strange forces


'What do you mean you don’t like Led Zeppelin?’
‘I don’t like ‘em. I like Hawkwind a bit. But I don’t like Led Zeppelin. They’re boring.’
‘You’re boring if you don’t like Led Zeppelin.’
‘They’re alright, but I don’t really like ‘em.’

This is how Strange Forces’ guitarist Matt Blanton explains to me who his influences are from inside a mushroom-induced haze that we entered only an hour or so prior. I don’t remember WHY I am asking him who his influences are at this particular time of the morning, but I do remember that the sun is coming up over Hasenheide Park and Matt is about to go off on his bike ‘Black Rebel’ to find out where his girlfriend has disappeared to. She said she was getting a coke. But that was about an hour ago.

‘Do you like Led Zeppelin?’ I ask drummer Eli Kalaitzides. He is staying put on the grass for now.
‘Yeah, who doesn’t like Led Zeppelin?’ he replies.
‘I don’t,’ says Matt, taking off on Black Rebel. ‘I like Hawkwind but.’
‘Yeah Hawkwind are good,’ says Eli.

You certainly can’t hear any Led Zeppelin, or Hawkwind, in the soupy haze of the dreamscapes that Strange Forces create. But like these two bands, Strange Forces – a Berlin-based, Brisbane-bred three piece – have centred their adult lives around the masterful craft of psychedelic music. Strange Forces music would be the most ‘tripped-out’ of the three bands in question, but unfortunately they have also found the least fame and fortune of the three bands in question (as of October 2012).

If you haven’t heard of them, it’s not a huge crime as they are fairly unknown. But that’s just the way of the world: some great bands never get the recognition they deserve. Some do of course, just look at Led Zeppelin. I get the feeling that Strange Forces would like to be recognised so they might get enough money to be able to make their living from making music instead of having to do a shitty café job, but I predict they don’t really care about the trappings of musical fame.

Not that there seem to be as many trappings in this modern day and age of piracy and free music, unless you are Susan Boyle or Jay-Z or Green Day. The trappings for psychedelic bands are certainly not the same as what they used to be when Led Zeppelin had their own plane called Starship and were all having sex with several women after their sold out stadium concerts. Matt and Eli and bassist Nick Burroughs all have girlfriends and don’t get the opportunities to have sex with several women at a time. Certainly not in their own plane, I will tell you that for free. They do have a van called Jim The Eagle though (see Bad Jelly The Witch), but it has a hole in the roof and the clutch might be a bit ‘fucked’ they suspect.

As a background they are AUSTRALIAN, BUT they live in GERMANY, and are kind of famous in DENMARK.
So they say.

I don’t know if I wholeheartedly trust them on this as they also once said to a bunch of people they had put Peyote in the punchbowl at one of their gigs in 2009, but there wasn’t any peyote in there when I tried it. It sure got a lot of people through the doors though.