Basics Rock ‘n’ Roll Political Party

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By Aleah Espanta


Gotye, aka Wally De Backer, and his bandmates from Melbourne, Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath have formed the Basics Rock ‘n’ Roll political party to run in November’s state election.

They wouldn’t be the first Australian musicians to set their sights on politics. Just think, Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett, who served as a cabinet minister for the Victorian Labor Party from 2007 to 2013.

Kris Schroeder said there were others who were only interested in the “Gotye side of things” when they first started. “[The media] pigeonhole you, you know?” Schroeder said. “Like ‘this is just that, you know this Gotye running for prime minister,’ or whatever. They are kind of making a joke out of it in a way.”

The band want to prove those people wrong. So what is the Basics Rock ‘n’ Roll Party all about?

“It’s about starting to ask questions about why are things done this way; why are we going down this path; is this the best part for everybody?” Schroeder said.

“Is there a better way that we can govern, and tackle different issues from a different perspective?”

He said the idea was something of a “crystallising of the work” that they’ve been doing in their private lives individually over the last 10 years.

“I think that we’ve come far enough now that we can actually look at what’s happening now, how it came about, what happened in the past, and whether that is really the best way of approaching governance,” Schroeder said.

“There’s lots of questionable ideas being put out there day by day and everyone is just scratching their heads going ‘who are these people making these decisions for us?’”

The party’s main focus would be on promoting changes in the areas of education, innovation and rock ‘n’ roll.

“Those are the three things that we stand for but we also have a lot of concerns for indigenous affairs as well,” Schroeder said.

In order to be eligible for the upcoming election, the party needs 500 registered members signed on with the Victorian Electoral Commission.

The band has been campaigning through their Facebook page, which is simply called The Basics.

When asked whether politicians make it complicated for people, Schroeder said: “I think people have been frightened by the idea of politics because it’s intense, and it’s invasive, and people are really mean actually.

“But you know, that’s what I think allows these people to continue remaining in power and making bad decisions. People have kind of built a bubble around themselves.”

The trio are also the first to admit they are “not politicians,” which is kind of the point.

“We are not just doing it for the purpose of getting in because it probably won’t happen, let’s be honest,” Schroeder said.

“It’s more about shaking things up a little bit, and demonstrating that you don’t need to come from a private school background. All you need are some fresh ideas, and you can make them happen.

The band’s latest EP called the Lucky Country is due for release on November 7.

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