The M-16's hail from Perth, Western Australia, a city that has a long and proud musical history, including bands like The Victims, Scientists, Stems, Bamboos and Kryptonics (to namedrop but a few) More recently however, Perth has become more associated with pop bands and dance music than rock n roll (although Bon Scott is buried nearby in Fremantle cemetery) and it's against this backdrop of ignorance and apathy that The M-16's have developed as one of the country's best and most exciting new rock n roll bands, free from hype and overexposure.
The M-16’s don't play what I consider to be garage or punk rock nor do they rehash the same clichéd heavy metal riffs you hear many so called nu-rock bands churning out. Rather they play what is best described as total energy rock 'n' roll; loud, honest and uncompromising. Their main focus is playing live, always committed to giving 110% regardless if they are playing to ten people or several hundred, upholding the tradition set by several generations of great Australian bands like The Coloured Balls, AC/DC, Radio Birdman, The Hoodoo Gurus, The Celibate Rifles, Asteroid B-612 and You Am I.
The M-16's recently toured the east coast of Australia for the first time to strong acclaim, fulfilling the promise set by their debut 8 track mini-album Loose Bullets. And if making up for lost time, the band have been busy recording tracks for an upcoming compilation through Out Of The Loop Records and well as making plans to record their proper debut album later in the year. Stay tuned!
Neal 'Noodles' McCabe
Minister For Ammunition
The M-16's are lead by the irrepressible Ken 'Killer' Watt on lead vocals and guitar. Having already played in bands for over a decade, Ken is considered to be a 'young veteran' of the Perth scene. Ken is joined on bass by partner in crime, Brad Miller while Adam Scuillo pounds the drums. Together Brad and Adam form one of the most rock-solid rhythm sections you are ever likely to encounter. Rounding out the band is lead guitarist David 'Spiff' Hopkins, former lead guitarist with The Hellmenn and The SC5 (Sydney MC5 tribute band) Having been friends with Ken for years he slotted into the band with ease, playing his first gig in June 2004 after only one rehearsal.
Ken - Valvolux
Ken's first introduction to the rock and roll lifestyle was with independent Perth band Valvolux, who had a strong following around Perth and even managed to support Radio Birdman before breaking up in 1996 due to musical differences between band members. Ken wanted to move more toward the 'Detroit Rock' sound (as originated by bands like The MC5, Stooges and Sonic's Rendezvous Band and picked up by countless Australian bands) and he subsequently found himself in Sydney as a 22 year old playing guitar in Asteroid B-612, who at the time were the loudest, biggest and most volatile rock band in the country. While the band imploded shortly thereafter, the experience still drives Ken's musical vision to this day and he remains one of the few graduates from John Spittles' School Of Hard Knocks.
Asteroid B-612, Ken center
John Spittles far right
12 months later Ken found himself back in Perth looking to form a band to recapture the experience he had in Asteroid B-612. Together with long time friend, bassist Brad Miller, they formed a new band called Atom Smasher (below) along with ex-Josephine Killen guitarist Vinnie Radice and drummer Brad Cleary, who now plays in Superscope. The band only played 2 gigs (both in 1999) and they gained notoriety for being banned from playing the Grosvenor Hotel (at the time the principle live venue in town) for being too loud. In many ways, Atom Smasher were the prototype for The M-16's and who knows what could have happened had they stayed together.
Ken then teamed up with 'Spiff' Hopkins, who had just moved back to Perth from Sydney, in the short lived band Rocket Reducer (no prizes for guessing where they got the name from!) and together they went about delivering a twin guitar onslaught on the unsuspecting citizens of Perth. Again the band only played a handful of shows before breaking up when Spiff moved to the country to raise his family and work as a naturopath.
The SC5, Spiff far right
Ken and Brad then spent several years in the wilderness, jamming together in rehearsal rooms unable to find a suitable drummer. Eventually they decided to hell with it and in march 2001 they entered Poons Head Studios in Fremantle with stand in drummer Brad Cleary to record several tracks, including Take It. Later that year the three of them returned to Poons Head where they recorded another two songs, Losing Time and Sweet Luck, which were both eventually released as a limited edition promo only 7" single.
By the end of 2001, The M-16's finally found themselves a drummer in Adam Scuillo, who had previously played with fuzzed out rockers Fourstroke. Together as three-piece they played their first gig in January 2002 and in July the same year the three of them went back to Poons Head to record a further five songs. Adam then made an ill-fated attempt to move to Melbourne and he was replaced by former Pb drummer Jamie Hamilton. It wasn't until October 2003 (virtually a year later) until Adam rejoined the band, somewhat fortuitously as things hadn't been working out well with Jamie. Since then the band has gone from strength to strength and today enjoy a fiercely loyal following.