Soul-synth-pop-rock-funk-retro-jazz-swing. Pick any 3 and you might have a Sex On Toast song. Pick another three and you’ll have their next single. Melbourne ten-piece Sex On Toast has proven to be a fiercely versatile outfit. The boys from Sex On Toast appear to have taken a bit of everything and made it their own.
‘It all started at the Looseman Training Academy (Princes Hill Secondary College)’ said James Bowers (Keys), where the band was initially formed. When discussing what challenges you would have to undertake when juggling ten different schedules and personalities, James replied, “lots of people scattered around the country now know lots of Sex on Toast songs because frequently 1 or 2 members can't make it.”
It appears that with a bit of tinkering, some sugar, some spice, and everything nice that the boys have found something special in their amalgamation of personalities and styles unique to Sex On Toast.
‘In the beginning, there was none of this funk… it crept up on us’ said Angus Leslie (Frontman) when discussing their distinctive sound, ‘It’s been there for quite a while though now! I personally just love the sound palette from those eras and what can be done with it placed somewhat within its tradition or completely subverted.’
Much of Sex On Toast’s music is built on the framework of an 80’s ‘Zappa’ type influence in which the band tries it’s hardest to balance so many influential musical backgrounds of each member.
‘Zappa’s a big one for me. I’ve probably listened to over a thousand live bootlegs. Wait that’s quite a lot isn’t it? That could be untrue.'
'I guess the only way I try and be remotely original is to synthesise as many different elements of very different things I like, maybe even if they might not go together,’ explained Angus.
Given the eccentric and diverse range of influences for the band you would think it would be difficult to define what kind of scene the boys would fit into, although James would be quick to correct me in stating, ‘from my experiences the "scenes" in Melbourne are less about styles per se and more about people.’
‘When I think of all the great bands we seem to often share bills and stages with, they are usually just great people we enjoy hanging out with who also happen to be great musicians in cool bands.’
So given that, does Sex On Toast’s audience and fans almost represent the same weird and wonderful amalgamation of people from different genre backgrounds that can be found in their own music?
‘Yep and there’s this country-rock guitarist from Lismore who’s always writing to me about his liver problems and I have absolutely no idea what to say to him.’
So I guess that question is still up in the air, but there's no doubting that the band invites and open mind and free nature to their live shows.
‘We’re lucky enough to have an audience of varied, wonderful, sexy people and as long as they feel comfortable to be themselves then we are happy,’ said Zakk Pidd (Vocals)
On the sexually charged nature of their shows and how they try to keep it light and inclusive, Zak continued, ‘it’s difficult because we are a band made up of pasty white dudes but we try to subvert that as much as we can. A lot of the time it’s by amplifying the grotesque a-sexual nature of our more nasty compositions. Zak also really likes to kiss us all, including himself.’
‘Zak apparently also likes to speak of himself in the third person. Kind of like a mobster,’ added Angus.
Trying to pin down anything about Sex On Toast is tedious at the best of times that it becomes a lot easier to just let it wash over you. But there is no doubting that whatever this group of eclectic young men are going for, it’s working, and I like it.
On a final note, we asked what was something special and distinctive about each member, so hopefully, in the future, it will be easy to pick each one out at their shows. Here are their answers;
JamBow: Very intellectual man, very bad person.
Louis King: Very lucrative body.
Ph*l*p: Keeps a very ferocious hog for a pet.
Zak P: Was once fired from the calendar factory for taking a few days off.
Angus Leslie: Secretly a very good gardener.
Nick P: Never available and always on his phone.
Johnny Bassoon: A very wild cook.
Bovril: Once saved a man’s life by singing atonal melodies to him from his private plane.
Gary T: Has a fetish for moonboots.
Al*n: Profoundly sensitive man.
Sex On Toast will be playing this weekend at the Shady Cottage Music & Leisure Festival
31st March - 2nd April - Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
Real life Bond villain Eddie Goldsmith has a passion for photography, movies, basketball and speaking in third person. Like most other sleep deprived 20-somethings Eddie's managed to find a balance between calm and collected to being one coffee cup away from never sleeping again. Writer, Editor, Generous Lover, Photographer and part time funny man I'm always looking to try my hand at something new.