Poison Oak finds international airplay

Townsville band Poison Oak is preparing to release its debut LP IMAGE: Supplied

Townsville project band Poison Oak has been gaining plenty of international attention ahead of the release of its debut LP.

With a shared love of 90s’ rock, punk, indie and the Cure, the lads are enjoying their new-found attention but casually taking it in their stride.

Singer James Balthes said recent international airplay of Poison Oak’s previous releases was happening organically.

“They just seem to like our music, especially in Manchester at the moment,” said James. 

“They’ve sold us as a working-class Aussie band, and I guess it works.”

The band comprises front man James, guitarist Ray Pearson, drummer Chris Reiterer and newbie bass player Chris Tarca.

 With three EPs under their belt, countless global reviews, and articles; they have worked with multiple record labels and are looking forward to releasing their full-length album independently.

“We had some record guy from Italy call us before we released our last EP, and he wanted to sign us for the whole thing,” James said.

“But we were like ‘you can sign us up for one track, we want to do the rest independently’,” says James.

“We don’t have any expectations but hope to break even. Maybe buy some beers and a pub meal.”

James said he and his bandmates have learnt so much about releasing music from working with labels and will apply this to the new album.

“This day and age has changed. People tend to hone into one track digitally. So, we’re going to release at least four tracks from the album as singles.

“We don’t have any expectations but hope to break even. Maybe buy some beers and a pub meal.”

The band hasn’t locked in release date for the album but is aiming to drop the next single by November.

“We’re not worried about when we release this or when we can lock in a show,” said James 

“We just want it to be the best we’ve got. Poison Oak isn’t about stress; it’s how we have fun. We’re just about enjoying the creative journey.”

James and guitarist Chris both work in education and James said his biggest driving force is to inspire younger musicans to create their own original music.

“There’s nothing wrong with cover bands, but if we can inspire people to create their own music and make that the new norm; we won’t have kids having to move away from Townsville to pursue musical careers,” said James.

“That’s not just performing but producing, learning to produce or sound engineering. That’s my biggest goal, to make Townsville musically self-sufficient.”

Find Poison Oak on Bandcamp

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