Looking Back on the history of PITFALL with Luke Dolan and Rod Ellem.

Not many people (me included) probably realise this, but Luke wasn't the first singer in Pitfall? How did you come to join the band? And what happened to original singer Ant?

Luke- I got asked to sing in Pitfall by Rod Pack sometime in mid 1995. It was at a Black Box show where a local pop punk band Poison Bruno was playing and they covered "Hold Your Ground" by Gorilla Biscuits and I got up to sing it with them. By that stage I was dying to sing in a hardcore band. I had done guest spots on stage with Minute Minder & Savage Cabbage singing covers (YOT "Understand" & Bold "Wise Up" respectively) and had been bitten by the HC bug hard. When they asked me to join I fucking jumped at the chance. The original singer Ant was a top bloke but not much of a front man. He was way too shy and reserved. They played a few shows with him in early 95' and they were supposed to record for a local tape comp called "Sons & Daughters". From memory they recorded a version of "Brother" but weren't happy with it, so they asked me to join and I went in and re-did the vocals that week. I still see Ant around from time to time. He's a bit of a local vert skater legend and still a top bloke.

Rod - We saw Luke doing guest vocals with Big Men Fly and thought he had good energy and spirit; he just looked like a natural front person. Brad suggested that we get him in the band because Ant didn't really look or sound comfortable singing. Ant still gets out to the occasional show.


So when you joined Pitfall, did they have many songs already written? What songs carried over from the early days of Pitfall?

Luke - Well they'd already played a few shows so they had a full set but I had to re-write nearly all of the lyrics, apart from "Brother" which Brad the drummer wrote and maybe 1 or 2 others. They kept the music and I just got a tape of the instrumentals and wrote my own lyrics. The music for songs like "Torn Between", "Upside" & "Book Of Lies" carried over I just added different lyrics.

What was your first show with Pitfall and what do you remember of it? Were you nervous?

Luke - The first show was in November of 1995 at the Hunter On Hunter with Subversion, Mindcrack, Anomie, and Nihilist. Don't think I was nervous so much as completely fucking psyched! I have photos of it somewhere and I am wearing a XXXL Turning Point shirt and XXXL shorts, true mid 90's SXE steez. Don't remember too much else about the show apart from the fact that I was completely hooked.


Was it Ant who sang the main vocal on the song "Gift Of Life" that appeared on the "Call It Whatever You Want" compilation, but also went by the name "Brother" on the "Sons and Daughters" comp tape? Why did it undergo a name change too?

Luke - Nah it was Brad singing the main vocal on "Gift Of Life" on the second version. Not sure why we changed the name from "Brother" but we got Brad to sing it because he wrote the lyrics about his older brother who committed suicide, so it was fitting that he sing it.


So what do you know about the band's formation? It was started by brothers, Rod and David Ellem, wasn't it?

Luke - I can't tell you much but yeah Rod and Dave are brothers and Brad is their first cousin. So yeah no doubt it started as an Ellem family affair!

Rod - My brother David, my cousin Brad, and myself started the band when I moved from Sydney to Newcastle in '94. Brad and David were already playing in a band called Blood Red Black at the time; they were pretty much an indie rock band type thing with some punk elements. When we started jamming it was just an excuse to get together and make some noise at first. I didn't think we'd get around to playing in front of people.

Was the band name inspired by the video game at all?

Luke - Can't be 100% sure but yeah I think they got it from the video game. Atari 2600 rules.

Rod - Yes, the band name was changed from Gift Of Life to Pitfall after I saw an ad on TV for that video game. I'm not a fan of video games but Pitfall was a better name.


How was the Newcastle scene in 95, what bands would Pitfall play with back then?

Luke - The hardcore scene was really in it's infancy back then. It was more of an underground music scene that incorporated punk, hardcore, ska, grunge, metal, rock n' roll and whatever else bands. The scene was way too small to have specific genre shows, which was kinda cool in that it opened people's minds to a lot of different styles of music and ideas. The best local bands back then were Disengage, No Reason, Anomie, Nihilist, Stolen Youth, Angry Earth Mutha, and Big Men Fly. Mixed bill shows were the order of the day.

