Six Questions for Dom Lyne

Interview by James Matthews

APO is short for A PUNK ODDITY, how did this name come about and what is the meaning behind it?

The band’s name really came about by accident when we recorded the first EP. We knew that the EP was going be called A Punk Oddity, but we hadn’t fully cemented what the band name was going to be; so I just sat there thinking why not call the band “A Punk Oddity”? It just seemed to fit. Yes, we play Punk, but our intention is not to limit ourselves to that genre as our influences come from other places outside of Punk – this can be seen on our album Into the Mouth of Whoredom and more so on our new EP Hogo. So I guess the reason the name fits so well with the band is that we aren’t just punk, we’re a Punk oddity.

As the frontman of APO, all the material has been produced by you solely; what is your main inspiration when it comes to writing your songs?

Firstly, it’s wrong to say that all our material has been produced by me solely as I’m not the principal songwriter. M** and I write at different times and when we have a collection of tracks we get together and decide which tracks are the strongest and which will be used where and when. A Punk Oddity isn’t just one person; it’s a unit and a fucking strong one at that. The only part of our material for which I’m solely responsible for is the lyrics, which generally come about after all the music has been written.

The inspiration for my lyrics comes from various places. When I get given a track, I listen to the music first to try to understand the character of the track and work out what subject matter would best fit it. Once I have a general idea I set about seeing what comes out. A lot of my lyrics are personal; you know, they’re about things that have happened to me or are happening to me at the time of writing, but they’re not just limited to that.

On one hand you have songs like ‘Dairy Cream Puff’, ‘Anti-Helen’ and ‘Dom’s Power Ballad’ which are about people that have either pissed me off or hurt me in the past, but they aren’t angry songs as that isn’t what A Punk Oddity is about; we’re about having fun, not sitting in a darkened corner of a room moaning about the “evils” of the world. If I want to bitch about people I simply take the piss out of them and what their relationship with me was; it’s all about turning anger into laughter. Some people sit and dwell on all the bad times of their lives and to me that just makes you bitter, and that is certainly not how I want to come across.

Then, on the other hand, you get the “random” songs, you know, ‘Eurovision Masturbation Contest’ – which is about some guy jacking-off to the Eurovision Song Contest – and ‘Summer Bay’ – which is about that great Aussie soap Home and Away. I love writing those songs coz they don’t have any emotional meaning to you other than being your lyrics.

In general there isn’t one set “main” inspiration for me; I get it from everywhere. I could probably end up writing a song about the weather if I thought it would go with a track I’d been given.

Some of your songs have taken a more controversial approach, in particular ‘So What If I Like It In My Ass’. As APO, is controversy something you want to base your image on as a Punk Band?

Yeah, there are a few songs that are what could be deemed controversial but I wouldn’t say that that was the basis of our image; we didn’t go out of our way to make those songs especially for any reaction. The reason ‘So What If I Like It In My Ass’ came about wasn’t because I sat down one day and said to myself, “Okay, I’m going to write a song about being gay just coz of the controversy it’ll gain”; it was because I wanted to say, “Look, some people are gay, so what you going to do about it? Don’t like it then don’t associate with them.” It’s not a homophobic song, it’s about just being yourself and enjoying what you can.

Controversy is going to kick in when you touch on certain matters, take ‘Porn Star’ as another example. I stuck in a sample of me actually having sex with someone and wrote a song about how the samples were recorded. Yes it may disgust some people, but I think it’s just funny; it was consensual sex, so where’s the problem? Take the joke from the title; people go out of their way to buy porn magazines or DVDs and have no problem with that, so what makes sticking a few samples in a song any different?

You have so far completed two albums, what are your plans for the third album?

Technically speaking we’ve only released one album – Into the Mouth of Whoredom. All our other releases have been small four track EPs. We’ve already got enough material written for our next album, but at the moment those tracks have been put to one side. Into the Mouth of Whoredom is still pretty much a new release as far as we are concerned and we fucking love the tracks on it. We want people to get the chance to enjoy them fully before we bombard them with another album of brand new material. It would seem silly for us as a band to release a new album within a matter of months from the last; it is possible but not beneficial. That’s the reason why we released Hogo. It isn’t a new album and it doesn’t contain cast offs from Into the Mouth of Whoredom; it is totally different, it shows a side of A Punk Oddity that hasn’t been seen before.

Like I said the material for our next album has already been written, and is a mixture of all the elements of APO’s previous releases. Our aim is to constantly develop our sound but without losing the elements of what makes A Punk Oddity what it is, and there’s no way we’re going to turn our back on our past. We like experimenting and that is evident with the material we’re saving for the next album.

What are your plans for the next few years?

Our plans are to promote the band as much as we can and keep producing music that makes people want to get up and jump. On the scale of things, having a good laugh and making sure everyone who comes to see us has a good time is most important; everything else is a bonus. It would be very presumptuous of me to turn round and say that in the next few years we’re going to be megastars because that’s not how this industry works at all. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t then fuck it, we’ll still be having a good time making and performing the music we do.

We’ve got a few ideas for EPs in the pipeline and we’re really fucking excited about those because once again they’ll add a new dimension to the APO sound. Once those are done and dusted, who knows? We might get round to recording that second album. So I guess you have to keep watching this space to find out.

If there is one band you would like to go on tour with who would it be and why?

Now that’s an unfair question because there’s so many bands out there that we respect and it would be an honour to go on tour with.

Personally for me, I would have to say Blink182 because they’ve been one of my influences for ages – Travis Barker is like one of my drumming idols – and to support them would be fucking awesome. At the end of the day however supporting any band is cool, especially if they know how to have a fucking laugh. I couldn’t think of anything worse than having to sit around with a group of people who just bitch, whine and moan all the time. Now that would be depressing.

Oh, I just had a thought, how about Busted? That could be quite interesting; maybe we could teach them how to party like rock-stars.

Six Questions for Dom Lyne – Frontman of A Punk Oddity appeared in the March 2004 edition of Skunk Magazine. The copyright in this interview belongs to the magazine’s writers/publishers.

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