Formed in March 94... Quan Yeomans, Ben Ely & Martin Lee started a side project to the other bands they had at the time – Pangaea, Zooerastia, Brazilia respectively – Regurgitator was an appropriate moniker to describe the assembled mass of styles, sounds & attitudes, fuelled as much by their unmitigated irony & geek nature as their irreverent take on themselves, corporatisation of culture and human social behaviour.
From their early guest spots with Primus, Beck, The Buzzcocks, John Spencer Blues Explosion, Ministry, Pansy Division, TISM they quickly developed a following that led to signing with Warner. The first self-titled EP was released in late 94... quickly followed by the second EP New in 1995. Late ‘95 they embarked on a European tour with Filter, followed by their first shows in Tokyo.
After their first Big Day Out tour in Jan 1996, they relocated to Bangkok to record their debut album with Magoo. April 96 the first single Kong Foo Sing broke the cookie jar - an ode to the humble fortune cookie and paved the way for the debut album Tu Plang (Thai for Jukebox) - a rubble of punk pop, hop-rock-beats & discarded sounds; and coincided with a national tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, followed by another with Japanese avant-garde guests, Boredoms.
The band was picked up by Reprise in the US along with their first US tour as guests of God Lives. After a Japan/Australian tour together with CIV from New York (including an incredible show with the Boredoms in Osaka at Wo`Hol) and the Japanese release of Tu Plang, they sold out Brisbane`s Festival Hall headlining Easy Cheese (with Powderfinger etc). After various Summer Festival appearances in Australia, along with shows with The Prodigy (Sydney) & Rocket From The Crypt (Auckland), they open 1997 with another tour to USA and their only SXSW appearance, before embarking on an extensive dates with Helmet & The Melvins. Upon return, they set up their own studio The Dirty Room in a condemned warehouse in Brisbane`s Fortitude Valley backstreets to record the second album UNIT – it heralded a new direction with a strong pop ala 80`s electro vibe (although never short of their self-deprecating sense of humour and fun). UNIT was released in 1997 culminating in a national Australian tour with The Prodigy and their biggest single Polyester Girl.
Unit ended up reaching triple platinum in Australia. This was followed by the Anti-Jabiluka Uranium mining protest for the Mirrar people - a 5am performance with Midnight Oil & Coloured Stone at the blockade of the proposed mining site in the Kakadu National Park. A third tour to Japan is followed by the sellout Australia/NZ Caveat Emptour with TISM, that incorporated the usage of a large scale visual projection of computer animations of the band members.
More dates in Japan and the UK (including the Reading Festival and the UK release of UNIT), ARIAs for Unit, their second Big Day Out tour before relocating their studio bits & pieces to a Byron Bay beach house to make ...art – the third album. After tours with Japan`s Audio Active, and the Art Tour with Custard & The Resin Dogs in late 1999, drummer Martin Lee depart to be replaced by Front End Loader drummer Peter Kostic. After more Australian festival shows and tours into 2000, the SNOOZER-presented Japan dates were their most successful so far, the album going on to sell 12,000 copies.
Quan & Ben commenced work in their home studios on their fourth album Eduardo & Rodriguez Wage War on T-Wrecks, relocating to London to mix with Andy Gill (Gang of Four). A quick trip to Japan for the great Fuji Rock Festival as the album was released in Australia, NZ, Japan, Singapore, Germany and Scandanavia in July 2001 along with Australian Canon Fodder tour with guests Gerling through Aug/Sept 2001. After an appearance at Brisbane`s 2001 Livid Festival, they headed back to Japan again with special guests The Zoobombs, followed by a New Years Eve show at The Falls with The Hives etc and the 2002 Big Day Out tour in Jan/Feb (performing between System of a Down and Garbage on the mainstage). The highlight of this tour being the inclusion of Peaches and a duet on her track Rock Show.
