The Resignators, Melbourne, Australia
'This is Ska, but not as you know it!'
The Resignators come from the land down under, Australia, a mysterious continent known to the rest of the world for its odd animals, crocodile hunters, Mad Max and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and this 7 year old 7 piece band is as odd as a combination of all these things.
While it may seem unusual for an Australian band to play ska (for the uninitiated, ska was the precursor to reggae) it is actually quite natural. It was Australians living in Jamaica in the early 1960’s, a band called the Caribs, that played on 90% of the first ska hits (largely un-credited as a studio house band at Ken Khoury’s Federal Studios and Coxone Dodd’s Studio One), and most early ska was engineered by Aussie Graeme Goodall, co-founder of Island Records!
The Resignators are mainly known as a ska band, but the band brings a wide variety of other influences to their music, as the members come from diverse backgrounds and decades. Band members run the gamut of innocence to experience with an astounding 40 year span between the oldest and youngest! It is appropriate that The Resignators sound is an amalgam of musical styles, because the original ska in Jamaica was also a mongrel mix – of jazz, rockabilly, and jump blues heard on US radio, combined with the native mento or calypso.
Lead vocalist Francis Harrison AKA Captain Focus helped form the band in 2005 after having some success with pop punk/ ska band “Addiction 64” and was also already well known as a DJ in Melbourne club scene. His knowledge of the history of Aussie music is unparalleled. Francis also studied dance, which may account for his love of ska and his wild onstage dance moves.
Guitarist Steve Douglas came up through the ranks of old school punk and hardcore bands in Richmond VA, and was the original guitarist for the band GWAR, but honed his ska roots as a teen in the Bahamas when he studied guitar with voodoo priestesses, the Kamler sisters. In contrast, trumpeter Jeremy Meaden brings a jazz and swing element to the mix as well as a “mod” flavor from his days in Northern Ireland with “The Vals”.
Keyboard player and vocalist Stacy Kilpatrick has played everything from blues to bluegrass in Family Farm Band, and drummer Ben Sharp brings a psychobilly element across from his band “Working Horse Irons” as well as his modern hardcore and pop punk influences. The youngest members, Leda Scott on trombone and John Howell on bass, keep it all fresh with a funk/ska sound from their teen band “Afro Junk vs. Koala Grunge”.
Combine all these elements and you get a hard driving mix of Jamaican backbeat rhythms with the ferocity of punk rock that dares you to dance! The Resignators are famous for their wild stage show that gives 100% whether in a small club or on a festival stage. Having just completed an Australian national tour, they will be taking this energy to the world stage with a 3 month tour starting June 1st of the USA, Canada, and Europe to promote the release of the new CD “Down in Flames”, released in North America on Stomp Records and in Europe on Rocking Steady Records.