The past 12 months has proven to be a highly prolific period for the reconvened musical entity known as The Aints!, whose manifesto is to recreate the sound and energy of influential Brisbane garage-punk legends, The Saints. Lead by founding Saints member, the unflappable Ed Kuepper and featuring the combined might of Peter Oxley (Sunnyboys), Paul Larsen Loughhead (The Celibate Rifles, The New Christs), Alister Spence and Eamon Dilworth, the band are about to deliver a rapid fire follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed record ‘The Church Of Simultaneous Existence’.
This upcoming new mini-album, which goes by the name of , ‘5-6-7-8-9’ ( a knowing wink to The Saints 1977 EP, ‘1-2-3-4’) sees the collective take their visitation of past glories to Kuepper’s bulging back catalogue, re-working another early Saints track (‘Memories Are Made Of This’), a Laughing Clowns track of the same name and the song ‘Hang Jean Lee’, which was originally recorded in 2007 in the guise of Ed Kuepper and the Kowalski Collective. The EP also delivers alternative versions of two tracks from last year’s album, ‘Country Song in G’ and ‘Goodnight Ladies’. This latter number is, in fact, the oldest track that Kuepper has ever recorded, with its genesis going all the way back to 1969, when our protagonist was still a fresh faced school boy.
Chatting on the phone with Ed recently, I asked him if this current productive phase in The Aints! output had led to any overseas touring interest. “There’s been quite a lot of interest from overseas, but it is an expensive band to tour. We’ll look at it, but at the moment everyone is already committed to a number of different things, so it’s not always that easy for us to drop everything and go touring as a band. It’s something I’d like to do if circumstances allow. What I’d definitely like to do is a second Aints! album, which will wrap up whatever material was good enough from the really old stuff, mixed with largely new material.”
Upon further questioning Ed on this upcoming new material, both in terms of new songs as well as the existence of other embryonic gems from way-way back, he offers up the following: “There are a few old songs that are probably up to the standard of the ‘Church’ album and we may look at recording them if we do a second album. We’re still taking it one step at a time, but I would like to look at the idea. With new numbers, I tend to work in isolation until we start rehearsals but I think we may well throw the occasional new, unheard song into these shows we’ve got coming up.”
In terms of Kueppers other seminal band, the jazz inflected, art rock leaning Laughing Clowns, the chances of another reformation would appear to be slim, especially with The Aints! and Keuppers expansive solo demands keeping him on his toes. As Ed wryly states; “it’s hard to get the people together..and there’s only so many hours in the day. I think the Clowns had a very cohesive body of work, given the number of lineup changes we had, for the five years we were originally together. I think it stands on its own. I don’t think (a Laughing Clowns reunion) would be possible..and I don’t really see a reason for it. What I generally need to say in that area, I’m doing with The Aints! now anyway.”
In support of the new EP, The Aints! will shortly be hitting the tour trail for an East Coast run of shows, some of which will feature an intriguingly named support act known as Colonel Kramer and the Eamon Dilworth One Man Brass Ensemble. I asked Ed if he’d like to elaborate as to exactly what we can expect, and whether he would be assuming the role of Colonel Kramer. Whilst confirming my hunch, the rest he left for the good folk in attendance on the night to discover. Just make sure you get there early!
“I think I’d like to leave it a little mysterious. A lot of people don’t turn up for the support act anyway. Who knows what we’ll present up on stage, but it’ll be pretty good.”
The Aints! new mini-album, ‘5-6-7-8-9’, will be officially released on 14 June. The band are also undertaking a national tour in support of its release, with the following dates confirmed:
Friday, 14 June: Corner Hotel, Melbourne (The Aints! performing 3 sets)
Saturday, 15 June: Caravan Music Club, Melbourne: (The Aints! performing 3 sets)
Thursday, 20 June: The Zoo, fortitude Valley (with Blank Realm)
Friday, 21 June: Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast (with Colonel Kramer and the Eamon Dilworth One Man Brass Ensemble)
Saturday, 22 June 2019: Kingscliffe Hotel (with Colonel Kramer and the Eamon Dilworth One Man Brass Ensemble)
Friday, 28 June: Factory Theatre, Sydney: (The Aints! performing 3 sets)
Saturday, 29 June: The Street, Canberra: (The Aints! performing 2 sets)