Tony Dork: The punk band we never knew we needed
Tony Dork — we’re obsessed.
The first time we heard of these guys we had seen them playing in an Instagram video. Feeling euphoric after a night of free drinks and karaoke we excitedly messaged the Melbourne-based band lobbying them to come to Sydney.
Since reaching out to guys, the group have blessed us with some more Tony Dork content including a namesake debut EP! With the EP as a perfect backdrop, we got a chance to chat with the band’s self-described ‘Dad guitarist’ Lachie Mcdolebludge.
Tony dork have released singles prior to the EP. We were curious what sparked their interest in creating an EP.
“Yeah we put out a few songs by themselves last year and we’d be playing the same set for ages with none of it recorded so we wanted to try put something together into an EP. We met Calum Newton and we’re big fans of all his recordings with Candy, Lunatics on Pogosticks, Rayza and Amyl & the Sniffers so we asked if he wanted to record us. We didn’t really know what we were doing but luckily he knew enough cool music shit to make it sound better than we actually are.”
A humble opinion there from Lachie at the end.
We feel the album itself gives a mixture of the fun and heaviness of the human mind. We asked if Lachie could touch on how they were able to combine this all so well.
“Jamie writes all of the lyrics and we don’t ever really ask him what they’re about which I think helps to touch on some heavier shit without having to explain it to us and end up in a band therapy session. There were a few songs that I didn’t even know what the lyrics were until we were recording! We also have heaps of joke songs that didn’t make the cut for the EP so I think that helps balance out any heavier topics. Usually when we write a new song we end up trying to play it as fast and loud as possible, and we just try to write stuff that’s fun to play and we think we would like to hear.”
The album itself consists of six awesome tracks.
The EP begins with “Shit Stain”. It sets the scene with a quote from Malcom in the Middle: “To you everyone’s either a moron, or a creep, or a poser. Why do you suddenly care about their opinion of you?” Before you know it, it breaks into a super-tight and punchy verse which is heightened when the vocals kick in: “Getting tired of the same old fucking shit!”
Agitated and raw, the buzzing song simultaneously enrages and relieves the audience as the song discusses a relatable character stuck in the mundane concerns of life such as their next paycheck. All this in two minutes.
“Just generally being annoyed and tired a lot of the time haha! Nah I guess we all just have jobs that can get pretty shitty and sometimes it just feels like you’re doing the same thing all the time and need a change which is what this [song is] about. I think my favourite line that summarizes it is ‘Too short and skinny to consider to strip but I need another pay check’.”
How can you not love repeating ‘Oi!’? We don’t know where “Punt Road” is, but the song makes us feel like we’ve had a hard night out and are dopily making our way back there. Lachie told us this is one of his favourites from the EP.
“It was the last one we wrote for the EP and we wanted to do something a bit different to the other songs. It’s really fun to play and I love Willie’s drums in it.”
This song also has a ripper music video!
We see this as a more jovial song. We can imagine jumping around yelling “Hey Dave!” back at Tony Dork. The humour in this song is another reason why we love it so much. Tony Dork effortlessly personify another character, this time in a tongue in cheek way.
“Why are you legging up the block?”
“I gave you 20 fucking minutes and then I see you running from the cops.”
This one is definitely crowd-pleaser.
“Quarter Life Crisis”
“Woke up in the gutter” — what a way to begin. Already hooked us. With surfy hints, this one is a little bit different to the other songs which makes it stand out even more. The track is so raw to us! It actually feels like someone is going through a quarter life crisis. It’s a rollercoaster of euphoria and paranoia.
After the post-karaoke Tony Dork discovery we alluded to, we wanted to find some more of their stuff! We found a video of a live performance of “Quarter Life Crisis”. It was one we played so much, so we were stoked to see it had made its way into the middle of the EP.
Check out the amazing music video!
A.D.D is lead singer Jamie’s ode to his undiagnosed energy. Lachie tells us this is something Jamie is often told thus inspiring the song.
“I don’t think Jamie actually has A.D.D but he’s always bouncing off the walls and so energetic that people tell him he does so the songs about undiagnosed A.D.D.”
The song is short but sweet, going into detail about the tribulations of having an undiagnosed disorder, all in a killer melody.
“Norman (get me out of here)”
The final, fast paced guitar tune from this EP just resonated with us! We felt so invested in this song while banging our heads, an interesting combo that we can’t really relate to any other song. This surreal number left us in want for more Tony Dork and was a great send-off for what we found to be an incredible EP.
Very curious about the inspiration and meaning behind this track, we asked Lachie what Norman represented.
“This song is about getting locked in the basement by a guy called Norman. I’ve always imagined Norm to look like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs but a bit more fat and sweaty haha. I don’t really know what inspired this song, but don’t ask Jamie about his uncle Norman…”
So that is their debut album in a nutshell.
Of course we could let Lachie go without telling us what Tony Dork have coming up, which turned out to be a lot, including a launch in Melbourne.
“We’re gonna have a launch at the Tote Upstairs on October 12th with heaps of mates which should be super fun! So far we’ve got Grewsum Tewsum, our mate’s band who don’t have a name yet who will be playing their first show, and Johnston Street’s very own Bill Golding making his stand-up comedy debut.”
We would urge you not to miss this. Killer music and comedy? Yes please. We already have a fear of missing out and it hasn’t even begun!
Lachie also hinted to us that there may be some Dork action in the likes of Brisbane, Gold Coast and Byron Bay. No luck for us Sydney siders yet.
“I don’t think Sydney is on the cards yet. Hopefully some of our mates in Sydney get us on a show up there!”
IMPORTANT: Huge twin love and appreciation from us to whoever will bring Tony Dork to Syd!
Tony Dork are the garage punk band we never knew we needed. We feel like everyone needs to get around these guys and give them a listen. Trust us — you won’t be disappointed.