Written for Griffith University's Gettamungstit magazine.
Image - The bands second gig at the Gold Coast's Chophouse
The first thing to strike you about the members of Operator Please is their age, with the energetic quintuplet’s (Amandah, Ashley, Timmy, Steph and Sarah) ages ranging from fifteen to seventeen. Upon entering the gig at the Hard Rock Cafe resurrection
Party the majority of comments from the crowd were along the lines of “They’re so cute! I want to adopt them!”. However, once the explosive set began and seventeen year old Amandah began to sing not only the abundance on family and friends, but also everyone present - young and old – sat up and took notice.
Belting out song after song their extraordinary sound lifted the entire atmosphere of the venue and they had the crowd dancing like retarded leprechauns on speed, which was precisely their aim for the night. The sugar coated melodies – but not too sweet as to cause cavities – got stuck in my head long after the party ended. Songs such as “Just a Song About Ping Pong” and “Catalogue Kids” had me itching for more. It’s hard not to be amazed by the unique sound that a band formed in high school has developed.
Funnily, as an ex-senior member of KFC I used to boss around sixteen year old bassist Ashley. Oh don’t worry I’ll be claiming it when they’re hugely successful and on their world tour. Already Operator Please has a fan base, radio play and their EP On the Prowl released. Ashley answered a couple of questions about the band for us:
How did you get started?
Well the school was holding its annual battle of the bands competition and Amandah wanted to enter with a band, so she collected all people at school she knew played instruments and kinda just said "hey your playing with me for battle of the bands, okay cool". So we just started rehearsing 5 songs for the comp over a month and we ended up winning the comp the prize being a box of donuts donated to the school. From then on we figured we played really well together and so we decided that we should be a band permanently.
Did not knowing each other in the beginning effect your music in anyway?
Not necessarily because we all were introduced to each other through Amandah and had all known of each other from school. It was pretty good because we all ended up being into the same kind of music so it gelled easily and it fell into place naturally.
Considering your age how long have you been playing your instruments?
Well Amandah has been playing guitar since the end of year seven and has been singing since she was a midget of 5 year old, biggest attention seeker ever (laughs). Steph has been playing violin since an extremely young age, around Pre School and now she is good enough to teach violin. Tim our drummer has been playing for 2 years and I can't believe it! He is awesome you can clap a drum beat and he will pick it up in about 2 seconds. Sarah was trained classically and has been playing since she was very young as well. And I have only been playing only for a year so to be in a band is a big achievement for me.
Where do you come up with the ideas for your songs and who writes the majority of them?
Well Amandah pretty much writes all of them and brings them to a rehearsal and we all work our parts into it and see what fits and what doesn't. Sarah and Steph have also brought a couple songs to the table as well but when it comes down to the mix we all have a fair share of involvement. Amandah gets her ideas from everything and I mean everything, from getting lost in Brisbane to social behaviours, she even wrote a song about how people slouch at computers and ping-pong.
Who and what are your major influences?
Our major influences come from a lot of our favourite bands. Our most major influences are Kings of Leon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Grates, The Strokes and a lot of the New York and British Indie scene. We are not only influenced by the music we listen to or a certain genre for that matter, we can be influenced by anything really -like things around us.
How would you describe your style?
I'd say our style is Alternative and maybe a bit Indie it's hard to pin point it exactly, maybe it's just fun? Yeah it's fun.
How do you think the Internet has effected the success of Operator Please?
AMAZINGLY. The Internet is the land of opportunities seriously. It has allowed us to expose our music to a variety of audiences both international and inside Australia. Without the Internet we probably wouldn't have the fans that we do now. It's all about exposure.
How do you think Myspace is effecting the music industry?
Myspace is one of the best things that has been created. I mean it's free, it allows you to expose your music and be contactable by people in other countries, other bands and organisations that are on myspace. It is a useful marketing tool for anyone that wants exposure.
Continue to Part 2