Local venom  

• Ra Ra Viper are pretty chilled off-stage, but they are known for their energetic and sweaty live performances.

FREMANTLE rockers Ra Ra Viper are just back from a hell-raising tour of the eastern states, but lead singer Oli Bolt says they can’t share any lurid details with the Chook because their mums are avid readers of the paper.

The Viper’s first national tour got off to a shaky start in Brisbane when there was an accomodation balls-up and some of the band had to sleep in a tent on an inner city beach.

That aside, Bolt says the tour, which included dates in Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, was a resounding success.

“Minus a few logistical bumps on the road, all the shows went really well,” he told the Herald.

“It was our first time as band touring around properly and spending a bit of time in some pretty amazing towns with some pretty awesome people.” 

Formed in 2018, the five-piece garage band have built up a strong cult following in the Perth and Fremantle music scene with their raucous live shows and catchy brand of alt-rock.

In 2020 their breakout single Paddy introduced the band to a wider audience and they went on to release a well-received debut EP Kawaii last year.

Bolt says they are influenced by local acts including Noah Dillon, Stella Donnelly and Southern River Band, and on the international stage rockers like Idles, Fontaines D.C. and Big Thief.

But Ra Ra Viper might never have formed, if the boys hadn’t played for a struggling footy team.

“Back in 2018 a few of us were playing amateur footy in a team that was being pretty heavily relegated down leagues,” Bolt says. “This meant playing suburbs further away and more time to share music in the car ride to and from the game. I think it was a realisation of a mutual love for similar artists that led to us having our first garage band session.” 

Ra Ra Viper are probably the most local band you’ll ever meet – most of them stay in Freo or White Gum Valley, they practice in a rehearsal room in O’Connor, and they are all lifelong Dockers fans.

“A huge moment for us was getting to play David Mundy’s lap of honour at his final game at Optus (also a derby) and the reason the club asked us to do this was because we had played a previous pre-game show in which the Football Club could sense we were all die hard fans,” Bolt says.

“I still proudly wear the 1995 away jumper dad bought when he jumped on the Freo Wagon. Whilst it’s obviously been a tough 27 years on the field, it’s a bloody great club to support. It’s going to be a huge 2023 for Freo, not sure about a premiership just yet but finals definitely!

“Ultimately we really love what Peter Bell is doing for culture down at the club, and appointing ex-players who ultimately have a passion for the club and Freo area. 

“One thing they could be doing better is bringing back the anchor and port and starboard colours on the jumper.”

The band all still have day jobs, but they are hoping 2023 will see them break into the big time with the release of a new EP early next year.

“It’s our first real body of professional work that has been produced in a studio with a producer, rather than our previous model of tinkering away in our guitarists bedroom,” Bolt says.

But first, Ra Ra Viper will round off their national tour with homecoming gigs at Mojos Bar today (Saturday December 3) and tomorrow 

By STEPHEN POLLOCK

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