Posts Tagged ‘Spiders In The Biscuit Jar’

Back in 1990, myself and 2 friends, Ben and Darren, were at my house one Friday night eating pizza, talkin’ shit, listening to records, etc. and we were in the kitchen and suddenly noticed there was a spider crawling on the kitchen lightshade. I searched everywhere for some insect spray but we were all out. We did have Exit Mould though so we used that. We sprayed the spider over and over. We didn’t have anything to put it in so we used a biscuit jar and the spider fell into that and we took it outside and either let it go or stomped on it. I can’t remember. Either way, we were laughing hysterically and decided to start a band that night. My drums were usually set-up in the loungeroom for rehearsals anyway so Darren got his guitar, Ben grabbed some paper and a pen and we started writing songs. Within minutes (yeah, seriously, minutes!) we had tons of songs written. We decided to actually do something with this and began rehearsing regularly. Before long we were playing live gigs at backyard parties and venues. It was on and happening.

Soon after we entered the recording studios to lay down tracks for our first demo tape, “Alligators Are Scary”. This demo tape featured 17 tracks of metal punk hardcore rock with no bass guitar; just vocals, guitar and drums. It’s not a bad effort and cost us all up about $150 for the whole day. Recording this demo, half way through the drum levels being set-up, a priest barged into the studio demanding that we stop immediately. He advised us he was trying to conduct a service at the church next door and the drums were going through the airconditioning vents and into the church. We decided to name this priest Father Dowling and wrote a song about this incident right there on the spot. The engineer seemed amazed at how quickly we could put a song together and told us this story about a guy outside a pub during the Grand Prix who repeatedly told people about the $1 beers that the pub was selling at the time. This story made us laugh and an extra song, aptly titled “$1 beers!” was added to the demo. Hey, we moved fast!

“Alligators Are Scary” also included the infamous song, “Heaps Of Giveaways” which was a tribute to the local radio 5MMM (Now 3D Radio) heavy metal show host, Lewi Young, whose catch phrase on air was, funnily enough, ‘heaps of giveaways’. This song got the band much notoriety and the song became one of the most played songs on the radio at the time. This was the first time I had ever gotten into my car, turned on the radio and heard a song by my own band being played on the radio. Was a pretty good feeling for a 17 year old kid.

After the demo was recorded, we took advantage of our school’s media studies equipment and decided to make a music video for one of the songs on the demo titled “Musashi (Strongest Man in the Universe)”. I still remember how this song came about. The 3 of us were watching the olympics on TV one weekend and the weightlifting came on. This guy came up to the weights to begin his lift. Behind him, a huge banner saying Musashi. He picked up the weights, got them about 10cms off the canvas, dropped them and stormed off. We started laughing, Ben put pen to paper and the songs was born. This here is the video to Musashi, filmed at Salisbury East High School which is where the 3 of us attended our studies.

One night we were out riding our BMX bikes across the road in the carpark of the local radio station and we were on a BMX Bandits trip. We had been watching the movie and, like everything else we found amusing, another song was born. We filmed a bunch of us doing some hardcore BMX stunts and the results of both the song and video can be found here in our tune, “BMX Bandits”.

The band played a new years eve show in 1991 at the Tivoli Hotel and after the show was over, we were told that we weren’t going to be paid because we didn’t have a bass player therefore we were not a serious band. True story. We seemed stumped by this and after being paid $20 because we demanded something, we decided we should get a bass player. We recruited my brother, Jut, and went back into the studio to record another demo titled “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle”. This demo had a total of 12 tracks and had a much heavier sound. Songs ranging from topics to do with TAB (the drink – just one calorie), flatulence, DRI fans in Portugal who listen to the trash, and a re-recorded version of Heaps Of Giveaways, the demo was not as well received but still deemed a classic by the 10 people who heard it. “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” also included covers of a Coca-Cola advert, the Zit Remedy, and Nena’s “99 Luft Balloons”. Sounds ridiculous? It was. Someday both of these demos may re-surface for your listening pleasure. One video from “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” was made for the song Heller.

A 3rd and final demo, a cabaret demo of 3 songs was recorded and never officially released. This featured songs about Manna (a person who went into the jungle and never came out) and other such ridiculous soul-soothers. This also started the end of an era and Spiders In The Biscuit Jar soon disbanded. Sad but true.

The band:
Ben Reichman – Vocals, Piano
Darren Borrowdale – Guitar
Damo – Drums, Backing Vocals
Jut – Bass

Discography:
Alligators Are Scary (1992)
Maurcie’s Steak & Waffle (1993)
The Cabaret Demo (1993)

Both Alligators Are Scary and Maurice’s Steak & Waffle can be downloaded for free from the band’s bandcamp page.

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Let’s be honest here… I don’t listen to Soulfly. I couldn’t even tell you a single song title. Yeah, really. I mean, sure, I know who they are, I know that the dude’s from Sepultura and I know a lot of dude’s who wear basketball jersey’s, camo shorts and have shaved heads, goatee beards and baseball caps dig ’em, but other than that, I know nothing about them. But then on Tuesday night a message came through asking me if I wanted a free ticket. Of course I accepted cos who knows, maybe I’d dig it? So I got to the venue at around 8pm and met my friend and in we went.

The first band were playing. They were called Incite which isn’t the best of band names but then again, either is Spiders In The Biscuit Jar and at the time we thought that was awesome (we were kids so quit the laughing). Word on the street is that the vocalist is the son of Mr Sepultura himself, Max Cavalera. Incite were pretty good. They got the crowd ready and the inbetween song banter was amusing. I dunno about you, but personally, hearing someone scream “Heavy Fucking Metal!” in death metal voice just makes me laugh. Still though, not a bad set. Pretty heavy stuff with some good riffs.

City Of Fire came on next. These dudes were like a supergroup with members from Fear Factory, Hatebreed and Strapping Young Lad. That’s a pretty beefy sausage party right there. I didn’t know what to expect when they came on and immediately I was diggin’ it. I hadn’t heard a single song by these guys either so for me to get rocked without knowing any of the tunes I thought was quite cool indeed. These guys did an awesome version of The Cult’s “Rain” which I thought was a highlight of the entire night. It just sounded cool in the middle of so much testosterone.

Soulfly came on and the place started jumping immediately. They have that groovy metal sound that has jungle drums and stuff to get people pogo-ing like they were at a Sex Pistols show in ’77. The driving beats and rhythm of each song had everyone dancing from the first chord til the last. I have to say, I liked ’em. It was groovy. You could totally move to it. The only downfall was the amount of douchebags there. I mean, really? Being a tough guy drunk fuckwit pushing people around because you are metabolism-challenged is not cool. Whatever. Cavalera had the crowd in his palm and gave them everything they wanted including the Sepultura classic, “Roots”, in the encore along with crowd favourite, “Eye For An Eye”. It was a great set and the crowd loved it. Seemed the people were more than happy. And Max has crazy dreads.

Besides the few who got into “tough guy” phase, the show was most awesome and I am a converted fan. Granted, you won’t see me in a basketball jersey anytime soon but I was definitely impressed. Awesome stuff.