We had a chat to Sex On Toast about their alter egos, Ricky Martin and Marmite

Not only does Melbourne nine-piece Sex On Toast have the most mortifyingly wonderful name, they also make incredibly decent music and put on a bloody good live show. Lucky for you, they’re about to head off on a big old East Coast tour, The Ricky Tour – and we had a chat to Angus Leslie about touring, marrying Ricky Ponting and the band’s dedicated Libyan fans.


So starting tomorrow you’re embarking on The Ricky Tour. For those playing at home, what is Ricky?
Ricky has an interesting musical lineage, because the history of Ricky I think goes as far back to early Beach Boys and maybe even earlier! One could even say Perry Como or Bing Crosby were quite Ricky…

I think though, to us in present day Ricky could describe blonde haired, blue eyed guys singing genuinely heartfelt songs about lovers lost. They might sit at a Fender rhodes to do this, maybe hire a horn section or a session percussionist and just pour their soul out to that one that got away…

I think Ricky definitely refers to some of the late 70s early 80s West Coast AOR music with killer playing, arranging and songwriting that some of us really cherish…

What are some of your favourite records from that era/style?
Christopher Cross- Self Titled (or the Flamingo Album)

Doobie Brothers- Minute By Minute
Steely Dan- Gaucho
Ed Motta- AOR

…and what are some of your favourite releases or artists this year, so far?
I really like Vulfpeck’s work (especially Sleepify), Kirkis’s new set, Melvins Hold It with Butthole Surfers and DX-Heaven

Fuck, Marry, Kill: Ricky Martin, Ricky Gervais, Ricky Ponting?
Fuck: Ricky Martin what a hunk!
Kill: Ricky Gervais, he’s great but how many time have you wanted to strangle David Brent??!
Marry: Ricky Ponting,  he’d put food on the table, be your rock emotionally and a truly sensitive and caring lover…

What can people expect from a live Sex On Toast show?
We get asked this question a lot and I struggle to give a creatively satisfying answer every time… I guess you can expect dancing, gorgeous synthesizer sounds, big drumming, harmonies, 9 men, bassoon, no holds barred antics and maybe even some flappy bird…

Apart from sex, what is your preferred toast spread?
Ahhhh once again our foolish name coming back to haunt us in interview questions… Hmmmm I’ll go with Marmite since nobody likes it… GIVE THE LITTLE GUYS A GO!

Can you tell us the story of all the nicknames/alter egos I see floating around the internet?
They float around in real life too! Much to some band members’ discontent at some points. I thought it would be appropriate to create a sort of mythology behind the band… We created the character of Bovril the smooth-jazz shareholder a while ago but when Ben Harrison steps on the stages he actually BECOMES Bovril… it’s quite incredible! Then there are the Starr Brother’s, Al*n, Ph*l*p and J*s*n. J*s*n is their long lost brother who we just recently discovered had been hiding in a bunker for the past 30 years with his tenor saxophone, a walkman and two cassettes; Brecker Brothers Heavy Metal Bebop and Kenny G’s Breathless. Once those two cassettes wore out, his practise schedule started to bore him and he was ready to re-join society. Al*n & Ph*l*p are two squabbling middle children of the family.

Then we have JamBow & Gary T, the new jack swing boys… I think they met on a basketball court in 1992… Then there’s Johnny Bassoon… Our ex-manager Gary Pilopsos… The list goes on, really!

You also released a record a couple of months ago…where did most of your influences come from for that?
They’re more varied than one might think! The 80s ones like Gloria Estefan, Prince, and Roger Troutman are all kinda obvious and do we tend to wear our influences on our sleeve a bit. How Do You Get There was partially inspired by the 1960’s soundtrack to “In Like Flint” By Lalo Schifrin…

Takin’ Over, as well as being influenced by more 80’s inflected latin-pop, actually comes from my childhood being raised by a fantastic latin musician in Melbourne who really went deep with his knowledge traditional Cuban music. Believe it or not that’s actually true…

And have you got a favourite track on the record?
I like Takin’ Over the best… gee we really fucked up that “save the best ’til tast” thing, huh?

After the tour, what’s next for you guys?
Jumping into the studio to lay down bed tracks for the upcoming “Rough” and “Ready” double EP project. We’re gunna try and record parts of these records almost completely live.

We figure we play together as one big unit a lot so why not try and do that in the studio. I hope we can do it… Do you think we can do it? (yes.)

I hope you believe in us… (we do.)

I’d like to work on doing something overseas at some point too… We’ll see if we can get out to all those dedicated fans in Libya… We love you guys!


Oct 16, Hugs & Kisses, Melbourne
Oct 22, The Vanguard, Sydney
Oct 23, The Heritage, Wollongong
Oct 24, The Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour
Oct 26, The Motor Room, Brisbane
Oct 27, The Phoenix, Canberra

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