Rod - Newcastle had a diverse scene when I first moved back here in '94. It was very grunge influenced in a lot of ways but there were some good bands playing like No Reason, Big Men Fly and Angry Earth Mothers. When we first started there were some other bands starting out as well like Nihilist, Disengage, Anomie and Urban Jersey so we would play with those guys a lot and also with a lot of non hardcore/punk bands, so line-ups were pretty mixed.


The 96 demo was recorded at Arc Up Studios. What can you remember about recording the demo?

Luke - Arc Up was where all the 90's NC bands recorded. It was a shithole that looked like the CBGB's bathroom, in other words it looked like it might collapse at any minute. Geoff Mullard and Andy McDonald knew their shit though and could get a decent recording done for cheap. Don't remember too much about recording the demo specifically, perhaps if I was still straight edge my memory wouldn't be so shit ha-ha.

Rod - Not too much really, I think we knocked that out pretty quick recording wise. I mostly remember putting the cover together.

Looking back on it now, does it seem strange that a band would record a demo after already releasing a couple of compilation tracks?

Luke - Yeah I guess so, but back then options to release your music were very limited. This is pre Resist Records, pre Internet; there was only one pressing plant in Australia (Corduroy), which was notoriously shite. Demo tapes were a quick way to get your shit out, and all I cared about was getting it out there so kids could become familiar with the songs and learn the words so they could mosh and sing-along at our shows.

Rod - Not really, there was no plan or anything. We just took opportunities when they came along.


One of my favourite Pitfall songs from the demo, "Torn Between", a song you penned about the divorce of your parents, was actually one of your most hated songs to play live. Why was that?

Luke - It wasn't that I hated it, it was just that by the later stages of the band we had played it to death and the songs we were writing at the end were moving away from the melodic stuff and getting more straight up hardcore. By the time we did the Pitfall reunion in 1999, Arms Reach had just about evolved into a power violence band and the other guys were in Bare Knuckle Fight. The combination of my bad singing, the emo tendencies, and the near 4-minute running time made "Torn Between" somewhat of a novelty in that new era. Looking back on it now 17 years since I wrote it, it really defines that early melodic era of Pitfall and it captured exactly how I felt about my parents divorce at the time. From the gut.

Rod - That song was ridiculously long and really boring to play, but people seemed to like it 'cause they could sing along with it.


The Metal Stalker. Who was he? Where did that conversation originate from and what was the full story behind that?

Luke - At the time I was doing a hardcore punk radio show on 2NUR FM, which is the community radio station at Newcastle Uni. The show was called "Wide Awake" as it was from 1-3am on a Monday night, hardly prime time ha-ha. I would often have mates come in and do the show with me and we would do all kinds of stupid shit on the air to pass the time and basically push the boundaries of what you could broadcast cause we figured no one else was listening anyway. So on this night Chippa from Disengage, X Claim! Etc. is doing the show with me and he's telling me about how his skater mate, Ben Cox (Newie skate legend) has this alter ego called The Metal Stalker. Before I know it we've called him up and got him on the air creating this whole scenario, challenging people to come and fight him in Civic Park. Then all these random morons started ringing the station saying that they went to Civic Park to fight him and he didn't show up. It was fucking hilarious! The station manager didn't think so though and Wide Awake got axed the next day. Someone was listening after all cause they got a shitload of complaints about it hahaha. The Metal Stalker is like the original Trent from Punchbowl.


How long after the demo did Jamie Hay (Jamie Youth or Jamie Haymaker as he was credited) join on second guitar? How did he come to join the band and what happened to previous guitarist Shane?

Luke - Jamie joined the band maybe a month or two after the demo came out. I poached him from local band Stolen Youth who were all young guys from Stockton and they were rad. I saw them at a party early on and they were like these 15 year old kids playing Slayer and Minor Threat covers and just nailing them. Shane was more of an old school punk guy from memory, like he was more into English punk than US hardcore. Jamie was just a better fit and even though he was mad young he was already a really talented guitarist that could write the kind of shit in the direction the band was heading. I remember having to sneak him into the first few shows he played with us as he was still under age!

