On the street every second Wednesday
Issue #52 03/10/07 - 16/10/07 Made in Tasmania
HO RSEL L C O M M O N
They Look Good From Afar, And They’re Coming Closer By Dave Williams
Heading to Burnie this month as part of Triple J’s AWOL event – taking to the stage with the likes of Cut Copy and The Cat Empire – singer/guitarist Mark Stewart of Melbourne’s Horsell Common dissected the philosophy underlying the single Good From Afar, and explained that to stick around as long as the likes of You Am I is something he’d take any day of the week. The AWOL show in Burnie; I guess that’s going to be an outdoor gig. Do you have any sort of different approach for outdoor gigs, than you do for, say, when you’re going to come back down with Kisschasy, and do the indoor gigs? Yeah, I think … the indoor ones are always a lot more intimate, so I think we just try and stick a lot more raw-rock; when we play outdoors, a lot more loud guitars and that kind of thing, and as much fun as possible to try and get people involved as much as we can. Indoors, you can quieten it down and that kind of thing, and it doesn’t necessarily translate as well in open-air. That being said, we’re not really that familiar with the outdoor festivals. I mean, we do it every now and again, but not enough to say that we’re seasoned veterans or anything like that; it’s still something that we’re getting our heads around, and we get really excited every time we get a chance to do one. We can’t wait to get down to Burnie; I think we’re arriving, like, a day early or something like that, so we can hang out and see people and take in the sights, and see what there is to do … have a few drinks and that kind of thing … For me, the name “Horsell Common” … it reminds me of a line from War Of The Worlds, actually. Somewhere in the War Of The Worlds book … Horsell’s an actually town in England, and the common is the landscape; the stretch of hills. And that’s where they filmed for the original film. That’s where they filmed the first spaceship landing, on Horsell Common. The chapter for the soundtrack was called Horsell Common and the Heatray, and yeah, we just took the name from there. There’s a new release … a remix of that music that’s out at the moment. The show is actually in town this weekend. With the Shazza Moll! [Otherwise known as Shannon Noll] Yeah, I know! We were going … until we found that out! [Laughs] Anyway, I’m sure it will be awesome. And what’s happening otherwise with the band? In terms of the record, how long ago were you working on it? It was recorded June/July. Did you guys put aside a time, and go, “OK, we’re going to write a record”? Or was this a collection of songs? Kind of. We played a show New Year’s Eve last year, and we were having drinks with our label after the show, and we kind of said that we would really like to release an album for 2007. And we were planning on taking all of January off, because we’d just toured for, like, two or three months, leading in to that New Year’s show. They told us … well, they know how slow we write, and they said, “Yeah, you might want to start now.” [Laughs] “If you’re going to release something for 2007, you’re going to have to record it around the middle of the year.” So pretty much a day or two after we started writing again … our EP was only three months old at the time, so we went straight into it. We definitely set aside the first half of the year to write the record. There was a tour too in there somewhere, but, apart from touring, we were writing all the time. The single Good From Afar … what’s the inspiration behind that track? With that one, I guess … I mean, I’m not going to put shit on anyone else, or whatever anyone else does or anything like that … it’s just, sometimes you get the impression – and I guess this translates to all walks of life anyway – there are people who would rather look good as opposed to sound good, or look good first, sound good second … I just felt like I wanted to make a point that was not what our band’s about or anything like that. It was always about music first, and everything else just really doesn’t stack up at all. That’s just a little vent, at the end of the day, about stuff like that. There’s a line in it … “[We’ll] Burn that bridge when we get to it.” Yeah … and that’s the same thing. We won’t … we’ll take advantage of any situation that we possibly can, just to play in front of new people at the end of the day. We don’t care who we play with; we’ll play with anyone, even if it contradicts what we’re writing about. If it’s playing with a band that is the total opposite to us, and doesn’t care about their music that much and that kind of thing, and just want to actually just look amazing … we’ll play with them, if it means we can pinch a few fans from their show and stuff like that … we’re totally cool with that. It’s really kind of appetising at the end of the day, and really appealing, to go up against a crowd where no one really knows your music, you don’t fit in, and that kind of thing … and actually win people over. It reminds me of the whole “don’t compromise” kind of attitude … especially with art and music. There are lots of compromises that seem to have to be made, you know, during an artist’s career, and during a band’s career. There are times when a decision has to be made not to compromise, and you might burn a bridge because of it. Most definitely. And, at the end of the day … we were talking about this the other day – when you look at Australian music … the bands that I kind of respect the most … bands like You Am I and Something For Kate and also Karnivool; they have this unbelievably loyal fan bases that keep coming back to their shows. They’re not the biggest bands in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but they just seem to be so unbelievably honest that you just can’t help but be drawn to it at the end of the day. And we have no desire to be, like, the biggest band in the world; want to be Oasis or anything like that! But to keep slowly building it, and getting this core group of people that just get into your music only for the fact that they like your songs is just what we want to do – just tour hard and hang out with people who like our band. We don’t really want any more than that. Do you think that Horsell Common is kind of representative of the music scene in Melbourne? A lot of our best friends, and the bands that we hang out with, are all Melbourne-based, and you can kind of spot a Melbourne band from a mile away. Each state kind of has its own sound, and Melbourne is just a lot more … I don’t know – a lot more straight-down-the-line, I’ve found with that kind of thing. Bands like Blueline Medic and Away From Now and Trial Kennedy and that kind of thing … we have really good friendships with all those kind of bands, and we do tour together as much as we can, but people do get sick of the same tour every single time, no matter how many times you shuffle the lineup around. But yeah, I hope so – if we are indicative of the city itself … I don’t think that we are, but I’d have no dramas with that.
… A band that is the total opposite to us … we’ll play with them, if it means we can pinch a few fans …
Do you think that the main inspiration for your music comes from within yourselves; your own personal experiences? Or is it more observational? It used to be observational, but now it’s extremely personal. It definitely comes from within the three of us. We don’t tend to feel any pressure from outside, but we do kind of place a lot of pressure on ourselves, even if we have to kind of manufacture it in our heads. We do like to kick ourselves in the arse and play as much as we can. We just love to get in the studio and write songs together and that kind of thing, but we do want to make songs that are interesting to us first and foremost. Like, we’re the ones who have got to play the damn things a couple of hundred times, so we might as well love the music at the same time. So we do make sure that we love every single second of every single song, and we put as much into it as we can when we play live. whe You mentioned before bands that you look up to – first on the list was You Am I. Does that mean that Tim Rogers is high on your list … an influence as a songwriter for you guys? as a Oh, absolutely. Just his honesty – especially with some of the quieter stuff that he does … His songwriting and his lyrics are just beautiful. At the end of the day, the way he tells a story is just incredible; the way that he can actually translate music is something that I’ve really tried to work on, especially for this release. I used to find lyrics a bit of a chore, but gradually, over time, the more honest I’ve become with songwriting – being more honest as opposed observational – the more that I have enjoyed it. I’m kind of slowly getting better at it at the same time … and I like doing it now! I don’t actually find that to o have to set aside time to write or anything like that; I just constantly do it now. I write in my head; I write when I’m driving in the car; when I’m sitting at I hav home, doing nothing as well. But [Rogers] would be a huge influence. hom Did you want to be a musician when you were a kid? Or did you have some other, you know, “I’m going to be … something … when I grow up”? didn’t want to be a musician, but I think my dad probably wanted me to be … wanted me to play the guitar at the end of the day. Like, he didn’t push I did me or anything like that, but when I told him that I did want to do it, he was over the moon, because he’s a huge Stones fan and Springsteen fan and that kind of thing. My favourite guitarist is someone like Keith Richards. He’s a rhythm guitarist at the end of the day – like, I don’t know how to play solos and shit like that. I couldn’t really care less about that kind of thing. But he’s held a less-is-more approach; he’s a real minimalist at the end of the day, and I just love that kind of thing. Yeah, I don’t have any ambition to be an awesome guitarist; I’d just rather be a good storyteller at the end of the day – try to just write good songs. Where would you like Horsell Common to be in twelve months’ time and, say, five years’ time? Do you guys look that far ahead? No, generally we haven’t … If I could go back to what we were saying before – talking about bands like You Am I and Something For Kate – they constantly have people coming out to their shows, and they don’t compromise in any stretch at all. If we could have half the career, or half of even the lifespan that a band like that has had, I’ll take that any day of the week. It just seems unbelievably appealing, because when you go to these shows … you still see, like, nineteen-, twenty-year-old people getting into a band that’s ten or fifteen years old. You just think, “How the fuck does this happen?” But it’s just an amazing thing to watch. Horsell Common play with The Cat Empire and Cut Copy at the West Park Oval Sportsground in Burnie on October 13th. To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
THE VA S CO E R A
Just When You Thought Your Ears Had Fully Recovered ...
It’s such a clichéd thing to say, but it’s pretty hard not to love The Vasco Era. They play their instruments like they hate them and rock crowds effortlessly in the process. Their album Oh Do We Like To Be Beside The Seaside has been compared in the Oz music press to debuts like Bleach and Ten. And it never seems like too long before they’re coming down again. I spoke to the boys ahead of their three-show Tassie stint this month.
AUSTRALIAN MUSIC PRIZE
Now that it’s been out for a while now, how have your feelings changed towards the last album, Oh Do We Like To Be Beside The Seaside? We’re all still very proud of that album. It is one that we weren’t sure we were going to be allowed to do, because it is such a loud, grating record, but everyone involved was really supportive.
The Australian Music Prize has returned with its third consecutive prize to reward and promote Australian music. Until Friday November 30th, Australian artists have the opportunity to enter The Amp 2007 and win the Prize, which comes with $25,000 in cash (provided by PPCA), to be announced in March 2008.
What plans do you have to follow it up? What can you tell me about any new material you’ve been doing? We have about five new songs at the moment. They are a lot more like songs, rather than just big riffs, and they aren’t as loud and angry as the Seaside album.
The Amp 2007 will recognise an Australian music artist (or group of artists) for their outstanding creativity. Perhaps more importantly, the winner will gain increased and widespread exposure in the media, at retail and the industry in general as a result from winning this prize. The Amp’s judging criteria is simple. The focus is on creativity, uniqueness and performance, rather than sales or fashion.
By Tom Wilson
What have been the best and worst criticisms of the last album in the press? The best would have to be that it was up there alongside Ten and Bleach [Pearl Jam and Nirvana’s debuts] as far as top first efforts go. The worst was that we were a Choirboys/ Van Halen rip-off.
There was one with black seed that started off really hot, and just got hotter. And hotter. Don’t eat the blackseeded chili. What do you remember about your last shows down here? Lots of fun, heaps of people and Jack Daniels steak. We also had a chili-off each night at dinner. They guys in the kitchen sent out a plate with five different types of chili. There was one with black seed that started off really hot, and just got hotter. And hotter. Don’t eat the black-seeded chili. You’re coming down with The Fumes. How did you first meet those guys? And who’s idea was it to tour
2007 – ENTRIES NOW OPEN
FALLS FESTIVAL 2007
2ND LINE-UP ANNOUNCEMENT The following acts have been Added to the line-up for this year’s Falls Festival in Marion Bay:
together? We first met them when we played with them in Sydney last year. Then we got to meet them properly over in Western Australia this year. Not really sure who’s idea it was to tour together, but it has been on the cards for a fair while – this is just the first opportunity we’ve had when both bands were free for a bit. You’ve got a few days off directly before you head down to Tassie. What do you think you’ll be getting up to? I’ll probably be helping a mate out doing some labouring – get some good honest work into me for once! I’ve got to ask – what kind of Fumes normally emanate
from your support band? The smell of roses, or dirty undies? They are definitely all roses. Can’t say the same about the tour bus after a few days, though.
THE PIPETTES (UK), BONDE DO ROLE (BRAZIL), ANGUS AND JULIA STONE, CLARE BOWDITCH & THE FEEDING SET, CUT OFF YOUR HANDS (NZ), OLD MAN RIVER, LIOR, JEFF LANG, THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, LITTLE RED, OPERATOR PLEASE, REGURGITATOR, THE HERD, THE SCIENTISTS OF MODERN MUSIC
You’ll be on the road until mid-November. What are your plans for afterwards? We’re playing a few festivals here and there, but the main thing will be writing. We’re all really excited about the new material we have, so we want to finish it off and get another album happening.
More to be announced!
The Vasco Era play Launceston’s James Hotel on the 19th of October, and Hobart’s Republic Bar on the 20th and 21st, supported by The Fumes.
The first announcements of the lineup for MS FEST 2008 will be made on the 18th of October. Tickets will go on sale November 2nd. We’ll be bringing you the info as it comes!
MS FEST 2008
CONTENTS ROCK SALT
BANGERS & MASH
ARTS & FILM
STREET FASHION & EYEBALL KICKS
Phone: 03 6331 0701 Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial: email@example.com
Editor David Williams
Sub Editor Tom Wilson
Journalist Chris Rattray
Graphic Designer Chris Titmus
Writer Carole Whitehead firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks To Our Contributors: Ryan Farrington, Ian Murtagh, Clara Murray, Zackery Blackstone, Eloise Gurr, Patrick Duke, Felix Blackler, Shannon Stevens, Lisa Howell, Toni Tambourine, Phil Cheeseman and Maura Bedloe
Deadlines Sauce #53, 17th Oct - 12th Oct DEADLINE: 12th october
Opinions expressed in Sauce are not necessarily those of the editor, publisher or staff. PAGE 4
Former Abigails Become Little Green Men
By Tom Wilson
… If it makes me happy then that’s enough to put it out there. I’ve become quite selfish in my slipper years! When n The Dead Abigails broke up earlier this year, I wasn’t the only one curious as hell to know what each of them would do next. For Glenn Moorehouse and Coz Gilham, it’s a project with Dane Leonard, and on the 17th of October, patrons of Irish Murphy’s in Launceston will witness their first live performance. Glenn and I pondered Alien Existence. Your new project is called Alien Existence. In what ways do you think the name of the band reflects the music you’re making? The name itself refers to rethinking our history, what it is to be human, and how it feels to be controlled on so many levels through various institutions such as religion, politics and the media. In the same way the music and lyrics are about rethinking my history; what it is to be me and how it feels to be controlled by my past, and whether or not my decisions were clouded by external influences i.e.; religion, politics and the media. The name and music go hand-in-hand in hopefully provoking thought and discussion, whether that be, “My god I need another beer!”, or, “You’re right! The reptilians from the lower fourth dimension really do control our government!” Who are you working with in this project? Are any of the former Abigails involved? I’ve deliberately gone with a three-piece to capture the immediacy of the sound. To kick things off I grabbed Dane Leonard on skins – a young, energetic, urgent-sounding drummer who brings a more erratic, cut-up feel to the songs. I combined that with the fat, bad-ass-mofo groove of Coz Gilham (Abigails), who’s determination to find the ultimate feel of a song should never be underrated. Together, they allow myself to play with a more rhythmic guitar feel, explore the music vocally and lyrically and, ultimately, pull the power-pop nature of the songs to a higher sound. When did this project first start? What prompted it? I’ve been toying with the idea for a year or so, but it all came to fruition around June this year when Randall announced his sojourn to the British Isles. It simply felt like the right time to head out in a new direction after seven years with the Abigails.
Also I was getting great feedback from my solo shows – not only for the songwriting aspect, but for the way my voice was coming along. It takes a lot to step out from the shadows of someone as vocally gifted as Carl Fidler, but I’ve learnt so much from him, [and with] a few years singing solo under my belt, I feel I can confidently step up onto that stage and produce some exciting sounds! How much material do you have under your belt at the moment? What plans do you have to do some recording? To be honest, Tom ... we’ve got ten songs ready for our debut performance! I really didn’t want to sit on this project too long. It’s about throwing ourselves in the deep end – thrashing, crashing, drowning, and occasionally synchronised swimming! We will be looking into the next batch of songs after October 17th – attacking the songs I’ve already written and jamming out a few riffs and chord progressions. As far as recording goes, I’ve no plans for the immediate future; undoubtedly there will be some demos floating around in the next few months, but we’ll have to wait and see on any releases. How have you found the process of writing material to be different to how you did it in the Abigails? The biggest difference would be creating a sound free of the constraints that surrounded the Abbies. These songs are a true representation of who I am, and thankfully Coz and Dane believe in what I’m pouring out. With AE I’m only trying to please myself; if it makes me happy then that’s enough to put it out there. I’ve become quite selfish in my slipper years! How would you describe the sound of Alien Existence? Essentially power-pop, Tom. I’ve always been drawn to that style – whether it be Rat Cat, Lust In Space, You Am I or My Bloody
Valentine. They all had elements of the same thing ... great pop sensibility! It’s a hark back to what initially inspired me to play music; raw noise with bittersweet melodies, all swirling together to impact as one. After your experience with the Abigails, what are some lessons you’ve learned that will affect this new project? What will you be doing differently? Never forget to express oneself creatively, artistically and politically! Don’t be shy – controversy makes the world go round! When you think you need a manager, you’re at least six months to a year off (or three)! Always remember that making music is fun, no matter how serious or depressing the subject matter is. Will you still be dressing like a rock star when you’re ninety? If not, what kind of fashion can you foresee yourself displaying? Well, if I’m not wearing Ohm Shanti jeans and a Le Loi shirt, then I’ll have to be sporting an off-white, slightly padded jumpsuit with an almost satin finish, accompanied by beige stripes. Two to be exact – one to represent humanity, the other to remind us of control! Are you proof that aliens exist? Consistently! Lastly, what’s in your back pocket right now? A Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic, a towel, and a business of ferrets, my dear friend! Oh, hang on ... they’re in my trousers! Assuming he’s not hospitalised by a ferret bite to the testicles, Glenn will be joining the rest of Irish Murphy’s in Launceston for their live debut on October 17th.
