Gold Coast five-piece Operator Please burst on to the scene in 2007 with the bratty hit Just A Song About Ping Pong — a song that delighted and irritated in equal measure.
Now the band is back with a superior new album, Gloves, that eschews their former pop-punk sound for influences as disparate as ’80s funk and ’90s pop. First single Logic is an off-kilter gem, thanks in no small part to its irrepressible bass line, courtesy of bassist (and resident homo) Ashley McConnell.
“Well, it was kind of created by Amundah and me, but I’ll take the praise,” he laughed.
The band’s songs start out as frontwoman Amundah Wilkinson’s babies before the other members flesh them out, McConnell explained to Sydney Star Observer.
Since the release of their debut album, Yes Yes Vindictive, Operator Please have spent time channelling their fantastically uncool influences into their new music.
“Amundah and I have had really similar musical tastes. We both love the Eurythmics, Mariah Carey, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Destiny’s Child. And Janet Jackson’s my favourite artist of all time — I’m, like, completely obsessed with her,” he said, opening a clear channel for discussion of his sexuality, not discussed in the media until recently.
“I find it so funny, because I’ve never been ‘in’. It seems like it’s just taken this long for people to pick up on it. I guess that’s the thing about being one-fifth of a larger group, you can kinda go unnoticed a little bit.”
Has there been any reaction from fans thus far?
“I can imagine there are about three girls out there who may be a little bit crushed,” he laughed.
“They used to send me messages on MySpace, and I’d think ‘Hello, look at what I’m wearing — the other boys in the band are dressed normally and I’m in some ridiculous feathered outfit!’ ”
McConnell’s not the only Operator Please member with a revelation — between albums, nude photos of recently-departed band member Sarah Gardiner surfaced online. One of the less explicit pictures saw her holding a giant pink dildo with the sort of look that made you know there was only one place it’d end up.
Was Gardiner’s full tit-and-minge photoshoot the reason behind her departure?
“It all happened afterwards, so there was no correlation between that and her leaving. She left because we just didn’t get on any more. It was bad for her and it was bad for us,” McConnell explained.
info: Gloves (EMI) out now. Operator Please embark on a national tour in June.