Rod - Not too long after from memory. I think Luke was keen to get Jamie in the band because he was straightedge, he could write songs and he was a good guitar player. Shane liked to have a few cones at practice with Brad and that was starting to become a problem. Remember this was when Luke was pretty militant about straightedge so he starting hinting that Jamie should join the band. I was writing all the music at the time and wanted someone else who could put some songs together because I am slow as fuck at making up songs, so we all agreed with getting Jay Hay in. I didn't like asking Shane to leave 'cause he was a good guitar player but wasn't writing any songs and the tension over the bong sessions at practice was getting annoying. Looking back now it seems really trivial. Plus Jamie ending up writing possibly two of the worst songs he's ever written compared to every other band he's ever been in. But they did fit in with the quality of the other Pitfall songs! I'm sure he'd agree.


In 96 Pitfall played the legendary East Coast Street Assault show at the Iron Duke Hotel. Looking back on the lineup, would you agree it was representative of that peak of the second generation of hardcore in Australia?

Luke - For sure. Such a sick line up. Mindsnare, One Inch Punch, Forward Defence, Toe To Toe, Drawback, Ceasefire, Straight To A Tomb, and us. All the biggest and best bands of the era. It was our first show in Sydney and we were just stoked to be a part of it, to be honest. Props to Sean No Deal for organising all the best gigs of that era and including us on many of them. Jay Snapshot too for putting us on the early comps and interviewing us in Noisecrash zine, that's how people heard about us in Sydney.

Rod - Yeah, it was a pinnacle of sorts. Lots of bands, lots of people. It still had a very much underground punk vibe to it though, but you could sense that it was getting bigger.


For the existence of the band from 95-97, this was really during a boom time for Australian hardcore, with the number of bands increasingly popping up around the country. Did it feel like that back then?

Luke - Oh yeah there was definitely something in the air. Like I started going to shows a couple of years prior, like 93'-94' and in the space of like 2 years a US influenced hardcore scene started to emerge. Early on it was just like Toe To Toe, Minute Minder, & Savage Cabbage playing US style stuff in Sydney everyone else was into crusty punk and maybe a bit of pop punk like Lawnsmell and Blitz Babiez. Around the time of the first Sick Of It All tour (1994) things started to change. More straight up HC bands started popping up like Ceasefire and Drawback and straight edge started catching on with more than just half a dozen kids. By the time Pitfall was in full swing (mid 96') bands and scenes in places like Wollongong and Canberra were also emerging. The all ages scene in Newcastle was also booming, it was a really exciting and crucial time for Aussie hardcore.

Rod - Yeah, there was a lot of bands starting, but being in Newcastle made it so we were a little more isolated from the bigger cities. The Internet wasn't really being utilised much at that point so it still took time to hear about stuff.


The band was a very large influence on the popularity of straight edge in NSW at the time. Back then did you feel like somewhat of a spokesperson for the SXE?

Luke - Fuck yeah I did. I mean back then, there were no outspoken SXE bands / frontmen in Australia save for Greg from Price Of Silence who may as well have been a million miles away over in Adelaide. There were also literally maybe 20 SXE kids in Australia at the time. Nobody was edge. I took it upon myself to basically ape my idols like Ian Mackaye, Dan O Mahoney, & Ray Cappo and push the SXE message in an era when most punks just didn't want to hear it. Unfortunately and perhaps not surprisingly I took it to fanatical levels at times. I blame that on the exuberance of youth!


Was Pitfall ever a full straight edge band? Drummer, Brad was never edge was he?

Luke - Brad liked a choof I'll tell you that much ha-ha. I think he considered going edge at one point as everyone else in the band was for a minute and he probably felt a bit of pressure to do it. It definitely created tension within the band when we played a show in Wollongong and everyone was X'ed up sans Brad. That was the beginning of the end, ironically enough.

Rod - Never fully straightedge. Brad wasn't edge and David and me didn't drink, but didn't care too much about straightedge either.

Given a lot of Pitfall songs, "Human Waste" and "Slave" carried strong straight edge messages, how did this sit with the rest of the band?

Luke - "Human Waste" is a straight up No For An Answer / Judge bite. I mean I still love those bands but the lyrical content is pretty naïve and ignorant. What do SXE kids in their teens with little life experience and a narrow worldview know about the nature of addiction? Heaps apparently ha-ha. Not sure about how the other dudes felt about the lyrics, we never really discussed it.

