Alicia Bee Speaks with
The Bakelite Age
The Bakelite Age
Punk Globe: You said that you wanted to wait for the release of the album because you were adding more cowbell - how many songs have cowbell? When did you first hear the cowbell in something? was there a band that used it that you can think of? can you associate the sound with another act?
Link: I think there's only cowbell on one of the album tracks (that I can think of)and maybe on a couple of tracks that didn't make the album. Hmmmm, associations. I guess I associate it with honkytonk woman the most(i think it's cowbell on that recording; I could just go and put it on but i'm lazy) and various 70's stadium acts.
Punk Globe: Does the first song sound like anything else to you? I was really hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Link: I guess the rockin' out part has the same rhythm but apart from that I don't see it. It certainly wasn't an influence on the song, although I do think Nevermind's a great album, although some of those songs have been played so much they've almost taken the crown from "Wild Thing".
Punk Globe: I noted in The Meanies DVD that they concentrated a little bit on your songwriting themes for that band. Was there a different theme that you established for The Bakelite Age? I can hear male songs and others with themes of psychological dilemmas-
Link: I'm not sure what you mean by male songs; that makes it sound like AC/DC or some such ie; songs about sex in the backseat and booze and genital warts. I think 98% of the songs I write are about psychological dilemmas (in the scheme of evolution, I have an inferior brain. If I was an animal, my dad probably would have eaten me).
Punk Globe: A recent Art Deco exhibition at The National Gallery Victoria would have given a history lesson of a period of Bakelite products - why did you choose The Bakelite Age as a name when you started?
Link: I think it just conjured images of a time before forced obsolescence, a time of quality. I understand that the world would self implode without it (the world in it's present form anyway) but I think I was born in the wrong time. I can just see myself sitting back in my smoking jacket listening to the latest wax cylinder.
Punk Globe: Are you over your 'Bakelite Age' all these years later? was it a 90s quirk name?
Link: We started in about 2003. Ultimately it's just a name, a tag that differentiates us from another act.
Punk Globe: Is it okay that Kieran is in the band? Is he really in the band? How long was the orientation period?
Link: K.C's been in the band for about 5 odd years, so I guess you could say it's goin fine. What gave you the impression that he might not be in the band? I'm not being a smart arse I'd actually like to know. I'm a curious chap. Lochie (drums) is the newest addition and he's been with us for a year or so.
Punk Globe: The live players at the launch aren't really in The Bakelite Age are they? They dot get credits in big writing on the liner notes- How long has Nick Finch been around?

Link: Everyone bar the keyboardist at our launch (Mathew Rich who has agreed to do the odd show when he's free) is in the band. Nick Finch just came in and played in the studio. As for credits, all the band members are written in the same size font. If you mean song writing credits, I write all the songs.
Punk Globe: I cant get the chorus to song 3 The Mandrill Daze, but its also the title and you have included the lyrics, i think its because the inflection is on the word "THE" I think it says 'Doo-little days', its funny 'cause the lyric fits, how important to you is it that people understand the song as you do? Have you considered using "Doolittle" (as in Dr Dolittle) as a lyric?
Link: Naa, I haven't thought about that. I will now though, and I'm not gonna give you the credit.Bwaaa haaa haaa. I don't think I've given too much thought to people understanding the lyrics. I think, even if they're less abstract then the B.A's lyrics, people will always read what they want into them. But that's cool. I would like to write some more linear lyrics at some stage though.
Punk Globe: What is good about playing with Fiona Ely? Do you view the band project as different to other bands because you have a relationship with her?
Link: I'm not sure if i view it differently from other acts because of Fi or the fact that it's the band that I have the most passion invested in. It's probably a bit of both. It certainly makes touring even more enjoyable.
Punk Globe would like to thank Alicia Bee and Link McLennan for the informative Interview