COSMIC PSYCHOS TURN 40

Interview and intro by Matt O'Brien | Photos by Maclay Heriot

At the very start of summer we helped the legendary Cosmic Psychos celebrate 40 years of music with a three day concert at the glorious Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, VIC. In true Psycho’s fashion, it was a weekend full of their favourite bands, friends and a full house of their fans - new and old. 

Matto, from our marketing team, joined Knighty out the back of the Royal to hear some shared stories, heaps of laughs, a chat about the past, the future and a few ‘Stunt Beers’. Let’s just say, it was a nice day to go to the pub… 

Matto | It was so rad to experience the vibe around the backstage area all weekend. There was a sense of love and family, young and old. Do you feel that the community you’ve built around you as well as the music is what has kept you young? Or do you think it’s Deano’s famous pre-show drumming massages?

Knighty | I think it’s the first option. The friends we’ve made over the years is what’s been keepin’ us goin’ and a gig is always the excuse just to catch up with friends, and usually includes free beer.

M | You had three huge nights at the Royal but I loved that you decided to give the headline slots to three of your (and our) favourite bands… The Chats, Amyl & the Sniffers and the Dunies. They are known to all be protégés of the band with you taking them under your wings early on. Are you proud to see how far these bands have come?

K | Bloody oath! We always keep an eye on em’ and in my mind it keeps Australian pub rock in very safe hands. No matter how enormous stuff they are doing, they are still all good mates and can sit around and talk absolute rabble with them.

M | It’s fair to say that all the bands on the bill for the weekend were amazing but who are the bands that inspired the songs you’ve made over the years? When you first toured, who were the bands who brought you along for the ride?

K | That’s a hard one because very early on everyone hated us. I suppose The Melvins took us on a few tours of the states, Mudhoney. And so many bands that never made it that were way better than us.

M | On the topic of the Royal, you’ve got a history around the place. Tell us why you love the place and Castlemaine or ‘North Northcote’ as it’s now affectionately known.

K | Because they do a great pizza, it’s run by a great crew - and it's not only a great venue, it’s a great place to hang out. I love to watch a film there too and it’s the closest venue to the farm!

M | I’ve heard Heaps Normals called a bunch of names, Camo Schooies, Hand Coolers but I laughed when someone called them Cheat Beers. Are there any other awesome ones we should know about?

K | I call ‘em stunt beers. I always have some Heaps Normal in the fridge so when the missus looks in there she thinks you’re doing the right thing. I do enjoy stunt beers, I have them early in the morning - it tricks the mind into thinking it’s a breakfast beer when I need to stay reasonably coherent during the day, and it’s a refreshing drink! They also often come out when you draw the short straw and have to drive, which makes them the perfect compliment.

M | 40 years is a long time to be in a punk band. What are some of the things you find normal now that your earlier selves would not believe? What’s changed the most in the music industry since you started?

K | That we’re still getting gigs! To be able to travel anywhere in the world (well, Europe and America) and be able to play in some small town and still have a bunch of people wanna come to see you play and have a beer and a yarn.

We’ve never felt a part of the music industry so I couldn’t tell ya how its changed. But if you have some more time, i’d love to tell you some of the changes in farming practices.

M | On that note, is there anything you’d like to see become more normal in the music industry?

K | Bring back the instant millionaires.

M | With no signs of slowing down you’re about to embark on a national tour with Zeke and then head stateside to jump on the Punk Rock Bowling tour schedule. What else is on the Psycho’s cards in 2024?

K | Extensive tour of Europe including 'HELLFEST', followed by 3 months of intensive rehab (drinking Heaps Normals of course). We’re also working on a new record as we speak, and shock horror - you’ll never guess what it's about.

M | Lastly, you’re a bloody funny bunch that loves a laugh. Any words of advice to the young musicians coming up from the hardest-working punk band still going strong? 

K | Don’t get high on your own supply, and always say thank you. Stay humble. 

To find out show dates/locations head to the Cosmic Psychos website and to follow on with their antics on tour, head to their Instagram.

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED

  • UNDER THE BAR(RE) - Emily Seymour

    UNDER THE BAR(RE) - Emily Seymour

    We caught up with Emily before her rehearsal for their international tour and talked about mishaps, missed luggages and the cultural shifts in the arts and dancing world.
  • UNDER THE BAR - SECTION 8

    UNDER THE BAR - SECTION 8

    We caught up with Hamish, the wizard behind the venue, to spill the tea on what makes Section 8 the definitive alleyway experience.
  • NORMAL PEOPLE - LUCY SUGERMAN

    NORMAL PEOPLE - LUCY SUGERMAN

    We sat down with Lucy to chat about her music, inspirations and aspirations, and what it means to be a storyteller in the ever-changing landscape of the music industry.