Feature Interview: SpaceBoots
Deriek Simon – Singer Harley – Bass
Laban Pitman Johnson – Hype man
Julian Brooks – Drums Sean Reinders – Guitar
Jon – Manager
Partying brought you all together, so where did you all meet and how did you decide to start a band?
Deriek – Drinking. And some other festivities (everyone bursts out laughing). Five Thousand beers ago, we don’t really know. It was a good time though.
Em – did you meet in Vic?
Deriek – Yeah
Em – So Jon and Laben, how did you end up in Victoria since you’re both from Australia?
Laban – Just wanted to get out of OZ and go travel. Got stuck here and started a band because I saw these guys, (points to Harley) and talked about it for a while. Derek came out of nowhere.
Deriek – I came here for love actually. That really worked out. (Everyone laughs, and starts eating bananas).
Laban – But you found us!!!
Deriek – True. Its good being single.
On your website and in the Tribe FM interview in Australia, you classify yourselves as sex rock. Did that just happen organically or did you choose to take your music in this direction?
Deriek – We just wanted to sing about sex
Em – did that happen organically?
Harley – IT HAPPENED ORGASMICALLY!!!! (Laban falls over laughing)
Em – I knew that was going to happen!
Deriek – It just happened, we like to f%$@ a lot and I thought we should sing about that
Harley – I’m more into it for the party
You guy’s all had music backgrounds before you met. Were they along the lines of the same type of music? Who are your influences?
Deriek – The stuff I was doing before was very different. It was rock still, but heavier and more serious. Now, everything is fun and about the party… lose your mind music. It’s like I wake up in people’s backyards and it’s whatever. People like it, it’s fun.
Harley – I came from a jug-band.
Laban – what’s a jug band?
Harley – you know, when you blow into jugs…(proceeds to blow into an invisible jug. Everyone does the Homer Simpson jug impression).
Sean – I used to play with The Brown Paper Baggers in Sooke… jam with them a bit. They’re Ska/Punk. That’s the only other band I’ve played with.
Laban – I used to be in the Wizards. I was the hype man. I would dress up in leather and dance. That’s about it. That’s how we met, kind of. I was restricted to a square because I would trip over everyone’s chords. Well, I still do, but these guys don’t get angry about it.
Julian – I jammed with a bunch of people, but was never really in a band. In high school I was in a jazz band, but that’s it.
What the hell do you guys do for your day jobs?
Deriek – Porn star and a nuclear technician
Laban – Bartender
Harley – Life raft technician. I save thousands of lives. (true fact)
Deriek – he even has a f@$#ing name tag
Harley – I don’t have a name tag
Julian – Cabinetry and mill work
Sean – Bartender
Jon – are you really a porn star?
Deriek – I’m an out of work porn star. What are you doing later?
Your live shows have some serious creative production value. Who thinks of the costumes and the themes? Who are the girls that are on stage with you?
Deriek – it’s a collective thing.
Harley – I spit out about ten million stupid ideas and once in a while they stick.
Deriek – the beer box dragon was legendary. We still have it.
Laban – I was walking down the road and found all of these old hoola-hoop things. I was like “man, these are perfect for a dragon.” Harley was already making the head out of beer boxes. We stapled it together at like 3am, wasted. We come together for arts and crafts the day of.
Deriek – you should see our tickle trunk. It’s full of costumes. It’s in the basement. I’ll go down and grab a cape, leopard print pants, something shiny. (smiles)
Em – who are all of these ladies on stage?
Deriek – We don’t know! (pauses) Yes we do. Their friends, girlfriends or ex’s, anyone who wants to come up.
Laban – a few definitely return. It’s cool
Deriek – What I don’t get is that our music is seriously chauvinistic, I mean, we’re not trying to be, but it definitely comes out like that. It’s funny because women are our main fan base. I mean, this one time at upstairs, we were playing and there was a couple hundred people there. We look out and like 75% are female. All the dudes were in the back.
Laban – Dudes always say that they get laid at every single one of our shows. But like, we don’t. We’re too drunk or some shit. We just kick each other’s shins. (Everyone bursts out laughing).
You guys clearly are the party, but what is the gnarliest thing that’s ever happened to you during a show?
This has to go off record. But just so you all know, it’s a great story. I laughed really hard.
How long have you been together for?
Deriek – Three?
Sean – Wait, what? I don’t even know you guys (smiles).
Julian – It’s been on and off, not in a bad way, just sometimes we’re more into playing and sometimes were more into partying.
Deriek – It’s been over a year, but then we took a break because Laban and Julian went to Asia. Jon was back in OZ for 8 months. Last year was a blur. Especially when we went to Tall Tree last year.
