edgemag.com.au | july 2009
Writing for me is like me writing in my diary, itâ€™s my experience. Cassie Davis
music >> ar t s >> ent er t ainment >> mont hl y
Moby Yves Klein Blue Rufus Wainwright Jon McClure Dash & Will Empire Of The Sun Matisuahu Bertie Blackman Karnivool Cassie Davis Shelley Harland Mark Vincent
HILLTOP hOODS state of the art hits gold
July 2009 | edgemag.com.au
Joe the Eskimo takes a tour, Sonic Youth turn out 16th album, Muse due in September and The Used cover a classic plus the rest.
Publisher/Editor Leigh Harris Contributors:
Sonic Youth vs. Radiohead Unorthodox punk/rock group Sonic Youth has recently accused Radiohead of being selfish, neglecting the rest of the musical world through their interesting approach to marketing their new record. Nevertheless, Sonic Youth have released another album (a whopping 16th!), entitled ‘The Eternal’, to show those folk in Radiohead how it’s REALLY done. Since their formation in 1981, the band has pushed the boundaries of rock, having a crucial role in the formation of alternative rock during the 1980s, and The Eternal is no different. A review by Clash said “the album shows signs of life and heart-wrenching vitality that secures its makers’ position at the forefront of American rock music.”
They Shalla Return Eskimo Joe’s 4th album, Inshalla, has debuted at #1 on the ARIA album charts, solidifying the bands position as one of Australia’s premier music acts. The first single form the album, Foreign Lands, reached #13 in the ARIA singles charts. Supported by Bob Evans, the boys are embarking on a national tour at the end of July, kicking off in Wollongong, NSW, and wrapping up in Launceston, TAS. The multi-ARIA award-winning band is set to wow crowds, so if you haven’t bought tickets yet, make sure you do before they disappear!
29 July – Wollongong University, Wollongong, NSW 30 July – Hordern Pavilion (all ages), Sydney, NSW 31 July – Newcastle Panthers, Newcastle, NSW 1 Aug – ANU, Canberra, ACT 7 Aug – The Palace, Melbourne, VIC 13 Aug – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA 15 Aug – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA 22 Aug – Riverstage (all ages), Brisbane, QLD 24 Aug- Moncrieff Theatre (All ages), Bundaberg, QLD 25 Aug – Gladstone PCYC (All ages), Gladstone, QLD 26 Aug – Pilbeam Theatre (All ages), Rockhampton, QLD 27 Aug – Mackay Ent. Ctr (All ages), Mackay, QLD 28 Aug – Brothers Leagues Club (15+), Cairns, QLD 2 Sep – Hobart City Hall (Lic. & All ages) Hobart, TAS 3 Sep – Albert Hall (Lic. & All ages) Launceston, TAS
Lucy Vader Louisa Andrews Denning Isles Anna Bolton Kate Leaver Nikki Friedli Barry Bissell Andrew G Jono Coleman Matt Brodtke Sam Balzac Matt Brodtke Design & Layout Leigh Harris Contact Leigh Harris Tel: 02 8006 7755 email@example.com PO Box 476 Darlinghurst NSW 1300 Distributed exclusively via the Leading Edge Music retail network, Australia’s independent music retail experts.
The Resistance Is Coming! Muse have announced the release date for their fifth studio album, The Resistance, in September this year. The Resistance was self-produced in Make sure you check your smoke alarms, because US Rockers The Used have recorded a cover of Talking Heads’ Italy with final touches now underway, and is being mixed by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, of Massive 1983 smash Burning Down The House. The track, also featuring on the Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen soundtrack, delivers a distinctive electro-rock rendition of the classic hit with true The Used flavour. The Used are Attack, U2 and Oasis renown. Famous for their “unbelievably spectacular” live shows and with also set to release their fourth album, Artwork, later this year, after the release of the albums first single, Blood tickets to their European tour sold out in less than On My Hands (available now).
Burning for The Used
Pete Seeger Live in Melbourne DVD, a Kid Kenobi CD & t-shirt pack, the Rufus Wainright biography, double pass to Red Cliff movie, or Retro Rage 2 CD and DVD pack.
half an hour, Muse promises to deliver yet another jaw-dropping production with rumors of U2 making an appearance in the USA leg of the tour. With a huge collection of awards under their belts, they’ve gained the reputation of being one of the world’s most prominent rock acts. Start counting down the days to September 14th, when you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy of The Resistance.
To win any of these great prizes just email or write to us and in 25 words or less, tell us why you deserve to win. Every entry must include the name of the Leading Edge Music store where you picked up your copy of THE EDGE, your full name, address, telephone number and which prize you want (ie: #1 Pete Seeger DVD, #2 Kid Kenobi pack or #3 Rufus biography #4 Red Cliff movie pass, #5 Retro Rage 2CD and DVD). Entries close 7th August 2009. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to THE EDGE PO Box 476 Darlinghurst NSW 1300
edgemag.com.au | July 2009
CROWDED HOUSE CROWDED HOUSE (1986)
The King Of Pop Laid to Rest writes Kate Leaver The death of Michael Jackson has inspired as true a public sorrow as any. Shocked by the sudden loss of the original Moonwalker, fans and celebrities alike have paid tribute to the star in whichever way they can. Hundreds have made the pilgrimage to the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York where MJ began his fame. The BET Awards, which honour the achievements of African-American actors, singers and other artists turned into a star-studded tribute to Michael Jackson in which Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx and countless others dedicated the night to him. Celebrities donned military-style clothes with a disco twist and a single white glove as a sign of respect. Twitter is aflutter with Michael Jackson-related posts and online forums have popped up to allow fans to share their love and grief. MTV and other television and radio programs have played a constant stream of MJ songs and videos. Michael Jackson impersonators have taken to the streets, his beats can be heard in cafes, shops, parks and restaurants. A group of 1500 inmates on an island in the Philippines have become a youtube sensation with their rendition of ‘Thriller’. In whichever way people have chosen to express their anguish and respect, the response to Michael Jackson’s death only confirms his epic, unparalleled iconic status. The Jacksons issued a statement through People Magazine which thanked everyone for their support and love. “We miss Michael endlessly, and our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you – who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever.” If the initial celebrations and tributes in every corner of the world are anything to go by, his legacy is in good hands. Prolific music producer Quincy Jones worked more closely with Michael Jackson than anyone. He has been publicly teary, visibly shaken by the shock of losing someone he so admired. “To this day, the music we created together on “Off The Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad” is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever.” The sobbing and singing of fans worldwide is not gratuitious. Michael Jackson earned this spectacular level of fandom and adoration. Five of his solo albums – “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous” and “HIStory” are among the top-sellers of all time. During his extraordinary career, he
sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and “Thriller” as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award. Music stores have started selling out of albums, singles and other Michael Jackson products since his passing. There has been an enormous surge in demand for MJ’s music and videos as fans everywhere scramble to remember and rejoice in his joyous, unique sound. Adoring opportunists have started selling T-shirts, posters and other memoribilia. On the day of Michael Jackson’s death Google was temporarily shut down due to the overpowering number of searches for his name. Since then news stories from all over the world crowd and topple over one another; a constant stream of interviews, statements, tributes, conspiracy theories, medical and/or legal opinion. The custody of Michael Jackson’s children, the whereabouts of the physician present at the time of the cardiac arrest, the possibility of prescription drug overdose, false autopsy results and the location of the funeral have been discussed in mainstream and personal media. The untimely death of a celebrity will always incite suspicion and morbid fascination but this reeling, unstoppable devastation really is unique to Michael Jackson. For a man whose life was so defined by race, family, immense talent and controversy one could hardly expect anything less.
