Interview: Lee Naimo (Axis of Awesome)

Axis of Awesome are an Australian musical comedy act set to perform at the Adelaide Fringe Festival this February. Their new show Viva La Vida Loca Las Vegas was a hit at comedy festivals across the country and it is sure to delight when they hit the Garden of Unearthly Delights on February 21 and 22.

Can you tell us a little about how you got together and launched your career?

Sure. We originated through common descent from a last universal ancestor that lived approximately 3.5–3.8 billion years ago. The next major change in cell structure came when bacteria were engulfed by eukaryotic cells, in a cooperative association called endosymbiosis.The engulfed bacteria and the host cell then underwent coevolution, with the bacteria evolving into either mitochondria or hydrogenosomes. Another engulfment of cyanobacterial-like organisms led to the formation of chloroplasts in algae and plants. About 500 million years ago, plants and fungi colonised the land and were soon followed by arthropods and other animals. Amphibians first appeared around 364 million years ago, followed by early amniotes and birds around 155 million years ago (both from “reptile”-like lineages), mammals around 129 million years ago, homininae around 10 million years ago and modern humans around 250,000 years ago. And then the three of us were born and formed a band.

Where did the name come from?

We all got super-drunk and used a Ouija Board and it just spelt the name out on it’s own! So technically, ghosts.

Can you share a little about the new show Viva La Vido Loca Las Vegas?

We certainly can do that if you pay for a ticket and come and see the show. We’ll share the whole show with you!

Where do you get your inspiration?

A collection of John Grisham novels, photos of doors and board games about alternate universes are our biggest inspirations.

axis of awesome

Axis All Areas is your new online series, can you tell us a little about it?

It’s a 30-part series made up of new music video and narrative sketches that tell the story of how we made those music videos. It’s an interactive multi-stream, non-linear, comedy series/easter egg hunt set behind the scenes of our music videos.

What can Adelaide audiences expect from the Fringe shows on February 21 and 22?

We’ll be singing our humorous songs into microphones on a stage made of wood (actually the stage material is not 100% confirmed yet), accompanied by noises produced by our musical instruments which are connected to amplification systems that allow the audience to better hear those noises and singings with their human ears. And also lots of great jokes.

What’s next for Axis of Awesome?

We’re building a bridge between Australia and New Zealand, to allow unprecedented levels of access to Burger Fuel.

If you had to choose, who would be your favourite comedian?

Luckily for us we don’t ever have to choose!

Which musicians have helped shape your sound?

Sting lent us a guitar lead once, but it turned out to be quite old and a bit crackly so I probably wouldn’t say Sting as an answer. John Farnham?

You can learn more about Axis of Awesome on their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

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