Laban – Oh god, do we need to talk about this?
Deriek – Yes! It’s a Tall Tree interview! Ok, so we bought thirteen flats of Pabts Tall Boys and the night before we went up we drank three of them. We were a mess at the festival. I remember yelling at the rain, like MMOOORRREE.
Laban – It was his fault it was raining. He was doing his rain dance.
Deriek – we pulled a sponsorship from Carlsberg beer because of that. This rep that was there was like “you need to have Carlsberg’s in your hands.” Now every time we drink their beer at a show, the bar sells out of them. No, really, we had such a great time last year at Tall Tree. The first night I ripped the door off my tent. I was soaked. I was going around and sleeping in other peoples tents.
Harley – There is a picture someone took of two boots sticking out of a tent, lying there with a Duff Man cape.
Deriek – Yeah, that was me.
Laban – Ok, wait. Deriek screwed some guy’s wife last year.
Deriek – Ya. I didn’t know.
Laban – The guy talked to me after, and said she wasn’t a keeper anyway. We smoked a cigarette together. He thought it was me because we look alike, but it definitely wasn’t me.
Jon – Tell them why you both look alike.
Laban – we have the same dad.
Deriek – Ya. Ted Johnson from Boston.
Em – What? Are you serious?
Deriek – Ya, he left my mom and took off to Australia and met up with Laban’s mom. That’s how we met.
Em – Your lying.
Deriek – It’s on Wikipedia. I’m sure there is a Ted Johnson from Boston somewhere.
Kirsten – you guys are all lying.
If you could each bring someone back from the dead to be in your band who would it be?
Laban– Is Chuck Norris dead?
Deriek– Bernie Mac.
Laban – 2pac.
Sean – 2Pac’s not dead.
Laban – 2pac, Elvis, Jimmy Henricks and John Lennon.
Deriek– We need Jim Morrison.
Sean – Frank Zappa
Harley – I’m going to save that one until I die, so I can bring myself back. Or I’d haunt the shit out of you guys.
If you could fast forward five years from now, where do you guys want to be?
Laban – Heaven. Joking…
Deriek – I want consistently bigger houses. We’ve been growing houses. We need a hot tub and someone to clean. Every time we get evicted we get a better home.
Julian – I would like to be in the middle of some massive festival in North America.
Laban – Touring, no jobs, putting all the money back into the band and showing people how shit show awesome you can be.
Deriek – South Korea.
Laban – North Korea, can we get into there?
Em – Not yet. It’s a solid goal.
Laban – we’ll go south and start digging.
Since I am interviewing you for the lead up of Tall Tree, what are five tips you would give to festival goers this year?
Deriek – Bring f@#$ing gumboots and condoms.
Laban – Watch Spaceboots.
Sean – Have a f$%^ing blast. Plan your black outs properly, so you don’t miss the shows you want to see (every laughs and nods their head).
If you could be a type of tree, what kind would you be and why?
Harley – A Christmas Tree. I was one before.
Deriek – I would be a tall tree.
Laban – I’d be a weed tree. I know it’s a plant, but I want to be one.
Sean – I would be the tree in our front yard. The front yard tree.
Jon – Arbutus, it’s a pretty tree.
Deriek – Sean likes to pee on weird shit.
…. The conversation goes on about peeing in weird places. I’m not getting into it, but it’s funny as hell.
Laban – Let’s get famous! Write this cool article.
Harley – we need you to write it because we don’t know how to.
Deriek – writing isn’t a prerequisite of a rock star.
Kirsten – SpaceBoots seems to be about the music and the party at this point. As you get bigger and bigger is this going to be a focus for the band no matter what? Will you ever tone it down?
Julian – no compromising, just be careful in how we execute them.
Laban – that’s the rawness of us. That’s our journey. Songs right now are about partying, but their also evolving, so the story will evolve.
Deriek – we are evolving. We’re working on it.
Deriek – The coolest thing I was ever told about song writing is that you have to be honest, because no one will ever believe you or buy what you’re talking about. SO we love to party, and we sing about it. It’s because we love it.
Laban – that’s the beauty. It doesn’t matter about who you are, what color, what shape. Anything. You’re the misfit, you’re the richest guy in town. We will bring you in and all be your brother.
Deriek – I watched this show on elephants on national geographic. They were all orphaned and these people brought them together and they formed a family. That’s what we are. Just a bunch of random people, f%$#ed up. We’re each other’s brothers.
Jon – At a SpcaeBoots show the fellas will go have a beer with the person in the front and the person in the back. It doesn’t matter.
Deriek – we play for the people.
Jon – it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you are, we will be your friend.