I was lucky enough to play a small part – a very small part – in the creation of Crowded House’s chart-topping debut. I lent my piano to Tim Finn, and it helped break Neil Finn’s writer’s block. Neil later told me he wrote Don’t Dream It’s Over and Weather With You on the piano. Of course, Crowded House was the second big band for Neil Finn. The mighty Split Enz called it quits at the end of 1984, and Neil wasted no time getting a new band together, teaming up with bass player Nick Seymour, and Paul Hester, who had been the drummer on the last Enz album. The band wanted a big international deal and legendary Australian producer Peter Dawkins, who was then working for EMI, helped them get it. Initially, they were called “The Mullanes”,
The past month has been very busy on The Jono & Dano Show. One of the highlights was when Billy Ocean ‘got out of our dreams, and into our car.’ Billy has just wrapped up his first tour of Australia and while he was here we took it upon ourselves to show him some of the touristy sights. He was very impressed by the Harbour Bridge. We were also busy entertaining some of our favourite Aussie bands when they stopped by with their instruments to perform acoustic versions of their biggest hits. This included performances from Mental as Anything and Boom Crash Opera. In between the acoustic
after Neil Finn’s middle name, but they became “Crowded House” when they were making the album – in a crowded house in LA. We forget, but the Crowdies were not an instant success. The album had been out for nearly a year when it finally took off, with the single Don’t Dream It’s Over going all the way to number two in the US. The album ended up selling three million copies worldwide, and four singles hit the Australian Top 40: Mean To Me, Don’t Dream It’s Over, World Where You Live and Something So Strong. Twenty-three years later, it still sounds fantastic Barry Bissell
performances we had time to chat with some big names including Will Ferrell, Alice Cooper, Jim Kerr from Simple Minds, Reg Presley from The Troggs and the much loved comedy duo Hale & Pace. There’s still plenty more to come, so don’t forget to tune into The Jono & Dano Show weekday afternoons from 4-7pm across Australia or check out our website jonoanddano.com.au Jono and Dano
Take 40 G’day, its Andrew G here letting you know what’s going on at Take 40. As well as counting down the countries 40 biggest hits, we’ve had lots of big names drop by the studio for a chat including Lady Gaga, The Pussycat Dolls, Greenday, Kelly Clarkson and Eminem…if you missed them you can watch them anytime at Take40.com. While you’re there you can stream the new albums by The Black Eyed Peas, Hilltop Hoods and a bunch more and as usual there’s the hottest new clips and freshest music and entertainment goss. Australia’s hottest new band Short Stack will play the Take 40
Live Lounge on June 25. The Live Lounge has already seen a blistering performance from Wes Carr, meanwhile New Zealand’s biggest exports Evermore are the next act lined up to play on July 20. Make sure you hit our website take40.com to win tickets, watch the shows, and go behind the scenes of the event! Remember to tune into the nation’s biggest countdown, Take 40 Australia, every weekend! Andrew G
Shelley Harland loves cheesecake so a Surry Hills café in Sydney was the obvious choice for a catch up with Matt Brodtke Shelley, a petite and gorgeous young songstress hailing from a cockney family in England is the latest addition to Albert Music and one of Sony Music’s newest recording stars. Her debut album, Red Leaf is a romantic and beautiful collection of tracks which embody Shelley’s nature as a singer and as a woman. Talk soon turns to the album release on July 3rd, to which Shelley says the experience so far has been like “preparing for a marathon”, and with photo shoots, interviews and balancing a personal life with partner James Wright, who could blame her. “It’s all new to me” she says, “I’m happiest when I’m in my studio but I do love meeting people”. Shelley, who toured the USA and Canada as the front woman for Delirium, said the experience was “like a party” and that the reviews and fan interaction was “unbelievable”. Shelley tackled one of Delirium’s most revered tracks, ‘The Silence’ originally featuring Sarah
McLachlan and received astonishing feedback from band members and the public. As the first female to be inducted into the Albert Music label in over a decade, Shelley perceives this honour as “…an adventure.” She goes on to say that Albert Music is perfect as, “… it is not diluted by a huge talent bank and they are all very sweet people”, who allow her the chance to produce music she loves without the pressures, which is perfect for her eventual “plans for world domination”. When asked to describe the album in three words, Shelley said she felt that the album was “honest, real and without gimmicks”, which is exactly what has been lacking in the pop scene for far too long. Her personal favourite tracks on the album are, “Stranger; because I love singing it, In The dark; because it’s a fan favourite and Wonder; because it’s a moment in time with simple sentiments and a relatability”.
Travel has been a huge part in Shelley’s life, raised in England, moving to New York and finally to Sydney, when asked where she considered her home to be, she very romantically replied, “Wherever James is, is home.” The musical influences Shelley’s been inspired by include, The Beatles, The Carpenters and Fleetwood Mac and she would love nothing more than to follow in Paul and Linda McCartney footsteps and have a “moveable recording studio with no restrictions and no rules to life”. For all those budding singers out there, Shelley’s advice is, “to do what YOU want to do. Be true and real to yourself because honesty connects with people’. Finally, what would Shelley demand if she could be a diva for a day, “Cheesecake, a lot of chocolate and maybe some champagne. I have a love affair with chocolate” she smiled.
