Brisbane based pirate metal band Lagerstein played at the Factory Theatre in Sydney on 8/12/17. This was their first show in Sydney in 12 months as they recently completed a tour all over Europe. I had the fortunate pleasure of sitting down with guitarists ‘The Majestic Beast’ and ‘Neil Rummy Rackers’ and discussing their Lagerstein ‘On Ice’ Tour.
Lagerstein, you guys have just come back from a tour all through Europe including covering the United Kingdom. How does it feel to be back in Australia?
Beast: The tour through Europe was fantastic but coming back home and drinking XXXX bitters again it the best feeling, it’s so refreshing!
Neil: We love the Australian audience! This tour alone is going to be one of our biggest runs to date! We are really excited to be back here playing shows for the Australian crowds!
Beast: Also, we get to drink Bundaberg rum! It’s the best treat!
Is Bundaberg not available overseas?
Neil: Well, it’s very limited. You can maybe get it in a few boutique places in the U.K. but in mainland Europe it’s really hard. Most of the time when we got Bundaberg, it was from fans bringing it over and saying, “You need Bundaberg rum!”. To which we replied, “yes! We need Bundaberg rum!”. So that was sick!
Beast: Those were the best days of the tour!
Neil: Any day we got Bundaberg rum was like Christmas had come early!
Your show tonight in Sydney is your 100th show of the tour this year! What are your thoughts on that?
Neil: It’s crazy to think that we’ve gotten through 100 shows! We set this goal ages ago of ‘2017, let’s try and do 100 shows’ and to be playing it in Sydney and the place to be absolutely packed out, it’s going to be wild! I’m excited to play and I’m very excited to win the ‘shoey off’
Beast: We just really wanted to set a goal of 100 shows, it’s such a massive milestone and we just wanted to push ‘All For Rum and Rum For All’ and get it heard by as many people as possible. It was something that we are really proud of and we wanted to try and get into European festivals and play in front of as many people as possible.
If you could pick one memory from the European tour as your favourite, what would it be?
Neil: Oh, I’ve got a fucking good one! So, we were in Bristol earlier in the year, playing at this little bar called The Griffin, and it’s quite possibly one of the greatest bars in the world. At this bar, all the locals have their own cups there. I wanted to be a local but I didn’t have a cup, so I donated my shoe there. Around six to seven months later we were back in Bristol playing the same venue, and we knew it was going to be a party straight away so we wanted to do something exceptional. We set a goal of doing 100 shoeys in 1 night! So, the bar put of a deal of £2 shoeys from the one shoe and the countdown began. 1 shoey, 2 shoey, and throughout the night we got the whole crowd there to do 100 shoeys. We ended up making it (plus many more) and it was the biggest celebration, just because we did 100 shoeys in my shoe!
Beast: We were playing at this festival in Germany called ‘Dark Troll Festival’, it was a festival for underground black metal and folk metal bands, but it was set in a castle that was built in the year 800 A.D. and for me that was our top festival experience. It was so awesome to experience it and to drink for around 3 days straight and partying hard! It was also fun to share the stage with some amazing quality bands.
If you could have any band cover one of your songs, who would you pick and would it be in your style or theirs?
Neil: That is a fantastic question! This requires a bit of thought! You wouldn’t want to say the wrong band.
Beast: It depends what route you’d want to go down, you could get heavier bands to do it and still be a party or strip it all right back and go softer.
Neil: Bob Marley doing one of our songs would be fucking hilarious! Bob Marley doing a Lagerstein song in his style. He’s a wizard so you would want him to do his thing.
What advice would you give to any band in the Australian scene who wants to make it?
Neil: Make your own opportunities. Get out there and play shows, go to other gigs, get yourself known in the scene and even take a leap of faith. If you feel like you’re starting to get a fan base in your own city; go on an Australian tour. Talk to other bands, get them to support you and you support them and just work your butt off! It can be done.
Beast: Meet as many people as possible. Meet other bands, promoters, when you go to venues talk to the staff. The biggest thing is ‘be persistent’! So many bands in the Australian scene will release one album and then just quit, when we first started there were so many bands that we used to love that just don’t exist anymore. People we looked up to all the time ended up quitting, so that’s the biggest thing. Always at every show no matter what give 100%.
Neil: When you are at a show, after you finish your set go out the front, get behind the merch desk, talk to everyone, have a beer with every single person who came to your gig and they’ll be fans for life.
What can we expect from Lagerstein in 2018?
Neil: Ooh, it’s going to be big! It’s going to be drunk! It’s going to be party! We have more touring planned for next year. Shoeys all ‘round Australia, beer bongs all ‘round Australia let’s do it! Let’s make it happen!
Beast: We are looking to hit the studio in the second half of next year, we won’t be able to go overseas as we will be recording and writing, but we are looking to get onto as many Australian festivals as we can. It’s going to be a lot more chilled next year touring wise, but it’s still going to be one hell of a party and 2019 will be a monster tour again!
If you could sum up 2017 for the European and Australian tour in 1 sentence, what would you say?
Neil: I recon I can do it one better, I can do it in one word: Party! It was just the craziest party!
Beast: It was just the wildest year! For instance, at the start of the year we bought our festival ‘Lagerfest’ to Sydney and Melbourne for the first time, and that’s something we’ll be doing again next year.
I do remember that the ‘Lagerfest’ party in Sydney was a massive turnout and almost a sold-out crowd.
Neil: Yes, it was! At the Bald Faced Stag from doors to finish, it was everyone celebrating what ‘Lagerfest’ is: good bands with good music and party times with drinks involved!
By Harrison Bray