Australia’s Hockey Dad Survives the Bushfires & Gives You ‘Brain Candy’

With their constant tours, Hockey Dad doesn’t get back to Australia very often. The duo’s from Windang, a coastal town in New South Wales, the site of one of the worst bushfires in the country’s history. Hockey Dad were touring Canada as the deadly fire tore through their home state. When they got home, they were met by scenes of devastation and a community pulling together.

“It’s been a pretty heavy time this summer for the past few months—it’s just this real ominous kind of black smoke cover,” Hockey Dad’s Zach Stepheson says. “It was a really hard time, but the whole community, like the whole Australian community, put together so much and donated so much, which is really great.”

Many of his friends lost homes and loved ones in the blaze but were able to take some solace in seeing neighbors coming together to support each other.

Hockey Dad was born when a couple of teenagers in Windang, NSW, Australia back in 2013 were bored of surfing for the day and started a band as a joke. A young Zach Stephenson picked up the guitar and Billy Flemming the drums. Since then, Hockey Dad has blossomed into a thrashing but melodic indie duo with two full-length albums and a third on the way.

Hockey Dad, “Itch”

Stephenson says Brain Candy, due out May 29, is a mix of Hockey Dad’s classic indie sound and new material. “It’s just kind of a little sweet treat for your brain,” he tells BTRtoday. “And like candy, if you have a bit too much or indulge, it’s not very good for you.”

Hockey Dad’s music evokes emotion. Those emotions can range from melancholy to exciting and empowering, depending on what the listener’s heart decides to feel.

Hockey Dad, “I Missed Out”

The album’s singles “Itch” and “I Missed Out” illustrate the range of feelings the music can inspire. “Itch” starts slow and eerie. But halfway through it turns into an epic grunge thrasher reminiscent of Nirvana or Sonic Youth. “I Missed Out” shimmers with distortion and surfy undertones, giving a taste of something elusive but exciting.

Hockey Dad comes to Brooklyn’s Market Hotel April 18 with Goodbye Honolulu and Gymshorts. Hear the entire interview with frontman Zach Stephenson on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup along with tracks from their 2018 album Blend Inn and their two newest singles.