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IN CONVERSATION WITH – BORIS SUJDOVIK, The Scientists/The Dubrovniks – June 2015

| 4 June 2015 | Reply

IN CONVERSATION WITH – BORIS SUJDOVIK, The Scientists/The Dubrovniks – June 2015

Reforming the original Scientists for the WA Day State Of The Art festival was one thing, but hanging around a week longer to play at I’M FLIPPED OUT OVER YOU might be even more fun for all involved.

The Scientists' original line-up revisited - Radalj, Salmon, Baker and Sujdovik

The Scientists’ original line-up revisited – Radalj, Salmon, Baker and Sujdovik

Celebrating the impending nuptials of iconic drummer James Baker – a founding member of The Victims, The Scientists, Le Hoodoo Gurus, The Dubrovniks, Beasts Of Bourbon, The James Baker Experience, The Painkillers (amongst others!) – FLIPPED OUT features most of these bands in some form or another.

I pinned Boris Sujdovik, bass player in the original Scientists and Beasts Of Bourbon line-ups, and with The Dubrovniks, down for chat about the gigs the day before State Of The Art.

Flipped Out Over You

I’M FLIPPED OUT OVER YOU features The Scientists (performing as The Frantic Romantics), The Dubrovniks, Le Hoodoo Gurus, The Painkillers, The Victims (performing as Television Addicts), The Runaways  (Kim Salmon & Spencer P Jones), Spencer P Jones solo, Greg Dear solo and DJ Small Town Crook. This Saturday, 6 June, 2015 at The Rosemount Hotel. For tickets, click here.
100% ROCK: Boris, how you doing man?

Boris: Things are good.

100% ROCK: Very good. Thank you for your time today. How’s the vibe been around the Scientists this week – has it been a rewarding experience getting back in the rehearsal room?

Boris: No, not really! Rehearsals… it’s never that much fun rehearsing, really. The vibe’s been good. The kind of thinking about doing it and all that is great, and all getting together is great, but you go to rehearsal room and sometimes it’s sort of a let down almost. But that’s kind of good. You can never tell how a rehearsal is going to go. Sometimes having a shitty rehearsal [means] the gig turns out to be great.

100% ROCK: I have friends which say that a good rehearsal means a bad gig – they swear by that.

Boris: Yeah! So, we had a bad rehearsal. Well, not a bad one, but it just wasn’t much fun last night and we’re doing one tonight, so hopefully it will be bad and it will be another great gig.

100% ROCK: How long has it been since you guys [the original line-up of The Scientists features Kim Salmon, Roddy Radalj and James Baker] have all played together?

Boris: Well, we played together in March. We did a couple of shows… for some unknown reason. I can’t remember why. Someone figured out it was 30 years since we got together. Last year we did a show and then we decided to do just a couple more around Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and all that. But that was the reason we got together, this original line-up here.

100% ROCK: So you’re playing State of the Art tomorrow. Do you see being invited onto a gig like that as a vindication of what you achieved as a band?

Boris: I’m not too sure. This is the original line-up of the band, so it might have been a vindication of the latter version of the Scientists maybe, if you know what I mean. We left Perth a long time ago, I guess. But yeah, I mean in a way, yeah, you’re right.

100% ROCK: I spoke to Kim Salmon before the State Of The Art festival last year and one of the things he said of the formation of The Cheap Nasties in 1976 in Perth and then The Exterminators, who eventually became The Scientists in 1978, was, “there were no opportunities for young musicians. You have to pretty much create your own scene.” Did it feel like you were in some kind of an alien environment, to a certain extent?

Boris: Yes, definitely back then because you’ve got to remember, back then there was no indie rock scene or alternative rock scene. It was just mainstream rock. It was just Fleetwood Mac. There was no independent radio stations or independent press or anything. It was just, like I say, mainstream rock and roll, disco and the only kind of alternative avenues to us was maybe liking blues music as opposed to mainstream rock, and things like Frank Zappa and all of that.

In late ‘76 or early ‘77 when punk rock hit, there was only about 20 or 30 of us walking around with leather jackets and spiky hair, and things that had never been seen in Perth before. We looked like we came from another planet.

The original Scientists line-up circa 1978

The original Scientists line-up circa 1978

100% ROCK: I was about 10 then. I sure it would have blown my mind as well.

Boris: I think the Queen came to visit Perth in ‘77… I remember all of us punks, Kim [Salmon] and Dave Faulkner, and all that, we were wearing dog collars and leather jackets walking down the main street because there was hundreds of thousands of people out to see her and the closest they got – well, most of them didn’t see the Queen, they just saw us! There were all these 10-year-old kids running around.

