Like, I think that sometimes AVVC makes about 150 to 200 vinyls, and for us on our first one ever it took like four minutes and then when we did our double-sided EP that was about four hours, because it was more expensive. So yeah, that's why we're just doing singles for this one, but it makes sense because we are both dropping new songs at the same time.
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Plus it’s a sick fun thing to do! Like who doesn’t want to have a vinyl?
John (Drastic Park): Mad shoutout to AVVC! It’s not even a profit thing for them, it’s totally a support thing, and it means they also get the free vinyl [laughs], the free test press they love that kind of stuff.
So, really they’ve put it together for themselves? [laughs]
John (Drastic Park): yeah [laughs]. It was a very last minute thing actually. Obviously the tour is already locked in, and last minute I was like ‘it would be sick to do a split’, and then have it as a tour split. So I pitched that idea to them and they loved it.
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Yeah it's rad for us to like I've never released anything on vinyl. This is my first ever vinyl release. So, it pretty cool!
Okay, let’s talk tour! So the ‘One More Time Tour 2021’ Wishful Thinking are headlining with Drastic Park as main support, and you guys are heading up Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. What should fans expect on tour?
Carl (Wishful Thinking): We are going to play some of our new songs, because since lockdown began, we released the ‘One More Time’ EP. Considering that we weren’t together for a really long time, our first single back received probably more airPlay than any other song we've ever released in our career and it just went gangbusters, so we are really super excited to be actually playing new songs.
We were gearing up and getting ready to do that, in March of last year, and then that just didn't happen. So I'm really excited touring, even if it's only like three or four new songs in the set, it'll just be super refreshing to actually get up and play new material. With that being said, there are certain classics, which we have to play otherwise the fans will revolt, and you've talked before about screaming things, there is a group of people who will come to our gigs and just scream for the song that they know we will play last, like they know it's going to be last and they will scream for it in between each and every song break, which I guarantee you is more annoying than fuck Drastic Park [laughs]. So yeah, you can expect to hear all the classics that you've come to know and love.
There's something about that song that just kind of got stuck in people's head, you know, and if it's the first time you hear a band, then that's really special to you, and you could write 100 better songs but they're not going to have that same feeling.
I think that was the one thing that really stuck with me when we got back together a couple of years ago, I thought no one would remember who we were, and people were coming up to me, talking about how much my music has meant to them, and we were meeting other bands who were like, “I used to go to your shows and you're one of my favorite bands”, so you know when it comes to our live shows I hope, and I know that there's going to be people in the audience having that sort of emotion and that sort of reaction.
John did you have anything to add from Drastic’s side of what to expect on tour?
John (Drastic Park): Probably just expect to hear Meltdown live.
We are doing a tour now (Catholic Guilt- Live in Three Part Harmony Tour), and it's probably gonna release before those shows finish, but we are actually saving Meltdown to play specifically for the Wishful Thinking tour.
So, it's like if you go to those (Catholic Guilt) shows, you're not gonna hear it, so come to the Wishful Thinking shows then you're going to hear Meltdown live.
That’s the main difference, but you know you never know with us, like, sometimes we'll show up and just think this would be funny [laughs]. I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises in terms of who the hell we get to sing Cassie’s parts (Work of Art feat. Cassie Sutton of Terra) in other states. Like, last night (Catholic Guilt in Belgrave gig), last minute our feature vocalist had to pull out, so
we just got Chris' brother to get up on stage and scream, and it was a mess, but a beautiful mess [laughs].
Carl (Wishful Thinking): I would love to get up and do the vocals John, but they are well above my range [laughs].
Last question, I want to know what is your favourite track from eachother’s bands?
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Ah I knew you were going to ask me that!
I just wanted to make sure you guys had listened to eachother’s music before going on tour together [laughs]
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Okay so here’s the conversation, all I’ve heard is Work of Art and the other single which it’s name I don’t know [laughs] because that’s Al’s favourite, and Meltdown. But I like Work of Art because that chorus really gets stuck in my head. But our bass player messaged me today like “have you listened to the rest of their stuff?”, and I had only listened to those three songs, and he’s like “Should you…?” [laughs]. I’ve made a playlist 4-5 days ago with their EP’s on it, I’ve got them ready to go!
John (Drastic Park): I know, your newer songs much better. Like I've listened to all your older stuff, but not as much as the new stuff.
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Dude we have like, 57 older songs, I don’t expect you to go back and listen to mine [laughs]
John (Drastic Park): Yeah but there’s some actual classics that I love, but in terms of favourites for me, I can’t go past Time To Be Alone, it was the first song that I had heard from you guys and I’m just like ‘ooooh’ just an instant hit of nostalgia. I don’t know why I say that, because I didn’t start listening to pop-punk until it was like 2004 anyway, but just like the speed of it too, and I also love skate punk, and anything with that beat in it. But I also really like One More Time too, which is fitting for the tour.
Also I’ve had to clarify with people who are asking Why is Wishful Thinking breaking up? I’m just like… It’s One MORE Time, not One Last Time [laughs].
Carl (Wishful Thinking): Yeah not one last time [laughs].
WISHFUL THINKING - ONE MORE TIME 'updated 13/6/2021' TOUR DATES 2021
W/ MAIN SUPPORT DRASTIC PARK
SYDNEY & BRISBANE SHOWS CANCELLED DUE TO COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
MELBOURNE/ FRI 27 AUG 2021/ THE WORKERS CLUB
ADELAIDE/ SAT 18 AUG 2021/ RHINO ROOM
WISHFUL THINKING’s socials
DRASTIC PARK’s social
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