Craig first appeared on my radar just after we left Ipswich. He started posting photos of streetscapes of central Ipswich. It’s nothing new to capture the mundane and neglected through a camera, but the familiarity from growing up in that area and affection the photos had of details of buildings and shopfronts that I’d walked past a thousand times resonated with me in some sort of emotional way.
We met and hit it off straight away, knew a bunch of the same people, had been at a bunch of the same shows, and had a lot in common. And he has such an infectious enthusiasm for underground weirdo culture. Would charge me up just being around him.
It’s a real honour and pleasure to have Craig and his band of co-conspirators play in the shop, and a privilege to ask him some pretty intimate questions. He touches on a bunch of cultural moments in Brisbane/Ipswich history, and goes into some dark times too…
BAD HABIT: What was your childhood like? You’ve been involved in underground culture for decades; do you think your younger years pushed you in this direction?
TERRANOID: My childhood was strange. I was born in Brisbane and lived in Springwood til 1979 when my family built a house in Camira, and there it began. When we moved to Camira in 1980 it was a wild place, still undeveloped with koalas and shit in trees and mainly bush. That was excellent as there was heaps of things to do as children, but by adolescence (about ’82?), we had graduated to lighting fires and throwing bottles at cars.
I had my first encounter with “punks” and it was life changing!!! Those punks that fascinated me my whole life were the “Gailes boys” who I later found out were the band La Fetts. I couldn’t get enough! I sought out every available avenue to find punk as a kid, and that was the start of this epic journey of discovery and 100% what pushed me in the direction (albeit with detours) to where I am today.
BH: I know you were around for the really early years of Brisbane graffiti. What was the draw to that? Can you talk a bit about that era?
T: Ah…graffiti!!!! I started getting into graffiti and breakin’ about 1984/5 (more graff than breakin’ lol). It all started with bubble letters and then I saw Beat Street, holy shit!!! Seeing RAMO throw a sick burner with a dope phase 3 or whatever he called it was next level. I started painting in local storm drains and stealing paint from factories to get up. Then I started high school at Corinda State High and shit cranked up a notch.
Right around the time I started grade 8, the first major pieces were thrown on the west line, mainly between Darra and Sherwood. I remember the day Veg threw his first pieces between Oxley and Corinda and when ROA absolutely destroyed Darra Brickworks. As we got older we got bolder, and graffiti became a way of life. The characters we met on the west line were quite a full on bunch of guys and were without a doubt some of Ipswich/Brisbane graffiti pioneers.
BH: Dr Verne. Infamous 90s Brisbane band. What’s the story? Give us a history, tell us about the Madness!
T: Dr Verne was the perfect example of “what not to do” if you wanted to be in a successful band. I can’t and won’t speak for the rest of Dr Verne, but for me, seeing the Brisbane band Hateman was life changing. We had all been mucking around playing power chords at each other for a few years but never thought of forming a band. For me, seeing Hateman was that catalyst.
Dr Verne had a brief run as a four-piece under the name of Vadge but that name was FUCKING APPALLING!! We were all pretty messed up on drugs at the time and wanted to attract a similar crowd of people as ourselves “drug takers” to our shows, so using the name of an infamous Brisbane doctor/institution seemed like a great idea to us weirdos and the rest is history.
We mucked around trying to record and shit but we were always pretty fucked. Some stuff did get recorded at SAE that was put onto a tape with Bad Boy Bubby samples in between songs! It was killer but sadly the only remaining copy is in the hands of our drunken, racist, homophobe drummer and well… fuck that guy!!! Maybe that’s a job for you, Borg.
The other recordings were done in our practice rooms in Adelaide Street and 1 track “Chopper” is the only song that survives and is on the Splurt Records release Brisbane Calling with some other sick bands that were all playing together at the time.
BH: After Dr Verne, from what I understand, you had a pretty raw few years with a lot of drugs and crime. Can you go into these years? Would you consider this your “rock bottom”? What got you out of that world?
T: By 1996, I was a decrepit heroin addict. Drugs had been in my life for a long time already but I dug myself into the life hardcore, quit music and went “underground”. That world is a whole different place than most people think it is. Sometimes it was the most depraved and dark place you could ever imagine then sometimes filled with beauty, light and love… but that was usually short lived.
