AUGIE MARCH singer/songwriter Glenn Richards has come clean on the story he worked at Fremantle docks to save up for his first guitar.
He says he grew up in Victoria and never worked in Freo, and that the fanciful Wikipedia entry was written by a fan.
“For years I played it up in interviews, but I feel I should own up— especially to a Fremantle paper,” Richards says.
Which is just as well as the the band will be in North Fremantle this month to launch their new album Bootikins.
The record is named after the infamous Roman emperor Caligula, whose nickname means little boots.
“What nobody really knows is whether the tales of his atrocious reign are true or part truths and part-layered gossip,” Richards says.
“The same question of historical veracity is loudly debated at listening parties across the planet for any release by my band.”
“Well apart from its promise of all things brutal and aggressive— which are after all our traditional stylistic weapons of choice—I found that I was writing a lot of songs with a narrative voice that belonged to the more corrupt, venal, ambitious and callous incarnations of my character.”
The album plumbs the depths of the “resigned, worn-out man”, Richards says: “The crisis at various points of life, which may be age related…and can be mistaken for no joy or excitement left in life.”
Many of the songs are dark and compellingly broody, but Richards chucks in some light relief with the foot-tapping The Heaviest Stone.
The lyrics are heavy as a stone, but the mood is light.
“I throw in a nice boppy song rather than a dirge, to get people to listen.”
Singer Jess Cornelius supplies backing vocals and wasn’t put out when told “ooh baby baby” were the main words.
“She got in character and hit it right in the sweet spot,” Richards says. Some would say it’s a waste of a great singer—I say it makes the track.”
Catch Augie March at Mojo’s in North Fremantle on May 18 and 19.
by JENNY D’ANGER