Ref Leaf Sony Music (review page 9)
July 2009 | edgemag.com.au
Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun set to conquer the world writes Anna Bolton Empire of the Sun are quite literally the ‘people who rule the world’, conquering the Australian and international music markets. The success of their debut album ‘Walking On A Dream’ in the UK has seen the dynamic pair escalate to being one of Australia’s most successful international artists to date. All without playing a live show. The electro duo burst into the spotlight late last year, with the release of their first single ‘Walking on a Dream’ in August. Since then, they’ve made waves around the globe, with their subsequent single ‘We Are The People’ hitting #14 and becoming the second most played song in the UK as well as receiving considerable airplay in the US. They were also awarded #4 spot on the BBC’s Sound of 2009 list. The single ‘Walking On A Dream’, from their platinum-selling debut album of the same name, has been nominated for an APRA for Song Of The Year. The new single, ‘Standing On The Shore’, while only recently released, has already received considerable attention here in Australia, losing none of the bands unique pomp and vibe. The psychedelic electro pop ensemble pumps out colourful, energetic beats with a 1980s fantasy aesthetic. They effortlessly recreate retro pop with a modern twist, mixing emotive lyrics with layered electro beats and vibrant colour. The name, taken from a JG Ballard novel, defines their eccentric, if somewhat pretentious, pop. But despite the showiness, their catchy, resonating beats stick, with a strange but effervescent charisma. Band members Luke Steele (also vocalist for Sleepy Jackson) and Nick Littlemore (one half of electro outfit PNAU) have taken on the persona of superheroes in each of their video clips, going on a melodramatic musical and fantastical journey with a lot more theatricality than most bands can manage. The pair got together originally as a side-project of each of their bands, allowing them to experiment a little, though their inane success has seem them continue to work together and develop Empire Of The Sun further. They’re set to headline around the country at the Parklife festival in September/October this year, in their first-ever live performance, with shows in Europe and the UK said to follow. Steele says ‘The show is going to be epic, full of colours, dinosaurteeth chomping at the valleys of future. It will be more outrageous than the scents of imagination and will take the audience on a journey to another world.’ Empire fans should get ready to go and see them in their first ever shows. Empire Of The Sun Walking On A Dream EMI
Moby - talks about tours, success and home made music with Denning Isles Denning Isles: Hey how are you? Moby: Oh fine thanks. DI: Well thank you so much for your time. Where are you calling from? M: I’m in Belgium right now. DI: Are you on Tour? M: Yeah, it’s the beginning of a long long tour. DI: Where you heading? M: Boy, if I were to read my itinerary it would take about fifteen minutes. DI: So that implies a success for the new album ‘Wait for me’. Do you feel it has been received so far? M: It’s interesting. In general I try to avoid anything that’s written about me. I don’t really like reading my own press. But thus far it seems like the response has been quite good. Fans seem to really like it, which I guess at the end of the day is most important. And then the reviews have been interesting because there are some journalists on this planet who just hate my guts no matter what I do. I could make the next ‘Abbey Road’ and there is still a whole bunch of journalists who would give it one out of five stars. I’m not saying that this is the next Abbey Road, but I’m saying that there is a lot of, especially in The States and The UK, there are a lot of journalists who seem to view me with tons and tons of contempt. Which is one reason I don’t read my own press. But a good half of the reviews have been really glowing, from what I can tell. If you spend a year working on a record it’s nice to have it well received, maybe I should have risen above this along time ago. DI: You have been around for such a long time now; do you feel the need to cater for a new generation listening to mainstream/pop music? M: I don’t know. I go into my studio, I work on music and I try and make records that I really care about. I don’t think of myself as a pop or mainstream artists, but I’ve had times in my life where I’ve had pop and mainstream success. But it’s been almost completely accidental. I grew up playing in punk-rock bands and I was involved in the underground electronic scene in New York, so I never really imagined I would have any pop or mainstream success. DI: What does it take to make a successful album in your eyes? M: A successful album for me is an album that honestly reaches one person who is willing to listen to it from start to finish and get something from it. It’s nice to sell some records and it’s nice to have a little recognition, but at the end of the day I’m an individual who makes music in his bedroom and my hope is that other individuals are willing to listen to it. DI: You have been around for a long time, in what I would call a healthy and successful career, what would you put your longevity down too? M: The first record that I ever made was in 1983 and it was a punk-rock record called ‘Hit Squad for God’ by the ‘Vatican Commandoes’, which was a hard-core punk band I was in and I guess the longevity is, it sounds quite simple,
but I love making music and I don’t really know how to do anything else. So at an early age I just decided to dedicate my life to making music so I just tried to work as hard as possible. I work hard when things are good and I work hard when things are bad. I really just try to keep on working. DI: So, you have worked with so many people. You have mentioned Metallica, Britney Spears, Public Enemy, Gwen Stefani and Michael Jackson. How have you managed to work with people like that? M: They ask. And I say yes. And one of the reasons why I’ve worked with so many people is because I’m really curious to see how other people approach the creative process and the recording process. By working on other people’s music I can actually learn a lot of different approaches to work on my music. DI: How does that affect what you create? M: I don’t know, I’m actually in many ways the worst judge of my own music because I do everything by myself so I have very little objectivity and perspective when it comes to my own music. DI: Do you have a particular writing process? M: I differ quite a bit. Some songs start out very conventionally with piano or guitar. Other songs will start out with a vocal sample or a synthesizer, so every song has does have its relatively own unique genesis. DI: What was your big break? M: I guess the biggest break I ever had was getting a DJing job in New York in 1989. Because that first DJing job lead to my first record contract and the first record company I was signed to was a tiny little company called ‘Instinct Records’ and we put out one single that sold two thousand copies and then the next single went on to be a big top ten record through out Europe. I never would have gotten this tiny little record deal if it hadn’t been for DJing in New York. DI: That success has paved the way for where you are now. With numerous records and tours. What’s life like for you now? M: Well, the album just came out; I had been working quite hard on that. And touring, we’re doing two different types of shows. One is a big festival show, like last night we played to about sixty thousand people, so I’d say four nights out of the week were playing to around fifty thousand people a night and then one night out of the week doing a small theatre show to around one thousand people. So that’s what touring is like. And there’s a lot of travel. Yesterday I was in France, today Belgium, tomorrow Estonia, then back to The U.K, then Serbia and back to France and Italy and etc, so just tons of tons of travel. DI: Do you have any rituals or practices before you go on stage? M: Not really. I mean I stretch a little bit because when I’m on stage I tend to run around a lot. Maybe I should do some vocals warm ups, because I strain my voice all the time, but I
never really though of myself as a singer, so as a result I don’t do anything to prepare for singing. DI: Do you ever get nervous playing onstage or in front big crowds? M: The only time I get nervous is when I’m playing in New York for friends of mine, or when I’m playing at the very beginning of a tour. Like the first show for this tour was in London at the Royal Festival Hall. And that made me nervous because I had a lot of friends in the audience and it was also the first show of tour. DI: What’s a live show like for you? M: Well, the show that we’re doing right now we have about eight people on stage; Two singers, a keyboard player, two string players, a drummer and then me playing guitar, percussion, vocals and keyboards. DI: Does this differ from past tours? M: Yeah, every tour is a little different. In some tours there are more people on stage, some tours there are less people on stage, some tours there is really big production, some there’s small production. It changes every year. The tour I did last year was a lot more dance oriented. So there was a lot more percussion and drums on stage. DI: In this day and age, with music technology so accessible, what do you think is one of the most important things to keep in mind when making music? M: I think one of the things that are really nice about the current state of music technology is that people can make music at home and people can communicate more directly with their audience. In the old days musicians needed to go through huge record labels and huge studios so that they could get played on MTV. But now a musician, through MySpace or through any of the social networking sites, can communicate directly to their audience and I think that’s really healthy. DI: Do you feel that now it is so easy to make music at home waters down the quality and just makes a whole lot of white noise? M: Well, it’s hard to say. One of the dangers of modern music technology is with soft wear platforms like Logic or Ableton or Reason, it’s possible for almost anybody to make descent sounding music, but I think it leads a lot of people to get complaisant and be comfortable with making descent music without actually pushing themselves to make great music. DI: What do you think makes great music? M: It’s hard to generalize. Because a great punk-rock song is different to a great disco song, that is different to a great hip-hop track. Part of it has to do with the way the listener subjectively responds to music. DI: Thank you so much for your time. Will we be seeing you in Australia? M: Yeah, hopefully I’ll be there in December or January. The schedule is not fixed but most likely then. DI: Well thank you so much for your time M: Thank you.
