It's Onan and Done With, Gavin Sawford, Rave Magazine, 15/07/98

For more than a decade, Melbourne's scatological art rockers have outraged and amused, depending on your sense of morality and humour. Me, I've always found them piss funny, and from their notorious fax interviews to their more recent fairly conventional telephone chats, crossing swords with TISM is always a thoroughly enjoyable experience, even if it does require a verbatim recounting on paper.

Not that it really matters - facts rarely do to TISM, it's all about (mis) perceptions - but TISM are in town this weekend to play a few gigs with Regurgitator and the Fauves, and to flog their latest album,, as Ron Hitler Barassi explained in between outbursts on a range of subjects.

"This is where TISM are confused, because why on earth would a band of successful young musicians who have a rip-roaringly good album, a fantastic career ahead of them, and surely are pulling chicks left right and centre, agree to play with This Is Serious Mum? I know the football team up there isn't going so well, but why on earth would your best rock band to come out of Brisbane in the nineties agree to us tagging along with them caboose-like?"

It's very simple. I figure we basically shat on the rest of the country politically in the recent state election, so Regurgitator probably thought it was time the rest of the country shat on this place musically, hence your involvement.

"That's a good idea. So what you're sort of saying is that TISM is the One Nation of rock'n'roll? I think that's a good point, and I very much see Regurgitator as your small "l" liberal, broad-minded and culturally literate, intellectually forward-thinking person, and we're the sort of jumped-up, self-indulgent, self-righteous loser-types that would vote for One Nation."

"I don't like homosexuals, and I don't like homosexuals not becuase of their sexuality, but because all the homosexuals I meet are intelligent, bright, sexually successful, fulfilled people, and that's what shits me about them. I'm with One Nation here, anyone that's better off than me I want to pull down, you know? I'm right with Pauline here. If I'm stuck in a fuckin' ratshit dead end job and I've got a fuckin' ratshit future, there's only one thing that's gonna make me feel better, and that's pullin' everyone else's future down so it's just as bad as mine."

"And I want to bring in the sexual One Nation, and all you people out there that achieve multiple orgasms - in fact, any of you males out there who have seen a female orgasm, fuckin' Hell, I've never seen one - any of you people out there, you can get fucked! One Orgasm, that' s what I want to start work on, and I'm gonna have a fuckin' policy speech and it's going to go for about ten seconds and then we're just gonna stare at each other embarrassed and leave the room."

Dumb and Base, one of the many tracks on the new album, seemed to me a reflection of the new brutalism of Australian suburban life.

"There is a sense I find of almost nostalgia for that good old Australian cultural icon that is the senseless knuckle. I know the senseless knuckle is far more enjoyable when you're reflecting back on it now that it's died out than when you're actually experiencing it, 'cause that was no good at all. But there is a very Australian thing that you can clock a bloke and then have a drink with him later you know, at the spinal ward. And there's nothing worse than seeing real violence as opposed to the violence you see on the media; it's awful, dirty, grotty, quick - it's almost as bad as sleeping with me, real violence."

There's your second plank for the One Orgasm party.

"That's right! More real violence! Less of this wussy Hollywood violence where people's hair doesn't get blown aside and all that sort of thing, 'cause real violence is so quick and sordid and nasty... I dunno, somehow you miss it. Somehow you miss that sort of, I dunno, second rate footy team type violence where some guy on purpose has not taken off his wedding ring so when he's knuckled a bloke in the temple he loses four quarts of blodd before the trainers get to him. That's what we're after, that's exactly right. Now who's saying that bloody One Orgasm hasn't got policies? Who's saying that? We've got real policies!"

The Parable of Glenn McGrath's Haircut seems to continue this theme of suburban ennui.

"My advice to Glenn McGrath through the pages of Rave Magazine is drop the bouffant. Leave that to the bloody boofheads hosting the World Cup on SBS, and let's get back to good old traditional Australian bloody cricketers. I personally think it was Greg Matthews - the first earring into the Australian cricket team and I knew that was just about the end. There's my third plank in One Orgasm! Bad sex for all; return of grotty, real violence; and no national sportsman is allowed to look at all trendy or inner city. No lattes for any member of our national team except for our soccer team 'cause we couldn't give a fuck about them."

In fact haven't TISM summed up the zeitgeist of inner-urban living in the nineties on

"I used to drive a Zeitgeist, but the bloody diff went on it, so I just went and bought a Holden instead, fuckin' foreign cars. So let me tell the readers of Rave Magazine, never buy a fuckin' Zeitgeist. German rubbish. There's a fourth plank for One Orgasm! No Zeitgeists! We need full protection for Australian-built Zeitgeists. Fuckin' hell, this is great. What are the four planks? I've got to remember this for the next interview."

And I suppose you'll be advocating the removal of all arts funding next.

"Yeah, well I agree with that! THat's the fifth plank of One Orgasm! Fucken' oath, arts funding! Look, I hate arts funding for the same reason I hate Radiohead; it's 'cause I'm not getting none. That's why I hate headjobs!"

Do you think the esoteric trio of bands on this current tour might actually nail the essence of Australian rock'n'roll?

"Yeah, that'd be us sucking Quan's dick, that's the essence of it! There's no doubt about that! Look, I'd like to say to the readers of Rave Magazine, when Regurgitator and TISM get in the same room, let me tell ya, we're catchin' and they're pitchin'!"

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