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Amyl and The Sniffers: 'It's just charmingly violent powerful fun'

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This week's Newbie Tuesday band from Australia, Amyl and the Sniffers, prepare to "get real rowdy" on record and in a UK field.Somewhere in the "chilled" Australian town of Mullumbimby, not far from Byron Bay, Amy Taylor is reflecting on her move to the more hip and happening city of Melbourne.She's back in her home town, which she says is made up of "half farmers, half hippies, half bogans" (and which also gave us Iggy Azalea) visiting family, but you get the sense she's keen to get back to where the action is sooner rather than later."I'm kind of like a bull in a china store in a small town," she says down the phone, "so I was like 'I'm gonna go to the city and see what happens.'"Well, what did happen was she formed a garage rock band - Amyl and the Sniffers - there in 2016 and began channelling all that pent up energy into recording and releasing some pretty ferocious and "spontaneous" DIY EPs online.
Now, a few years on, they're preparing to release their debut album, Monsoon Rock - recorded in Sheffield with producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, MIA, Roots Manuva) - later this month on Rough Trade, just a day before playing alongside US indie rock giants The Strokes and fellow Melbourne-based rocker Courtney Barnett. Fair to say, things are moving a lot faster than they were back in what's known as the "The Biggest Little Town in Australia", but Amy is enjoying the ride.
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"It's pretty crazy," she admits, "I don't know a lot of that music but the I know boys really love that band [The Stokes]."Everyone says they're iconic. They did that one song, you know the dancing one [Last Night] - yeah that's good for a dance!
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The band take their name from a mix of her own first name and the liquid chemical drug amyl nitrite, which won a late exclusion from the UK ban on legal highs back in 2016.The Government had planned to prohibit the substance - commonly known in the UK as "poppers" - leading to Tory MP Crispin Blunt "outing" himself as a recreational user and declaring the proposed ban on its supply as "fantastically stupid"."In Australia we call poppers Amyl," she explains, "So you sniff it, it lasts for 30 seconds and then you have a headache - and that's what we're like!"[Our music] It's just fast, pretty violent but charmingly violent, powerful fun."Hopefully it's something you walk down the street to and it makes you want to air punch."But I don't know, whatever you get from it, I don't really care as long as it's something."There are no plans to outlaw kicking out the jams, just yet.Monsoon Rock is out on 24 May and Amyl and the Sniffers play All Points East on 25 May, followed by gigs in Sheffield and Halifax in June
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