It’s all about the love of an old-fashioned good time when it comes to the swampy Sydney septet known as Little Bastard. As a matter of fact, the angriest it’ll ever get at one of their shows is an argument over whether it’s a hoedown or a hootenanny.
The past 18 months have seen the band go from strength to strength, particularly on the live front, where they’ve riled up festival crowds and warmed up their largest stages yet for The Beards. Little Bastard’s debut self-titled album, however, may not be quite what people were anticipating – hell, it was even an unexpected turn for the band members.
“The whole thing actually turned out a lot differently than I had anticipated,” says Johnny Took, who provides guitar and one of many voices to the band. “I think what we ended up doing for the album – at least part of it – was a bit more mature, a bit differently paced. I suppose that if it was all the crazy, fast stuff, it would have worn people out – and probably bored them, too. We got the balance right, I think.”
The band spent all of eight days recording the debut, relying on that sense of urgency in both productivity and musicianship that piqued so much interest to begin with. In fact, plenty of the material they wrote didn’t end up making the album, leading Took to suggest a follow-up could come sooner than we think. “I feel like we could go straight in and record another album right now!” he laughs. “There were a lot of older songs that we had to sacrifice, and of course there were a lot of disagreements among the lot of us as to what would make the final cut. We’re really proud of what we got out of those eight days, though. It was a really different experience for us.”
It’s worth mentioning that those eight days of recording took place all the way back in December. Given it’s now May, one might assume that there was a lot of red tape for the band to cut through in order to release the album. Not the case, says Took – it was more a case of finding the most opportune moment. “We just wanted to be absolutely sure of what we were putting out. We’re so used to these songs now, and we’re really certain about playing them.”
This month will see Little Bastard undertake a national tour in support of the album, including a stop at the newly opened Newtown Social Club. Took is particularly enthusiastic about the venue, hoping it serves as a game-changer for the inner west. “We had a chance to check it out the other day before it officially opened and it looks so fucking cool in there, man. It’s so great to have a tiny venue like that in this area – it’s a place that is going to give a lot of chances to bands and has the potential to make a lot of difference. We’re really looking forward to playing there.”
As for what the future holds, Took wants to take the album for a test drive in the land of the free to see the reaction it gets. “I genuinely think that there are some songs on this record that would go down a treat if we played them in Nashville,” he says. “It’s a total dream of ours to get over there and see what they make of our band and what we do.”
Catch Little Bastard at Newtown Social Club(tickets here)/ The Small Ballroom, Newcastle(tickets here) on Friday June 13 / Saturday June 14 with Burn Antares and Andy Golledge.Little Bastard is out now through Four/Four / Universal.