July 2009 | edgemag.com.au
It truly has been a Golden Era for Australian Hip Hop music. MC Suffa from the Hilltop Hoods talks to Anna Bolton The Hilltop Hoods are back, releasing their fifth album, ‘State of the Art’ in June, and announcing a national tour. Their broad Aussie accents and heartfelt lyrics appeal across generations, providing a refreshing change from the American Hip Hop churned out by the truckload. After their noticeable absence, ‘State of the Art’ marks the Hoods’ return, once again delivering crafted lyrics and resonating beats. ‘It’s really different track to track, not something that sounds like the last album.’ Coinciding with the release of the album comes the launch of the Hoods’ new record label, Golden Era Records. ‘Our contract with Obese expired and we thought it was a good thing to do to be able to control everything ourselves,’ MC Suffa tells me of the introduction of the label, ‘It was time to move on.’ Since forming back in 1991, the Hilltop Hoods have been forerunners in the Australian Hip Hop music scene. In 2003, they became the first Australian Hip Hop band to produce a Gold-selling album, ‘The Calling’, and with the same album, the first Aussie Hip Hop group to go Platinum. Since then, they’ve won multiple awards, including APRAs, ARIAs (for Best Urban Release, Best Independent Release and Best Music DVD), the Triple J J award and have hit number 1 in independent charts nationally. ‘ I think we want to do ten records all up. I don’t know if we’ll make it. The tenth might be a greatest hits, and the ninth might be a live album,’ Suffa jokes. The Hoods were introduced to Hip Hop back in high school, where MCs Suffa and Pressure originally met. ‘ The school we went to, Blackwood High, all the kids there were into Hip Hop.’ That introduction to Hip Hop music led to the development of what was to be Australia’s most successful Hip Hop ensemble. ‘I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been the best, I
Rob Thomas performs 18 hits from both Matchbox Twenty and his solo career, this incredible set also includes a special acoustic arrangement of “Smooth” and a cover of the David Bowie classic “Let’s Dance” OUT NOW
Bent Problem Girl Let’s Dance Lonely No More I Am An Illusion Now Comes The Night Smooth You Know Me
Something To Be Fallin’ To Pieces If You’re Gone When The Heartache Ends Ever The Same Not Just A Woman 3 AM You Won’t Be Mine The Difference
This Is How A Heart Breaks
PAUL VAN DYK
dishes up an amazing package to show us his best work so far. This 2 CD and 1 DVD package features a selection of his own singles and videos :
discover new music...
holly Justin Nozuka
For An Angel (2009) Let Go feat. Rea Garvey White Lies feat. Jessica Sutta Nothing But You feat. Hemstock & Jennings Another Way Forbidden Fruit Tell me Why (The Riddle) feat. St. Etienne The Other Side feat. Wayne Jackson Time of Our Lives feat. Vega 4
The new album
As well as a fine selection of Paul Van Dyk Remixes inc.
Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around... U2 - Elevation Depeche Mode - Martyr New Order - Spooky Humate - Love Stimulation Deep Dish - Say Hello BT - Flaming June St. Etienne - How We Used To Live Britney Spears - Gimme More and more
Holly from a rare talent
whose start is set to shine bright in 2009.
Featuring the single ‘After
in australia doing promo in july
edgemag.com.au | July 2009
mean, we’re just so lucky to be able to make music for a living and see the world doing it.’ ‘State of the Art’ has taken three years to produce, with the Hoods taking every effort to get it right. ‘Hopefully this album is a bit more mature,’ Suffa tell me, ‘I’ve got no clue what this album’s gonna do. So much has changed. We hope people really like it. If people are feeling it, that’s a goal.’ The time spent working on the new album has kept the Hoods busy. ‘I’m only just finding out what’s going on in the world. I was like ‘swine flu? What?’’ There’s a noticeable decrease in the amount of guest DJ appearances in ‘State of the Art’. ‘Very much we felt like most of the Hip Hop records are too bloated with guests at the moment. We just stripped it back. We figure that if you’re going to buy a record, you buy it for them.’ It’s obvious that the Hoods have a real passion for music. Suffa opens up when asked about from where he draws his inspiration. ‘One of our big inspirations is on the record, Pharaohe Monch. He’s been one of our big influences.’ ‘We draw on anything. I mean, a lot of our tracks are just us writing about how we’ve got another word that’s rhyming. So you don’t have to draw on a lot of life things, and that. We draw on our pasts, draw on everything’ ‘You feel really flat when you haven’t got new music or new tunes that are really inspiring. I always thought that music is like food, you are what you eat. You know, if you’re putting shit in your ears… shit in, shit out sort of thing. Same with your body. You put in crap and you feel like crap.’ ‘Our songs are basically about zombies, drinking, booze and how we blend it.’ The new album opens with the aptly named first track, ‘The Return’. ‘It’s so heavy; it’s kind of like a punch in the face. It’s the closest the Hoods can get to heavy metal.’ Suffa explains. The album commands attention from the
outset, flowing from the punching ‘The Return’, through to the mellower but no less ‘Hoodsy’ ‘Fifty in Five’. The album’s first single, ‘Chase That Feeling’, has rocketed around the country, receiving airplay on both commercial and community stations. ‘ It was our favourite tune on the record. It’s a very Hoods sounding song.’ ‘The hardest track on there, for me, was the last track. After I made the beat, I got in my brother to play guitar, and a guy who wrote the string arrangements for it, and we got the string players in another studio. I’d written this 5 minute song, it took me 10 or 12 recording sessions to do.’ ‘The sample is from Tinkerbelle’s Fairydust. It’s a really rare record about what the world’s gonna be like in 2010. I heard the sample and was like ‘Yep, mine’’ ‘My favourite song is probably Parade of the Dead, the track where we fight zombies,’ Suffa laughs, ‘Cos I love zombies. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there might be a film clip on the horizon.’ So is the group working on anything at the moment? ‘Not consciously working. I have written down a few things. You never really turn off, just kinda lay off.’ ‘I’m a bit of a workaholic. I sit down and turn on the TV for a couple of hours then get bored and go make a beat.’ The Hoods have also committed themselves to nurturing Hip Hop music, dedicating time and money through the Hilltop Hoods Initiative to up-and-coming artists. With the advent of Golden Era Records, a new door has opened for these new acts, with the band thinking about signing some other artists, and with the Initiative going national this year, rather than being restricted to South Australia. The Hoods are set to play at Splendour in the Grass this year, the festival Suffa attributes to being their first big break. ‘It’s by far our favourite.’ ‘I love performing up there at Byron.’
State Of The Art debuted at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart, and certified Gold sales status in its first week of release, placing it well ahead of other prominent Australian acts Eskimo Joe, The Temper Trap and Karnivool. It follows on from their success with previous Platinum albums The Calling (2003) and The Hard Road (2006), and Gold album The Hard Road Restrung (2007). State Of The Art is the fastest selling Australian album so far this year. This fifth record only cements the success the Hoods have had, with the album’s first single, Chase That Feeling, steadily climbing the ARIA singles charts to sit comfortably at #8. The Hilltop Hoods are supporting the release of the album with a national tour kicking off on July 18th, with sold-out shows in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. The tour will also see them play in Hobart, Byron Bay (at the Splendour In The Grass festival), and wraps up on August 4th in Canberra (limited tickets still available). Supporting the Hoods on this tour will be special guests including Classified and Briggs to showcase some of the best local and international Hip Hop. Dates and Venues for the upcoming tour: Sat July 18th- Enmore, Sydney – SOLD OUT Thu July 23rd - Capitol, Perth – SOLD OUT Fri July 24th - HiFi Bar, Brisbane – SOLD OUT Sun July 26th - Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay – SOLD OUT Thu July 30th- Grandstand Hall, Hobart Showground Fri July 31st - The Palace, Melb. – SOLD OUT Sat Aug. 1st - Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide – SOLD OUT Tue August 4th - ANU Bar, Canberra Hilltop Hoods State Of The Art Universal Music Australia
July 2009 | edgemag.com.au
ALBUM REVIEWS charts
album of the month
top albums 1
STATE OF THE ART HILLTOP HOODS Universal Music Australia
SESSION 6 VARIOUS ARTISTS Ministry of Sound/UMA
THE E.N.D. BLACK EYED PEAS Universal Music Australia
FUNHOUSE PINK Sony Music Australia
SOUND AWAKE KARNIVOOL Sony Music Australia
IT’S NOT ME IT’S YOU LILY ALLEN EMI
RELAPSE EMINEM Universal Music Australia
2009 VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony Music Australia
INSHALLA ESKIMO JOE Warner Music Australia
#1’s MICHAEL JACKSON Sony Music AustRALIA
top singles 1
BLACK EYED PEAS BOOM BOOM POW Universal Music Australia
THE CLIMB MILEY CYRUS Universal Music Australia
WE MADE YOU EMINEM Universal Music Australia
HER DIAMONDS ROB THOMAS Warner Music
NOT FAIR LILY ALLEN EMI
top dvds 1
# 1’S MICHAEL JACKSON Sony Music
LIVE FROM WEMBLY ARENA PINK Sony Music
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD GREGORY PECK Sony Pictures Home Ent.
LIVE IN LONDON LEONARD COHEN Sony Music
GRAN TORINO CLINT EASTWOOD Roadshow
Renee Geyer Reneessance Liberation Blue
Street Sweeper Social Club Street Sweeper Social Club Inertia
Klub Kids 1 Kid Kenobi Klub Kids
Kasabian Fire Sony Music
Fat Freddys Drop Dr Boondigga & the Big BW Inertia
If there was any justice in the world, then Ms. Geyer would have sold a truckload more records than she has. Australia’s Queen of Soul possesses our country’s finest female voice as exemplified by this new recording. “Reneessance” is a delightful accomplishment. When I put the cd in the car stereo to review it, I jumped out of my skin from the opening vocal refrain of “Dedicated To The One I Love “, originally a hit for The Mama’s and Papa’s. From there on during this 12 track collection, it is a joy to hear Renee’s vocal prowess. As part of The Liberation Blue Acoustic Series, she re-invents many of her best known songs, with the stripped down instrumentation and production, highlighting her gorgeous and soulful voice. And she sounds like she had fun making the record too! Well worth checking out. ANDY GLITRE
Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave’s legendary guitarist, Tom Morello, (the Rolling Stone Magazine’s #26 Greatest Guitarist of All-Time), teams up with Boots Riley (The Coup), renowned as one of the foremost and politically astute rappers in America to deliver an album in the genre bending rock/rap division. Morello and Riley’s work as political activists have been encapsulated in this debut album for the duo, and with the transcendent nature of the rock/rap sound, the influence can be greater. Kicking off the album is track, “Fight! Smash! Win!” which immediately and effectively sets the intense and provocative sound for the entire debut. Filled with the expected soaring riffs and venomous tongue, this album delivers a new edge to the rock/rap scene, and will undoubtedly; seduce a new fan-base into storming the establishment. Matt Brodtke
The Kid is back. It seems as if Kid Kenobi has been everywhere you turned for the past few years, and his infectious anthems have been burning up the floors for just as long. Now, he has launched his own record label, the aptly named, Klub Kids, which will give the kid creative freedom, which can only do wonders for us out in the clubs. The first new album from KK is Klub Kids 1, a 2 disc sensation featuring MC Shure Shock and Dj Hugga Thugga. The double disk has been split into “Dub”, featuring dubby breaks and dubby house, and “Klub”, showcasing break beat and electro funk. This album is the metamorphosis of Kid Kenobi as an artist, and in-kind, chocka-block of instant favourites and dancefloor exclamations. Matt Brodtke
Kasabian have blasted themselves into the spotlight in Australia with this single, and for due reason. From their third studio album ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’, the single ‘Fire’ provides an unstoppable, catchy combination of interesting melodies and contagious beats. The British alt-rock band create very accessible, openly appealing and non-invasive tracks, leaving you inwardly bopping along. Their rock-infused dance tracks with distinct riffs and an almost beach-rock vibe, get stuck in your head, making this single particularly listenable. Their play with tempo and timbre works particularly well in drawing you in and keeping attention, as they could get a little repetitive without this edge. In 2007, the band won the Best Live Act award at the NME Awards, and the latest album reached #1 in the UK charts. The single also features the live recording of ‘Runaway’, very upbeat and energetic, loaded with the charm and vigour that makes Kasabian so alluring. – Anna Bolton
The seven piece from New Zealand have released their follow up album to the acclaimed debut, “Based On A True Story”, and the two year wait for fans is well worth it. Dr Boondigga and the Big BW with a staggering running time of 70 minutes, showcases nine brilliantly crafted and well produced tracks which display a distinct growth for the band’s maturity and skill. Two tracks which show the maturity and growth from their previous album most obviously are the 10 minute long “Shiverman” with it’s echo-like throb and singer Dallas Tamaira breaking on top of a rampant old school beat, and the distinct mechanical and German influenced sound of “Wild Wind”. The album is beautiful and inspiring, and a well deserved step forward for the band. Matt Brodtke.
Various Artists Uncovered Ministry Of Sound/UMA The beauty of this compilation, is captured entirely in the simplicity. Imagine taking your favourite movie, and having a sense that you are witnessing for the first time, completely new angles, new colours and new sounds, and that warm and fuzzy feeling, is MOS’ Uncovered. The album has 43 of the best tracks I’ve seen on a compilation to date, with tracks such as “Riders Of The Storm”, “Mercy”, “Call Me”, “Tainted Love”, “Seven Nation Army”, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, “ Hot In Herre” and “Sweet Child O’Mine”, covered by artists of an expectedly different genre, giving these classics a makeover and a completely new life. The artists covering the tracks include, Jose Gonzales, The Vines, Yael Naim, Sarah Blasko, Groove Armada, Placebo and Tiga, just to mention a few. If you enjoyed Like A Version, this is right up your alley. My personal favourite MOS album in years. Matt Brodtke.
Justin Nozuka Holly Liberator Music Justin Nozuka’s unites acoustic, soul and folk with warm pop, with tracks tied together by his mesmerising voice. Exploring a range of topics from light-hearted love songs to darker blues ballads, each track remains loaded with intense emotion as his voice swells and swirls. The CanadianAmerican teenager ties the tracks together with beautiful, raw melodies free from overcrowding and overproduction. The simplicity of the tracks doesn’t detract at all from their vibrance, impressing with the soulful punch delivered through his voice. Tracks like ‘After Tonight’ and ‘Criminal’ are catchy and quite poppy, lifting the energy of the album in contrast to other, deeper tracks, like ‘Down In A Cold Well’, exploring the thoughts of a man trapped- down a well. What ‘Holly’ lacks in instruments and business, it more than makes up for with a richness and earthy appeal unusual for someone so young. Anna Bolton
Deastro Moondagger Inertia Randolph Chabot, the 22 year old musical prodigy, newly emblazoned under the Deastro title, relinquishes all worldly rules, and creates his own new-wave electro-pop universe in Moondagger. The synthy sounds of the electropop scene have been clogging our playlists for years now, however, Chabot manages to remove the cheesiness of the synths and create an immaculate collection of enticingly beautiful and catchy tracks. The opening track, “Biophelia”, immediately sets the pace of the album with a spacey, and almost arcade gamey intro, which seamlessly develops into an upbeat pop rock anthem. Lead single, “Parralellogram”, captures Chabot’s unwavering dedication to producing a truly unique sound with catchy hooks, awe-inspiring arrangements showcased by beautiful and surprising vocals. Matt Brodtke
Regina Spektor Far Warner Music Australia After the success of her previous album Being to Hope, which featured Fidelity – the song that featured on countless TV dramas, Regina Spektor is back with Far; a gorgeous collection of new soulfully quirky, piano driven songs. The record is infused with the liveliness and whimsy that made Fidelity so popular, but is balanced by several beautiful melancholy ballads that Spektor seems to do so well – particularly the almost haunting, inspirational Human of the Year.
