Wild Pumpkins At Midnight
By Joy McEntee
"So you wear clothes like a radical
and always seem fanatical
put shit on society
complain it's not pragmatical
but you don't do much that's practical
to help fight against the capitalists
who've made this world, 'tis such a mess
extract what they can from us
they'll blow themselves and us all up
and you'll die sitting on your arse
no time to say, 'gee that was fast
see you in another life'"
— "Apathetic Radical"
Around for about 10 years, Wild Pumpkins At Midnight have had a number of line-up changes, but mainstays Michael (guitars, vocals) and Dan (bass, vocals) see themselves working together for a long time to come.
They are not disheartened by their lack of financial success (it's still necessary to gig to survive). Dan: "Putting good music onto tape" is the most important thing.
The Pumpkins find it easier to "do their thing" in Europe. Australia is great for holidays and inspiration but is hard to work in. So the Netherlands is the new home of the Pumpkins.
Dan describes the Netherlands as "kind of like the moral watchdogs of Europe. They've always been the country that's taken in the political refugees. They take in more immigrants than most other countries."
Fascism is the topic on everybody's lips in Europe. It is mainly a young person's concern, as older people don't think it could ever happen again. As long as it is kept out in the open, it is unlikely that it will.
Michael says: "There is anti-fascist feelings, anti-fascist graffiti, anti-fascist bands, anti-fascist art, anti-fascist everything".
The Pumpkins play often in Bavaria, a right-wing stronghold. A young woman told them of the neo-Nazi group in her town. They would meet in a farmhouse not
far out of town and learn how to use guns, all this being financed by old, very rich, Nazis.
Over the years Wild Pumpkins At Midnight have written many political songs, including "Another Freedom Song" and "Nuclear Picnic". In 1988 they worked with unions on the west coast of Tasmania. They'd prefer not to be labelled an "issues band" or "greenie band" though, believing there is more to their music than can be categorised.
Their new album Strangeways is a mixture of the frenetic and the thoughtful, as Pumpkins music is. It is a great album to just listen to or to jump around the room to.