The Styles - A life of beer and skittles

Here at Naked Dwarf we're not necessarily a wholesome and wide-eyed bunch of impressionable youth. And that's a good thing in light of our decision to interview Leigh from rock and roll outfit The Styles. Because no matter which direction I attempt to steer the conversation, it seemed to invariably come back to one of two topics: beer and rock and roll


However, after listening to the Styles, you would have to be naïve to believe this wouldn't be the case. Tasmania's the Styles are a depraved, hedonistic rock n roll band in the vein of Turbonegro, the Humpers and Gluecifer. Just listening to them evokes the aroma of bourbon and dried semen on double denim in your nostrils. For the band's guitarist Leigh, the rock and roll lifestyle doesn't seem to be a taxing one.


"Well my job at the moment is trying to get out of bed before 12, so maybe if we made it big I would shit my pants and actually get a day job," he explained. "Success is a funny word, because personally I didn't have high expectations for where we could go and what we could do. We just love rocking out and playing the music we love. So when we played Falls Festival and did our first trip to Melbourne I was like ‘holy shit that's basically everything I wanted to do', but now my view is much higher and we are getting more opportunities with stuff like just getting sponsored by Gibson."


In the course of the interview, one thing became glaringly obvious, Leigh is a music fan of fervent proportions. As he explains his disposition towards playing to a live audience, his enthusiasm for his work and that of his musical predecessors is enough to bring a broad smile to a fellow music junkie's face.


"We haven't had any bad experiences with audiences and they seem to generally like our music, we only got heckled once in Melbourne I think. And that was ‘they have brought MC5 into town' which is probably the biggest compliment we have ever had," he said.


Even off the stage his zeal for music seems to shine through. When asked the obligatory question about the last record he bought, Leigh seemed to be channelling Natalie Portman's character from Garden State.


"The Hellacopters Rock And Roll is Dead, this recording is for the old school rockers. They sound more and more like The Rolling Stones every day. Go out and buy it kids. Your life will change for the better," he said.


Even coming from the relatively musically tranquil shores of the Apple Isle has not disheartened the Styles. Leigh explains how the band has sought out like minded peers on an ever burgeoning music scene.


"(The scene) seems to be flowing from where I'm standing at the moment, everyone has their own little thing going on and others spill into that scene to check it out and have a good time. The Trout in Hobart has done wonders to the original scene down there and venues in Launceston are giving everyone a fair go too; The Gunner's Arms, The Batty, The James, Irish Murphy's.


"There aren't many resources … here, so it's important to work with everyone and maintain good relationships and contacts in the community. It makes your job so much more easy and less stressful if you're working with people that know what they are doing."


"You just have to help out and work together as a team to get a job done. We have worked out not to drink hardcore at the start because the Trout always runs out of Boags," he said.


This zest for music seems to have paid off, with the Styles seemingly on the cusp of bigger and better things, Leigh explained how the guys may be set to move to the big smoke. A move that could conceivably amount to be the biggest strain on Tasmanian-mainland relations since the Franklin Dam.


"After last year's trip to Melbourne we had been given advice to move over straight away and had offers of management. And ever since we have discussed it and kept working from here."


"But it looks like a move to Melbourne in summer is high on the cards. I'm sure it's possible to station the band in Tasmania and push it from here, but there are so many opportunities in Melbourne for us as we have made some pretty big contacts over there now. For example with have been offered to play gigs in Melbourne for the following 3 months ahead but don't have the money to keep flying," he said.

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