Paolo Nutini Sunny Side Up Warner If you’re after a feel-good album, Paolo Nutini’s ‘Sunny Side Up’ is definitely one you should be considering. The Scottish singer explores his Italian and Scottish heritage and his own struggles in this delicious mix of flamboyant folk melodies and bluesy ballads, and everything in between. His gruff yet uplifting voice carries a richness and fullness unusual for someone so young, but at only twenty-two, Nutini’s vocal aptitude and maturity is evident- sounding much older than his years. ‘Sunny Side Up’ is an organic, enchanting album highlighting Nutini’s vocal prowess, defying the usual road mapped out for young singersongwriters. Much less pop than his debut album ‘These Streets’, ‘Sunny Side Up’ reveals another dimension to the singer-songwriter, then another, as the album jumps from the bouncy ‘10/10’ to the sombre, ‘Keep Rolling’. There’s a charmingly infectious energy behind the album, with standout tracks being 10/10, Growing Up Easy and Candy. AB
edgemag.com.au | July 2009
I picture my epitaph “Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown” Paul Newman Cool Hand Luke 40th Anniversary Blu Ray released 29 July by Warner Home Video
Jordie Lane Sleeping Patterns Vitamin Records
Hoobastank For(n)ever Island Records/UMA
The Galvatrons Laser Graffiti Warner Music Australia
Karnivool Sound Awake Sony Music Australia
Four years of contemplation and writing, and five days recording, has led to the production of Jordie Lane’s debut album. The deep rootsy/ folk/country/acoustic/rock essence of the album highlights the depth and smoothness of Jordie’s voice as he explores the diverse landscape of Australia. ‘Sleeping Patterns’ encapsulates sounds and stories from around the country in a deep, mellowing composition. Lane’s soothing, soulful voice resonates through each track with an alluring subtlety and passion. The album flows right from the start, with each track rocking and rolling (in the creaky old armchair sense, not the Elvis Presley sense) into the next with in a manner that allows you to feel a true appreciation for the album as a whole, not just for the merits of each individual track. While a little slow at times, maybe even lacklustre, there’s enough energy and passion embedded within the album to make you want to keep listening.- Anna Bolton
So they may be just another American rock band, but Hoobastank have been pushing boundaries just that little bit more than the Nickelback’s of the world. This most recent album, For(n)ever, shows that Hoobastank has evolved since their previous teenybopper hits like ‘The Reason’ (2004), taking on a more rock-orientated, heavier sound. For(n)ever, album number 4 from the group, demonstrates more diversity, more rock-melodies and more experimentation with sounds. Collaboration with Vanessa Amarossi, The Letter, is by far the most catchy track on the album, though each track has its own merits, and the unmistakable, beautiful voice of Doug Robb flows through the album from the start. The band hasn’t lost any of that pop charm that made them so popular, and made led to them breaking the 10 million sales mark despite taking a heavier approach. Other highlights include Who The Hell Am I? and I Don’t Think I Love You. LA
What do these boys have that other bands don’t have? Well, to start, they are a totally contemporary electro rock outfit blasting out retro-sounding hits. On top of that, the names of their songs could easily also be cheesy 1980s video games. They stand in a class of their own, as there’s not that many modern acts to compare them to. Their electropop isn’t really anything new, with heavy influences in 1980s synthesised electronic pop rock, but it’s fresh. They’ve managed to revive an era of tacky fads, awful clothes and irritating pop without sounding dreadful- their quirky charm and the way they strictly follow the conventions of 80s electro-pop allows them to triumph, while also providing a futuristic, space-probe edge. Laser Graffiti has the popular ‘We Were Kids’, but it’s not the only standout in the album. Cassandra, Laser Graffiti and Stella also caught my attention. LA
Another album from Perth-born outfit, Karnivool; but is it any good? Sound Awake is a fascinating album in the way that I’ve never simultaneously enjoyed and been so completely and utterly bored by an album before. Now, with this album being so heavily thematic, I’m making the assumption that the songs are designed to flow from one to the other and as such creating one massive, epic, sweeping-guitarchord laden, waning-vocals littered song. For a conceptual “song” there was really limited variation in, well, just about everything. Yes, lots of heavy bass guitar and yes, we’ve established that you can hold that vocal note for what seems like longer that some God forsaken episode of Home and Away. The track Deadman runs for an impressive 12 minutes, but like the larger concept that is the album, it’s a borderline pretentiously long. Slagging done and dusted, the tracks on this album individually are pretty enjoyable really, especially when they get upbeat and break the monotony. Karnivool even thrown in some didgeridoo and catch you off-balance which was a highlight of the album for me. There’s nothing wrong with a thematic album ( Led Zepplin, Allan Parsons Project and David Bowie had a few), I’m just not sure the sound of Karnivool’s latest was intriguing enough for me to want to have my ears bludgeoned with it. I liked this album so much more when I listened to it at random I found myself developing more of an appreciation for Sound Awake.
Shelley Harland Red Leaf Sony Music The debut album for Shelley Harland, ‘Red Lead’, is a refreshingly new pop sound for Australia with her crisp haunting vocals delivering reflective and beautifully nostalgic lyrics. The album’s first single, ‘Wonder’, epitomizes the essence of Harland’s mature and tasteful release and not since Gabriella Cilmi, has there been such a breath of fresh air in the Australian pop scene. Harland signed with Albert Music, making her the first female inductee in over a decade, but that’s hardly a surprise given her extraordinary talent and beauty. Shelley Hardland is destined for greatness and she’s bringing Australia along for the ride. Matt Brodtke.
Sugar Army The Parallels Amongst Ourselves Shock Records Triple J has been playing Indie band Sugar Army’s single Tongues in Cheek for a while now. It’s one of those songs that make you sit up and think ‘Who is that?’, because every part of the song works, from the awesome percussion to the catchy chorus. And trust me, the band’s debut album, Parallels amongst Ourselves, is just awesome – I liked every song on it, particularly Maybe the boy who cried wolf was just paranoid, and not just because the title is rather brilliant. Get it, and keep your eyes out for Sugar Army.
Eskimo Joe Inshalla Warner Music Australia Eskimo Joe are back with yet another classic album, Inshalla. Following on from the immensely successful Black Fingernails, Red Wine (4x Platinum), Inshalla reached #1 on the album charts, and delivers song after song of endearing musical expertise. There isn’t really any standout track in the album; each is equally brilliant. Eskimo Joe just keep getting stronger, pumping out catchy riffs, energetic beats and a dynamic mix of sounds. Vocalist Kayven Temperley’s unique voice weaves through the album, giving each track the distinct Eskimo Joe vibe. It’s nice to hear a band really experimenting with a range of sounds rather than just sticking with what people have previously accepted, which is a trait Eskimo Joe have certainly held onto with Inshalla. Previous fans are sure to enjoy the album, while I’m sure others will be converted by this great new Aussie album from one of Australia’s most successful artists. Louisa Andrews
Miike Snow Miike Snow Inertia Who is Miike Snow? Finally, the question that has been circulating the globe has been answered. Thought up until now to be a solo artist, Miike Snow is actually a three-part band combining two Swedes and a Yank. Known previously only by their logo (a rabbit with antlers), Miike Snow have stepped forward and released their self titled debut pop-rock album with a twist. The twist is that despite being a pop album at heart, the underlying intellect and collaboration within the group is groundbreaking. Definitely an album to check out for a flavoursome surprise. Matt Brodtke.
