Smoko, Straya's New National Anthem

You’re on site, doing a job for Kev, paid cash in hand. It’s stinking hot, you’re sweating your tits off and dreaming of cold VB. But thank fuck, at least it’s finally time for smoko. You take a seat on a milk crate and are about to crack into your pie and light up a fag when Kev comes back over to ask you some stupid question about the job. What do ya reply?

"I'M ON SMOKO, SO LEAVE ME ALONE!”

Aussie ratbags, The Chats have created one of the most relatable songs to have come out of Australia this year, perhaps ever. Their pub anthem Smoko is going bananas online and is a solid contender for Hello Zukeen’s song of the year. It’s an unapologetic, clinical, working-class banger.

Hailing from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, the boys formed in high school and have since put out The Chats E.P and then Get This In Ya. Their tune Smoko comes from their second release. The boys made an outrageous video and it’s now doing frenetic laps of the interweb.

In little over two days, the song has amassed over a million views and there have even been calls for it to be Straya’s new national anthem. Shit, 7 News even went and filmed a story about the song.

So how the fuck did a rough, rugged and raw punk stomper all about smoko become so popular? We caught up with singer/ lead bassist Eamon Sandwith to find out.


So what's going on with Smoko? It's blowin’ up.

Yeah, people are really getting around it! We put it on youtube a couple months ago and it started getting some attention. But 5 days ago, this Facebook page called "Ken Oath" posted it, and it just started going off. I think it's got about 800,000 views now.

Holy shit. Nice. You guys have ruthlessly created one of the most relatable songs to have ever come out of Australia.

Cheers! We didn't think it'd be relatable to so many people before we put it out, but the response is overwhelming.

It's pretty sick how hard it's gone. What's the story behind the song?

There's no real story. I just heard someone, can't remember who, say "I’m on smoko, so leave me alone", when I was staying at my dad's place in Logan. The phrase got stuck in my head for the rest of the day and when I got home I just wrote the song.

The lyrics are gold. It was hilarious 7 News picked it up. How good was that? Bet you didn't think you'd end up playing Smoko for the news.

Yeah that was so funny, they just messaged us yesterday and told us they wanted to interview us. We were on the news that night bangin out the song in our shed that we practice in.

Bloody good. As per, there are some pretty epic comments on the video for Smoko. What’s your favorite?

My favourite comment is any comment that gives my haircut a compliment.

Yeah bro. It’s one serious mullet. Great behaviour. How long have The Chats been kicking about for?

Cheers. About a year and a half. We started the band in high school last year and when we graduated we decided to keep the band going, because it was heaps of fun.

There are so many sick Aussie punk bands going at the moment. We had Stork and Israeli Chicks in Dunedin a few months ago. It's a hell fun time live.

Yeah I saw that. They're both sick bands. We're playing with Israeli Chicks next weekend.

That will be a huge. What do your parents think of Smoko?

They love it!

Always nice to get the parents on board. Keep the bangers coming and hopefully we'll see ya across the ditch in NZ sometime. A final question - what's the best and worst thing about Aussie?

Yeah hopefully! We'd love to come to NZ sometime soon. And the best thing about being Aussie is being Aussie. And there's nothing shit at all about being Aussie, pull ya head in!


Find more of The Chats music here: https://thechatslovebeer.bandcamp.com/

Interview by Sam Fraser-Baxter
 

Will Meehan