The majority of feedback surrounding Gay Paris’ 2013 sophomore release, The Last Good Party, drew attention to the transgressive animation that erupts through the speakers upon pressing play. Furthermore, anyone who has witnessed the Sydney foursome onstage can vouch for the group’s debauched manner. However, the record’s preparation wasn’t as intoxicated as it sounds.
“The writing of that was torturous,” says vocalist Luke Monks. “We were trying very hard to define what Gay Paris was. I think the idea was that filthy word, ‘maturity’.”
Right now the band (which is rounded out by bassist Dean Podmore, drummer Adam Simpson and guitarist Lachlan Marks) is busy demoing for its third record, Relics Of The Saint. Taking heed of past missteps, they’re throwing caution to the wind this time around.
“Now we’re just comfortable with whatever happens,” Monks says. “Don’t worry about, ‘We’ve got to have the big stomping songs,’ and, ‘We’ve got to have the one with the hook’ – just play the songs that feel good and as long as Slim [Podmore]’s dancing properly you know that everything’s going to be fucking fine.”
Indeed, trying to zero in on a magical quality often causes the sparkle to fade. Letting it all flow freely might be a dance with chaos, but there’s no need to tame what’s proving successful.
“It’s less of a, ‘Hey man, we haven’t written a single.’ It’s just, ‘OK, we’ve got these 11 songs, which one do you want to make a film clip for?’ I think last time we wanted people to listen to us. Now we just want to play these fucking cool songs.”
The band’s revised attitude actually mirrors a pivotal moment in Monks’ self-development. “Once I realised that it didn’t matter that I have an ugly body and I’m bald and no-one’s ever going to think that that’s attractive, that’s when I stopped caring and ladies started to like me. This record follows that; it can let all the ugly bits hang out because it just doesn’t care anymore.”
The band will soon decamp to the Panda Studios in northern California to smash out the record with The Last Good Party producer Sam Pura. As was the case with that release, Gay Paris are asking for their audience’s generosity to help bring the album to life.
“The basic cry that comes from the stage at every show, along with ‘Hail Satan’ and ‘Give us drugs’, [is encouraging] the crowd to give us money.We like being lunatics for the rewards. So that’s an excuse to act out for some of the more exclusive rewards.”
Crowdfunding campaigns are becoming as common as homes with coffee capsule espresso machines, which makes it hard for each cause to sound worthy. To combat this, Gay Paris are offering some truly original gifts. $25 is enough to get your name in the liner notes, while $600 snares yourself and three friends a date dropping acid and playing Dungeons & Dragons with the band.
“You can come on tour with us for a weekend,” Monks says. “There’s a pub crawl, where we’ll get from Newtown to Surry Hills over the course of an evening. It’s just horribly arrogant. We’ve said, ‘Give us money to hang out with us!’ This really speaks to our narcissism.”
It might be a narcissistic ploy, but it’s doubtful anyone’s ever mistaken Gay Paris for a humble band. The forthcoming album is set to fortify the group’s depraved reputation, but Monks notes that it’s not completely celebratory.
“I think there’s some of the most miserable music that we’ve written on this record too. But it’s the kind of misery that throws a wine bottle against a wall.”
Gay Paris will be playing at CherryRock014 with Meat Puppets, Brant Bjork, Redcoats, Beastwars, Drunk Mums at Factory Theatre on Saturday May 31, tickets available online. The Last Good Party is out now through MGM.