Stuart Brown returned in the mid 1990’s from living in Edinburgh Scotland where he had been studying Photography and recording in his bedroom under the moniker ‘The Hairs’. On his return he was disillusioned with what had happened to the thriving independent music scene of the late 1980’s where he was a member of a number of bands including the Deadly Hume. He moved into a studio in Haymarket where he met likeminded artists including Scratch My Nose. He became an integral part of Scratch My Nose regularly performing with them in the studio at FBI Radio plus assisting writing many of Scratch My Nose ID’s for their programs.
Hi – when I was recently down at the McKaraoke Sausage Bar with the SMN twins – and I forgot to wear my FBI – Feed Back Implants – that I started to feel FBI – Feel Bloody Ill. But I was soon feeling better as Karaoke is such an amazing phenomenon – as one moment you can feel FBI – Friendly But Insular - & the next you become a FBI – Fuck’n Big Ignoramus.
In 1995 Scratch My Nose was asked by Scott Donovan, presenter at the new ‘aspirant broadcasting’ FBI Radio station in Sydney to present a 20 minute mini-radio show. The show was in the main pre-recorded with a small amount of live-mixing and added sound effects. The show saw the Scratch My Nose twins present their ‘Ritalin inspired, constant chattering and clinically insane’ sound shtick. This introduction so impressed the then FBI Radio Director Simon Marnie that he asked Scratch My Nose to be involved in the next test broadcast and thereafter. Over the next 10 years Scratch My Nose presented radio shows for FBI Radio (is that Feral Billy Idol?) in Sydney, Radio Lebanon in Beirut, and WFMU (did they Wrong Foot Manchester United) in New Jersey USA.
With FBI – Fatty Becoming Islamic – his FBI – Friendly Banter & Ineptness seems to be more FBI – Fast Becoming Indulgent as he talked about Mohammad & Ali & Ali & Ali & Ali & Ali rather then how FBI – Foot Balls Impacts on Pope John Paul Ringo George & Michael. But with the help of FBI – Faxed Bibles Important messages such as FBI Facial Beards Including teen moustaches were able to be trimmed using a Bic Pen. But with the help of his FBI – Fathers Brothers & In-law’s he was able to organise for the FBI – Fatwa Broadcasting Infidels names such as Sir Lawrence Olivia Newton & John & Howard across the pages of Rugby League Week.
Early broadcasts for FBI Radio were in a caravan at Bondi Beach, at the Glasshouse Shopping Centre in the Sydney CBD, The Rocks, Chinatown, Sydney University and above a pub in Newtown. They were chaotic affairs as Scratch My Nose learnt the ropes of mixing and cutting up their own material with like-minded artists, all the while masking their basic lack of knowledge of how to use a radio studio. Sometimes both turntables, CD decks, tape recorder and all microphones were ‘open’ as they explored the possibility of radio. I remember the humour on one such show where the SMN twins launched into a long monologue over the top of ‘Young Talent Time’ regular closing number, where Johnny Young the host would croon the Beatles' song "All My Loving". SMN’s long monologue ended with both of them professing their love for ‘Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny’ and ‘that he can be found in the $1 bins at Ashwoods’. It seemed at times much of Scratch My Nose muzak that accompanied their monologues and their own material were also found in the Sale Bins at record stores.
Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny … You’re a total FBI – Foolish Bland Ignoramus. You will now need a stage act for starters... try for starters licking your microphone and the FBI Furniture By Ikea / or try toe sucking some uggboot wearing FBI Fascist Bully Islamic Fundamentalist who have stored in there bathrooms FBI - Firearms Bullets & Insecticides.
Scratch My Nose recorded on a cheap 1970’s tape recorders and later on a Tascam 4-Track, greatly assisted by the pause button and using nothing much more then a cheap acoustic guitar and being creative with whatever laid around the studio. SMN had a real understanding of how to record in one take. Later these crude recordings got a little more complex and would contain elements taken from a variety of sources (some even ‘borrowed’ outright) which was as described by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore as “Wild. Unlike anything I have heard really.”
