A chat with Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice, Melbourne’s inspired Devo-esque synth-punk band

A chat with Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice, Melbourne’s inspired Devo-esque synth-punk band

We caught up with the band to talk about their new single, ‘Infinite Growth’, and its corresponding tour.

Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice have carved out their own unique space in Melbourne’s underground music scene, with sounds that hark back to the days when synthesisers were considered alien enterprises in the music context – a time where bands like Kraftwerk twisted, then rewired brains with their otherworldly music creations and innovations.

Dr Sure’s craft music that’s fresh and inspired; new wave-punk that isn’t being done by many bands in Melbourne, especially now that U-Bahn are no longer together.

Anyway, the four-piece have just released a new single, ‘Infinite Growth’, and will be celebrating the new track with a run of shows around the state, beginning with a gig at The Evelyn on Friday July 2, before they hit The Eastern in Ballarat on Saturday July 3, then Geelong’s Barwon Club on Friday June 9 and Lodge Rock in Port Fairy on Saturday July 10.

In the lead-up to the tour, we caught up with Dr Sure’s frontman and Marthouse Records labelhead Dougal Shaw to chat about ‘Infinite Growth’ and other random tidbits. Here goes.

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Tell us a bit about your new track, ‘Infinite Growth’. What’s the inspiration and story behind the release?

It’s an attempt at reframing capitalist language. Taking this idea of perpetual growth and challenging it with things that I reckon are pretty important but get more or less neglected under this pocket-stuffing, profit-driven mindset.

At the time I was having a bout of hopefulness which comes and goes pretty quick so it’s nice when you can capture it. I don’t know if this song will quite do it but I remember thinking we could actually tear this whole thing down and start again.

Dr Sure’s has been on a bit of wild ride since releasing their stellar debut album, The West, in 2019. How’s the journey been over the past few years?

Yeah we came out of the blocks pretty hot. I’d been cooking up this project for a little while and when I came to putting the band together I already had that album done and a bunch of artwork and film clips on the go. As soon as we got together we started releasing things and charging up and down the east coast, think we did four tours in that first year. Obviously it all came to a grinding halt pretty soon after.

It continues to be an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved in the music industry. How has Dr Sure’s been travelling through the pandemic and how has the band stayed motivated?

When it first hit I think we still had a bit of residual energy pumping from that first year, I’d just recorded the Scomo Goes To Hawaii and While Aus Burns EPs, we’d just done the first Remember The Future? sessions and we were getting asked to do some livestream shows which gave us something weird to stuff our heads into.

The longer it went on and the more we had to cancel things – recording plans, Europe plans – it definitely starts to weigh ya down. I’ve done a lot of walking the Merri Creek.

There’s murmurs of another record on the way – the second instalment of last year’s Remember The Future? What can listeners expect of Remember The Future? Volume 2?

Yep we were set to record these tracks just before the pandemic hit so this year we got in and did them as soon as we could, finish off this train of thought and put it on a record. It’s carrying on where the others left off, a bunch of different tracks, different styles, but connected by a similar theme.

Remember The Future? It’s like a seed. It’s like that idea of the old person who plants a tree they’ll never get to enjoy. That’s like some future shit right there. All this new age tech life ain’t about the future, it’s about the now, it’s self-centred, it’s using fossil fuels and pillaging the earth in the search for the ultimate immediate satisfaction. We forgot the future. Planting a seed is some serious future shit.

You were halfway through recording Remember The Future? before COVID hit. Would we be right in saying album two’s had a bit of a tough journey?

Yeah it’s weird in the way it’s been separated. We definitely didn’t intend to have a year or more gap in between two halves of a record. But it is what it is, I think people are pretty open-minded at the moment, we’ve seen it all. We could have waited for it to blow over but I’m glad we just put out what we had, it would have done my head in to sit on those songs for this long.

It’s still been such a fun project, it’s the first thing we’ve recorded together as a band and to track everything live in a room is so satisfying. Technically in two rooms… 16 months apart. I’m stoked on it.

What can punters expect from your upcoming ‘Infinite Growth’ single tour? Got some surprises in store for the shows?

I don’t know what to expect. It’s been touch and go whether or not it would even happen. It’s looking pretty good at the moment. I think if we can all be in a room together that will be a nice surprise.

Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice’s new single ‘Infinite Growth’ is out now. They’ll launch the new track at The Evelyn on Friday June 2. Grab tickets here. For more on Dr Sure’s, check out their Facebook and Instagram.