Melbourne-via-NZ rock quartet Bakers Eddy are currently whipping their way around the country, pummeling venues with their unique brand of unpredictable, powerful, punky rock.
The tour is the culmination of years of blood, sweat, tears, delays, lockdowns and the pandemic that spawned ‘em – in short, it was far past time for the band to hit the road and play their music for their rapidly growing fanbase.
“It’s a big one,” vocalist Ciarann Babbington says of the imposing tour itinerary. “It’s the first time that we’ve been on the road, almost like relentlessly every weekend for three months. At the beginning of the year we changed booking agencies and one of the things we said was ‘We have not played a solid tour in three years and we’ve never really done like a proper headline tour either so just like book every day if you can, we’ll play any day as long as we’re on the road this year.’ And they came back to us like, ‘Cool, you’re gonna support WAAX and then you’re gonna roll straight onto your own tour. And then you’ve got this and then you’ve got that.'”
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That takes the band all the way up to September, and all the roadwork has already turned the band into a ruthlessly efficient riffing machine. “I think it was only the last weekend with WAAX that we finally found our groove as to where we were pre COVID,” Ciarann says.
Bass player Ian Spagnolo jumps in: “It’s not even just the shows themselves. It’s just everything else surrounding the show. Like I completely forgot that it’s an entire night! To party or not to party …now we’ve gotta think about our voices and stuff because we all now have singing parts, which is something that we didn’t have pre COVID. So now everyone’s taking singing lessons, everyone’s looking after their voices. So it’s a brand new kind of thing to navigate.”
The band’s sound is deceptively complex for something crafted from such simple elements. “I think one of the main things for us in writing guitar parts, my go to is obviously like a power chord. It’s just what we’ve always done. And that’s kind of the way we’ve based our songwriting around. It’s just like, you know, four-chord choruses, all power chords, big and chuggy.
“But I think now we’re playing a lot more with melodies and then big droney chords that kind of hang over the top of everything. Like the there’s a lot of that now, where it’s just one droney chord over the chorus.”
It’s those layers, that tension between basic, minimalist elements combined in complex ways, that gives the band its unique identity and makes them so hard for music journalists to pin down. “I feel like a lot of the time in the past we’ve had people directly referencing us with other bands like The Hives, Arctic Monkeys and of course Green Day, but I think that’s kind of died down a little bit, which means I feel like we’re starting to find our own sound. It’s a little more defined than it used to be.”
Bakers Eddy made the move from New Zealand to Melbourne with dreams of hitting the ground running with solid touring and recording for about a year. Then our mate COVID came along and borked everything. But it forced the four-piece to live in each other’s pockets and to live and breathe music.
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“We’ve known each other forever, so being thrown into an environment where we have to be together all of the time was nothing new for us,” Cairann says. “We know each other well enough and we work together well enough that there wasn’t really any dramas… well, no more dramas than usual.
“So it was fine. I think we would’ve maybe struggled if we maybe hadn’t have had that relationship with each other.” Ian agrees: “It’s like it’s a four way marriage between us four. Like we’re not really friends anymore. It’s beyond that.”
Ciarann says NZ radio isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with Aussie content. “Australian music, especially guitar music, really struggles to crack through into New Zealand,” he says. “Like you won’t hear any big Triple J act on any radio stations that play predominantly rock music in New Zealand at all, it just doesn’t happen. So to find Australian bands that we felt aligned with what we were doing we really had to dig deep.
“We wanna go back home and play gigs over there and see what we’re like back in New Zealand, because it’s been such a long time and Australia’s been everything for us and we grew up as a band here, so it’ll be interesting to go home and see what the reception’s like.”
Head over to the Bakers Eddy website for the latest tour dates and ticket info.