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When he was growing up in Melbourne Roman Tucker didn't just wish he was in a band called Rocket Science. He was already formulating the molecular structure.
"The beginnings of my time in music can be traced back to a specific
incident" he remembers.
"I was in a band and because we were so young we were on the front page of the local music magazine. The headline was 'Kid Punk Craze Rocks Melbourne'. The interview went something like 'ten year old Roman Tucker walks into the room holding hands with an attractive young woman - his mother..."
The point being that Rocket Science isn't something you can achieve
overnight. Yet Fifteen years on from that pre-teen insurrection, Roman and his truly inspirational band are still driven by a belief in tapping into the primal formula which drives rock'n'roll.
"There has always been an element of catharsis in playing live for me" he explains.
"I've been obsessed with it for as long as I can remember. What I'm
searching for is that one moment of realisation where anything becomes possible, where you lose yourself completely. It may only happen for a split second in the night's show but it's all worth it just for that feeling.."


Anyone who witnessed Rocket Science's breathtaking sonic experiments during last Autumn's debut U.K tour with Supergrass will know what he means.
They were little short of staggering. Drums self-combusted in Who-like explosions courtesy of Moon-a-like Kit Warhurst (as young drummers go, comparable only to Tom from E.S.P); melodies flared up like psychedelic litmus; bass-lines skulked around rhythms to hypnotic effect. When even Gaz Coombes was impressed enough to describe them as 'the best bloody band I've seen in ages' you knew you were in the presence of something special.
And then there was Roman. When he wasn't pounding his Vox continental organ into submission or coaxing distress calls from Alpha Centurii from a theremin, he appeared to be impersonating somebody on acid dancing the flamenco. In other words, in a world where their contemporaries merely replicate garage rock, Rocket Science revive its lysergic spirit. How else to describe a band whose signature tune finds Roman fantasising about the joy of eternal damnation ('Burn In Hell')?


Picture Melbourne in the mid-nineties. Every week local bands congregate at the splendidly named Great Britain Hotel to play gigs to each other and imagine the day when people would write serious biographies about them. Most notorious of all these groups are an ensemble called The Martians.
"It was a pretty weird band" remembers Roman.
"We'd play this crazy garage punk, sort of a cross between The Cramps, rockabilly and Billy Childish. The idea would be to provoke a reaction from the audience any way we could. So the drummer would get naked, and the bassist. I was singing and playing guitar. As you can imagine, I was pretty influenced by Iggy..."
It couldn't last. Accordingly in June 1998 Roman arranged a rehearsal incorporating the best of all the rival bands at Midian Studios in Melbourne : old friend Kit Warhurst (from Velvet Tongue) on drums; Dave Gray from The Hogs on semi-acoustic bass and Paul Maybury from the wonderfully named Freeloaders on guitar.
"We all knew after that rehearsal we had to do a band together"
he explains.
" It was just mind-blowing. We wrote 'Welcome Aboard' that day. Since then we've got to the point where we're all so confident in what we do, it's become a battle to see who can play the loudest."

Rapidly securing a reputation for their high octane live shows, the band soon found themselves critical favourites and a fixture on national radio whilst supporting everyone from Mudhoney to The Supersuckers. Revolver magazine was even moved to exclaim: "God uses an electric organ in his band, Rocket Science use one too, except they're in league with Satan".
Having been included on the 'Big Day Out' bill last year, the band have since been added to the management stable responsible for the wonders of The Vines and Jet - thus making their overdue arrival in the U.K inevitable.
Which is where we come in.


There have been two albums. Mind-scrambling debut 'Welcome Aboard the 3C10' saw the band dressed up as sleazy airline pilots on the sleeve and features a relentless organ-driven assault which will be unequivocally loved by anyone who ever had a soft spot for Medway mavericks The Prisoners (to the extent that even the instrumentals get called things like 'Moscow To Kamchatka'). Retrospective features will linger long in its grooves.
The follow up, 'Contact High' is released in the U.K by Eat Sleep records. With lyrics seemingly swiped from the diaries of R. P. McMurphy, it dabbles in the lives of psycho-killers, stalkers and robots amongst other things and sounds like The Small Faces if they'd discovered synthesisers. Or a psychedelic 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' soundtracked by Talking Heads. In short, it's the most adventurous 'guitar' album you'll hear all year.

"I want to write about things that don't usually end up in pop songs" he explains.
" I really want to get the idea across that there are a lot of damaged
people around and that the world is really a very un-beautiful place. We're not interested in being cool. We want to represent the more complicated things in life and make people move at the same time."


Dark, disturbing, and clearly beamed in from another universe, the band went to the U.K in April for their own headline tour as well as for some supports with The Vines.