Gold Coast Outfit Hammers On All Things Music, Beer & How They Fall In Love
It’s early on a Friday morning and Hammers duo Lucas Stone and Ruckus are ready to discuss all things music, beer and how they fall in love.
The Gold Coast outfit dropped their EP Kicking Goals right at the point the world stopped and then had to bide their time. However recent gigs including ‘The Other Festival’ and ‘Blacken’, two humorous and self deprecating videos dropped in Cracker Night and When Kings Collide and an upcoming national tour with metal pioneers He Is Legend on the horizon, keeps the bands spirits typically light hearted.
How have you coped with having an EP that gets released just to be halted, then wheel that out again three years later?
Lucas: Mastering the art of not getting too excited, business as usual. It was pretty shitty at the time. The week that it was announced as a world wide big issue we were meant to leave for Japan on tour with Captives from Melbourne. We were stoked about that cause we’d been building to that for some time. Going into the few months after that and then being told you can go outside, so we had a whole national tour booked and fucking one by one the shows got cancelled and we shut up shop after that. So we didn’t get to do the tour cycle for the EP until ‘The Other Festival’
Ruckus: ‘what other festival?’
Lucas: aaahhhh! So I guess coming back into where we are now, it’s really trying to master the art of just trying to take it one day at a time and not getting too caught up in that side of it. I think a lot of bands kinda gave up and just went fuck it. Hammers as a band, and I think it’s cause we are all rooted in that best mates ethos, was more about us maintaining and functioning as a decent kinda business. What can you do, you can fucking whinge about it and do nothing or you keep adjusting and finding ways around it.
Ruckus: I think it was a chance to reset as a band cause we had to practice patience as a band. We couldn’t play the shows we wanted to play, it was slowly taken away from us in terms of wanting to share what we had created, so like Lucas said it forced us to grow a bit of patience and sit on what we had created until we could do it now.
Whats the feedback for the new videos yet music from three years ago, now you’re in the swing of things?
Lucas: I dunno man. We’re not like twenty years old or anything, I don’t know if you can tell!! For myself personally I’ve been doing this for a long time and you don’t really expect anything anymore, you just kinda hone your craft, sort of sit back and release your music. To know people still turn up to shows – we’re not selling out thousand capacity rooms or anything – and seeing a whole demographic of people from eighteen to our age and even older sometimes, it’s really cool to know that in some form what we are doing is still relevant and kicking off with people. We’re having fun doing it.
Ruckus: for me anyway, the focus is not how we are always received, it’s how we connect as a band together to deliver what we do the best way. I think people are into that. The feedback I’ve gotten is the connection and chemistry on stage translates with the music as well.
The music is serious however lyrically, and the videos, are a piss take and the self deprecating sense of humour comes out, do you guys feel, with Cosmic Psychos and The Chats, that you’re at a front of core Aussies larrikin movement?
Lucas: I think, to be honest with you, it probably has more to do with our vintage in that you are getting what you see. You see what you get with us. We all grew up with rat bag dads, the heart of that era. I’ve been working in trade since I was 12/13 years old and I’ve been on job sites my whole life and we are all kinda similar. We just do literally what we are doing without too much thought other than the basics. We have our practices and get together and have a shit talk, a yarn, about different themes and between all of us something ridiculous happens every time and we kinda roll with that. I feel like I’m stoked to see it, obviously at a time the world is riddled with this woke culture situation and a lot of people are painting some boundaries and shit. We’re not interested in that, we don’t care about what people think of certain things but at the same time we are not bad people. We do what we feel is right with us in a way we feel is authentic to who we are as people. If you come and have a beer with us at the pub, you see the videos in front of you. That’s the best way I can kinda explain it. There’s no contrived bullshit in what we do, it’s our thing and we are normal people, normal dudes. If we are at the forefront of that sort of thing I respect and appreciate that but at the same time we are not trying to do anything other than what we do as a band.
Apart from VB – the video it’s chicken twisties and VB – it’s gotta be Great Northern surely?
Lucas: I don’t touch that cat piss mate ! VB I can’t drink that, I’d rather have dishwater. For me personally if I’m going to a pub and it’s on tap is XXXX bitter. The other boys love their Melbourne bitters. They’re all confused, fuck those blocks.
When you get to SA we will get you on the Coopers…
Lucas: We all love Coopers. Red is one of my drinks of choice.
Ruckus: I had a green one last night. Just one though!
With the He Is Legend tour, what are you looking forward to individually and collectively?
Ruckus: It’s a bit of a spin out that collectively He Is Legend is one of our fave bands. One of the few bands we all agree on wholeheartedly. Personally I’m excited to meet these dudes. To meet peers, people you look up to musically and getting to tour with them and show them parts of your country. Doesn’t feel kinda real just yet. I’m really pumped to share the stage and see them do their own thing in the flesh.
Lucas: For us as a band logistically we are so excited to do the country one more time again. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, you just essentially want to grow these things and play to more people and obviously sharing the stage with legends such as He Is Legend is an honour. They have been rad to deal with. They’ve been awesome dudes and as a guitarist and a riff pig, I’m hanging to catch up with Adam and talk riffs and guitars and all the nice and fun things.
With that band they are legitimate in that scene. We all listen to bands like Every Time I Die, Bronx and all those bands that come from that same period and He Is Legend are one of the true heroes of that scene amongst all those bands as well. They’ve gone onto morph into this super complex and sophisticated beautiful alt rock/metal band. Realistically they’ve never needed anything other than their love of music to do anything and I think we can relate with that. Personally as a musician and songwriter, I’ve had every success and pitfall in the music industry and I’m still just a humble tradie that loves playing a riff. They’re kinda in the same boat over there so there’s definitely a relativity between the two bands on that level that we all love music and get to share it.
What’s next for Hammers after the tour?
Ruckus: A sleep in!
Lucas: We haven’t done a full length album yet. After the tour EP cycle we’ve got a couple of notches on the board already, so we can hopefully by the end of the year come out do this tour and a little headline tour and try and visit some regional areas with a couple of other little things I’m looking at that might not come to fruition. Primarily focusing on finishing the record and getting some more funny content out for the crew.
How would you describe your band?
Lucas: One word. Fun!
Ruckus: I’ve never been asked describe Hammers! I think charmingly obnoxious. Fish has a way of captivating you even if you don’t want to. He grabs your attention. Our chemistry onstage, regardless of what’s going on in the room, we are having a good time. Our chemistry is so intense you can kinda feel when you’re in the groove and by the end of the set you’re having a good time.
Lucas: We all fall in love with each other at every show. Literally.
Interview By Iain McCallum
Catch Hammers on tour with He Is Legend. Tickets from Beats Cartel…