Members of the antechinus species have been called broad-footed marsupial mice, pouched mice, route rat and antechinus shrews. They’re small, carnivorous, shrew-like marsupials and they primarily prey on invertebrates like spiders, beetles and weevils.
There’s another kind. And it makes music.
Four-piece Antechinus only formed on the Gold Coast in late 2015 and their first gig was May this year. Consisting of two musical veterans – Leon Rossi (guitar) and Brad Fleming (bass, vocals) alongside Shaun Radford (vocals) and James Scown (drums), the band boasts a free-thinking approach to writing music, combining elements of punk, metal, prog rock and stoner doom.
Before Shaun, the newest member joined the band, Antechinus were basically just an instrumental outfit. While he’s performed as a drummer and singer before, he’s never technically been a frontman.
“I made them better,” Shaun laughed.
“He blew us out of the water entirely,” James said. “We had like three jams and hired him.”
With only a few short months of gigging, Antechinus have had gigs through Brisbane and the Gold Coast as well as Ipsich with venues like New Globe and Back Room, Rics, Currumbin Creek Tavern and Kirra Sports Club scoring visits from the band.
They say their free-thinking approach is about not constraining themselves to a certain genre or structure.
With references to genres like punk and death metal I’m curious as to what the band were listening to growing up. I get a diverse response, but there’s definitely a theme: Aphex Twin, Frank Zappa, Frenzal Rhomb, The Offspring, Pennywise. James comes from a tech metal background.
“We have a lot of nuanced influences,” he said.
The big news for Antechinus is that they’re on the bill for Fuzz Fest alongside other Gold Coast bands like Kobrakai, Baltimore Gun Club and Goatzilla.
“We’re very stoked, so excited,” Leon said. “I’ve known Psymon (the festival director) for 15 or 16 years. The thing for me is that I’ve heard about a lot of those bands but not got around to listening to them before.”
“I was in the bottle-o last night talking to the manager and he asked when our next gig was. I said Fuzz Fest and he said ‘oh yeah, I’ve been hearing about that.”
With an EP currently in production and Fuzz Fest not far away, there are no brakes on the musical train wreck that is known as Antechinus.
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Fuzz Fest features Antechnius amongst a stellar cast of fuzz guitar riffage. The event hits Currumbin Creek Tavern on Saturday 29 October from 3.00pm – midnight with Cornerstone, Deja Vudu, Monster Fodder, Payments in Gold, Stone Witches, Baltimore Gun Club, Antechinus, Fly Agaric, Goatzilla, Kobrakai and Former Angels all on the bill.
Feature image by LAMP Photography.