Meet Australia’s ruthless garage rock band Ruth Carp & The Fish Heads. They create heartbreakingly relatable head bangers that are a perfect soundtrack for a night of mayhem and tequila shots,taking a psych-rock approach and melodically adding dark undertones of punk and garage.
The band is comprised of good friends and fellow substance abusers Dylan Sheehan aka Ruth Carp (guitar/vocals), Mitch Boothey (bass), Marc Rodriguez (guitar/ backing vocals), and Mickey Hennessey (drums). When these guys get together you know it’s going to be one wild night.
BTRtoday spent several days with this group of hooligans while they stopped to play a show in Brooklyn during their first U.S. tour and, by some miracle, survived to tell the tale!
High school enemies turned stellar band mates, Sheehan and Rodriguez started playing music together as teens in a band called Dead Brian, where they admittedly learned how to play their instruments. Dead Brian was a much heavier psychedelic band compared to the lo-fi/ garage rock RC & The Fish Heads. After several years of playing together in that band, Sheehan decided to start another project where he could take further advantage of his own musical endeavors. He dragged Rodriguez and a few other friends who shared their chaotic lifestyle with him, and Ruth Carp & The Fish Heads was born!
“I hacked my friend’s Facebook one day and made a profile of their girlfriend or something called ‘Ruth Carp’ and then it just kind of grew into something from that—I stuck with the name and adopted it ever since as my own,” Sheehan explains to BTRtoday about the name. “Dylan is a pretty nice guy, and Ruth is not such a nice guy, he’s an asshole…like Jekyll and Hyde!”
On this week’s The Music Meetup, BTRtoday shares for the first time Ruth Carp & The Fish Heads’ newest album “Can Men Like Us Go To Heaven?”—a follow up to their 2015 debut EP, “It’s This Or The Noose,” that has been described as the chicest of heroin chic music.
“Can Men Like Us Go To Heaven?” is a fitting and heavy title for an album filled with tracks dealing with heavy subjects—but even though they’re singing about dark topics like alcoholism and family issues, they serve it to you while simultaneously lining up shots to get the party started. (They’re also just a bunch of sweeties who will quite literally greet you with two shots ready in hand and a big smile on their face.)
“That song [the title track] on the album is about my dad, he’s a lot like me—he drinks a lot and all that sort of stuff, so it’s just about whether we can get any form of redemption being people that live a certain lifestyle,” Sheehan describes. “I like the last [track] the best, I also listen to my own music more than anything else—anytime I’m sad or need confirmation that I’m not a piece of shit.”
The last track, Sheehan’s favorite, “Take Me Straight To Rehab,” is a melodic track with tragic guitar strums that bring you up as they let you down, while playing along to deep vocals that sound surprisingly hopeful, in comparison to what the lyrics are actually about. “A lot of the songs are about alcoholism,” Sheehan admits. “I’ll write the main parts and the guitar and then bring it to the other dudes and we’ll fix up the structure a bit and they all write whatever part they’re adding to it—everyone adds their own flavor to it, which is good, cause you end up getting a much better product I think that way than doing all the parts with one person.”
Video by of Jordan Michels
“Sydney has got a good thing—it’s a really tight knit sort of scene, but I like it a lot,” Sheehan says. He continues to explain a DIY house he and Rodriguez used to live in infamously called “The Surgery House.” “It was our main DIY spot and it was super ghetto and we would have gigs and stuff—it was pretty cool.”
He reminisces about a time after he moved out of the Surgery House when he was in a cab with a stranger who was talking about a heroin junkie house up the street. “I was like, ‘ugh, don’t say that, you used to live there!’ It wasn’t [a junkie house], it looked like it, but it wasn’t! I don’t think it was, at least…”
Sheehan adds, however, that the scenes not only differ from place to place, but also it may be difficult for visitors who are unfamiliar with what’s going on there to really enjoy it. In Sydney, due to the scope of the DIY scene and the exclusivity of the overall music scene, Sheehan confesses it’s better to already know someone who’s immersed in it to really get the experience. Though the scene may differ from the unavoidable one in NYC, it still has all that good stuff like crowd surfing, nights that go on till sunrise, and, of course, good music.
Be sure to check out their newest album premiering on this week’s The Music Meetup, and to hear the full interview with frontman Dylan Sheehan (aka Ruth Carp)—and don’t be a dummy, follow these guys on all their social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Bandcamp) to see what they’ve got in store for everyone in the future (especially since they’re actually living in the future, because Australia is 14 hours ahead of the United States…lol).