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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.


"...Schvendes undulate from caressing you gently to kicking your sorry arse out on to the street screaming at you to never come back. We're talking Mr. Cave in his crooning moments here, with the haunting vocals accompanied by the mournful Rhodes piano lines..." – DrumMedia

"...A slowed-down, and rather dark, art-blues-country hybrid, this is the type of band the make Manchester Lane's $7 beers worthwhile." – Beat

"Here you will find a band of guts, of strength, and of complete blatant honesty." – Rockus

"...if ever old Lucifer did decide to kick up his hooves and cruise a few bands, he could do a lot worse than Schvendes." – ZebraHype

"...Sounds you could bath yourself in their textured beauty, with sinister edges that you could quite happily drown in." – WAM

"Music that will never fade but will always evolve..." – Oz Music Project


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


Date of release Title Label
2008 Sweet Talk Your Enemies Good Cop Bad Cop Records/Inertia
2005 Turn Out Your Lights Reverberation
2006 Twice the Man Reverberation
Live Albums
2002 The Scoundrel is made an Outcast Bloodstar
2005 "Small Mercies, Sweet Graves" Reverberation
2007 "Repent and Repeat" Reverberation

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2006 WAMi Award, Most Popular Single/EP – Turn out your Lights
  • 2006 WAMi Award, Most Promising New Act
  • 2006 WAMi Award, Best Instrumentalist – Tristen Parr
  • 2007 WAMi Award, Best Instrumentalist – Tristen Parr
  • 2007 WAMi Nomination, Best Female Vocalist – Rachael Dease
  • 2011 Independent Music Awards Nomination for "Lay the Noose", Best Music Video.[8]


  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. ^

External links[edit]