I got to the stage where every moment of my life was ruled by drugs: buying, selling, stealing, trafficking… I was hopeless and homeless and had found myself with a long-term high dose methadone addiction and a thousand dollar a day heroin habit… and then the meth. The things I had to do to support that were unfathomable, and now that I’ve been off heroin and meth all these years, I still deal with the trauma of that every day, and I think I always will.
I’ve been off heroin eight years in October, off methadone three years on Anzac Day and I haven’t used meth since 2016. Even though drugs have destroyed my body internally, mentally and physically I am still alive!!!
BH: You’ve resurfaced with so much enthusiasm. A total dedicated champion of weird and wild music and culture. How does it feel coming back into the music world? How has everything changed? Tell us about the current central Ipswich crew and the activities and projects going on.
T: NOW… after leaving music behind for over 20 years, I found my passion for listening to and making music slowly came back as the drugs left my body. Move forward to 2020, I was fortunate enough to meet ZAC MITCHELL from Johnny Cyrus and his Band of Ghosts and then NATHAN ALEXANDER GOODGER from the same band and we started hanging out and I’d go and watch them practice every Friday night at GOLEBY’S BASEMENT. That’s what reignited the fire inside of me.
I was lucky enough to be asked to sit in with JCHBOG for a drone show in 2021 which was my first show since 1996, and I was awoken!!! I needed to make music. I tried with various people but nothing seemed to stick. I’ve always been into weird shit and really wanted to do it but had no idea how to approach it from any other way than in a “band” format, and who wants to play in a band? Hahaha..
I had an idea for a project that I’d wanted to do since about 1994. I had an idea and I had a name but that’s where it stopped. But slowly I’ve found myself a part of a very wonderful community here in Ipswich that’s mainly been formed over the excellent times we have all shared at GOLEBY’S BASEMENT and I pretty much have CHRISTIAN MSG to thank for that. The Solidarity Kulture Club shows at Goleby’s are pretty much the catalyst for all us weirdos meeting, forming friendships, forming music and art collectives and becoming a FAMILY. It’s pretty bloody special.
BH: What is Terrornoid? Who is Terrornoid? Why…Terrornoid? What is the future of Terrornoid?
T: Terrornoid is the project I mentioned earlier that I had wanted to do and had ideas for for over two decades. Finally after two decades and a solid year of watching mates’ bands do amazing things, I started doing my own thing. It all started after a show at Goleby’s. The next day, I had a full battery-operated pedal set up and a battery-powered amp and was off to head down some storm drains and record some drones.
Then I met YELLONG BULLA and SAARA ROPPOLA and shit started changing. They came down those drains with me that day with samplers and synths, all battery-operated, and we made some fukn noises!!! After that day, I was all like “I don’t know if these guys are ‘my people’, they seemed to already have their own shit going on”. HOW WRONG COULD I BE? That day, and the couple of jams after that, inspired me to keep going.
So, I started recording riffs and noises on my phone, then entered JESSE HAYWOOD!!! He saw the crazy stuff I was recording and totally got behind what I was doing and 100% made Terrornoid happen for me. He saw my ideas and had the recording and producing skills to make all my chunks of noises into “songs” if you will, and Terrornoid was born.
I said from the beginning that Terrornoid will be an evolving organism of members and weirdness but with a core. That core is NATHAN ALEXANDER GOODGER, JESSE HAYWOOD and MYSELF. Without Jesse and Nathan, Terrornoid would be just me making weird noises to no one, and now it’s the opposite of that. Terrornoid are that busy it boggles my mind.
I’ve also started booking bands and doing house shows here in Ipswich until I/we get somewhere other than my house to do shows. There’s a need for a space here in Ipswich that’s more than a venue. A much-needed place for workshops, dance, art classes, a library… an open, safe and inclusive space for everyone to do everything, not just get hammered and watch a few bands every other month. There’s a real community building again here in Ipswich and being a part of that makes me very happy and is a driving force in everything I do…Terrornoid is now.
Terrornoid will perform a live soundtrack to the film Naked Lunch at BAD HABIT RECORDS on Thursday 7 April from 3pm. Also appearing is Pudle. Old Home has had to pull out of the gig. Below is clip from Naked Lunch, and we’ve also included some flyers that have been created for the show…