Rod - I was OK with them. I wasn't in a hurry to write any lyrics so I was in no position to whine about Luke's lyrical output, plus I didn't disagree with the subject matter.


The song "Slave" was aimed at "the posers who give straight edge a bad name". You go on to elaborate that, "SXE is not a second rate homeboy fashion show". Without naming names, was this directed at anyone in particular?

Luke - When I got into hardcore and straight edge it went hand in hand with punk. We were coming from the Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, SSD school of straight edge cause that's what records we were into. Earth Crisis and all the metal shit hadn't hit Australia yet, but when it finally did in early 95' we were like "what the fuck is this shit??" I mean when you compare Uniform Choice and Snapcase it's a totally different ballpark, not just the music, but also the aesthetics and the whole deal. Being part of the first wave of 90's SXE kids we were firmly influenced by the 80's vibe, shaved heads, camo pants, and DYS records. All of a sudden kids started rocking up to shows looking like they were straight out of the rave scene or something with their beads, backpacks, MC Hammer jeans, and militant veganism trip. I mean, it's completely trivial now when I look back on it, and ironic that the lyrics are "it's not about the clothes you wear, it's a drug free way of life" but yet I wrote a whole song about fucking clothes ha-ha.

"Fantasy Imagery" was a song penned about guns in hardcore, inspired by Adelaide's Force Fed 9 and their self-titled EP artwork and lyrics. This song caused quite a stir and an interstate rivalry to go with it?

Luke - Yeah it did. Again, really trivial shit in retrospect, but at the time I obviously thought FF9 saying they were going to "bust caps" was important enough to write a song about. At the time there were interstate rivalries with not only Adelaide but Melbourne also. It was like the State Of Origin of hardcore. That shit was kinda fun and tongue in cheek for the most part, like we were just mimicking the stuff we'd read about in old fanzines about New York/Boston rivalries and stuff like that. I mean there were emo kids in Melbourne at the time that actually tried to ban moshing at shows and SXE nerds boycotting pub shows, how can you not take the piss out of that???

Rod - I never felt the interstate rivalry and didn't realize that the song upset anybody in particular.


Outside of NSW, Pitfall was probably more hated than loved. You guys never did play Adelaide and FF9 never made it to Sydney. Given FF9 frontman Jules, held a black belt in martial arts, did you ever fear the beef would get physical?

Luke - FF9's frontman was Matt who also played bass in Price Of Silence, which was odd cause P.O.S were like my favourite Australian band at the time. Jules was the guitarist for FF9 I think? Anyway you're right in that yeah I believe Matt was not only a black belt but a pro wrestler as well. At the 97' Superbowl show at the Iron Duke, Matt and Benji (First Blood Records) confronted me and Craig Edge outside and everyone thought there was going to be a fight. Benji was literally screaming at me and Craig then hiding behind Matt hahaha. Anyway Craig just walked off mid confrontation and I was left there with Benji screaming at me over Matt's shoulder. I remember thinking how much I would love to punch Benji in the mouth but didn't like my chances 1 against 2 especially considering that I was well aware of Matt's black belt status. Anyway it all fizzled out without any violence and I'm pretty sure Matt ended up telling Benji to shut the fuck up and fight me himself if he was that bent out of shape about the whole thing ha-ha.

Rod - No, it never worried me. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about FF9. Also, we were totally loved by everyone! C'mon. It seemed like every second person was a black belt in something back then. I'm sure some old bloke from the local RSL could've flogged the ears off most tough guys in the hardcore scene.


The mid 90s were an interesting time in hardcore, with a lot of bands introducing a more metal nu-school influence whereas Pitfall kept the flag flying for the traditional youth crew hardcore sound. You were quite outspoken about this debate at the time that created a bit more tension?

Luke - You're really enjoying calling me out on this shit aren't you Willy? Yeah I touched on this earlier. There was that Rain On The Parade lyric "send it back to the long hairs" and we shared that sentiment when bands like Mindsnare started going metal. Only a few short years later I would sing in the Pantera riff stealing Life.Love.Regret so go figure. Nigel pointed the irony out to me the first time LLR went to Melbourne and we had a laugh about it.