MI A DYSO N
Releasing Your Work To The Media Lions … And Surviving R O C K S A LT
By Dave Williams Iff a good tradesmen n never blames his tools, a good singer should never blame their voice – and Mia Dyson is one artist who takes steps to make sure she’ll never have to. She spoke to me about the dynamic of releasing her work out into the world, and into the crosshairs of the media … Touring, especially for a vocalist, must be a real sort of “test”. For a guitarist, they’ve got to look after their fingers and hands, but with vocalists … it must be a real test to maintain one’s voice? It is, it is. I’m quite envious of people who just play! [Laughs] Because … [when] touring, you could relax a lot more, and you could certainly party a lot more. I mean, of course, I can do that if I want to, but I have to face the consequences of it! And I don’t like not being at my best vocal ability … I don’t like turning up to a gig and not being able to sing very well, so I do have to really take it easy … Not excessively – I certainly am not obsessive about my voice, but it does make touring not as glamourous as it would probably seem to other people! [Laughs] Did you have any routine to look after it? Opera singers – they’ll gargle eggs and all that sort of stuff … [Laughs] Well, actually, I didn’t used to, but about eighteen months ago when I really started to tour quite heavily, I went and saw a speech therapist woman who had some ideas for maintaining [your] voice if you’re night-after-night gigging. So she wasn’t sort of teaching me how to sing so much as teaching me how to do some exercises to recover vocal ability … The killer factors are, like, once you’ve done a gig, standing around talking for two hours with loud music going … Screaming at people after the show – that’s when you really do your voice in. So just a few pointers about stuff like that. I do warm up a bit these days – with my voice … kind of run up and down your range. And that’s about it, really – I just have to make sure I don’t spend too much time … If I want to have a conversation after the gig, I have to go somewhere quiet! [Laughs] With a little bit of perspective now, looking at Struck Down, how are you feeling about the release? I mean, I’m sure you’d be feeling wonderful … [Laughs] No, no! Not necessarily! Oh, it’s always the standard answer! “Oh, yes – I’m feeling wonderful about it! It’s such a good record!” Do people really say that? Oh yeah. That’s why I always go “honestly …” – try to get at them on a humane level. [Laughs] It’s funny … That’s not what I would normally say. I haven’t felt a pure feeling like that about any of my albums, you know? There’re always reservations; there’s always changing emotions … as you get further away from it, or as you hear what people make of it … One thing is that I’ve been really surprised by how well it’s been reviewed. It’s not like … we haven’t been in the charts or anything like that … I shouldn’t play it down, but it’s not like we’re having some kind of huge success with the album. But on the critical front, it’s been amazing, and it really took me by surprise, because I thought … being my third album … I’ve never really copped any sort of nasty stuff in the press, and I thought it was probably about time that that happened to me! Because we’re all bastards! [Makes growling noise] No, no, because I’ve been around for a while, and I’ve had a good run, if you know what I mean? To a certain degree in Australia – and, of course, this isn’t across the board – once you’ve been around for a little while, and you’ve been well-received so far, you start to become a bit more “fair game” for criticism. Once you get tall enough, they cut you down. Yeah. And maybe it’s still that I’m not tall enough! [Laughs] That’s the thing! Anyway, the reviews have been overwhelmingly good … Also because this album is probably even less accessible than Parking Lots. I actually thought reviewers would go, “Oh, this is boring,” because it’s quite a reflective … I think it’s a subtler album, so if reviewers are only going to listen to it once, it’s probably not enough to sort of take in the album. And yet they seem to have been really taken with it, and I’ve been really surprised … That’s been a really good thing; it’s been good to hear, because I certainly wasn’t releasing this album with loads of confidence … if that makes sense … I get the feeling that people are lying, or their on drugs, if they say, “Oh, it’s just wonderful!” [Laughs] “It’s perfect!” Generally they’re just lying, because they feel they have to do the whole promo thing. But I had a great conversation with Quan of Regurgitator … he was saying that he also [was] never really happy with any of their releases, which stunned me! It’s interesting that you’re also saying a similar thing. Yeah, I mean … I think you’ll find that a lot of people are in the same … not many people admit it, which is funny, because I really find [that] I get quite inspired by people who talk about the doubts that they had, rather than just talking things up. Especially when it’s because they’re going for something of a really high standard that they want to achieve, and they don’t always live up to that. But they keep trying; they didn’t quite get it on that record, so they’re going to go, “Well, I’m looking for that” next time … You’re always pursuing something that’s a bit out of sight! [Laughs] Which means you never get there! I find that the most intelligent people, in my opinion, are those who admit that they’re ignorant, and ask questions – whether it be artistically or literally, you know? Absolutely. And I think the ones who achieve are the ones who don’t like to pretend, and go, “No, I really haven’t got a fucking clue!” Exactly. Isn’t it great when someone who you really admire says that – “I don’t have a clue”? It’s brilliant, because they’re not the kind of superhuman that perhaps people make them out to be or something. Mia Dyson plays Launceston’s James Hotel on the 4th of October, and Hobart’s Republic Bar on the 5th. To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
I’ve never really copped any sort of nasty stuff in the press, and I thought it was probably about time that that happened to me!
1 9 1 C H A R L E S S T R E E T L AU N C E S TO N
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TICKETS ON SALE! Mia Dyson & Epicure
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SATURDAY 13TH OCT HOBART LICENSED SHOW @ REPUBLIC BAR 9PM TILL LATE + FUNKOARS + HEADS OF STATE PRESALES $20 + B/F FROM RUFFCUT RECORDS OR REPUBLIC BAR - $25 ON THE DOOR
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THURSDAY OCTOBER 4
Jazz Club '07
Viktor Zappner Swingtet, feat. Greg Harrison (from Deloraine) on baritone and tenor sax 7:30PM
FRIDAY OCTOBER 5 Troubadour 7:30PM
SATURDAY OCTOBER 6
Laugh for Life Workshop 1:30PM-4:30PM (cost on application)
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Laughter Leader Workshop 9:00PM-5:00PM (cost on application)
THURSDAY OCTOBER 11
Jazz Club '07 Viktor Zappner Swingtet feat. Doug Sheehan on trumpet and vocals, and Yoly Torres (from Burnie) on vocals 7:30PM
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The Laymen country rock from 8:00PM $10
SATURDAY OCTOBER 13
CLOSED THURSDAY OCTOBER 18
Jazz Club '07 The Wizard & Oz feast of musical styles 8:00PM $10
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Encore The Wizard & Oz 8:00PM $10
SATURDAY OCTOBER 20
Seagrass Bluegrass 7:30PM $10
THURSDAY OCTOBER 25
Jazz Club '07 Dodo Sosoka Slovak Jazz Trio 7:30PM $10
FRIDAY OCTOBER 26
An Intimate Evening with Karen Knowles 7:30PM $25
SATURDAY OCTOBER 27
Nathan Wheldon & the Two-Timers 7:30PM
TUESDAY OCTOBER 30
Jazz Club '07 Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band (from Sydney) 8.30PM $20
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T PEN MIC NIGH O TUESDAYS OUAYSTH - OFF M WEDNESD rd and Spoken Wo
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IC + CAS Oct 5th ECLECT T SE D VENTH DEGREE IN Oct 12th M ND, ANVIL AND SE + THE TURNAROU IC ST VO E TH WOOF + YURI & S Oct 19th WOOFAN WHELDON & THE TWO TIMER Oct 26th NATH WYNWOOD + MARCUS
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CATS AST BALCONY + Oct 6th BREAKF ELLENBERGER + NICK WINWOOD N Oct 13th REUBE EPPHERD + SUPPORT SH SH Oct 20th JO GN + SUPPORT Oct 27th THE SI
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BI RDS OF TO KYO
Take Flight On The Other Side Of Karnivool
By Tom Wilson
With your first impression of Birds Of Tokyo, you could be forgiven for not connecting the dots and realising that its frontman is also at the helm of contemporary metal troupe Karnivool – because, really, they couldn’t be more different. But don’t go thinking that Ian Kenny considers this a side-project; it’s just a different side, as I found out when he spoke to me amid rehearsals in the studio. I understand you are currently, right now, as of this minute in the studio? Correct-a-mondo? Yep, yep.
What are you guys up to? We’re rehearsing and writing new material. We’ve got a whole bunch of new stuff that we’ve written, and we’re just sort of taking the next step on establishing that – putting bits and pieces together. So what can you tell me about the new stuff that you guys are doing – how it sounds, maybe any working titles that you’ve got for them? Working titles? [Laughs] They’re all just piss-takes, really, because we really don’t understand the songs yet. We’ve got stupid working titles – things like Giblet and The Cow … just stupid shit that you only use as a point of reference to remember what you’re trying to play. But the new stuff, it’s a bit more … well, I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I’d say it’s a bit more upbeat, but then, there’re songs that aren’t. It’s just a bit more “Birds”, I guess. It’s just really early stages, so it’s hard to say exactly what they’re going to be. To me, honestly, it never occurred to me that you’re actually the same dude from Karnivool, because the two projects sound so different. What are some of the things, musically and otherwise, you can do in Birds Of Tokyo, that you feel you can’t really do as well in Karnivool? And was this band formed because you wanted an outlet for a different musical style? Well, it wasn’t really formed to sort of exercise more creative outlets or anything. It was kind of formed when Karnivool was just wrapping up Themata, the debut; we just had a lot of down-time. I didn’t like sitting on my hands too much; just got involved with this project with Sparky, which is the guitarist and one of the songwriters as well. It just kind of blossomed into something we didn’t really see coming, but … it’s definitely worth this feeling, because it’s a whole bunch of fun, you know? That’s basically the guts of it.
… The worst thing about recording in a studio is cabin fever … Things get a little bit weird! I unfortunately had to miss your Karnivool shows down here because I was ill, so I’m wondering – will I and the rest of Tasmania have to wait very long for you to come down with Birds Of Tokyo? No, we are playing in Tasmania in mid-October … We’re touring nationally from the 5th of October to the 20th, and that includes all the major cities and territories including Tasmania. We’ve got a show at the Republic Bar in Hobart. I know it’s an early stage at this point, but do you reckon you’ll be playing some of this new material at your show down here? Yeah. I mean, if we get it to a point where we’re feeling comfortable with it, sure. Sure we will. I would say we would probably chuck in a couple of songs, I reckon. Why not? I’m curious – how much time do you get to spend on Birds Of Tokyo, compared to Karnivool? Well I find I have to just divide my time, given to which project is in demand. If one band’s touring, obviously we can’t do the other … or if one band’s got studio time booked, then I just sort of go with that. I just sort of devote my time to both bands, really. What, for you, are the best and worst things about working in a studio? You can lose so many hours of your life in a studio, just waiting for certain recording parts to be laid down. I don’t know – I find you get cabin fever. Actually, the worst thing about recording in a studio is cabin fever, because for one reason or another you’re in a studio, indoors, in usually what is a dimly lit environment, and you’re just there for hours and hours and hours. You get cabin fever, man! Things get a little bit weird! Maybe weird’s a good thing. Here’s a nice one for you to have some fun with – when and where would you say that you, personally, are most “in your element”? Um … onstage. I knew you were going to say that. Certainly. I was going to say, actually, “in the water”, but … they’re two different things. Either onstage or in the water. Do you swim recreationally? Nah, I surf – a lot – and I fish. So if I’m near the ocean, or in the water, or near it or actively involved with that, I’m completely in my element! [Laughs] Birds Of Tokyo play Hobart’s Republic Bar on the 7th of October. To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www. sauce.net.au
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PETER CO M BE
Wash Your Face With Orange Juice
GUITAR EXPO 2007 GUITAR FIGHT CLUB
When SAUCE caught up with children’s music writer Peter Combe we heard of his difficulty to get his music heard once the Wiggles were on the scene, and the joy of hearing his songs sung by others. Since you had the success of Toffee Apple going so well – what happened from then to now? Well it’s probably a long, complicated story … I had, I guess, a lovely six-or-seven-year rise, from Toffee Apple through to Newspaper Mama and then Chopsticks, then a Christmas album and a live-inconcert album. Then things sort of went wrong with the ABC.
That’s a bit complicated; I ended up not being with them after ’93, and then, from that point onwards, there was the almost inevitable rise of The Wiggles. The Wiggles started in about ’93 and just got bigger and bigger and bigger. And as they got bigger and bigger and bigger, all other acts on the ABC label got less and less of attention … It became just much harder to keep your career going, because there is only one kids label in the country; the ABC. There’s no one else. There never has been, and there probably never will be. So if you’re talking about Sony or Universal or EMI or Warner, they’re just not interested in kids’ music. They haven’t the remotest interest in it. So you’ve got to either be with the ABC, or just do it by yourself. So that’s what kind of happened. It’s strange, looking on your Myspace and things like that, that a children’s entertainer is playing for what appear to be licensed audiences. Do you think the reason that people still get into it is from memories from when they were kids? I actually think it’s deeper than that. It first started happening in Adelaide about five years ago, and it’s spread now to other states. At first, I thought it was just straight nostalgia; nostalgia for the music they grew up on. You remember happy parts of your childhood. But I now realise that they really love the songs, and I’m very honoured about that, because I spend so much effort in writing songs. You like to think that songs are timeless; [that] they don’t have to exist in a certain era. And the kids just adore the songs, and I’m thrilled about that … I’m proud of what I do, and I’ve always tried to write really great songs for kids. And they just really love to sing them, and to hear five hundred of them in a pub on a Saturday night at ten o’clock singing Jack And The Beanstalk or Toffee Apple or Newspaper Mama or Juicy-Juicy Green Grass … it’s quite staggering, and I’m still not quite used to it. I’ve done about fifteen of them now, but I’m still amazed every time it happens! [Laughs] I’m really touched – I’m honoured that they really feel that strongly about the music.
By Tom Wilson
It’s quite lovely. It was strange, actually … when I mentioned that I was interviewing you, we all ended up sharing a chorus of Juicy-Juicy Green Grass. [Laughs] Yeah! It’s bizarre. It’s like a tattoo on your memory from when you were a kid – it’s a very distinct thing, which I guess is revived now in your audiences these days. I think writing children’s songs is something which is a special thing to do. And it takes time and effort. People often ask me how different is it to write an adult song, compared to a kids’ song – I’ve done lots of both.
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That was going to be my next question.
… So if you’re talking about Sony or Universal or EMI or Warner, they’re just not interested in kids’ music. They haven’t the remotest interest in it….
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I don’t find it any easier writing a good quality children’s song as it is writing a good-quality adult song – it takes the same amount of effort. It really does take effort, and if you don’t put the effort in, chances are you won’t get a good song. I’m sure any serious songwriter will tell you that – whether it’s Paul Simon or Eric Bogel or whoever you want to name … you need effort, and if you don’t put the effort in … It’s not to say that you don’t get some songs that drop out of nowhere, and I’ve had my share of those.
I mean, Newspaper Mama is a good example – I got that song in less than an hour-and-a-half, which is very quick. Now, where that comes from, who knows? Perhaps you could just call it “inspiration” … You do get the occasional song that comes really fast.
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To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www.sauce.net.au Peter Combe plays at The James Hotel on October 13th and at the Republic Bar on the 14th.
THE HOT L IES
No Lies, But They Are Hot – And They’re Ringing In The Sane ROCK SALT
By Tom Wilson
After the completion of the new album Ringing in the Sane, vocalist Pete of The Hot Lies caught up with SAUCE to talk about various exploding guitarists, and how being onstage without an instrument feels naked. To start, let’s look in to the meaning of the title of the single that is being flogged absolutely everywhere, Emergency Emergency. Pete, what was the last emergency you faced? Um … I don’t know – making the record? Maybe trying to finish the last song on the thing? Like, I don’t know – for me, everything seems to relate back to the band, because that’s sort of been consuming your life for the moment.
you’re not too sure how to capture the vibe. But you know, that bit of vibe that needs to come across on a record. I guess that’s one of the big things for me, like, more than anything, just listening back and making sure you’ve captured the moment, or whatever you’re trying to deliver in different lines and stuff. Now I understand that you’re line-up was not complete until 2007, like, not set in stone. Let’s have some fun with this. I notice it was written that it was not completed due to, and I quote, ‘a couple of exploding guitarists’. Now what are some of the perils of hanging around with exploding musicians? Like, what kind of blast effects are we talking here? Oh, man. Everything you can imagine, we’ve experienced it. I try not to look back on some of the explosive times, like, I try and focus on how good it is now that we’ve got a live act that’s still working. So … I don’t know. There’s been all sorts of stuff go down for us…
So, maybe that – sitting in the studio, one day before you’re supposed to be out of there, with one song still not finished, and trying to do that at the last minute!
… I try not to look back on some of the explosive times … I try and focus on how good it is now that we’ve got a live act that’s still working …
I don’t know, when I read that, I just got this mental image of you guys just practicing in the studio or something, and all of a sudden, the guitarist just explodes, and you’re all thrown to the ground, and I don’t know, windows are blown out and stuff. Well, that’s pretty much what it’s been like at times. Like, if you could picture that, yeah. We were maybe ten percent off that, it was pretty close.
The glory of deadlines … [Laughs] Yeah! We love ‘em! With this album – what kind of progression have you seen in the music of The Hot Lies, from the first two EPs to this one? I guess an album allows you to take a [few] different roads here and there. We definitely have some softer songs on the record, like some of the more rocking songs are still some of the more melodic stuff we’ve done as well. So, it allows you to showcase different sides of yourselves, instead of like, with an EP, just trying to make concise and hard hitting, you know, just something that people can get a snapshot into the band. Yeah, I guess the album’s a bit more of an overview or something, I don’t know. It’s been fun doing that. PAGE 10
Ok, yeah. What kind of… we talked about the progression of the music, but what about yourself as a vocalist? Like, how do you think you’ve changed over the course of the band, so far as both your singing ability, and also how you are on stage, your stage manner? Oh well definitely it gets easier, at the start you feel like… right back in the early days I used to play bass in bands and stuff like that, just before we started the band, so you get out there and you feel a bit naked without your instrument, or whatever,
so that’s the first thing you’ve got to get over. You get from the EPs to this, I don’t know, I feel like I was able to get the message of the song across a bit more in the delivery of the vocals, and stuff. I learnt a lot about delivery, we got some recording gear, and had it at home, so we were using… doing home recordings and stuff, so we really concentrated on how to capture the vibe of the band, and stuff like that. So I guess that’s a big thing, like when you first start singing on recordings, you listen back to it and you think… you know,
[Laughs] And finally, look, I would say our magazine certainly has a humorous slant, so please have some fun with this last question; with a name like Pete Wood, have you ever considered a career in porn? Umm… No, but it’s not… it’s only because I haven’t been offered, you know? [Laughs] Only ‘cause we’ve been so busy with the band. But it’s definitely… things are always changing and whatever… you can’t rule anything out! Ringing in the Sane is out now. To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
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R OB Y N
Saying Konichiwa To The World ROCK SALT
By Tom Wilson
…Something that was very nice for the first record, stared to feel kind of confining …
After playing a show in Sydney the night before, we caught up with Swedish-born Robyn – of the well-known single Konichiwa Bitches – in Melbourne. She spoke to SAUCE about her choice to create her own label, after feeling too controlled by major record companies. So the album, which I believe is self-titled, is coming out in October. Is that correct? Yeah. October. What kind of production process did this have? Like, how long have you been working on it? I’ve been working on the album since 2005, probably the end of 2004. I started my record company at the same time, and made this record in Sweden, and it was released there in April 2005 as well. Oh, okay. So it’s already been out in that country for a while… and now it’s being released down here. Yes. It’s being released in Australia and Germany at the moment, and it’s been released in the UK already, where With Every Heartbeat has been number one on their single charts a couple of weeks back. So the international release is kind of in the beginning, in the first stage, but it’s going to be released all over the world, basically. Excellent, okay. So what kind of… in the countries that it has been released in now, what kind of feedback have you got about the album? Well… it’s been a… of course in the UK it’s been good. It’s been really, really good. It’s a number one single With Every Heartbeat, but also it’s number one single that it’s kind of found it’s own way. Which is kind of special, you usually… I mean, I haven’t been in a situation like this before, where it’s all happened very organically. It’s been released from my own record company which [is] something that I’ve been in control of since the beginning of the release. So it’s a very good thing.
UK, but also in the States where I sold a million records, and I had a big success there. Which was great, and I was very happy at the time. I started writing songs when I was eleven, and to record a release of those songs at sixteen was a great thing, you know. It was very exciting. But when I came back to Sweden after making that record, I was nineteen, and I was a lot older, I wanted to do a second record. I wanted to keep trying new things, and my record company at the time of course wanted me to keep doing what I was doing, because it was doing really well. Which I totally understand it’s company’s job to do those kind of things, so I stayed within this major record company industry for another two records. Something that was very nice for the first record, stared to feel kind of confining, and I wont say that they kind of controlled me, I think that’s a very black and white picture that most media kind of buy into. Record companies are not evil people, but they are definitely a huge machine that sometimes sell records. And for me it wasn’t a place that I felt I could evolve, and I really needed to finally… and in 2003 I made my third record, and I really felt that that was the last record that I was going to make with a major company. I didn’t want to be in that situation anymore where I had to compromise and I started thinking about starting my company. Which is something I researched and gathered information about during 2004, and then 2005 it was in place.
Control is something that I understand you’ve had some trouble with basically not having, in regards to record companies in the past. I understand you’ve had some frustrating experiences with labels, in the past couple of years, and this lead to you starting up Konichiwa Records. Would you say that that’s accurate? Well I don’t know exactly what you mean, by saying having problems. But if you want me to tell you how it happened, I would be happy to do that.
So with your experiences with those record companies, how are you doing things… are you deliberately doing things differently, like the way that you… than the way that those labels [would have done], with your company? How does Konichiwa Records work, or operate in a different way than the major companies? Well it’s a huge difference – I don’t even think you can compare the two. For me, it’s been so different working like this – I think that of course the result is going to be very different, and the process as well. When it’s an unfiltered process where I’ve been the one choosing everyone from the people I’ve worked with at the label, to the people that I worked with in the studio. That’s the first thing, really being able to be in charge.
Well okay, why don’t we do that, then? I started making records, and I released my first record when I was sixteen. I was signed in Sweden, and later that record was released in Australia, it was released in Europe and the
The singles Konichiwa Bitches and Cobrastyle are out now. To listen to an mp3 of the full interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
SH A NNO N M CA R D LE
Smile As Life Kicks Your Ass - the end of the (Mendoza) line ROCK SALT
By Dave Williams
There’s a saying that goes, “artists need to suffer for their art.” From Kurt Cobain to Australian art-rock act The Red Paintings, creating art calls for a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and it doesn’t play fair. It certainly hasn’t for Shannon McArdle in the last few months. Divorced, nearly paralysed, mugged, and now a solo artist after the disintegration of the Mendoza Line … it’s nothing to smile about, let alone laugh about. So why is she doing exactly that? So how is life treating you at the moment? Life has just been kicking me in the ass for the last seven, eight months! [Laughs] But that’s okay.
All I can say is that I feel for you – it must have been such an awful time … and then the mugging, and then the … car accident, was it? No – someone accidentally tripped me going down the subway stairs.
Have you enjoyed that? [Laughs] No, I haven’t enjoyed it! Let’s see – my husband left me, and then I had a back accident which left me nearly crippled for about a month … then I got mugged … So it hasn’t been very good.
Oh, shit … Basically my back was stabbed by the metal lip of the stair, and I couldn’t walk. I had to just take it, as the ambulance came … For about eight hours I thought my back was broken, because it was swollen the size of a watermelon; it looked like an alien was about to come out of my back. And it was broken … I’m constantly at the chiropractor, but it could have been so much worse. It couldn’t have looked any worse. I mean, you wouldn’t believe it. You’ve got to give me your email address; I’ll send this picture to you. You’re going to be really disgusted!
Wow … So how have you kept yourself laughing and, you know, sounding so positive, as you are now? Oh, it’s just … it’s all an act, you know? You know how we musicians are. We just fake our way through it. “Life is but a stage” … Things happen … there has been a few good things in the past month or so … I didn’t think I’d be writing again when the band broke up, and about two months ago – or less than that – I started writing again, and I’m about nine songs into my solo record, which is just really wonderful, and I’m just so happy that I’m inspired again.
[Laughs] That would be cool! It kind of is! [Laughs] I’ve been so lucky that it wasn’t worse. So that’s good! I’m not paralysed! If the saying “artists have to suffer for their art” has any truth to it, you’ve got some really good material about to come out. Yeah, I know! I’ve been writing a lot of gory, violent, sad, dark songs. Criminal songs. Everything that’s happened to me has turned into some sort of song. So it has been good. It’s not going to make for pleasant music; it’s not going to make for happy music … These songs are just very disturbing, [the ones] I’m writing now … in a good way.
It’s really strange working alone, but I’m really happy about that, because I was really worried I wouldn’t be productive in music again. So that’s great. So The Mendoza Line is no more? The Mendoza Line is no more. You know, Tim started the band, in fairness, a couple of years before I joined, with his friend Pete Hoffman. And they sort of started the band with the understanding that it was this collective – a rotating cast of characters, you know? Then I joined the band in … ’97, ’98 … it’s basically been the two of us, and Pete, for a while, as the songwriters. And so, for me … if our marriage is over, then I guess the band’s over. That’s the best way. Yeah, that would be very difficult. I mean, Fleetwood Mac did it, but … Gosh, I don’t know how to talk about this! No, don’t worry! I’ve been to so much therapy. I know Darren told you to not make it personal, but really, there’s nothing you could ask me that would bother me! You don’t have to be delicate! [Laughs] What do you want to know? PAGE 12
Let’s see – my husband left me, and then I had a back accident which left me nearly crippled … then I got mugged …
Any revenge songs or vengeance songs on there? No, I mean … I don’t like to see them that way. Perhaps, but … It’s more about the cycle of feelings that you go through when one ends a relationship … especially such a long one, and such a meaningful one … not just husband and wife, but collaborators. To lose that, I think, is worth writing about. It’s been really cathartic, so I feel good about that. Hopefully I’ll have something out by the spring of 2008. [Roughly March/April by our calendar] To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www. sauce.net.au
THE SCA RE
Cover Your Eyes ... And Prepare
By Dave Williams
In hitting skins for high-energy rock troupe The Scare, Samuel Pearton would be the first to tell you that he’s not the most technically skilled drummer in the world. But that, it seems, is a blessing for this particular five-headed rock beast. Raw, loud and uncompromising, it seems that the title of The Scare’s first album-length salvo, Chivalry, couldn’t be more ironic. He spoke to me ahead of the album release.
Whereabouts are you today? I’m on the Sunshine Coast, actually, at my parents’ house. I’ve had some time off, so I’ve come up … [I’m in] my own hood! You grew up there, did you? Yeah, I grew up here. I moved from Melbourne when I was mid-primary school, and my parents have lived here every since. It’s kind of nice, you know? It’s a pretty cool place to come and completely get away from everything, you know? These must be pretty intense times at the moment, with the album coming out … Yeah, definitely. We finished … I guess you’d call it the first half of the year … a few weeks ago, with the Powderfinger and Silverchair stuff. Before that, we’d nearly done a hundred shows this year overseas.
I think, now, we’re at the bottom of the barrel!
Where have you been? We’ve spent all the time in the UK, and we went to America. We went through Europe as well; we went to Sweden and stuff. Yeah, it’s been a good, productive year, touring-wise. It must have really sharpened your live performance up too. Yeah – you definitely get in the rhythm of it, when you’re kind of playing every night. It’s really natural after a few weeks; you feel more natural on stage than you do off! [Laughs] It’s what you get used to doing, I don’t know. I really enjoy it. How do you feel that your drumming style or prowess influences the sound of the band? Well … conventionally-speaking, I’m not kind of the most technically efficient drummer. I kind of have to cut corners with certain things that most drummers would really pride themselves on doing. Like, it’s kind of that whole trashy, loose vibe that comes from that; the fact that I’m playing for the song, rather than playing to stand out, because it’s what I’ve always done. I basically learned how to play drums when this band started, so the only kind of drums that I know how to play is what I do in The Scare. You’re a real specialist. Yeah – I’m a Scare specialist. I think it would be difficult for someone else to come in and just get the vibe, necessarily. Like, none of the beats are very hard, but it’s all about the vibe, and, I don’t know … structural ideas that I hope I bring to the band to make the sound … unique. That’s kind of what I’ve always strived to do. That must have been a bit challenging when you were in the recording process, then? Yeah it was. It was interesting, because we did it all live, so it was all of us in there at the same time. So it was just playing through the songs fifteen times in a row, and then taking the best take. That would have suited your style a bit better … Oh, totally … I didn’t want my drums comp’d … I didn’t want anything replaced, so I think … this is quite a raw record, but I still think there’s enough there to make the songs radiofriendly. But it’s definitely … I don’t know – the basis of the album is bass and drums, and that both of those sounds are quite roomy and earthy on the album. So … there are mistakes, like, if you listen to it over and over again. But I guess that’s kind of the vibe we wanted. It’s a first record for a punk rock band, you know? If it’s, like, a perfect album, well then, there’s no point in moving forward! [Laughs] That’s a little bit of the ethos of punk, isn’t it? Yeah, totally. I think, before we maybe moved overseas, we weren’t a punk band. But I think, now, we’re at the bottom of the barrel! [Laughs] It’s the only thing we have! What sort of stands out as the most memorable experience for you, while you were overseas? Well there’ve been plenty personally, and even as a band, there’s so many memories. But I think recently, walking out on stage at Redding Festival, and just seeing … a lot of people singing along to your songs. It’s just, like … it doesn’t make sense, because, right now, I’m standing outside the room that we used to jam in, in my parents’ quiet street on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. And that’s about as far as you can get away from Redding. It’s like the opposite end of the spectrum. So I think, in the last kind of three months I’ve really kind of realised … we can definitely really make something of this. Was it a fun record to make? Yeah – it was really, really fun … probably too fun, actually. I’d like to … musically, it was directed, but we were just so loose the whole time. It was fucking … it was like a holiday in Sydney, where we just played music for a few hours everyday. I don’t know … it was really fun. To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www. sauce.net.au www.myspace.com/thescare PAGE 13
S EA SH EP H E R D
Whalers, Run, Run, As Fast As You Can The Righteous Pirates Are Coming By Tom Wilson
There is a time for diplomacy, and a time for action, and there’s one man who feels more strongly about that than any of us. For the last thirty years, his actions have seen him branded as everything from an environmental terrorist to a shining example of conservationism. He has been shot at, been pursued by helicopter gunships, and has chased, outmaneuvered and sunk tens of millions of dollars worth of watercraft. Why? Because he doesn’t believe that the illegal slaughter of whales should be tolerated – and he has dedicated his life to the cause. I recently had the privilege of speaking to Paul Watson – co-founder of Greenpeace, and now head of the Sea Shepherd organisation – before he sets sail to make trouble for whalers in Antarctica this summer …
I understand one of your methods is actually ramming the boats. How do you go about doing this? Is this a specially modified boat? Well, we don’t actually do a lot of ramming. What I should point out is that Sea Shepherd … we’re not going out to protest – we don’t protest anything. We intervene against illegal activities exclusively, and our campaigns are Antarctica are against an illegal operation. They’re targeting whales in a whale sanctuary, and targeting highly endangered species, and are therefore in violation of the rules of the International Whaling Commission, the Antarctic Treaty, and also Australian law. So we’re really just doing law enforcement, and sometimes ramming a vessel is really nothing more than a tactic. But, you know, I’ve been doing this for thirty years – I’ve never been convicted of a crime.
you. Well they can’t really. I mean, we’ve sunk nine whaling ships over the years, and we’ve never been prosecuted for it. We sank half of Iceland’s whaling fleet in 1986; I actually went to Reykjavik and turned myself in, and they refused the charge me – in fact, the justice minister said, “Who the hell does he think he is? He comes to our country and demands to be arrested? Get him out of here!” They knew they’d have to put me on trial; it would be to put themselves on trial. They didn’t want that.
Well that’s what surprised me. Well it’s not surprising when you consider our targets are criminals.
From what I understand, there is a lot of stuff that can go down in international waters. What are some of the things that go on? We’ve been intervening against illegal whaling, sealing, shark-finning … just this summer, we seized forty-five thousand shark fins in Ecuador, arrested twelve people, and busted open the shark fin mafia, and created a major political scandal in Ecuador.
Yeah, I guess. But are these corporations that send out these whaling ships, and do this whaling? The whaling ships are now owned by the Japanese government. Sinking a ship … ships aren’t cheap. I was just wondering how they would have tried to prosecute
I would imagine … the government whose ships you sink, they’re embarrassed that they’ve been caught out. Well, they don’t have a legal leg to stand on – that’s really what it’s all about.
All in a day’s work! Well, over couple-week periods, yeah! [Laughs] We’ve been doing the same in Costa Rica and Columbia, and, you know, trying to get to the bottom of the whole shark-finning thing, where seventy million sharks are being killed every year and sold illegally to the Chinese market. They’re wiping out the world’s sharks for that. We confiscate long lines; our guy just delivered the vessel to Bermuda from Melbourne, and on the way we confiscated hundreds of miles of long lines – just pulled them out of the oceans and destroyed them. I would imagine that when you’re actually ramming a ship, for example, that the crew probably would take too kindly to that. Are you guys armed yourselves? No, we’ve never had any occasion to shoot anybody. [Laughs] But we have been shot at. But you know, our ships are big, and you just duck! [Laughs] Jesus! People call us everything from “eco-terrorists” to “pirates”; it doesn’t really bother us. I mean, we know what we are. But one of the world’s authorities on non-violence is our supporter, and that’s the Dalai Lama. He gave me a little statue which I have on the ship, [the statue’s name means]
… They sent two helicopter gunships and a destroyer, and we managed to outmaneuver them. But it came pretty close. PAGE 14
“the compassionate aspect of Buddha’s wrath”. And as he explained, you never want to hurt anybody, but sometimes, when they cannot see enlightenment, just scare the hell out of them until they do. So we sort of have that kind of reputation. As for being called pirates, we just recall that back in the 17th century, it wasn’t the British Navy that shut down piracy in the Caribbean; they were too busy taking bribes. Piracy was shut down by Henry Morgan, a pirate. So, you know, you need pirates sometimes to shut down pirates. But we look at ourselves more as pirates of compassion in our pursuits than pirates of profit. So what have been some of the scary experiences in the times you’ve been doing this? I don’t know about anything scary anymore! [Laughs] We’ve had confrontations with the Soviet Navy, the Norwegian Navy … I mean, I had a big confrontation off of Siberia when we got evidence of illegal whaling activity there. That’s way back in ’81, but they sent two helicopter gunships and a destroyer, and we managed to outmaneuver them. But it came pretty close. Where they firing at you? Oh yeah, they were firing at us. But we got back into US waters before they could, you know? They really didn’t know what we were. By the time they figured it out, we were out of there. They didn’t really want to sink us, but they were firing at us. But we embarrassed them, because we got evidence of their illegal whaling activities, and caught them at a lie before the International Whaling Commission. We were fired on by the Norwegian Navy back in ’94, when we were intervening in their activities, and they actually ended up ramming and depth-charging us, but we got away from them, too. So we’ve never actually been apprehended by a navy – they chased us five hundred miles, but we got away from them. So it would be safe to say, Paul, that you have a more exciting day job than [the everyday person]? Well, I’ve been doing this since 1970 really, so … [Laughs] It’s just the stuff of action movies or something! Yeah, they’ve made a few documentaries. They’re actually making a motion picture about it too. I also understand that you were in Greenpeace, but you left. I was one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, yeah. Why did you leave? All of the original people were forced out of the organisation. I call them the world’s biggest feel-good operation now; they’ve forced all the activists out, and now they’re just a bunch of ocean posers, really. To give you a good example, our ship right here that I’m on right now is called the Robert Hunter, and I named it after the late Robert Hunter who was probably the founding father of Greenpeace. When we were down in Antarctica last year, nobody on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza knew who Robert Hunter was. That shows you how out of touch with their own organisation they are. They’re all a bunch of paid functionaries, you know? My crew are all passionate volunteers. It’s a big difference. Greenpeace raises thirty-three-hundred dollars a year, and they use this whale campaign as a way to raise money, and will probably raise thirty or forty million dollars on it. But, you know, they just go down and get pictures taken – that’s it. Quite frankly, I think they’re exploiting the world just as much
as the whalers are. We find ourselves caught between them and the whalers. You’re actually in Tassie at the moment. What are you up to down here? Well we came over from Melbourne to put the ship into dry dock to get repairs and get the ship ready to go on December 1st, to return to Antarctica. Plug up all the bullet holes? Well yeah, we have some damage from the collisions last year, so we have to get it all fixed. So what are the plans for this summer? We’ll be leaving on December 1st to go down to Antarctica to hunt down the Japanese whaling fleet, and try and stop them … they want to kill a thousand Minkies, plus fifty endangered humpbacks … so that’s our objective, is to try and stop them from doing that. What are some of the challenges in this – in what you’re planning to do this summer? Going after the whaling fleets – what are some of the hardest parts of it? Well the biggest challenge is finding them, because it’s such a vast area. So that’s the biggest challenge. Once we find them, it’s pretty easy. They run when they see us, but with this ship that we have now, we can catch them and harass them. And one thing we don’t do is film people killing whales – I have not seen a whale killed since I left Greenpeace, and I don’t intend to. So I’m quite happy that when we show up, they run. They’re afraid of us, and that’s good. Do you track them by satellite? No, it’s almost impossible to do. We have to use aircraft to search for them. I understand you’ve been involved in sinking ships when they’re docked. Is that true? Yeah, that’s the safest way to do it. That’s the best way to do it, because then you know you’re not going to hurt anybody. We’ve never injured anybody in our entire history. [In February, two Japanese crewmen claimed they were injured by bottles of butyric acid thrown by Sea Shepherd members – while the Sea Shepherd admit to throwing them, the validity of the crew’s injury claims was never confirmed.] So when you’re going to sink a ship, you don’t want to do it at sea; you want to do it at dockside when nobody’s on board. So how does one go about sinking a ship? You get into the engine room, open up the salt water cooling system, flood the engine room and sink it. Could you estimate the dollar value of all the equipment and vessels you’ve sent to the bottom of the sea in your career? Tens of millions – tens of millions of dollars. Thank you so much for your time, Paul. Well I just want to add one thing; when people ask how we can do this, or take the law into our own hands, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 1982 called the UN World Charter for Nature, and the UN charter allows for non-government organisations to intervene to uphold international conservation law. So that’s what we act under. For instance, in 1993 I was arrested for chasing the Cuban and Spanish drag trawling fleets off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in Canada. I was put on trial for that and charged with three counts of mischief, which was a little ridiculous. But anyway, my defence was the World Charter for Nature, and the jury acquitted me on the grounds that I acted legally, and in accordance, or under “colour of right”, and that I believed I had the right, under international law, to do that. So we’ve actually established a precedent in the Canadian courts for our interventions, using the World Charter for Nature. To find out more about the Sea Shepherd cause, you could do a lot worse than head to the Arts Alive Space in Launceston on October 13th and catch Lab Rats, Versus Lyrikal, DJ Ray and Gene Bob at the anti-whaling benefit party. To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www. sauce.net.au www.seashepherd.org
PARKWAY DRIVE Horizons 6/10
CHEF’S CHOICE PARAMORE Riot 9/10 Tennessee quintet Paramore are a rapidly emerging pop-punk band hitting the music scene with their second release Riot. This young band (one member being only sixteen) has toured with big names such as Simple Plan, and have also played at the major music festivals/tours Warped and Bamboozle.
Nothing beats a hiddenmessage in a song … The first single off the album, Misery Business, proves that “guys”. Singer Haylee the punk industry is not ruled by the “guys” Williams’ vocals in this track are at their best, and show that the girls do have the ability to pull off the punk genre. For A Pessimist I’m Pretty Optimistic is a tad more pop than punk, but is still well worth a listen. Zac Farro is the talent behind the drum kit, and really excels in this track. The pulsating beats stand out and make you become totally engrossed in the track, showing the raw talent of
such a youn young ng musician. This track is one that would sound amazing live. Possibly the best song off the album, Let The Flames Begin is one track that shows just how much emotion is put into not only performing, but also in writing the lyrics. It is a feel-good song in the way that it is telling you to never give up, no matter what happens. Nothing beats a hidden message in a song … SHANNON STEVENS
REGURGITATOR Love and Paranoia 7/10
Finally it is here! Brutal screams, deep riffs, earpiercing double-kicks, fast and unpredictable hardcore metal … well, don’t we wish it was? After weeks of recording and months of waiting, the expectations of this album for me were pretty high.
Love and Paranoia is the sixth album released by Regurgitator in the past eleven years. Yeah, OK – you may not have liked their previous work, but don’t think that is a good enough reason to not listen to their new album.
I was greeted with a slow, uplifting track that I was expecting to flow right into a fast-paced, brutal explosion, but, sadly, it was a fast-paced come-down. After listening to the first four tracks, I had a feeling that it just wasn’t going to live up to my expectations, and yet, out of twelve tracks, Carrion was the only one that really made me say, “Fuck yeah, that was a sweet song”.
During the past year, Regurgitator spent time in Brazil to record this trendy, pop/rock collection, and have once more demonstrated that they will not be defined! Love and Paranoia delivers an interesting compilation that you will refuse to turn off.
Even with a disappointing start to the album, the closing track Horizons shows that even a fast-paced band like Parkway Drive can master the art of melodic riffs, and combine them with fierce breakdowns. It still has the same brutal Parkway Drive sound from their first album Killing With A Smile, with deeper vocals and an overall more melodic sound. But with that said, Horizons – for me – sounded very predictable, and too similar to their previous release. Honestly, I think that this album will be one of those that you listen to a few times and then just place back into the dusty corner of your CD collection. Maybe Parkway Drive should continue to set their sights on bigger and better Horizons, because this album clearly isn’t there yet, for me. CHRIS TITMUS
BEN LEE Ripe 8/10
DARDANELLES Mirror Mirror 5/10
VARIOUS ARTISTS Parklife 8/10
Well, Ben Lee is back. With Ripe hitting stores this month, he has again proven why he is such a flourishing artist.
After releasing their highly acclaimed self-titled EP, the Dardanelles have just produced their first full-length album Mirror Mirror.
For those of us who weren’t lucky enough to make it to Parklife this year, this is a great rundown of the festival, and has some great party tracks.
His career as a singersongwriter has been, so far, one of outstanding accomplishments for someone who is, it seems, yet to reach his prime. With prestigious awards from the 2005 ARIA’s (such as Best Male Artist, Single Of The Year etc.) under his belt, he yet again illustrates his unique talents in this collection of work that adds a slight twist to today’s pop culture. He is not trying to redefine pop, but take you back the roots, and remind you what a well-written and delivered pop song truly has to offer. Alongside pop princess Mandy Moore, Rooney and Benji Madden, Ben has proved that his abilities stretch much further then his own musical talents. I cannot pinpoint one song that stands out from the rest because, honestly, it is a great collection of work overall. It clearly illustrates where he has been, and stencils the path to where he is going. Filled with meaning and emotion, Ben delivers each song passionately, and helps us feel where he draws his inspirations from as an artist. The word “ripe” is defined as “something that has reached its potential”, but Ben has only begun to stamp his name into the pop culture. Even after six albums, this latest release is reassuring to us all that he has plenty more to offer.
The album starts off with an unusual introduction that sounds like it should be off Doctor Who. The song has a hypnotic groove about it, and makes you feel as though you have been taken back in time, to when the word “groovy” was actually used with a straight face. The introduction then moves into Alone Is Not, a spinetingling track that will leave you wondering what the hell you are listening to. At one stage you have to question whether you have hearing problems (when listening through headphones). This is a very peculiar track – even if you do not like it, you will still be quite amazed by the extensive instrumental work put in by the band. Once And Future Child is a more … “normal” song. The soaring vocals of Josh Quinn-Watson work well for the song, and really contrast with the intensity of the drum beats. Unlike the previous song, this one does not have that insanely creepy feeling to it that gives you shivers down your spine. There is even a bonus track from the EP sessions on the album for your listening pleasure. One Plus One has a very garage-rock feeling to it, and is one of the best tracks off the album. Mirror Mirror is an unusual choice for a debut release, with some of the song choices. SHANNON STEVENS
MICHAEL FRANTI SPEARHEAD Yell Fire! Live 7/10
PYROMESH Omnia 6.5/10 Apathy opens the album with a pummeling, jarring volley of angular riffage and drum rolls – it’s nastier than a lot of mainstream metal these days, and it’s the album’s high point.
The latest album is a mix of live tracks from the Pukkelpop concert, Belgium in 2006.
Pyromesh stalk sonic terrain that I can best describe as “Devildriver doing a duet with Blindspott”.
Together, Michael Franti and Spearhead blend hip-hop with jazz, reggae, folk, funk and rock to create a very original style of their own.
Death metal with a slight – ever so slight – ear for the mainstream, the Perth troupe merge downtuned riffage with elements of the Gothenburg sound (re: In Flames) and what seems like a nod to contemporary hard rock, and on Omnia, the results are mostly very good, but unfortunately not too consistent.
The relaxed drum and percussion work in this track are a real highlight and help to redeem the song and make it worth listening to. I Know I’m Not Home is an emotionally-charged song that relates back to the decision of taking military action in Iraq and Palestine (yet another band that wants good old George Bush out of office before more damage is done). The song is a slow number where the hip-hop aspect of their music is nearly non-existent in Michael’s vocals. It is a standout track and possibly the best off the album. With most live albums, you can really feel the passion that is put into a live performance, and this album is no different. It shows the quality of their music, and is a true highlight to the band. SHANNON STEVENS
There are also some artists on there that you might not expect to hear, but they do combine well to give you a great range of what’s hot at the moment. It’s good to see that electronica doesn’t fall in the trap of only playing in clubs here in OZ; to see diverse bands that are able to play these festivals where the punters want a good beat to move to. From the get-go, this compo is a really happy mix. It does tend to move up and down with the tempo and style – it would travel a bit better if they had worked up to some of the harder tracks towards the end of the album. Standout tracks would have to be the Scratch Perverts’ Drop, Stereo MCs’ Connected and DJ Delicious’ Let it Drop. If you’re into dance with a big sound – and you aren’t a club-head – this is a great mix that still has an instrument in the artist’s hand. Bring on the summer and outdoor music!
John Cusack told us on High Fidelity that an important rule of the mixtape (and, really, any album or compilation) is to not open so strongly that you blow your load too early. It’s something that’s always been hard to gauge for the artists themselves, but for the listener it’s much easier, and this is a weakness that stands out on Omnia too strongly, too early on. The progression of tracks that follow the storming opener aren’t entirely without merits, but they aren’t entirely memorable either. Still, this is only the band’s opening salvo, and the good thing about debuts is that they give you a base to work from. So while Omnia isn’t the most impressive specimen on its own, I’m interested to see where they go from here. TOM WILSON
As each song plays out, they deliver more energy, intriguing lyrics and beats to the mix, which always makes for a classic Regurgitator sound experience. One word will not describe these guys; they are unique, deep, creative and quirky. But a point that should be made about this band is that they hold consistency in style throughout this album. This is another reason for you to go and buy it. LISA HOWELL
FREESTATE Surrender 7/10 The passionate combination of raw power and melody make Freestate one of the Australia’s most powerful up-and-coming rock bands. Their debut release Surrender was inspired by Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect (whom they were touring with whilst recording the album) and it is taking heavy rock to a new level. Necessary, the first single off the album, is the perfect track for a first release. It displays a mix of powerful vocals, extreme guitar and bass riffs and melodic drum beats. The bridge of this track sounds almost Egyptian-inspired, and then pounds back into the heavy rock of the beginning. Freestate officially formed five years ago, but the band’s members have been friends since high school, and had written many songs by the time 2002 came along. They initially started out as just a few kids having a big of fun in their lunch hour and after school, then they grew into one of Australia’s most promising acts. With a slower tempo and much more relaxed instrumental work is The Man Who Couldn’t Lie. It borders on the pop/rock side more than the band’s main heavy rock sound. The lyrics to this track are quite deep and meaningful, standing out in comparison to some of the others on the album. Surrender is one of those albums that is a necessity for all rock enthusiasts – definitely worth a listen. SHANNON STEVENS
VARIOUS ARTISTS Masif Hard Dance Anthems Vol 1 7/10
Yell Fire! Live is the latest release from one of the greatest collaborations the music industry has seen in the last ten years: Michael Franti and Spearhead.
Time To Go Home is a long track, clocking in at just under seven minutes and tending to get a tad too repetitive (which is also the case in the title track of album, Yell Fire!).
If you’re a Triple J fan you will know a majority of the playlist; Digitalism, The Herd, Lyrics Born and Riot in Belgium, just to name a few.
From the moment the first track starts, Blood and Spunk, you are instantly treated to the awesome sound that can only be described as, well, “Regurgitator”. It is an awesome song to get the album started, and will give you a great taste of what you are in for!
OK, if you’re planning to listen to this whole compilation before a night out, then you may want to start early.
FREESTATE Surrender 7/10 The passionate combination of raw power and melody make Freestate one of the Australia’s most powerful up-and-coming rock bands.
With three discs clocking in at over three-and-half hours, there’s plenty of hardstyle/ trance and harder trance to get you going. First CD, mixed by Steve Hill, is an absolute slammer with plenty of great tracks, including Vincent De Moor’s Fly Away, Pillseekers’ Techuador and Steve Hill Vs Technikal’s I Have A Dream. This is the longest CD, and works through a great pack of new tunes and remixes.
Their debut release Surrender was inspired by Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect (whom they were touring with whilst recording the album) and it is taking heavy rock to a new level.
The second disc, mixed by Luca Antolini, is the more tranceorientated of the three and the standout, with the choice of tunes putting forth the harder side of the genre.
The bridge of this track sounds almost Egyptian-inspired, and then pounds back into the heavy rock of the beginning.
Antolini has eight of his own tracks on the disc, and they’re not disappointing either. There’s plenty of uplifting tracks on here. Tunes like Antolini’s Heat, In My Dream and 2Life with Ricky T’s Cape York are the standouts, sure to get any crowd going. By the time you hit the third disc you really start to know what you like, and what doesn’t really do it for you. It’s still got the hardstyle, but with a bit of a tech-y edge to it. They also tend to have doubled-up on three of the tracks over the course of the compilation, which can put you off a bit, and make you wonder why they just didn’t leave a few out.
Necessary, the first single off the album, is the perfect track for a first release. It displays a mix of powerful vocals, extreme guitar and bass riffs and melodic drum beats.
Freestate officially formed five years ago, but the band’s members have been friends since high school, and had written many songs by the time 2002 came along. They initially started out as just a few kids having a big of fun in their lunch hour and after school, then they grew into one of Australia’s most promising acts. With a slower tempo and much more relaxed instrumental work is The Man Who Couldn’t Lie. It borders on the pop/rock side more than the band’s main heavy rock sound. The lyrics to this track are quite deep and meaningful, standing out in comparison to some of the others on the album.
There are endless amounts of tracks out there that can be used for these CDs, so maybe a bit more versatility wouldn’t go astray.
Surrender is one of those albums that is a necessity for all rock enthusiasts – definitely worth a listen.
SHANNON STEVENS PAGE 15
3RD OCT - 16TH OCT WEDNESDAY 3RD HOBART Curly’s Bar Dr Fink Republic Bar & Café Falls Playoffs @ 8:15PM Syrup Rewind @ 9PM
LAUNCESTON Irish Murphy’s Leigh Ratcliffe + Nathan Wheldon & the Two Timers The Hub Comedy, drama, spoken word @ 6PM Uni Bar National Campus Band Comp – Tas State Final @ 7PM
THURSDAY 4TH BURNIE Stage Door the Café Viktor Zappner Swingtet + Greg Harrison @ 7:30PM
HOBART Irish Murphy’s Cait Vertigan @ 9PM + Samuel Bester @ 10PM + Darlington @ 11:30PM Republic Bar & Café Bourne + The Overview @ 9PM Syrup Mesh – Adam Turner + Guests @ 8PM
LAUNCESTON Irish Murphy’s Mally & Jason James Hotel Mia Dyson + Epicure @ Reality The Hub Left Of Centre @ 8PM
FRIDAY 5TH BURNIE Stage Door the Café Gaye Clarke + Troubadour @ 7:30PM
DEVONPORT Spurs/Warehouse Mindset + This Future Chaos + Death Of A Martyr + With Broken Words – ALL AGES @ 5PM
HOBART Brisbane Hotel Cityscape Riot + Lucy + Enola Fall + DJs Curly’s Bar Revival Peacock Theatre “Mate” Republic Bar & Café Mia Dyson + Epicure @ 10PM
Breakfast Special from fr om 8am 88am, am , 7 Days Da yss wee week e ek
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Syrup Adam Turner + Guests Nick C + Reme @ 8PM
LAUNCESTON Irish Murphy’s Empty Pints James Hotel Falls Festival Play Offs – Breakfast Balcony @ 8:30PM + The Stoics @ 9:15PM + Bridget Pross @ 10PM + Nathan Weldon & The Two Timers @ 10:45PM + Dirty Harry and The Rockets @ 11:30PM
THE ZAC LISTER BAND
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Syrup DFD – Adam Turner + Kir + Gillie Tackyland @ 9PM The Loft Johnny & The Smashers
Curly’s Bar Revival
Syrup La Casa – Matt B + Timo + Discotouch Nick C + Reme @ 8PM
Republic Bar & Café Birds of Tokyo + Soft White Machine @ 9PM
LAUNCESTON Irish Murphy’s Ben Castles + Tash & Caz + DJ Joycie Star Hotel Sexy Lounge With Carl Fidler @ 5PM
MONDAY 8TH HOBART Peacock Theatre “Mate”
LAUNCESTON Irish Murphy’s Ben Castles
TUESDAY 9TH HOBART Curly’s Bar Rock Exams – Part I Peacock Theatre “Mate” Republic Bar & Café The Sign @ 9PM
LAUNCESTON 39 Bar Vents + Funkoars + Mynse @ 10PM Earl Arts Centre Rooted @ 8PM Irish Murphy’s Sgt Green Royal Oak The Zac Lister Band The Hub Mindset + The Turnaround + Anvil + Seventh Degree @ 8PM
SATURDAY 13TH BURNIE West Park Oval The Cat Empire + Horsell Common + Cut Copy
HOBART Brisbane Hotel Vents + Funkoars + Heads Of State – ALL AGES @ 4PM Curly’s Bar Grotesque + D2M + JimK + Samex @ 10pm
Earl Arts Centre Rooted @ 8PM
Halo Klaus “Heavyweight” Hill
Irish Murphy’s Leigh Ratcliffe
Peacock Theatre “Mate”
The Hub Open Mic Night @ 6PM
Republic Bar & Café Vents + Funkoars + Heads Of State @ 9PM
WEDNESDAY 10TH HOBART Brisbane Hotel GATSO + Your Demise + Traitor + Smother Brothers Curly’s Bar Detour Peacock Theatre “Mate” Republic Bar & Café Eshak (African music) @ 9PM Syrup Rewind @ 9PM Tasmanian Inn Mark Downey (Muddy Turds) @ 9PM
LAUNCESTON Earl Arts Centre Rooted @ 8PM Irish Murphy’s Nick Warren + The Voyeurs James Hotel Dirty Dozen 2.0 – Phat & Ugly + Lil Cam + Patty Duke + Buff Star D Lux + D’she + G-Rox + Matty C + Geoff + Keith + Earl + Colo + Millsy + Mac-D
THURSDAY 11TH BURNIE
Republic Bar & Café The Drones + Que @ 10PM
Raincheck Lounge Live Acoustic Music @ 4PM
The Hub Eclectic + Cas @ 8PM
JOSH SHEPHARD + THE STOICS
Stage Door the Café The Laymen @ 8PM
Peacock Theatre “Mate”
The Hub Comedy, drama, spoken word @ 6PM
Peacock Theatre “Mate”
FRRIDAY 12TH FRIDAY 122TH BURNIE
Peacock Theatre “Mate”
Royal Oak The Zac Lister Band
Curly’s Bar Grotesque + D2M + JimK + Samex @ 10pm
SUNDAY 7TH HOBART
Saloon The Gary Garys + Autopilot + The Smashers
Brisbane Hotel Shackles + The Wizar’d + Taberah + Vulgar – ALL AGES @ 3PM Beertallica + DJs (18+)
The Hub Breakfast Balcony + Cats For Hands @ 8PM
Lonnies DJ Rush + Omar Musa
SATURDAY 6TH HOBART
Saloon Nex Horizon
Stage Door the Café Viktor Zappner Swingtet + Doug Sheehan + Yoly Torres @ 7:30PM
HOBART Irish Murphy’s James Parry @ 9PM + The Sign @ 10PM + Fink @ 11:30PM Peacock Theatre “Mate” Republic Bar & Café Outloop Blues Band (Japan) @ 9PM Syrup Mesh – Adam Turner + Guests @ 8PM
LAUNCESTON Earl Arts Centre Rooted @ 8PM Irish Murphy’s Ben Castles
Irish Murphy’s Barcode
Royal Oak Samuel Bester
Royal Oak Ben Castles
The Hub Left Of Centre @ 8PM
QUALITY ISN’T EXPENSIVE Syrup DFD – Gillie + Adam Turner + Corney Tackyland @ 9PM
LAUNCESTON Earl Arts Centre Rooted @ 8PM Arts Alive Space Lab Rats + Versus Lyrikal + DJ Ray + Gene Bob @ 7PM Irish Murphy’s The Gary Gary’s James Hotel Peter Combe + Glenn Moorehouse Royal Oak The Outloopway Blues Band (Japan) + Kyron Howell
BEWARE! There are some dreadful instruments available over the Internet & from some local stores. Always deal with a reputable music-specialist store!
A Great Sounding, Five Octave Keyboard
A Mere $199 Power Adaptor $32
104 George St, Launceston 6331 9355 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pizza & Beer
(One pot per pizza) 23 LAWRENCE ST. L’TON - 6331 3891
Skate Park M.A.D.S. Benefit – Monkey Marc (Combat Wombat) + Mynse + Projekt + Versus Lyrikal – ALL AGES @ 2PM The Hub Reuben Ellenberger + Nick Wynwood @ 8PM
SUNDAY 14TH HOBART Peacock Theatre “Mate”
Stage Door The Cafe 254 Mount St Upper Burnie 64322600
HOBART Curly’s Bar 112 Murray St 6234 5112 www.curlysbar.com.au
Raincheck Lounge Live Acoustic Music @ 4PM
Republic Bar & Café Lotek + Lab Rats + Versus Lyrikal
Raincheck Lounge 392-394 Elizabeth Street 6234 5975
Republic Bar 299 Elizabeth Street 6234 6954 www.republicbar.com
Star Hotel Sexy Lounge With Carl Fidler @ 5PM
MONDAY 15TH HOBART Peacock Theatre “Mate”
TUESDAY 16TH HOBART Peacock Theatre “Mate”
124 Davey St 6224 9494
The Brisbane Hotel 3 Brisbane St 6234 4920 email@example.com Syrup 1st Floor 39 Salamanca Place 6224 8249 The Loft 142 Liverpool Street 62316552
Lonnies Niteclub 107 Brisbane St Launceston 6334 7889 www.lonniesniteclub.com
The Hub Open Mic Night @ 6PM
Gunners Arms Bar & Bistro 23 Lawrence St Launceston 6331 3891
WEDNESDAY 17TH HOBART Peacock Theatre “Mate” Syrup Rewind @ 9PM
LAUNCESTON The Hub Comedy, drama, spoken word @ 6PM
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 The Hub 1Tamar Street Launceston 6334 9288
GIG REVIEWS Dream Awake
REPUBLIC BAR –26/09/07
Merchants of Groove
BRISBANE HOTEL – 31/9/07
I’ve seen both Lana Chilcott and Josh from Dream Awake evolve from shy, tentative first-giggers to competent, confident musicians over the last three/four years, and I enjoy both. Lana was up first, and played very well to a mix of dinner guests and music fans. A very good performance with sound balanced just right; a nice mix on Lana, yet still leaving diners able to chat. Sweet. I still think there are a two or three songs in her set-list that could, or should go a long way if there is any justice in the music industry. I hadn’t seen Dream Awake since they were Ten Bears here in Hobart, before leaving for Melbourne nearly two years ago. They wear their prog-rock influence on their shoulders, but do it with an acoustic/folk influence. You can’t help but hear Tea Party and Jethro Tull, especially with Josh’s vocals being so similar to Ian Anderson. The band has certainly got tighter since last I saw them, and a couple of different tunes (a Viennese waltz of all things) provided some surprises. But the core style has been polished nicely.
I’d met Ryan the lead guitarist at the Brunswick one day over an after-busking-brew, and he very nonchalantly mentioned that he’d been working on some tunes, but I just wasn’t prepared for how much he’d been working on them. He floored me. Disembarking the stage as if stepping from the barge on the River Styx, radio lead taped to his guitar strap, he wandered lazily around the room fiddling with the neck of his guitar, causing stirs of “Ahh!” and “Ooh!” and “What the..?” until diving to his knees in true Knoppfler form, soloing over Lenny’s thickly enhanced bass with tight, driving drums bellowing from the back. Oh, there’s no singing in the band. Seems that The Que has spawned a new breed of muso’s in the city who’ve gotten jack of all that microphone nonsense, and have harked back to the days of cock rock and complex guitar and bass harmony, giving the spotlight to instruments that have been losing their voice and colour over the years. There were some pearler Lenny moments on the mic, though, like when Ryan was apologising to the crowd for being in the wrong tuning for the previous song and Lenny very innocently commenting that he didn’t notice.
I still felt that until the middle of the second set, when the sound got heavier and balanced with the percussion. Maybe more use of brushes in the first set would help?
I loved their song Icarus – they were Tommy Emmanuel meets Pink Floyd, if the Doors popped in for a cuppa and Led Zeppelin were having a BBQ over the back fence. We got stage dives and all out of Ryan with his radio lead, and, though he probably went overboard with constant audience invasions, it was great watching people having as much fun as they were – on stage, and, well, off it. There’s some cranky, reckless abandon happening between these three, and, with a few shows under their belt, I think we’ll really get a kick out of what these guys can do for us. Yes Lenny, I do dig the band.
In the first set, I still had my past feelings that the band didn’t really need a drummer, and it was just a distraction.
The Scientists Of Modern Music
This was my first time seeing the support bands tonight, and, of them, The Cityscape Riot were by far the most fitting act to precede The Scientists. Synthesised vocals and effects backed by the beats of a masked drummer, the duo belted out a sound that could be described as “Daft Punk remixing The Killers” – both their groove and distorted harmonies deeply infectious. Then it was time for some electric guitar to go into the mix (oh, and a handy palm-sized light used in true Frankie Goes To Hollywood style). An interesting set by a band I’d like to see more of. While in the past I’ve called them “Chinese spies”, there was nothing shifty about Red Rival as they launched into what I can only call “rock played right” – there was just energy. A shitload of it. By the end, having punished their instruments from the moment they walked onstage, I can’t in all good conscience assume what the crowd thought of RR – but hey, I was impressed. PAGE 18
SYRUP – 29/09/07
So they’re a Fusion quartet, generally meaning they jam and solo over and over again, change songs and then do it again. And it’s jazz – pretty much the same as what you’ll see at The Lizbon, but with new faces, and the stuff they’re jamming and soloing over and over again on is original material. And the drummers array of things he could bash was most impressive, and impressively he bashed his things. It really reminded me of being in the 80’s, sitting through the credits of some show like Matlock or Miami Vice but with a lot more out-there, in-your-face moments like the soundtrack to Cowboy BeBop. There was some noticeably smelly 80’s funk getting an airing out this evening – it was getting on a bit I guess, but I just wasn’t feeling the vibe. Two guys sitting down, staring at sheet music, with a guy hidden under piles of cymbals just wasn’t enough eye candy to match music so lively and invigorating. They played tight; there were some lush sounds, just not enough moving around to keep this ADD kid focused. I would love to eat dinner listening to them though, I could easily swallow that. I’d love it if Fusion moved forward a little faster. I get bogged down and, admittedly, bored when new ideas aren’t being explored and jumped on, and I get to the point where I’m almost thinking “if they go back for one more refrain, I’ll…” Last Saturday was ambient electro/jazz – this week we cop a fusion quartet. Here’s to The Loft for diversity and for trying new things, but hey – is anyone else noticing the current trend of bands doing without vocals? IAN MURTAGH
It was a cold and windy night when the four exotic adventurers arrived at Syrup. Armed with no more than a compass to find our way, we approached the top level with caution. Fresh off the release of their double disc compilation, Light Sound Dance, the Bang Gang DJs had us all excited with their twisted mash-ups and infused electo beats. The wing commander, Jake, scoped out the club in no time, ensuring that the perfect combination of beats, treats and peeps wasn’t tarnished with the jaw-clenching rabid monkeys who we found hanging off the rails on our last adventure. The remaining explorers took up their positions as Hoodrat and Jamie Doom started dropping sweet freaky beats with jumping bass that had Emma the Animal Tamer losing all control as she wrestled a passing Aardvark on the way to the bar. As the first hour kicked in, Syrup turned into a frenzy, and we struggled to keep up with some tidy work behind the mixer as these two surgeons of sound worked together better than nuts and chocolate in a musical melting pot. Billie the Brave, who joined us on this adventure, smiled happily and remained composed as the vibe continued to build. I decided that Jake needed to find a screwdriver, as many screws, both in the foundations and the punters, were starting to come so very loose. The adventurers had found not a new sound, but a new way of delivering those sounds. They were the Bang Gang DJs, carving their own path into the sea of nu-skool rave, not even stopping to help the midgets that Hoodrat kept kicking in the nuts. Solid, just solid. Disclaimer: The author takes no responsibility for the consequences of such a night. If you are suffering such effects, take two tablets, eat a block of chocolate, and crawl into the fetal position sucking your thumb. FELIX BLACKLER
SALOON – 15/9/07
Playing sans a few members, Joe and Linc of Enola Fall fronted up with guitars and a drum machine to warm the night with material off their latest release, I Made A New Friend. From where I was sitting, it looked like they had made a lot more than one new friend by the end of their set. I’ve never seen the full band perform, but I can say that these two have a gift for shifting seamlessly between musical moods – energy becoming subtlety and vice-versa, not jarring for a moment.
Bang Gang DJs
THE LOFT – 1/9/07
JAMES HOTEL – 15/9/07
The crowd got thick. Then it got thicker. Then it got thicker still. Then two young guys from Hobart took to the stage and began their Launceston EP launch with the seminal Number One, and any preconceptions people like me had of what a TSOMM live show is like went straight out the double front doors.
It’s always interesting when an artist steps out of their comfort zone and tries something different, and it was for that exact reason that I found myself at Reality. Amber Savage was veering out of hard dance territory and putting on a house set. Knowing her, it would still be hard – but would it be good?
handing out gold bars and wheelbarrows to take them home with.
The pair’s intensity and focus in performing – pulling off electro-rock in yin/yang wardrobe schemes with Cal leaping around like a ten-year-old on a sugar high – was soon tested when a nude punter leapt up alongside Simon and remained there, egging-on the front row with a man-gina and one of the Cityscape Riot’s guitars, for a full two minutes.
Buff Star Deluxe started the night off by plunging headlong into electro land; spinning an elaborate web of tracks for the steady stream of punters drawn to that always-lit-up-morethan-the-rest-of-the-room part of the dancefloor like moths to a light bulb.
Reality resident DJ and general pimp Patty Duke sidled up alongside her in the booth and between songs began revving applause out of the crowd whatever chance he got.
Then, after dropping new single Easy, the boys were stagecrashed again – this time by a pair of girls who started pashing alongside Cal, and were promptly removed. (Several punters later asked me why dealing with the naked bloke seemed less urgent than a put-on lesbian perv, and I still don’t have an answer.) As for Simon and Cal? In my eyes, after an encore capped off a set of both Electronic Sunset and new material, delivered with equal parts synth and sweat, I think it’s to their credit that, despite streaking and girl-on-girl action, they were never upstaged. It never stopped being all about them, and for entertainers of such (relative) youth, that says something. TOM WILSON
Deluxe was clearly focusing on the heavier side of the electro spectrum – hey, you can’t introduce someone like Ms. Savage with any of that soft shit – and he happened to do a damn good job of laying foundations for the mood of the night, if I may say so. The clock struck one, and it was on. As Amber Savage took to the decks with an impressive arsenal of vinyl (always good to see in this day and age), I looked around, and my eyes went wide. Where the fuck did all these people come from? Fronting up to that strange, spontaneously-duplicating crowd of hers, it took Amber all of five minutes to answer the question that opened this review. Damn straight it was good. Belting through a set of ballsy, chunky electro numbers, her audience couldn’t have been happier if you’d walked around
Over the course of roughly two hours, Amber rattled the windows and shook the dancefloor – neither her enthusiasm or her crowd dissipating for a moment.
Then, slowly, Ms. Savage handed over the reigns to Mr. PD, but not before he accidentally head-butted the main attraction as they both reached for a CD. (I’m still kicking myself for not getting a shot of that!) With control of the dancefloor turned over to his experienced hands, The Duke led the crowd on a guided tour of his musical prowess – showcasing a slew of original productions, mash-ups and harder commercial numbers. And, of course, he couldn’t resist dancing like a knob for the majority of his set (though this could have possibly been the side-effects of a concussion from that head-butt). It’s to his credit that, even following on from the likes of Amber – who, it should be said, I should have never doubted when it came to her playing house music – the vibe of the room never dipped. Not for a second. TOM WILSON
I CI CL AN By Tom Wilson
Beware The Onslaught Of Shrouded Men
Simply put, what you may or may not think you know about the faces behind these hoods is, outside this band, completely irrelevant. All you need to know about Hobart four-piece Iciclan is that they’re purveyors of metal as dark as the shrouds that conceal them, and they’re clearly onto something. After all, not everyone gets picked to tour with Swedish black metal titans Marduk (and manages to release an album at the same time). My recent encounter with Zxorthyn transpired as follows … You guys have gone through several name changes – the last going from “Ice Eater” to “Iciclan”. What motivated this change? Why did you feel it was necessary? Iciclan initially began with a different outlook, and different members. It was named by a previous member – a name which I as the songwriter didn’t really want. That member and one other left, and the band itself went on an indefinite hiatus. When I had a meeting with the (still) drummer The Simulant, and realised the band should be re-birthed, I did so, and used the name Ice Eater, which is what I had always desired to call it. This is due to the lyrical subject matter. Just prior to getting our CD pressed, I felt we needed a name that would represent us better – some people have commented Ice Eater doesn’t sound like a serious name – so I decided it was in the band’s interest to make the name more effective, as well as being more reflective of the unit.
rewarding. Great crowd responses, and many positives comments and reviews have been put forth since. Meeting them was not that much of an experience, as our band is fairly different to them, and so is our outlook. They were very professional and quality onstage, and the very fact we were opening for such a legendary band pushed us to raise our approach and performance level. It was a great provocation for us to improve, and take the band further.
You opened for the legendary Marduk earlier in the year. What did this experience mean for you as a band? And how did meeting those guys and watching them perform live affect your own stage show and outlook? This was an immense experience for us. We had only done a handful of shows in Tasmania, and, based on the strength of the promo we sent the touring company, we got offered the opening spot on their national tour (excluding Perth). We were very excited to do it, and the tour itself was very
You released your debut album Frozen Dimensions earlier this year while you were touring with Marduk. When you were writing it, was there some kind of theme or concept you had in mind? Looking back on it now, do you believe that intent was realised in the best way? When the album was written, I only had music in mind. The concept wasn’t in any way prevalent then. In fact, I had no real idea if we’d even do a professional-quality recording at that point. Once the band became completely my responsibility,
… We are not significant; only the music, and the story we tell are …
I decided I would record it as well as I could afford, and as soon as the name came to me, so did the concept. The concept and ideas [that I] came up with at that point have been implemented, and with satisfactory results I feel. The next album/release will be a step up however – mostly musically though. What plans do you have to follow it up? I have written three songs already for an upcoming recording. We will more than likely record a promo and send it to some overseas labels, as there has been a little overseas interest already. I feel confident our new material is a lot better, and we shall be able to take it further. I look forward to the chance to record again actually – it is a great experience. You guys used to play with hoods on – at least, according to a photo you sent us a while back. Does that still happen? And how much more difficult does that make playing live? We have played with hoods at half of the shows prior to leaving on tour. The first couple of shows we ever did were not performed seriously enough, and the hoods were not warranted. After a period of more serious application, we began wearing our hoods. We wear them as we are not significant; only the music and the story we tell are. We played one show without them after we acquired them, but wore them for the entire Marduk tour. This will continue, for quite some time I’d say. It makes it a little difficult sometimes,
because you cannot see your fretboard clearly at times. But it also makes it better – you forget you are in front of people and become immersed in your art. Like many bands playing black metal, you each have pseudonyms. This is something I’ve always wondered about, and I’ve never had a definitive answer – why do bands in this genre tend to do this? Is it purely for dramatic/thematic reasons, or is there something deeper behind it? And how did each of you come up with your names? I cannot begin to explain the intents of all bands using pseudonyms. Some bands, I assume, like to suggest they are someone other than their human form when performing their music, etc. But for us, it is because within the band we are no longer ourselves once we take the stage. Additionally, who we are is unimportant, and I prefer to keep our identities as being that of the band. I named all the members – all their names have a meaning. What other projects are each of you involved in? And how much time do you get to spend on Iciclan, comparatively? I will only say this: all members are in, and have been in, several metal and other styled bands in the state. http://www.myspace.com/iciclan
KRO NI K
Don t Shine Shove Your Drumstick Where The Sun Don’t METAL FRYPAN
Four guys who think that chunky riffage, hip-hop and funk is a damn fine combination, Launceston’s Kronik tugged the drumsticks from their no-fly-zones and got in touch to explain their origins, ponder the line-up for the greatest show never seen, and exchange a few crap puns for good measure. So far we’re still doing the trial-and-error thing. We’ve By Tom Wilson
uploaded three of our tracks onto Triple J Unearthed and Myspace. These were quick slap-togethers for the Falls Festival playoffs, so we’re still not really happy with ‘em. But check ‘em out anyway.
How did the band come together? What bands were each of you in previously? We got started in early 2003 after Boppa (vocals) and Giesen (guitar) tried forming a band with two of Giesen’s previous band members from Dark Sugar, to no avail. It was then we caught up with Giesen’s old college drummer Toby.
You guys are based in Launceston. What are some of the local acts that have inspired you, and why? Ummm, there are other bands in Launceston? Seriously though, we are good mates with the guys from Jimmy Steel and the Thunder and Spankpaddle, and a few others like Rocket Noodle and Halfmast. We all just egg each other on and talk each other up … or down.
With Desmond Hopkins and Jono King swapping bass duties, we started writing. It was only recently that we found a permanent bass player in good friend Pat. Toby and Pat have known each other since primary school and played in original band Dead Fred’s Left Head some years ago.
What gigs do you guys have lined up in the near future? What have been some of the best gigs you’ve played so far, and why? Lately we’ve been a bit more focused on recording, but we’re playing at the Batman Fawkner sometime in the next month with Cruel Like That, Halfmast and Dirty Harry and the Rockets.
You’ve listed the likes of Rage Against The Machine, RHCP and Metallica as influences. What was it about these bands that struck such a chord with you (pardon the pun)? I don’t know if the Chili’s are an influence exactly (though they do have some pretty cool stuff) – we just often get told we sound like a cross between them, RATM and Hilltop Hoods. I think it’s due to the strong bass lines and funky guitar, but hey, we’ll take it as a compliment. We really like the way Metallica orchestrate their songs, but wanted to write material with a bit more bounce than thrash – more along the lines of RATM and Pantera. You’ve described your sound as a blend of alt. rock, funk and hip-hop. When the band started, was it your intention to go for this kind of sound? Or did it evolve from a different kind of sound? We didn’t really have a big picture of what we wanted to sound like. We were a bit heavier to start with, and I think that comes across in some of our older stuff. We listen to a lot of different music, so it all sort of gets mixed up. We like chunky stuff, but also get into hip-hop, and Giesen has studied a bit of jazz, so it all comes through in what we play. The main thing is for us to like the tunes; nothing gets through unless we think it’s chronic (now who’s apologising for puns?). What plans do you have to do some recording? Over the last year we’ve purchased a home studio, so our lounge room has been converted, and we’re left with a shitty little dinning room to relax in. But that’s the price you pay, I guess.
Performance Performance-wise, wise, vee just jjust P rf Pe rfor orma manc ncee-wi w wi see, we’ve we’v we ’ve ’v st about ab boout got got the thee drumsticks dru ums m ti tick ckks dislodged d sllod di dge g d from from our our arses. aarses rses rs e. es
There is also a rumor that we may be supporting Regurgitator when they come down in November. Best gig? We played at Stuart Ingle’s (from Spankpaddle) memorial at the Batty; that was pretty emotional. What do you think sets Kronik apart from other local acts, in terms of both your sound and your stage show? Well, sound-wise, I feel we’re just very different. We’re not exactly rock, nor hip-hop, nor funk or metal. So we’re hard to label. Performance-wise, we’ve just about got the drumsticks dislodged from our arses. Yes, we’re the same tight act, only looser and more comfortable … Confidence, I think, is the key. We just like to go hard without letting anything get in the way of our music. Just for the hell of it, if you could put on your ultimate gig, which bands/artists – living or dead – would you put on the bill, and why? Jimmy Hendrix, Cliff Burton, Dimebag [RIP – Tom], Freddy Mercury, John Lennon and Shannon Noll. Hopefully by the time it’s all organised, he won’t be the odd one out. And what would you call this gig? Kronikfest, maybe? [Laughs] Yeah, that’s not bad. How about Death by Kronik? And no, it’s not the latest emo dessert. Emo desserts are great, because they cut themselves. Check out Kronik online at www.myspace.com/ PAGE 19
You Can Never Have Too Many Ideas
By Tom Wilson If there’s one thing most artists and creative types can sympathise with, it’s having way too many ideas all at once and never being able to finish, or even address half of them. But one guy who seems better at dealing with it than most is Wayne Lotek. In the midst of production work, contemplations about starting bands and even scribbling ideas for a sitcom, he’s heading south to play the anti-whaling benefit gig in Launceston with the likes of Versus Lyrikal and Mynse. Feel like you’ve got too much on your plate? Next to Lotek, you don’t know the half of it ...
You’re set to do a show which is devoted to stop international whaling. How do you feel about the subject? I’m no expert on the subject, but anything that threatens to wipe out a species is clearly not a good thing. I am a vegetarian; this is mainly due to the fact that I don’t like the taste or smell of meat. Having said that, I do believe in the food chain. In nature, animals kill and eat other animals in far more violent ways than humans, but the difference between the killing of cows, chickens etc and whaling is that the livestock eaten by humans are generally bred for that purpose. The hunting of any free-roaming animal is risking the
wrongly diagnosed with cancer, and although it turned out to be nothing serious, for those few months I believed I was dying, and as a result it was hard to even dream in the long term. In a way I’m thankful of the experience, as I was able to have a near-death epiphany without actually being near to death at all. It gave a lot of the motivation and energy that still drives me on today. How did you bounce back from it? It was hard at first, but really, I had no choice but to bounce back, as the alternative is to sink deeper into depression. My survival instinct kicked in and I just battled on. The one thing I kept telling myself is that when you are this low, the only way is up!
Kanye West ... thinks being number one on the US album charts makes him the number one person in the world!
What kind of feedback have you got regarding Go? How was it received on the whole? It was only released in physical form in Russia and through selected mail order sites such as suspectpackages.com, but I sell Mp3 versions of it from my many Myspaces and other websites, and the response has been fantastic. I was worried as I made the album in just a few months compared to the three years spent working on Lotek Hi-Fi’s Mixed Blessings but, actually, I’m very pleased with the results. On this release, you worked with an incredibly diverse array of talents from all over the world, including Poland, Russia and Hungary. How would you describe the kind of flavours each of these guys brought to the table? What they all added was a varying perspective on similar vibes. Also, as they are from eastern Europe, they brought a hunger and love of music that is sometimes missing from the rest of Europe, and the west in general. These guys don’t have any delusions of being the next 50 Cent or whatever – they truly just do it for the love of music. Many artists say that, but a lot of the time it’s just a gimmick to sell more records which, more often than not, is the true motivation. People like Kanye West rate themselves purely on sales and chart positions (he thinks being number one on the US album charts makes him the number one person in the world!) I take great pleasure in knowing that even one person was enjoying my music … obviously the more the merrier, but I don’t think an artist that sells one million is one hundred times better than an artist that sells ten thousand.
survival of that species, and as such is wrong, especially when it is not to feed the starving, but merely to satisfy a market for rare “delicacies”. How did you first form the collective Lotek Hi-Fi? Lotek Hi-Fi is essentially just me – I write, produce and engineer the music. I write most of the lyrics and also take care of the artwork and other managerial type roles. I chose to make it a group, and not a solo effort for a number of reasons. Firstly, I wasn’t sure if I could hold it down on my own, and I thought bringing in more people would ease the workload. I was wrong on both counts … I can indeed hold it down on my own, and adding people just increased my workload. As a result the next Lotek Hi-Fi record will involve much less people. You once worked with Mark “Chopper” Read. What did you work on with him? And what was he like? I produced two tracks for his hip-hop album. I didn’t actually get to meet him, as I was in UK working on a number of other projects, so it was down to the wonders of the internet.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year? I have lots of half-started projects and ideas on the bubble; my mission for the next few months is to finish as many off as possible … I have two albums pretty much finished and two more that will follow not long after. I’ve started jotting ideas down for a sitcom, and have some crazy notions of starting a couple of rock bands … I have soooo many ideas, I doubt I’ll get round to them all, but I will do my best in trying.
Probably a good thing, then. You’ve said online that there have been times where you didn’t think you’d see your next birthday. Why was this? What were you going through? Well, my life was complicated at the best of times, due to the crowd of people I was around, and some of the activities I was engaged in. But on top of that, about ten years ago I was
Lotek plays Hobart’s Republic Bar on the 14th of October with Lab Rats, Versus Lyrikal and more.
VERSUS LYR I KA L
Meet Combat Wombat’s Favourite Sisters HIP-HOP
By Tom Wilson Two girls from Eaglehawk Neck with a passion and talent for hip-hop that got the rubber stamp of approval from none other than Combat Wombat, Versus Lyrikal are set to take the stage with the likes of Lab Rats, Lotek and Mynse for the M.A.D.S. Ocean and Forestry Benefit this month. I spoke to Cloud about what triggered the formation of the VL partnership and taking up the mic in a male-dominated scene.
You were telling me yesterday that Versus Lyrikal just reformed in a sense. What prompted this? Well basically, Sarah has been away, and she’s come back down to Tassie. I’d sort of been working with the boys down here in Tassie; they hadn’t found any other girls to work with yet. So I came down and visited her, and we decided to try and get it back together.
As Versus Lyrikal, how did you begin? How did you two come together in the first place with the intention of making music? We were just sort of mucking around with it at home, with a bit of rap and stuff. We went up to a gig about five years ago, and met up with Totski, who’s a Tassie artist as well, but he also bases himself in Melbourne at stages – he’s down here at the moment … He’s more calling himself Tota nowadays … But we met up with him at a gig, and also Elf Transporter from Combat Wombat … they were all playing for a weekend up in Hobart. And we just happened to by chance meet Elfie in the foyer, and he heard me and Sarah just mucking around. So he came and visited us the next day and pulled us on stage with him that night, just for a bit of local support, with was really wicked. So I’d say that they were our main influences back at the beginning there. They gave us a lot of encouragement and told us to keep going with it, so we just said, “Yeah, OK,” because we just had so much fun doing it, you know? I’d have to say that was our main sort of instigator, at that gig, really, five years ago. A lot of people say that a female rapper or a femalefronted band … “Oh, their gender shouldn’t be important – it should be about the music!” Frankly, I find that it does have an impact whether they like it or not, because you notice automatically – it sounds different. How is it different in hip-hop when it is coming from a female angle? Well I think it’s different … I think that, obviously, there is that very noticeable lack of females on stage – although there are quite a lot of talented females that aren’t sort of getting up yet. I think that the main difference for me that I’ve found is the support is a million-fold, but also, if you’re going to get knocked, you’re going to get knocked harder! [Laughs] I would say that … I would have to say we’ve been much more supported than anything else down here in Tassie – we’ve just got such a beautiful group of friends around us, and the whole hip-hop scene down here is so, just, yearning for women to be up there on stage. They love it – the boys just love it. But I would have to say that, in general, the props are heaps bigger – you get heaps PAGE 20
more support. But also, if you come into a crowd that goes “Nup – we think that’s shit”, you will get that harder as well … You get a lot of stuff like people saying that you’re only getting somewhere because you’re a girl, as well … Obviously, Elf; he met these two girls at the gig – we were rapping in the foyer – and he realised that it was in our hearts and souls.
Elf Tranzporter met these two girls at the gig – we were rapping in the foyer – and he realised that it was in our hearts and souls. So what are some of the subjects and themes that you guys explore in your lyrics? We’ve written a couple of tracks with a quite sort of political, world situation [slant] … what we’re feeling about what’s going on in the world and the environment and so on. The versus are quite subtle, so it’s not sort of in-your-face, eco-lyrics or anything. But definitely that’s what we’ve set up at the moment. And just all the normal things that any normal person would write about – love and our hearts … I write a lot about hip-hop, and what it’s done for me in my life, and the change that’s taken place and stuff like that. But we use quite a few metaphors, and we’ve both got quite different sorts of styles, so they seem to compliment each other pretty well. Yeah, I would say that at the moment, we’ve had a bit of a write on some political issues that we were feeling pretty strongly [about], and the whole love heart stuff. [Laughs] They sort of seem to be pretty entwined for us, because we’re both pretty passionate girls! [Laughs] Versus Lyrikal play the M.A.D.S. Ocean and Forestry Benefit at Launceston’s Royal Park on the 13th of October, the after party at the Arts Alive Space later that night, and Hobart’s Republic Bar on the 14th. To listen to an MP3 of the full interview, go to www.sauce.net.au
PH I NESS E
Sit Back And Relax For Some RnB Therapy By Carole Whitehead
After one listen to a track like Hooked, it should be pretty clear for RnB fans that “finesse” still has the same meaning when spelt with a “ph” (and we’re not just talking about their wardrobe tastes). With a debut LP hitting shelves on the 20th of this month and a Tassie show only a week later, I caught up with those impossibly cool cats, Devine and Giovanni.
So, what have you been up to in the last couple of weeks – musically and otherwise? We have been really excited preparing for our nationwide tour and promoting our singles (Hooked and I Can’t Wait) and debut album Audio Therapy. I’ve read that you sung in church choirs when you were younger. What drew you to hip-hop? At a young age we were dedicated church choir singers. Singing in this environment inspired us to delve into making our own music. We were largely influenced by urban music culture, and it impacted on our style of writing. How did you and your partner in this duo meet? We grew up together being cousins, and always shared a passion for music.
We will be bringing Hobart a showcase that they have never seen before … make sure y’all come check us out. And how did you end up forming Phinesse? We started writing and performing songs together until, one day, we decided to go full-fledged, and turned our passion into a reality. We came up with the name Phinesse as it represents what we are about – innovative, fresh, smooth music. How have you developed your style since you first discovered hip-hop/RNB, and started performing? What is important to us is creating great concepts. We make music that feels good and that people can relate to. Our debut album Audio Therapy takes listeners through a therapy session of feel-good relationship songs – Hooked and I Can’t Wait – to heartbreak songs like I Cry and also party tunes – I Just Wanna. I’ve also read that you drew some influence from Kylie Minogue. Where does this show in your music? When we think of Kylie Minogue, we think of one of the greatest pop artists from Australia. We feel our music crosses over to pop (Hooked) and we classify our music as urban/pop. You’re playing in Hobart. What sort of show do you plan on bringing to Tasmanian audiences? We will be bringing Hobart a showcase that they have never seen before. We encourage all to come check out our showcase on the 27th of October at Curly’s Nightclub for the RNB Superclub Vol. 7 CD Launch. We will also be giving all patrons a free Phinesse Hooked single download card. Make sure y’all come check us out. Which city would you call your “favourite” to play? And is this where you’ve got the biggest reactions, in terms of numbers at your shows? We love Melbourne as we are from there. However, we haven’t played in Hobart yet, and we keep hearing great stories about it. Maybe Hobart will be our favorite place? We will soon find out. What is it that keeps you enthused about playing live shows? Is there, or has there been, a point where it’s become a chore? We love showcasing our music to the people. It is never a chore with Phinesse. We love what we do! Phinesse plays Curly’s Bar in Hobart on the 27th of October. Audio Therapy drops on the 20th.
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Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org PAGE 21
BANGERS & MASH
As any hard-partying traveler knows, you live in denial of sleep-deprivation. So, in keeping with this, I spent my first night in Germany in a night club under the Reeperbahn. It was no longer than two hours after touchdown that I joined DJ mates Chopstick and Johnjon on a road trip to Hamburg to hear them play at a new club called Baalsaal. It’s your typical German nightclub scenario; dark room underground, low ceiling, concrete walls, strobing lights and a sound system which you can feel, not only hear. I remembered why I enjoyed it so much on a shortt trip to Germany the year before. It’s the quality off the sound systems, the minimal left-field approachh to everything and the people that genuinely wantt to be inspired by new music. It’s exciting to watchh a room full of people all so finely tuned into what’ss being played that even the most minuscule change e in a hi-hat brings on waves of cheering and whooping! g! And it’s not unusual to strike up a conversation withh the average Joe Bloggs at the bar who’ll be more e than happy to list all the 12” releases on Kompaktt in chronological order. Germans really love theirr music. Back to Berlin, and my home for the next few dayss was the studio floor. One doesn’t feel totally at ease e with the world until you have your own roof over yourr head, so I opted for an apartment in Prenzlauerberg g (Sydney’s equivalent suburb would be Newtown).The e street name’s a mouthful, but I figure that I just have e to work on my pseudo-German dialect a little more e so that a taxi driver doesn’t take me to Munich whenn
My first impressions of Berlin were of the 19th century architecture and cobblestone roads that sit alongside the precise symmetry of German 21st century engineering; of the bicycles that probably outnumber cars as a means of transport, and the music you hear along the street; a mix of classical, 80’s style rock power chords and minimal techno. Berlin’s a wonderful mix of the old and the new. People are happy to embrace change and progress, all the while respecting their past. Artistically and culturally, it’s an exciting place to be. It’s one of the reasons I’ve wanted to explore Berlin at great length for a while ... and musically, especially in dance music; all eyes are on Berlin at the moment.
Sydney to Berlin via Singapore, London and Frankfurt – a good day-and-a-half with a couple of hours in each airport. I walked into Berlin airport looking much like the zombie that keeps chomping me on Facebook.
August 30th 2007
Berlin’s music conference “Popkomm” gets underway next weekend. It’s a chance for Australian ralian (and worldwide) artists to network and present esent their work to the world’s industry bods. I’ll have ave a chance to showcase some of my material in a DJ set at the Ruderclub (www.ruderclub-mitte.de) e) so I’ll fill you in on all the highlights next time ...
Yes, the language barrier is a little alienating at first. You feel like you’re living in the world you see around you, but can’t quite connect with anything in it. People, train timetables, the flavour of the can of soup you have in your hand at the supermarket; it’s something that only German lessons will put right. Luckily, most Berliner’s under thirty speak English to a degree, but you just can’t drop Aussie humour in the middle of a conversation. It goes down about as well as an untranslated Fawlty Towers episode would here. Not to say Berliner’s don’t have a sense of humour, but I’ve realised sarcasm casm certainly does get lost in translation.
asked for Käthe-Niederkirchner-strasse.
An Australian In Berlin ...
M ARK DYN AM IX D IA RY EN TRY 1
BANGERS B A NGE & MASH
Another two weeks into my trip, and everything is going smoothly. After the initial introduction of parties, clubs and late nights, the last two weeks have been somewhat more productive! The European music conference “Popkomm” was held in Berlin last week where record companies, artists and general music industry bods get together and talk shop. Covering music from all areas of the spectrum, “Popkomm” is a chance for new artists to submit their work to international labels and for managers, agents and aspirants to learn more about how the industry works via conferences and lectures. Apparently somewhat smaller than previous
The last few days, I’ve been solid in the studio with Namito from Great Stuff recordings, plus Chopstick of Make My Day fame. Working on new material and possibly some remixes down the track. Meeting up with Schumacher later this week , then over to the UK for a gig at Fluid on the Friday night and back to Berlin to play Weekend club on Sunday night. The summer party season hasn’t finished yet ...
Friday night saw a massive party at Arena with Felix Da Housekatt and Paul Van Dyk among others. Saturday night came along, and with it my showcase set at Ruderclub in Mitte. It was great to play to a Berlin crowd who were up for hearing an Australian take on the minimal sound. I played a fair amount of Aussie stuff, including Poxy Music’s She Bites, a new untitled track from The Cut and an unreleased thing Jaytech and I have been working on called Moment Of Confusion Between Man & Dog.
Aside from the conference itself, “Popkomm” is a chance for DJs and live acts to showcase their talent. For four nights solid, the parties ran from midnight to 6am, ensuring that everyone who was able or sober enough to turn up to their meetings the next day was looking somewhat worse for wear. Wednesday night was a great night at Watergate, one of the leading clubs in Berlin’s Kreuzberg. Labeled the Get Physical night, M.A.N.D.Y, DJ T and Thomas Schumacher headed the lineup, and you may have seen your’s truly grooving away ‘till the early hours in a rare dance-off for the Dynamo.
years, as there are now the ADE’s (Amsterdam Dance Event and Conference) also happening next month; the conference was still a good way of making new contacts in European territories.
Turns Out Next Time Is Right About Now
M AR K DY NAM I X DI ARY E NT RY 2
B OB S I N C L A R
Meet The Biggest Pimp In The Business BByy Toni Tambourine
BANGERS & MASH H
Bob Sinclar is the famous Parisian international DJ and producer who has scored numerous hits across the world with his own inimitable style of reggae tinged dance music. His hits Love Generation, World Hold On and Sound of Freedom have all reached the top of the charts across the world. He is a unique character – sexy, stylish, mysterious and fun. He relentlessly travels the world entertaining thousands of clubbers across the globe every week. We catch up with him in LA, ironically a city where he thinks no one will recognise him. In this interview, he tells us why disco is far from dead, why he always has dreamt of the Playboy lifestyle, and how there are clear parallels between himself and Hugh Hefner! His new album Bob Sinclar Live at the Playboy Mansion truly reflects his eclectic taste in music.
What news do you have for us from LA? You know, it’s good to be in the sun – it’s good to relax. It’s because I have had three amazing years, with a lot of success, busy working in the studio and busy with DJs. This summer was just unbelievable, because I did thirty international dates on the roll, and it was very tiring. So, I wanted to take some rest where no one knows me at all, and no one in LA knows who I am! Also believe me, at this side of the world there is no house music. I’ve been in a few clubs and it’s completely non-existent! Is it all RNB and hip-hop? It’s nothing! [Laughs] The DJs are crap and they don’t really mix the music together. There is no plan, no structure of mix, and I find that really strange. At the same time, there is no atmosphere, and I am sure that is why there is no vibe because they are still playing Put Your Hands Up For Detroit – that’s the track at the moment! You don’t have any aspirations to be a movie star, do you? No, I don’t speak English very well. I have this awful French accent, and I’m not made for that – I’m made for music … maybe I could do music for a movie. Anything could happen; it’s all about connections. Let’s talk about the Playboy lifestyle – was it always a fantasy of yours to get involved with that? Yes, I’m a fan of the 70s and 80s. There were all these erotic kitsch stories. It’s completely different now. The entire erotic ethos – you don’t really get that anymore. So, I love the atmosphere from the 70s and 80s, and Bob Sinclar is all about that. This is how I made my persona. I wanted to imagine a character from the 80s. I imagined this story in 1998 and created the Bob Sinclar character. So, I used another guy and took a photo of him, who looked like a Playboy from the 70s. This is what I based my image on. So Bob Sinclar at the beginning was all about this image. I have a big collection of Playboy. I always liked erotic magazines because the style is just amazing. I have reflected this in my character. In your early inspirations, that styling was featured a lot in your artwork and we definitely saw that. For me it all happened in between ‘73 and ’83. During these ten years, everything happened there. Every classic film for me is from that period. Most of my favourite records are also from that period. A lot of good things happened in that period, even for art -- for everything. Now we can see you brought that all together. I guess the records you included on the mix were from that period? Exactly. With these two CDs, I tried to do an evolution of the music I love from the period ‘73 to ‘93. We can also notice the changes in music with the development of drum machines and synthesisers. Have you always aspired to be in Playboy magazine? Yeah, it’s a dream, you know? I know that Sean Connery did it, and James Bond. I like heroes and I like anti- heroes. I’m a fan of Mr. Bean and I am a fan of Roger Moore. I like heroes in general; I could be one of them in my music, so why not with Playboy? To do the cover with a beautiful girl, it’s really chic. You probably don’t know this, but we’re already talking to Playboy to feature you in the magazine. That’s good – for Playboy I will do anything! Hugh Hefner lives in LA, and there are three parties every year and the biggest one is on Halloween. I would love to play that party as a DJ. You know, it’s just the most amazing party, with all the amazing girls, guests and superstars. It is a very crazy and sexy party … paradise for me!
send it all over the world. Yeah, and I’m going to try and organise something. Do you think you’ll ever get to meet Hugh Hefner? I would like to meet him, and I would also like to take his place! What is it about Hugh Hefner that you admire so much? It’s just about his life. It’s amazing how his built his life around sexy girls. His whole life is about sexiness, style and attitude. He is just amazing -- he lived with three girls and nobody cared. Everyone says he’s fantastic, and he’s just a very smart gentleman. And I think he is responsible for the iconic imagery that we use today. He’s very stylish. Exactly, he has an amazing idea and he reached the top with it. I would say there is a lot of similarity between Bob Sinclar the character and Hugh Hefner. He has been a good inspiration and example to me [laughs] about music and style, why not? We can say there is a similarity. What do you think makes the perfect “ladies man”? What qualities do you think somebody needs to have to be a Playboy? Life is all about seduction – for women, men and everything. So, I would like to say I’m doing music for women and the gay community. It’s like, I know my feminine side, and I like to use it for all my melodies [and] harmonies, and I’m also looking for energy in the beat. My music is very emotional. It’s great that you look to seduce people with your music. Yeah, and now you see the DJ is an icon. He is the centre of the night. He’s preaching his music. So, his attitude is here to seduce the people and to attract the people towards him. In my case, I don’t like to force people to like my selections. I like to bring people into the music. So, it’s a kind of seduction, and of course the DJ attitude has to be very sexy and very smiley -- it’s my style, and I think people like it. Bob Sinclair Live At The Playboy Mansion is out now.
It would be great if you could actually find out if you could do that, because I guess that would be the ultimate gig for you. Yes, it would be amazing if we could shoot that and
Life is all about seduction – for women, men and everything.
DR W I L L I S
BANGERS & MASH
Don’t Be Late For Your Appointment
By Tom Wilson
… A good chunk of my sets, you will find, are twelve months ahead of most of the other jocks in Australia …
Are you a dance music fan who’s feeling a bit sick of what’s on offer? Melbourne’s Dr. Willis is the cure for what ails you – and you’re booked-in for an appointment at Syrup this month. Don’t worry – he keeps his stethoscope nice and warm … but I think you’re a bit too old to get a lollypop afterwards … I understand you’ve been in Europe recently. What have you been up to over there? I was over there doing an extensive tour, and, in between gigs, working on half-a-dozen or so collaborations. Dance Valley and Defqon1 were amazing gigs to do in Holland, and the club gigs were amazing too, in places such as Scotland, Germany, Ireland and Ibiza – looking forward to going back again next year. Musically, what have you been working on recently? Besides the previously mentioned collaborations, I have a few solo releases out before the end of the year, and also started on a new tougher-edged electro project; the first release of which is looking like [it will be] a big one, titled I Don’t Want To Be. A few years ago you played in China. What are the crowds like over there? What do you think sets them apart from audiences in other countries? It was the first dance party in that region – formally known at Canton, now Ghaung Zhou. To be honest, it was more like a sporting event in a massive arena; people from all walks of life turning up to check it out. It was an amazing experience, and would love to return there again soon. What has been the most rewarding moment of your DJing career so far? Dance Valley was definitely a highlight; it’s a very prestigious event to do with the who’s-who of dance music playing there, and the lineup really reflects what is going on right now. Apart from that, playing my own productions to packed venues and watching them work really well on the dance floor is a hard feeling to beat – same goes for when you hear other DJs drop your tracks!
win ur own
vip lounge with 5 friends plus a limousine, cocktails, Nick Skitz CDs, tix & more!
What do you think it is about your DJ style that sets you apart from others? Well I never stick to one style – if I like a tune, and think it’s gonna work well, I play it! Also, my sets consist of a lot of my own releases, current and future; lots of cheeky bootlegs and re-edits. Plus, a good chunk of my sets, you will find, are twelve months ahead of most of the other jocks in Australia, due to the networking I have worked very hard on for ten years straight. What’s your most treasured piece of equipment, and why? To be honest, it’s my studio as a whole; it’s nothing amazing, but each piece plays a role, and without a complete setup nothing can be treasured, as it doesn’t serve its purpose. How did you first start doing production work? And how do you think your production style has changed in the time since? I started off working with other artists and learnt from there, and picked it up slowly. I would say my style has definitely evolved; I do try and create my own sound, and the equipment I use has definitely evolved with it. You have to take advantage of technology, or you’re going to get left behind.
NICK SKITZ OCTOBER 26 +BUFF STAR S DLUX +SPECIAL GUESTS
THE INFAMOUS SKITZ MIX RETURNS
DOORS OPEN 10PM TIX ON THE DOOR
You’re playing the Pitch Black night at Syrup in Hobart. Given the nature of music usually played on this night, what are some of the artists and tracks you might be dropping? I will be dropping heaps of my own stuff – some future hits, some special re-works – and let’s see where the crowd takes me from there … What are your plans after your Tasmanian visit? Both Scott [Alert], Bodyrox and myself are flat out touring the CD and promoting it on the road through October/November. It’s entitled Generationext – The House2Hard Theory; it’s got some great hype behind it, and looks like the strongest release yet. Your appointment with Dr Willis is at Syrup on the 24th of October. www.myspace.com/djdrwillis PAGE 24
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Mole Creek Caves
BANGERS & MASH
Bask In The Glow Of A New York Legend If you were to tell us that the shaft of light surrounding Todd Terry was the tractor beam of a UFO trying to abduct him, we’d think you were an idiot, but we certainly wouldn’t deny that, right now, this guy’s profile is of a size where we’d believe he has fans of “the third kind”. After all, he wasn’t nicknamed “Todd the God” for nothing. Simply put, in the New York 80s scene, Todd was house music, and in the time since, the intensity of his work has never abated – not for a second. So we couldn’t let the aliens take off with him before Phil Cheeseman could have a few words earlier this year …
It’s probably fair to say that you were the first big name to record for Strictly Rhythm … Yeah, I would say that me and Kenny were among the first. I’m always interested in the new labels starting out. I felt that they were going to give it their full attention, and that they were gonna go after it as hard as they can, instead of the criticism that comes from the major labels if the record doesn’t sell. That’s the kind of crap I hear sometimes, so I’d rather go with the smaller label. We’d thrown them a couple of records for them to get to the next level. I think going with them was a good move at the time, and I think that this time it’s an even better move. I think it makes a lot of sense. And you were probably one of the first US DJs to play house music in the UK … Yes. We did a bit of touring back then; we did The Wag back in the day, we did The Fridge, you know? They we among the first clubs that even cared about that type of music. How did it compare to the kind of places you were playing in New York at the time? It was just different. Everybody was into it, you know? I used to play at The Walk in New York, Studio 54, 1018 – I used to play at all these clubs and it was just a different vibe. You could play stuff that no-one had ever heard before. There was a lot of space to play with, and that’s what made me enjoy it. Now you have to be more careful with the space that you have. Back then, I always thought that the US was gonna be way ahead of the UK when it came to dance music, but in the US it just completely died; it’s just not there no more! All the European countries own house music now. Back then, house music was massive in the US. First it was Detroit and Chicago, and then it came to New York. It was everywhere. But then there was this one radio station which we thought was going to take it on and make house even bigger, and they wouldn’t play any of our stuff. That was a real smack in the face. When that disrespect happened, they killed the whole damn industry. Do you notice a difference in style or attitude between the old and new DJs? Well, when I play in clubs, I play a lot of older stuff, which I guess is a breath of fresh air compared to what most DJs have been playing all year. So I guess that’s what keeps me going, and keeps me playing a lot of gigs. A lot of DJs are hitting the hard trance stuff with no lyrics, which I think is just a little too much. My biggest records were always the vocal records. I’ve always said it’s good to have the best of both worlds, which is why I’ve always tried to have a strong pop life, while also maintaining a strong underground life. I think that’s always got to be the way to go. Make songs and then, on the b-sides, make dubs. There’s nothing wrong with that. You know, I wish I had some defining philosophy about dance music, but I’ve been doing it twenty years and I still can’t figure it out. I just want to make music for the people, and I’m think I’m gonna stick to that. What will make the industry big again is to promote us as the stars, but I don’t think they think about it like that. Do you think it’s harder now for upcoming producers and DJs? I think it’s gonna be harder, because they’re not allowing the pioneers to open it up. I think there will be a few lucky hits here and there, but there should be a lot more space open now. And radio stations are partly to blame for only adding ten songs to their playlists when they could be adding thirty or forty. It’s been going on for a while, but maybe it’s time for it to stop, because it’s not helping. I think they grab what they think is hot, hit it really hard for two, three months and then drop it. They don’t have a long-term plan. Of all the clubs you’ve played over the years, do any stick in your mind as being particularly memorable? The biggest clubs over the years have been the [Paradise] Garage, Ministry of Sound (no matter how much they jerked me); Hacienda was probably the greatest ever. There are a lot of clubs that really stick out – that put a stamp of approval on the music. I’ve had a lot of great times. I will never tear that down. www.myspace.com/teeschoice
I wish I had some defining philosophy about dance music, but I’ve been doing it twenty years and I still can’t figure it out
By Phil Cheeseman
DENNI S F E R R E R
BANGERS & MASH
What Obsessive Compulsive Dance Music Sounds Like
By Toni Tambourine Dennis Ferrer, dance music’s most innovative producer, was the next rising star invited to mix the 20th Defected In the House compilation. He explains why he can’t stop acting like a big kid, why he regularly travels halfway around the world to pick up a microphone, and exactly why the international DJ lifestyle isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Rumour has it that you’re still a big kid. Is this true? Very true. I’ve always been a kid; young at heart, brother! I still love video games, I love playing with my kids – just acting like a big kid in general. I just love it. I think that everyone takes life too seriously, and I think that you only get one life; one ticket on the roller coaster, and that’s it. You should live your life like it’s the last ride, you know? Throw your hands up in the air! Does being a DJ give you that freedom? Yeah, but even before I was like this. I’ve always been this way. I think everyone should feel like they’re blessed to be here. It’s a great time to be alive right now.
What’s your most treasured possession? My equipment. My Neumann U-47 and U-67 microphones and my Neve 1064. Those are my most prized little babies in my studio. I was told once that you flew from the US to Paris to pick up a mixing desk. Is that true? No, I picked up a microphone. That’s what I’m doing here today too; I flew in from Greece to pick up another mic. They want $10,000 for it back at home. [Laughs] I can get it here much cheaper, and in better condition; it’s been well maintained. I buy pieces of kit all the time. Big TV or little TV? LCD 42” baby! I have two; one on the family room one in the parents room. What video games are you playing at the moment? Ghost Recon 2 on the Xbox 360, but I haven’t been home in two weeks, so I haven’t played it at all. I also have a PSP I take on my travels. I still like Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City. I have a whole bunch of games, but
my latest toy [that] I take with me is my MPC-500, which is another piece of music kit. What sneakers are you wearing? Pumas, baby! Been Pumas for about two years now. I’m on a Puma hunt … I find Pumas I can’t find in the States and go looking for them somewhere else in the world. I just find pairs of Pumas all over the place! I like them if they’re different to the ones you normally find. Have you been a sneaker pimp all you life? No, I just particularly like these. When we were in Greece we found these limited edition pair they only made two hundred and fifty of, the Nike Air Force 1’s. And we paid three hundred euros for them. We do stuff like that, you know?
I have OCD, so anything I do, I become passionate about very quickly. [Laughs] You still look young despite your never-ending late nights. What’s your secret? My secret is to sleep all day. [Laughs] No, I’m just playing. It’s hereditary man. I’m Spanish and us Spanish guys age pretty well. My parents aged very well. But don’t get me wrong; it’s also sleep. You know, I may spin till seven in the morning, but I’m gonna sleep till four in the afternoon. My body clock has been jacked for ten years; I can’t sleep at all. I have permanent insomnia. When I’m home, when I’m back in the States, I can’t sleep before five, six o’clock in the morning. I’m up watching my kids go to school before I can crash. I think everyone in my house and everyone associated with my family has paid the price. It isn’t an easy life. Everyone thinks it’s a glorious life and it’s not. It’s a tough life; one that not many people would understand.
So the DJ life isn’t as glamorous as it sounds? No it’s not, but I’m not only a DJ – I’m also a producer. So now you’re talking about spending late nights making records, and on top of that I’m a father and a husband. The workload is ridiculous! Can you tell me about an amazing DJing experience you’ve had recently? Just being able to DJ in front of people is amazing. Any particular gigs that really stand out? The Miami WMC was off the freakin’ meat-rack; that was out of control! That was me, TMV, Marcus Wyatt. I mean, that was hands-in-the-air action; it’s all over Youtube! I dropped Underground Is My Home and everyone was going bonkers. It was great in the sun, and then it rained and I played Everyone Get Happy, and then the sun came out again. It was just amazing. It was all in good fun, you know – no money, but all in good fun. What are you passionate about outside of music? Life. I’m just passionate about anything I do, [to be] really honest. I have OCD, so anything I do, I become passionate about very quickly. [Laughs] Do you seriously have OCD? No, it’s a joke. Every musician has OCD! [Laughs] Would you still make music if you were not allowed to use anything electronic? Of course I would, that’s a stupid question. I’d do anything dude – I’d bang on pots if I could make music out of it. Do you play any instrument? Nah man, the only instrument I play is keys. I don’t play drums or guitar or anything, but I play keys. Do you bring in any live elements to your production? All the time. We bring in anyone from Roy Ayres to anybody if we think we need it.
How would you describe your music in your own words? I think it’s just different. I think it’s not the run-of-the-mill house record. I think the best description is “quality”. I try to give everyone quality. It might not be a big hit, but at least I’m giving you my heart. Is the ITH compilation a snapshot of how you would play if you were playing live? Yes, it definitely is. What’s the difference between the two mixes? Nothing really; I just tried to play as close as possible to how I play in a club. It was very difficult actually, ‘cos there were so many great tracks I that I just couldn’t find. I just had to make a decision that I would choose the tracks and mix it like I was in a club. Would you say you’re completely happy with the result? Oh, I’m completely happy. I wish I could have made five CDs, but … The third disc is made up of your “Inspirations”. Where did they come from? That’s just growing up man – really honestly, that was all my childhood. I’ve never been asked to do anything like that, so for me to be able to do that was a total honour. It was great. What other producers and DJs are on fire around you at the moment? Spinna, Frankie Feliciano, Loco Dice, Martin Buttrich. What’s next for Dennis Ferrer? I’m working on a few more releases; stuff on Objectivity. Wow, there’s just so much stuff. It’s gonna be a really good, busy year I think. http://www.myspace.com/dennisferrer
SPOTLIGHT I graduated from the uni here … If anyone tries to downgrade that course, I’ll rip their arm off and beat them with it
R O OT E D
Respect Theatre OR I’LL RIP YOUR ARM OFF By Tom Wilson
Yes, the play is called Rooted. Now stop sniggering and listen up, because I spoke to Mudlark Theatre’s Stuart Loone about the challenges of bringing late Alex Buzo’s social satire to the stage in Launceston this month. So listen up or I’ll rip your arm off … Rooted was written by Alex Buzo, who’s no longer with us. How do you think he would look upon your rendition of this play? We’ve totally embraced the style of the script, for sure. I hope he’d think that we have taken it by the balls. When you look back on the history of Australian drama, Buzo’s writing is a really ballsy example of invention. Australia’s got all these garage inventors who come up with the Hills Hoist or the lawnmower or whatever … Buzo’s a bit like that. [He was] off-kilter, brilliant, and his sense of design knocks you for six … man, I hope he’d be pleased with what we’ve done. This production has been tagged “new wave theatre”. How would you describe new wave theatre? And what sets it apart from … well … “old wave theatre”? New wave theatre kicked off in the late 60’s with playwrights like Williamson, Hibberd and Buzo, who wrote plays that actually used the Australian idiom. For pretty much the first time, Australian audiences heard theatre voices which were theirs. The writers also started to play with our language in non-linear ways and wrote plots which weren’t predictable, and gave audiences this very black humour – this very understated, strange Australian brand of humour. Rooted has that off-kilter humour down pat. How would you sum up the plot of Rooted? What kind of subject matter does it delve into? It’s this incredibly fascinating satire about how social status corrupts people, and about how mates screw each other over. It takes the piss on trendy art wankers, surfers, ockers, groupies – anyone who’s ever been in a circle or a clique will be able to relate to it. Rooted reminds us that there has to be friendship – true friendship – in these groups, or it all becomes facile and unreal. You see all these people pretending they like each other, and that act of pretense … how boring, and destructive. We’ve got the lead character, Bentley, who’s this mild-mannered, good bloke – [a] public servant. He’s got the new home unit, the new wife, the group of friends, the new stereo set – he’s a perfectly nice guy who gets totally screwed over by his mates, because they’re trying to get in with the big mover on the scene – Simmo. He loses everything to the social leeches. It is genuinely a beautifully-crafted story – a bit of a fable. What makes Rooted really different, though, is that it doesn’t deal with all these people naturally – they’re all cast in this surreal-nearly-real light. It’s like we’re watching Bentley’s nightmare on stage. What kind of casting process was there in putting together this ensemble? What strengths do each of the players have that make them perfect for their roles? The characters border on caricatures, so it was really important to engage intelligent actors who instinctively know that line between too much and too boring. Geoff, Jane, Cheyne, Dan and Nicola are all very different people, with the flavour of their characters just there, at their disposal and on demand. It’s really nice too, because, out of five actors, only two have worked together before. The ensemble feels new, and it’s a combination of very talented actors that people haven’t seen before, which can be difficult in Launceston. I have to be honest though, too – the cast had to look hot. They’re almost there. Why did you decide to tackle this piece? What sets it apart – technically, thematically, and dramatically – from Mudlark’s other output this year? I loved Rooted as soon as I finished reading the first scene. Buzo’s writing is not your standard garden-variety Australian naturalism. He goes off on these wonderful and very theatrical tangents. Buzo looks at language, our Australian language, in a very stylised way – there are these musical-type repetitions in the language, almost fugue-type stuff, as well as uncannily accurate characterisations. Mudlark’s done a lot of heavier stuff this year, too. It’s good to put on something that, on one hand, can have this deeper reading, but can also just be piss-funny. Rooted was last performed in Tasmania in the early 70s. In what ways do you think this play is still relevant to audiences nowadays, thirty-odd years later? Thirty years isn’t a long time at all. We all still have friends and operate in groups. That doesn’t change. The only thing with Rooted is that it’s dressed up in fucking wicked 1960’s clothes. How long has Rooted been in the making? What have been some of the challenges, setbacks and rewards in its production? This puppy’s been in my head for the past four years. If a show lasts that long in my head, chances are I’ll try to do it somehow. Challenges: getting that 60’s mod look down pat. We’ve been talking white furniture for months. Setbacks: it’s not really a setback, but there have been so many shows on this year in Launceston – professional, recreational and otherwise. Man, it’s difficult to get airspace and get the word out at the moment. I think a lot of local theatre companies are finding it tough going. Something needs to be done – more coordination. Rewards: it sounds like a cliché, but it’s just getting a show up. I’m so stoked with what the actors are bringing to it. When you hear that it’s all clicking, and the challenging moments are being absorbed, and there’s this feeling of discovery – they’re the moments I go for. You directed Rooted, and play a key role in Mudlark. What can you tell me about your career before this? How did you come to be where you are now? I graduated from the uni here in Launnie in ’97. It’s a terrific course that encourages you to make your own theatre. If anyone tries to downgrade that course, I’ll rip their arm off and beat them with it. That ethos of making your own theatre is what I’ve been doing for the past ten years, with Second Storey and Three River and now Mudlark. I’m addicted to independent theatre and interpreting text – finding the playwright’s vision and acting as a representative of the audience. It’s all I’ve ever done for a trade, apart from itinerant arts admin gigs, and I really hope that I just get better at it. How would you describe the state of theatre in Tasmania? And how has it changed in the last few years? Theatre in Tasmania ... God, where to start? Theatre in Tasmania is really solid, and we generate some really, really brilliant theatre on the odd occasion, like Beyond The Neck and The Tank. We seriously have some world-class niche performance companies: Terrapin does excellent puppetry, Is Theatre generates excellent new performance, IHOS creates excellent boutique opera, and TasDance creates phenomenal contemporary dance. But text-based professional theatre? The question always seems to be left hanging. What’s next for Mudlark? A bit of a breather over summer, and then it looks like we’ll be working our collective arse off next year. Get Rooted from the 9th to the 13th of October at Launceston’s Earl Arts Centre.
JAM I N
The Bedroom Philosopher
First We Take Paris, Then We Take The World
ROYAL OAK – 13/9/07
By Tom Wilson What do John Howard and Paris Hilton have in common? Jamin. A Hobart-based artist armed with a paintbrush and a firm drive for satire, his latest exhibition, First We Take Paris, Then We Take The World is currently hanging in Devonport. So we decided to have a word with him … What can you tell me about the new exhibition, First We Take Paris, Then We Take The World? How long has this been in the works? Devonport Regional Gallery offered me their Solo Commission exhibition about a year ago. It’s an awesome gig – they cover all of the costs associated with producing a solo exhibition – materials, a catalogue, freight etc. I’m stoked – big ups to the DRG. I’d had a bunch of ideas over that time, mainly revolving around doing a series of works as a kind of eulogy to John Howard. Then the Paris in jail thing happened. “Free Paris!” It was bizarre. She was front page headlines for over a week, pushing identities like John Howard and Kevin Rudd to the sidelines. I thought that this fixation with celebrity by both the media and the people was reaching new levels of absurdity. At the same time, Paul Lennon was engaging spin doctors in an image makeover, Kevin Rudd was pushing his new “Little Johnny” image and Howard’s image was cracking apart. Image, image, image. Everything seemed to be getting reduced to these superficial levels of outward appearance and public perceptions. So, given all that, it was First We Take Paris, Then We Take the World. Which incidentally is an adaptation of the title of a Leonard Cohen song – First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin. All of the paintings are named after songs. I’d like to go deeper into the subtext of what seems to be the key image of this exhibition – the Howard/Paris piece. (Is it wrong that I just said “I’d like to go deeper into Paris Hilton? Oh well – who hasn’t?) What were you trying to say with this image? Deeper into Paris? First we take Paris? One night in Paris? The piece you mentioned was the first painting I produced in the series. It depicts John Howard walking arm in arm with Paris, with Howard either screaming or cackling depending on which way you see it. The piece is called Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies and Save the Entire Planet (after a Pop Will Eat Itself Song). What was I trying to say? I actually think that images speak for themselves. As Yoda said: “do or do not, there is no ‘try’”. Let’s go even deeper into Paris, now. She appears in several of your works. What is it about her that has captivated or inspired you in this way? You wish, big boy. [Smiles] To be completely honest, she does not captivate nor inspire me. I am most fascinated by media and the people’s involvement in media. So much of what we know, of what we are told, of what goes on in the world comes to us through highly filtered and channeled media. This media is controlled. This media makes money. We respond and consume this media as though it is the real thing. It’s like we’ve just talked with John Howard when he announces a new policy; argued with Paul Lennon over the
The Bedroom Philosopher did not bring his boudoir with him in which to eulogise his inner sanctum of reverie. But he did bring his guitar and his self-proclaimed arty retro-orange shirt and brown vest, and an unexpectedly beautiful voice with which to present a shitload of funny songs. His partner-in-crimes-against-serious-melodica was also his support act, Josh Earl, who also had a guitar and funny songs, and he had also packed in his Melbourneoutbound suitcase some mighty fine stand-up comedy. Some dude cruising happily past the bar declared it the best ten dollars he had spent in ages. The Oak bestowed The Boat Room on the jesting non-emo arty lads, who seemed to attract many familiar faces of the creative Tassie community – musos, actors, writers, and those inspired enough to foresee that it would indeed be the best ten dollars they had spent in ages.
The Burnie-born-and-bred Justin Heazlewood made his comedy all the more tangible to the Tassie audience – like being called a “poofter” by enlightened lads in Mowbray in your standard verbal drive-by. These anecdotes were punctuated by the comedic musical stylings The Bedroom Philosopher has come to be known for, with a mixture of new songs from his forthcoming album interspersed with old faves like Gaytime and a very curt rendition of I’m So Post-Modern. Despite the clear intellectual undercurrents, Josh and Boudoir Boy were humble in their ha-ha genius, and I can’t wait to see them again. CLARA MURRAY
impropriety of pulling the RPDC process; or just gone out on the town with Paris and her friends. We didn’t. We don’t. And was I the only one who thought her infamous home video was unfairly snubbed at the Oscars? You and a few others who spend far too much time on the Internet. Speaking of which, I spent far too much time on the Internet. Have you given any thought to what your next project will be? What direction would you like to go – both in terms of artistry and subject matter? For this exhibition, I combined a few techniques like stenciling, freehand aerosol work and oil painting. I think I’d like to see where that combination can go … I’ve only just touched on it
really. Subject matter? Well, it depends what’s on the horizon really … a new Prime Minister? A new Pulp Mill? Withdrawal from a devastated Iraq? Facebook? Time will tell … Also, regarding the fire that burned down Myer – you can take the heart from our shopping centre, but you can’t take the shopping from our hearts. First We Take Paris, Then We Take The World? is showing at the Devonport Regional Gallery until October 7th. www.jamin.com.au www.myspace.com/jamin_art
A Man Needs His Mates By Maura Bedloe
wrote itself. “A few years ago I supported a good friend through an excruciating relationship breakup, and his experience of his ex-girlfriend coming back to the flat again and again and again ... and around the same time my best mate – my dog Zac – died. Some time later I did a scriptwriting workshop with [well-known Australian playwright] Timothy Daly. The seeds were planted and the script took shape from there.’ Mate’s comedy is largely drawn from the device of its talking dogs – which are all played by actors. And, in case you’re wondering, you won’t be seeing any dog suits on the stage. David Lander says getting the audience to accept the dogs is one of the play’s primary challenges. ‘I wanted to make the characters physical and not dress them up in suits, so the costuming is fairly minimal. I like to challenge the audience to go along when an actor says “I’m a dog”, or a tree or whatever – that’s the essence of what we do on stage, and I like to work with that. There’ll be times when people will think they’re watching human beings, and at other times it is obviously dogs. The question is: how much will that matter to the audience?”
Talking dogs, a heartbroken painter, his ex-girlfriend and a slippery Italian art dealer – they’re some of the ingredients in the Old Nick Theatre Company’s latest offering, Mate, playing at Hobart’s Peacock Theatre this month. Written and directed by Hobart playwright David Lander, Mate is a comedy-drama set in modern-day Melbourne, and as the name suggests, it is about “mates” – but with a twist. In this play, the mates in question are both human and canine. The story centres on the enmeshed relationships between three human characters – Jim, an aspiring artist; Tamsen, his ex-inprogress and Marcello, a rich gallery owner and Tamsen’s new boyfriend. The other characters in the play are four dogs – Mate, Jim’s faithful mutt; Sarge, the ex-police German Shepherd; Caitlin, an elegantly aged Irish wolfhound and Claudine, an inexhaustibly energetic Staffordshire terrier pup. The triangular world of the artist, his girlfriend and her new lover – who becomes Jim’s art dealer – is seen through Jim’s sometimes mystified eyes, but also that of his dog – who, as loyal companion, talks to his “Boss” ... well, just like a mate. In this play, the dogs bark and sniff each other’s backsides, just like regular dogs, but they get a fair bit of the dialogue as well, and the play contrasts the human entanglements with the much simpler, biologically-driven canine world. According to David Lander – whose previous credits include a gig as co-writer for It’s a Dad Thing – the script for Mate practically
Mate will also feature music from an album by Sydney musician Tully Dingle. Tully’s father Harry, who lives in Hobart, has also written two pieces especially for the play. David Lander says the choice of music was an important element in conveying the essence of the story. “I always saw and heard this as a young person’s play. I wanted new music that conveyed a sense of hopefulness, yearning – the slight other-worldliness that young people have. I didn’t want anything polished or overproduced, I wanted raw music. The other advantage with using original music is that the audience won’t have any pre-conceptions or memories that they may have associated with more familiar sounds.” Mate features local actors Jared Goldsmith as Jim, Jessica Davenport-Hortle as Tamsen, Rainor Trippett as Marcello, Ivano Del Pio as Mate, James Casey as Sarge and Emma Woodcock in a dual role as Caitlin and Claudine. A play for lovers, dog lovers, or ex-lovers with dogs. Mate is the second production in the Old Nick Theatre Company’s 2007/2008 season. The Old Nick – which has been presenting live theatre in Tasmania since 1948 – will bring Who’s Afraid of the Working Class to the Peacock later in October. Mate opens at Hobart’s Peacock Theatre on October 5th and runs until October 20th. Tickets are $25 pp or $20 concession and bookings are through Centertainment, 6234 5998, or online at www.centertainment.com.au. PAGE 29
Favourite Favou urite Band:
Favourite Favo ourite Band:
Savage Savag ge Garden.
Ministry Minis stry Of Sound.
What’s the best thing about global warming?
What’s the best thing about global warming?
What’s the best thing about global warming?
What’s the best thing about global warming?
I wouldn’t be so cold anymore.
Don’t give a shit!
Better tanning weather.
Not having to rug up for winter.
If you could be anyone in the world for a day,
If you could be anyone in the world for a day,
If you could be anyone in the world for a day,
If you could be anyone in the world for a day,
who would you be, and why?
who would you be, and why?
who would you be, and why?
who would you be, and why?
Iggy Pop when he was younger – so I could go psycho
David Hasselhoff – he’s a mega-babe.
Darren Hayes – ‘cause he’s amazing.
Johnny Depp. Why? He’s Johnny Depp!
Who wouldn’t you want to be?
Who wouldn’t you want to be?
Who wouldn’t you want to be?
George W. Bush.
Who’s the worst-dressed person you know of?
Who’s the worst-dressed person you know of?
Who’s the worst-dressed person you know of?
My brother (Chippy)
on stage. Who wouldn’t you want to be? The Person reading this. Who’s the worst-dressed person you know of? Celine Dion.
Tasmanian music and pop-culture, featuring Horsell Common, The Vasco Era, Alien Existence, Mia Dyson, Birds of Tokyo, Peter Combe, The Hot L...
Published on Dec 10, 2013
Tasmanian music and pop-culture, featuring Horsell Common, The Vasco Era, Alien Existence, Mia Dyson, Birds of Tokyo, Peter Combe, The Hot L...