Australian punk band Amyl and the Sniffers play Burger Boogaloo this weekend. (Courtesy Jamie Wdziekonski)

Amy Taylor fronts Amyl and the Sniffers with gusto

Former deli worker brings energy to Austrialian punk outfit

In Australia, a cultural ethos called Tall Poppy Syndrome says that any blossoming talent that outgrows the rest is promptly cut down to size by its peers. It explains why Melbourne native Amy Taylor, aka Amyl of the 1970s-retro punk metal combo Amyl and the Sniffers, playing Burger Boogaloo in Oakland this weekend, didn’t have grand designs for her life.

Content just punching the clock at her neighborhood supermarket, with no promotion in sight, Taylor says, “I was working in the deli, and I loved it. I’d come home covered in chicken and ham and think, ‘F—- yeah! I know that I really worked hard today!’ I was happy just doing something to get by.”

Taylor, 23, had a coterie of regulars that relied on her exceptional service, including a blind man and his guide dog. She’d walk around the shop and help the man get his groceries.

“His dog would always lick my meat-soaked shoes,” she recalls.

But her flatmates at home, led by guitarist Declan Martens, were forming a band, and they invited her to join as vocalist. With supermarket energy to spare, she immediately agreed.

“Like I said, I like working, so it just kind of happened that I ended up working on this group more and more,” she says.

After choosing its trashy moniker — a reference to party drug amyl nitrate, aka poppers— the group wrote, recorded and released its EP “Giddy Up” in 12 hours.

In 2016, it was an overnight hit Down Under, and Amyl/Amy was a photogenic, if initially unwilling, new rock star.

She dressed the way she wanted in track shorts or vinrage jeans, and always sported a Cherie Currie-chic mullet.

On its eponymous ATO debut issued in April, Amyl and the Sniffers solidified its sound, with sneering anthems such as “Punisha,” “Gacked on Anger” and “Some Mutts (Can’t be Muzzled).”

And Taylor giddily taps into her country’s rich rock history, echoing Rose Tattoo, The Angels and her favorite American outfit, The Plasmatics. The Sniffers also cover AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” in concert.

Yet Taylor is carefully monitoring her growth rate. When she was recently discovered by Gucci, and the band was flown to a tropical island for a glamorous photo shoot, she remained down to earth.

“They just kept putting clothes on us, all these wild outfits, and the one they chose for me was this huge gold dress,” she says, laughing. “It was crazy. I don’t wear long f——— skirts. I wear short shorts. I’m from the beach!”


Burger Boogaloo

with John Waters, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Amyl and the Sniffers

Where: Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St., Oakland

When: Noon Saturday-Sunday, July 6-7

Tickets: $10 to $199


Just Posted

SF public defender calls deputy shooting ‘preventable and unnecessary tragedy’

Sheriff identifies four deputies involved in incident that killed dog, allegedly wounded owner

Proposed pay raises for City College administrators anger students, faculty

Large increases come as college cuts classes, trims budget

Fatal Mission Terrace fire takes lives of father and daughter

Neighbors mourn loss of family after early morning blaze

Central Subway project projected to run $55 million over budget

San Francisco’s $1.6 billion Central Subway is roughly $55 million in the… Continue reading

Newsom, Becerra lash out at Trump plan to rescind California emissions standards

In a series of tweets early Wednesday morning, Trump said that revoking California’s authority to impose emissions standards will help make cars more affordable.

Most Read