In June 2002 they performed in London at the Fierce Festival to 20,000 people, along with Midnight Oil, Spiderbait etc. After ending the deal with Warner, the JINGLES single compilation was released in Oct 2002. A short Australian tour – Nein, Nein, Nein...the Slumber of the Beast also led to a DIY DVD release of live tunes from this tour as their first independent release through Valve. In 2003 while Quan was based in Switzerland, Sweden and London… a UK tour and release of Jingles (on independent label Kennel) took place. Following a second tour to the UK in early October, they performed at one of the first alternative music festivals in Hong Kong… the Rockit festival along with the 17 piece Spanish Harlem Orchestra from New York, Electric Ell Shock and Ride…
This was when plans were hatched for the Band in a Bubble concept to take place in conjunction with the independently released fifth album MISHMASH! An idea suggested by their manager in 1999 and given some value when Quan witnessed david Blaine suspended above the Thames while on tour there… After various festival appearance including a very torrid night at the Sydney festival with Peaches and Spod, and a headline spot on the St Kilda Festival in Melbourne, and the Bong in my Eye tour with Spod and The Grates … the Band in a Bubble was born in Melbourne’s Federation Square Aug’04. Regurgitator has a long history of trying hard to buck the system that feeds them but as of August 31, they gave themselves over to the system, exposing themselves to the machinations of the "culture industry" whilst still getting to wear the pants.
In partnership with Channel [V], Regurgitator are sealing themselves in a transparent, "fishbowl" studio to record their new album and show the world (well a viewing segment of the world) how the creative process is ultimately both destructive and hypnotic, liberatory and constraining, beautiful and very ugly. By creating a panoptic platform for their public, they will give themselves over to their viewers/fans/citizens and allow the intrusive eye of the public to pierce their "bubble". After the BAND IN A BUBBLE and the release of the album they escaped to another Australian tour, a second ROCK IT appearance in Hong Kong, Homebake in Sydney (early Dec) and the 2005 Big Day Out tour. In Sept’05 they release their latest EP #*?! Featuring Pretty Girls Swear and set out on the Regurgitator Live’s tour. Mishmash! Comes out on Avex in Japan Feb’06 with shows in Singapore, Australia and Japan. In 2007 they headed to Brazil to record their sixth full length album Love and Paranoia before extensive tours around Australia with guests from China New Pants and I Heart Hiroshima, appearances on The Falls festivals, a further BIG DAY OUT tour in early 2008, April dates with guests Ratatat around the Essential Festival, an Australian tour as guests of DEVO over August 08 before shows in UK, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos & China. Filmed video for Hurricane in Beijing. Played Meredith Festival among others. After Hear & Now festival in Jan took a break with Quan focusing on solo work The Amateur touring the Big Day Out and supporting Prodigy, followed by various festivals and Australian/HK tour dates with Ratatat.
Ben took off for travels to Turkey, Berlin and Japan. Late 2009 they played a small festival in the Japanese Alps with Hoodoo Gurus… before working with dance choreographer Gavin Webber on the live music/dance/theatrical project Rock Show at QPAC in Brisbane. In 2010 Quan & Ben relocated to Melboune and set studios up in their new dwellings and then started work amid various distractions on new recordings planning to eschew the typical album release approach for a take it as it comes approach. After a few shows including the 10th birthday of the Brisbane Powerhouse they performed a highly successful live soundtrack to Japanese anime film AKIRA at Sydney Opera House. To coincide with a Sept Australia tour they released the batch of recordings under the title Distractions followed by various Festivals plus shows in London, Dubai and Bahrain… returning for Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie and a NYE show in Newcastle.
2011 started with a huge two night flood benefit show in Brisbane which also featured a special appearance of Custard. Following this a massive 3 song set the Australian Soccer Grand final held in Brisbane where Brisbane fought back to win in an exciting penalty shoot out. After an extensive Australian tour was announced for Aug/Sept – the “Annual sail tour” the guys set about completing more music that rose with the tide in August under the title SuperHappyFunTimesFriends, with first single One Day surfing up the radio and net waves.
It was released on vinyl, CD, cassette, download… and new format Playbutton (a wearable badge that contains the whole album – the first in Australia to use this).Coinciding with this Regurgitator’s UNIT was voted #10 on the Triple J Top 100 Australian albums (coming in at #13 on the industry voted poll). The Annual Sail tour concluded with sold out shows in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Geelong, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth and was possibly the most enthusiastically received tour they have done since the 90s. They then followed this up with performances of their album “UNIT” over the Falls & Southbound festivals end of 2011. 2012 has kicked off with an inclusion in the Big Day Out – their sixth time around on this grand Australian festival tour. Along with performances at the Margaret River Surf Classic, a 4ZZZ benefit there is the upcoming Australian tour performing seminal albums Tu Plang and Unit –with some shows sold out already. SuperHappyFunTimesFriends is also being released in Japan later this year.
Regurgitator continue to infuse their irregular live performances with exuberance and mania amid their mashup rock and electro vibes. For further info visit www.regurgitator.net