Down and Out is not your typical pop punk band.
Taking influences from a myriad of other bands from All Time Low and A Day To Remember, to The Story So Far and Stand Atlantic, the Adelaide band is going from strength to strength.
Playing as part of Going Bananas mini festival of local bands at The Bridgeway this Saturday 3 October, the band will line up with the likes of Chelsea Manor, Struth!, Sweet Jane, Lola, Mum’s Favourite, Nocturnal Animals, Mongrel and The Birds are Spies.
Made up of Luke Ganeo (vocals), Blake-Lee Danher (guitar), Alec Ganeo (guitar), Henry Armstrong (drums) and Bradley Billing (bass) Down and Out pride themselves on being a unique part of Adelaide’ music scene.
“I mean you can go anywhere and watch five dudes play music, but there’s precious little of our genre available to local punters. When you’re looking for energy you either have to go to metal or like underground punk. Sometimes you just get that catchy pop punk itch that indie bands can’t quite scratch, you know,” Henry says.
With a distinctive sound and inimitable chemistry, the band came together organically and have been working hard across the music scene ever since.
“I wanted to be in an active band again because my current band was on an indefinite hiatus,” Henry says. “Luke put a post up on a Facebook group with the EP; it was exactly what I wanted to be playing so I hit him up.”
“What got me into the band was Alec,” Brad says. “Luke and I were already in a band previously and after a while that band just stopped doing stuff. Luke sent me a copy of an EP and I remember thinking, holy shit this is really good stuff.”
And while the guys are making music to scratch that pop punk itch, their reasons for getting into music in the first place vary.
“I stared to play guitar to impress some girl at school,” Alec laughs. “I enjoy the creativity of songwriting as well as the fun of performing it.”
“Wait that’s why you started playing guitar?” Luke quizzes Alec. “I don’t know what drew me into music, but in primary school when I was about eight we got a music teacher and she showed me the drums and I was playing them and I was like ‘Yep’ and I’ve been playing music ever since.”
“I did piano lessons as a kid and I have never picked up an instrument that I haven’t been able to play to some degree, so I thought I should at least pull that string,” Henry says.
“I started playing music in year eight,” says Brad. “When our teacher said go pick an instrument, I picked up the bass thinking it was a guitar and then afterwards [realized] this was what I wanted to do.”
“I think I started playing guitar because it was something to do during school,” Blake says.
With everyone coming from different backgrounds, the band finds common ground through song writing and collaborating.
“All of our released songs are written by Luke and our old guitarist. However, the songs we are working on now definitely have different aspects and it’s interesting to hear other people’s aspects and other ideas when presenting a song concept to them,” Alec says.
And with the new sounds they’re making will their audiences be on board with the new look Down and Out?
“What audience?” Luke laughs. “The best part of being new and not having much of an audience at the moment is that there are no expectations.”
“I feel like at this point, anyone can do anything in music. There are so many sub genres in sub genres that I think all we really should do is write shit we think is good and hope people like it,” Alec says.
“Sometimes we will be like ‘We need a banger’ or ‘we need a slightly heavier song’ and we will try to direct the song that way, but more often than not I think we just write whatever comes out without putting too much though into the form and if it doesn’t fit into a specific sound it doesn’t matter as long as we think it sounds good,” Luke agrees.
Down and Out are heading into the studio very soon to lay down some of their new tracks, but in the meantime, you can see them perform at Going Bananas at The Bridgeway this weekend.
Words and pictures by Skye Sampson