The Gingers: rock-drenched punksters

The Gingers rocketed onto the Aussie music scene a couple of years ago with impressive results. Garnering extra attention as a result of releasing their debut EP Love You Long Time in 2006 and supporting California’s punk magnates Pennywise, The Gingers certified their presence as a band with a crush on catchy rock-drenched tunes and making music.

Etta Curry, Nellie Jackson and Chelsea Wheatley started out in typical style, long-time friends chatting about the dream of forming a band in a tent one year at the Falls Festival in Victoria. Since, the achievements that The Gingers have attracted are obviously the envy of many creative upstarts in this country. But The Gingers are now setting their sights on new directions – namely in the form of new, additional guitarist Steve Lavery and drummer Chris Kelly as Nellie reveals.

“We got Steve our guitarist late last year. He was in a band called The Vaginals. He’s really good. Etta’s going to arts school which is what she really wants to do so now we also have [drummer] Chris who’s come on board. It’s a new band, way more energetic this time round.” Deciding to get an extra guitarist on board has afforded the opportunity for The Gingers to evolve their direction with a chunkier sound. Having two boys on board hasn’t phased Nellie or Chelsea, as Steve and Chris fell comfortably into the fold. So, how are the adjustments going? “Really, really well,” Nellie affirms. “Etta is still really involved – she does the arts side of everything. She’s always had that sort of background. We’re way more focused now I think and everyone is really good with their instruments. When we first started out, we were friends playing music together. Now, we’ve just got better working at how to work together and we’re way more professional I think, but still really fun.

“Etta chose to leave and the first few times for rehearsals and us turning out new recordings I think was a bit hard on her – hearing someone else play her songs in a totally different way, as it would, felt a bit weird. But she’s getting used to it and she still wants to be involved with [the band]; coming to shows as much as she can. It works out in a way she gets to do arts, what she really loves doing, and now she always wants to be a part of what she partly started. She’s always one of our closest friends so she was always going to be involved, definitely.”

With the new changes now firmly in place, The Gingers are busy working on their skills as a more matured band with a strong creative outlook. Love You Long Time was a fizzing introduction to the band’s capabilities and fans will see a natural progression from the band’s infant beginnings. As much as Nellie sees Love You Long Time as a steep learning curve, she insists that the band is still in upward motion. “I think the songs sound so much more punkier and much tighter – nothing against Etta’s drumming at all, it was great – but having a different drummer (Chris is a trained punk drummer), it’s really tight and that’s what shows. There’s no comparisons though, just a different sound. We’ve been rehearsing, we’ve just recorded a demo for our new EP so hopefully that’s going to be recorded in the next week or two then hopefully it’ll be out by May.

“One thing we all agreed with was that we all want it to be way more energetic and punk. When we look back at Love You Long Time we thought: –  “that was so embarrassing!’. That’s part of being in a band and starting up young. Not that we don’t like it, it’s always going to be there, but I think now our experiences in the studio will be different to what it was then. It was just a lack of experience and we were listening heaps to our producer [ Lindsay Gravina ] and not listening to what we wanted to do. Because we’d never recorded and he’d done so much recording we just automatically said –  “cool, alright.’”

“Everything we’ve done since Love You Long Time has been so much more involved. It’s just a matter of growing up I guess. I mean, we were 16 when we did that last one; we were quite young. When we first started out, you know, we didn’t even know how it all worked. We were a bit dumb about it all. To think that we started recording six months after we started writing and you have to go and record in a proper studio so it was really overwhelming – we just didn’t know how to do it. Everyone’s so on the ball right now.”

The Gingers are now looking forward to their Melbourne and Sydney shows, the first since last year, with their brand-spanking new line-up. ”[The shows] should be awesome – we’re all excited. We’re just so excited to play again – we haven’t played since September and we’ve been rehearsing so much so everyone’s so excited to get back into it. Playing is the best part about being in a band. We just want to be really energetic and full-on. We want to let people know that haven’t changed the whole band. Our parents haven’t even seen the new line-up!”

Be sure to check out The Gingers as they debut their new line-up!

Saturday February 23 – The Tote, Melbourne (with Bright Yellow)

Thursday February 28 – Spectrum, Sydney (with Skybombers)

Friday February 29 – Globe World Cup After Party @ Ruby Rabbit, Sydney