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Schvendes @ Amplifier Bar (11 7 2009) (3731584862).jpg
Background information
OriginPerth, Western Australia, Australia
Years active2002–present
LabelsGood Cop Bad Cop
Associated actsFall Electric
MembersRachael Dease
Tristen Parr
Greg Hosking
Tara John
Ant Gray

Schvendes are a band of brothers and sisters from Perth, Western Australia. They write stories about murder, mayhem, love and loss upon a background of gentle Rhodes piano, pounding drums, screaming guitar, soaring cello and vocals, which have been described as both sweet and terrifying. With an emphasis on lyrics depicting small disasters and celebration of everyday existence, their music is a blend of country, dirty blues and rock. Their influences include Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dirty Three, PJ Harvey, Ennio Morricone, Tom Waits and Nina Simone.


Schvendes were originally known as The Schvendes Ensemble, a gothy musical wing of the 2002 Artrage Festival,[1] where they performed under the auspices of performance art within art festivals. In this mode they recorded their first release, the hand-packaged live album, The Scoundrel is Made an Outcast,[1] which was released in October 2002.[2] Over the next couple of years the group morphed into a more conventional music group playing at various popular Perth venues.

In March 2005 the group released their debut EP, Turn Out Your Lights, produced by Ben Franz (The Waifs), which was released nationally in December 2005 on Reverberation. This was followed by the release of the single, "Small Mercies, Sweet Graves" in December and a second EP, Twice the Man in March 2006; which was also produced by Franz.

In 2008 the band signed with local independent label, Good Cop Bad Cop[3] and released their debut album, Sweet Talk Your Enemies, on 28 June 2008, distributed nationally through Inertia.


In the last year, the band played some seventy shows including the Perth International Arts Festival and WAMi shows as well as a number of national supports for artists such The Kill Devil Hills, Dirty Three, Augie March, Art of Fighting, the Drones, Ed Kuepper, Tim Rogers and Tex Perkins, The Go Betweens, Kim Salmon, Decoder Ring, Tucker B's, 67 Special, Youth Group, The Devoted Few, Holly Throsby and New Buffalo.

In 2007 the band played at the Perth leg of the Big Day Out[4][5] and in March performed in Toronto at the Canadian Music Week,[6] followed by a number of shows in New York, including a support for Love of Diagrams.[7]

In 2008 the band toured nationally in support of the release of their debut album.


  • Rachael Dease – vocals, bass
  • Tristen Parr – cello
  • Matt Maguire – drums
  • Tara John – rhodes piano
  • Ant Gray – guitar


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details
Sweet Talk Your Enemies
  • Released: 2008
  • Label: Good Cop Bad Cop (GCBC003)
  • Format: CD, digital download

Live albums[edit]

Title Details
The Scoundrel Is Made an Outcast
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: Bloodstar (BS27)
  • Format: CD

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Turn Out Your Lights
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Schvendes (SCH001)
  • Format: CD
Twice The Man
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Schvendes (SCH002)
  • Format: CD
Small Mercies, Sweet Graves
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Schvendes (SCH002)
  • Format: CD

Awards and nominations[edit]

WAM Song of the Year[edit]

The WAM Song of the Year was formed by the Western Australian Rock Music Industry Association Inc. (WARMIA) in 1985, with its main aim to develop and run annual awards recognising achievements within the music industry in Western Australia.[8]

Year Nominee / work Award Result (wins only)
2007 "Bring Out Your Dead" Mixed Bag Song of the Year Won
2010 "Lay the Noose" Pop Song of the Year Won

West Australian Music Industry Awards[edit]

The West Australian Music Industry Awards (WAMIs) are annual awards presented to the local contemporary music industry, put on annually by the Western Australian Music Industry Association Inc (WAM).[9]

Year Nominee / work Award Result (wins only)
2006 "Turn out your Lights" Most Popular Single/EP Won
Schvendes Most Promising New Act Won
Tristen Parr (Schvendes) Best Instrumentalist Won
2007 Tristen Parr (Schvendes) Best Instrumentalist Won
2008 Ant Gray (Schvendes) Best Guitarist Won
Tristen Parr (Schvendes) Best Instrumentalist Won


  1. ^ a b "Band Biographies". Something in the Water. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  2. ^ Beck, Andrew (March 2003). "Up and coming, ready or not". Real Time Arts magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  3. ^ Eliezer, Christie (29 March 2008). "Schvendes Cop It Good". The Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Final Big day announcement is here!". 13 February 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Big day Out 2007". Enjoy Perth. Retrieved 19 May 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ "International Alt Rock Showcase". Cameron House. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  7. ^ "WA acts make an impact at Canadian Music Week". 11 March 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  8. ^ "2007 WAM Song of the Year announced". Music Council of Australia. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  9. ^ 2008 West Australian Music Industry Award Winners Archived 28 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]