The band has landed upon a novel way to scratch their itch to play live and launch their third album by staging two shows dubbed Alive At The Drive-In at Wollongong’s Bulli Showground on July 31 and August 1. Four hundred cars per show will be able to watch the band play live on stage, with audio transmitted via FM radio.

“We’ve never been to a regular drive-in theatre before so we have no idea what’s going on!” says Fleming, 24. “The tickets for the first show just went straight away, though, which is awesome. People are obviously super excited for live music and it’s a good way to do it – everybody’s safe and in the comfort of their car.”

‘I actually miss being in a van for eight hours a day.’

Hockey Dad singer-guitarist Zach Stephenson

Mirroring their recent Itch music video, where they portrayed brain-craving members of the undead, the live shows will be zombie-themed. Both Fleming and Stephenson, however, are unenthused about re-creating the look live.

“Maybe we’ll be playing in some costumes, I don’t know yet. It’s unconfirmed,” says Stephenson.

“I’m scared ‘cos for that video we were in make-up for about four to five hours,” adds Fleming. “We were in LA in summer, so we were unbelievably hot and sweaty and felt gross covered in this paint. I can’t imagine having to play a show and put green shit on for two nights in a row, although it would be pretty funny going to the pub afterwards dressed up.”

Culled from about 25 demos (“a blessing because we usually never have that many songs to choose from,” says Fleming), the 13-track Brain Candy features the familiar Hockey Dad themes of girls, good times and goofiness, with Germaphobe – a perfectly timed song if ever there was one – a good example of the latter.

“I know right? It’s insane!” says Stephenson regarding the prescient inclusion of Germophobe in addition to another track called Dole Brother. “I wouldn’t say I’m a germaphobe but I reckon there are some germaphobes out there who are probably in heaven because everyone’s much cleaner, washing their hands and wearing face masks. I feel like it’s a germo’s paradise!”

As for Hockey Dad’s future, Stephenson thinks the lack of touring should result in a bountiful supply of songs for the band’s next release.

“We’ll start writing some more records – we may as well build up a song bank,” he says. “There might be a few double albums coming out next year, who knows.”

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