Self-described as “Mum Rock”, Porpoise Spit want you to enjoy live music performances while being considerate of those around you. Named after the fictional hometown of Muriel Heslop—the main character from Aussie comedy-drama film Muriel’s Wedding—Porpoise Spit began as the passion project of Elly Hewitt and Mill O’Sullivan, who had been writing theatre together for five years.
Combining their musical abilities and love for a laugh, Porpoise Spit was a happy accident; bringing together drummer Dom Buckham and bassist Ivy Craw to create the uplifting, earnest, and queer music that didn’t mind tackling the weird or the nihilistic. Inspired by the queer community in the Melbourne music scene, we caught up with Porpoise Spit to chat inspiration ahead of The Collarts Sunset Social and to get some tips on creating safer spaces.
Hey Mill, thanks so much for chatting with us. First up, how would you describe the bands sound?
Hmmm, we self-describe as Mum Rock, but others have thrown around phrases such as barbecue rock, rosé rock and pub rock. We are happily referred to any of the aforementioned.
We read online that you and Elly did theatre together for over five years. Has this inspired your stage presence and does it change the way you write music?
Haha, yes absolutely. That’s the way this bizarre pack of egomaniacs managed to come together. Elle and I along with our best mates Lucy Ress and Libby Wilhelm all actually run an absurd comedy production company called Spoon Eyes Productions. So our weird nihilistic razzing is a big feature of the spit.
With a handful of different influences, what Australian musicians are inspiring you right now and for what reasons?
Pwoaarr! We have a big band crush on Tool Time House Band, they are freaky weirdos like us that write silly and epic songs. We love your Wet Lips and Lazertits, RVG and Two Steps on The Water. Pretty much any badass queer bands going around, anyone that is carving out space and reclaiming Melbourne music in their own meaningful way.
“All it takes is to set the pace for the space, have important conversations with venues, recognise the rightful land owners, and do your damn best to make every person in that venue feel like a rockstar.”
Accessibility is an important factor when Porpoise Spit play live shows. How can other bands start conversations with fans, venues or industry around its importance?
I reckon it’s pretty awesome to just set the mood straight off the bat. We make sure we lay out what we’re about and what we expect of our audience pretty quickly. We’re also a band full of queer and non-binary people and have all experienced mental health issues at time, so we’re super conscious to try and create an accessible space for people because we know what it’s like to be excluded for just being you. All it takes is to set the pace for the space, have important conversations with venues, recognise the rightful land owners, and do your damn best to make every person in that venue feel like a rockstar.
Joining us for The Collarts Sunset Social, what can people expect from a Porpoise Spit performance?
Some noodley freaky rock n roll wannabes and a whole lotta heart.
If you could give Collarts students advice for starting a band or creating safe spaces during a gig, what would it be?
There’s nothing funner that safe fun! You want your people to have a sick time at your shows and there’s nothing daggy about making sure that extends to everyone in our community. Be a real rockstar and show respect.
Wanna support Porpoise Spit and other great bands? RSVP to The Collarts Sunset Social, featuring a selection of artists. Entry is free, but ticket booking is essential!