MUSIC

Regurgitator's Quan Yeomans on the '90s and why he respects The Wiggles

SPRUNG: Regurgitator are excited to play shows again after a 15-month break from the stage due to the pandemic.

SPRUNG: Regurgitator are excited to play shows again after a 15-month break from the stage due to the pandemic.

REGURGITATOR were among Australia's most popular bands of the 1990s thanks to albums like Tu-Plang and Unit, so it would surprise many fans that they don't hold the decade of alternative rock in high esteem.

"I look back at that music and there were so many bands that I loved, and quite a few Australian bands, but listening back to that music, I just think that the '90s was full of really bad music," Regurgitator's Quan Yeomans says with a laugh.

"Obviously I listened to the Primus records, and I really loved that band when I was 19 and 20, but I can't listen to it at all now.

"Half the music from that era with the drum sound and vocalists - I have the same feeling about my own band as well - I think oh god, how did people get into this?"

Ironically, Regurgitator are gearing up to play travelling '90s nostalgia festival Spring Loaded, which mirrors a classic Homebake line-up.

Excluding the disbanded Silverchair and Powerfinger, Spring Loaded includes arguably the biggest Aussie acts of the late '90s alt-rock scene, led by Grinspoon, You Am I, Jebediah, Regurgitator, Frenzal Rhomb, Magic Dirt and Custard.

There was a lot of competition and healthy one-upmanship going on between the bands and within bands.

Quan Yeomans

Yeomans is looking forward to catching up with old buddies from the music circuit, particularly Frenzal Rhomb and Grinspoon.

These days there's a completely different vibe backstage, compared to Homebake and the Big Day Out where each band wanted to blow the others off the stage.

"When you're young you need that competitive edge to do good art, or semi-reasonable art, if you're capable of it," he says.

"There was a lot of competition and healthy one-upmanship going on between the bands and within bands."

While Yeomans freely admits he struggles to listen to the harsh distorted sound Regurgitator and many of their contemporaries created during the '90s, he can appreciate it was a special era for generation X.

Regurgitator - Black Bugs

It was also a special time for Yeomans and his Gurge bandmates Ben Ely and former drummer Martin Lee as they broke out of Brisbane's eclectic music scene with an innovative mix of punk rock, hip-hop and electronica, interlaced with pop melodies.

Tracks like Black Bugs, Polyester Girl and ! (The Song Formerly Known As) are today among '90s Aussie alt-rock's most iconic moments.

"It had an incredible vibe to it, especially when you were a part of it or were a fan," Yeomans says. "Everyone has their eras and it's wrapped up in a whole bunch of memories from that time, growing up, getting into trouble, falling in love for the first time.

"It's always going to be that for you and everyone has that moment in their lives. The kids of today have it now and we had it back then."

Remarkably in the past two years The Gurge have cracked into a brand new audience, who weren't even thought of during the '90s.

The Really Really Really Really Boring Album by Regurgitator's Pogogo Show introduced children to their cheeky, and slightly rude, sense of humour.

The record featured cuts like Mr Butt and Farting Is A Part Of Life and earned the band an ARIA Award nomination for best children's album and secured best independent children's record at the 2019 AIR Awards.

"With the band in general we've always had, you could say, an appeal that was a little low brow, but there's always room for that," the father of two says. "Parents are always looking for something new and different that their kids can latch on to, to give them a break essentially."

Regurgitator's Pogogo Show has been described as the "anti-Wiggles", but performing to kids has given Yeomans a renewed appreciation for the children's supergroup.

"It's actually a lot harder to be a kids entertainer than we first expected," he says. "When you get on stage in front of a drunk adult audience you know the cues and they know the cues and you can get on their wavelength.

"With kids they're poker-faced sometimes and it's hard to tell if they're having the worst day of their lives or a lot of fun.

"You really have to bring a lot as a kids entertainer to the stage and I respect people like The Wiggles for that level of commitment."

Spring Loaded visits Royal Randwick, Sydney (May 8); Gosford Entertainment Grounds (October 16) and Stuart Park, Wollongong (October 23). The line-up includes Grinspoon, You Am I, Regurgitator, Jebediah, Frenzal Rhomb, Magic Dirt, Custard, Tumbleweed and more.

Regurgitator will also perform at Newcastle's Scene & Heard at Wickham Park on November 7.

This story Regurgitator prefer the new stuff better than the old stuff first appeared on Newcastle Herald.