With the success of their latest single ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Missin”, we caught up with Sons of Rico to discuss the strangely debaucherous back story to this song, and other music related anecdotes.
First up, who makes up Sons of Rico?
Alex MacRae, Adam Weston, Brett Murray, Chris Callan and Rob Stephens
How did you guys form? Did you ever think the band would get as big as it has?
We formed over years of going to the same pubs and playing the same gigs (with different bands). Talking shop all the time kind of saw us fall into the same band quite naturally. Pretty great being in a band with all your mates!
I imagine your dad’s aren’t all called Rico, so how did your band name come about?
It’s a (relatively) subtle reference to the character of Uncle Rico in the 2004 cult movie Napoleon Dynamite. He is such a mix bag of masculinity – just as we are – so it was a funny thought to imagine ourselves as his illegitimate children that he’d fathered along the way.
Say somebody stumbles across you guys playing a live set. How are they going to describe your sound to their mates. What other comments might they make?
“These guys are alright ay! The singer sounds like Axl Rose, but not as mental”
What do your record collections look like? Which bands have had the biggest influence on your sound?
They’re basically an expansion of our parent’s collection – stemming from Elton John, Electric Light Orchestra, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and then later including crew like Arcade Fire, Belle and Sebastian, The New Pornographers, Guns n’ Roses and Dungen. It’s always hard to pinpoint which artists are the biggest influence on our sound. I’d say the sounds of yesteryear will always shine through a bit more – the orchestration of ELO coupled with the catchy melodies of The Beatles.
How do you go about making new songs? Do you have a method, or does each song change?
There’s a method I follow once there’s an idea of what kind of vibe the song might end up having, but getting to that point requires me to put myself in an environment that is conducive to inspiring that initial spark of an idea. I always want to be sure I’m onto a good thing before layering because that can take hours, days, or even weeks! Yeah, can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes.
Being based out of Perth, and given most people live on the East Coast, did you find it harder to break into the music scene? Surely it must have made touring more expensive and difficult?
People always tell me that there’s just so much good music consistently coming out of Perth, and I believe that part of that is due to Perth being a great incubator. It’s a great place for artists to earn their stripes and see a fan base build, but of course everyone’s got their eyes on the east. Perth folk do have a hard time making it over east because, yeah, it’s super expensive! We’re kind of lucky right now that two of us are based in Brisbane, so it takes a bit of the pinch out of it there, but it does make regular jamming a little bit…tricky! Good thing we’ve all got Skype!
Your new single ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Missin’’ has quite rightly been getting plenty of airplay. What’s the story behind it, its inspiration, musical beginnings and the way you guys felt about it when it was done?
Last year after a show in Sydney, Adam and I went in search for a post-gig kebab. We were accosted by a trans-gender “lady of the night” who was offering all sorts of non-kebab related things. We weren’t interested so we were on our way, but not before this lady yelled “you don’t know what yo missin’!” At the time we laughed it off, but ever since I’ve been thinking about that line and what it means. I thought it’d be a good idea for a song that asks you to consider what you might be missing when you decline an opportunity. With that in mind I wanted it to be fun, loud and to-the-point, so naturally we went down a Gary Glitter/Eagles of Death Metal path – straight up party rock!
You supported the Living End for the Perth Dates of their monster tour just last week. What was it like playing with such legends of Aussie rock? Did you pick up any useful tips?
Pretty bizarre sharing a stage with this band that I was air-guitaring to in high school! …Air-guitaring? I meant… air… listening. They’re a band that totally proves that practise makes perfect – also that wearing neckerchiefs is pretty cool.
What does the remains of 2012 and next year have in store for Sons of Rico?
So many things! We just put out a video for “You Don’t Know What You’re Missin’” and finished up a run of shows across the country. We’re starting work on another video for another single to be released towards the end of summer, with a run of shows to be announced around then, then our new album will be released soon after that.