We caught up with Simon Ridley from thrash-party Australian duo DZ Deathrays and asked him a bunch of stuff about his hometown of Brisbane. DZ Deathrays released 'Bloody Lovely,' the highly anticipated follow up to their ARIA Award-winning 'Black Rat,' last month and will be heading out on tour through Australia and New Zealand in May.
PRT: What made you first fall in love with the city?
Simon: When I was a kid living in a small town a few hours north, occasionally we would visit and I remember almost straining my neck looking up at the skyscrapers thinking how exciting it would be to live here. I moved to Brisbane when I was accepted into University. Turned out that it's not really that big of a city which I feel actually works in its favour. It's got everything you could want from a big city without any of the trappings of big cities. There's plenty of bars, an amazingly friendly eclectic live music scene and everywhere feels like it's 15mins away by car.
PRT: If you had to come up with a marketing slogan for the city, what would it be?
Simon: Brisbane: Where its always pretty good Margarita weather...
I think I wore a jumper maybe 3 times last winter? So it's fair to say winters are mild at best. Prepare to sweat a lot though, sometimes it can be very hot and humid during the summers but there's a bunch of bars with beer gardens and/or air-con to fix that.
PRT: Best place to play?
Simon: We've been very fortunate to have played at almost every venue from the city's main football stadium to a lot of shitty pubs that maybe shouldn't have hosted live music. I think the Tivoli Theatre was a definite milestone for us and it's such a huge rite of passage for any local musician to be able to play it. Other notable mentions are: Brightside, The Zoo, Crowbar and Black Bear Lounge.
PRT: Best place to go for a late night drink after the show?
Simon: The majority of Brisbane's best late night bars are located in the inner city or in Fortitude Valley. We usually end up in the Valley after a show and seem to stumble around between The Brightside, Barbara and Black Bear Lounge.
PRT: Best place to go for a late night snack after the drink after the show?
Simon: Greaser bar in the valley does some pretty great burgers, apparently they keep the kitchen open til 2am. Also Lefty's Old Time Music hall has a pretty late kitchen and do good American style food. There's also plenty of random pop up food vans getting around now too and tons of random late night fried goodness around the valley.
PRT: One thing you would like to see changed in the city?
Simon: The public transportation is still a bit lacking, but Uber is my go to because as I said earlier: everything is only like 15mins away it feels. Also maybe I'd like to see the bar curfews pushed back to 5am where they were when I moved to the city.
PRT: What's your best memory about the city?
Simon: There is way too many as I've lived here for almost half my life now. I suppose for the band it was quite recently playing at Suncorp Stadium. To have started the band in this city and playing at all the smallest venues and slowly moving our way up to being able to play at one of the biggest, was a real memorable moment. The other would probably be the night I met my fiancée. It was such a fun part of my life where all my friends were still living here, going out together every weekend and that night changed my life.
PRT: Where in the city did you get your heart broken?
Simon: There was an amazing restaurant called "Right on Thai" in my neighbourhood that closed down about a year ago now... That one hurt.. If you're reading this: Please come back! I miss you, I'm sorry I wasn't around more.
PRT: Is there a historical fact about your city that makes you chuckle?
Simon: Brisbane's a pretty new city so there isn't really much history here. Actually I'm not really that familiar with its history at all to be honest. Although I think the Bee Gees grew up here for a while? For real.
PRT: Favorite song about your city you'd like to share, either yours or someone elses?
Simon: The Go-Betweens: Streets of Your Town. It's really the only one I know of, however I'm sure the Saints probably wrote a lot about Brisbane.