Byron Bay Surf Festival
Byron Brewery | 14–16 Feb
Ozzie Wright plays bass in the Goons of Doom who are headlining Saturday 15 February at the Byron Brewery for the Byron Surf Festival. Ozzie is multi-talented and will also be exhibiting in the art show opening Friday 14 February. Ozzie does all this whilst being an internationally recognised free surfer… he had a chat with The Echo!
When did you become a free surfer? What does it actually mean?
I’ve been free surfing since I was a little kid, the ‘free’ surf-term I think these days means someone who gets paid to surf, but doesn’t have to participate in competitions. Since you get paid to do it, you can surf till your eyes fall out of your head because you can tell your family you are working, and just surf and surf… eventually you realise you miss your family, so you go in.
How does your love of surfing show up in your art and music?
Occasionally my art may include some surf imagery, or a wave, or an island with an exploding volcano or something, but not often. Although I always paint my surfboards, so my art shows up in the surf more than vice versa – as for music, I have one song called The bikey zombie surfing club , and one that goes, Junkyard Jonny is not a loser, he invented the cockroach, it’s a surfing manoeuvre , which is a true story about a surfer from west Oz… so sometimes we write about surfing. Surfing has always had a huge amount of art and music connected to its culture. I’m just trying to make sure it stays that way and doesn’t end up an embarrassing kind of mainstream norm-core sport especially now that it’s in the Olympics.
Tell me how the Goons of Doom came about?
We are just a gang that went to primary school together, and have been great mates ever since, and have all lived in the same house and had nothing left to talk about, so we started playing music together. Next thing we knew, we would never run out of things to talk about ever again. We just talk about the band, and wonder why we never made it – hahaha, nah, we know why… explicit lyrics!
Fave song to play on stage at the moment?
One of Vaughan Dead’s songs, called Bong Scum.
What’s new for the Goons?
We brought out a new album last year called Black skull bong which features the song Bong scum which features the line long live Smith and his black skull bong which is about the late New Brighton surfer, Matt Smith, who was one of Vaughan’s mates. An epic surfer whom we lost too soon.
What’s a typical rehearsal or creative session like for you guys?
We go to Cowboys factory – our drummer is a shopfitter – so there are all kinds of power tools around. Sometimes we make a lot of noise playing songs, or sometimes we make gigantic three headed batman sculptures instead.
What should we expect for the Byron Surf Festival show?
We have an exciting special guest performing, it will be hilarious – don’t miss out!
Goons of Doom are featured at the Byron Surf Festival at the Byron Brewery, Saturday 15 February. Tickets and program info from byronbaysurffestival.com.au