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SOME 30 years after they disbanded, Wollongong’s seminal pre-grunge rock band PROTON ENERGY PILLS are back with a new 7” vinyl single through OUTTASPACE to fill in the spacetime continuum between drinks.

Best described as an ‘archival recording project’ rather than an official reunion, the PROTONS are amazed to announce the release of two killer new/old tracks, TOMBSTONE b/w REVOLUTION. Both were written and performed by the PROTONS back in the day, among a bunch of songs they never had the opportunity to record and release. They sit perfectly in the band’s noisy, long-haired, high-energy rock style.

The original PROTONS released a couple of seminal 7” singles and an EP in ’89/’90 on the WATERFRONT RECORDS label and also toured as support to MUDHONEY and DINOSAUR JR on their pivotal first Australian tours. Earlier in 2021, a reissued vinyl LP of PROTONS’ original studio recordings on the MUSIC FARMERS label made it to #15 on the ARIA charts.

The story of how the PROTONS came back from the dead is eerily reminiscent of how young American blues fans in the ‘60s went south in search of the blues players from the ‘30s and ‘40s. The PROTONS were reborn – so to speak – after some younger Sydney fans/musos journeyed south to Wollongong in search of the band members. These stealthy pups had long passed live recordings of the PROTONS among each other and formed an idea to properly record the great songs the band never had the opportunity to put down before they disbanded.

The reborn PROTONS features original singer/guitarist (and main songwriters) DAVE CURLEY and STEW CUNNINGHAM with a bunch of younger musicians from a new generation helping out: BRETT HOTTES on bass, GRANT LAWRENCE on drums, and JONNY TURCINSKIS on second guitar.

Both original members are keen to acknowledge it is the ‘not really’ version of the PROTON ENERGY PILLS. Original bassist JAY CURLEY sadly passed away in 2014, making a genuine reunion impossible. But ‘grab yer boards’, as 2022 should see a full album of previously unreleased songs along the lines of TOMBSTONE b/w REVOLUTION – and possibly even some live shows around Australia.

OUTTASPACE (Adam Brzozowski): Growing up in the ‘80s was a great time for music. I was lucky enough to have an older sister who took me to gigs; her boyfriend introduced me to alternative music and beer, an awesome import record store and some pretty cool radio and telly to check shit out on. It didn't take long to realise WATERFRONT was a happening label. I loved MASSAPPEAL, HARD-ONS, HELLMENN releases and the ‘THANKYOU CHARLES’ compilation (DAMP99) … but the best was the unique Aussie rock’n’rollers PROTON ENERGY PILLS.

I only got to see the PROTONS once! It was at the ANU Bar in Canberra supporting MUDHONEY and CELIBATE RIFLES. It was like seeing a headliner – the sound and lights and setlist all kicked arse; they drank beer and rocked the roof off. Pure, fun, rock’n’roll – awe inspiring, and definitely in my top gigs of all time.

I met them a little way down the track when I asked TUMBLEWEED to play LAGER FEST Canberra in '92 after talking to Chris at WATERFRONT, and I toured ZAMBIAN GOAT HERDERS in '93 by writing a letter on the back of [my band] TREE TRUNK’s flyer that I drew; it had a dude with a PROTONS mushroom shirt on. I met Stewy properly quite a few years later doing shows with LEADFINGER which ended up in a hillbilly jam at Frank’s joint [Frankie Bliss, SPECIAL PATROL GROUP] in Moruya. In every instance they, the PROTONS, were laid back, friendly, music lovers – my kinda people.

I’m fucking ecstatic that Milly and I are releasing the PROTON ENERGY PILLS on our little Aussie rock’n’roll label. The new/old recordings are classic PROTONS: heartfelt; loud and fast; soaring feedback; wandering basslines; crazy drum rolls… we love them!

Limited edition of 200 7” black vinyl from Outtaspace! and features lyric sheet/liner notes by Dave Curley
Recorded at Code 9 Studios by Spencer Gill
Additional recording by Stew at the Rendezvous Studio and Grant at Electric Lawry Land
Produced by Grant Lawrence
Mixed by Mo Mayhem
Mastered by Kathy Naunton/DB Mastering
Artwork and layout by Marty Schneider
Insert designed by Grant Lawrence
Pressed by Zenith in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Earth, The Universe