Today's Free Music is the self-titled EP from now-defunct awesome Sydney punk rockers Stereo City. Guitarist-vocalist Luke Shirker chimes in from Tokyo with a special and exclusive retrospective look at the songs featured on the EP. Big thanks go out from the Duderocket team to Luke and the guys from Stereo City for helping us make this happen. Right click and save on the song titles to download and enjoy! Now here's Luke...
Thanks to all the guys in the band, thanks to the people who came to our gigs and bought our records, thanks to the people who booked us at gigs and thanks to anybody who supported us in any way. These songs were never written in order to change the world or anything even close. They were just a good way to get things off my chest and have some fun with my friends and make some music, play some gigs, put a few records out. The times we had were unbelievable and it was an honor to contribute to the very healthy music scene in Australia and Sydney at the time.
One of the first songs written for the band, a lot of the music was embellished and written by Ryan, however the lyrics had been written quite some time before the band was even thought of. Bridges is a song about making changes in your life. When everything gets too much, things start to seem pointless and everything around you seems to bring you down. Instead of giving up, maybe it is time to change some things in your life such as your job, your environment, your outlook. I used the example of moving to another city, which I know a lot of people have done in their life. Sometimes this is not enough though and even though their environment has changed, their personal outlook hasn’t. In the final part of the song it gets to the point where even though everything around you has changed, your outlook hasn’t. Sometimes it is you who has the problem, the way you see things, and the decisions you make. Therefore maybe it is time to change this aspect of your life. The name of the song Bridges is a reference to a bridge to a new part in your life. Sometimes we need to help construct those bridges ourselves. It may be physical or mental either way, whatever works for you.
2. Maybe We're Sick
This track is about the media and being bombarded constantly with images of suffering, violence, corruption, greed, destruction and bullshit. It is mostly about news channels and the bias displayed through their unending rhetoric. I always have believed this impacts our daily life and most people's general opinions and beliefs of society and culture. This constant barrage of images through the news and media led me to almost believe that humans are a sick species. In either a broad sense or an individual sense it leads to a feeling of futility. It is easy to think that you can't do anything and the more you see these terrible things happening on TV the more it seems that you are becoming less impacted by it. These false feelings of freedom and the fact that human beings have no plan or way to enunciate what they are doing as a society, can make a person feel lost at times.
Graze is a selfish, go away, don’t need anyone type song. Its main message is “I’ve had it.” Sometimes everyone pisses you off and you just need time on your own to vege out. For years I lived in share houses where most of the time nobody who actually lived there would be home and me being a university student and rarely actually going to uni. I would stay home, drink some beers amongst other vices and there would always be a whole bunch of people in my house hanging out. The never-ending party was fun but sometimes I just wanted to stay home, not go out, not talk, not entertain, not answer the phone. Usually these times were when I had too much partying and my head was a total wreck. I should have probably told people to go home but at least I got some lyrics out of it.
4. No Emotion
No Emotion is a song about getting fed up with political elections, Liberal and Labor, John Howard and Kevin Rudd, left wing or right wing, all the big long words people used to make themselves seem smart, how every word ended in “tion”, how emotions were being marketed to us through advertising, how people had to take sides and how people would believe the puppet in charge of the party was the actual person behind the party's beliefs and policies. This track was a lyrical piece about how I was so over it all that I almost felt no emotion or pain over anything anymore. Where in reality I was extremely concerned about the direction our country was headed. In a typical punk rock way I had fantasies about burning everything down and destroying the system yada yada yada. But also how I knew this was not possible or smart either.
5. Real Revolution
This song was written years before Stereo City was even thought of, I was still in the Shirkers but this song did not seem to fit in with our sound and I put it on the shelf. I kind of saw myself leaning towards starting a new band and discussed it with Ryan and jammed this song with him a few times while we looked for a drummer and bass player. We used this song as our first tester to see what sound we could come up with. As I was quite young at the time I scribbled this one down, it is a little idealistic but I think youthful punk rock should always be a little this way. It is about how I believed that a revolution would not be possible anymore. I thought the '60s and '70s were a good time for one and unfortunately the hippies and punks ended up failing. I believed that this so-called revolution would just be a massive war and the world becoming drowned in false media and violence, The old fashioned east vs west idea (Christians vs Muslim) would become a dominate force to ruin the world. I wrote about how the only way that the violence and abuse would end is by humans destroying each other through bombs and warfare. It was written before the Americans declared war on the Middle East (post 9/11) and I was quite surprised to see everything turn to shit a few years later. This song used to be great live and in my opinion didn’t quite translate on record, but here it is.
Thanks for reading my rant about the lyrics, I hope it wasn’t too annoying to read. Stay tuned to Duderocket for some more great downloads in the future from many other great bands. As Mick Jones said, “Music is like a time machine, it can take you back to a time in your life and you can actually feel the same exact feelings you felt when you heard the song or recorded the song the first time.” This quote is very much not spot on what he said but it was something like that.
Peace love and punk rock!