We’ve already shown Augie March plenty of love, but so far haven’t delved into the personal lives of the the Australian quintet. Figured a literate rock crew would have good stories to tell, so I snooped around and found out drummer Dave Williams works as a parking lot attendant. Score. After Dave’s tales of junkies, rumbles, covert porn watching, and open-air sexcapades, take a listen to Glenn Richards’ weary tenor on “One Crowded Hour,” the first single from the band’s third album Moo, You Bloody Choir. It should hopefully be more than enough to explain why these guys are worthy your time (and, obviously, ours).
STEREOGUM: How long have you been a parking lot attendant?
DAVE WILLIAMS: Coming up on six years.
STEREOGUM: What shift?
DW: I have four shifts: 2 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
STEREOGUM: Are you in the lot by yourself at any given time, or are their co-workers?
DW: Most of the time it’s just me, the black and brown cockroaches, and some drunk guy trying to have a dirty piss in the far corner.
STEREOGUM: Ever pull a Ferris Bueller and take car for a spin?
DW: Never taken a car for a spin, but if it’s a nice one, I’ll see how fast I can reverse it (for 10 meters, of course).
STEREOGUM: What’re your basic duties?
DW: My duties are quite simple: calculate and take payment for offering a car space; take keys, double park and move up to 15 cars when all regular spaces are occupied; provide security to the cars while they are in the lot; watch pornos without getting busted.
STEREOGUM: Ha. Do the other guys in the band work?
DW: Someone’s gotta keep it real in this band … Kiernan [Box] teaches a music class, Edmondo [Ammendola] does some work planting trees and re-greening desolate parts of the country. That’s about it.
STEREOGUM: Ever get recognized?
DW: Only if I tell them who I am first.
STEREOGUM: Does your job ever get in the way of touring?
DW: No, but one day soon it will all end — five retail stores and a cafe are slated to be built on the site at the end of the year.
STEREOGUM: You’ve been doing this a while. Have you gotten pretty good at figuring out what type of person to expect when a specific make of a car pulls up?
DW: The SUV’s are usually driven by rich mums with young children, or some undersexed 50-year-old going through a mid-life crisis. The bogan dickheads turn up in either a new model Holden (Australian make) with every available accessory added from arsehole to glory or a white, early ’90s Ford with a couple of hubcaps missing and Robbie Williams blaring on the suped-up car stereo. The young-buck blokes roll in with Mercs, Nissan’s, or Toyotas pimped up with more fiberglass and shining metal dials than at the start line of the America’s Cup.
STEREOGUM: You obviously run into all types. Any anecdotes?
DW: My first day on the job turned weird when within 30 minutes of starting … I witnessed a drug-dealer climb a five-meter wall and run off escaping a (fat) undercover cop who had busted him trying to sell heroin. Another strange day involved me approaching a young couple who’d gone behind some vehicles at two in the afternoon to shoot up; but when I arrived to move them on, it was abundantly clear that love, not smack, was the drug of choice and they were in need of a fix, like right now. And then there was the funny episode of me returning to the carpark in the evening after grabbing a refreshment, only to find a man arguing with his woman in the driveway. This young man took umbrage at my being there and, after fixing a glare at me, stomped over and king-hit me. I reeled back and set-off down the laneway to get away. Unfortunately, I ran into his knife-wielding mate heading up to see what was going on. I was knocked out, stabbed in the back, and left lying in the middle of the road unconscious. I spent five days in a hospital receiving treatment for a clot that had formed on my brain, and spent the next one and a half years having regular MRI and CAT scans. Finally, a lovely maneuver used on annoying regular customers who leave keys; pouring milk under their car foot mats – it reeks for weeks and they never have any idea where it is coming from.
STEREOGUM: What jobs did you have previous to this?
DW: Kitchen hand, store person, delivery driver, drum teacher…
STEREOGUM: Ever practice drums on pads, or whatever, while you’re sitting around and waiting for the next customer?
DW: I love bringing my pad in for a session (and to dazzle the customers with my ability), but I also take to whacking tables, TVs, bins, the office wall, and junkies pestering me for access to our water tap.
[Left to right: Kiernan Box, Edmondo Ammendola, Adam Donovan, Glenn Richards, and
master parker David Williams]
Moo, You Bloody Choir is out now on Sony/BMG