Fresh off the back of releasing his new EP, Sydney-based acoustic punk hero Billy Puntton sat down and answered a few questions from us, as well as giving us a playlist of songs which have influenced him over the years…
The Punk Archive: Hey Billy! Introduce yourselves to our readers?
Billy: Hi! I’m Billy Puntton! A hyperactive Simpsons enthusiast that plays an angry/angsty brand of folk punk, inspired by Johnny Hobo & The Freight Trains, Wingnut Dishwasher Union, The Decline, Local Resident Failure, Pigeon Pit and more! I moved to Sydney from my home town of Coffs Harbour where I grew up playing in hardcore punk and pop-punk bands.
The Punk Archive: How did you get into music?
Billy: I got into music the same way I think a lot of people did, through my older, much cooler sister. One day she bought home this blink-182 Greatest Hits CD, after falling in love with that I went and bought the earliest album of theirs I could find (Cheshire Cat) and that’s really where it all started. A school friend of mine sniffed out that I was getting really into old blink and Green Day and one day handed me a small pile of burnt CDs. There was NoFX, Rancid, Operation Ivy, Pogues and some more blink! I think that really set me up for a lifetime of punk rock fandom.
The Punk Archive: You’ve just released a new EP: talk us through the writing and recording process?
Billy: The writing process isn’t one I’m proud of. There weren’t any moments where I would sit down and think ‘alright let’s formulate a banger’. Nearly all the lyrics were written on sleepless nights when I was spiralling with anxiety: the only way I could calm down was to write about it. After those nights, on better days, I’d put those lyrics to melody and chord progressions, the titles of the tracks usually come from a topic that’s mentioned in the first verse. Like I mentioned before, there was no real writting process, all these songs are just a way to cathart and express negative thoughts.
The recording process was great! It was all done by Lachlan McDonald, an old friend-turned sound engineer. We recorded everything in his bedroom, bathroom and out garage/studio and I think that’s been the best, most relaxing way to do it.
The Punk Archive: Your lyrics carry strong meaning: why is mental health such an important issue for us to be discussing through music?
Billy: Mental health is extremely important to discuss through music, partly because people still aren’t talking about it in casual conversation, because it can be hard to. I think that music is a seemingly infinite conversation of emotion between creator and listener and if someone feels a little less alone because they feel like they know what the artist is feeling, then that really is a great thing.
The Punk Archive: What does the rest of 2017 hold for you?
Billy: The rest of this year I’ve got some really cool things that I’m not yet allowed to talk about! But it involves a huge festival and I’m really excited. Other than that I’ll just be playing as many shows as I can in as many places as I can!
Billy then gave us this playlist of songs which have influenced him over the years…
Other tracks included:
Johnny Hobo & The Freight Trains: New Mexico Song
Mitch Primer: Good News Everyone
Local Resident Failure: Dublin’ The Chances
blink-182: What Went Wrong