A SUCCESSFUL metal band releasing albums in Europe from a home studio in the quiet regional Victorian town of Neerim South is not something many expect.
This article was first published in the 12 September 2014 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
Wayne Dwyer has been involved in music since he was 14 years old, and some of his earliest recordings have become popular with metal fans across the world.
FREE DOWNLOAD: You can hear Wayne’s band Vulvagun with a free download of the song Malachi. Click here to download.
“There was a kid who came to my school from another school who was in a band, and they needed a singer,” Dwyer told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“I’d never sung but became the singer. We were playing in pubs [by the time I was] 15. The drummer was 13.”
That band, Sea Wolf, recently reunited after 30 years and recorded a new album of old songs, expected to be released next year.
But it was another early band, Captain Trips, which recently caught the attention of an American record label keen on the European heavy scene.
“We recorded an album in 1992, released it on cassette and split up in ’93 or ’94,” Dwyer said.
“Over the years it started popping up on the internet as rare thrash metal from Australia with these eclectic German collectors and people from Sweden wanting to get a copy.
“That was fine with us, and then about two years ago I was contacted by [a label] saying they wanted to release the album.
“It’s been selling great guns. We sold about 500 copies which, for a band that hasn’t played in 20 years, is extraordinary.
Dwyer now works in marketing at the West Gippsland Arts Centre, but as part of cover band Chump he once made a living from music.
“I’d always played in original bands, and of course what happens when you play in an original band is you have to make a living, so I was doing work that I didn’t enjoy,” he said.
“So myself and the drummer from Sea Wolf decided ‘why don’t we try to subsidise our love for original music by playing in a cover band?’
“We set it up as a business… in 1994. By 2000 I was making a really good living out of it and was able to quit my day job.
The band played the MCG in 2004 for a soccer final in front of 91,000 people.
“We used to get asked to do a lot of the sporting events. They’d fly us up to Queensland and we’d do the State of Origin rugby matches at Suncorp Stadium,” he said.
“The beauty of that was we got to do things that we never would have got to do as an original band in Australia, especially in a heavy band.
“And playing in a cover band teaches you how to perform and how to write music.”
Dwyer formed a new band a few years ago called Vulvagun, and in 2011 released “Cold Moon Over Babylon”.
He is now working on the band’s next album, but will be changing the name to Promethean Arch.
“I didn’t think [Cold Moon] would sell one copy,” Dwyer said.
“The name started as a joke. We (the band) were talking about women’s rights, and I’m passionate about women’s rights and equality and stuff like that, so I said I would like to write a song called Vulvagun.
“People get this wrong impression about what the name is about. I just think that if women ran the world it would be a much better place.”
Dwyer has a number of other bands on the go, including Hawkwind-inspired group The Valium Matrix, and local cover band Liquid Horse.Want more? Stay updated on Twitter and Facebook: