On the street every second Wednesday
16/05/07 - 29/05/07 Made in Tasmania
M I S S Y HI GGI N S
Look To The Sky For The Answers
By David Williams When you’ve finished reading this paragraph, go outside and look up. You might be inspired. You might have a moment of realisation. Missy Higgins did. Heading south for two shows in Tasmania this month, she spoke to me about how she found all her answers in a clear night sky. So what’s a big stuff up that you’ve made in your working life? Can you think of something that you did, and then went, “Oh, no …” Oh, God … I don’t know. A stuff-up I nearly made was [at] the ARIAs. My dress nearly came up, and I was wearing a G-string, and if that dress had come over my head, I would have never lived that down! [Laughs]
Win one of three copies of Japanther’s new CD, “Skuffed Up My Huffy”. To win, email us the top three bands that you’d like to see tour Tassie. Please include your name, age, address and phone number.
Yeah, it happened to my wife recently in the middle of the street – she had her dress up over her head, and our children just ran off in embarrassment! Oh, really? [Laughs] Marilyn Monroe-style? But not quite as graceful …
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[Laughs] Talking about the album for a second … how did you arrive at the title, “On A Clear Night”? Well it’s a line from my song Steer … Actually, you know the truth? I spent a couple of months thinking about the title of my album, and one night, I just woke up, and I was like, “On A Clear Night! That’s it!” It was one of those really corny moments. [Laughs] It just seems so appropriate, because there’s a lot of songs on the album about, I guess, a certain realisation, and seeing things in perspective. And the song Steer was actually written on a really, really clear night, where it felt like I could see every single universe and galaxy out there, and I felt so small and insignificant. It was a really empowering feeling. So it seemed like a really beautiful way to sum everything up.
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You’re not going to get me talking about my love life, if that’s what you think!
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I guess there’s two ways to see the whole “existence” thing – one is that we’re not alone, and the other is that we are alone. How do you see that, talking about the universe? Are we “omnisignificant”, because we’re alone? Or are we not as significant? Um … I kind of feel like we’re all just incredibly insignificant, in the grand scheme of things. There’s something really great and uplifting about the moment when you realise that, because it’s the moment when the ego just drops away, and you realise that you’re not the centre of the universe, and things will continue on long after you’re gone. They were perfectly fine long before you arrived. I don’t know – to be able to understand the gravity of the fact that we are so small is a really good thing, as far as perspective goes. Talking about ego, and keeping yourself in check and significance and all that sort of thing, more than half of your shows on your national tour have already sold out, and the album has already been certified Platinum. Your universe is certainly pretty small at the moment – it’s all happening right in your small space. Does it feel like that? Yeah. It’s definitely hard in the entertainment industry, when you’re being successful … it’s hard not to believe that you’re the centre of the universe! [Laughs] At times, people around you try to make you think as though you are. But it’s a pretty amazing time right now, and I’m trying to appreciate it for what it is – I’m really lucky, and very relieved that people seem to be liking the new album, and liking the single … So fingers-crossed that it continues. The last time we spoke, the album hadn’t been released. I said, “Congratulations”, and you said, “Wait – it hasn’t been released yet.” You were almost nervous about it. Looking back on the prerelease, how do you see how you were thinking? Well, I still don’t know how it’s gone – it hasn’t charted yet, so it’s still a bit up in the air! [Laughs] But the presales have been really good – I guess that’s a good indication. I guess I was just a little bit apprehensive of what people were going to think about my new album! I guess I’m putting more significance on this one, because I feel that it really represents me as a songwriter. I feel very personal about it. So, if it was to get trodden-on, I would take it to heart much more than I would have for The Sound Of White. It’s hard not to take other people’s comments to heart, as an artist. Do you find that? Do you have to say, “OK, I’m not going to read the reviews”? Yeah. I definitely try not to read many reviews; the only reviews I really read are the ones people shove under my nose and say, “You have to read this! This is a great one!” [Laughs] Yeah, it’s hard. You get a fairly biased view of things with that going on, I guess. [Laughs] “Yeah – everything’s great!” I’ll think that I’m doing unbelievably, and then they will tell me that they were the only two good reviews out there! One of the things you also said to me previously is that you thought there were some “grittier” songs on this album, than on The Sound Of White. I was just wondering if there were maybe “grittier” times in your life that may have inspired these songs? Where did they come from? Um … Oh, god, I don’t know! The songs come from every aspect of my life, from my love life to my family life, to [other stuff] that isn’t about my life at all; that’s
Win one of 3 copies of Ministry of Sound’s new CD, “Sessions 4”. To win, email us the top three bands that you’d like to see tour Tassie. Please include your name, age, address and phone number. Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Sessions Comp” in the subject line. Entries close 28/5/07.
Win one of three $100 credits for movie downloads from www.reeltime.tv. To win, email us the top three bands that you’d like to see tour Tassie. Please include your name, age, address and phone number. totally fictional, as in being inspired by a painting or a picture. Usually they come from moments where my head fills up with a story, or angst or love or inspiration, or just something really loud, and I just have to get it out onto my guitar or my piano; get it out into song. You said last time – and I was really surprised that you even answered my question – that you weren’t in love. I was wondering if anything had changed since we spoke last? Oh … what, within the last week? [Laughs] Yep! Been swept off your feet? No … I wish things happened that quickly! [Laughs] How do they seem to happen for you? Is it friendsthat-turn-to-lovers? Or does it just depend? Ah … You’re not going to get me talking about my love life, if that’s what you think! [Laughs] Sorry Dave! You’re pushing it a bit far there! I couldn’t even believe you answered it in the first place! The first interview that we did, you answered it, and you said “no, I wish I was …” Well, to tell you the truth, if I was, I probably would have said “no” as well, because I would never really want to talk about my personal life in that way anyway. I just think … you’re quite an expressive songwriter, who’s dealing with emotional subjects. And love is one of them, so that’s why I’m bringing this up. I’m not just trying to dig up some goss on you. [Chuckles] I understand.
How did you assemble those musicians? I held a lot of auditions in Sydney. I put the word out there, and I played with a lot of different musicians. I just got a band together that I seem to click with, personally and musically. And they’re all really top musicians. I’m really excited about it. Something else that you said to me before was that now you’re feeling like you’ve got a better understanding of the music industry, and am more confident working within it, whereas previously you’d had some feelings of being overwhelmed. What brought about this change? Is it just time in the business? I think that definitely experience has a lot to do with it … Just growing up in general. It’s been a few years since the recording of The Sound Of Light, and some of the songs I wrote on that album, I wrote when I was fifteen/sixteen. So I guess I’m a much more self-assured person, and I’ve got a lot of stories and experiences under my belt that help me kind of perform these opinions. Have you had a piece of advice from anyone during your career so far that has stayed with you? Um … I’m sure I’ve had plenty – I can just never remember them when people ask me! They’re a bit like jokes. Yeah, exactly! I’ve got a funny joke actually, that someone told me the other day … you probably won’t find it funny at all, but … What did the 0 say to the 8? “Nice belt.”
The shows that you’re doing on the tour … I guess it’s not just going to be Missy on a stool with a guitar alone on stage. What are the shows going to be like? It’s quite a big production this time. I’ve got a trumpet player, a cello player, a keyboard player, drums, bass, guitar and me, on keyboard and piano.
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Win one of 3 copies of The Beautiful Girls’ new CD, “Ziggurats”. To win, email us the top three bands that you’d like to see tour Tassie. Please include your name, age, address and phone number. Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Beautiful Girls Comp” in the subject line. Entries close 28/5/07.
Missy Higgins plays Hobart’s Derwent Entertainment Centre on the 22nd of May, and Launceston’s Albert Hall on the 23rd.
The Hiptones Comp Gemma Hollingsworth
The Black Seeds Comp Mick Attard
The Arctic Monkeys Comp Allison Leary
Mojada Comp Annmaree Barrett
To listen to the entire interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
The Winnie Coopers Comp Natasha Staines PAGE 3
JORDAN MILLAR WINS NATIONAL LAUNCH YOUR BAND COMP
ARIA PRESENTS THE 2007 ARIA HALL OF FAME
more than three million members in Australia, MySpace provides a great opportunity for us to get our message and support to young people when they need it most.
The Launch Your Band winner for 2007 is Jordan Millar & The Question for their song Ride It All The Way! Originally from Tasmania until recently, and now based in Sydney, Jordan Millar was awarded first prize from an impressive pool of over two-hundred-and-ninety entries from across Australia.
Like Wow, Wipeout! Hoodoo Gurus, Marcia Hines & Frank Ifield are to be inducted into ARIA Hall of Fame.
“There is still stigma attached to mental health issues and many young people are reluctant to seek professional help. Through this critical partnership with MySpace, we can help break down these barriers and connect with young people no one could ever reach before.”
Ride It All The Way will now become the soundtrack for the 2007 Perisher Blue Freeride TV commercial on air from May 18th.
THE FALLS FESTIVAL COMMUNITY FUND RECIPIENTS
Representatives from The Falls Festival, the Community Fund Working Group and project working groups met at the Copping Hall last week for the announcement of The Falls Festival Community Fund recipients for 2007. Local troubadour and award winning musician Adam Cousens showed off his talent and the beautiful acoustics in the Copping Hall with some laid back tunes to kick off proceedings. The Community Fund is generated by The Falls Festival, with the 2006 festival generating $14,080 to fund projects in the local area this year. The local communities of Marion Bay, Bream Creek and Copping voted on numerous submissions to select which initiatives were to receive the funding. Mella Morgan – Event Manager – presented three cheques on the night: $4956.50 was donated to the Dunalley Hall Committee for transportable stage lighting to be shared equally between the Copping, Bream Creek and Dunalley halls. Following the success of previous events, $4270.00 was donated to the Dunalley Neighbourhood House for a second series of concerts to be held at Copping Hall over the next twelve months. $4853.50 was donated to the Dunalley Community Boat Club to purchase Pacer sailing dinghies to be used for “Learn to Sail” courses for both children and adults.
KEEP CONTROL OF UNI HERE The State Opposition is against the transfer of responsibility for the University of Tasmania to the Federal Government. Shadow Education Minister, Sue Napier, said the hint at such a move by the Federal Minister, Julie Bishop, caused some concern. “The University of Tasmania has worked well in partnership with successive State Governments and there’s no identified need to change that,” Mrs Napier said.
Last year, Divinyls strutted and pouted their way through a much-anticipated reunion set. Daddy Cool did the Eagle Rock, while at the other end of the music spectrum, Helen Reddy thrilled with a powerful acceptance speech that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. These iconic performers joined Rose Tattoo, Icehouse, Lobby Loyde and Midnight Oil (inducted at the 2006 ARIA Awards) as the 2006 ARIA Hall of Fame inductees. Now ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) is proud to announce the return of the 2007 ARIA Hall of Fame – an event dedicated to paying tribute to iconic artists that have made a significant impact and enduring contribution to our music landscape. This very special event, now in its third year, will take place on Wednesday July 18th at the Plaza Ballroom at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre. The first inductees to be announced for 2007 run the gamut and celebrate our musical diversity – from garage rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm & blues to yodeling and country music. And on July 18th, as has become tradition, other artists will toast their peers and officially induct these music forebears into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
LIVE EARTH AUSTRALIA REVEALED Organisers have announced details of the Australian curtain-raising show for the 7-continent, 24-hour Live Earth concerts to be held on 7/7/07. The Australian concert will be staged at Aussie Stadium in Sydney. The global concert on July 7th will begin in Sydney and continue across all seven continents, concluding with a show in the US. Speaking via a video link-up at the event’s official launch at Aussie Stadium, Live Earth Partner Al Gore said: “The climate crisis is a global problem that requires a global response. That’s exactly what Live Earth is. On 7/7/07, Live Earth will touch over 2 billion people with 24 hours of live music across seven continents and an urgent, hopeful message to trigger a worldwide movement to combat the climate crisis. This movement begins here at Aussie Stadium.” Live on stage at the Sydney show will be: Crowded House, Jack Johnson, Wolfmother, John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins, Eskimo Joe, Sneaky Sound System, Paul Kelly, Ghostwriters, Toni Collette & The Finish, Blue King Brown
MAGIC DIRT UNLEASH THE BEAST AND ANNOUNCE NATIONAL COMPETITION FOR SUPPORT BANDS
“It is not proposing the move, nor should the State Government. Students here are very well served by the university, so why change it?
Ever hungry to hear new sounds and break new ground, Magic Dirt announces an Australia-wide competition for bands to win an opportunity to support them on their 2007 touring.
“While the bulk of funding for the university is provided by the Federal Government the State has overseen its operations in a partnership.
“We are really looking for the more ‘fucked-up, out-there’ bands” says Dean Turner from Magic Dirt. “We want the bands that usually can’t get a show”.
“Furthermore there is an issue of State identity wrapped up in the argument. Tasmania’s university is a highly respected institution that reflects well on the State. It is a draw-card for students from interstate and overseas and confusing its State identity through Federal control would be unhelpful to Tasmania.”
Bands around the entire country, in capital cities and regional areas, should send their music direct to Magic Dirt. The band will personally listen to all submissions and choose the winners. The successful artists will score an opening slot on at least one show with Magic Dirt during the course of their national touring this year.
MUSIC BUSINESS SCHOLARSHIPS ANNOUNCED FOR 20 SCHOOLS ACROSS AUSTRALIA
Artists wanting to get on board and play alongside Magic Dirt should send a CD of their music, (any quality), to “Magic Dirt Band Comp” PO Box 297 Fairfield VIC 3078. Make sure you tell the band where you are based, and include your contact details
Music industry publisher and event company IMMEDIA! P/L is granting $15,000 in a scholarship initiative for music students in twenty tertiary schools this year. The program will see exceptional students at music business courses, TAFEs, conservatoriums and other music colleges rewarded for outstanding achievements by having them attend the 8th AustralAsian Music Business Conference (AMBC) in Sydney August 16-18, 2007 with 50+ speakers and over 750 professional delegates. (AMBC site http://www.immedia.com.au/ ambc) The all-access admissions give the awarded students the opportunity to attend nine major seminars and three extended lunch sessions on the future of the music business and new entertainment business models. They will be awarded by the schools’ teaching staff in one of two ways. Either the award is made based on the most outstanding progress or exemplary achievement in this school year or as a contest to see which student can come up with a new and innovative music business model or concept for a new service, product or commercial application in the evolving music industry. “There are a large number of schools and courses that cater to the aspirant music professionals, training them to tackle the tough changing business. But they need to be taken out of the classroom and mesh with industry professionals and mentors. We want to contribute to this with twenty three-day tickets worth $750 each for top students from key institutions to attend, learn, network and bring back content from our conference to their fellow students.” IMMEDIA!’s Music Education Liaison Michelle Padovan states. “This is a program we are offering for all future AMBC conferences in addition to a student discount of 20% from our industry rates.” PAGE 4
Magic Dirt have a massive tour schedule lined up for the rest of ‘07, starting with a national trek through July and August. Magic Dirt are also on the verge of unleashing a storm of new music. July sees the release of Beast, a mini-album choking on new songs from the band. And following a feverish time in the studio, there are other sounds set to emanate from the Empire of Dirt this year, which we can’t tell you about right now, but keep your ears and eyes alert.
MYSPACE AND THE INSPIRE FOUNDATION REACH OUT TO SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE IN NEED MySpace and the Inspire Foundation are pleased to announce a long term strategic partnership to help young people get through tough times. MySpace and the Inspire Foundation are working to ensure that young Australians know they are not alone and that help is out there whenever they, or a friend, need it. Banner ads in MySpace and the Reach Out! (www.myspace. com/reachoutaus) link on the MySpace home page will direct young people to critical information and support around a wide range of issues including grief & loss, depression, alcohol & drugs addiction, eating disorders, family relationships, sexuality, and bullying. Reach Out! also offers moderated forums and encourages young people to seek out professional help. “MySpace is first and foremost a community. It is a community of friends, families and colleagues, and we are determined to do all we can to make it as safe and supportive as possible,” said Rod Nockles, MySpace Australia’s Director of Safety and Security. Jack Heath, Founder of The Inspire Foundation said; “With
The Inspire Foundation (www.inspire.org.au) is a national charity which was formed in 1996 as a direct response to Australia’s then escalating rates of youth suicide. Other Inspire initiatives include ActNow (www.actnow.com. au) an internet-based service enabling young people to make positive change in the world, and Beanbag, which partners with youth centres around Australia to bridge the digital divide. Inspire Foundation has been working with MySpace since it started in Australia almost twelve months ago, and in the coming months MySpace and Inspire will work together to create more opportunities for young people to change their world for the better.
Check Your Head and Ill Communication and the cult hit compilation album made up largely of those tracks, The In Sound From Way Out!, The Mix-Up finds NYC’s favorite sons drawing on one of their arsenal’s primary strengths and pushing it into bold new directions. Beastie Boys will kick off a summer’s worth of worldwide touring May 26th and 27th with two sets at the Sasquatch! Festival at the Gorge in Washington State. The band will be playing at several European festivals throughout June and July, including Live Earth at Wembley Stadium on July 7th.
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A STATEMENT FROM POWDERFINGER We are making a statement to clear up confusion regarding the release of Powderfinger’s album Dream Days at the Hotel Existence. The song Black Tears was written to bring attention to the plight of Aboriginal people in Australia. It was originally inspired by a trip that I took last year to Uluru. Despite the prevalence of literature and signage asking people not to climb on “the rock”, due to its sacred nature, there were still people scaling it. Some of the information compared ascending Uluru to climbing on the altar at the Vatican, which would be seen as highly offensive and disrespectful by most Catholics (or most people for that matter), and yet they still continue to climb. Even groups of Australian schoolkids, with their teachers and parents, climbed it, actively disrespecting the wishes of Aboriginal people on their land. To me, that was another example of how far down the priority list Aboriginal issues are in this country. Then, in December when the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions handed down her finding on the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomoodgee on Palm Island, I completed the second part of the song. I read extensively the news coverage of the issue and from that formed an opinion which formed the lyrics of the song.
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It has, within the last few days, come to our attention that the hearing of manslaughter charges arising from the death on Palm Island are due to be heard by the Court on 12 June 2007. Our album is due for release on 2 June 2007. Whilst we firmly believe that the song would have no bearing upon the legal process, in the interests of removing even the slightest suggestion of any prejudice, we have included an alternative version on our album Dream Days at the Hotel Existence. The album will be released, as planned, Saturday June 2nd, and Black Tears will be included. There was never any intention on our part to influence the judicial process in this or any other matter. I hope that the song still has its desired effect which is to bring attention to the obvious disadvantage that is still being suffered by Aboriginal people in this country and in particular the issue of indigenous deaths in custody. – Bernard Fanning, on behalf of Powderfinger.
YOUNG MODERN ECLIPSES FROGSTOMP Silverchair’s new album Young Modern officially became the most successful album of their career when it racked up its fourth week at #1 on the national albums chart. This achievement tops the three weeks their phenomenally successful debut Frogstomp spent at pole position way back in 1995. Young Modern has also raced to double platinum sales accreditation faster than any other Silverchair release with sales in the first month of over 150,000 copies. The trio kicked off their sold out national tour over the weekend with two shows in Brisbane. They headed to Sydney on Sunday for MTV’s Australian Music Video Awards where they became the first Aussie artist to receive the “Video Vanguard Award”. The prize recognises career excellence, and has previously been presented in the U.S. to artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna. The tour now continues with dates in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth before hitting Sydney next week. The band is expected to head overseas over the Australian winter to support the northern hemisphere release of Young Modern. Plans for that release will be announced shortly, but in the meantime the group has announced two weeks of European dates in August including some major festival appearances on the continent and a headlining date at London’s legendary Brixton Academy.
BEASTIE BOYS GO INSTRUMENTAL, AGAIN The Mix-Up – All-Instrumental Album Out June 2007 Mike “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz have confirmed a June release for their seventh studio album, The Mix-Up, on Capitol Records. The Mix-Up is Beastie Boys’ first-ever full album of all-new instrumental material. The follow-up to 2004’s To The 5 Boroughs, The Mix-Up features Diamond, Horovitz and Yauch back on drums, guitar and bass, with able assistance from Keyboard Money Mark and percussionist Alfredo Ortiz, on twelve brand new wordless, sample-less, scratchless originals. Sure to please fans of the instrumental cuts from
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Rock Salt News Rock Salt Rock Salt / Hard Boiled Blues Rock Salt / Hard Boiled Rock Salt Gig Reviews Gig Guide Cd Reviews Bangers & Mash Bangers & Mash / Hip Hop Rock Salt / Hip Hop Rock Salt Digital Music / Rock Salt Games / Burnout Spotlight Comedy Street Fashion / Cobblestones
V I VA COMP U TER
Viva La Revolution ROCK SALT
By Tom Wilson
Meet Viva Computer. Known as much for their numerous collaborations as they are for what they create themselves, it’s becoming clear that these guys are definitely onto something. But who? What? Where? The answers are here. You’re currently unsigned – what interest have you received from potential labels? None whatsoever. But it is amazing what kind of gigs you can organise yourself if you work at it – Japanther travel the world on their own small label, and Baseball are off to Europe.
What is the meaning behind the title of your debut EP, We Are The Fourth Emergency Viva Computer. Firstly, what emergencies does the Viva Computer deal with, and why have three come before you? (Yes, boys, I’m talking out of my arse – humour me) There is no meaning. There is this Internet slogan generator where you can put in words and it generates company slogans. After putting in words like “cock” and “ass”, getting results like “cock, number one for ass in Texas.” We put in our band name, and it came up with “viva computer: we are the fourth emergency viva computer”. We liked the sound of it, so we made it the title of our first EP.
The lyric/melodyline writing process is dominated by Will. Jonathon tried to correct him once, but Will got grumpy at him – which is a good thing, because Jonathon is shit at writing lyrics.
Jonathon tried to correct him once, but Will got grumpy at him – which is a good thing, because Jonathon is shit at writing lyrics. Will is a creative writing student, so his lyrics often seem to feel like short fiction. Send it Through the Wire is about a hypothetical situation where communism is bought by the catholic church and floated on the stock market. Harold Holt is about people dying in a submarine. This Town Will Never Let Us Go is about Will having a love affair with Tallulah Bankhead through time. What’s the best live performance you’ve ever seen, and why? There are so many. The best one we saw together would be Japanther at the Arts Alive space; Launceston crowds are great. Everyone was on the stage at the end hitting random cymbals. They were singing through telephones. Palm This smashed the foldback setup, and one of their guitars; they were dressed in full camo outfits and started the gig covered by a blanket in a shopping trolly, screaming “Cats! Cats!” into the mic. Carl quit Palm This halfway through the show and sat in a corner for the rest of the gig drinking goon from a shoe. What are your worst habits? We have none. We’re all 5-star men. Viva Computer play The Loft in Hobart on the 1st of June.
What can you tell me about your collaborations with The Social Union? How did it come about? The Social Union is a name we use to label projects we get involved in with other artists, so that those artists can get recognised for the work they did with us. We’ve promoted shows in Hobart and made music with Peter Escott, Chris Wessing, the lovely Lillian Pearce and Charles du Cane. Part of the idea was that we were able to present songs to our friends, and they could criticise them, contribute, and make them better. It came about when our bass/guitar player, Kiern Andrusko, went on holiday to Colorado. We wanted to keep the band going over summer, so we went around to Charles’s place and wrote songs with the aim of releasing a new EP. We played with the instruments he had laying around there; mainly synths, organs, percussion and drum loops. We ended up abandoning some of the things we were planning to do before we went there. The guitars didn’t dominate the writing process as they did before. We made it practical for us to play live without Kiern, and we started playing shows again. Lily, Chris and Charles sometimes play parts with us live. I understand you’ve written some new material with them – how do you think the kind of music you normally make changed when you collaborated with them? It changed from guitar noise songs – made to fit Kiern’s bass lines – to songs created with electronic instruments. Much more pop. Charles has a lot of great keyboards lying around his house. We’d been listening to a lot of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, so I guess that contributed. There was no focused philosophy behind what we were doing – we’d all get in the room and everyone would contribute here and there. We’ve always tried to just write material that we liked, trying not to lock ourselves into a particular sound or genre. We also like to swap instruments, having members (who play parts better) play that instrument in the songs live. You’re heading to Melbourne in July. Will this be your first time playing there? No. We played a Pony show in April with Bachelor of Arts and Junior Anti Sex League. We’ve got four shows lined up in July at Pony, Tote, Forepaw and this very cool DIY show at some house in Thornbery with some great bands from Melbourne and Brisbane. We’re particularly looking forward to playing with Light Music Club, Hand Hell, Me Meu Meow and Rialto Decibel Choir. We recommend having a look at what DIY House Gigs are doing in Melbourne – we think it’s really cool. They have a Myspace. What kind of routine or method do you guys have when it comes to writing music? What comes first? Back in the day, a whole structured guitar line/bass line written by Kiern used to come first; we would add everything around that, trying to compliment what Kiern had written. Will would come in and write the melody lines, and then we’d keep playing the song, adding things and taking things away until we were satisfied. New songs usually get better after playing them live a couple of times. Now days we go around to Charles’s place and try to start playing with instruments we think are cool. It a bit like that The Love In song – “Hey, let’s use those two distortion pedals.” Where does most of the lyrical inspiration come from? What are some of the common themes in your music? Will watches a lot of British TV and reads a lot of 2000 AD. The lyric/melody-line writing process is dominated by Will. PAGE 5
STAND DEF I A N T
Tassie Punks To Defy Hip-Hop ROCK SALT
By Tom Wilson
The fact that Stand Defiant are Tasmania’s most important punk band goes without saying. Massively influential, both in the music they play and their involvement in Disconnect Records, the boys are about to undertake a new challenge; bringing their special brand of energetic punk to a stage dominated by hip-hop, when they play the Coastal Vibes festival in St. Helens on June 2nd. Mischa Calcagno spoke to me about stepping out of a comfort zone they’ve been building for nearly six years. So what’s been happening in the world of Stand Defiant lately? Quite a bit, actually. We’ve been writing for our new album; got a few songs that are coming together, which we’ll be demo-ing for that in probably late June/early July. [We’ve got] a few shows coming up, which are going to be good. We’re doing the Behind Crimson Eyes support for the whole state, which will be good, and a couple of shows here and
You’re not planning any kind of impromptu freestyle rapping in the middle of your set? Um … not yet. I might give it a go though. We’re doing another kind of punk rock/hip-hop collaboration show on the first of June, in the lead up to that festival, because some friends of mine are coming down from Melbourne to play the show with us. Yeah; it’s just trying to get a bit of crossscene pollinisation going on, instead of keeping it jailed
our friends are our harshest critics, you know? And they seemed to like it, so it’s got to be alright, I suppose! In the time since, how do you reckon the band’s musical direction has changed? Good question. I think we’ve gotten a little bit more comfortable with our style, and what we’re actually really wanting to do with our full-length album. I’d like to think that we’re bringing back some of the older elements to the
we’re all good friends who like to play punk rock, you know? It’s that simple. If there was anything else in the band, it wouldn’t have lasted this long. It’s not about anything else other than a group of people who like to get together and play fast music. It’s a simple as that. It’s the way it has been, and I think that’s the way it’s going to be for quite a while yet. We’ve been a band for … shit, for nearly six years, at the end of this year. So we’re not in any rush to put out records, or in any rush to keep anyone but ourselves happy, and I think that’s probably the key to staying together as a band – not pushing yourself too hard, but also, at the same time, knowing what you’re good at, and sticking to it, I think.
… It’ll hopefully put some people in the crowd out of their comfort zone as well. You never know – they might actually enjoy it!
there. We’re doing the Coastal Vibes show up on the east coast as well; just little bits and pieces here and there to keep us busy! Coastal Vibes is headlined by hip-hop. How do you see yourselves fitting into this bill? I have absolutely no idea! I think it’s going to be fun, because it’ll put us out of our comfort zone; we usually play with punk rock bands or metal bands, and it’ll hopefully put some people in the crowd out of their comfort zone as well. You never know – they might actually enjoy it!
up or locked up, I suppose, between the scenes, because that’s always a good way to kill a music scene, I think. Looking back on it, how was Our Own Destruction received, do you think? Really well, as far as I can tell. We’ve done two sort of national tours out of it; we’ve managed to hit every state other than Queensland at least once off the back of the record. We’ve had good reviews. People have bought it, and then told their friends about it, because they’ve come and bought it as well. So it’s not too bad. As I’ve said before;
band that may not have come through on the EP as well; a bit more tech and guitar-focused. And yeah; getting a bit faster, getting a bit thrashier. Yeah – just trying to get our own sound, out of what we have been doing in the past, and what we are doing in the future, you know? You guys have been on the scene together for a bloody long time – how are you avoiding the classic “band friction” or “band breakup” thing? What’s kept you together? We’re just good friends, man. When it comes down to it,
What about you as an individual; as an artist. What are you most pleased about, in terms of your own development? I guess … I started singing in bands when I was about fourteen, I think, and I’ve been a singer in and out of a couple of bands, and then I started Stand Defiant with Jason the drummer a few years ago … I think it was year twelve, so 2002. And, yeah … For me, personally, it’s just been a development as a songwriter more than anything, and a guitar player, because I’m all self-taught, as a singer and as a guitarist. I don’t know – just seeing a development in your own playing, and the songs that you write; being more confident as a songwriter. I’m not the greatest guitarist in the world, and I never will pretend to be, but I think that my strength lies in being focused on the style of music that I play in the band, being punk and hardcore, and knowing it pretty well; being able to write good songs in the genre. I think [they are] my main strength. Stand Defiant play the Coastal Vibes Festival in St. Helens on June 2nd.
DA L L A S CRA N E
Sky-Larkin’ ROCK SALT
By Steve Tauschke
It’s been a rewarding decade-long ride for Melbourne rockers Dallas Crane, and if there’s one standout moment the group’s front man Dave Larkin finds difficult to forget it was a show a few years ago at the Hi-Fi bar in his hometown. Inviting Nick Cester on stage to share a song, the Jet singer inexplicably climbed onto a crouching Larkin’s shoulders. “I sort of stood up and my cords gave way from knee to balls,” he laughs. “So there I was on stage standing there like a grandfather clock.” In the lead up to promoting their most recent album Factory Girls, Larkin and fellow DC guitarist Pete Satchell recently warmed themselves for the band’s national tour with a handful of acoustic shows – some in cahoots with Beasts Of Bourbon Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen – while also finding time to pen new songs.
So how far in advance do you generally write? I don’t get a lot done on tour because I don’t get the isolation to do it, because we’re always sharing rooms or are in a car. I write in blocks and try to do it all year round, but it depends on the circumstances. I’m not so good at writing on the road. I should be but I need to be locked up in a room with no distractions. Once they’re in shape I can go and bash them out with the band, but initially … you know. Factory Girls oozes confidence … I can’t imagine you getting nervous on stage? I don’t really get nervous on stage. No; I’m a bit lucky like that. I sort of get more nervous with ten people in a room rather than 10,000 at a festival. It’s weird. So how was Austin’s SXSW festival back in March? Fantastic! The whole trip was great. We had a great time and met some very handy contacts for the band, which hopefully will result in spreading our wings overseas. Austin’s a great little town, probably no bigger than Geelong, but dedicated to music. You walk down the main street and everything’s a bar or a venue or a restaurant. I’ve never seen so many venues in such a small city.” Are you much of a schmoozer? I dunno. Are we schmoozing now? [Laughs] I pay people to schmooze for me! No, generally that’s not my cup of tea. But we did a lot of the ground work over here, just getting in touch with people to come to the shows, and we met a lot of people at the festival who did turn up and liked the band.
How successful would you like to see Dallas Crane overseas? There are limits to how big I’d want it to go, but I’d be just happy to be able to tour most parts of the whole, and have a loyal following, like we do in Australia, across the globe. That’s always been an ambition. The whole idea for starting the band was to see the world playing guitar, and so, if it ever gets anywhere near that and I’m not hocking guitars on the weekend to pay for it, I’d be pretty happy.” Obviously you’ve signed to legendary Sydney label Alberts (AC/DC, Rose Tattoo). Have you felt any pressure to live up to the label? Not from them as much, you know; it’s not like we have to be the next Harry & George (Vanda). But just with us, it was like “Wow, we’re joining a lot of heritage there.” But it was kind of good pressure; we wanted to play to the best of our abilities. And there’ve been some great mentors at Alberts, just as far as how to go about things. No one up there feeds you any industry bullshit; they’ve been around for a long time and had obvious success. The great thing about Alberts is when we took in our shitty little demos to try and get signed, it was all about the songs to them; it wasn’t about the haircut or the military jacket. It was about songs, and that was perfect for us, because we make a dog’s breakfast of all the other stuff. [Laughs] So they’ve been phenomenal with us; I can’t speak any more highly than the support we’ve got up there. Their advice was to just get out there and play and play, and that’s kind of how we’ve always done it anyway. We’re primarily a live band, who make records, rather than the other way around. Speaking of mentors, did you learn anything working with Jimmy Barnes? Yes – honey and lemon drink as a hot beverage before singing! Dallas Crane play the Republic Bar on Friday June 1st and Saturday June 2nd and the James Hotel, Launceston on Sunday June 3rd.
I sort of stood up and my cords gave way from knee to balls,” he laughs. “So there I was on stage standing there like a grandfather clock.”
S H O CK CO R R I D O R
Launnie Rockers Up The Voltage ROCK SALT
By Tom Wilson
Coming on as the very embodiment of contemporary rock and bitchy energy, this Launceston four-piece may be a band in relative infancy, but it hasn’t stopped them from dropping jaws with a live set that would make Brody Dalle green with envy. All this, and they’re still in school. Enter the Shock Corridor ... How and when did you guys form? Well, when a man and a women love one another, they have what’s called a “special hug”. That special hug develops into something more, which is what some people may describe as “bumping uglies”. At some point, each of our parents would’ve participated in this act. Upon doing so, it sparked a race between millions of little beings that resemble tadpoles. We are winners of that race. And so the fertilisation process began. After seventeen/ nineteen years, here we are.
What plans do you have to record? We’ve started some recording at Newstead College, and hope to have an EP by June. To me, “Shock Corridor” sounds like a reference to something you’d find in a loony bin. But that’s just me, oddly enough. What’s the story behind the name? Shock Corridor is actually the name of an old black and white film by director Samuel Fuller. It does involve a mental institution, so you are correct in your kooky assumptions! There’s a fair bit of venom in some of your lyrics. To what extent would you agree with this? And where does it come from? If you have something to sing about, then sing about it; anything that pisses you off or has messed you up in some way or another. There’s nothing worse than a song that’s about something completely mediocre, like being held on call waiting for too long, or something really unexciting like that. Our lyrics reference manslaughter, sexism, stereotyping and violence, and put it into a different perspective. What are some of the main sources of inspiration for the lyrics? Real life experiences; people I meet, opinions I have, and my whacko family.
What four albums have influenced you the most? And where do you think those influences are evident in the music of Shock Corridor? I can’t possibly answer that question. Leave me alone. What’s been the biggest challenge the band has faced so far? And how did you overcome it – that is, if you have overcome it? Not having much money to take on the road with us down to Hobart for our gig supporting The Love In. But we overcame this by getting busking licenses and making an honest earning of twenty one dollars, which we bought pizza with. In other words, our band hasn’t faced many challenges … we’ve got it pretty easy, for now.
I can’t possibly answer that question. Leave me alone. What does each of you do outside of the band? Basically spend every spare moment scheming, forming a very, very diabolical plan that will result in the complete and utter destruction of planet earth as we know it. (We hope) What are your plans for the rest of the year? I don’t even know what my plans are for the weekend, let alone for the rest of the year. Hopefully we will be continuing to write new songs and shock our audiences. Peace out ... Shock Corridor play the Arts Alive ArtSpace on the 30th of May and the Gunners Arms in Launceston on the 1st of June.
AGA I NST M E
The Guns N Roses Effect Brings It All Out ROCK SALT
By Steve Tauschke
You know you’re making the indie-to-majors transition when Guns N Roses come calling and Butch Vig is sent to help you in the studio. Floridian post-hardcore outfit Against Me experienced both recently as they prepare, after three independent albums, to deliver their major league debut New Wave. On a day off in Oregon, front guy Tom Gabel speaks with SAUCE. Hi Tom, so what do you generally enjoy doing on a day off on tour? I like to go to the movies, but today I’m just kind of swamped with a million and a half things to do. You’re now signed to Sire Records (Warner). What sort of emotions did you experience switching over to them, having been an independently-minded band for so long? You know it’s kind of elation. It really felt like a weight was lifted off our shoulders in a lot of ways, because up until that point there, were just
so many people expecting us to do it anyways, and so, there was that pressure on us to actually do it. So it was kind of freeing.” Does it matter to you how the music gets out there? Well I think that unfortunately, today, because of the internet, record labels are shrinking and closing. But there’s really not much of a difference anymore between indie labels and major labels, because most independents run through majors’ distribution anyway. So the line between the two is really blurring in my opinion.
One of those labels was the Universal Music group, which has ties to Vivendi, which is a French arms manufacturer … which we didn’t really feel comfortable with.
Your anarchist beliefs are well-documented. How do you reconcile that anti-establishment stance, given the band has now joined a large corporate label? Well, anarchist ideals aside, you have to recognise that we live in a capitalist society, and that’s the way it is. I think it’s inevitable that when you’re in a band, and you make music, and you write records and sell them – that’s capitalism, whether it’s on the smallest indie label or on the biggest major. But it’s important for me to be working for someone who I consider to be making good moral choices, and I don’t want to work with companies that have ties to arms dealers and stuff like that. Warner Music is
a stand alone record label that is privately owned, has its own distribution, and has no ties with Warner Studios, who make movies. They’re only interested in making music and putting that out there. I believe the band was courted by several majors last year? Yes, I didn’t really want them to take us out to dinner and wine and dine us and wow us, because I didn’t want to feel indebted in any way … But we could have signed with any label we wanted to. At the time, one of those labels was the Universal Music group, which has ties to Vivendi, which is a French arms manufacturer … which we didn’t really feel comfortable with. You finished mixing New Wave in March after a delay .. how’s it sound? I think, sonically, it sounds amazing. I think [producer] Butch Vig and Billy, the engineer who also worked on the record, got an awesome balance of guitars and drums, and it’s just an amazing sounding record – it sounds like a real band. And I think the collection of songs on the record is the best we’ve ever had. Did you draw from a large pool of tracks? One of the things that Butch encouraged us to do was to just keep writing. We would write five or six songs, send them to Butch, and he would be like, “Write more – keep writing”. We ended up writing twenty-five songs, and ten made the cut. How did you find his experience in the studio? I thought he was a complete pleasure to work with. Going into it was an intimidating thing; he has such an impressive resume, but within five minutes it was like hanging out with our friend Butch. He’s definitely meticulous, and really gets into the making of it, and obsesses over it, which is great, because you want that sort of commitment from somebody. I believe you were asked to support Guns N Roses last year … Maybe they heard your debut album Reinventing Axl Rose? We did actually get asked to play a couple of their shows in December and we turned it down. Why’s that? Really, it was timing-wise, because we were just finishing up recording. But I also just kind of have a picture in my head of Guns N Roses and of Axl, and I don’t want that to be spoilt by meeting them! Against Me play the Republic Bar on Sunday June 10th.
35 CAMERON ST LAUNCESTON 6331 7222
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THURSDAY MAY 31ST
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Tix available from Mojo & the venue
upmarket ... uptown ... Upper Burnie
254 Mount St Upper Burnie 7320
THURSDAY MAY 17
Jazz Club '07
Viktor Zappner Swingtet Featuring Hayden Dare, from Hobart, on flugelhorn and trombone. 8:00PM
FRIDAY MAY 18
NTRY FREE E
ER $5 AFT B4 10 | MAY FRI 18
Rosalinda Wilton presented by Ruffcut Records
From New Zealand via Burnie, at the grand piano. 7:00PM
SATURDAY MAY 19
presale $18 + bf / door sales $25 - tickets from Ruffcut Records
"With all my heart" Cover charge: $30 ($25 pre-booked). 7:30PM
THURSDAY MAY 24
Jazz Club '07
Viktor Zappner Swingtet Featuring Teresa Beck-Swindale, from Loongana, on tenor sax and flute. 8:00PM
FRIDAY MAY 25
Chris Pickering Brisbane folk singer, supported by Jay Fraser & Marcus Wynwood. 7:30PM
SATURDAY MAY 26
Hipnosis The bellydancers, from Devonport. 7:30PM
THURSDAY MAY 31
Jazz Club '07
Viktor Zappner Swingtet
“I’ve wrestled crocs in just my jocks and socks. Just so, _______ I can have a beer with you.” Record and send your own love song at www.gallantryisback.com
Featuring Yoly Torres, from Burnie, on vocals. 8:00PM
FRIDAY 1 JUNE 18+
SATURDAY 2 JUNE All Ages
Gallantry is back.
BL O O D DUS TER
See Them Before They’re Banned! HARD BOILED
By Tom Wilson
A lot of bands say they don’t give a shit about what people think. A lot of them are lying. Blood Duster aren’t. The death-grind-rock guilty parties behind an album called Cunt and a live show rumoured to have them banned from Launceston’s Batman Fawkner is back with a new LP, Lyden Na (The New Sound). I spoke to Jason P.C. about getting death threats and turkey-slapping my ex-girlfriend. I just saw the press photo that you guys sent us. Who’s bloody idea was it to do the emo thing? Well, I just thought, “Someone needs to do it”, you know? They’re taking themselves so seriously, there’s got to be some kind of mockery of them. It wasn’t really an idea, as much as it just had to be done.
One of my prize possessions is your DVD from a while ago. It certainly didn’t pull any punches – showing you guys smoking cones while driving a Tarago, shagging backstage and throwing cups full of piss at each other. I imagine that some people might not have been too happy when they saw what you guys got up to. Did you get any bad feedback? Well, we got a lot of feedback. I don’t think a lot of people understood the humour, you know? They didn’t think that kind of stuff was that funny. I, personally, have been waiting for a band to put out a DVD that shows what bands do, you know? That was our aim. But it’s like all Blood Duster stuff; I couldn’t care less whether anyone likes it or not. I’m just doing what I think is right, and if you think it’s wrong, piss off and buy something else! What did your label think when you came up with the title for your last album? [Called Cunt] Well, we’re in a fortunate position where we’re pretty much our own label, you know? No one can tell us what to do – we have complete artistic freedom to do anything we want; to do any idea, no matter how stupid! It’s good, you know? A lot of bands say they have artistic freedom, but not many bands can get away with as much as we can. Blood Duster’s shows can be pretty risqué affairs. You guys were actually the first band I ever saw in a club gig, at the Batman Fawkner. My ex actually fell forward onto the stage and got turkey-slapped, in a manner which had me rolling on the floor laughing. How much friction have you guys got from cops and venue owners in the past? We haven’t had too much. I don’t think we can go to Woolongong any time soon. There’s been a couple of other places we probably won’t go back to. I was threatened with a screwdriver; I was told that if I ever turned up in Brisbane again, I was going to get a screwdriver in my neck. But I went back, and nothing happened – I was there last night! You get these kinds of threats and stuff; people who get upset that their girlfriend has slept with Tony, or photos of them turn up on the internet or whatever. But it’s like, “Well, if you’re stupid enough to get yourselves involved with us, that’s what happens!” People like to live on the edge, until the edge comes and slaps them in the face! You guys are coming down, but you’re only playing in Hobart. Is there any truth to the rumour that you guys couldn’t get a gig in Launceston, because they
I was threatened with a screwdriver; I was told that if I ever turned up in Brisbane again, I was going to get a screwdriver in my neck. wouldn’t allow you back at the Batman Fawkner? [Laughs] I have no idea! We had someone else booking our tour, so I don’t know how the reactions are in Launceston and stuff. But it could be! Who knows? [Laughs] I’ve got to ask – I just saw it – who the hell came up with the idea for the Piss Stomper clip? Well, it’s sort of weird, because my family name … there was a documentary on it, and apparently the family name, back in ye olden days, was in charge of all the fabric. And part
THE NO NO’ S
No Means Yes ROCK SALT
By Tom Wilson
It’s the definition of irony when a band called The No No’s explain that they don’t like to be negative. That said, I don’t think it’s holding them back at all. Three guys who know the Hobart pub scene backwards (oh, they also play in a band. Ba-zing!), they filled me in on their state of affairs. What makes The No No’s go “Yes Yes”? Eddo: Any crowd that’s drinkin’, stompin’, and laughing up the good twanging times. Rohan: Every time I think of playing I get amped! I think the three of us drive us to have fun and rock out! Duncan: Definitely. Also skating, playing live, listening to good music, friends, and generally having a good time!
How would you describe the sound of The No No’s? Eddo: Swamp rockin’, psycho surf-a-billy, hot roddin’ fun! Rohan: I think I would say we sound like The No No’s. There’s no point trying to put a label onto us, as it doesn’t help us evolve ... Duncan: Yeah. Probably the best way to say it is like on our Myspace – “three people having a good time”. What was the last thing that motivated you to write music? Eddo: The 9-5 grind, living for the moment, and anything evil. Duncan: I guess our urge to create is always pushing us to progress and make something new – and there’s a strong chance you’ll see this at any given gig ... What was the last thing that got you all pissed off? Duncan: We’re generally pretty mellow, though breaking a stick or string mid-gig can be frustrating, but it only inspires PAGE 10
us to do some improv while repairs are made. Eddo: Getting the microphone knocked into my teeth, then my jaw, and then onto my beloved “Big Red” (guitar). At the end of the day, it’s all fun though – it makes the night more memorable.
All I want when we leave the stage is a Coopers Red and a massive spliff What would be the most outrageous thing you would ask for in a rider if you could get away with it? Duncan: I’m usually pretty happy with a cold Cascade or Wild Turkey and a bit of tasty chicken. But then again, an all-expenses-paid skate trip around the world wouldn’t go astray! Eddo: I’d like to have the whole stage lined in leopard skin fur, and have a ‘59 Cadillac to drive us to the after party, where we would play again for free! Rohan: All I want when we leave the stage is a Coopers Red and a massive spliff ... or maybe five to six spliffs! Which band or artist, alive or dead, would you want to play a show with, and why?
of being in charge of all the fabric of the villages was, they collect all the piss from all the villages, and then put it in a big vat sort of thing.
ONLINE: We talk about how Tony got arrested wearing knuckle dusters around Scandal’us, and a whole bunch of other shit.
Then they’d throw the wool in, and they’d stomp that to make the fabric soft. And I just thought it was a good idea, you know? I may as well get in touch with my heritage, and write a celebratory song about piss-stomping! We just turned it into a bit of fun.
To listen to the full interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
Rohan: Screaming Jay Hawkins. That guy was crazy! His stage shows were more likened to what people are doing these days. I love his mate Freddy; the skull on the stick smoking a cig (how classic!). Eddo: Mr. John Cash and The Stray Cats. They’re just pure genius on stage – it’d have to rub off onto us, creating a great set! Duncan: I’d probably say Danzig with the O.G Misfits, or maybe Ramones? I saw Danzig last year, and the show was amazing! The Misfits are an all-time favourite of mine, and Ramones just make you want to jump around!
What song or band annoys the crap out of you and why? Duncan: Probably all the commercial radio slop which is sold on the merit of image and mass marketing – as it dumbs down the masses. Rohan: Music’s music. Is there a point in hating things? I’d rather move on and experience the shit I would like to hear and not dwell on it. Everyone has their own opinion. Eddo: There’s too much shit music to mention, but just like Rohan said, there’s no point dwelling on the negative, as everything has something!
What releases do you have out at the moment? Duncan: We’re in the process of producing our first EP at the moment. But for now you can listen to some demos on our Myspace – so I’ll plug it: www.myspace.com/thenonos Eddo: [Laughs] I think playing live is more important to us ... but watch this space ...
The No No’s play Hobart’s Republic Bar on the 16th of May, the Surfside Motor Inn in Beaumaris on the 19th, and Hobart’s Trout on the 26th.
Blood Duster play Hobart’s Republic Bar on Saturday May 26th. See them before they’re banned.
BAL DI NG AN D C CR O F T
Forty Years Of The Blues By Tom Wilson Veterans of both the Tasmanian music scene and the genre they’ve been playing since the 60s, Gerry Balding and Ian “Croft” Beecroft have just ended a long season of shows at Hobart’s D’Art Factory. The venue may be closing down, but it’s pretty clear that these two aren’t finished … not by a long shot. When did you first start playing blues? What attracted you to the genre? GB: I started playing blues in the mid-60s. I was in Melbourne when a friend of mine, Ken White, took me to a little folk club called “Frank Trainer’s”. Ken got on a big black Gibson guitar and played Big Bill Broonzy’s Backwater Blues. That was it for me – been playing ever since.
Croft: While I was still at Launceston High School, my lifelong friend Mick Brown played me a record of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry – it was acoustic blues and Sonny was a harmonica (“harp”) player. The sound of the harp got to me. It wasn’t till 1964 that I took it up – I taught myself by playing along to the first Rolling Stones album. They had a great harp player called Brian Jones (he died in the late 60s). He was my hero then and still is. I also got the first Pretty Things album, the first Kinks album and the first Yardbirds album. It was all British RnB, and they all had great harp players in their bands. By 1965 I was in a band in Hobart with Phil Manning – I was the singer and harp player. The band was called Anonymous Inc. and would be close to the first Tassie blues band. Which artists have inspired you the most over the years? GB: My inspirations have been Afro-American blues singers/ guitarists, especially Mississippi John Hurt, The Rev. Gary Davis, Mance Lipscomb, Robert Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and early Muddy Waters. Croft: Soony Terry and all those British harp players inspired me, and then I went back to the Afro-American greats like Little Walter, Billy Boy Arnold and the two Sonny Boy Williamsons. The late Paul Butterfield, a white American, was and still is one of my heroes too. But I get inspired by any great musician on any instrument. I listen to Sevie Ray Vaughan almost daily. I love guitarists – probably ‘cause I can’t play guitar for shit. How would you sum up blues music in words? GB: Blues is nothing but a good man feeling bad – it’s really a happy music, ‘cause you can let it all out through playing or listening to it. Croft: Blues is a fairly simple musical form, but heavily loaded with feeling and soul – the hard part is getting this into the music. In a way, you’re born with that feeling I think. GB’s got it and I’ve got it, without bragging. Plenty of people can play a twelve-bar blues, but not too many feel it. Where do your lyrics come from? What triggers inspiration? GB: I’m a sheep farmer, and most of my lyrics come from my rural life experiences, e.g. floods, bushfires, droughts etc. It’s all relevant stuff now in Australia, eh? Croft: I’m more urban lyricwise: Relationships with the other sex, but also everyday problems, unemployment, lying politicians, bloody religion etc.
How long have you been performing with Croft? How did you start working with him? GB: Croft and I met musically about five years ago. We were both at the Cygnet Folk Festival doing workshops – me on guitar and Croft on the harp. We played together after the workshops to illustrate how harp and guitar go together. We’ve been together ever since, picking off gigs wherever we can. I think our first gig was at a Landcare conference at Dover soon after Cygnet: it was in the middle of winter and we were in a tent that was shipping water. That’s the blues for you.
Blues is nothing but a good man feeling bad – it’s really a happy music, ‘cause you can let it all out through playing or listening to it. What recordings have you done? GB: I have an album called Coal River Blues. Croft plays harp on four of the tracks. It sells steadily, especially at gigs. Croft: I’ve got 3 CDs: The Fabulous Bluecats Live at The Taste of Tasmania, Mother Load – an electric duo I had in the 90s with Robert Harwood – and a solo CD called Hatful of Rabbits, where I played harp in Oz music that wasn’t blues. The Bluecats CD has done OK over the years. How would you describe your audiences? Are they mostly serious blues enthusiasts? Or do they tend to be more passive? In other words, are your audiences hard to please? GB and Croft: Our audiences are very much the “converted” blues enthusiasts. But we’ve played to the uninitiated and they always like us. We always throw in a few songs that punters will know – that helps get ‘em onside. The acoustic nature – just harp, guitar and vocals – has a great all-round appeal; people can still talk while they listen. What are your plans for the rest of the year? What do you most want to get accomplished? GB and Croft: We’re soon to set about recording a new CD, hopefully over the winter months, and then we’ll try to get into a few mainland blues festivals. Of course, we’ll be playing around Hobart all the time too. We’re running hot at the moment after a successful season at the D’Art Factory in Hobart.
Rastawookie Reggae Rebels Rastawookie are here to share their global party with those who have ears to listen! Originating from Sydney, Rastawookie are a fusion of many different genres that create a unique universal language of music. Their compositions are influenced by music from South America, the Caribbean and across the globe to the modern western world where organic meets electronic. There are six core members in the band, who always come with an added horn section that blows the mind. Rastawookie shows are known to take you on a musical journey ... Mashing up skankin’ guitars with deep bass lines, rolling drums, punchy horn lines, five vox melodies and awesome percussion breaks, they always impress fans with a usual vibe of craziness, mayhem and energy! Jammin’ reggae under the stars, by a fire in a local hang out, was how it started for long time musicians and friends Eric Coelho and Ray Ledesma. Since this inception back in 2002, the band evolved with friends joining and friends leaving to form the line up that stands today. Rastawookie’s music and performance exudes excitement and energy with unpredictable changes in mood, tempo and rhythm. They are not scared to break any rules or the barrier between performer and crowd. This along with their down to earth attitude is why they have and will continue to capture audiences from all walks of life. Rastawookie play at Hobart’s Republic Bar on the 25th of May, and Launceston’s Batman Fawkner on the 26th.
Bob Evans In late 2004, Kevin Mitchell - vocalist/guitarist for beloved Australian indie pop outfit Jebediah - was in the midst of touring his band’s Braxton Hicks album when an old friend came a-calling. The year prior, under the guise of “Bob Evans”, Mitchell had released a low key solo LP, Suburban Kid, an acclaimed debut that showcased another, more intimate side of his songwriting ability. With the cycle of touring nearing an end, Mitchell felt compelled not only to revisit the moods and mode of Bob Evans, but to exceed it on what would become the follow-up album. Ambitions were high, even if circumstances were initially uncertain. Without a record deal and staring his first ever bout of writers block in the face, Mitchell set up a modest recording space at home and decided to simply write his way out of the fog. “It’s because of these circumstances that I am so proud of the record and regard it as a small, personal triumph,” he says of the new Bob Evans album, aptly titled Suburban Songbook. “I was just totally indulging my own little fantasies,” he recalls, “just being really ambitious because it was just for my private universe. I became more and more obsessed with the process and started treating the demo as if it were the actual album because I was getting so excited by the results. That’s how I was doing it for months, then eventually some people heard it, and dug it.” Bob Evans plays Stage Door the Café in Burnie on the 6th of June, and the Republic Bar on the 7th.
Diploma 2 Dance featuring
Anthony Rochester Bestiality Boys Viva Computer ROMP! FRIDAY 18
Home Brew Hiphop SATURDAY 19
The Roobs + Our Silent Diary THURSDAY 24
Chi-Roh FRIDAY 25
The No No's SATURDAY 26
bang!bang!aids! WEDNESDAY 30
Adam Cousens The Chordwainers, Tasmania’s leather instrument band, will be playing at The Royal Oak on Sunday, May 20th from 1pm in the Boatshed. They play fantastic instruments made by world-renowned leather sculptor, the late Garry Greenwood. Some are like saxophones, some like didgeridoos, some like bugles, bassoons, flutes, harps or drums. Some are very different. Each band member works with the instrument to find its voice, and then to get them to converse and sing together. They draw from many musical cultures, in their quest to bring these remarkable pieces to life. Tango, jigs, blues, salsa, marches, African, Celtic, and Macedonian music influence them. The music is playful, haunting, beautiful, confronting and positive. Greenwood’s design and craftsmanship still amaze. This performance will feature plenty of new material, and several instruments recently added to the mix. This is their first major concert performance in Launceston since mid-2005. They have been playing around the rest of Tasmania: Burnie, Hobart, the Hot August Jazz and Wooden Boat Festivals, St. Mary’s Winter Solstice, Cygnet Folk Festival … so it’s about time they share their new songs and sounds with the home audience. The Chordwainers Leather band play Launceston’s Royal Oak on Sunday, May 20th.
Psycroptic, Ruins, Thy Plagues - 18+
Psycroptic, Ruins, Thy Plagues All Ages (4pm) 381 ELIZABETH STREET NORTH HOBART 6236 9777 PAGE 11
DI RTY H A R RY A N D T H E R O CKE T S
Prepare For Some Dirty Love
By Tom Wilson In the lead-up to the release of their brand new EP, SAUCE made Dirty Love to Aaron of Tassie’s Oz rock renaissance men, Dirty Harry And The Rockets … You’re about to release your new EP. How long has it been in production, and who was involved? We started working on the new EP back in March with producer/engineer Greg Stace (One Dollar Short, Something With Numbers) at the TAFE campus in Launceston to begin with, and then we ended up going to BJB studios in Sydney to finalise some of the vocals. The last track on the EP we recorded with Dave Venter at Fatlip Studios in Launceston.
What have been some of the biggest challenges? The biggest challenge for us was that, this time around, we used a producer/engineer, as opposed to previously using an engineer. We made a lot of on-the-spot changes in the studio, and we also did a lot of re-writing and arranging in the studio as well, which was a hard thing to do at times. We really worked hard at getting the best out of everyone as well. Why have you chosen to have it mixed in Sydney, as opposed to locally? One of the tracks of the EP was mixed locally by Dave Venter, and we think it came up great. The rest of the tracks we ended up getting mixed by Greg at 301. We wanted to use somewhere really well-known for good work, because we liked the way the tracks came up, and we figured, “Why not finish it off with the best?” I also think that if we use the best of everything then we can’t blame anybody else but ourselves with the finished product. Basically, the only thing that could be a fuck up is our songwriting! How do you think the sound of DHATR has evolved, from your beginnings to what you’ve done on this EP? I think we came out of the studio with something a bit more commercial and produced than what we had. It’s definitely gave us a more modern sound, but, at the same time, we’ve kept that old school rock n roll sound that we’re known for having. It’s an exciting time for us to listen to the EP and see
what we can come up with next, really. What plans do you have for launching it? We will have the new Dirty Love EP out on June 1st, all going to plan. We have a few dates booked at the moment – the first show on the 2nd June at the Coastal Vibes Festival in St. Helens with a heap of local and interstate bands playing. We are organising a state tour at the moment for the coming months, which should see us getting around everywhere. All the dates will be on our websites in the coming weeks.
Well, I dunno ‘bout the rest of ‘em, but I got handcuffed and arrested before a gig for firing one of those plastic ice creams you get in a show bag at a police dude. How has 2007 treated you so far, outside of the band? What else have you been doing? And has that affected your work with DHATR? This year has been fucking crazy actually. I road-tripped to Byron Bay and got blind at the pub watching the beautiful Bertie Blackman … Um, what else have I done? Oh, I had some vatts in Melbourne with Jimmy from Tang on the Telstra Dome at 7am in the morning … Drank tequila slammers at the Brewery in Newy … and went to a dress-up party wearing leopard skin pants.
What does the term “rock” mean to you? Is it your way of life? Or just a style of music you like playing? Rock ‘n roll, man, it’s a lifestyle. It’s traveling around, waiting for people, drinking beers, late nights, attitude, and good fucking music! What’s the most definitely “rock” thing you’ve done while DHATR has been together? Throwing TVs of hotel balconies? Getting a VD from a groupie? Well, I dunno ‘bout the rest of ‘em, but I got handcuffed and arrested before a gig for firing one of those plastic ice creams you get in a show bag at a police dude. It’s funny I
mention this, actually, because we needed a verse in one of our songs on the new EP, Killing Time is the track, and we were in Sydney at the time, in the studio, telling Greg the story of the cop and the ice cream. Greg goes, “That’s great, man, let’s use that as the verse”. So we did! But the words in the song were a bit more farfetched than what actually happened. Never the less … DHATR play the Coastal Vibes Festival in St. Helens on the 2nd of June.
Corpse Paint And Satyricon HARD BOILED
By Tom Wilson Purveyors of the majestic evil that is black metal, Hobart’s Ruins don’t need to be told that they’re onto something – they’ve already been told by Satyricon, and, let’s face it; we’re not in a position to disagree with them. About to support death-rock madmen Blood Duster later this month, Alex Pope spoke to me about the forthcoming album. So how did you first get into metal? What were some of the first metal bands you listened to? And were they always black metal? It started at home for me pretty young; my family had me into AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zep etc. The first stuff I got into for myself through older friends was Slayer and Metallica, I guess. Following a line from Slayer, I suppose, is where I started the quest for finding darker music. Dark Throne were probably the first to truly seduce me with the occult. What is it about this genre that appeals to your musical interests? Musically, it is both raw power, and majestic power. Last I heard, you guys were working on a new album. What stage is that at now? The drums are finished, as is all the guitars ... at present I am working on bass, then vocals soon! How will this compare to Spun Forth as Dark Nets? Is it a continuation of the style of that album, or has it progressed to other areas? The album will follow on from Spun Forth but there progress into its own world. It is the same inspiration and themes and instrumentation etc, just a little further along the same road. For a black metal band to be hand-picked by Satyricon is nothing to be sneezed at. To what extent was getting this kind of recognition a sign that said, “yeah, we’re onto something”? It is great to have such experiences along the way; to revivify the inspiration to be outward-going with our work, and not just caught in our insular world; it is indeed an honour to be recognised by idols. Who are some of the artists/individual musicians you each look up to as influences? Yes AC/DC and Slayer are at the base of what we do, rhythmically and structurally, and as core inspirations/ influences ... but I guess we follow a line from Dark Throne really; paying attention to their roots in Celtic Frost and Bathory ... So many things beyond this, really! You’ve done a fair bit of playing on the mainland. What are the metal scenes like in places like Melbourne and Sydney? We have a good crowd in most capital cities; we are yet to get to WA though. Soon ... How are they different to the crowd you get back home? The crowd we get at home is infused with just all-round metal fans and friends of ours ... Of course, in the bigger cities, things are a little more segregated, in that there is perhaps a little less crossover ... The people in attendance are PAGE 12
generally a bit more focused on the black metal aspect. What other projects have you been working on? What’s happening with them? All my apples are in the Ruins basket right now, but Dave and Joe do Psycroptic also, and Dave does Amenta and Aborted as well.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? What do you hope to get accomplished? We must get this new album out ASAP! Also, we have a show with Celtic Frost in Melbourne in June; this is, of course, a dream come true. Word has it that we also have the nationwide tour with Cradle of Filth in September. I am not entirely sure what is happening with this yet – nor am I particularly
moved by this band – but it is sure to be massive exposure for us if it happens. Ruins support Blood Duster at the Republic Bar on the 26th of May, and play Hobart’s Trout on June 1st and 2nd with Psycroptic and Thy Plagues.
Word has it that we also have the nation-wide tour with Cradle of Filth in September …
BO BBY F LY N N
Life Beyond Australian Idol
By Dave Williams My colleague, Tom, believes that everything happens for a reason. While some people were a little miffed when Bobby Flynn was booted from last year’s Australian Idol, look on the bright side – it’s led to the revelation of another side of the dynamic singer, an EP, and a national tour bringing him down to Tasmania this month. He spoke to me about the Idol experience and painting the Golden Guitar.
Whereabouts are you today? I’m in Sydney. Just in Newtown, having a cuppa … a cup of coffee. Have you started your tour yet? Yep, we’ve started. We started proper on April 13th. So I got the boys, loaded up the Tarago … load up the Thrifty … heading all round regional Australia. So it’s killer, man. It’s great.
Has it been a bit of an eye-opener? Have you seen things that you’ve never seen before? Yes … I managed to paint the fucking Golden Guitar, would you believe. And I wasn’t fucking graffiti-ing it. We pulled up down the road in Tamworth. We were just driving along the side of the road, and, all of a sudden, we saw them. There were these two painters painting the Golden Guitar. So we pulled up. I used to be a painter, so I got out of the car and ran over, and went, “Boys, boys, boys! Give us a go! Give us a go!” Well, there you go! You’ve painted an Australian music icon, haven’t you? Yeah, I know! It was a little piece of heaven. It didn’t feel as impactful as it probably should of, but I’m sure it will go down in my memories somewhere. Talking about your history, and what’s brought you to where you are now, looking at the Australian Idol stuff, your bio on there said that you were inspired by “the sea, nature and love”. Is that still true mate? Yeah, absolutely. Actually, I’ve moved closer to the sea this year; we took a little place up in Byron. So that’s beautiful – definitely closer to nature and the sea. And love is the wheel, man, that keeps us moving, doesn’t it? It keeps us alive. Do you get inspiration from people as well? Yeah, absolutely. I think, most of my … For me, it’s like the human condition; exploring those things that bring us all together – the collective kind of experience. Not to take away from an individual’s unique perspective on that – that’s totally important – but, to me, songs have always been about inclusion and feeling at one, you know? With the whole Idol experience, did you find that you came out of it as a different person or a different performer than before you went into it? Yeah, I definitely learned a lot. A lot of stuff was uncovered that I probably wouldn’t have realised without being thrust into the spotlight like that, you know? One minute you’re
sitting in the room or whatever, and going, “Holy shit! I’ve chosen Superfreak!” I’m a singer-songwriter from Brisbane; I love the song … I love a lot of different music. And then, you’ve got to make it work! You’re just like, “Well, Jesus, this could be a complete train wreck!” You’re heading into your rehearsal … I sat down a couple of months earlier and thought, “How am I going to do this? How am I going to make it mine?” I kind of pulled it apart … You discover the elements of it, and man, it’s a messed-up love story. It’s this guy who’s touring on the road everywhere, and he can’t find any long-term kind of balance or satisfaction. But he’s got this woman; he’s got this one woman, who he goes to … and
I think I’ve kept my trap shut at times, for the purposes of getting along, or not making someone unhappy … not sharing how I actually feel with someone. And that’s destructive. When you’re not being true to yourself.
Yeah, absolutely. I think I’ve kept my trap shut at times, for the purposes of getting along, or not making someone unhappy … not sharing how I actually feel with someone. And that’s destructive. When you’re not being true to yourself. When you saw … at one point, there was a headline that said, “Idol To Some, Idiot To Others”. Did you ever see that? No, I didn’t see that one … Actually, I saw it online. What did you think of that? Well, you know … It’s all valid I think. I think it’s cool – that’s what media’s about, man. Exploring ideas. Give and take. Up and down. I can’t remember how the article resolved. I think it might have spoken about a comment that Kyle made about me. Yeah, well that would probably be right. That’s cool. I think that shit’s important. It’s got to be there. At the time, you explore it; you go, “Fuck, what’s this about?” It must be hard not to be hurt by it. Well, you explore media. You look at the greater role of media
and what it’s on about. And then you go, “Holy fuck! This is a beautiful thing!” If it was all good … You remember ABBA coming to town; ABBA-mania. I don’t know if you’ve read about ABBA and what happened in Australia in the 70s … They just fucking lit up all the media; just took it over. Pretty much ABBA-mania in Australia – I’m sure you heard about that. And in six months time, people were so fucking sick of ABBA, that that was it. They didn’t even try and do another tour. Their record sales went from extremely high volumes to just ka-plunk, you know? So there’s definitely something to be said for balance in the media. Totally. And anything that’s over-saturated, I think people have a natural revolt, and go, “Fuck, I’m over this!” Idol … whatever. To listen to the entire interview, go to www.sauce.net. au Bobby Flynn plays the Burnie Civic Centre on May 30th, Launceston’s Batman Fawnker Inn on the 31st, and two shows at Curly’s Bar in Hobart on the 1st of June.
it’s a dangerous relationship, you know? It’s destructive for both of them, but it’s this thing that kind of brings him back to his center. And I started uncovering this shit, and I was going, “Wow! This is a beautiful song!” I started re-arranging it, and you start getting into the emotional core of it, and I thought, really, this is a hot, fiery kind of song, you know? It’s so electric. That’s when I started knocking it out in a bossa nova kind of groove. Have you ever been in a relationship that you felt was destructive?
Fell To Erin
Syrup - 12/05/07
CURLY’S BAR – 20/04/07
REPUBLIC BAR – 5/5/07
HALO – 28/04/07
Whatever you were doing when these guys played, if you weren’t there, you went the wrong way – and you missed a big one. I’d heard whispers that the end was near for Hobart veterans Fell to Erin, but I had no idea until I got there that this was possibly their last gig, and I found myself struck by a sudden urgency to appreciate fully what was about to happen. A giant was about to be slain.
I only decided to go to this gig at the last minute, and had no real idea what I was in for. Having only recently moved back to Hobart, I hadn’t seen Viva Computer before. I’d heard good things about them, but no concept of Ground Components, except that for some reason thinking they may have been a hip-hop/rock fusion thing.
I thought about checking out Syrup tonight for a particular DJ, but thought, “What the hell! Let’s see how much I can get out of one club; two levels, two friends and two different personalities. My “Mike Whitney a-la Who Dares Wins” approach all-nutted-out (complete with prepared clichés and innuendo), I was ready for Syrup. We headed to the first level for a bit of Tackyland, which seems to have a big range of people all looking for good times through retro classics. My persona was a hybrid of car salesman and pool cleaner. I made my way to the most innocent looking people in the Tackyland and shocked them with empty confidence and a few sexual innuendos, as I led them through the most appropriate (?) dance for a B52’s classic The Sprinkler. It was time to define the next level of Syrup, literally, with a climb up to Dirty F#kn Dancing. My persona; an ageing hipster in tweed, fuelled by problems of the youth of today, but still with plenty of time to reach for the lasers. Conversation was harder than downstairs, as the locals played at bass-shuddering volumes. I had to rely on body movement to express my concern about the effects of hiphop on young people, whilst letting Kyle know how bangin’ that track was that Adam Turner was throwing down. In the end, I had a blast, but now people think I’m mad (or madder), wonder why the hell I own tweed, and if “The Sprinkler” is really the best choice of dancefloor killer at 1AM.
Red Rival warmed up a shivering cold crowd and, since they’re the new black in the rock scene, I noticed a slight stab of poignancy as they signed off and gave up the stage. A Fell to Erin gig is quite a family affair, and seeing so many familiar faces in the crowd highlighted just how faithful their following is. They played a blistering, exciting and long set, shared a few stories and swapped onstage blows and in-jokes that the whole crowd was in on. There was hardly a request that didn’t go unnoticed. Fairy Lights, Off The Ground and Like Drowning were deafening as the crowd became a choir. You knew this was possibly the last one, because Linc played Penny Henderson without being asked. Totally expectedly, they saved Judas ‘til last, and it was monstrous. Fell To Erin are … were famous for knowing which songs their crowd loved. I spent my time at the front jumping up and down, hooting and howling like a mad man. It was the best time I’ve had watching the boys play, ever. If this is goodbye, it has to be said that they went out in style – noble and proud, and at their peak. I’m hoping that this is a Gleason goodbye; they’ll chuck a party, say their farewells and return a year or so later to a town that never forgot them. Regardless, I screamed ‘til I was hoarse. I made sure I did. IAN MURTAGH
Viva Computer kicked the gig off. I must admit, I didn’t like the first two songs. Three guitarists and no bass, plus the mixer not getting it up to speed, really didn’t work for me. Then Sam put down his six-string and picked up a bass, and things got much better. I was still struggling with the sound mix I’m afraid, which tended to distract me from the music. I want to see them again though, hopefully in conditions more in their favour. We’d gone out to the Republic’s crowd-vacuum, the smoking area, and hadn’t realised that Ground Components had started, as you really can’t hear the bands out the back. So, after missing one or two songs, I’m back inside, to a very pleasant surprise – good, solid rock with great stage dynamics. The sound mix certainly came together when these guys started. I didn’t know any of the songs, although one sounded like I may have heard it somewhere. But the whole set was a fine example of how to write good, fun tracks. The entire band looked like they were enjoying themselves, with a big sound that was supported by good crowd interaction from the singer (even with the small-ish crowd that was there, as this weekend had a dearth of big gigs on to compete with it). Overall, it was a good night. It’s great when you find something unexpected; I will certainly catch them again if they return.
The Don, The Godfather, our leader – Rennie Pilgrem – paid us a second visit at Halo. His record label TCR has pushed some of the most notable breaks tracks of the past decade – from his own albums, compilations, collaborations, remixes and pioneering singles, including that massive track, Hold You by Australia’s own Dopamine. For some reason, the more acclaimed your breaks are, the balder and shinier your noggin becomes. General Midi, Meat Katie, and Rennie Pilgrem all lead the charge, and the shine on Rennie’s head was so defined, you could see the smiles of joy from fans across the club in it. It was awesome to see Rennie bring his keyboard, ready to bust some freaky unique grooves across his set. During the first half, Rennie played the best shifting, nu-school breaks, packing the dancefloor. I lost it all when one of his new tracks, No Less, was blown across the walls, only to be shortly followed by a new remix of Bass in the Place by New Order that sent us all back a few years. The club was jumping right through Rennie’s set, but I felt like he hit us with the hardest at the start, only to back off the intensity towards the end. I think it’s time I go review The Wiggles, or perhaps a re-hash of The Seekers, because all these performances that keep blowing my mind have made me forget what a bad show is like. If this show was in a box and sealed with freshness, I would lick my lips and say “Ah, Rennie, you’ve done it again!” FELIX BLACKLER
SSomething thi With N Numbers b
SSpy vs SSpy
Blue King Brown
Dan SSultan D lt
James Hotel – 12/5/07
Batman Fawkner Inn - 12/5/07
UTAS HOBART UNI BAR – 19/4/07
The Royal Oak - 12/05/07
It had been about 6 months since I’d see Mick Attard play solo, with him having been flat-out with The Embers since they won the 2007 Jim Beam National Campus Band Competition.
After only being here late last year, I was surprised to be seeing Something with Numbers coming back so soon. After sitting in the room for a long time, basically by myself, The Lazy’s came on, and the people started to flow in. I hadn’t seen the Lazy’s before, but boy, did they leave an impression! I don’t really know how to describe their sound, but the only band I could think of that they remotely sounded like was an early AC/DC with a more punk sound. The Inches seemed to be the band everyone was actually there to see, and they blew me away. They have to be one of the tightest bands on the live music scene; another band where I don’t know how to describe them … which really sucks! But all you need to know is you need to check out this band. The keyboards gave the band something else. After a short wait, SWN graced us with their presence. You have to respect a band that opens with their biggest hit Apple of the Eye. For a band I’m not real familiar with, they made you feel welcome, and showed you a great time. The whole room was getting into the music, and at times was getting a little too rowdy. The highlight of the set was the bands rough cover of the 1980’s Australian classic Run to Paradise, which had everyone in the room singing along, apart from me, who is just too “scene” for that. Another great gig, in a great venue. RYAN COOKE
Spy Vs Spy were huge in Oz in the 80’s, and it wasn’t because they had a major record company behind them. It was because they toured like maniacs, wrote and played rock with a message, and they wrote the songs and played them damned well. It’s been a long time since I saw them last, at the Villa Hotel in Noosa, when they were living outside of Eumundi. And despite the move out of the band of singer, Michael Weiley, and the move by Cliff Grigg from percussion to the microphone, their massive sound and anthemic lyrics had me singing along with the music that was a core part of 80s pub rock in Australia, and a core part of my early-teen music collection. They played all my favourites; Sally Anne, All Over The World, Credit Cards and, the most apt, Clarity of Mind. The gig was over too soon for the small (about 80 people) crowd, who yelled and yelled for more, until they were rewarded with an encore of two more songs. The Spies declared they’d enjoyed this gig more than most on the tour. I saw 67 Special and The Exploders later on in the night, and I wish both those bands had made it to the Spies’ gig, to see a unique legend of the industry. It was a top gig, and maybe they’ll be back again soon in the not too distant future ... here’s hoping. DAVID WILLIAMS
I can’t sing enough praises of the Falls Festival and what it’s done for the music scene in Hobart. They didn’t do a bad job of filling the Republic Bar last time they visited the state, but, Christ, they packed the room out tonight! I had to literally cram myself into a tiny gap against the speakers just to get a photo of them, and, girt with a heaving human ocean, I gave up trying to get one that would turn out. This crowd had come to do the reggae two-step, and no one was getting in the way. I’ve got two major bitches against hippy bands; they all like playing the same bloody Stevie Wonder song (I’m not telling which one, in case there are hippies reading this), and they’re all a bunch of bandwagon jumpers. I dig bands getting behind the environment, but find it tacky as hell when they razz the crowd up with “Save Tassie Forests” hype. It just gets under my skin in a way that few other things do. It doesn’t come across to me as anything other than a rank and vulgar attempt to get the people to like them more, and certainly doesn’t come across to me like they care. That aside, they also played music quite well, and that should probably be talked about more. I dig a band with a drum kit and a separate percussion section, and when they played off each other it was a delight. Even cooler was the dedicated (and talented) section of back up singers. There were moments when I willingly crammed myself into crevices in the crowd to catch a glimpse, because I couldn’t tell if it was the lead singing or the back ups. Admittedly, I find it boring as bat shit to listen to the same rhythm over and over, and it was getting to be a bit of a hippie jam fest. But I enjoyed the show more than their set at Falls, and it was obvious that, no matter which blunt tool the band used to get them onside, the crowd appreciated this latest visit. Bloody hippies. IAN MURTAGH
I wasn’t sure what to expect, after such a break, but Mick did not disappoint. From the opening chords and the opening lyrics, Mick commanded my attention with patient, confident playing, and vocals which reminded me of a mix between Tom Waits and Johnny Cash, without the Yank accent. His lyrics - catchy, but edgy. Dan Sultan, at just 22, tipped to be a rising star of Oz music,is really hard to describe. He had with him a six piece band, and, together they put out as rock-blues sound, but with a pop-edge. What an amazing voice -clear and strong, but not overshadowing any other elements of the group’s sound, which also featured a horns section, which brought back memories of Hunters and Collectors and even of Painters and Dockers.The lead guitarists’s sound reminded me of what you might hear on a Tarantino soundtrack. I stayed only for the first six songs, but there were people getting up for a boogie, which is always a good sign, I think. The next time either Mick or Dan play, I’ll be doing my best to catch them again. DAVID WILLIAMS
QUALITY ISN’T EXPENSIVE FENDER SQUIER BULLET STRAT AT
BEWARE! There are some dreadful instruments available over the Internet & from some local stores. Always deal with a reputable music-specialist store!
A Fabulous Guitar Only $199
104 George St, Launceston 6331 9355 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A C A B A R ET O F TO X I C WA ST E # 4 - P O L I SH H A L L 05/ 05/ 07 - P H OTO B Y TO M WI L SO N
SATURDAY 19TH MAY
CRUEL LIKE THAT
GIG GUIDE 16th - 29th May WEDNESDAY 16TH HOBART Backspace Theatre “Operation” Curly’s Bar Ethel The Frog + DJs D’Art Factory Soundscapes @ 5PM Republic Bar & Café The No No’s @ 9PM Syrup 10pm Till Late – Late Night Booty Call With Djs Mez, Chilli & Dave Webber Trout “Diploma 2 Dance” – Anthony Rochester + Beastiality Boys + Viva Computer + ROMP
THURSDAY 17TH BURNIE Stage Door the Café Viktor Zappner Swingtet + James Maddock @ 8PM
HOBART Backspace Theatre “Operation” D’Art Factory Czardas @ 6:30PM
SUNDAY 20TH HOBART
D’Art Factory D’Art Trio @ 12PM Captain Havok + Crytearia + Tempest + Secluded Minds @ 9PM
Gunners Arms Live Music James Hotel Nat & Adam, Reality - Dj PD
Lewisham Tavern Astronomy Class + Mista Savona + The Tongue
Northern Club Phil Smart + Chris Neobi
Raincheck Lounge Live Acoustic Music – Joel Imber + Tom Ambroz + Sam Stansall + Louis Higgins
Royal Oak Ben Castles
Republic Bar & Café Tim Rogers + Bridget Pross @ 9PM
Stage Door the Café Hipnosis @ 7:30PM
Albert Hall Eskimo Joe
Republic Bar & Café Manic Monday @ 9PM James Hotel HO Club
TUESDAY 22ND HOBART
Republic Bar & Café Chris Pickering @ 9PM
Syrup 10pm - Tackyland - 70s, 80s, 90s Dance Classics! With Naughts & Billy Bob + Upstairs 11pm Till 6am – Dirty F’king Dancing – House, Electro & Breaks with Resident Djs: Modal, Gillie, Timo & Corney
Republic Bar & Café Nation Blue + My Disco @ 10PM Syrup La Casa Presents: Ministry Of Sound, Housexy Summer Tour, with Alan Thomson & Nathan G plus Matt B & Gillie
LAUNCESTON Albert Hall Missy Higgins
THURSDAY 24TH BURNIE
Trout Home Brew Hip-Hop
Stage Door the Café Viktor Zappner Swingtet + Teresa Beck-Swindale @ 8PM
The Loft Moe Grizzly + Guests
LAUNCESTON Gunners Arms Live Music James Hotel Glenn Moorhouse Reality Dj PD Launceston Working Man’s Club Alfare + Black Dollar + Nick Warren + The Stoics + Cats for Hands + Eclectic @ 8:30PM Royal Oak S&M
SATURDAY 19TH BURNIE Stage Door the Café Debra Byrne @ 7:30PM
Syrup Mesh - Hobart’s Oldest Club Night – Breaks & Drum’n’bass with Djs Mez, Model T & Chilli Trout Chi-Roh The Loft The Ramshacklers
Royal Oak Samuel Bester
Halo Steve Hill (Syd) Republic Bar & Café Astronomy Class + Mista Savona + The Tongue @ 10PM
James Hotel THE SCIENTISTS OF MODERN MUSIC + Adam Turner + Re-Cut + Randall Glenn Moorhouse
SUNDAY 27TH HOBART D’Art Factory D’Art Trio @ 12PM Queens Head Bredda + Kobya @ 2PM
Republic Bar & Café Cake Walking Babies
City Hall Eskimo Joe
D’Art Factory Swing Wizard @ 6:30PM
Batman Fawkner Inn Rastawookie
Queens Head Bredda + Kobya
Backspace Theatre “Operation”
Curly’s Bar D2M + JimK + Samex + DJ ABS + Grotesque
D’Art Factory Paul Gerrard @ 6:30PM
James Hotel UniNight Sgt Green Dj Mark J
Trout BANG! BANG! AIDS!
Raincheck Lounge Live Acoustic Music – Joel Imber + Tom Ambroz + Sam Stansall + Louis Higgins
Republic Bar & Café Son Del Sur (Cuban Salsa) @ 9PM
FRIDAY 25TH BURNIE Stage Door the Café Chris Pickering + Jay Fraser @ 7:30PM
Halo Phil Smart (Melb)
Republic Bar & Café Blood Duster + Ruins @ 10PM
Syrup Late Night Booty Call with Djs Mez, Chilli & Dave Webber
122 York St. Launceston 6334 7231
D’Art Factory Captain Havok + Crytearia + Tempest + Secluded Minds @ 9PM
Derwent Entertainment Centre Missy Higgins
Republic Bar & Café Eshak (African Music) @ 9PM
DALLAS CRANE + THE S.I.G.I.T (INDONESIA)
Curly’s Bar D2M + JimK + Samex + DJ ABS + Grotesque
FRIDAY 18TH BURNIE
D’Art Factory Jam Jar @ 8PM
SUNDAY 3RD JUNE
Curly’s Bar Conservatorium of Music Exam – Rock Bands
Curly’s Bar Detour + DJs
THE SCIENTISTS OF MODERN MUSIC +ADAM TURNER, RE-CUT & RANDALL
SATURDAY 26TH BURNIE
Royal Oak Nathan Wheldon & The Two Timers
WEDNESDAY 23RD HOBART
SATURDAY 26TH MAY
Raincheck Lounge Paperpeople Launch Party – Beatrix Bae Bouwman + Anthony Rochester + The Bad Luck Charms (DJ Set)
Halo MPK + Patch
23 LAWRENCE ST. L’TON - 6331 3891
Brookfield Vineyard Bredda + Kobya
D’Art Factory Couta Blue @ 6PM
Royal Oak Ben Castles
Curly’s Bar “Too Many DJs Too”
(One pot per pizza)
Trout The No No’s
MONDAY 21ST HOBART
Backspace Theatre “Operation”
James Hotel Nat & Adam, Cruel Like That Dj Randall
Syrup 8pm Till Late – Mesh - HOBARTs Oldest Club Night – Breaks & Drum’n’bass with Djs Mez, Model T & Chilli
Pizza & Beer
Republic Bar & Café Rastawookie (Reggae) @ 10PM
Stage Door the Café Rosalinda Wilton @ 7PM
Psysessions – Ellis D + Loagsta + Psywise + Shammie + M + Guests @ 11pm
Syrup Pickle ‘ HOBARTs Premier Hard-Dance Night!’ Presents: Central Energy Vol.21 CD Launch, with DJ Archie & Amber Savage plus Corney & PKC
Trout The Roobs + Our Silent Diary
Republic Bar & Café True Live + Unleash The Nugget @ 9PM
James Hotel UniNight Funkin Unbelievable Dj Mark J
Contact Carl: 0438 015 697
Syrup 10pm - Tackyland - 70s, 80s, 90s Dance Classics! With Naughts & Billy Bob + Upstairs 11pm Till 6am Dirty F’king Dancing – House, Electro & Breaks with Resident Djs: Adam Turner, Gillie, Kir & DSKO
MONDAY 28TH LAUNCESTON James Hotel HO Club
TUESDAY 29TH HOBART Curly’s Bar Conservatorium of Music Exam – Rock Bands Republic Bar & Café Train Wreck @ 9PM
LAUNCESTON Royal Oak LJC Blue Gum Jazz Band
WEDNESDAY 30TH BURNIE Burnie Civic Centre Bobby Flynn
HOBART D’Art Factory Soundscapes @ 5PM Republic Bar & Café Jordan Miller Band E.P. Launch @ 9PM Trout Adam Cousens
BURNIE Stage Door The Cafe 254 Mount St Upper BURNIE 64322600
HOBART Curly’s Bar 112 Murray St HOBART 6234 5112 www.curlysbar.com.au Raincheck Lounge 392-394 Elizabeth Street Nor th HOBART 6234 5975 Republic Bar 299 Elizabeth St Nor th HOBART 6234 6954 www.republicbar.com Syrup 1st Floor 39 Salamanca Place HOBART 6224 8249 Trout 381 Elizabeth Street NORTH HOBART 6236 9777 d’Ar t Factory 230 Liverpool St Hobar t 6331 9991
The Batman Fawkner Inn 35 Cameron St Launceston 6331 7222
Customs House Dr Syntax
Arts Alive ArtSpace Viva Computer And Their Social Union + Shock Corridor + Palm This! @ 9PM ALL AGES
The Nor thern Club 61 Cameron St Launceston 6331 3568
D’Art Factory Balding & Croft @ 6PM Halo
Royal Oak Open Mike Night
Curly’s Bar Dexter + Dameza + Grotesque
Gunners Arms Bar & Bistro 23 Lawrence St LAUNCESTON 6331 3891 James Hotel Reality Niteclub James Bar 122 York St LAUNCESTON 6334 7231 www.jameshotel.com.au The Royal Oak 14 Brisbane St LAUNCESTON 6331 5346 Saloon 191 Charles Street LAUNCESTON www.saloon.com.au 6331 7355
Armand Van Helden GHETTOBLASTER 6/10 One of New York’s finest DJs/ producers has released a long waited album – Ghettoblaster. Not familiar with his name? Think of that song that goes “My My My!” – Yup, that’s Armand’s most popular track, which was released a couple of years ago. Constituting of his classic 80s sounds and samples, the sleazy, dirty house sound that he depicts through his music is definitely his trademark. In my honest opinion, the album wasn’t much chop (for me to get excited about) yet there were a couple of tracks of some appealing nature. With bleeps and claps, it has more of a tech house feel towards it, although Armand admits his intent as a producer isn’t to be technical, just based on more of a sexy sound – hence the comment, “I like making sex records.” Being the focal point of the album with its commercialistic values, Touch Your Toes featuring Fat Joe has a boppy, bouncing feel, hence Armand releasing it on vinyl and getting it remixed by Serge Santiago and The Audio … err … Booties. For me, I get bored of the repetition of the song very quickly. The first track, Go Crazy has a flavoursome tone worth sucking down, with a big synth imbuing the nature of tech house with a definite dirty edge, although the orchestral stabs gave me the shits! In all honesty, I’m a bit disappointed with this album – it comes across clear that Armand was obliged to be lazy in the production of this album. I classify it as “OK”, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it.
Ministry Of Sound CHILLOUT CLASSICS 8.5/10 Ministy’s done it again – not only just with the House Classics compilation that was released a couple of months ago, but now with the Chillout Classics rendition. Consisting of over fifty all-time classics over three CDs, any big track (that’s laid back) that you’ve heard around the globe should be on this CD. Featuring many big names, such as Groove Armada (how sweet is their new tune Get Down?), Moloko, Crazy Penis, Mr Scruff, Air, Leftfield, Massive Attack and many more. Perfect for setting a cruising, laid back, mellow mood in any situation – whether you’re at a cocktail party, art gallery, café or even shopping for that new Porsche you’ve been eyeing off. Most of the tracks consist of smooth bass lines, and casual organic instruments, layered smoothly to help you indulge on some chocolate (when it may be that time of the … ha!) Every producer definitely accentuates which particular sound of leisure they have to offer. A favourite for me would have to be Get a Move On – an all time classic for sure, where listening is like waiting in suspense for a Charlie Chaplin monkey to jump out at you. Seriously, there are too many to pick from – hence being a Classics album. Well worth the buy if you love your chill out style tracks; plus you get fifty-three tracks … that’s heaps!
Attic Grooves MIXTAPE EP 7.5/10 Mixtape EP is the first recording from the (then) seven-piece Hobart outfit Attic Grooves released independently late last year. The band consists of Urshula Leung on lead vox, Sam Nicholson on guitar, keys and vox, Ian Stolp on bass, keys and guitar, Lockie Pearce on drums, Ari Shaw on turntables, Jim Verral on Trumpet and keys and Bailey Tambling on saxophone at the time of recording – the band have now recruited a trombonist to the mix, and have local break beat master Wax Dr. West turning the tables. Mixtape is the perfect name for this release, as it is a true mixture of styles. First track I Say has mellow, urban jazz feel to it, and Urshula’s deep, soulful voice illuminates the cruise-y instrumental. Reggae-style guitars, horns and vocals by Sam are broken up by a speedy, spatial key solo in the middle of second track Satellites. A funky guitar and sultry vocal intro gives way to shuffling drum beat, some awesome old-school hip-hop breaks and scratching, and then an electro-organ key solo materialises in the ultra-cool fourth track Poppies. The little big band vibe gives way to a more electro, quasi drum and bass vibe on the last couple of tracks; listen for the techie drums and turntable work. This album is truly a mixed bag of sonic lollies, and it sounds great for an independent release. If you like bands like Rhibosome, or the works of Rae and Christian, make the effort to hear “Attic Grooves” ADAM FERGUSON
Bridget Pross LONG DISTANCE TRAVELLER 7.5/10 Bridget Pross grew up south of Hobart in the Derwent Valley. At the age of thirteen, Bridget started playing music and composing her own songs when she got her first acoustic guitar, and hasn’t looked back since.
During her high school years she played in the band Grover, with whom she competed in the TasMusic Rock Challenge, and received the “Most Promising Female Award”. In late 2005, Bridget embarked on what would be a defining journey in her career when she packed her bags and journeyed through Europe and the United States. It was halfway across the world at the University of Miami where she recorded the six tracks on her EP Long Distance Traveller – an apt name indeed. She’s a little bit country/folk, and a little bit Aussie blues and roots; and has been touted as “Tasmania’s answer to Missy Higgins”. The EP largely features slow acoustic ballads, like So Sexy – a song about her old boyfriend perhaps – and Better Than You – a song about how shit her old fella is compared to the newest guy in her life. Her honesty and distinct Aussie flavour shines in this track. There a couple of catchy, shuffling ditties like third track Pullin’ Away – which features a repeated bongo rhythm, sparingly-used slide guitar and more of her honest, well-delivered vocals. Then there’s an ode to an American legend in Davy Crockett; a cool song in the vein of a Sheryl Crowe party favourite. ADAM FERGUSON
George Begbi SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT 8.5/10 Something To Think About is the fist solo release from bornand-bred Tasmanian pianist/ singer-songwriter George Begbie. Released mid-last year, the album heralds the beginning of an extremely promising recording career, and has seen him travel the state extensively, being warmly received wherever he goes. He started out his musical career in studying classical piano but found his true calling in the areas of jazz and rock piano and pursued contemporary styles as he got older. George melds his grounding in classical piano with his harmonic voice and love for jazz and contemporary groove to great effect throughout this album, which makes for a diverse listening experience. Soulful, more classical-sounding ballads such as first track Your Smile, sixth track Amy – which are both accentuated by softly incorporated cello backings – and title track Something to Think About – which has a beautiful string quartet accompaniment – are offset by up-beat and jazzy tunes and mid-song piano solos. Tunes like the third, and my personal favorite track, She Would be Eccentric, with its classic rag-time trumpet and double bass backing and awesome piano scat; and piano solos like those found in Down by the River which add some toe-tapping tempo to a contemplative, slow starting song.
Sick Puppies … a much more mature sound, which takes the band to a higher level MCs (Jean Grae, L.E.G.A.C.Y and Supastition) won’t flavour up the bland raps coming from the lead man. These days, I suppose I’m looking for something with a bit of a sharp edge; something that’s going to poke me in the ribs and make me stand to attention as soon as I put it in the CD player, and unfortunately, this album doesn’t have that ability. The standout joint Power Moves is an exception, and this is where Splash’s lyrics manages to capture my attention, speaking on politics and tainted power, and – with clever wordplay plus a dope beat – gets my vote as the best track on the album.
Rastawookie PERFECTLY ORDINARY 8/10 This album has quite a unique sound to it. The band’s music is influenced by Caribbean and South American-style music, and this is obvious in their latest album Perfectly Ordinary.
West London producers Barry Ashworth and Jason O’Bryan (AKA Dub Pistols) are a mixture of The Herd and The Rogue Traders – unusual I know, but it’s a like an off-flavoured funk/ electro/house fusion, dipped in some hip-hop elements, and is definitely an acquired taste. Personally, I’m not an expert in this field of music, but from my side, (apart from some sweet verses from Rodney P and Terry Hall) the album leaves a lot to be desired in this arena. I imagine the Dub Pistols are the kind of act you’d need to see live, pinging off your face to appreciate properly, either that or blazing up in your stanky bedroom on a Sunday arvo. Stand out tracks for me are Speed of Light (featuring Blade), Something to Trust (featuring Rodney P) and Gave You Time. Speed of Light is a space-inspired track, where Blade and T.K. Lawrence detail a surreal trip into outer space, spilling metaphorical hints on their beliefs here and there.
The Sydney band’s latest release is a mix of Latin, reggae, roots, drum n bass, hip-hop, funk, bossa, ska and soul. With this wide array of styles, there should be something within the album to suit most tastes. Cada Vez Mas is a catchy little number. It combines Latin with hip-hop to create a very individual sound. Nutchy Dub also is an interesting track off the album. Giannina “MC Janny” Casanova’s vocal work in this track is very intriguing. The hip-hop aspect of this song in particular flows very well. Keep On was a major stand-out track on the album. This was one of the tracks where the lyrics did play a large part. The mixture of both male and female vocals is what makes this song stand out, and makes it different. I found that, with this album, the main focus is on the music aspect of the songs. The lyrics played a smaller part in this album. This worked well as it has made Perfectly Ordinary a very easy listening album. The music itself is quite relaxing and would be a good CD to put on after a long, hard day at the office. SHANNON STEVENS
I know that the Dub Pistols would/will grasp hold of a large fanbase worldwide, as their music is great rave/club stuff and the audible quality is unreal, but being that there’s no real substance to the music or the lyrics, I personally can’t see any value in their music.
Sick Puppies DRESSED UP AS LIFE 8/10 Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Sick Puppies are one of the country’s most well-known indie rock bands, due to their massive Free Hugs video. Their latest release Dressed Up As Life is what could rocket their fame
Their only saving grace is having Rodney P and Blade blessing the album with their intriguing lyrics and fluid-like flows, but not nearly enough to spend your hard earned on the CD. RYAN FARRINGTON
Splash THE RIPPLE EFFECT 6/10 North Carolina-based rapper Splash has been in the rap game for a long time, but his talents haven’t had a chance to be bared to the world until recently, when he was picked up by an up-and-coming label, spearheaded by Danya Perry. This man doesn’t allow a good story to get in the way of the truth, and with the help of worldrenowned producer 9th Wonder (Little Brother), Splash has finally found the right avenue to allow him to show his true talents and express his unique thoughts through his recent album The Ripple Effect. 9th Wonder kills the production on the album, with his hard hitting drums and warm, De La Soul-style samples, but even some of the best beats in the world and a handful of great
The Flairz BULLSEYE 6.5/10 At only fourteen years old, Perth band The Flairz are making their way into the Australian music scene. Bullseye, their second EP, is an upbeat and very interesting installment from one of
sensitivity. Great debut from a great musician.
SPEAKERS AND TWEETERS 3/10
Sounding like Green Day with a touch of Sevendust, their sound is not exactly unique, but is not the typical mainstream punk-rock that we tend to be seeing a lot of lately. Overall, it is definitely worth listening to.
The best part about this album is that it comes with a second CD with all of the instrumentals from the album on it, which was a pleasant surprise for me, and probably makes the album worth its retail price.
Begbie’s sound is similar to that of The Whitlams, particularly his voice. His sound might be similar, but his songs offer something completely different – there’s less satire and more
even higher. My World is the first song on the album, and is a good indication of what is yet to come. “Kicking, screaming …” is belted out in the chorus, and gives this song an interesting edge. It also allows for Shimon Moore to unleash the full potential in his vocal ability. Their debut album in 2001 Welcome to the Real World has a much different sound to their latest work. Dressed Up as Life has a much more mature sound, which takes the band to a higher level. Softer-sounding All The Same has a slower tempo, yet is still within the same genre of the other songs on the album. The guitar work is a highlight in this song, especially when it is only the guitar that can be heard. Asshole Father is one of the more meaningful songs the Sick Puppies have produced. Even though I don’t agree with blaming your parents in such an intense way, I can still relate to the point the band is trying to make.
Australia’s youngest bands. Instrumentally, the tracks have been very well produced and are really quite catchy. The mixture of both male and female vocals adds a nice touch to their music, seeing as a large portion of bands today are mainly made up of the same sex. How I Live has the whole “garage rock” theme going for it. The drum work in this track helps to emphasise the feeling that The Flairz are a garage rock band, regardless of the fact that the lyrics do state that they’re “making some noise in my dad’s garage”. The title track Bullseye is strong instrumentally, but there are limited lyrics to the song, and the band tends to rely on the one sentence (one word even), and I found that to make the song a lot less appealing. The Flairz have supported some of the biggest Australian bands of this era including The Living End, Dallas Crane, Shihad and Little Birdy. They will be playing at a few upcoming festivals on the mainland, which will help make the band better known. This is only the beginning of what could be a long career in the music industry for The Flairz if they continue to produce high quality music like their latest EP. Up-and-coming talent – that’s what Australia needs to see more of. SHANNON STEVENS
GIVEN EM’ ALL A BIG FAT LIP 8/10 Attitude. As soon as you the title of the album, you can tell The Whigs are going to have that edgy rock sound. Give Em’ All a Big Fat Lip is the Georgian trio’s debut album. Rolling Stone USA claims the band to be one of the “ten artists to watch”, and this album proves why. The passion that is displayed through their music is evident with the strong choice of tracks on the album. OK, Alright stood out on first listening to the album. The drum work at the beginning of the track sets the upbeat tempo for the rest of the song. The hoarse vocals of Parker Gispert are intriguing in Technology, the first single to be released off the album. This catchy song shows potential, and was an excellent choice for the world’s first glimpse of The Whigs. The guitar riffs in Violet Furs give the “feeling, feeling, feeling” that this track is going to be a good one. The repetition works well in this song, where I tend to find it painfully irritating in many others. The band supported Australia’s own Silverchair in what was a sell-out concert, and have been playing festivals and shows around the USA, which has helped to spread the word about them. Personally I find it nice to know that indie rock still plays a major part in the music scene today. SHANNON STEVENS
TH E SCI ENT I S T S O F M O D ER N M US I C
BANGERS & MASH
The Scientists of Modern Music Sign Record Deal! By David Williams Could this be the biggest news for the Tasmanian music industry ever? I think so. It ranks, I reckon, up there with the announcement of the first ever Falls Festival to be staged at Marion Bay. After months of consideration and courting from various record companies, The Scientists of Modern Music, our favourite Hobart electrorockers, have signed a record deal with Rubber Records. Their manager, Dane Hunnerup, said the lads had, after offers from other labels, decided to sign with Rubber because they’d shown the most commitment, especially in terms of non-financial support, such as publicity and promotion.
“And because they are an independent label, with connections to the majors, so if we outgrow Rubber, there’s some fantastic resources available,” he said. No news yet on when the album may be released, but we’ll let you know, as soon as we find out. Ok, Tassie, that’s one down, many more to go. Let’s keep the momentum going.
BEN WAT T
Catching The Buzz BANGERS & MASH
By Carlisle Rogers
Ben Watt’s label, Buzzin’ Fly, has gone from a boutique, albeit eclectic, house imprint to one of the genre’s real tastemakers. With Buzzin’ Fly Volume 4 about to drop, the ex-Everything but the Girl front man says it is the label’s uniqueness which has garnered so much success. The previous three volumes have sold more than 30,000 units each, which might be OK for an artist album, but is phenomenal for an independent label.
“I’d like to think that we have some sort of unique sound or sensibility that people are attracted to,” Ben reflects. “It clearly represents something that they can’t get from somewhere else. I think that’s the one thing that I really aspire to with the compilations. Essentially, in many cases, you’re working with prerecorded music that’s available to everybody else. It is hard to be unique. So when I came around to Volume 4, I thought, “If that’s how you feel about things, let’s take it to its logical conclusion and just spend six months going out there and finding music that people really don’t have any access to.” And that meant finding first time producers, going on to Myspace and listening to all of my demos and trying to create something completely unique, which other people wouldn’t have access to. That is what Buzzin’ Fly Volume 4 has been all about, and I’m very proud of the way that it all came together. There is a tag line on our advert in the UK for the album which says, “twelve tracks, eleven exclusives, our sound”. That’s how I feel about it. “There are tracks on this that have a pedigree of dance floor success to them. The Abyss track was a big European dance floor track. The Green Men track, Blink, is being charted by
DJs at the moment. The Jimpster remix of The Sad Piano and certainly the Manoo tracks have done well, and the latter is definitely one of the peak points on the record. Some of it isn’t what you would call peak time dance floor, clearly some are eclectic, left-field choices. Things like the BarBQ track. It is definitely an album to be listened to as a mix in different environments, whether it is in your car, at home, before you’re going out, when you get back.” Ben says the tunes on the compilation could best be described as very fresh, or just about to come out. “The Jimpster remix of The Sad Piano and The Green Men track is just out this week. It is very fresh, or it is just about to come out. The Manoo and François A track, Magnètic, is going to be a single at the end of June, then we also have a track on there by Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia, and they have actually recorded an album for Buzzin’ Fly, which is going to be our first artist album in the autumn, so that’s exciting. You know the track they did for Crosstown Rebels about a year ago called Far Away? They sing in these amazingly beautiful, simple French voices with English lyrics. It is this very artless, minimal vocal style – it’s sort of like gothic electro-disco. I really love it, and it is incredibly evocative and beautiful. There are about seven vocal tracks on the record and about
I had a really barren period last year. I couldn’t work at all. I suffered terrible writer’s block. two instrumentals. Lost, from the compilation, is one of the instrumentals.” Ben says his own productions have been extremely quiet lately, although two of his most recent projects did find their way onto the compilation. Both point towards a new direction for the artist, but he remains ambiguous. “I had a really barren period last year. I couldn’t work at all. I suffered terrible writer’s block. It coincided with the death of my father and I was out of the game for quite a while in terms of production. I forced myself back to work and decided to do two very different things to what I had done before. I did the Figurines remixes and I did Just a Blip and I wondered whether that might kickstart a whole new period of production. But I just did that work in isolation and I haven’t gone back into the studio since. I’m at the point now that I only ever go in when I have an idea that I want to do. I’m not one of these people that just sits down in front of the computer at ten o’clock in the morning and works until something happens. I don’t like working like that.” Buzzin Fly 04 - Mixed by Ben Watt comes out 28 May on Buzzin Fly Records.
Dance Superstar Is Doing Things Differently BANGERS & MASH
By Carlisle Rogers
Heading to Australia this June as part of the We Love Sounds tour, this will be Canadian electro enfant terrible Tiga’s first visit since 2005. This time around, he is disavowing any knowledge of a second artist album, and he says his DJ sets have taken a particularly harder edge. “I’ve been playing quite a lot of techno lately. I’ve been playing quite hard. I’ve also been playing a lot of slower, more disco stuff. It’s really all over the place. It’s a bit of a mess. It’s hard because on the one hand I would be completely happy to dump all of my old records, including my own. I would be totally fine to just be playing newer stuff. There is a lot of new stuff, but it’s hard because you go to places where they haven’t heard you play in a year and everyone wants to hear a few of the classics mixed it. I have a lot of new stuff that I’m into playing right now. The Australian gigs should come at a really good time because there is a lot of stuff in the studio that I just finished that I’ll be testing out.
“I’ve been doing some remixes. I have a couple of little new projects under secret names, 12”s. For me, the experience of doing an album was a pain in the ass. Once you do an album, the stakes are a little higher and everyone involved wants to get as much out of it as they can. So the turn around time is slower and you’re doing so much press. It’s like, you do the music, then you spend a year talking about it and touring and repackaging things and doing remixes. But for you as the artist, the creative work becomes this long lost memory. After that experience of doing an album, this year I’ve just been in the studio having some fun doing singles, 12”s and remixes, just things where I don’t have to think about the big picture.”
Tiga laments telling people he was working on his first album, so this time around he’s being a little more coy with the media, he says. “When I was doing press before the last album I kind of told people I had started it, and then it took so long, everyone was always like, why did it take so long? This time I’m not going to say anything until it is finished. So I’ve been working on music, but I haven’t really started it yet. My plan would have been to have had an album out this summer. I would like to be a bit more prolific and faster. I like making the records – talking about them and touring isn’t always so great.”
I would be completely happy to dump all of my old records, including my own. He describes his most recent productions as split right down the middle between dance floor killers and almost anti-dance floor music. “On the one hand, I’m interested in doing stuff now that’s a bit more musical and more free of dance floor limitations. It sounds horrible to say it, it’s such a cliché,
but I like the idea of being able to make stuff that’s just a bit more out there … where does this fit in? The flip side of that is the work I’ve done in the past month, a bit more of a return to slamming club stuff – a bit harder, a bit more abrasive, high impact big room stuff. Half my work right now is a return to when I did my Thomas Anderson remix, that Washing Up track, just making records that, as a DJ, they make my life easy. I can just put them on and I know people will go crazy. “When I’m on my own I usually start with samples. I start with very general samples and copying things from other songs. Then I’ll say, I like this little bit mixed with this little bit, and that would sound good with this melody. And it is a very do-it-yourself approach, a very ghetto approach, a bit like a collage. Then in the studio I will start with samples, then work on drums and then I usually build the drums around a sample and the sample will disappear by the end. Usually the bass line is the key to everything progressing. Once I have the bass and the drums, I will do the melody and come up with some simple vocals and develop it more until I have a demo. Usually lyrics come last, but I have notebooks with some basic lyric ideas. There is no magic formula, I wish there was.” Tiga’s first album, Sexor, is out now through Shock in Australia.
PHI L S MA RT
Public Enemy Number One! BANGERS & MASH
By Agent Wilson
On the day of this conversation, it’s unlikely Phil Smart thought he was in any danger of being caught in a sting involving the federal authorities. After all, he’s a DJ, not a terrorist. But then, in my twenty-three years of working for ASIO, it’s been proven time and time again that some things are so good, they should be illegal. Thanks to our fine government, most of them are. And so, it was my duty to try and intercept this felon before he attempted to enter our great state, intent on dropping dancefloor bombs on innocent punters. Don’t thank me, people – I’m just doing my job ... This is Agent Wilson from ASIO. [Gasps] I dropped that envelope in last week! Sorry, I’m afraid I’m going to have to place you under arrest on the charge of Illicit Mixing Of Dancefloor Substances. How do you plead? I plead “not guilty”, and I will defend it to my last breath. I’m sorry, Mr. Smart – witnesses include the likes of Carl Cox and Sasha. Mate, I’ve got hits out on them – they’ll never testify against me.
So, Mr. Smart, what did you take away from the experience of seeing them at work? Those guys? Jeez … Sasha’s amazing, because he can keep it together in whatever state imaginable. That’s always inspiring. And Carl Cox? He’s a maestro at what he does. So those kind of guys were, back in the day, definitely influential as DJs to most of us, I guess. Also crucial to your case is that we understand you were once trying to master the digereedoo at one point. [Laughs] You’ve been reading old bios, haven’t you? I have, I have! Come on, where’s your up-to-date information here? Man! You tell me! [All his online bios are several years old – Tom] I’ve actually always played instruments; since I was little. Things like the trumpet, drums, piano – all sorts of stuff. So learning the digeridoo was another piece of that puzzle. I live next door to an Aboriginal bloke in Bondi who taught people to make their own digeridoos. So I made one with him, and taught myself to play it. Are you any good at playing it? No, not really! But it feels great! And it’s really good for you; really good for the mind as well. It’s a really meditative thing to do, play the digeridoo.
It’s been said in the press – though I’m sure it’s outof-date – that you’re “musically one step ahead and another step sideways” of your peers … yet clearly not ASIO. What do you think this means? For me … I’ve never wanted to play what everyone else is playing. For me, it’s all about searching out new music, and trying to push the boundaries when you’re playing – not just playing it safe. It’s definitely something that I’ve always held as a core of my DJing; pushing things forward musically.
Mate, I’ve got hits out on them – they’ll never testify against me. You’ve had quite a bit of experience playing abroad. How have you noticed international crowds reacting differently to your tunes than, say, audiences back at home? [Sighs] Yeah … I mean, the crowds – say, in Europe, there’s a lot more response; not just to me, but from what I’ve seen … When you go to a party in Europe, as opposed to a party in Australia, people give off a lot [of] different energy. They’re quite a bit more knowledgeable of music over there. As far as somewhere like America goes, the west coast are very house-y, so if you start playing tech, they don’t quite get it. So it really is different, and you have to adapt to where you’re playing, definitely. Phil Smart unfortunately escaped the ASIO ambush waiting at the airport. Intelligence reports suggest he will appear at Halo in Hobart on Saturday, May 26th. His mixing should be considered extremely dangerous. To listen to the entire interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
D I RT Y S OUT H
The Dirty Side Of Dance BANGERS & MASH
By Dave Williams “Dirty South” … Poor genital hygiene? No, it’s a DJ; a good one. Having just mixed half of the new Sessions compilation for Ministry Of Sound with fellow label mainstay John Course, he’s now engaged in a national tour, and he had a word to me ahead of his visit to Launceston. So how did you come up with the name Dirty South at the very beginning? How did that develop? You know, everybody asks me that, obviously. I had to come up with a name for a production; [for] one of my first remixes. And I was just sitting with a friend, and we had to come up with a name. It kind of made sense … not really! [Laughs] It was something that was easy off the tongue, and we just thought, “Oh, yeah, that’s fine! We’ll just stick with that!” There’s no meaning to it! There’s no funny story! There’s nothing exciting about it, so that’s pretty much it. I with I could think of a funny story, but there isn’t one.
Well, whatever element – it’s up to you. Was it choosing the tracks? Was it mixing? To be honest, it was quite easy, the whole process. As I said, tracks that are selected, and was allowed to use, are tracks that I play out, and I like. And putting it together was obviously not a problem, because I do DJ a lot. I planned the whole mix-out properly, and keyed every track, and did programming and all that sort of stuff. So it was quite straightforward, to be honest.
You should make one up. I thought about it, but I just want to say it how it is, and don’t get stuck lying, you know what I mean? [Laughs] But that’s one of the little luxuries for musos and DJs and producers, is that they get the luxury of telling bullshit in interviews. Isn’t it? [Laughs] Well, I try not to – that’s why I’m telling you how it is! There’s nothing funny about it!
I just want to say how it is and don’t get stuck lying, you know what I mean? You’ve mixed CD number two in the “Sessions 4” release. You must have had a listen through the whole CD, now that it’s been put to plastic, so to speak. Yeah, I have. I got a promo last week. And what do you like most about what you’ve produced? Well, obviously the tracks that I’ve selected really reflects what I play out in the clubs … And, you know, a lot of the stuff that I wanted to use, Ministry owned as well, in their own catalogue. So it’s really worked out well – I’m really happy with the mix. Like I said, it’s what I play in the club. It’s got my new track on there, Better Day, a few of my remixes, and lots of tracks that I really love to play out in the club. I’m really happy with it. Was there some part of it that you found harder than other [parts]? Um … as far as mixing? PAGE 20
Did you and John have any communication about what you guys were going to put on each of your own CDs? Not really. I think me and John do play some songs which are similar, but we do tend to have a slightly different style as well. He plays a little bit more house-y, I play [tracks that are] a little “tougher”. So that really reflects on both of our CDs … Track selection was fine – there was no problem there. There was one or two tracks that he wanted, that I’d asked for first, but you know … [Laughs] That always happens! Well, I guess it’s “first in, best dressed”. Yeah! Dirty South plays at Syrup on the upcoming MOS Sessions 4 tour.
A RCHI E
BANGERS & MASH
Central Energy In Hobart
By Tom Wilson When talking about a guy like Archie, where do you begin? One of the architects of the latest Central Energy release, I’ll start by telling you that he rarely gets hangovers. No, don’t roll your eyes and mutter “bastard” – he’s actually a nice guy. Ahead of his visit to Hobart’s Syrup with fellow DJing luminary Amber Savage, I dissected the man, and the style that put him where he is.
Work must keep you pretty busy – what interests do you pursue outside of music? Well, funnily enough, music is pretty much my life. Almost every aspect of my day-to-day schedule has something to do with my passion and love for music. Although my job takes up most of my time – whether that’s doing emails, booking tours, writing music or the fun part of my gigs or going to other events – I always find some time for myself. I really like eating out at new restaurants. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m obsessed with seafood and Japanese cuisine. Obviously, with a job that takes me all around the country, I’m never lost for a choice or somewhere new to eat. Also I love my sleep, so I do find myself catching up on any missed sleep from the weekend. Also I love watching movies and I have some very favorite TV shows like Family Guy, The Chaser’s War On Everything and, of course, The Simpsons. What do you think makes you unique as a DJ? I’m not entirely sure what makes me unique. I guess personality is a big point for defining your style. Obviously music selection is something to consider. However, I think my big draw card that sets me aside is my scratching. Yes, there are a lot of DJs who scratch and do tricks, but I don’t find many dance music DJs who include these skills in their sets. I’ve always been influenced by hip-hop from very early on, so this has always had a place in my music. What do you see as the current trends in Australian clubs? Which genre do you think is dominating? I think the sound that is dominating in most clubs around the country would be house and electro. However, I think it’s gotten to the point where it’s gone way too mainstream. This is exactly what happened with trance a few years ago. This could be seen as a good thing, however, as what you’re left with is a core crowd that are there for all the right reasons – rather than being out at a particular club just to be seen or to be looked upon as “cool”. I can see trance getting more and more popular again though, as even a lot of house and electro tunes are heavily influenced by a lot of trance sounds. Trance is coming back with a vengeance! What’s been one of the most surreal moments you’ve had while DJing? The most surreal moment whilst DJing is a hard one to choose. Over my time, I have played with so many of
my heroes, and had so many great gigs. However, the memory that stands out the most would probably be when I toured South America with Endorphin. We played to thousands of people in the main square of Mexico City. Anyone who knows what this section of the city looks like will know how amazing this would have been. Just to give you a mental image, there is an army of soldiers that march out to the center every dusk and dawn and fold out a flag that is the size of three or four houses! What three tracks are rocking your world right now? That’s a hard question … Too many greatt tunes to mention. In no particular order, I Know That You Love Me – Vandall, Six Hours – Yoji & Romeo, and Next Level Business – Archie. What up-and-coming DJs have got your attention recently? So much great talent is coming through the ew of ranks of late that it’s hard to say just a few them. All I can say is it’s great to see so much talent emerging from our industry. From DJs to producers, we are really starting to grab the attention from our overseas allies. What’s the most important thing in the world for you right now – professionally and personally? Well, professionally, I would say spending more time in the studio. I’ve been very busy writing and remixing lately. Also I have a few gigs lined up in Canada and LA later this year, so I’d love to get touring to a few more cities around the globe. Personally, I would say getting more fit, and also catching up with a whole bunch of old mates that I have not seen in ages. Unfortunately, with a job like this, my life runs on very opposite ends to most of my non-club mates. And finally, how do you recommend we treat the hangovers we’re all going to have after your Tassie shows? Do you have any time-tested tricks? Hmmm … That’s a hard one. Luckily, I’m one of those few people that rarely get hangovers. The few times I have experienced this I have always found myself wrapped up in bed for the majority of the day. Or you could always keep going and see what happens. [Laughs] Archie plays Syrup in Hobart with Amber Savage on the 25th of May.
One+One Equals Dance BANGERS & MASH
By Carlisle Rogers When Nic Fanciulli and James Zabiela were in Australia in 2005, both of them were touring their respective Renaissance compilations at the time, and fate brought them together here in the form of a few back to back shows. People loved it, Nic loved it, James loved it, and out of the ashes of that tour rose the phoenix of the One+One project, essentially a musical marriage between the pair blending back-to-back DJ sets with co-produced tracks that has culminated in the James Zabiela & Nic Fanciulli – One+One compilation on Ministry of Sound. “When we were touring,” explains James, “if we had a long set I would do an hour and then Nick would do an hour. If we have a short set then we would play one track each, back to back. We carried on playing like that for a little while here and there, for example Space in Ibiza. We got along really well and decided to do a project of our own.”
I suppose that’s the ultimate goal, being able to make a CD that your mum would listen to and all the ravers would love as well. When James and Nic got back to the UK, they were great friends, and that extended into the studio, or more accurately, wherever they happened to be together at the same time with a laptop. James says that the tracks the pair have worked on together thus far, floor fillers like No Pressure and Rover, both of which appear on the compilation, have all been victims of a hectic touring lifestyle. “There was a lot of trial and error and listening to No Pressure in friend’s cars as we were out and about. Nick did some loops and then I worked on some loops on the plane. Rather strangely, the mix down on it was a much more natural process compared to when I usually do a track. I usually go through about five versions before I get things right – with this one it was the second or third take which sounded really cool. It was a Nakamichi tape deck hi-fi in the hotel room we used. Rover was done in Nick’s Range Rover whilst stuck in traffic and was finished on iPod
speakers. We didn’t really have a choice because we were travelling so much and didn’t have any studio time.” James’ next single, Human, is due out on Renaissance later this year, hopefully in time for his Aussie tour dates in June, he says, and he is also beginning to court the idea of a Zabiela artist album. “I would like to one day complete an album of electronic music. Not necessarily all dance music. Occasionally, I will tinker with more downtempo things, but I am still directionless when it comes to making an entire album. “Making a good crossover album is a difficult thing to do and I think it’s great that a couple of DJs or a dance group can manage to make an album that crosses over widely. I suppose that’s the ultimate goal, being able to make a CD that your mum would listen to and all the ravers would love as well. Being able to do that without it being cheesy is a really tough thing and a really great achievement.” Heading down under next month, James says one reason he is coming down in June is to beat the UK crowds, at least the ones who end up here during our summer. “We will be coming straight from America so we will be away for a whole month and a half. There are not many DJs in Australia at that time of year because every one else wants to come over in the warm weather. I did that once and got really sunburnt.” Famous for his own highly-sought-after remixing skills, James admits there are a few folks he would love to see remix his own productions some day that haven’t already. “I would quite like to give it to Squarepusher who would do some crazy weird-ass version of it, or Boards of Canada or someone totally alternative to what the track is like. I love listening to Boards of Canada on public transport. Like when you get on one of the trains in Japan, they are the perfect soundtrack for that, and I think they would do some amazing things with my music.” PAGE 21
From the DJ booth to the studio (and everywhere in
As an international DJ, producer, and broadcaster, Alan has made his mark on the finest clubs in the world, has platinum and top 40 singles and albums around the globe, has hosted a variety of radio and TV shows, and has been a mile high DJ in the skies for Virgin Atlantic.
I’m a promoter and DJ in Adelaide. The biggest party I do, with Devious, is an annual festival in December called Enchanted, for about 5-8000 people, depending on the year. I also run the Ultraworld series, Playtime and a bunch of others. Drum and bass is the colour of my blood. I have been playing music since 1990 and putting on parties since 1993. I love music, wine, food and the obvious ... fucking.
between), Nathan G has not only made his mark within Australian dance music circles, but in turn has made them overseas with dynamic and consistent success. To this end he has subsequently been instrumental in both pioneering and boldly highlighting Australia’s claim on the international scene’s proverbial map – cutting edge, upfront and always on the money, his enviable musical tastes have constantly evolved and in 2007 will continue to captivate the ears and feet of discerning clubbers on a global scale. A hard-working, highly dedicated, hyper-motivated and professional performer, Nathan is a rare breed of musical talent, and one that thrives on the pressure and demands of playing a pivotal role in the fabric and future of international dance music. Out of Australia, Nathan G’s releases can be found on Hussle, Vinyl Pusher and Tinted as well as his own
Alan’s ever evolving style has led to him being repeatedly voted the number one DJ in the UK, and one of the top DJs in the world by clubbers and media alike. While Thompson has proved his versatility and can adapt his sound to suit the occasion, he’s best known for his own unique style of undulating funky house. As Alan puts it, “I play 4-to-the-floor house music; sometimes deep, sometimes vocal and sometimes tribal but always funky. House music should be sexy; it should make you want to swing your hips and nod your head. I like to build my sets, drop a groove then come back with a big vocal. Clubbing is about having a good time, listening and dancing to good house music. My job as a DJ is to make sure that happens.”
new-born house imprint Luvbug Recordings. His songs, productions and remixes also feature regularly on highly respected internationally based labels including OM Records, Transport, Look At You, and Kinky Vinyl. Groovehunter by name, Groovehunter by nature – it is indeed an apt moniker for him. He lives for the next riff, breathes
It’s a job Alan does very well. As well as his residencies at Trade and DTPM, which he held for more than ten years, Thompson has also been resident DJ at Defected and Ministry of Sound in London and Ibiza, The End in London, and Le Queen in Paris.
inimitable groove. The best thing is, he always catches
Alan is considered instrumental in the success of many of these clubs, which have received a number of accolades, including club of the year. He has also helped raise the club’s
quality ... and he’s always happy to share them with us!
profiles outside the UK by headlining their world tours.
Nathan G plays with Alan Thompson at Syrup in Hobart
Alan Thompson plays with Nathan G at Syrup in Hobart
on May 18 .
on the 18th of May.
for the next original vocal, and scours his heart for the next
MPK plays Halo on the 18th of May.
BANGERS & MASH
Turn Off The Lights, Make It Pitch Black You’ve got residencies in several different countries. So, in the most literal sense, where in the world do you play these days? In 2007 I’ll play in twelve countries around the world. As well as Australia and New Zealand, I’ll be spinning everywhere from Brazil to Canada and the UK to China and Vietnam.
I worked at a record company in the UK where we signed people like The Steets and Artful Dodger. There was also a hard house label called Tripoli Trax which I worked on for several years, and learned a lot of the business side of the industry there. When I arrived in Australia I worked at Central Station for a year, then started Masif and haven’t looked back.
What are some of the strains of having to do as much traveling as you do? Communication with everyone is the hardest. I’ve not had internet access this week on tour, and it’s amazing how much I rely on it. Trying to stay on top of everything is the biggest strain. Putting on an event in Sydney while touring China isn’t easy!
They won’t see an empty dancefloor! Party time, or your money back!
On the flip side, what are some of the benefits – personally as well as professionally? You get to meet so many people who are passionate about the scene you’re in. Everyone that comes to a club is there to have a good time – life is one big party! What have you been working on recently? I’m in the UK finishing off a number of tracks while playing at six events. I’ve finished nearly twenty-five tracks this year already after this trip. I also have a new compilation out on Masif mixed with Alex Kidd called Hard Trance Anthems. How would you describe your DJ style at the moment? Big, euphoric hard trance tunes ... very powerful. You’re known to be heavily involved in the business side of dance music. How did this begin, and where are you at with it now? PAGE 22
You’re set to play in Tassie. What kind of sounds can punters expect? A lot of what I play everywhere else. While keeping an air of familiarity, it’s always important to play the newest records that people otherwise wouldn’t get to hear. Some of the tracks I drop are from the scene’s biggest, and won’t be out for months! What’s something you’re sure they won’t see? In other words, what would you rather jump off a building than do at a show? They won’t see an empty dancefloor! Party time, or your money back! Steve Hill plays Halo in Hobart on the 19th of May.
“Central Energy”, Australia’s longest running compilation series is back with its 21st edition. With a loyal fan base eagerly anticipating each release, this is trance and hard dance at its finest. Back in the mix for Volume 21 is the all star team of: Baby Gee (current #4 DJ in this country), Amber Savage (current #5) and Archie (currently #17 DJ).
In my perfect world Nelson Mandela would be the President if he was ten years younger, George Bush would be a circus act (at least that one’s true), Sarah Hanson-Young would be the Minister for Human Rights, Bob Brown would be the Prime Minister (yes, we can have one and a President!), John Howard would work as a toilet cleaner and Gemma Clark would be the Minister for Communication and the mother of my seven children. Perhaps also Dave Brown (no relation to Bob) Minister for Skunk consumption and proliferation, Jussie Minister; overseas education, John Doe; Minister for Smoking, Devious; Minister for Defence, Patch; Minister for Mixing All Sunday, Ben Dry; Minister for Construction and Technology, Bonney; Minister for Foreign Affairs, ‘Nessa; Minister for Information, Adrian; Minister for Logistics, Megan; Minister for Health, Katie; Minister for How To Be Nice To Your Fellow Humans, James M; Minister for Liquor and Humour, Lisa H; Minister for Pets and Children, Luize; Minister for Hair, Tilda; Minister for Loud Excited Yelling With Arms Raised, Rebel; Minister For Conversation and More Conversation, Maestro D; Minister For Dancing With Hands Behind Back, Fiction; Minister for Star Wars.
S TEV E HI L L By Tom Wilson If there’s one thing you want to hear from a DJ, it’s “party time, or your money back”. But then, if his reputation is anything to go by, it’s unlikely that anyone in Halo during the Pitch Black trance night is going to be demanding a refund from Sydney’s Steve Hill. SAUCE spoke to one of Australia’s busiest DJs …
Amber Savage is recognized as one Australia’s leading DJs. Appearing on the scene in 2000 as a nineteen-year-old, she has gone from a rising star to become a household name. Best known for her tough music style and vibrant personality, Amber tours Australia regularly and headlines the biggest clubs and events around the country. Frequently quoted as “The Queen of Hard Dance”, she’s now also making a strong push into House music. Her tough style is still prevalent – she is, after all, savage by name, savage by nature – but when playing house it comes across in her driving basslines and funkier sound. This moniker satisfies unquenchable thirst for music and allows her the freedom and creativity to play an alternative style, and as “Miss Savage” she has been rocking the country with the fattest and funkiest electro and dirty house music to grace the sound systems of some of Australia’s most well-known and best-loved venues. Amber Savage plays Syrup in Hobart on the 25th of May with Archie.
Avalanches DJ Heads South BANGERS & MASH
By Tom Wilson
A DJ with a knack for incorporating the sounds of the world into his mixing, Dexter may have sounded a little short with me in this interview, but, as Grandmaster Flash clearly stated when he called him “the world’s most creative and original DJ”, he’s not short on talent. He spoke to me ahead of his set at Curly’s Bar in Hobart. What have you been working on recently? A DJ set with Drum Drum, a PNG log-drumming
You’re looked up to by many for what you do – but who
group, and some traditional Polynesian dancers
do you look up to?
who are also incredible krumpers. We got a tribal
My relatives in the living, and the ones who have risen above
electronic thing going on – it’s my future.
in the Philippines.
You’re playing in Tassie later this month. What
What’s your equipment setup at the moment?
can punters expect to hear during your set?
[The] Same – two turntables and a mixer.
Deep hip-hop with some bangers too – not the obvious stuff you usually hear. I play stuff from
To get technical for a minute, with pioneer being a
Dabrye, Exile and Madlib mixed with exotic stuff from
more industry standard for CD players what are your
all over the world.
views towards the CDJ 1000 MK3’s? Good – I like the sample time on the hot keys. You get your
A while back you got a pretty big plug from Grandmaster Flash, who called you “the world’s most creative and original DJ”. How did that affect you at the time? And, looking back on it, how do you feel about it now? [It was] Just a comment – didn’t affect me then, and it doesn’t now.
own MPC on the fly.
My roots are from hip-hop, and I’m not in kitsch shite!
Another quote from that period was that you are “notorious for transforming the turntable into a musical
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking,
instrument”. What do you think they were talking about
“Now Tom, it’s all well and good to ask me about this
here? And to what extent would you agree with it?
stuff, but seriously, when are we going to talk about
[It’s] Not really an instrument; it’s more like a sound
hairstyles?” Well, it’s an odd thing to talk about here,
modulator. I think purist/turntablists over-analysed it.
but I’ll indulge you. How does one acquire the Dexter ‘fro, and what are some tips to maintain it?
What are some of your favourite tricks when playing
I cut it
– both in your interaction with the decks, and your interaction with the crowd?
Oh. What are your plans for the rest of the year?
[I] don’t have any – strictly beats that bang and make you go
Growing my hair.
up and down in an un-obvious way. I’m becoming more subtle in my mixes, and deeper in my selection.
Fantastic. Dexter plays Curly’s Bar on Friday the 25th of May.
Stylistically, what sets your solo work apart from your work with The Avalanches? My roots are from hip-hop, and I’m not in kitsch shite!
A Driving Force Behind Hobart’s Live Hip-Hop HIP HOP
By Tom Wilson We speak to a lot of people about making and performing music. But who puts them up on that stage? In Hobart hip-hop, it’s people like Rime, who we spoke to about his monthly night showcasing Tassie talent. So who are you, and what do you do? My name is Rime (pronounced “remay”). I’m twentyfour, and I have been DJing for about three years. I was going under the name “DJ Quality” when I was playing all hip-hop. But lately I have been putting a bit of everything in the mix, and I’ve been running with the name “Captain Havock”.
What do I do? Well basically, I like to play party music! I love playing at house parties the most. I have also had a great time playing at festivals with the Terraphonic Crew. I played in the Terraphonic tent at the Falls Festival two years ago, and got a great response there. I was also involved with lots of the “save the forest” kinds of events they have put on. Those have all been great fun too. I haven’t really been playing at any clubs in Hobart – there aren’t really any places to play the kind of music I like to play, so I have been involved in setting up some events at d’Art Factory. We have been doing some live hip-hop with a few different MCs and DJs. So how did you first start off promoting these shows? A friend of mine had his birthday party at d’Art Factory a couple of months ago. I played a set, and really liked the venue, so we talked to the manager about setting up a hiphop night. He was interested, so I called up a few mates, and we all worked together on it. My brother made some really cool flyers that look like old 45 records, and we’ve decided to run with that as our trademark. But Hobart is so small, word of mouth seems to be the way that most people are hearing about it. What have been some of the biggest challenges in organising these gigs? The venue is great, but not many people know about it. I tell people I’m playing at d’Art Factory, and they say, “Where the fuck is that?”
the Drunken Doctor, Cool Kid Kermit, and myself. And we are open to any other hip-hop artists who would like to be involved. If there are any up-and-coming MCs or bedroom DJs that feel ready to perform in front of a crowd, then you should tell the guys at d’Art Factory, or you can e-mail me at email@example.com When and where will the next one be held? The next one will be in about a month. We aren’t sure yet
There aren’t really any places to play the kind of music I like to play, so I have been involved in setting up some events because the venue may change. But be on the lookout for the flyers shaped like old 45 records with the details on them. I’ve also heard that you’d like to make this a weekly event. Again, why is this? And what work will need to be done in order to make this happen? Yeah, eventually we would like to have a weekly event where people can go knowing there will be some good hip-hop, funk, soul etc. I think it will take time for it to draw enough of a crowd to make it weekly, but if we just keep playing good music, I’m confident people will come.
Also I have been working full time to save money for new gear, which hasn’t left me much time for coming up with new material. But I just moved in with my brother and some friends, and we have set up a really great little studio, so expect to hear lots more from me and my crew in the near future.
Better promotions would help too. I’m so busy as an artist, doing all the promotions is something I don’t really have time for. If there are any people reading this out there that would like to get involved with setting up a weekly hip-hop night, then we would love to hear from you.
Which artists have played on the nights so far? We had Tempest and Crytearia, Secluded Minds, Alex AC,
Go on promoters, send Rime an email: firstname.lastname@example.org PAGE 23
BA NG!BANG ! A I D S !
PE G Z
How Not To Behave At The Logies
The Risks Are Paying Off By Carlisle Rogers
I like to think that I’ve seen a lot working for this magazine; after doing over onehundred-and-sixty interviews, it takes a lot to surprise me. Frankly, Bendigo rockers Bang!Bang!Aids! had me from the moment I heard their name, and the pure fuckyou attitude of this interview should be more than enough to make you pencil their Hobart show into your diary. I know I have … Caroline Tran said that Tales “makes me want to go crazy and jump around like I’m on a pogo stick.” From that, we can assume that she either really likes your music, or has a secret pogo stick fetish. I have nothing to base this on, but I suspect the latter. What are your thoughts on this? She didn’t actually say Tales made her want to jump around; she was just referring to the song Dead Ant Dance, but my thoughts on it are exactly the same when anyone says they like one of our songs, which is “that’s ace; someone likes one of our songs.”
You did something fairly unique for the cover design of Tales. Tell us what that was, and why you did it. We got kindergarten children to decorate the covers. Why did we do it? Not really sure. We really enjoy the idea of individual artwork, giving people options and that tiny bit extra effort that makes something that bit nicer. There is this huge fucking D.I.Y scene, which is absolutely awesome, but I find some people really use these “D.I.Y ethics” as an excuse to jump up on their high horse. But for us, it’s more of a case of we have nothing better to do in our shitty country town, with our shitty rodent time, and no one else is going to do it for us. So if we want something done – we will have to do it ourselves.
… Being a huge Neighbours fan, I sprinted up an escalator to the Logies, chased by security so I could meet Toady. He gave me a bite of his ice cream. Apparently you launched Tales outside a pub … because you weren’t allowed inside. Why not? It’s a long story, and you need to know the whole back story so to print this just doesn’t really work. Sorry. But I will gladly tell anyone in person. We’ve learned that, during the recording process, Pete learned how to give the perfect handjob after reading Cosmo. How often has he put these new skills to the test, and with whom? I wouldn’t be worried about that. I would be more worried about him discovering what a golden shower was. How the hell did you come up with the name “Bang!Bang!Aids!”? I really wish we had an interesting story. But there’s nothing. It came from an MSN conversation with Marcus. “What should we call this bullshit?” “Bang!Bang!Aids!” “Yeah, that will do.” What’s the scene like in Bendigo? The Bendigo tourism website says that there’s “a thriving club scene”. Are they telling lies? The “scene” is fucking horrid in Bendigo. It’s just filled with shit fish in a shit pond. You will experience ego like nowhere else in this town. People who think just because they played a show at the local pub on the weekend means they can treat you like shit. It’s bullshit. There are some fucking awesome people in this town, but the bad spooks far outweigh the good spooks. I feel like a sucker complaining about this town and still living here. But sadly, I am bound by the shackles of University. But those shackles are broken this year! Fuck yeah! There are a few clubs in Bendigo, but it’s really odd.
By Tom Wilson
Actually, people will have to see it to believe it. It’s hard to sum up. Some places are better than others, but it’s always best of a bad lot; lesser of two evils kind of thing. I go out sometimes to catch up with old friends. Quite often I don’t get let in due to my white Dunlops or tattered pants, or I am violently tossed out for one reason or another. But when I get in, I will always bump into a stack of people I know, which can either end really well or really bad.
It’s said that, the bigger the risk, the bigger the gain. And there are few bigger risktakers in the Oz hip-hop scene than Pegz; as an artist, he takes a risk every time he steps on stage. But it has been as the head of Obese Records that he’s faced some of the biggest challenges, including the recent national Block Party Tour, but none smaller than the just-released Hilltop Hoods, The Hard Road Restrung. With just a couple of weeks to go before performing at the Coastal Chill Festival, Pegz told me how he’s preparing for the upcoming gig. As well, we find out that local rapper Mdusu is one artist that Pegz may be willing to take a big risk on in the future. How did the first national Block Party tour go overall? It was a huge success. We’re stoked with the attendance; most of the gigs were sell-outs, or really close to sell-outs. Everyone was really stoked with the performances. It was a real big success. We’re already looking forward to next year.
You’re playing in Hobart this month. Will this be your first Tassie visit? If not, what do you remember of your last visit? If so, what have you heard about the live scene down here? None of us have ever been to Tasmania. But I have heard nothing but awesome things about the live scene. A close friend used to live in Hobart and constantly tells me about how it was in ’97, and it seems like all the really ace bands and musicians I know that are currently living in Melbourne all have roots in Tasmania. But we are playing with Pussy Kills and Traitor, and I am really looking forward to seeing them. Traitor are a two -piece grind band, yeah? Also, I am looking forward to meeting the infamous DJ BTC. Have heard quite a bit about this man/cunt.
Was there any saline drips needed for any of the Funkoars or anything like that at the end of the tour? [Laughs] I think everybody needed a couple of weeks in rehab, to tell the truth! We’re all nursing colds and flus and god-knows-what-else. But yeah, it was an enjoyable tour. It’s just really good to be on tour with all of those boys, I guess; they’re such party animals, [with] boundless energy. It makes it an enjoyable sort of experience.
We sure are, yeah. It’s the same crew as well; Muph & Plutonic and Funkoars as well. It’s going to be the reunion! Look out, Scamander! [Laughs] For sure! How unusual do you think it is to have such a big lineup not playing in a capital city – not even playing in a regional center – but a small coastal town with just over five hundred permanent residents. I think that’s freaky! I know! I guess it’s going to be weird, isn’t it? I guess it’s going to be like stepping back in time, I guess.
There’s a rapper from that crew called Mdusu, and he’s really, really nice; probably the ﬁrst artist that I’ve checked out from Tassie that I think’s on the level that we’re playing on.
What’s the most “rock” thing you’ve ever done? Marcus and I hung out at Crown Casino during this year’s Logies, heckling celebrities. Then, being a huge Neighbours fan, I sprinted up an escalator to the Logies, chased by security so I could meet Toady. He gave me a bite of his ice cream. It was worth being attacked by security and thrown out.
Keeps you young as well, mate. It definitely does.
What’s a good way to treat a hangover? Marcus will lay under a blanket for fourteen hours straight, drinking lemonade, complaining about how he has been marinating in his own filth. I am a fan of hair of the dog, or Will & Grace marathons. But at the Bendigo Road Pantry, they have those frozen Coke things. But called “Blitz” – really ace flavours and fuck cheap – like $2 for a large. Best value. You’ll probably get Type 2 Diabetes from drinking the whole thing, but fuck, it rules on a horrid hangover day.
Or maybe makes you realise how old you are! That actually ages me about ten years, each tour! It’s all good times. What stands out in your memory about the Tassie leg of the tour? I think Tassie … Melbourne’s been pretty spoiled with hip-hop shows – they were responsive, but at the same time, they’d seen it many a time. It was just good because we had Tassie the night after. And Tassie was just amped; the crowd was really responsive. You could pretty much say anything, and they’d jump around and scream. So we were just stoked with that. We got in there a bit earlier, and I got to check out the Heads Of State. There’s a rapper from that crew called Mdusu, and he’s really, really nice; probably the first artist that I’ve checked out from Tassie that I think’s on the level that we’re playing on. So it was really good to see him rap, and we worked the crowd really well. That’d probably be one of the highlights for me.
What’s the best way to get one? Those fucking Pulse cans. Have you ever tasted that shit? Dear fuck! They are absolutely rancid. I could only get through half a can before I felt my teeth shriveling up. I ran out of the fucking club and vomited everywhere. How can people drink that? I hope they serve them at the Trout. Lastly, what plans do you have to write some new material? What sound would you like to go for? Marcus and I are jamming tomorrow in his old bedroom, which his parents are turning in to a gym. We haven’t written anything for ages – fucking ages. I, personally, have had really horrid writer’s block. Real bad – and it’s fuck frustrating. But I wrote two songs just the other day; I will show that rat bastard tomorrow and hopefully we can work on them. Marcus will no doubt have some riffs and ideas. He generally does. Oh, my phone’s ringing. Hold up, I just have to go pick my sister up from school. Will be right back. She feels unwell. OK. I am back – she had a bad headache. As for what sound we want to go for? I have no idea. I guess that’s the fun part. No matter what we write, I think it will always sound like Marcus and Rhys; for better or worse.
It sounds like you’re almost letting me in on a scoop here, mate. Nah, no scoop as yet. I just think we’re keeping an eye on him; we all think he’s got a hell of a lot of talent, and he’s probably one of the nicest blokes we’ve met out there on the road. Everyone was pretty stoked with his performance; even though he had another MC on stage, I think that he really just took the spotlight that night. That’d have to be a highlight. And, I guess, crawling into my hotel room bed at about six o’clock the next morning was also another highlight!
Bang!Bang!Aids! play the Trout in Hobart on the 26th of May.
You’re playing again down here in a couple of weeks, at the Coastal Chill festival.
It’s the sort of town though where, during the summer, about fourteen thousand people flood into the place. Ah, OK. It’s a real tourist town, where the population just swells massively whenever there’s something going on. It’s kind of a weird time of year to have such a big festival. I don’t know what the weather’s like down there, but it’s starting to have a bit of a chill up here. I guess it’s just going to be a unique experience, and there’s no doubt that a lot of the punters will travel from one side of the state to the other to check out a big lineup like this, I guess. I’m really looking forward to it. You’ve got many years experience as a performer, but how much do you still have to prepare or practice for an upcoming show? For sure. I guess you always try and add a couple of new tracks, or something new for each tour. So we’ll probably go through about three or four nights of practice for the new show. That’ll probably take care of us for another leg, another month or two. Pegz plays at the Coastal Chill Festival at the Scamander Complex on the 2nd of June.
Republic Bar & Cafe
299 Elizabeth St North Hobart Ph. 6234 6954 www.republicbar.com
THURSDAY 17TH MAY
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Brought to you by
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Tim Rogers + Bridget Pross PAGE 24
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A RT OF F I G H TI N G
Less Is More For Melbourne Rockers ROCK SALT
By Steve Tauschke
Melbourne collective Art Of Fighting take the less-is-more route on their new album, writes Steve Tauschke. Ollie Browne, Art Of Fighting’s affable spokesperson, is demonstrating the distinction between his group’s early recordings – two albums and numerous singles and EPs since 1995 – and the band’s recently issued third record Runaways. “It’s definitely got more of a rawer edge to it,” he asserts over the phone. “With this record we wanted to capture a much more live and direct sound in terms of the initial tracking, and to try not to use too much post-production in the mixing and the effects. We wanted to keep it direct and as close as possible
to what we were actually playing when we made it. “The previous record Second Storey was very much a studio record that had a lot of attention to detail with overdubs and little bits and pieces and there were often up to forty tracks on each song, so it was quite laborious to make. This time we tried not to dress them up too much with a whole lot of different effects.” Singer-guitarist Browne, his guitarist brother Miles, co-founding
Triple J presents
vocalist-bassist Peggy Frew and drummer Marty Brown this time traded in the perfectionism of post-production for a more intuitive approach to their textured ballads – and the results are positive.
We were a lot noisier band in the mid to late 90s when our idols were Sonic Youth and Fugazi and the like “I think with this one we were much more conscious of getting takes that weren’t exact but reflected the fact that we were bending a little bit and really listening to each other,” says Browne. “So we weren’t looking for the perfect take but rather the take that had a certain energy to it that might not be perfect.” Browne also reveals Runaways to be more autobiographical than previous works, due in part to his extensive travels the past few years both personally and as part of AOF. “There’s a lot of songs about distance and leaving and all that kind of thing on the record,” he says referring specifically to the track Distance As Virtue. “I wrote that about being separated from somebody and the various different lines of communication that come about as a result of that. Ironically we live in an age where the lines of communication are really good and quite cheap but for some reason that makes it more casual which means for some extra reason there’s a bit of a disconnection there.
On A Clear Night Tour
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Distance As Virtue is kind of talking about that feeling of frustration knowing that someone is so close in terms of communication but still you can’t really communicate because to do it properly you need to be in the same room as them.” Having already toured Europe twice with forays into Asia, Art Of Fighting this month take their new album, mixed by long-time collaborator Tim Whitten, to audiences in Japan for two shows in Tokyo preceded by a slot on the prestigious All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in the UK, alongside Spacemen 3, the reformed Scientists and The Dirty Three, an impressive pedigree that would certainly have had Browne in raptures a decade ago. “We were a lot noisier band in the mid to late 90s when our idols were Sonic Youth and Fugazi and the like,” he says. “But there were a few bands around at the time like Sandro in Melbourne and Crow who were playing songs that were a lot more mellow and after listening to so much loud, abrasive music there was just something even more arresting about the opposite of that and it was very alluring. I think you can create just as much power with a vacuum as you can by filling the vacuum with noise.” Runaways is out through Remote Control.
Steer EP Out Now. New Album Out Now. www.missyhiggins.com PAGE 25
By Ashley Sambrooks
NEW & EXCLUSIVES New releases exclusive to download only.
DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS
Australia steps up to the plate! The biggest deal in digital music news this week goes to ARIA as they recently announced that digital music sales have increased during the latest period (2006). Overall sales are up more than 250% to 27.8 million. This means that digital downloads now control around 5.5% of the total Australian market share. Significant growth has come through large numbers of back catalogue titles released through major record labels. Also contributing to the recent influx of online music sales is the fact that most (or smart) Digital Music Stores (DMS) are beginning to promote ‘exclusive to download only’ releases, giving the consumer exclusivity to great new music.
Music on mobile – the next big thing? The first mass market product offered through mobile phones were personalised ringtones. People are now moving forward from traditional ringtones to groovier products such as true tones and full track downloads. ARIA also reported that online music stores now offer a massive 3 million tracks, which is expected to grow throughout 2007. In addition, the music industry is jumping up and down to opportunities in the mobile market because it already makes up almost 50% of the overall digital download market.
South Korea – the real deal! The latest IFPI digital music report discovered that South Korea is the first digital music market where digital sales have over taken physical CD sales. Digital music makes up a huge 57% of South Korea’s music market.
iTunes, complete my album feature If you have already purchased one or two tracks of an album on iTunes, the ‘complete my album’ feature entitles you to download the complete album at a discounted price. Besides this being a potential money spinner for iTunes, it will also have positive effects on digital album sales.
EMI plunge into the future Music label EMI has decided to strip copyright protection from online digital music sales worldwide. EMI’s catalogue is currently available to download on iTunes, but Apple’s unique AAC Digital Rights Management (DRM) stops consumers from playing it on anything except an iPod. The deal was announced in London and EMI’s catalogue will be live and available to download minus the DRM restrictions. The deal includes Aussie artists such as Silverchair, Missy Higgins and Jet. The big question is, will other Digital Music Stores (DMS) drop copyright restrictions from their stores, especially those using Microsoft’s DRM? And will other major labels follow the digital wake of EMI? Let’s hope so!
FEATURE OF THE WEEK Digital Show Room thought it was only fair to discuss the new and positive discoveries in which IFPI’s digital music report recently announced. The overall vibe in which CEO/Chairman John Kennedy produced was extremely positive. 1 1 1 1 1 1
In 2006 record company’s digital music sales are estimated to be worth a US 2 billion Single track downloads are estimated to have totalled 795 million in 2006 The number of tracks available online have reached over 4 million There are now 498 online music services available in over 40 countries Music piracy police and lawsuits are finally having an impact on the digital music market More people today are listening to more music than ever before in history
John Butler Trio Grand National (Exclusive new track – iTunes) (Jarrah Records) Ozomatli Don’t Mess With The Dragon (Album + exclusive tracks – iTunes) (Concord Music Group) The Basics Stand Out/Fit In (Exclusive pre release album - iTunes) (Independent) The Nightwatchman One Man Revolution (Album + exclusive track - iTunes) (SONY BMG Music Entertainment) FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS Legitimate ‘FREE’ music downloads available on the net. JB HI-FI (www.jbhifimusic.com.au)
Joel Turner - All Night Long iTunes (iTunes music store)
67 Special- Sold Your Little Sister For A Red Motor Car Triple J (www.abc.net.au/triplej/listen/ mp3s.htm)
Souls On Board - Where The Dance Is Dappled Cities - Fire Fire Fire BigPond Music (www.bigpondmusic.com)
Old Man River - La (Album Version)
“We’re still playing a lot of the old set. We can’t get rid of those old songs because the crowd likes them. We have reworked a couple of them to make them a bit more up to date. We have been able, with the current line-up, to refine things a bit more. It has been fun. We have been practicing quite a bit, especially in the lead up to recording the album. We have been gigging a lot lately, so we don’t have to rehearse as much now.” Recorded at the end of 2006 at Electric Avenue studios in Camperdown, the band worked with producer Paul McKercher. Paul, of course, is one of Australia’s most soughtafter rock producers, with credits like You Am I, Eskimo Joe and Little Birdy. Beck says Electric Avenue is Paul’s favourite studio. “It’s the one he chooses to work in if he’s in Sydney and it’s available. We went in completely ready to record. By the time we got into the studio it was just laying down tracks; all the work was done. We have never been a band that has gone into the studio with endless amounts of time to work on songs further. We did a whole week of pre-production just so we could go in and nail it pretty fast. All of the songs were written for a while except for one which we did a month before pre-production. “Two of the songs from the EP are on the album. As the first album was quite diverse, this album is quite diverse as well. There are songs on the album that don’t have the vibe from the EP at all. You wouldn’t be expecting a whole album of Call Me Anytime. There is a ballad on there and stuff that’s a little bit Latin. The first song has bits of R&B and beats. There is some hip-hop influenced stuff in there.” Beck says the band continues to work just like they did for the first album, with Simon bringing the material to the band as semi-finished demos, and then they work out the PAGE 26
arrangements together. “That’s not to say that we don’t have a say in how the song sounds, but usually we try to keep our playing and the final sound of the recording as true to the demos as possible. Simon has been known to do one version of the song and he’s loved that one and that’s what we stick to. On this album there is a song called Static Forever, and this is the fourth version of that track. There was this one version that sounded like Bloc Party, and this dub version which was hilarious, but the one that has remained was the best version. We don’t vote on it, but we all put our two cents worth in. Usually there is one outstanding one that we prefer.”
We’re still playing a lot of the old set. We can’t get rid of those old songs because the crowd likes them. We have reworked a couple of them to make them a bit more up to date With a busy touring schedule up their collective sleeves, the band isn’t going to have time for much else but sitting in plane seats and playing music live over the next few months. Beck says they are also about to record their next video clip for the new single, The Message. “We are looking through different treatments from people. It is always interesting having a read through people’s interpretations of the song. I get a bit nervous about clips. I just don’t feel that natural in front of a camera.” Drop it in Their Laps is out now through Inertia.
Infamous Now Showing USA 2006 M 118 minutes Sex, lies, intrigue, betrayal, egotism, gossip and heartache. Infamous follows the dangerous quest for artistic greatness chosen by author Truman Capote, as he travels to Kansas with Nelle Harper Lee to investigate the brutal murder of the Clutter family, the story that inspired his masterpiece obsession, In Cold Blood. Throughout this six-year journey, the eccentric, and cunning Capote of both dark obsession and frivolous high society is definitively revealed. A stellar cast including Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.
The Science of Sleep Coming Soon FRANCE 2006 M 106 minutes A playful romantic fantasy from director Michel Gondry. Set inside the topsy-turvy brain of Stéphane (Gael Garcia Bernal), an eccentric young man whose dreams constantly invade his waking life. While slumbering, he is the charismatic host of Stéphane TV, expounding on the science of sleep. In real life, he works at a Parisian calendar publisher and pines for the girl in the apartment across the hall. A whimsical trip into a cut-and-paste wonderland from the maker of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
BigPond Music (www. bigpondmusic.com)
Eagles Of Death Metal - Cherry Cola
You Have The Right To Remain Rocked “It’s going to become very central in the next couple of months. We have really put a lot of attention into refining ourselves as a live group for this album. The songs on the album are a lot more difficult, technically, to play. We need to be able to bring those songs out to their full potential, and that’s relying on our chops to be more refined than, perhaps, the first album where we were having a lot of fun and the looseness of it was part of the appeal of it.
375 Elizabeth St, North Hobart www.statecinema.com.au 6234 6318
Freestylers Electrified (Exclusive EP - iTunes) (Shock Records)
T H E COPS By Carlisle Rogers The Cops’ new long player, Drop it in Their Laps, is out now, and it comes crashing into a thick throng of outstretched rock and roll hands eager for something real. Simon Carter’s bucolic stage presence is the real thing, but co-founder and bassist Rebecca Darwon (Beck) says the band has had to up their live game to keep up with the more demanding new material.
STATE CINEMA - Whats’s On
The Page Turner Coming Soon FRANCE 2006 PG 81 minutes A masterfully crafted work of subtle, unsettling suspense, The Page Turner, (La tourneuse de pages) is the story of two pianists whose lives become inexorably intertwined. During her entrance exam for a music conservatory, young Melanie is distracted when the chairwoman of the jury – a well-known concert pianist – signs an autograph for a fan. Melanie fails the exam and gives up the piano forever. Ten years later, Melanie volunteers to look after her boss’ son during a business trip. She moves into his home and meets the boy’s mother, Ariane – the same renowned pianist who caused her to give up music. Soon Ariane discovers Melanie’s musical sensitivity and asks her to become her page turner – unaware of Melanie’s vengeful motives.
Orchestra Seats Coming Soon FRANCE 2007 M 101 minutes Fauteuils D’Orchestre ... A heart-warming and thought-provoking tale of a woman’s quest to find her place within a city of opportunities. Jessica arrives in Paris where she finds a job as a waitress in a bar next to a theatre. She will meet a pianist, a famous actress and a great art collector, and begin to have her own dreams of fame ... Orchestra Seats is directed by Danièle Thompson and stars Cécile De France (The Singer), Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, and Sydney Pollack in an amusing cameo role.
God Of War II GAMES REVIEW
By Chris Rattray It’s around when I’ve jumped onto the back of a griffin, sliced off its wings and thrown it to a splattery doom before remounting my flying steed that I realise I’m enraptured in some kind of orgasmic Bacchanalian ecstasy. But it’s not the sort that leaves a sticky mess; this is the sort that places me in The Zone – that meditative high that comes from a constant barrage of dazzling experiences. Just when I think I can’t take any more comes the next thing, and the next … and the next. Such is the power of a tale well told, and it helps when the tale being told features countless mythological figures of the Greek persuasion committing horrendous acts of violence on each other, in epic, grand style.
Our titular God, Kratos, sits on a pretty cushy throne now, having bitch-slapped the previous owner, Ares, at the end of the last game. However, most of the other Gods aren’t too happy with this turn of events and so conspire against Kratos to bring him down a peg or three. In the opening level of the game, Zeus gives Kratos an extreme makeover courtesy a huge fuck-off sword through the chest, killing him and sending him to Hades, which understandably pisses off the already explosive Kratos. With some help from the Titan, Gaia (who has her own axe to grind with the Gods), Kratos is given a chance to prevent his own death by seeking the Sisters of Fate to alter his destiny. What follows is an orgy of revenge soaked in more cool than a Tarantino film-festival projected onto the naked bodies of a Swedish cheerleading squad made up entirely of no less than three sets of buxom twins. But enough of my Christmas wish list. Cutting the long story short, God of War 2 – bigger, better, and bloodier than the first one. In the first level alone, you’re tasked with defeating the Colossus of Rhodes in a stunning series of encounters that never lets up. The Colossus is HUGE (hence the name), and at one point Kratos climbs inside the thing to defeat it; the camera shifting around as it walks about the city, laying waste to all it sees. This imaginative level design is just one example of the many incredible set pieces to follow. There are puzzles to solve along the way, mostly to break up the relentlessly satisfying combat. Nothing much has changed from the first game in regards to fighting. Kratos still wields his twin Blades of Athena,
whirling and twirling about the battlefield to devastating effect. A variety of other weapons can be acquired but none satisfy quite as much as the Blades. Kratos himself can be enhanced with greater health, magic, and even the ability to slow down time at some stages.
More cool than a Tarantino film-festival projected onto the naked bodies of a Swedish cheerleading squad. With an endlessly grandiose setting, the graphics are gorgeous. You’ll want to take as much of it in between the battles as you can, before setting off to tear the limbs off yet another mythological misfit. Gloriously bloody and immensely challenging, God of War II is pure unadulterated entertainment of the highest order. This is the best of the best, right here. 5 dismembered sirens out of 5.
KI RA L A BED ZKI ’ S
1992 Nissan 180sx D RI VE R PROF I L E:
By Dave Hernyk INTERIOR: Blitz Boost Gauge, black leather interior with red trim, Blitz Turbo Timer, Nissan leather sports steering wheel, alarm and immobiliser. EXTERIOR: Full GP Sports Body Kit, re-spray triple pearl black. ENGINE: Re-built CA18 DET, Blitz BOV RPM Heavy Duty Clutch, RPM short shifter kit Turbosmart single stage boost controller.
STEREO: 6-stack Pioneer CD/mp3/wma, Pioneer Front splits, 6x9 rear.
HOW DO YOU EARN A BUCK? I work at a Steel Manufacturing Company on the Gold coast – just moved up there. I do typical admin crap! [Laughs]
ROLLING SMOOTH: Coil Overs all round, front + rear sway bars, 17-inch chrome wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle 1 rubber.
WHAT GOT YOU INTO JAP IMPORTS? My ex-boyfriend Adam actually had a 180 when we started dating and I loved it, and then he moved onto faster cars and I decided that I wanted one. So I said, “how ya going?” to the bank! 180’s have a nice, sleek look to them! Very sexy! Kinda girly too! [Sorry Dave, no offence] NONE TAKEN...WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING ON NEXT? When it gets up here I’m planning on replacing my front bar,
getting a better sound system and I got an oil cooler sitting here waiting to be put on, I want to go faster! ANY DRIVING “INCIDENTS?” I haven’t ever crashed; I did spin out at Prospect in the rain – nearly cost me my car! NO TROUBLE WITH THE MEN IN BLUE? Umm … if you count getting caught drifting around Cimitere onto George Street [Lloyds cnr] by the cops, and nearly having my car confiscated (but lost 3 points and copped a nice fine instead). That’s all, I think! Hmm …
“Twelve Months Dreaming” Mudlark Writers’ Group recent paintings by Earth Flute In keeping with the commitment of Mudlark Theatre Cannon (Flute) inc. to developing artists in the region, we are proud to
Flute is an artist who has spent the last twelve months on a very personal journey of healing – having returned to Tasmania to undertake an intensive year-long medical program. Leading up to and during this time, Flute has used her painting as an integral part of the healing process – “It’s kept me sane – painting has been a way of externalising my focus, maintaining some sense of a normal life.” The paintings, all oil on fine Belgian linen, are bold and colourful explorations of imagined landscapes and scenarios, reflections on what is happening in the artist’s life and beyond. “My paintings are not loaded with meaning or personal intent – I feel frequently that they create and grow themselves whilst I am simply the tool they use to bring themselves into being.”
be offering a writers group. Mudlark encourages new writers wishing to develop skills, emerging writers who want to expand their skills, and also the experienced writers to take advantage of this new enterprise. There are great benefits to be gained by being apart of a writers group, especially one linked to a theatre company; the most obvious is the opportunity to share ideas, problems and successes with other writers and theatre practitioners; the opportunity to hear your work read by actors; to be exposed to visiting artists and Dramaturges … and ultimately to see your script performed. Mudlark Theatre inc. extends a warm invitation to anyone wishing to write for the stage. http://www.mudlarktheatre.com.au
“The work is representative of a new wave of upcoming theatre
Playwrighting Workshop presented by Kickstart Arts in
makers who are creating new discourses in performance and
partnership with the Australian Script Centre Getting Started:
who are attacking current human pre-occupations head
a practical workshop in the creation of great dramatic writing
on. We believe so strongly that this is a must-see work for
with acclaimed playwright, John Romeril.
audiences that when we heard the show was touring, we contacted Arts Projects Australia to co-present Operation in
With over eighty production credits to his name, John
Hobart” said Magdalena Grubski, Producer Is Theatre.
Romeril began writing plays in 1967, first at Monash then La Mama, going on to help found the Australian Performing
Operation runs until the 19th of May at the Backspace
Group based at the Pram Factory in 1970. Until 1981, this
Theatre in Hobart.
“new wave” company premiered most of his early plays,
Wandering/Weaving In and Out of Time – Installation & Performance by Caroline Huf This is an exhibition of small curious organic forms and animations, woven from discarded packaging, fragments of litter, train tickets and plasticine. A sitespecific performance artwork called Making Inroads will take place in the gallery during opening hours. In this quiet piece, the simple technique of stop-motion animation is used to document the metamorphosis of a pile of empty boxes over the two weeks in a woven simulation of decay.
A new wave of puppetry shows the real effects of war. Arts Projects Australia and Is Theatre bring Operation
To be opened by Wendy Teakel, Senior Lecturer – Sculpture,
to Hobart. This cutting edge work is currently touring,
ANU, and also the Current Artist in Residence at the School
and opened in the Backspace Theatre this week.
of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Tasmania, Launceston at 5.30pm Friday 11 May 2007
“Operation shows the very smallest person, in the very largest war and their journey through the conflict. Through
S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, Scotch Oakburn College Performing
the use of cameras, projection screens and micro and
Arts Centre, 85 Penquite Road, Launceston
macro puppetry, the show is a very intimate experience of the individual, in contemporary conflict – their thoughts, their feelings. Operation is the story of one interrogator and one Flute has a special connection with islands, having previously spent a year on Flinders Island, and, as a rebellious seventeen-year-old, another year living in isolation on De Witt Island in the southern oceans. Both were also times of healing, with the de Witt adventure the subject of a documentary by filmmaker Ella Kennedy in 2002. The exhibition will be open to the public from Wednesday 9th May. With a special opening on Friday 11 by supporting health th
professional and “lover of art” Dr Jehan Phillips.
prisoner,” said Martyn Coutts, Co-Director, Operation.
Australian Script Centre Saturday 2nd June: Kickstart Arts presents The Bone Orchard, a new play by
A highlight of the 2006 Next Wave Festival, Operation
Richard Bladel. Power, politics, public relations and a difficult
is a thrilling and visually arresting examination of human
homecoming … the death of a whistleblower … The Bone
conflict and its effect on the individual. Operation inventively
Orchard. A bold new Tasmanian theatre work about the
combines new media and live sound with macro and micro
forests and our future. They’re logging the Garden of Eden
puppetry. 8pm at the Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre, Through the use of wireless camera technology and new
77 Salamanca Place Hobart. Tickets $5 available at
media, the audience must decide from whose perspective
they’ll watch; theirs, the suspect’s, or that of the
Sunday 3rd June:
including The Floating World, The Golden Holden, Bastardy, Carboni, Chicago Chicago, et al. During that decade, he also contributed to group devised classics such as Marvellous Melbourne and The Hills Family Show. Since then he has worked freelance, with state theatre companies (Top End at MTC - XPO at QTC - Jonah at STC); with community companies such as Deckchair in Perth (Kate’n’Shiner); with theatre-in-education teams (Koori Radio for Salamanca in Hobart, Definitely The Last for Magpie in Adelaide); and with student casts (Kelly Dance at Flinders, Legends at VCA). He has scripted for film and television, e.g. The Great McCarthy and One Night The Moon, and has worked on early Andrew Bovell scripts for Melbourne Workers Theatre; and lately on a play by Ilbijerri Kamarra Bell-Wyke. He won the 2001 NSW Premier’s Play Award for Miss Tanaka, and is currently (a twelve-week posting) Literary Fellow at the University of New South Wales. Don’t miss this chance to work with an icon of Australian theatre writing. Suitable for playwrights at all levels of experience – bring your first draft, play, or idea for discussion. When:
Sunday 3rd June 2007, 10am – 1pm
Where: IS Theatre rehearsal space, entrance at Kelly’s Lane, 77 Salamanca Place Hobart Cost:
$25/$15 Conc. Includes light refreshments.
For bookings please contact Essie at The Australian Script Centre on 03 6223 4675 or email email@example.com These projects were assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment.
A L EXI SO NFI R E
A New Crisis
By Steve Tauschke Vocalist Screamin’ George Pettit tells Steve Tauschke about success, snow storms and a transient life. “Five years ago we never thought we’d be touring Australia, let alone coming back for our third time to a couple of sold out shows. So now I just feel like it’s all icing on the cake.” George Pettit is in a good place. His post-hardcore quintet Alexisonfire, hometown heroes in their native Southern Ontario, Canada and rising stars elsewhere, are back with their third album Crisis and a renewed energy as they take it out on the road – again.
You’re on tour right now. Does the travel sometimes mess with your head? Yeah, most of the time I don’t even know what day it is; I just wake up in a different city and I live more by cities than I do by a watch. I think we’ve been out of regular society for so long that we’d be really hard-pressed to go back to it. But it’s also given us a bit of perspective, and we can see stuff from an outsider’s standpoint. Glenn Danzig once said it almost turns you into a ghoul – a function of living a transient life. I think that’s completely what it is, because you’re day starts at, like, 3.30pm, and the first obligation of the day is maybe sound check or load into a club.
Do you manage to relax when you get home? No, I’m like a shark; I’ve got to kept busy and keep moving or I suffocate. But I think music has saved my life; it’s my driving force. All I do is buy records and think about and talk with my friends about music – and play it. This is the only thing that’s made sense to a lot of us. You’ve had #1 albums in Canada … does large-scale success frighten you? I’ve only ever lived up to my own expectations, and I’ve never felt like I’ve had to change to appease or impress anyone else. So as long as I have a bit of integrity and honesty, then I don’t feel the pressure to be successful. I mean, we’ve surpassed any goals we’ve ever had for ourselves. We’re just trying to put ourselves out there in a positive way and have fun. I try to think back to what it was like when I started going to shows when I was thirteen years old. School was so fucking boring, and I wasn’t relating to my teachers and society, and so I’d go to shows and dance and have a great time and sweat out all my week’s frustration in a really positive way. So what did winning a Junos (Canadian Grammy) for Best New Group mean to Alexisonfire? It’s very flattering, and it’s a step in the right direction, in that they’re starting to recognise independent bands that are a little left-of-centre. But I think most people who appreciate the Junos are from the industry side of things, you know? Half the time I think they’re celebrating art, and half the time celebrating capitalism.
This album’s been cited as more autobiographical than previous works. I kind of think it’s pretty important to show we’re you’re from. I mean, I wasn’t born when the blizzard of ‘77 happened, but we wanted to use that image because it’s something that kind of localised it, and really showed people where we were from. And that was important to me. Tell us some more about this snow storm? It’s something that everybody’s parents have a story about.
They all knew where they were when the blizzard happened. In some parts of Ontario, and upstate New York, they had to dig deep to find the telephone poles, it was just so high. My parents had this book called White Death on their bookshelf, and it had this gnarly cover of a grave stone with a skull on
it and “77”, and as a kid that really appealed to me because it looked like punk artwork. So Crisis has a song about the blizzard, and I think most of the songs are a lot darker this time.
I’m like a shark; I’ve got to be kept busy and keep moving or I suffocate. But I think music has saved my life; it’s my driving force.
T H E MI GHT Y BO O S H
Turn On The Headlights, There’s A Snake In The Boosh By Carlisle Rogers Right now there are two kinds of people in the world; those who know and love The Mighty Boosh, and those who look at you with one eyebrow raised and the other one lowered when you mention the name of the saviour of British comedy. With the release of the show on DVD in Australia, finally people outside comedy’s cognoscenti can find out what all the fuss is about. joke, it’s the same joke every week. We’re usually not even in the same place every week. We usually go to a new world, with new characters. Hopefully, even though it’s not as immediate, if you do get into it, hopefully there is more for you to get your head around in the long run; more layers, we hope.”
Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt are, respectively, Vince Noir and Howard Moon on this stage/radio/ television phenomenon that is almost impossible to describe in words, and even harder to steal jokes from. Noel’s wry deadpan delivery and Julian’s affected moodiness combine on the screen to create something much greater than the sum of low budget, dialogue based parts … and the weird thing is that you can watch it over and over and appreciate it more each time. “I think that we thought we might cancel each other out,” says Noel in a rolling Brixton accent, “because we’re both quite weird. We weren’t sure whether it was going to work or not, so we just did one gig. We have that gig on tape, and it’s the first thing we ever did, and it’s pretty much as funny as what we’re doing now, the first time, which is quite shocking. We watched it the other day, and we were quite surprised; it was all there, the chemistry, and the way we complemented each other was all there straight away. It was freaky. The material wasn’t as good, but the rest of it was all there. It was out of our hands.” Noel describes the show’s humour as based around a narrative, but the guys tend to let things sprawl where necessary too. “I’m into a lot of visual stuff, and Julian is into music. The American guy, Bob Fossil, is great. He complements us quite well. We’re low key and quite
Built on a shoestring originally, one of the show’s loveable quirks, Noel says, is that they didn’t really spend more money when it came to the second season; they just made it look more expensive. “That’s something that we liked about the second series. We worked out a way of making it look quite expensive, without it costing more. It cost less, the second series, but we used lots of back projection in the end. That was how we got around it.
People can buy this on DVD and watch it over and over again, which I don’t think you can do with Little Britain, because it’s very immediate.
We got this guy in, Tim, who does videos for Coldplay and stuff. He came up with this idea that we use lots of back projection and make it all magical and fantastic. Lots of people thought we had loads of money in the second series, but we had less money. “The first series, though, the zoo looks like it’s indoors. It looks like a 1950s sitcom, which I don’t mind in a way, but it was a bit low budget. I don’t think our stuff looks very good when it’s too slick; it looks a bit wrong. It looks like we’ve been dropped into a car advert. It needs to be a bit lo-fi.” The Mighty Boosh DVD is out soon.
mumbly and English, and he’s quite loud and brash and big, so it’s quite a good contrast. It just makes it slightly odd as well to have an American in it. And Naboo, the enigma, he’s really different again. There are quite a lot of different things going on, and it takes quite a long time to get your head around it. Only a few people watch it once and get it straight away. A lot of people have to go back to it a few times, then they suddenly go, “Ah, I get this!” It’s like a difficult album. It’s like a Captain Beefheart album – you don’t get it straight away. You have to have a few goes. “People can buy this on DVD and watch it over and over again, which I don’t think you can do with Little Britain, because it’s very immediate. Once you get the
CH I L DREN CO LLI D E
On A Crash Course To Success ROCK SALT
By Carlisle Rogers On tour pushing their new Cannibal single off the Glass Mountain Liars EP, Children Collide are right on the apex of that high white razor in the sky.
In May they hit the UK, New York, Los Angeles and then right back to Australia to tour with Grinspoon again. Just the drinks rider for the next few months is going to be more than most people consume in a year. Johnny Mackay, vocals and guitar, says that they also have an album written, and just have to sort out a producer and a studio now. “We have a bunch of interest overseas, and we’re trying to work out who we’re going to be dealing with on an international level. Then we can start recording the album, once we know who we are going to be working with.”
On the road, the guys have two EPs to play now, including their debut, We Three Brave & True, alongside a few new numbers, says Johnny. “We have a few that we pull out live, but the rest of the set is made of out of made of our first two EPs. We nearly always end with this really crazy instrumental. I often crack Heath in the head because it can get a bit out of hand. In London I cracked this guy from a publishing company in the head and he bled everywhere. I had to buy him Tequila to make him feel better. So there is always a lot of sweat and blood.” Together for a little over two years, Johnny says that the latest EP was recorded “in a little studio in a back street of Collingwood” with ex-Pound System helmsman Paul “Woody” Annison, who has also recently produced Red Riders. “He was really easy to work with – I didn’t feel any stress at all. We rehearsed our asses off before we went in there, and we knew what we wanted. I even had time to improvise a little on the last track. I got Woody to loop some other songs, reverse some of them, and I improvised over the top of it and we made a song there on the studio one night and that ended up being the last song on Glass Mountain Liars. “The way I approached it, and what I said to the producer, was that I like every song, and my voice in every song, to be treated individually. I don’t like across the board sounds. I don’t want us to be one of those bands where everything sounds very similar. We tried to really treat each song individually, giving each one its own character and flavour. Connect everything, but still make everything stand out on it own and be its own little baby. We tried to really represent a bunch of directions. We couldn’t be one of those bands that write the same song over and over again.”
On Flying Nun Records, distributed through Warner, Johnny says their signing was yet another Myspace story. “He found us through Myspace, actually. I think he had heard of us, and I got a message on Myspace one time. We had different management at the time based in Sydney. He dropped around a CD and they liked it. We had a couple of meetings and dinners, and then we signed with them. We signed on a Friday and went into the studio on Monday. It all happened very quickly. We had a tight release schedule and it was all rolling quickly. I think they were used to doing it that way, but we really wanted to get it out before the end of last year. We were planning to go to the UK in October, so we had to finish it before then, which we ended up doing. It all got rolling while we were overseas, so when we came back to launch it, it was all good.”
In London I cracked this guy from a publishing company in the head and he bled everywhere. I had to buy him Tequila to make him feel better. So did the band blow a massive six-figure advance on girls and blow? “It’s not really that kind of deal. We are still working at our day jobs at the moment. I would probably blow the money if we had anything to spend. I got off the plane in Perth after the last world tour we were in and the promoter comes around and picks us up and drops us to the hotel, then I made him drive me to Centrelink and wait outside for half an hour while I went in to get some money.”
Horrorscopes THE PSYCHO PSYCHIC SCREWS WITH YOUR LIFE
Aries You’re itchy-itchy scratchyscratchy – it’s not a “rude bits disease”; you’re just itching for action. Don’t give yourself a rash. Claw your way to the top. Song of the Fortnight: Cure for the Itch – Linkin Park
Taurus It’s time to drop some bombs. Like the one you’ve been retaining in your bowel for 72 hours. Don’t take any more bullshit. You’ve got your own, deep inside of you. SOTFN: Push It – Salt n Pepa
Gemini Dream sugar, spice, all things nice; frogs, snails and puppy dog’s tails. You are Gemini. And you need an autumn stew recipe. Don’t worry; you’re as tasty as ever. SOTFN: Two Become One – The Spice Girls
Cancer Do your own thing. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else. Wow, how cool, man. Self-harm – so Tokyo right now. SOTFN: Paper Cuts – Nirvana
Leo Make contact with your favourite alien before she eats her own head. Your star’s about to shoot into an uncharted galaxy, so make sure you and your handbag are getting along. SOTF: Lady Stardust – David Bowie
Virgo Pack your umbrella into your carpetbag, click your heels, and get your picnic basket on. The naughty children need you and your spoonful of sugar. SOTFN: Bad Medicine – Bon Jovi
Libra It’s all so heavy for a few days, but don’t worry Libra; things will lighten up till it’s merely a scanty smudge. SOTFN: Wait and Bleed – Slipknot
Scorpio That smile on your face – are you okay? Are you telling the truth with your face? What’s so hunkyfuckin-dory? Oh, that’s right. You’re the best at it. SOTFN: I Touch Myself – The Divinyls
Sagittarius If love was so easy to get and keep, it wouldn’t mean much, would it? Have your little wallow, but remember that no one likes the smell of rancid mud. SOTFN: My Name Is Mud – Primus
Capricorn Plot! Plan! Conspire! Scheme! Collaborate! Strategise! This is the biggest excuse for a hangover ever. SOTFN: Loco Gringos Like A Party – Reverend Horton Heat
Aquarius Now is the winter of your discontent (well almost). It’s OK to be bored shitless. Use the time to pick the bellybutton fluff out of your teeth. And to get the nits out of your toe hairs. SOTFN: Nothing – Depeche Mode
Pisces Shopping is the answer to all this fortnight’s conundrums. Like, it would be fabulous to have toilet paper, wouldn’t it? SOTFN: Shopping – Pet Shop Boys
The Glass Mountain Liars EP is out now through Flying Nun/Warner. PAGE 29
Cobblestones By Ian Murtagh There are one or two things that keep a busker going. The first, and most obvious, is lots of cash. Make it a habit if you’re a lover of buskers to throw them the change in your pockets, especially if they’re gold. Few realise that some of us buskers make their living from it, and lots of two dollar coins buys lots of two minute noodles. The second thing – and this is the one that matters most, interestingly enough – is to sit down and have a bit of a listen. On the days when the takings are a little slim, if just one person takes the time to appreciate what you’re trying to do, it turns a lousy day into one of the better ones, because you sing for them. And, for some reason, you rise to the occasion, and sound the best you’ve sounded in months. I’ve started off about busking as it’s a convenient springboard into what I really want to talk about. On Friday the 27th of April, Hobart waved farewell to one of its favourite sons, Fell to Erin, who’ve been playing classily and showing everybody else how to do it (or simply showing them up) for close to a decade.
There was a major factor in Fell to Erin’s success; people went and watched the show. And they did it
How do you make your dollars? I am a fairy, and I
How do you make your dollars? I don’t really – my
How do you make your dollars? I’m one of the hot
model a bit. Plus waitressing and front-of-house things
sales girls at Habitat.
What’s on your pod right now? The Streets, and
What’s on your pod right now? The Killers, The
mostly other English garage.
Shins and The Kaiser Chiefs.
Tell us about the coolest item of clothing you
Tell us about the coolest item of clothing you
bought recently? My Hem & Haw hoody & Limedrop
bought recently? This stripy dress by a local designer
Jeans from Small Rhino.
Swan & Spider.
favourite thing probably isn’t bought recently, but it is
What item of clothing is going to save your life
What item of clothing is going to save your life
You can’t hold it against them; they’re your mates,
a lovely tight grey Country Road jumper that my best-
this winter? My Wayne Cooper trench coat.
this winter? My woolen jumper, my woolen tights, and
and usually that’s the very reason they’re at home
anything else I can find with wool in it.
in front of the tellie. If you’re a very lucky musician,
when you stop inviting your friends to gigs – not out
like that! What’s on your pod right now? The Shins, The Fray,
Tell us about the coolest item of clothing you
this winter? My wonderful big thick grey trench coat
they’re going to come see you. For those people that aren’t really into the live music scene, their job is done, and they feel completely free to couch
you make a whole bunch of new friends when you’re
What is the best wintertime comfort food? What item of clothing is going to save your life
part as a friend and come to see you play a couple
potato it up in the warmth of their own living room.
bought recently? A lovely silk shift dress! But my
friend gave me, and it is so classic and classy.
of malice, but simply because they’ve done their of times, which is pretty much how many times
Ben Kweller, Kooks, and millions of others – plus my great musical friends.
repeatedly. For a musician, there often comes a time
What is the best wintertime comfort food?
playing, and they are affectionately known as fans.
Your friends and family are rarely your fans. But in
that goes around my knees, and is tailored and fitted
the case of Fell to Erin, they went a step further,
with a lovely collar and warm, warm lining. Plus my
and made their fans a family. I can’t remember a
single show they played where the audience wasn’t mostly full of Fell to Erin nuts, who not only knew all the words to all the songs, they knew the names of the songs, requested them endlessly and jiggled around in happy spasms on the dance floor, singing as loud as they could when the band obliged. Fell to Erin might have closed their book, but you can bet that everyone in that audience at their last gig had a copy of it. Get behind the bands and musicians in this city; go and watch them play. I guarantee it’s better than what’s on the box, and the most wonderful thing happens to a band when there’s a full room; magic happens – the primeval stuff that the worlds were formed with. If we’re lucky, we’ll get another Fell to Erin. At the very least, some damn fine music will come out it. The band Waiter probably isn’t going to be around for much longer, so make a point to go and see them as soon as you can. They’re bloody brilliant. My favourite gig they did was on the big stage at 2005’s Falls Festival. Halfway through their set, the rain stopped, the clouds parted, the sun stopped hiding, and everyone cheered. The massive crowd
who danced to them proves that they’re a class act, and a hard one to follow. And let’s face it; this
How do you make your dollars? I work for
How do you make your dollars? I don’t ... my Dad
could be your last chance. There are oodles of great
Commonwealth Bank. I answer calls about money.
bands around to follow. Some other hard acts to
and Herbie Hancock probably get the most air time at
What’s on your pod right now? Everything except
What’s on your pod right now? So many tunes, but
I’ll rant about them enough so that you don’t forget.
country, but I’m listening to Amy Winehouse.
at the moment Elliot Smith is the favourite.
Remember that without a bunch of people to sing
Tell us about the coolest item of clothing you
Tell us about the coolest item of clothing you
Tell us about the coolest item of clothing you
support of a good crowd. We don’t want them to fade
bought recently? Well a few weeks ago I got a t-shirt
bought recently? Apart from my new Limedrop jeans,
bought recently? My beanie and fingerless gloves;
printed with the logo of a label I’m in the process of
a new black cardi from a little shop in St Kilda (I can’t
they are appropriate and cool.
setting up called King Worthington!
remember the name).
How do you make your dollars? Dish Pig.
follow are Enola Fall and Red Rival, and don’t worry,
What’s on your pod right now? DJ Format, Omni Trio
to, the magic isn’t going to happen. They need the
Oh, and don’t forget to sit and listen to the buskers What item of clothing is going to save your life
What item of clothing is going to save your life
What item of clothing is going to save your life
this winter? I’ll be in London where it’s summer when
this winter? Probably my bum gloves.
this winter? My long G-Star trench and beanie. I’m yet
it’s winter here, so hopefully I won’t need anything too
to buy gloves.
warm to save my life.
What is the best wintertime comfort food? Soup
What is the best winter time comfort food? Home-
and crusty bread rolls.
made potato chips with lots of salt. And, of course,
What is the best wintertime comfort food? A nice frosty beverage ... or a hearty soup.
chocolate self-saucing pudding.
too – the little people in our growing city. I know at least one busker who really appreciates it. And don’t forget those two dollar coins! Next time.