"We started the band because we were 20, we wanted hot boyfriends/girlfriends, we weren't doing anything and we wanted people to think we were cool," starts New Zealand native and Batrider front woman, Sarah Chadwick, "And also because we aren't really very good at anything else." After almost five years together Batrider have established themselves as one of the most successful and outrageously eclectic New Zealand exports. Upon relocating to Australia three years ago, the band received massive acclaim amongst the underground pubs and press around Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney. With a collective "give a f***" attitude and a truly blasting, loud and furious stage presence, Batrider have gained notoriety for breaking hearts and eardrums wherever they roam. CH met up with the four-piece band on the cusp of their life-altering move to London.
Batrider is Sarah Chadwick (vocals, guitar), Julia McFarlane (guitar), Tara Wilcox (drums) and Sam Featherstone (bass). We work with Remote Control Records in Australia, Arch Hill in New Zealand and we do everything under our own label, Nopromo Records.
What's with the name, do you ride Bats?
Someone who left the band chose the name. We never really liked it and we could never think of anything better. Now we don't really care anymore. No bat riding to report as yet, but Julia has been known to get up to strange stuff in a shed at the bottom of her garden; maybe she's working on something.
Who are your biggest influences?
Cat Power, Hole, Elliot Smith, John Lennon, Patti Smith, ourselves, Rhianna (Umbrella song only), Brian Jonestown Massacre, Daniel Johnston, The Stone Roses, The Clean, The 3Ds, Spice Girls, Janis Joplin, Mazzy Star, ourselves again, Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Gillian Welch.
What's the biggest compliment you've been given?
Someone told me that in the next life they wanted me to be their girlfriend. When I said I'd probably come back as a cockroach they still wanted me! That's pretty complimentary I guess. Someone also said our band was an inspiration, that's probably the best thing you can hear as a creative person.
Strangest thing someone has said about your band?
That we need a horns section [and] that we need to write a “slow song” ’cause that’s where the money is.
What’s life really like on the road?
It’s the best thing you can do! All you have to do is sit in a car and not get shitty and they you’re pretty much doing your job. Playing is fine, then you have a few drinks, get up and do it all again. It is like being a kid again. You have no worries and only fun responsibilities. I wish we could always be traveling!
If you could choose one city to live in for the next 12 months where would it be and why?
London, because that’s where we’re moving and any indecision on my part now could be catastrophic. We want to meet new bands and see new things to inspire us. We’re heading to U.K. in September then the U.S. in March 2008 before relocating permanently to the U.K. May 2008.
Where can we buy Batrider music?
Most things can be bought off iTunes (both They Said You’re Hideous and Take Me Back are available through the Australian store) or directly from us via our
Myspace or our
site or just email us at nopromo [at] gmail [dot] com.