Rod - I think honestly that the mid 90's was a pretty mediocre time for hardcore. There were obvious standouts but on the whole I think it was poor compared to what came before it and even stuff that came after it. The nu-school thing was just terrible, so I was thankful that our lack of talent only allowed us to play punk.


Pitfall did make it down to Melbourne in 97, playing at the Arthouse. What do you recall from the trip? And who did you play with?

Luke - Yeah it was New Years Eve 1996 going into 97'. Can't remember much about the show apart from One Inch Punch headlining and they were fucking great, naturally, seeing in the new year at the Arthouse in their prime. We were just stoked to be there, especially considering One Inch Punch were probably the biggest influence on Pitfall's earliest songs. Just dug out an old photo album and it appears Self Reliance, Unit 1174, and Fahrenheit 451 also played the show.

Rod - I think we played with One Inch Punch, Fallout, Ultimatum and Heads Kicked Off amongst others at various shows. That trip was good from a playing shows point of view but I had a shit time really. When you're 31 you don't wanna be hanging around 20 year olds 'cause it gets annoying real quick.



Pitfall contributed two songs to the First Blood Records compilation "New Tools For The Hunter" put out by Ceasefire singer Dan Phelan and Shadowcast frontman Benji. In our previous Looking Back feature on the compilation, Dan tells the story of having to fight to have Pitfall included on the comp. What do you recall about the band's inclusion on the compilation?

Luke - As I said before, Benji was right in the mix of that whole old school VS new school beef and we were always making fun of him and his band Shadowcast, I mean, they really were shit weren't they? Dan Ceasefire on the other hand was a good mate (and still is nearly 20 years later) and he loved Pitfall and wanted us on the comp so he pushed to get us on there which was cool of him to stick his neck out for us.

Rod - I'm surprised that Dan fought so hard to get us on that comp and I never realized we were that controversial within the scene. I knew that Benji didn't like us, but I'd never spoken to the guy. I wasn't losing sleep over it.

Samples at the start of songs were all the rage back then and you even managed to sneak in a Hulk Hogan hardcore reference on the comp tracks. You were pretty hyped on wrestling at the time weren't you?

Luke - The "you are not hardcore!" sample at the start of the discography CD is actually Shane "The Franchise" Douglas from ECW not Hulk Hogan. Oh man I hadn't watched wrestling since I was a kid but then Chris Kombi from Self Reliance / Next Step lent me all these mid 90's ECW tapes with Cactus Jack, Sabu, The Gangsters, RVD, Dudley Boys, Terry Funk etc. and I got seriously hooked on that shit for a minute. That shit was wild compared to the WWF stuff for sure.


The Xed-Up construction gloves you used to play in, was that Raybeez inspired or maybe more Mean Steve?

Luke - Well it was actually Kevin Crowley from The Abused that first rocked the construction gloves I believe, but yeah Mean Steve, Raybeez, Mike Judge, Porcell in Project X... they were all an influence.

Leaping Luke Dolan sure set some height records on stage. How much practice used to go into your aerobatics and who was the inspiration for this?

Luke - Hahaha I never practiced that shit, I just did it. I guess the feet first jump was inspired by the 88' youth crew bands, Ray Cappo etc. I played basketball and was always somewhat of a midget so you had to have some hops. My dream of dunking a basketball on a 10-foot hoop never did materialize, Spud Webb I was not.


Legend has it a very heated band practice that ended up with yourself and drummer Brad coming to blows led to the breaking up of the band? Is this how it went down?

Luke - It was two hits. Brad hitting me and me hitting the ground. I'm not kidding he fucking laid me out. We were arguing about something that probably revolved around the straight edge thing and he starts threatening me. Small man, big mouth that I was I start taunting him, "go on tough guy, hit me then!" I should've known better. If you ever saw him sing in Bare Knuckle Fight you'd know he didn't fuck around, he was seriously into fighting and shit. So next thing I know I'm flat on my back on the ground choking on a mouth full of blood. Even though I deserved a slap and was being a bitch, I had to quit the band at that point. The beginnings of Arms Reach were on the horizon too.

