Down And Out
Down and Out
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 5-10 years, you know that Australia has been lighting up the pop punk scene. Bands like Stand Atlantic and Yours Truly are two incredible bands from Down Under and have been in heavy circulation in my playlists for the last few years.
Down and Out is the first band that I’ve had the privilege to interview from Australia and man, they sound great. They’re a bunch of fun dudes that while not taking themselves too seriously, have some deep lyrics.
Enjoy today’s interview and be sure to give them a listen!
Ian: Thanks for letting me put you in the hot seat and ask you some questions. You’re the first band from Australia to be featured. Before we get into the questions, please tell everyone who you are and where you’re from. (who is in the band, what instruments do they play)
Band: Hey, thanks for having us along! So we’re Down And Out and we’re from Adelaide, Australia. The band is comprised of Luke Ganeo on vocals, Alec Ganeo on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Bradley Billing on the bass, Blake-Lee Danher playing lead guitar and Henry Armstrong behind the drums.
Ian: When and where did you guys meet and how long have you been playing together? How did you come up with the name Down and Out?
Band: I (Luke) met Alec when I was about one and a half years old and he was born. I don’t remember it very clearly but I’ve been told I was pretty indifferent at the time. Then the two of us met Brad when we started primary school. Then we met Henry and Blake years later just through music scene connections as we were trying to put a pop/punk band together and they happened to also have terrible taste in music! “Down And Out” is actually a reference to a lyric in the Led Zeppelin song “Black Dog”.
Ian: You definitely bring the pop punk sound with your music. If you had to describe your sound to readers/listeners, how would you describe yourselves?
Band: Probably just fun and upbeat. The music can get kinda angry or angsty but we try to keep it as vibrant as we can. We try not to take ourselves or the music too seriously; we’re just here to entertain really, and while there’s a place for deep, meaningful art we are not it. Our goal is to take your mind off of the bleak horrors of existence for a moment.
Ian: We’ve seen a lot of pop punk acts come out of Australia over the last few years. Two of my favorite are Yours Truly and Stand Atlantic. What do you think are some of the reasons as to why pop punk is so strong down there?
Band: I’ve thought about this a lot and I’ve got a few theories but I’m not 100% sure. Firstly we’ve got an amazing producer, Stevie Knight, in Sydney, who produces probably all your favourites like Yours Truly, Stand Atlantic, With Confidence, Between You & Me, and, of course, Down And Out. Other than that, we’ve generally got great weather, and we tend to be a pretty carefree people down here, and I think that lends itself to a few genres of music, pop/punk being one of them. We just like to have fun and relax in the sun.
Ian: Like you already mentioned, you’re from Australia. What’s the scene like there, specifically in Adelaide? Do you have a favorite venue to play at? Any other bands you like to play with that we should check out?
Band: The Adelaide scene is pretty good but it’s not really a haven for pop/punk. You’ve gotta go to the East coast for that (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane). So we’re kind of swimming against the current in Adelaide which doesn’t help haha, but we’re more in line with what people are doing nationally and internationally. Other great bands in Adelaide would be Lickity Split, Wolf & Chain and Hindsight.
Ian: You released the single Limelight in December of 2022. How would you describe what the song is about to listeners? Any specific events or stories behind the song that you want to share?
Band: Ok, I know I said we like to keep it upbeat and fresh and fun but this song is basically a reflection on what drives a performer. To be honest, I don’t think most performers do it for the best or healthiest reasons.
Most of us are up on that stage because we need the attention and validation in a way that really isn’t healthy or sustainable, and when you get off the stage and you’re not in the “limelight” anymore, you feel empty again.
I don’t think it’s healthy because the feeling of validation, the self-esteem boost you get, should come from within; your sense of self-worth shouldn’t depend so heavily on other people and I think that’s why performers tend to be so miserable.
Since then we’ve even released a full EP so hopefully if Limelight gets a bit too grim for people there’ll be some tracks on the EP that they enjoy!
Ian: What are your big plans for 2023?
Band: I don’t wanna spill the beans too much but a national tour is in the pipes so hopefully that comes to fruition as we also continue to release every 6-8 weeks. We just released our debut EP, All Things Considered, on February 3rd and we’ve already got the next batch of songs recorded and ready to go so we’re showing no signs of slowing down for 2023, that’s for sure!
Ian: If you could play/work w/anyone else, who would it be & why? Who would be your dream guest-artist on one of your songs?
Band: I think to be able to play or tour with, we would all die if we could play with The Story So Far and we would LOVE to get Bonnie Fraser from Stand Atlantic on a track.
Ian: Other than your hometown, what's your favorite city (or cities) to play?
Band: Surprisingly enough we played a show in Launceston, Tasmania in 2021 and it went OFF! It was a great show, great venue, great crowd. I guess they don’t get many interstate acts so they’ve really gotta make the most of if when they can.
Ian: What else do you want to tell listeners about that I forgot to ask?
Band: I can’t really think of anything. We just hope that we can get our music into the ears of as many people as possible. Have a listen to us on Spotify and feel free to let us know what you think. We’ve got some weirder songs coming out next year that really push the envelope and more into more trap and heavy stuff while also remaining poppy and catchy in the right ways!
Support Down and Out
Ian: Thanks for letting me ask you some questions and being the first band I got to speak with from Australia! Where can readers find you so that they stay up to date with all the great stuff you're doing?
Band: Thank you for giving us the time, it feels like a real honour to be the first Australian band you’ve talked with! I’ll put the links below but you’ll probably have most luck if you follow us on Instagram or Twitter and if you wanted to chat with us about anything, just DM us there. Sometimes the DM’s get lost in the requests folder on Instagram because we just always forget to check it but twitter is a barren wasteland so if you DM us there I’ll be able to get back to you as soon as possible!
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