✦ We are talking to James Schafer from Port Macquarie band A.g (47)
Port Macquarie’s A.g 47 mix metal, hip-hop and industrial into one aggressive beast of a machine. In the process they laid the groundwork for their debut “Traits of a Snake” released in August 2020.
The entire project is a hybrid of styles sitting outside the box and features a mash of genres all fleshed into one brilliant outfit. Fire spitting vocalist Arman drawing influences from rap and hip hop, punk rocker and blues guitarist James is a big fan of progressive rock, classically trained Dean, Oli on Bass and metal drummer, N.O completing the outfit. The self-described “Frankenstein of sounds” somehow works well, bringing us a fresh new sound.
Tell us how about A.g (47) and how you came together?
"We are just a group of mates making music together. Dean, Oli and I have been jamming for the past 4 or so years, I would go over to Dean’s place, and we would record song ideas onto Garage Band and then jam out those tunes with our previous band line up at the time.
One night Dean was having a housewarming party, and his work colleague Arman was there. We got chatting and he mentioned he was a rapper, and well I had a little chuckle to myself imagining the character from “Fat Pizza”, “Sleek the Elite”, but we all went into the garage for a jam and Arman picked up the mic and started spitting rhymes to our music! I was blown away! I said to him “you gotta join our band man!”. I kept hounding him, I couldn’t even sleep. I was so excited.
I then got an invite for a Battle of the Bands comp, so I went over to Arman’s place and pounded on the door and pitched it to him. He was keen, he said “yeah, you guys play your music, and I’ll just rap over the top”. We rehearsed for a couple of weeks, entered the comp, and won equal first place."
Who are your musical influences, where do you draw inspiration from?
"We have a mixed bag of influences, and that reflects in our music.
I grew up listening to AC/DC and Black Sabbath. Dean’s music taste is similar also, drawing from bands like Led Zeppelin, whilst Oli’s influences have a bit of a fun vibe, like Primus or Steriogram.
N.O’s taste is a little more contemporary in comparison, drawing inspiration from bands such as Asking Alexandria or Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot is also a huge influence for him.
Arman has given us all a lesson in Hip Hop. Introducing artists to us like Onyx, Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill. I’ve never been into Hip Hop before, and I grew up being ‘anti-rap’, but Arman has changed that for me, now I love it! It’s a bit funny, because the people that know me tease me a little when I listen to it, saying I’m having a midlife crisis. I don’t care, it’s the mad note!
We draw inspiration from each other, it’s open slather when it comes to making music, we all have our own ideas, and we do our best to accommodate each other."
Have you been playing shows and where?
"We’ve been building up our live show resume, so to speak. We’ve played shows in Port Macquarie supporting bands such as “Death by Carrot”, “Planet of the 8’s”, “The Decline” and “Nerdlinger”, alongside other local acts. We recently played a sold-out show with a local bill through “Club Muso”, featuring “Rock Hard”, “Ryan’s Cut”, and “Sheva” in a bid to reboot the local scene.
We’ve also started playing shows in Sydney at The Moshpit in Erskinville, and we’ll be ramping that up when these lockdowns are lifted."
What are your plans for the band in the future?
"The plan is to just keep playing shows and releasing music. Just for now, our focus is on Port Macquarie to Sydney, and becoming well known in those areas in between. It’d be nice to expand out to Melbourne and Brisbane but keeping it simple is always the best way forward.
We’ll be hitting the studio again in the New Year to record a follow up to our EP “47”, we got a whole bunch of ideas and I think that we’ll be adding another level to our sound."
Where can we find your music?
"We’ve got music across all the major platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and everywhere in between. You can also follow us on most social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok at @ag47band. But the best bet is to visit our website www.ag47band.com, that’s where we consolidate all our channels, so you can vibe with us in the best way that suits you."
Thanks for talking with us today James.
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