Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram
Link to our TikTok

Meet The Musos: Get To Know Adelaide Queer Post-Punk Rockers The Empty Threats

21 April 2023 | 4:20 pm | Jessie Lynch

Here's what you need to know about The Empty Threats following the release of their latest single, 'Evil Eye'.

Adelaide five-piece queer post-punk rockers The Empty Threats have returned with a brand new single titled Evil Eye.

The new single follows the announcement of the band’s national tour across April and May and comes alongside the news of their debut album Monster Truck Mondays, which drops Thursday, June 22.

Following singles Boys in the Gutter and last month’s ATACB, Evil Eye is a stirring, moving cut from the group who blend modern post-punk adjacent to Shame and Tropical F*ck Storm with ‘80s Australiana.

Speaking to self-realisation while reflecting on one’s mortality, Evil Eye opens with Stu Patterson’s resonant vocals, backed by guitar, before percussive elements enter the mix. The track builds slowly, reaching an emotional peak in the chorus as Patterson laments, “sweet thing, evil eye, watching time, made up my mind…let it go by”.

After workshopping the track for nearly a year, The Empty Threats finalised Evil Eye days before their debut performance at WOMADelaide 2022, where they performed it live for the first time, to thousands, as the sun set behind them.

The Empty Threats share of their latest track, “Playing WOMADelaide was a pivotal moment for the band. Most of us grew up attending the festival from an early age, so scoring a sunset slot at the festival last year was a dream come true. "

Plug into the latest music with our FREE weekly newsletter

"It actually helped us finish the song, too, with the lyrics written the week of the festival, with the thought of playing it live on the Morton Bay Stage in mind.”

Evil Eye is just one track from a collection of hook-laden hits from The Empty Threats, who have drummed up a reputation for their politically-charged take on post-punk ever since they stormed the scene with the release of their debut single back in 2018.

To celebrate the release of Evil Eye and their upcoming album Monster Truck Mondays, we had a chat with the group to suss out everything you need to know about The Empty Threats.

Give us the story behind your name?

Two original members Stu and Micheal named the band “Hansford & The Empty Threats” after their high school history teacher, who would constantly dish out empty threats. After the first year of gigging, we quickly realised no one could remember our name, so we finally changed it to The Empty Threats. Thanks, Ms. Hansford xx

If your music was a flavour, what would it taste like?

Sriracha Doritos. Fiery yet subtly familiar.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences and how have they impacted your own sound and style?

Growing up, we fell in love with watching online live performances of INXS and Joy Division and seeing live bands such as Pond, King Gizzard, Nick Cave, Tropical Fuck Storm, and more recently Aldous Harding and their enthralling performance style. 

Having a pool of live bands to go see really shaped us, and the band that we wanted to become. More recently we’ve also taken influence from the UK post-punk boom with artists such as Shame and Dry Cleaning.

What’s been the biggest moment in your career so far?

Either playing WOMADelaide 2022 for the sunset slot just before Paul Kelly, or Supporting Jimmy Barnes in front of twenty thousand unsuspecting car racing fans at the VALO Adelaide 500 car race. 

The twenty thousand car goers probably weren't ready for our flamboyant pink crop tops and gender-bending moves. Half loved us and half loathed us. It was certainly an experience not to forget.

What's the most unusual or unexpected source of inspiration you've drawn from when writing a song?

We have a song on the upcoming album about jet skis, called  New Jet Ski, which is about really disliking jet skis.

Can you share a hilarious or cringe-worthy moment from your early days as artists?

We once got booked to play someone's 21st birthday. We had no idea who this person was, but they were offering $100, so we eagerly said yes. It was a 6pm set to a semi-half-packed backyard of sober kids and dads eating snags.

We performed our asses off and went extra wild with the energy. We were received with blank stares and chirping crickets. It was definitely one of the weirdest gigs we’ve played, but we managed to sway the crowd once we chucked in some Franz Ferdinand and Tame Impala covers, and were even offered $50 extra to play the set again. 

We politely declined and drove home with our tails between our legs, vowing never to play a show like that again.

What are the top three tracks or artists you’re vibing on rn?

Full Flower Moon Band are absolutely killing it at the moment. Ella Ion from Adelaide just released their debut album – it’s a masterclass and a must-listen. Unknown Mortal Orchestra's new album V is on repeat at the moment, too.

What’s something that fans not might know about you?

Michael and Matt both have parents that are priests. We are an openly unreligious, queer post-punk band but they still manage to come to every Adelaide show, and can be seen dancing their asses off in the front row. They're probably the band's biggest fans to date, to be honest.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. I don't think I'll ever get sick of the ending. If you know, you know.

What's in the works for you guys in 2023?

We’re just about to undertake our biggest tour yet for the third and final single of the album, Evil Eye. We’ll then be releasing our debut album in June, with more touring following that. 

The plan is to get on the road as much as we humanly possibly can this year in Australia after the release of our album. We’ll also be in the studio in June to finish the second album, tehe.