May is here and brings with it the inaugural Meltdown Festival, ready to take the east coast by storm! The festival kicks off on Saturday 12 May at Melbourne’s Spotted Mallard, followed by The Bald Faced Stag in Sydney on Saturday 19 May, and wrapping up in Brisbane at the famous Crowbar on Saturday 26 May. The lineup is as face-melting as you’d expect from Dirthouse Agency, the crew behind this fiery fest, and you’ll catch the likes of Gay Paris, Born Lion, Child, Arteries, The Black Swamp, Sumeru, and Never on the national run. There’s also a slew of local acts for each city, so it’s a show not to be missed!

Brisbane trio, Regular Gonzales, are one of the acts you’ll see on stage at the Crowbar, and their frontman & guitar-slinger JD gave me his thoughts.

For anyone who’s never come across Regular Gonzales before, how would you describe yourselves?

Desert Doom – heavy blues riffs, rhythmically complex breakdowns. Like Black Sabbath getting freaky with The Dillinger Escape Plan. We have been described as “three-piece as F*CK”.

What is the number one thing you think everyone should know about you?

It’s all about the huge riffs! The one thing you should know is to warm up your neck before we start, or you’ll end up with a serious bangover the next day.

How did you come to be a part of the Meltdown Festival 2018 lineup?

Jason from Dirthouse Agency hit us up on Facebook. Maybe he saw us at a gig, or has seen our dumb promo videos.

What are your thoughts on the festival being entirely Australian in its lineup?

It’s great – the only difference between Aussie bands and overseas bands is the exposure. There’s nothing an international band does that we can’t! It’s all about getting the music out there into people’s ears, which means exposing our sick bands to as many people as possible. I work in a local music shop and it’s amazing how many times a day I hear, “How come there are no good rock bands anymore?” Like, what the hell dude? I can name 20 that are playing this weekend. But if it isn’t on NOVA or Triple M, people just don’t hear about it. International bands get enough exposure from their own countries so it’s rad that Dirthouse are showcasing the Aussie bands that deserve recognition.

Are there any bands on the Meltdown lineup that you are particularly looking forward to seeing?

The Black Swamp never disappoints!

Anyone you’ve not seen or heard before?

To be honest, a whole bunch. That’s the cool thing about this scene, it seems small and then you find there’s a whole bunch of bands that you’d never heard about absolutely killing it.

What’s the most recent thing you have released?

Our last single ‘Chains’ dropped in January and we’re hopefully releasing a new single for Meltdown! We’re working on our second album, which will be ready by the end of the year.

What does the rest of 2018 hold for you?

The biggest thing is the SCHEMA Collective – a group of Brisbane bands we are a part of that have joined forces and are putting on gigs to raise money for Sea Shepherd, homeless shelters and other organisations trying to make a difference. We have put on a few great gigs at Fat Louis and The Bearded Lady and we have some BIG plans coming up. Find the SCHEMA Collective on Facebook and stay tuned.