The Punisherz planned assaulton Falls Festival
Tue 19th Dec, 2006 in Features
The Punisherz have been described as “a combination of kim chi, sushi, gado-gado and two-minute noodles strait outta Compton”. As four friends who worked together and shared both a quasi-Asian origin and a penchant for the profane, the band was formed on the basis of very little musical ability, playing a string of DJ gigs, including the ARIA Awards after-party and Splendour in the Grass.
If you haven’t heard of the band before, perhaps you will recognise some of them in their other guises as presenters on Channel [V]. When not in front of the camera, or hard at work in other facets of television - Mel, James, Yumi and Jade make up the Punisherz – who gravitated from DJing at friends’ parties and Purple Sneakers in Sydney, to being added to the Falls Festival lineup in Lorne.
Of their first festival DJ show, before the Punisherz began playing their live musical assaults, Mel confides: “We were terrified, we were backstage at Splendour for ages, and James [Matheson] didn’t even want to go on. And I mean James gets up in front of thousands of people every night [as co-host of Network Ten’s Australian Idol], so that should give you some idea about how nervous we were before we got up there.
“We decided that our first gig was going to be on September 11”, Mel says. “And we wanted to show everyone that they can play in a band, even if they don’t know how to play an instrument.” This self-confessed inability to play an instrument is seemingly something that didn’t bother the good folk at Earshot Music, who have agreed to promote and sell the band’s first release, Youth & Asia. Mel also tells me there has been talk of becoming guests on new music and live entertainment show The Big Night In, hosted by John Foreman (again of Idol fame).
While not everyone’s cup of Jasmine tea, the Punisherz have been slowly garnering support for their creative take on being in a band, and their recent string of East coast shows which Mel concisely describes as being ‘more entertaining than your usual pub rock band’. Asked to what extent ‘The Punisherz’ are improving race relations between white Australia and the Australian-Asian community, Mel remarks: “totally, it’s all about Asian pride. I’ve been getting heaps of hits on our MySpace page from people who love what we’re about… But I’ve also seen quite a few Asians walking out of our shows. I guess you can’t please everyone.”
Speaking of MySpace, an extract from the band’s blog does little to communicate the Punisherz appearance at the Lorne leg of the Falls Festival, but gives a fair indication of what you can expect in terms of the tenor of the live show.
“We play Falls Festival on New Year Eve in Lorne. For the 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, Countdown you call it? Yeah super happy fun!”
While Mel assures me that the band ‘haven’t talked about’ what is going to happen during the band’s set, I’m given some insight into their strategy: “The set is probably going to include a costume change, some Asian goodness, and some snacks… Yeah, maybe some snacks if you get close enough.”
The Punisherz play the Falls Festival (Victoria only) on New Year’s Eve, as well as a side show at 161 in Melbourne, supporting Outrun and La Strada. Catch them for your dose of ‘super happy fun’ as only the Punisherz know how.