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Harlequin League - In A League Of Their Own

Author: Jonno Seidler
Monday, March 23, 2009

Perth indie rock quartet Harlequin League live up to their jovial moniker as they invite 3D’s Jonno Seidler into their bizarre little world.

Even though Harlequin League are new-born babies to the Australian music scene, they’ve already people working for them all over the country. “Yeah, it’s rad,” says a decidedly chilled frontman Sebastian Aston. “In these times of economic crisis nobody can find a job, and all I have to do is answer the phone.”

Speaking of tough times, Sebastian’s quick to point out that as a young independent band, Harlequin League have been known to do some cost-cutting themselves. “They’ve got those big sweat shops over in Asia and looming over them are these block mounted posters of our staring faces.” Now that you know how the production and assembly line works over in Perth, it’s worth pointing out that the band are really just four nice guys in their 20s, who have pretty much all deferred university to take a shot at a more interesting life. “We were all playing instruments before,” says Aston, “but we were just in crap bands. This one’s sort of half-decent so we figured we’d go with it.”

Sebastian’s also quick to clarify that they’re also not old friends. “Oh no, we’re not mates. We hate each other!” he laughs. “I went up to this one guy and I was like ‘Dude I really like your band’ even though I didn’t and now he’s our guitarist.” It seems that Perth totally lives up to its name of being one of remote towns God forgot when he civilised Australia. “There’s a lot of bitching behind people’s backs. It’s not as bad as Sydney, but it’s a small scene and there’s lots of bands floating around.” However, to their credit, Aston asserts that Perth people have kept up their rock roots, despite the prevailing trend in other cities of “taking pills and listening to dance music.” Not only are the band not locking onto fads, but they’re truly playing for themselves. “Mate, that might seem like a stock-standard answer,” Sebastian jokes, “but we gave up on the prospect of making money a long time ago.”

Right now Harlequin League are leaving for the big smoke to tout their wares, namely in the form of a ripper new EP, appropriately titled I Don’t Do Friends. However, don’t let Aston’s cynical shell fool you; these guys love to meet fans and potential groupies at gigs. “The other week, Ben [drummer] thought it would be funny after the show to sign, umm, a quite large girl’s breasts,” chuckles Sebastian. “I had no idea it was happening and then she came up to me and asked for his number, and I didn’t realise she would start stalking him. Oh fuck man, he was livid at me. Every time she calls he just hangs up the phone.” Essentially, this is why Harlequin League have to come to Sydney. They’ve got a lovesick girl on their tails and in their small scene, there’s no way they’ll ever get rid of her.

WHO: Harlequin League
WHAT: I Don’t Do Friends through Good Cop Bad Cop
WHEN: Out now