Rod - It would have ended anyway. There was tension between band members before any punches got thrown.


There was still a fair bit of tension in the band when you played your last show at Hardcore Superbowl 97, that was quite noticeable on stage?

Luke - There probably was, but I honestly don't remember it. To me, it was resolved and I was just keen to put all my energy into making the last shows as memorable as possible. I was also focused on starting Arms Reach with Jamie and the Ellem's were keen to start something new also, which eventually became Bare Knuckle Fight.

Rod - Yeah it was pretty shit. I'd had enough by that stage and wasn't unhappy to see it fold.

One of the live tracks from that last Newcastle AA show, "They Say Jump" was never actually recorded or released on anything other than the live CD put out by Jay Snapshot. In the intro you refer to the song as being about the Liberal Government. Was this the start of your socio-political awakening, a theme that carried over to next band Arms Reach?

Luke - You could say that. I was on the dole at the time and the song was inspired by my case manager at the CES who said to me and I quote, "it's my job to reduce the unemployment figures, now whether that's by people finding jobs or committing suicide I don't care either way". Ain't that some shit?

Rod - This is probably something I wished we'd delved into much more.


"By My Side" is another unreleased live song from this set that you explain to be about friendships and offending friends by being outspoken about certain things. Was this about anyone in particular?

Luke - I think it was about the Ceasefire guys, in particular Dan and Matt the drummer, who also played in Minute Minder. We would always have these heated arguments about Christianity in hardcore etc. yet they were always super cool about it and we could disagree about shit but still be mates, that's the way it should be.


Pitfall only ever did the one merch design, which was the demo cover t-shirt and these were printed before the break up shows right?

Luke - There were some bootleg shirts floating around before that (which I think Dale later of Conation screened up) but yeah that was the only official Pitfall shirt, featuring the demo cover drawn by Wolfpack gang member Damien Webber.

Rod - Luke's mate did the shirts up for us. At least we weren't one of those bands with 5 different shirt designs and no music release, like we had started a band just to bring out shirts or something.


Pitfall sets always contained at least two covers. Can you recall all of the covers Pitfall ever played live? "Impact" by Chain of Strength was always my fave, what about you?

Luke - Yeah "Impact" was the most fun cause the Chain discography had not long been out so everyone was all over that song at the time. Other covers we did were, in roughly chronological order, "Under Your Influence" by Dag Nasty, "Rodeo Clown" by Lifetime, "Nervous Breakdown" by Black Flag, "Just Look Around" by Sick Of It All, "No One" by Integrity, followed by the Chain cover. I think that was it.

Rod - I like playing "no one" by Integrity and Black Flag "nervous breakdown". We used to play Bad Brains "she's calling you" at practice and I always wanted to play that live too, but we never did. We used to do Dag Nasty "under your influence" and Lifetime "rodeo clown" as well, real tough guy songs.


The band reformed twice after the initial break up for the final Forward Defence show in 98 and also for the launch of the of the discography CD in 1999; a very memorable show at the Black Box in Newcastle. How was the vibe between the members at these shows, was there ever talk of being a band again?

Luke - The vibe was good. Any issues we had with each other had been well and truly resolved by that point. There wasn't any talk of doing the band again; everyone was busy doing other (better) bands.

Rod - Never any talk of being a band again. Everyone had well and truly moved on by then. Everyone got on a lot better when they didn't have to deal with each other all the time, but it wasn't the same as it was when the band first started playing.


Did it surprise you that the band grew in popularity after the break up, particularly the crowd reaction at the Black Box show in 99 for the discography release?

Luke - Yeah it kinda did. I mean considering the time I was in the band was under 2 years and we probably only played about 20 shows in total. I guess we were in the right place at the right time and we stood out from the other bands in the scene both music and message wise. But y'know I don't think it holds up too well, like to me it's a total 90's time and place band, as are a lot of bands from that era I think.

Rod - It was a little surprising that people were into so much because I thought we were as average as hell. But the crowd was getting into it so we must have meant something to someone at the time. I think a lot of the kids related to Luke, which is probably the only reason the band had any popularity at all.

The discography CD was put out in 1999 by "Thinking Positive" records. How did this all come about?

