Right now, promoting his new album is not Pat Carmody’s most pressing concern. When Classic Rock calls the My Dynamite singer at home in Melbourne, we find him juggling the dual roles of upcoming rock god and exasperated father.
“I guess there are some similarities between parenthood and rock’n’roll,” Carmody offers, as a stream of toddlers demand his attention. “You often end up covered in spew at the end of the night.”
It seems a few things have changed since we first met the devil-may-care frontman back in 2012. But with their second album Otherside, the Aussie band’s commitment to cathartic rock’n’roll remains as strong as ever. “There’s serious shit going on in the world,” reasons Carmody. “Music is the escape from all that.”
They’re an old-fashioned gang.
Rewind to 2008, and My Dynamite began in Machiavellian fashion, with Carmody hijacking the line-up of Simon Aarons (drums) and Trav Fraser (bass), then forcing out their hapless singer. “Too bloody right,” he hoots. “He was shit. Now, we’re brothers. The most rock’n’roll member is Coops, our keys player. He’s a monster. When we toured Europe he was drunk the whole time, except when he was sleeping. There were times when his skin colour was so green he looked like the fucking Grinch.”
Their new album runs the gamut.
While the rocking moments on Otherside betray the band’s love of Humble Pie and the Faces, mellow country-tinged songs like So Familiar salute Gram Parsons. “Some of my favourite albums are belters from start to finish,” says Carmody, “and a lot of Otherside is drinking music. We’re Australian, after all, and that’s our national pastime. But sometimes you need a breather. We listen to country, rock’n’roll, folk. We’re confident enough that if we want to play that stuff, fuck it, we will.”
They’re seventies disciples.
Ask Carmody when he’d travel to if he had a time machine and he doesn’t hesitate. “It’d have to be the early seventies. My favourite bands were at their peak then, like Zeppelin and the Stones. It was before my time, but something tells me I’d have done well in that era, just in terms of enjoying life. It’s flattering when people say we put our own spin on seventies rock. You can’t be copycats. When you’ve been playing with the same guys long enough, you’ll naturally start doing your own thing.”
They’re hairy and proud.
“It doesn’t hurt for a band to have plenty of hair,” Carmody says. “I’m a terrible dancer, but if you can flick your hair around, at least it looks like there’s something going on on stage. It’s performance art. I was watching a clip of David Lee Roth: he had fluffy leg-warmer boots, and the hair-tossing was next level. So he’s something to aspire to.”
They wake the dead – literally.
“The weirdest thing that’s happened on tour was in this small town in Germany,” Carmody says. “We were playing this two-storey building, and on the balcony this beautiful woman was watching us and smiling. She had this glow about her. We asked the owner: ‘Who’s the chick upstairs?’ He gave us this weird look and said: ‘Nobody’s been up there for years.’ So we decided what we were seeing wasn’t of this earth. I guess we’re popular with ghosts. We’ll probably be massive on the other side.”
They’re all about the live performance, not Pro Tools.
While My Dynamite’s self-titled 2012 debut was recorded “in a garage in forty-degree heat”, Otherside was done in a more salubrious Melbourne studio. Even then, Carmody recalls , they kept it simple. “There was minimal editing or trickery, and we recorded live. All my favourite albums were recorded like that. There’s a magic about it.
“Y’know, there’s Zeppelin songs that speed up and slow down. It wasn’t that Bonham couldn’t keep time – that was just how he felt the song should roll. That’s the goal.”
Otherside is out now on Listenable Records.