The Rubberbandits

By Cathy Culliver

The Rubberbandits are a couple of plastic bag-wearing lads from Limerick in Ireland who have become a YouTube sensation with their hilarious but supremely silly songs like “Horse Outside” and “Spastic Hawk”.

Cathy talked to Blindboy Boatclub (real name Dave Chambers) about their upcoming visit to Melbourne and what exactly makes these guys tick.

So what the Rubberbandits are all about?

We wear plastic bags on our heads, and we’re hardcore gangster rappers.

I have to ask, what’s with the plastic bags? My mother always told me it was dangerous to put them on your head.

The way we look at it, the only certainty in life is death. So you may as well put a plastic bag on your head.

Isn’t it also because you want to conceal your identity?

Well there’s a little bit of that as well. I like to go to the shop and buy toilet roll and peas without anyone looking at me. I like to buy peas in peace. And deodorant – I don’t want someone looking at my particular brand of deodorant.

What can Australian audiences expect from your live shows?

It’s like a rave, but if you let a lot of dogs into the rave.

You’re planning on having dogs in your show?

No, just metaphorically speaking. OK, imagine instead of a rave, it’s car. And then you let a dog into the back of the car. And you’ve got your shopping there, and the dog just does its thing in the back of the car.

Well I don’t think I’ve ever heard a comedy show explained in that way, so now I’m definitely intrigued.

Yeah, there’s no way to describe it really. It’s just us with plastic bags on, roaring and shouting, and anything can happen. We nailed Santa Claus to a crucifix once.

So you guys started out doing prank calls in school, and then got your big break when your video for the song ‘Horse Outside” went viral on YouTube, is that right?

Yeah, that was an accident. We just made a video with all our friends, and a TV company paid for it. Then it just got massive. We didn’t try to make it big or anything. It just kind of happened without us wanting it to happen.

What do you think you’d be doing now if that hadn’t happened and you’d never made it big?

Um, I’d own a hot air balloon company.

Has that always been your dream?

Yeah, I’ve always been very passionate about it. But I want to take the art of hot air ballooning and mix it with other disciplines, like being a milkman. I want to be the world’s first hot air balloon milkman. I’d drop the milk with little parachutes on them so they don’t smash outside someone’s doorstep.

How angry would you be if someone beat you to that?

Oh I’d be very, very angry. I think it’s Richard Branson’s next venture. He wants to be the world’s only hot air balloon milkman.

You sing songs about things like owning a disabled hawk, fighting your girlfriend’s dad and the merits of owning a horse instead of a car. Is there anything you wouldn’t sing a song about?

Actually, no. That’s often something I ask myself, “what would I not sing about?” I think I’d sing a song about anything. It’s all about the way that you interpret it.

Will this be your first time in Australia?

No we came over last year and we played in Irish pubs. But this is our first time going over to do the comedy festival.

Those gigs last year were crazy, and we stayed in a brothel in Sydney for a week.

Oh really? What was that like?

It was insane. It was in the middle of Kings Cross in Sydney, and there were prostitutes walking all over the hotel rooms and everything. It was absolute madness.

Oh and in Kings Cross I also saw a dog, and the dog was wearing shoes. And the policeman who was there told me it was so the dog didn’t step on any needles. I’d never seen a dog wearing shoes ever, but in Kings Cross, the dogs wear shoes.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re back here?

I like walking around and seeing wildlife. Last time I was in Melbourne, I went to a park and saw a giant lizard. And then I looked around and there was another lizard. Before I knew it, I found myself surrounded by all these lizards. That was incredible, so I want to try to do that again. I want to get acquainted with more lizards.

Most people say they want to meet a koala.

No, I don’t like koalas. I heard they’re in a perpetual state of flatulence. They just fart all the time and it never stops. It’s a slow cycle of fart. And I heard the fart smells like chemicals because of their exclusive eucalyptus diet. So I don’t want to f**k with koalas. I’d rather have lizards.

That’s fair enough.

Yeah, and I kind of also want to get bitten by a spider just so I can tell people.

Well we could probably sort that out for you. We’ve got a few here.

So if I wanted to get bit, what should I do? I heard the best thing to do was to go outside and put your hand into an old brick or a piece of patio furniture.

Yep, that’ll do it.

What about snakes? Do you have them in the city?

No, you’d probably have to go out into the bush to find those.

Oh. But it would be good if Australian TV decided to syndicate Sex and the City, but then replace all the actresses with snakes and call it Snakes and the City. You could have an anaconda with a blonde wig and a mole on its face like Sarah Jessica Parker. I’d watch it.

That’s brilliant, but unfortunately we don’t have any anacondas. We do have some of the world’s most poisonous snakes here, though.

Oh god. What’s wrong with your animals? Why are they so aggressive and poisonous? Jesus Christ. I mean, you never have that in Ireland. The other day I was walking to the shop and a dog scowled at me. He gave me a dirty look. But that’s the closest I ever came to danger in Ireland with an animal.

A lot of your humour is very Irish-centric. Do you think Australians will get it?

I don’t know. That was one fear we had when we went to Britain, that the British people wouldn’t get it. But they did.

I don’t know a hell of a lot about Australian culture, so I guess we’re going to have to find out when we get to Melbourne.

I think you’ll be fine. Australians and the Irish are pretty similar in their sense of humour.

Well that’s good. If that’s the case then we’ll get on quite good. But you know, in Australia I’m sure people fight people’s fathers, I’m sure you have horses and I’m sure you’ve got retarded birds of prey. We’ll get on fine.

The Rubberbandits are performing at the Hi-Fi from 28th March to 7th April. For tickets and more information, visit:
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/rubberbandits