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Urge for the 'Gurge

Regurgitator has been one of Australia’s most iconic bands since it burst onto our airwaves 25 years ago, with hits like Polyester Girl and ! (The Song Formerly Known As). Now, they're coming to Darwin as part of their Quarter Pounder tour.

Originally a side project for the trio – Ben Ely, Quan Yeomans and Peter Kostic – the band has forged a successful career as experimental alt-rockers, blending different genres into their sound. They’ve even tapped into a new generation, with the release of their kids’ album this year, The Really Really Really Really Boring Album.

Bassist Ben Ely looked back in time with us to have a chat about the last 25 years of the ‘Gurge.

You’re hitting the road for the Quarter Pounder tour celebrating 25 years of tunes – what’s in store for the show?
We’ve been planning on doing something pretty special for this tour for a while. It’s going to be the biggest show we’ve ever done and we’ll play the longest we ever have. We’ve planned all these special things…

Any ‘special things’ you can tell us about?
Yeah. We’ve compartmentalised the show into different sections from our career, with each of those sections having different costumes and short films for the transitions. We’re planning a pretty good show – as far as our shows go. I don’t think it’ll be as big and Guns N’ Roses (laughs).

When you hit a big milestone like this, do you tend to reflect, or look forwards?
When you’re a creative you’re always looking forward. If I do a record, I’m always thinking about what I’m going to do next. But this year we’ve looked back a bit and our manager is sending us this huge list of all the gigs we’ve ever done, and we’re going through the back catalogue to pick the most interesting songs to play – there’s just so much stuff!

What’s it like listening to songs you were writing in your early 20s?
Music is like a little time machine, where you go back and you not only remember what happened to you through the song, you also feel it, and feel how you did when you were younger. 
It’s really quite strange. You become a different human being to who you were when you were younger. It’s like seeing a stranger but knowing them so intimately. 

Highlights from the past decades?
The thing that blows me away the longer we go on as a band, is the fact the audiences have always been there for us, and continue to appear when we play. It’s really quite amazing. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.

Are you finding new audiences and still striking a chord with young people?
It’s funny, my daughter was at school and one of her friends said “have you heard this band? They’ve got really weird lyrics”, and played her I Sucked A Lot Of C—k to Get Where I Am, and she said “yeah, that’s my Dad’s band.”

That’s hilarious! How is touring these days, now you’re a family man?
These days I want to go to bed at 8.30pm – I don’t want to stay up late. In the old days, I’d stay up for days and not eat. Now I like getting up early and watching the sunrise. 
It’s going to be weird. For this show we’re systematically going through our music, and when we started out we were really heavy, so we’ve got this heavy, intense start, with lots of yelling and I think, Oh my god how did we do this? All this yelling and distortion! (laughs)
Regurgitator Quarter Pounder – 25 Years of Being Consumed with The Fauves, DJ Mangohig and special guests SAT 12 OCT | 4PM | DARWIN SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB | $50 |
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