Frontman Nuno Pereira is determined to keep all his teeth this time when US punk band A Wilhelm Scream touch down in Hobart next month, writes Ben Waterworth.
FOR more than two decades, American punk rockers A Wilhelm Scream have devoted themselves to one thing – writing and playing fast, loud music.
Formed in Massachusetts 1993 before taking on its current form in 1999, the band has enjoyed a strong cult following around the world, which is reflected in a constant busy touring schedule.
‘We’re not top 40 music. We’re not top 400 music,” band frontman Nuno Pereira told the Mercury. ‘I think that a lot of our shows and a lot of our fan base, regardless if it’s in Australia or Alaska or Arkansas, tends to be energetic, fun-loving, good-times type of people. So we’re lucky that we’re spoiled in that sense.
‘Going down to Hobart or in Perth, regardless of where we are while we’re touring in Australia, like in Tasmania, we’re afforded the luxury of kind of a built-in -hang-out’ with like-minded people.”
Those ‘like-minded people” are in for a treat when the band tours right around Australia, playing seven shows in eight days.
It’s a marathon touring schedule in such a tight time frame, but Pereira insists its all part of the job.
‘I think we’ve become pretty accustomed to it,” he said. ‘We’ve done I think 20 or something shows in a row before, so we’re pretty much road-tested.
‘The one thing that does kind of stink about the whole situation is that you don’t often get a chance to hang back and take in some sights and take in the local scene. We have to remedy that by continuing our tours Down Under over the next few years.”
Pereira and the band have included Hobart on their tour, and it will be only the second time they have visited the city.
‘I did lose a tooth last time I was down there, so I’m going to try to keep my teeth in my mouth this go around,” he said.
While losing a tooth might sound like a big deal to some, it’s almost commonplace for Pereira when on tour.
‘Somebody in the crowd just kind of jumped up and grabbed the microphone and shoved it right into my face, which happens all the time,” he said. ‘It wasn’t the first time I had broken a tooth. I just kind of calmly spat it into my palm and put it in my pocket.”
And when the fans aren’t jumping on stage trying to get a piece of the action, they are online requesting shows and songs.
During their tour around Australia, A Wilhelm Scream have included two ‘fan request” shows in Melbourne and Sydney that will see them perform songs that have been solely requested by fans in both cities.
‘It’s pretty interesting – it’s actually a lot of fun,” Pereira said. ‘As a band who tours as much as we do, you kind of tend to fall into a certain method, but it’s fun to let somebody else take the reins.
‘It also takes a little bit of pressure off of us, so you don’t have to worry about what everyone else wants to hear – they just ask and you do it.”
A Wilhelm Scream are known for their ‘fast, loud music”, something Pereira always ensures the band maintains.
In 2013 they released their sixth studio album, Partycrasher, which the band members produced and mixed themselves.
‘Working in our own studio at our own pace was amazing,” Pereira said. ‘Not to take away anything from studios or anywhere else for that matter, but I think that as you develop as a musician you become a little bit more eager to know how the inner workings kind of operate and how to get them to work in your favour.
‘I love keeping it in-house. You devote yourself wholly to it, you’re wholly responsible, and I think that’s the way things in life should be a lot more often.”
With their strong and passionate fan base behind them, the band also found a strong period during the late 1990s and early 2000s due to the mainstream resurgence of punk rock and punk pop in popular culture.
Pereira said that period helped bring a new level of fans to the genre.
‘Being a musician in those days was a lot of fun,” he said. ‘You look at bands like Blink 182 or The Offspring or Greenday and they were already cashing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cheques.
‘They weren’t doing it because it was commercially viable, they were doing it for all the right reasons, and I think that a lot of bands at that time spawned out of that scene.”
And after such a long career with the band, it all still comes down to one thing and one thing only.
“We like fast, loud music, so we write fast, loud music,” Pereira said.
A Wilhelm Scream perform at Hobart’s Brisbane Hotel on May 2. The show is 18+ only.Tickets are $41 and available from oztix.com.au.
This article was originally written for The Mercury