Straight Arrows interview The Sonics

To say that Straight Arrows frontman Owen Penglis is a fan of The Sonics would be an understatement. Drawn to the band’s “brutal Little Richard meets raw 60s production” his first Sonics album was Boom, favourite song Shot Down and he even has a soft spot for their Christmas record.

This month Straight Arrows will play alongside The Sonics as part of decidedly epic Dig It Up lineup. In the lead-up to the gigs – which also feature The Hoodoo Gurus, 5,6,7,8’s and The Lovetones – Penglis got the chance to chat to Rob Lind, one of the three original members of The Sonics making their way Down Under for the first time in fifty-two years.

Hi Rob, how’s it going?

It’s going well, it’s going well. I’m, right at this moment, in Tokyo. This is kind of a couple of months of firsts; this is our first exposure to Japan and we’re we’re gonna play in Tokyo tomorrow night, and then some other Japanese cities. And then we go home and wash clothes and turn around and come to New Zealand and Australia and that’s a first also. So this is a lot of fun for us all the way down the line.

I can say myself and a lot of friends can’t wait to see you guys in Australia. It’s something we never thought we’d get to see.

We always wanted to come down and over the last 5 years have spent a lot of time, probably a lot more time in Europe, than we have in the States. We’ve toured all over Europe and we try to meet the crowds afterwards and sign autographs and do things like that and we invariably meet Australians who say, ‘When are you guys coming to Australia? They really like you down there’ [Laughs]. We just haven’t had the opportunity, we really wanted to, so now that the opportunity has presented itself we’re just jumping all over it, we can’t wait to come down and play.

It’s brilliant! I can say my first ever band did a cover of Psycho and now I’ll get to see you guys play it live!

Oh [laughs]. Yeah, that’s great I think it’s great that also that once in a while people play some of our songs. We run into people all the time that have; that’s really great that you’d do that.

How’s touring now compared times touring in the sixties for you?

A lot more miles, a lot more miles. In the sixties we toured primarily in the Pacific North West, maybe three or four states there and Canada. And we didn’t really go on long tours like we do now because we lived there; a lot of times it was out and back in our cars, and wake up at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and take a shower and go do it again somehow. But now, the way it is, we’ll go some place and be there for a period of time – we were in Europe for November and December, came back about December 21st or so [laughs]. And you know the way it is, you always get sick, everybody get’s sick [laughs].

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