I read in the latest gossip issue of FBI – Forensic Barbie Inc – that FBI – Frequently Barbie Infected Ken dolls with FBI – Foot Boil Infections. The magazine also came with a FBI - Free Bumper Issue on the psalms of Sister Janet Mead and how once she hired as her backing band FBI – Friendly Band Inxs who later stole the lyrics of her #23 smash hit FBI – Forever Believing Israelites - as they wanted to learn how she FBI – Forget Backmasking Influences and was only influenced by FBI – Found Bible Imagery.
The interview below held in ‘Ujaku’ fanzine with the SMN twins clearly demonstrates that they have a clear objective and were in pursuit of something few others would even consider.
Ujaku: Do you acknowledge an influence from musical ideas such as those connected with Plunderphonics, or do you see yourselves working in a different area entirely? What inspires you to make this music?
SMN 1: Our noses are always inspired to Rock.
SMN 2: Inspired to sneeze.
SMN 1: SMN is aware of the terminology and practice of Plunderphonics, and the history which started with John Cage’s turntable pieces. Or was that Big Bird’s Ribcage?
SMN 2: And Rodney Rude’s ribcage. And Mr. Sheen’s age!
SMN 1: So when we plunder our David Cassidy record collection, or play kazoo or my out of tune guitar, it plays an intrinsic part with the language we use. And that is what SMN is about. We present irony and humour, not in its familiar form. That is why we use different approaches and different mediums through our performances, street writings or on our radio shows.
SMN 2: SMN seek to challenge the complacency in art and culture, to suddenly come from this obtuse angle, and tackle the conservative, smug, elitists, lazy unquestioning humburgers with questions. We have no answers. We have multi-fanged-big-bottomed-nudist questions. The question is the answer. It is our quest to scratch as many noses as we can.
SMN 1: So is Don Lane really God?
SMN 2: No, but when you rub the barcode on Bobby Fulton’s 1975 Footy Card, you work up an itch, especially when you wear puffy pants.
SMN 1: So that’s why certain injured bishops do get an itch on the nose when they involve themselves in crafts such as metalwork.
He ain’t no Avon Representative - it’s the Doctor – Dr. Who come Seuss come Hook come Smith come Spock come Demento come Zhivago who is a bit of a FBI – Frisky Boy Indeed. He recently gotta a FBI – Freshly Bandaged Injury when he stuck his FBI – Finger Between Interns FBI – Floppy Breast Implants.
In 1997 Scratch My Nose released ‘Radio Sound’ which were tracks culled from their radio shows. ‘Radio Sound’ received international critical acclaim, but little acknowledgment in Australia. US magazine Angbase who described the record as ”…45 tracks and 76 minutes crazy (mentally disturbed-style crazy) sped up nonsense, like a noise karaoke mix of Hanatarash/Boredoms, Ween, and Butthole Surfers etc. Yes, they are quite aggravating, but that Aussie accented charm and their fucked word play had me cracking up repeatedly – not something I always expect on an intentionally funny disc…. Truly the next decade should belong to these clowns. Snip.”
Hi I am ringing on behalf of Scratch My Nose twins who are in the port-a-loo putting on WFMU – Women’s Face Make Up. And doing you knows what in the port-a-loo WFMU – Washing & Flushing Male Urinals.
They were soon invited by WFMU in New Jersey to submit pre-recorded radio shows to the station. WFMU’s distinguishing trait of experimentation, humour and its uncategorisable programming fitted the Scratch My Nose aesthetic. The first 1 hour show was broadcast on 1 January 2000 and were continued to be regularly played over the next 4 years. The shows reference radio history from the introduction which uses the overblown Triple M theme, to talkback radio, also answering machine messages cut-up alongside Scratch My Nose tunes. Conversation could one moment be about burning grasshopper legs, the origin of Karaoke or how to spill your sausage in the cupboard. These strange perplexing conversations seemed ‘normal’ and made sense. They toy with people’s expectations of time, place, situation, making the ordinary into ‘odd’ and vice-versa. Think Monty Python. Think Mr. Whippy. Think Pope John Paul Ringo & George & Michael.
Hey Guys. Have you heard the good news. WFMU - Women Fart Men Urinate.
SMN were recently asked to open the Western Sydney Frisbee University where the ‘Scratch My Nose’ national anthem was recited, moving the song into folklore and has now has seen many cover versions hit the top of the pop charts including that by Top Cat, Fat Cat, Bob Cat and Rat Cat. Download at