Getting to know Phat Meegz

Where are you from and when did you get started?

We’re a band from Tasmania, Australia, and all of us live here, albeit a bit scattered across the island at the moment. We got started sometime in early 2009, right after I moved to Tassie from Sydney. I was 16 and just moved out of my parent’s house to live with a friend halfway across the country.

At the time Tassie was a bit of a hotspot for traveller crusties and other such riffraff cause of these massive protests over the logging of the upper florentine, which is an old-growth forest that was getting turned into wood chips and chopsticks. So, living here, I quickly gravitated to a few other out-of-town punks that had just stopped by to fulfill their rent-a-riot duties, one of which (Joey) became the bassist of the band. We used to jam even though he claimed he hated reggae, and wrote a bunch of songs. We then found a drummer and enlisted him cause he was wearing an Op Ivy shirt, and a second guitarist just cause we could. Eventually we found a music nerd to play trombone for us. After about 3 months we decided to go on tour around Australia and all spent a bunch of money and met a bunch of people, which was cool.

Who are you and who does what in the band?

Well, I’m Ethan, I sing and play guitar. Joey is our bassist, he gets naked a lot on stage. Sam is our drummer and he’s the level-headed one. At the moment our Second guitarist is Jono, he’s 17 or something and has to sneak into all our shows. Luis is our trombone player, he lives on the other side of the island and handles all the complicated musical stuff, he doubles as our sound engineer and tambourine player.

How would you best describe the sound?

Old school reggae, if everyone in Jamaica was high on tweak instead of weed, and also white, angry and underage.

Dream rock moment (real or not)?

Real: Having the power cut at a show for playing too long, Joey being completely naked, and everyone in the crowd singing the words anyway.
Not Real: Brad Nowell somehow being alive and us opening for Sublime, and Joey flashing his balls to the entire crowd.

Still got day jobs?

Sortof. I’m usually unemployed but I just started work at a lettuce farm, picking and planting little lettuce babies. Joey goes to university and works at a fancy art gallery, Sam does furniture design at the same uni. Luis goes to Uni in Launceston, the other, shittier major city in Tasmania. Johno is still in year 12.

Any regrets?

Too many to count.

Phat Meegz – M.S.G. To Rudy


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Damn, sometimes I wish this was my job so I could be all like, “Damn, I love my job!” As it is, the only payment I get from this little hobby is the whole world of music that I get left on my doorstep, if you will.

What I’m listening to right now is “M.S.G. To Rudy” (as in the oh so delicious seasoning that makes you crave the Colonel’s chicken fortnightly) from the band Phat Meegz. The band hails from that tiny island at the bottom of Australia. You know the one famous for devils and commercial meat slicers? (ok, maybe Hobart Corp isn’t from Australia, but Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, therefore it should be from there.) At any rate, straight outta Tasmania, Phat Meegz is self-described as, “crusty reggae hardcore shit on like, a sublime/crack rock steady tip, with all the retarded braindead flavour so typical to Australia.” I will not disagree.

M.S.G. To Rudy delivers 12 gritty tracks with a heavy dose reggae swagger (and maybe Old Spice Swagger) as well as the more crack rocksteady punkish flavor of Leftover Crack, INDK, Morning Glory etc. On top of that, track 11 reminds me of the ska/punk band, Knowledge (a Link 80 related project off of Asianman a few years back) It is intriguing though, beneath the rather convoluted veneer, there seems to be some genuine soul. Track six, for instance, with a title like “For a Girl” things might seem immediately trite. However, I feel like there is a little more going on there. Damnit, there is some emotion going on in these songs. … I guess that isn’t so crack rocksteady after all, is it?

When you boil it all down though, M.S.G To Rudy has got enough back beat and horns to please the ska kids and a generous amount of down note calypso for those that prefer their island sound a bit slower. As if that wasn’t already enough, there is still the whole crust-o-matic throat sheering thrash explosion that graces a few tracks. If you like reggae and/or ska at all, or if you’re just some kind of d-bag hater, check Phat Meegz out, why don’t ya?

–Jerry Actually

Check the band out and stream the album here: or if you want to order a real object made out of plastic and other space age polymers, try sending an email here: emandc at gmail dot com