Bugs aren’t the creepy crawlies you’d think of, in fact they are far from! The trio of Brisbane boys have been going from strength to strength in recent years, making tidal waves in the Australian music industry.
After constant Triple J airplay of their singles ‘Instant Coffee’, ‘Tinnies’ and ‘Best Friend’, the band have had the opportunity to play alongside big-leagues like PUP (Canada), Modern Baseball (US) and Twin Peaks (US); not to mention locals Hockey Dad, Good Boy, Bleeding Knees Club and Spiderbait.
Off the back of playing Falls Music & Arts Festival in Byron Bay, the iconic Brisbane Mountain Goat Valley Crawl and the recent release of their new single ‘Glue’, the band has just released their new EP ‘Social Slump’ which is touring Australia as I write!
Needless to say, these bugs are coming out of their shells!
We caught up with Connor from Bugs to impart his industry wisdom – take a read
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why? Who inspires you now?
I think my sister Elly, she played guitar in high school and eventually gave her acoustic to me. Watching her love for music develop was the catalyst for me ever deciding to write music I guess. Mum and Dad were always playing vinyl when we were young too, being surrounded by people who cherished music was infectious, so I naturally started immersing myself in it. Another huge inspiration was my music teacher Laurinda, she taught me a tonne. Now it would be heaps of people in the Brisbane music community – Sweater Curse, Pink Matter, The PB’s – we are surrounded by super talented mates who always inspire us!
2) What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Stock the fridge with heaps of fresh fruit and veg when you arrive in a new city. Learn to sleep wherever and whenever you get the chance. Don’t be precious about hygiene or personal space. Carry roll-on deodorant. Be nice to people in a different town/city.
3) What has been one of the most defining moments in your career?
I guess playing Falls Festival has been a huge leap. Since then we have pretty much only played sold out shows and the reception of our music has been overwhelming. So we are just keen to keep playing and writing as much as possible off the back of that opportunity. The experience was unreal, to play such a huge stage to so many people blew my mind.
4) How has your music practice changed over time?
We are way more calm as a band when it comes to our approach now, not as rushed and frantic. I would like to think we have improved somewhat, when it comes to writing personally nowadays I am certainly more considered in terms of my lyrical content, song structures and conceptual development. Primarily I write songs to understand what I am feeling/going through at the time or as an observation of things around me, but over time the process has evolved to feel more natural.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Invest all you can back into the band, treat it like a small business or investment. Take a gamble and commit fully if you are taking it really seriously. I mean that’s not to say you have to spend heaps of money to be successful, but I think being realistic about expenses and the workload and time it requires to be in a band is a necessity if you are to sustain it.
6) My biggest career mistake has been… What would you do differently now?
Wearing socks at Falls. It was 40 degrees and I totally face planted mid-song. It was super endearing but yeah – next time I will wear socks for sure.
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is… What do you think can change that?
It’s tough to land on the ‘most’ important because in a way that is discrimination. But one of the most prominent we deal with is general crowd behaviour for sure. Younger dudes just tend to go bananas and start these little fight death pits – it is neanderthalic and barbaric but tough to stop, so we just try to call it out and stamp it out when we see it. Another is obviously gender equality, I think bands can certainly put in more effort to not book all-male line-ups. I would be a total hypocrite to say I am innocent of not having played on such a line-up, but we have put in a huge effort with this recent tour to book a diverse spread of bands. Our manager Ruby slaved away for weeks trying to find a good spread of bands that represent our musical landscape accurately!
Did you love our latest Savvy? Check out some more in our archives!