By kath Wake Ups Interview
Article By Kath on Oct 2, 2002


 1) How long have The Wake Ups been together and whereabouts in Australia are you from?

Ryan Elsmore - Vox, Guit; Dan Bell - Bass; Richard Weinmann - Drums, BeeVox;Matt Galvin - Guit, Beevox.
We're from Sydney's Inner West, Sydney's East and the Banana Coast.
Ryan and Dan got together in 94', Rich and myself joined in 1997.

2 ) Where does the name come from?

We used to be called the Scruffs. We released a record in Spain last year called "The Actual Size". We were becoming increasingly aware, courtesy of some US reviews and the online powerpop geekery, that a band called The Scruffs existed in Memphis in 1976. Although that band are a blip on the "where are they now" radar, a lot of the people that like our music know about them and often asked if we named ourselves after them (In actual fact, it was a term that Dan Bell used as a lad growing up in Picton to describe the act of procreation).

As our record is now being distributed through the States, we decided to make a fresh start, and avoid confusion and litigation. The name was one that Ryan suggested that we could all tolerate.

3) How did you guys all meet?

For the most part, at the Sandringham Hotel in Newtown, Sydney. I met Ryan when I was in a band called the Barbarellas at the pub in about 1993, and I met Dan there when he was playing with Small Handgun about 2 years later. Rich was known to Ryan one way or another, but I knew him from seeing him in the John Reed Club.
4) What would be your 3 major musical influences?

Refer question 7 - The answer is there in one way or another. Having said that, we all like The Who, The Beatles, The Stooges, The DB's, Television, Sloan.

5) What is one thing you'd like to change about the music industry?

Where do you start? I'd like to figure out a way to give new bands more
longevity, and remind them that it's OK if they don't get signed within a week of their first gig. I don't know what it's like in Melbourne these days, but poker machines were a scapegoat for a waning Sydney live scene. The industry now is too 'top heavy' and too concerned with after parties and money and cocaine.

6)  Where do you see yourself in 5 yrs time?

Wherever the road takes us - I'm sure that we'd all like to make this go full time, but we are also very realistic about the chances of that. It's great at the moment to play and record, and if people like our records and gigs, fine. I'm enjoying it, but I'm also aware of the fact that you can't please everyone all of the time.

7) What do you think makes a band stand out from all the others?

A band that can stick to their guns and not follow any other trends. Look at Radiohead and U2 - bands that I used to like more than I do these days, but you've gotta admire the fact that they are forever pushing boundaries and making the music that they want to make. Mudhoney in their own way, REM, Guided By Voices as well.

8) What CD releases have you had out? Any in the pipe-line?

There was EP called Take A Bath that was released before I joined. We released an Album called The Actual Size under the Scruffs moniker in Spain, and we released the same album in Oz under the Wake Ups name, but we retitled the album 'Wanna Meet The Wake Ups'

9) (Non music-related question) Buffy or Secret Life of Us?

Secret life of us for the way the character Jason swears. Have you ever heard anyone on television swear with such passion? I like a good swear, but that bloke puts me to shame.

10) Final thoughts........(On your band, where you're headed, words of wisdom, etc....)

None really, we're all enjoying doing what we do and are happy that we are starting to build a bit of a crowd in Sydney at least. Perspective is the key to all of this - we all have girlfriends, dogs, children, ex-wives and jobs to deal with as well!

11) Website/email details.

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.