I distinctly remember wandering down the street with a hundred thousand people that didn’t know what to make of us at all.

100% ROCK: I guess that alienation fed into the music and created this completely different alien sound that no one had heard before.

Boris: Yeah, in Perth… I guess we were mimicking, obviously, what was going on in London, but for Perth yeah, they’d never heard anything like it. Most cities around the world hadn’t; it wasn’t just Perth.

100% ROCK: You’re also playing I’m Flipped Out Over You next week as the Frantic Romantics. They’re two very different reasons to get back together and play a gig aren’t they – State Of The Art versus the celebration of James’ wedding.

Boris: Yes, I guess so. Well obviously, that will be more kind of lighthearted hopefully… the wedding. So that will be a unique kind of show as well, with all the bands that are appearing.

100% ROCK: You’re also playing FLIPPED OUT with The Dubrovniks – is that the ‘94 line-up that’s playing [Baker, Sujdovik, Glenn Armstrong and Peter Simpson]?

Boris: Yes.

100% ROCK: So you get to do a double-shift.

Boris: Yeah. I get to play in two bands. James gets to play in about 8!

100% ROCK: Yeah, I know. That’s insane. He’s meant to be celebrating. I don’t know what’s up with that.

Boris: I guess if you’re a drummer in a rock n’ roll band it’s kind of almost heaven.

100% ROCK: It’s kind of like a United Nations of underground Australian rock. If you throw in a Radio Birdman or a Screaming Tribesmen or something then you’d pretty much all be there.

Boris: Yeah, if you actually threw in the Triffids you’d probably have the 1977 punk scene in Perth, apart from one or two bands, yeah.

The Scientists' original line-up revisited

The Scientists’ original line-up revisited

100% ROCK: Do you feel like The Scientists and The Dubrovniks get your rightful dues nowadays?

Boris: Yes, I’d say so. The Scientists, yeah, we get, I guess, feted all over the world. We do festivals in England, London, and New York and they’re always really well received. So yeah, I’d have to say, yeah.

Surprisingly, The Dubrovniks… we didn’t realise it but we had a pretty big following in Europe in the ‘90s and we kind of just walked away from it all and just kind of left it, but strangely enough there is still a remaining following for The Dubrovniks in Europe – strangely enough.

100% ROCK: That’s good. That’s promising. Will these line-ups of The Scientists or The Dubrovniks, do you think you’ll get around to making any more music together?

Boris: Well, The Dubrovniks are doing a European tour after the I’m Flipped Out Over You show. We’re actually doing a similar thing to Flipped Out Over You in Melbourne as well, with The Scientists and The Dubrovniks, after we come back from the European tour. So we’re doing the old stuff together but I don’t think we’ll be recording [new] stuff.

100% ROCK: What do you do when you’re not doing this sort of stuff?

Boris: Me, I work in the film industry. I’ve got a film truck that I hire out – it’s a makeup/wardrobe truck. So I just have to drive it there and leave it with them.

100% ROCK: Awesome. Film, roadie, and a rock star … there you go, you get to do it all.

Boris: Yeah. Well unfortunately, the makeup wardrobe truck’s got a toilet on it, which sometimes has to be cleaned, but I don’t normally do it. But I always joke with people, that in Europe I’m a rock star and over here I clean toilets.

100% ROCK: Awesome! So was it a bit of a surprise to get the call from James to play FLIPPED OUT OVER YOU?

Boris: I don’t know that it was a surprise because we planned a Dubrovniks tour, which happened to coincide with, roughly, when James was getting married and Perth’s kind of on the way to Europe, so it all kind of fitted in that way. So I guess it wasn’t a surprise that much. It all fell into place. I was more surprised [about] getting the European tour with The Dubrovniks.

100% ROCK: That’s good stuff, man. I appreciate your time today. I’m not going to make it to SOTA – I’m actually going to go to the Dave Warner gig that night instead. He’s getting people from his old line-ups, all the way back to Pus, to play, so I figured I’d do that and then catch you guys at Flipped Out.

Boris: I wonder why [Warner is playing that night]… I guess he must not have realised there was this big festival on.

100% ROCK: I’ve got a funny feeling he announced a couple of months before SOTA did, so yeah.

Boris: Okay. I’ve never seen Pus, but James and Kim might have seen them.

100% ROCK: Okay, mate – thanks for your time. Have a bad rehearsal.

Boris: Yeah, or break a leg!

Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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