Luke - Joel Mearing was a youth crew kid from the Wollongong / South Coast scene and a lot of that crew were really into Pitfall as it was their first exposure to straight edge and maybe even hardcore in some cases. So he just approached me and said he really wanted to do it, even though he hadn't done any releases before (or since) so I thought that was cool of him.

I recall BE ended up with a few boxes of these under his bed, that later ended up in the hands of Jay Blurter years later? What happened to the guy that put the discography out?

Luke - That sounds about right. As I said he was a young kid who hadn't done a release before so he had no idea about distribution or anything like that. He disappeared from hardcore not too long after it came out from memory. I did run into him once only a few years back at a Dead Walk show at the Sando. Ironically we were both on the piss and had a good catch up ha-ha.

Rod - I don't know what happened to him, I thought he was a bit optimistic bringing out the discog. I didn't think the band really warranted it. At the time I thought he would have been better off putting out something new.

Will there ever be another Pitfall reunion do you think?

Luke - Oh god no. For me personally it would be way too weird singing lyrics about straight edge and what not. I know other bands do it and that's fine for them, I mean I would still sing along at a Youth Of Today or Chain Of Strength show make no mistake about it, but those bands are classic, timeless hardcore, not some band from Mayfield.

Rod – No.


Got a favourite memory of the band? Favourite show too perhaps?

Luke - Definitely the last Newcastle show at Hardcore Superbowl 97'. That really was the beginning of the all ages hardcore show boom in Newie and spring boarded all the great Black Box shows. It was rad that we were playing with big bands at the time like One Inch Punch and Price Of Silence yet got just as big if not a bigger crowd response.

Rod - Some of the smaller shows we played in Newcastle and Maitland when we were starting out and the friends that were made through the band are probably the only things I remember with any sentimentality.

Any regrets about the band or anything you wished was done differently?

Luke - Not talked so much shit and carried on like a dickhead perhaps?

Rod - It was too long ago to have any regrets or wonder what might have been if we'd done this or that.


How do you hope Pitfall is best remembered?

Luke - It's cool that we're remembered by a few kids at least as one of the first melodic youth crew type bands in Australia. And I'm glad we were one of the first to have an outspoken straight edge message, which truly was an alternative in the early to mid 90's Australian punk scene.

Rod - Just being remembered is good enough!

Any final words?

Luke - Thanks for the trip down memory lane Willy. Thanks to my band mates who put up with my egocentric bullshit. Love and respect to the handful of peers still around from the era who are still nailed, super glued, and sticky taped to the fucking X.

Rod - Thanks to Ryan for the questions and everyone who had an interest in us.



"Brother" originally appeared on "Sons and Daughters" compilation tape that came with Stuntrider Fanzine. Song recorded in October 1995.

"Gift Of Life" and "Control" originally appeared on Snapshot Records, "Call It Whatever You Want" compilation. Songs recorded in early 1996.


Pitfall Demo 96

Talk Is Cheap Records

5 Song Demo Tape Recorded August 1996.

Approx. 100 copies


"Slave 97" & "Believe In What" appeared on First Blood Records "New Tools For The Hunter" compilation. Songs recorded in January 1997.


Live tracks on Snapshot Records compilation Hardcore Superbowl in Newcastle. Recorded second last show 27th February 1997.


Pitfall –Discography 99 CD

Thinking Positive Records

500 Copies – Out Of Print


Where are they now:

Luke Dolan: After Pitfall formed Arms Reach, Elbow Deep, Life Love Regret, The Deadwalk, White Male Dumbinance and currently sings in Hazards.

Jamie Hay: Went on to form Conation, Fear Like Us, Tyre Swans, had a stint on bass in Arms Reach and currently performs and records acoustically Was also a member of A Death In The Family for the past few years.

Rod Ellem: Went on to form Bare Knuckle Fight, joined FMD and later played in Shitfight.

David Ellem: Went on to form Bare Knuckle Fight

Brad Pit: Went on to form and front Bare Knuckle Fight.

Ant: Can be seen shredding the 13-foot bowl at Bar Beach on the regular.

Shane Quill: Is still spotted taking photos at local punk shows from time to time.


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