You can see them bar-hopping down King Street, guitars and beers in hand, duct tape on nipples. These New South Whales are Sydney’s premier punk outfit. Except, of course, they’re not.
Inspired by the live performances of the band These New South Whales, the web series is a mockumentary that expands their parodic performance art into the video medium.
“At it’s core, it’s a satire and commentary on the music industry at large, musicians themselves, and a playful exploration of punk music and the archetypal characters that exist in and around this world,” explains Todd Andrews—creator, producer, writer and band member.
In sending up the local music scene, These New South Whales joins a tradition going back to This Is Spinal Tap—arguably the first mockumentary ever. Some scenes will be painfully relatable for anyone who has worn a band t-shirt or carried an amp into a gig—awkward drug deals, delusions of rock star grandeur, discussions of punk credibility and dirty pub bathrooms.
One of the keys to a good satire is a real-to-life feel, which is where These New South Whales excels. These New South Whales are actually a real band, and the series features a wealth of live footage from real gigs and venues around Sydney. There are also cameos from more conventional members of the local music scene, such as DMA’s, DZ Deathrays and Palms—sure to amuse any diehard punk nerds.
The entire six-part series was shot in just eight days—although there were months of planning beforehand and post-production after. Andrews says it was an improvisational, free-wheeling process: “Going into the shoot, we only had a paragraph written for each episode, which allowed us to play with various ideas both on set and in the edit.”
The team is currently working on a follow-up series, and according to Andrews, “we’re going in with much more of an idea with what we’re going to create”. If anyone can nail the difficult second album, it’s These New South Whales.