Interview with Deadweight Express
Nikki Keating | On 24, Dec 2013
Music made with the blood, sweat and tears of two Brisbane locals, Deadweight Express is a nod to the limitless influences of rock and roll.
Taking a peek at the first song on their EP, ‘Blind Eye‘, I’m instantly into it.
A grungy rock sound with a blues rhythm, the song was undeniably sexy. ‘Blind Eye’ is the kind of song that plays in your head when you feast your eyes on the sheer bad-assery of a 67 Chevy Impala, or the un-scuffed pristine of a new half pipe.
In fact every song on this five track album makes you want to get up to nastiest kind of mischief and totally get away with it. Picking up the pace a bit with ‘6ft In A Grave’, the music blasts with punchier drums, harder strums and no less sex appeal.
I met with duo, Sonny Ingledew and Calvin Edward, at a pub and got talking about all things skate, tattoos and music.
Sonny and Calvin have spent their lives surrounded by music. Calvin growing up in Brisbane and Sonny coming from Grafton down south, the two met skating back when Calvin was young enough for Sonny to call him a ‘grom’.
Now elbows deep in their respective lives, with Sonny a new Dad and Calvin in construction work, Deadweight Express has become a part of what they do.
When I asked them where they get their influences from they listed off a few answers. However, the more I asked them about their lives, their pasts and their music, the more it became obvious to me that Deadweight Express’s sound owes its influences to their parents.
Sonny: “My background is blues. It was my Mum really. For as long as I can remember there was music in the house. She used to take me to Bluesfest and when I started to learn the guitar at eleven and my instructor asked me what I wanted to learn, I chose blues because it was what I knew. I was a teenager when grunge was huge, and guys like Rage Against the Machine, Hendrix, ACDC made me love rock and metal.”
Calvin: “I probably started playing the drums because of Blink 182. The first music I can really remember were The Doors because of my Dad. Only realised recently that some of the shit he used to put on was Led Zepplin and Deep Purple. I absolutely hated it when I was a kid because when he put it on I knew it was bedtime [laughs]. Then I started playing snare and I was terrible at it. I convinced Dad to get me a drum kit in grade nine.
Sonny: “Calvin’s Dad takes him to see Pink FLoyd and The Police and amazing shit like that!”
Calvin: “[Laughs] I started to listen to Slipknot, System of a Down and As I Lay Dying in my metal phase.
Sonny: “When we were in Melbourne we’d sit on the veranda and listen to all of System of a Down’s stuff.”
Calvin: “The drummer from The Police, Danny Carey from Tool and Travis Barker from Blink 182 were just huge influences.”
Laughing about the music their parents put them through, and showing me their tattoos, I was at ease talking to them both.
Many of their tattoos are a homage to the skating world, the stuff they like, the liquor they drank and the milestone’s in their life. With ‘Skate And Destroy’ a tattoo they both have and laugh about, Sonny and Calvin mocked each other over the stupid memories that led to many of their marks.
An anomaly in the Brisbane scene, Deadweight Express is just drums, guitar and vocals. As a two man act, the pair admit to struggling to be taken seriously because they aren’t a five piece. Yet, it’s clear to me that Brisbane needs some redirection because these guys make music that puts you in a great place.
Seriously powerful, ambitious and keen, Deadweight Express are worthy of a look.