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:: Spotlight :: Special Patrol - setting a pace in Adelaide

By: Georgia O'Connell

Visual and musically, Special Patrol is a very dynamic band. They are passionate, but down to earth. At times, ambient, and dark, and at other, just some in down and dirty in-your-face rock n roll. I caught up with Myles Mayo (singer-songwriter for the band), and he told me a little about what the Adelaide band has been doing these days.

So, how long have you guys been together?

“Special Patrol started when Rob (Drums), Myles (singer/songwriter) and Ben (Bass) were in year eleven at high school. Other members came and went before Kate (Keys/Backing Vocals) joined two years ago. The final ingredient was added when Damian (lead guitar) joined the band mid 2003”.

What are your influences?

“The band loves heaps of stuff. The Cure, You Am I, Grandaddy, Flaming Lips, Hilltop Hoods, David Gray, Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles”. (Just to name a few).

Where have you played recently?

“We have just come home to Adelaide after being on the road for a few weeks. We toured Victoria and played at The Falls Festival on New Years Eve. Then we toured Brisbane, and Sydney, before finishing again in Melbourne at the St.Kilda Festival recently”.

What is the best part of being in a band/the music industry?

“The writing and creating of a song in the band room, the recording of that song and then live performances. All so much fun, in very different ways. Also, I enjoy it when Damo tickles me under the arms”.

Who writes the songs? What are they about?

“I write the songs on acoustic guitar and the band helps me write it from there. The lyrical content is usually happy or sad stories, feelings…You know life, love, what not? Yeah!”

How do you promote your band and shows?

“The air play is our main tool. Posters, e-mails, local rags, web site, touring, nude runs down the local mall”.

What do you think about downloading music online?

“In some ways it helps us to spread our music. We put free down loads on our web site so strangers to our music can try to understand it. But on the other hand it does not give the artist much control over the business side of their career when people have access to all their albums and do not have to pay a cent. I guess it’s just an inevitable technological step”.

What's your outlook on the record industry today?

“Not overly positive. There are very few opportunities for bands in this Australian industry, very little money to go round. The only way to survive is to enjoy the music!”

What are some of your pet peeves about the industry?

“Industry folk who try to make themselves sound more important than they are. They talk themselves up in such a transparent way. These are the people that give the entertainment industry a bad name”.

What's your claim to fame?

“My perfectly shaped legs”
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What is the craziest story you have to tell as a band?

“Maybe not crazy, but funny…at last year’s Big Day Out. The five of us were watching the Flaming Lips from side of stage, standing with The Strokes and The Kings of Leon. The Flaming Lips are well known for their out of control crazy shows where by everyone back stage is invited to put on a animal costume and dance around the stage; while massive balloons are thrown into the stadium and bounce around the crowd like soap suds. Rob, our drummer, got a little excited and enthusiastic and in the heat of the moment went jumping out onto the stage dancing around with the dancers in costume. He very quickly bounced his way into a security guard who in turn grabbed him and dragged him off the stage and told him not to return”.

What inspires you to do what you do?

“I think I play in a band cause every now and then you meet a person in the industry that will be able to get you free tickets to a concert. That makes it all worth while. Also the free booze while we play. But other than that stuff, I guess music touches me in funny places (not my willy) and its hard not to fall in love with it. I love creating, playing and performing music with my best mates. Nothing beats it”.

What are the biggest obstacles for bands?

“I think the hardest thing is to find a group of people who think in a similar way, get along and have similar tastes in music. Cause the biggest obstacle is trying to keep the band together when there is such little money round”.

What is your honest opinion on “sex, drugs and rock n roll” Is it a real?

“It’s as real as an artist wants to make it. Axl Rose and Slash…yes. Pete Murray…no. James Taylor…defiantly not!

Keep your ears out for Special Patrol as they plan to release their new single, “Your Feet” to radio and play plenty of shows throughout South Australia. Then they are off to England.

For more information, visit

http://www.specialpatrol.com.au