Spiderbait

From Academic Kids

Spiderbait is an Australian rock band who have had two top ten albums and another three albums reach the Australian top 40. Their song "Buy Me a Pony" was number one on the Triple J Hottest 100 for 1996.

Contents

Early years

The three band members Mark Maher or "Kram" (drums and vocals), Damien Whity or "Whit" on guitar and Janet English on bass/vocals come from the small town Finley in southern New South Wales where they jammed together in their youth.

The band moved to Melbourne, Australia where Whity was studying at the Victorian College of the Arts School of Music. The band played its first gig at a loungeroom for a friend's party. The band soon became part of Melbourne's punk scene playing gigs at venues like the Tote Hotel in Collingwood, Victoria. They released their first single "Circle K" on Au-Go-Go Records with an EP titled P'tang Yang Kipper Bang Uh! following in 1992. The band's first album Shashavaglava was released in 1992. 'Shashavaglava' means 'dickhead' in Serbo-Croatian. This album featured the songs "Old Man Sam" and a cover of English comedians The Goodies' song "Run".

Major label signing

Spiderbait signed with Polydor Records and released the first album The Unfinished Spanish Galleon of Finley Lake in 1995. The album reached the top forty of the Australian charts with singles "Monty" and "Sam Gribbles" receiving extensive airplay on Triple J. The album title refers to an unfinished project by the Finley Rotary Club, which became a venue for teenage drinking in their home town.

Their second album Ivy and the Big Apples was released in 1996 reaching the top ten and going double platinum in Australia. Their first single "Buy Me a Pony" received extensive airplay on Triple J resulting in listeners voting it as their favourite song of the year. The second single "Calypso" also achieved commercial airplay, and reached #13 in the Australian singles charts in 1997.

In 1998, Janet English and her boyfriend Quan Yeomans of Regurgitator recorded an album as Happyland. Spiderbait returned in 1999 with the album Grand Slam which also reached top ten of the Australian album charts.

The 2001 album The Flight of Wally Funk was recorded in a living room but still reached the top 40. Wally Funk is a pioneering woman aviator who volunteered for the Women in Space program for future women astronauts in 1961 and was also the first air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Spiderbait recorded the Tonight Alright album in Los Angeles with producer Sylvia Massy Shivy who had worked with acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Tool, System of a Down and Skunk Anansie. The first single "Black Betty" was a cover version of the old Leadbelly song which became a hit in 1977 when covered by Ram Jam. The single reached #1 after 10 weeks in the singles chart in May 2004 (after debuting at #12), and stayed there for three weeks, becoming their biggest selling single ever. The film clip featured a hot rod similar to the car on the ZZ Top Eliminator. Tonight Alright was released on 28 March 2004, and debuted and peaked at #14. The second single "Fucken Awesome" debuted in the top 30 on June 28 2004. A third single and video, "Tonite", also reached the top 100. Interscope Records signed the band in 2004 to distribute Tonight Alright in the US and UK.

At the 2004 ARIA awards, Kram performed as part of the supergroup The Wrights, featuring members of many other Australian rock bands.

Members

As of 2004, the members are Mark Maher (drums and vocals), Damien Whity (guitar) and Janet English (bass and vocals). The lineup has been the same since the beginning.

Discography

Albums

EPs and singles

  • "Circle K" (7" single) (1991)
  • "P'tang Yang Kipper Bang Uh!" (10" / CDEP) (1992)
  • "Run" (EP) (1993)
  • "Jesus" (7" single) (1994)
  • "Monty" (1995) #44 Australia
  • "Buy Me A Pony" (1996) #45 Australia
  • "Calypso" (1997) #13 Australia
  • "Shazam!" (1999) #46 Australia
  • "Four On The Floor" (2001)
  • "Outta My Head" (2001)
  • "Arse Huggin' Pants" (2001)
  • "Black Betty" (2004) #1 Australia
  • "Fucken Awesome" (2004) #30 Australia
  • "Tonite" (2004)
  • "Live In A Box" (2004)

References

External links

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