Rising from the ashes of mid 90’s ska/punkers ‘Not In Use’ came 2 bands. One was Lowdown, the other was Ballpoint. They existed from 1998 – 2001 and really shook up the Perth scene with how tight and precise they were musically. They dominated the Perth scene and toured Canada while they were together.
The band consisted of Ryan Sloan (Vocals), Cam Edwards (Bass/Vocals), Mike Sanders (Guitar), Ivano Rizacassa (Drums) and Tim Allen (Guitar).
They recorded 3 EP length releases, of which only 1 was officially released, the awesome ‘Magnetik’ from 2000.
Here is their first demo from 1998.
And HERE is the EP ‘Magnetik’.
Some of them then went on to form Last Years Hero.
Heres an interview between Adam Mossman (who we have to thank for the first demo posted here) and Singer Ryan Sloan. November 1999.
This interview was done with Ryan Sloan, vocalist for Perth punk band ballpoint in November 1999.
How did the band come together?
Well the band was indirectly the result of Dion (Boredumb), he knew all the guys personally and when he found out that Tim and I had left NIU, he gave us their numbers and the rest is history.
Tim and yourself came from Not In Use, did the other guys have previous bands?
Yeh we were from NIU and the rest of the fellas had a band called Racer X going.
Your favourite venue?
Favourite Venue, hmmmmm there’s not one particular one, as a whole I’d have to say the Hyde Park, Grosvenor Back room, Globe and anywhere the all ages crew are welcome.
Are you pleased with the way your album has been received?
We couldn’t be happier with the release of “Magnetik”… it’s selling well, plenty of positive response and I think it’s another notch in the belt for Perth Punk as a whole…. All the bands are starting to do some crazy stuff – we’re letting the rest of the nation know we’re here.
Are there going to be any album launches for Magnetik?
Launch wise thinks are lookin’ grim, economically the band is still recovering from recording…. but it’s still on the cards we’ll see how things go.
Biggest achievement for the band?
Biggest achievements so far would have to be the friendship we’ve all built within the band it’s unlike any other, the bigger supports we’ve had, pulling off the EP and writing music that we as individuals enjoy and respect, there is so much more but not enough time to be too thorough.
A lot of people have said ballpoint are hardcore (which i tend to disagree), are there any plans to becoming a heavier/hardcore styled band?
Being labelled as hardcore is one thing that we find strange, we are not hardcore… we dont want to be hardcore, we all love hardcore and we are influenced in certain ways by many hardcore bands but we dont have any plans to be heavier we are all suckers for melody and emotion in music… thats were we are now and thats were we’ll always be heading.
How would you describe ballpoint’s music then?
We describe our music as fast, aggresive, emotional and melodic.
Who comes up with the lyrics and music or is it a team effort?
I (Ryan) write all the lyrics but thats not to say noone else has a say, we all throw ideas around and I work from that… they are all too busy with their own instruments to be writing lyrics as well.
What is the general message in your lyrics?
Their is no one general message in our lyrics I write about my life experiences, my emotions, our personal politics and beliefs and the flaws within humanity that destroy the framework of our existence.
Plans for the near future?
In the near future – Ballpoint is off to Melbourne and Adelaide early next year, work towards finding a label suitable for the band, keep on writing new songs and stay focused on doing what we do best.
Where do you see the Perth scene at the moment? Where can it be improved?
The Perth scene has it’s up’s and down’s, there’s plenty of good bands playing good music…. there is not always enough crowd though, lack of venues hurts the scene and not enough media to represent what we all do…. Fanzines, Radio…. there is enough here to sustain the scene but thats not enough we need to expand the scene turn it into something that we can all be proud of.
Who are your favourite local/interstate bands?
Favourite local bands – PC THUG, GYROSCOPE, and BOREDUMB are like brothers to us all but we like all the bands each on their own merits.
Interstate – MYC (rip), OIP (rip), 28 Days, Mindsnare, 180 Discord (rip), Bodyjar, Caustic Soda, Oddball (rip), Toe to Toe, Sommerset and more…
What would be your dream band/s to support?
Dream bands to support would have to be…. Adhesive, Pridebowl (reunion tour, hehehe), By a Thread, Choke, Shai Hulud, MYC (same as pridebowl), Boy Sets Fire, Face to Face, Strung Out… and plenty more.
Best Release of 1999?
My favourite release of ’99 is actually from ’98, but I got it in ’99 after almost 7 months of trying… and that is Adhesive – from left to right, one of the greatest albums of all time, from one of the greatest if not the greatest band of all time.
Do ballpoint try to play gigs with bands from other genres?
We dont particularly try to play with other bands but if we are asked to play with bands from other genres then we are more than happy to…. but if we did conciously strive to play with other Genres playing with Hip Hop DJ’s and Hip Hop groups has a distinct feel to it thats an avenue we would gladly travel down e.g Friday 12/11/99 Ballpoint, Epicene, Downsyde and DJ’s at the Hyde Park, for free… plug, plug.
Favourite local gig played?
Fav. local gig played – all the gigs we have done at the Grosvenor back room they have all been great.
Good luck with the Guttermouth support.
Thanks for the questions Adam I enjoyed answering them and it’s good to see people like yourself doing things to promote the scene and the bands within it…..