Poison Oak Logo


Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Queensland, Australia based Alternative Rock band, Poison Oak. Huge thanks to Guitarist/Vocalist James Balthes for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is James I play guitar, piano and sing in the band. The band basically came about through a Saturday morning jam between Ray, Russell and myself and has slowly grown from there.

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s from a Bright Eyes song, ‘Poison Oak’.

What country are you from and what is the Rock/Metal scene like there?

We’re from Australia and are more of an Alternative Rock band. The town that we live in, Townsville, doesn’t separate the styles of music into scenes, we seem to just all come together as one.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our last releases have been our singles ‘Waiting’ and ‘Sarah’, both taken. from our upcoming EP “1996”, which is released on 19th March!

‘Waiting’ (Audio)

‘Sarah’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Friends, family and everyone in between.

What first got you into music?

My friends in high school really, we all hung out and played music, and were all an inspiration to each other.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Paul Kelly.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Big Day Out, because if we’re playing that festival that means Big Day Out had come back to Australia.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Just chill.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

John Bonham, I feel Led Zeppelin still had some good albums in them.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Well…if I didn’t enjoy it then I wouldn’t be doing it. I have a pretty balanced life I like to think, I work as a school teacher, so many things to keep me busy from dwelling on things.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

You still had to purchase records on vinyl!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Bright Eyes – “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?


What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Valley Fiesta in 2014…it went off.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’m actually a school teacher, so I guess I would be doing that.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ryan, Tyler, Stephen, Tyson, the only reason I picked them, because they’re mates who I went to a steak house with last night. Just my friends.

What’s next for the band?

We are about to release our upcoming EP “1996” on March 19th!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?


Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake for sure!

Poison Oak Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Leave a Reply