Gareth Liddiard and Rui Pereira have made ‘Bong Odyssey’, an album they recorded before forming The Drones, available to stream for the first time on Bandcamp.
‘Bong Odyssey’ was recorded between 1993 and 1998 in Fremantle, Western Australia before they started The Drones and moved to Melbourne. The Drones went on hiatus in 2016, and Liddiard now makes music as part of Tropical Fuck Storm, along with former Drones member Fiona Kitschin.
‘Bong Odyssey’ previously only existed as a double vinyl LP from Bang! Records, a Spanish record label focused on Australian rock music.
The 18-track album – which is noisier and less guitar-centric than The Drones’ material – contains a very different version of future Drones song ‘The Miller’s Daughter’, featuring drum machines, organ and a long ambient outro.
Stream and purchase ‘Bong Odyssey’ via Bandcamp here:
“I have no idea what people will make of this stuff ’cause it is super weird and fucked up,” Liddiard wrote in a brief introduction to the record on Bandcamp.
“We had a tonne of music gear like synths, hammond organs, drum machines, lots of weird effects units,” Liddiard wrote. “None of that shit was cool then so we could afford to own it. We weren’t playing many gigs. We’d done the crazy fast and heavy punk thing and we’re moving away from that, as you can tell.”
Liddiard says the pair were into “all sorts of weird shit” at the time, like Suicide, Hüsker Dü, Psychic TV, Merzbow, Big Black, free jazz and Stravinsky.
“We lived in Perth which meant we didn’t have many friends into the same stuff so we just worked at our jobs then came home and smoked weed, took acid and everything else, drank booze and messed around on our tape machines,” Liddiard writes.
Liddiard and Pereira moved to Melbourne in 2000 to “do the Drones thing”, selling all of their gear along the way except their guitars. “So naturally we became a guitar band.”
“Western Australia was so out of touch with the rest of the world and we were so out of step with Western Australia that we just disappeared up our own arses. ‘Bong Odyssey’ is crazy music for crazy music’s sake. Pure and simple.”
According to Liddiard, the snake pictured on the cover was named Barbra and only died very recently.
Liddiard’s current group Tropical Fuck Storm released their second record, ‘Braindrops’, last August. Pereira formed the band RIGHT!, who released their self-titled album in 2017.