Maggots aren’t high on most people’s list of charismatic fauna. In fact, the average punter is likely to squirm at the mere mention of the parasitic mini beast. Tim Scott, writer, publicist and logistical brains behind this week’s Maggot Fest at the Tote Hotel
Maggots aren’t high on most people’s list of charismatic fauna. In fact, the average punter is likely to squirm at the mere mention of the parasitic mini beast. Tim Scott, writer, publicist and logistical brains behind this week’s Maggot Fest at the Tote Hotel, is prepared to cut the humble maggot just a bit of slack. “People think of maggots as being dirty, but they’re actually quite clean” Scott notes. “Somebody told me that in some surgical procedures, if you’ve got bacteria in the wound, they put maggots on the wound to clean the wound. That’s disgusting, but it fascinates me. Maggots are fucking gross, but they’re kind of cool!” he laughs.
The line-up for Maggot Fest features “pretty much every good band from Sydney” – most of whom are aligned with Sydney punk label RIP Society – including Dead Farmers, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys and Carborator – augmented with a slew of equally impressive Melbourne punk bands, ranging from the rarely-sighted True Radical Miracle, Useless Children, Bits Of Shit, Blood Hammer and Late Arvo Sons. Brisbane also gets a look in with Eat Laser Scumbag.
Also on the bill are Australia’s first known Mummies cover band, The Mammaries. “Maggot Gest really began with The Mammaries,” Scott explains. “I wanted to do a festival on Halloween and make it really ghouly. I heard that Xavier from Chinese Burns had this new band called The Mammaries. To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure who’re the members of The Mammaries, nut they’ve been jamming, and I’ve been assured they have a rocking set – so I believe them.” The Mammaries may also be the only band indulging the Halloween theme. “They’ll probably play covered with toilet paper or bandages, but that’ll be just to cover up their ugly faces,” Scott laughs.
Daniel Grosz, who will be playing in both Dead Farmers and Pee Wee at Maggot Fest, says it’s about time Australians embraced Halloween. “I’ve been in the ‘States when it’s Halloween and it’s huge,” Grosz states. “But it’s getting better every year. I remember going trick or treating when I was young, and this old lady didn’t have any candy, so she gave us some money – that was the best trick or treating experience I’ve had,” he laughs.
With Dead Farmers still basking in the glory of their debut album, Pee Wee have been putting down their own tracks that will be available at MaggotFest. “We’ve recorded about ten songs, and we’ll have a demo tape available for sale at our shows,” Grosz says. The recording itself was undertaken at Grosz’s parents’ house. “My parents went away, so we took all the shit out of the kitchen and set our stuff up in there. I think the neighbours got a bit pissed off, because we were playing for about eight hours,” Grosz laughs.
Maggot Fest will be augmented by a three-on-three basketball competition being held on the morning of the event. “It’s something different. Ben and Nick from RIP are into team sports – they reckon team sports are punk,” Scott says. “Back in the day punk was the antithesis of team sport and jocks, whereas we’re punk jocks!” Scott laughs. The basketball competition will be held on Canning Street, with eligibility simply a case of enthusiasm. Grosz isn’t a starter on the basketball court. “I’ll be partaking in beers and jeers on the sidelines. But Kowalski our drummer has being going to the gym a lot,” he says. And with the risk of injury particularly high in such an amateur setting, Scott says there is a fallback plan. “We have players on the bench, and we’ve got bands on the bench as well,” he laughs.
Maggot Fest will be rounded out by a healthy selection of merchandise, including via Tom McWiggin’s (Woollen Kits) Indian Girl distribution. Scott hopes that if Maggotfest proves successful, he can take the event to Sydney. “We’re aiming for the same fun and spirit as Flip Out!” Scott says. “It’s more of a fun day, it’s more about friends getting together and partying.” The final word on Maggot Fest, however, goes to Daniel Grosz wearing his Pee Wee hat. When presented asked what Maggotfest patrons should expect from Pee Wee, Daniel eschews humility for good ol’ fashioned punk rock hyperbole. “We’re the greatest band in the world, and if you come along you’ll have the best time in your life!” So what are you waiting for?
MAGGOT FEST is on at The Tote this Saturday, and features The Mammaries (Mummies tribute band), True Radical Miracle, Useless Children, Dead Farmers, Late Arvo Sons, Carborator, Bed Wettin Bad Boys, Pee Wee, Eat Laser Scumbag, Bits Of Shit and Bloody Hammer. Doors from 2pm. The pre-fest 3-on-3 basketball tournament is at Curtain and Canning streets, Carlton, from 10:30am.