Interview: Square Tugs

I recently listened to Brisbane punk band Square Tugs’ new EP Vodka, Lime And Soda, and I enjoyed it so much I decided to review it. I’m always looking for new punk music to listen to and these guys are fantastic, so check out the interview below and listen to the EP if it sounds interesting!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new EP titled Vodka, Lime And Soda, What can you tell us about the EP?

We’ve been playing live shows and writing songs for over a year and it’s always been the plan to record and release an EP. We knew the exact sound we were going for and wanted a good representation of what the band is all about and I think the EP captures us perfectly.

Do you have any plans to release a full-length album anytime soon?

Firstly, we are going to do another EP of 5 songs this time. They are all written and ready to record in the next month or so. We want to keep the momentum going. An album is on the cards for late 2022.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

We are prolific, with three songwriters in the band, so there’s no shortage of material. Recording was a very smooth process, with tracks completed in one or two takes. We really didn’t want to overthink it but try and capture the essence of our live sound and energy.

Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?

Yes, we’ll release the songs from our upcoming EP in early 2022.

You’re based in the Brisbane area. What is the music scene like there and are there any local bands you can recommend?

Brisbane’s music scene is great! There are plenty of venues that put on local bands every week creating an inclusive and fun scene. The punk scene in Brisbane has always been strong, going back to the 70s, 80s & 90s with a lot of iconic bands originating here. My favourite local band is Shandy who are very entertaining and are popular in Europe after completing two successful tours in recent years. They are on Contra Records in Germany. Also, The Flangipanis have a huge following here in Australia and we are big fans. You can check them both out on Spotify.

What/who influences you most as a band? What have you been listening to recently?

Our biggest influence is The Circle Jerks and other early 80s US Punk bands like Black Flag, Adolescents, 7 Seconds and Angry Samoans.
I’m really digging the new Flangipanis album Fuckin’ Woo.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

We have been incredibly lucky here in Australia, and particularly in Brisbane as we have been able to continue playing shows through most of 2020/2021. Our international borders have been closed since the start of the pandemic and our state borders have been closed for the past few months, so with the lack of interstate and international tours, it’s opened up a lot of opportunities for local bands to play more often and gain increased exposure. There have occasionally been capacity restrictions which has meant sometimes playing two shows a night which means more people can get in and see local bands.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

We’ve had a very busy year playing around Brisbane and the southeast of Queensland but haven’t been able to travel further afield due to border closures. As soon as things open up we will be hitting the road to play in other states and cities.

What can people expect from a Square Tugs gig and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

We give a high energy performance, and anything can happen at one of our shows. They can be a bit hectic, but we’re all about creating a fun vibe and having a great night out.
We quite often have special guests from other bands come up and play a song or two with us. Plus, Dave tends to take his clothes off, or ‘dress up” at the drop of a hat! So that can be a bit unexpected to the uninitiated!
We say fuck you to backstage band rooms, it’s all about everyone getting involved, running amuck and partying with our friends. The audience and the guest singers or players are just as intricate a part of the show as the band. We love it.

Any last words for the fans?

We are seriously humbled by the support we have received from everyone both here in Australia and overseas. A massive thank you to everyone who has been to see us play, bought our EP or merch and supported us in any way. Watch this space for more Square Tugs music coming soon.