Karnivool’s Mark Hosking Denning Isles: How does Sound Awake differ from the first album? Mark Hoskings: It’s a much bigger stretch for us. First off, we were kind of finding our feet in many ways. We changed band members during the first album and all the stuff was already written for the people who came on board at certain times. It came across as a good representation as to where we were at the time, but we wanted to start from scratch again, and Sound Awake gave us the opportunity to do that with the new band members, and to really approach an album with an empty chalk board and say; what do we really want to do with music? What do we really want to achieve ? DI: Tell me about the title ‘Sound Awake’. What does that mean? MH: Sound Awake is a representation of people who walk around and hear and see thing but don’t really take them for the value that they have to offer. So Sound Awake is a representation of saying awaken and listening. DI: Do you have any favourite or stand out tacks. MH: Yeah, we have covered a wide spectrum, so depending on my mood it depends on my favourite track. If I’m feeling animated, Goliath is my favourite. The one that came together the most for me was one that we started on Themata but didn’t get time to finish and is a long epic song, Change, the final track of the album. On the two opposite ends of the spectrum. DI: What influences you and music? MH: I think the good thing about us is the fact that we all come from very different backgrounds in music. I think we have a lot of different influences. I think as far as a general thing goes, is the stuff we all grew up with and made us come together on Themata was Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Sound Garden, all being eighties children is what it stems from. Some of my influences can stem into world music and a whole bunch of other stuff that I really love. I try and incorporate bits and pieces of that sort of music, more of a subconscious level than a conscious one. They are very large and well spread influences, but I guess that were all just lovers of music. DI: You’ve gotten a number of national awards, sold 32,000 records independently and an international licensing distribution deal. How did all that come about? MH: I think people just liked it. We are lucky in that respect. Being fully independent it has always been a struggle selling albums on a larger scale. They released the disc on an American label a couple of years ago and that was good for us. We went and toured over there and just started spreading the word. Its nice to get such great feedback from overseas tours and then come back home and have the same kind of feedback. It’s definitely a good feeling. DI: What’s a live show for you like? MH: We always try and make the live show a little bit different. When we’re not doing Karnivool we’re in the industry helping other live bands perform and that sort of gives you a good insight as to what people want in a live show. I think we try and represent that and we are a visual band, especially on the new tour. We try an incorporate a whole bunch of new stuff that really draws people in and makes it a good experience. It’s always very intense for us. We always try to start out as not an intense show, but by the end of it, it always ends up being quite an intense. The intensity value always seems to be going up but we love it and always will. DI: Do you have shows coming up? MH: Yeah, we do, we have a tour coming up, it’s almost all sold out actually. In the middle of June it starts, they have been selling well, so it’s really exciting. DI: Do you spend much time on social networking sites? MH: We do, not all the bands do though, you have to I think. It’s the best resource that people get. Were on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. They are networking tools and a lot of people use them and to ignore that would be pretty crazy. It’s a good place for people to get messages to us.
July 2009 | edgemag.com.au
Cassie Davis get’s loud with Denning Isles Hello. How are you? Good thank you.
because I got the opportunity to meet incredible people.
‘I Like it Loud’ just went Gold in Australia. How was that for you? Yeah. It went to Gold, so that’s awesome. I was really excited when I heard. It was my first single that I ever put out. So to have it go gold was a dream come true. I didn’t even know what to say. I just ran around screaming for about ten minutes.
Have you travelled much elsewhere? I spent a lot of time in New York. That were I started to really peruse music after I had done my work experience in Perth. My sister and I went to New York to see if we could open any doors. It really did and that’s where we started our record label and its an amazing place. Australia is always going to be home, but its good to see what else is out there, you know.
Your second single ‘Differently’ hit number 10 on channel V. It’s doing so well and features Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes, how did that come about? Yeah. He leant his vocals to the song, which is amazing because he is super talented and it was great to get to work with him. He’s a very, very funny guy. I wrote and produced the song with is a friend of his and he was saying we should get a feature. And I was like ‘oh yeah, why not‘. Then he mentioned a few names and he said Travis’s name. I’m like, ‘can that really happen? Is that possible?’ And he was like, ‘yeah yeah. If he likes it he’ll jump on it.’ So Travis heard it and was like, ‘Yeah, love it, I’m down.’ It was kind of just a bit of luck really. What’s the whole album like? The albums coming out in August and it’s really eclectic. I kind of take inspiration from a lot of different genres and I never really picked one when I was growing up. It’s a lot of different influence mashed together. There are a lot of different styles on the album. It’s very fun. What was the writing process like? I spread it out. Writing for me is like me writing in my diary, it’s my experience. Every song on the album is something that happened to me or something that touched me in my life. Some of these songs are two years old. So it’s quite a personal experience. So you also went to L.A. How were you received over there? I went to L.A to finish up the record and polish up some of the songs. And that was an amazing experience and had the opportunity to work with some amazing people; as I mentioned before, the musical director from black eyed peas, who is responsible for some of their biggest hits. But the biggest moment for me was working for with Rodney Durick who’s an incredible producer, he’s done Michael Jackson and Beyoncé and Britney and all these massive names. So to even meet him was just an incredible experience. And that was just by chance. I just met him on the street and we became good friends. He would just ring me up and say, ‘Oh Cas, I need someone to do backing vocals, can you come over?’ So I’d run over to the studio to sing, then run back and do whatever I was doing. But L.A was amazing
What was your big break? Any particular point or was it just a steady climb? Well you have to keep grinding and it was a steady climb for a really long time and it just seems like these last six months have just been a whirlwind on the artist side of things. I have always been writing and producing, a lot of the time for other people and not for myself, but as an artist, this year ‘Like It Loud’ just blew up and it was amazing. How do you relate to your growing fan base? I’m so new as an artist, but it’s growing, which is really amazing and I do a lot of MySpace, where I try to get back to everyone which gets really, really hard. I try to communicate a lot with MySpace and Twitter. I’m very online. I also love to just randomly drop into a high school and hang out with the kids and stuff. And that’s really fun. It’s really encouraging when they all know the words to your songs. How have you embraced new social technology? Yeah, I’ve embraced it. When it started I was kind of jumped on pretty quick being quite young still. So I love the online community. Being in my age group I guess that’s where we spend a lot of time. I love it, I love Twitter, I love Myspace, Facebook and yeah. Do you have any shows coming up? There’s a couple of things coming up but I am just so itching to get out there. I’ve been in the studio a whole lot now I’m trying to get out there and do some more shows. What’s a live show like with you? A live show is very much with my band. They’re a big part of it. And I just like to do a couple of covers and keep it exciting and keep it fun. Make it a good show. Where can we go, online to find you? You can find me on MySpace www.myspace. com/cassiedavis or on You Tube which is www.youtube.com/cassiedavistv or Twitter which is iamcassiedavis. Well thank you so much for your time. I hope you have a fantastic break. Thank you.
An Ecstatic Arrival
Michael Tomlinson of Yves Klein Blue talks with Anna Bolton
Yves Klein Blue returns from the USA, to launch their debut album, Ragged and Ecstatic. The launch follows from extensive touring through the UK and USA, and recording the album in LA. Two sold-out preview parties in Sydney and Melbourne upon their arrival gave eager fans a taste of what’s to come, as the band prepares to rock out for the rest of 2009 with a national tour. But the band has humble beginnings, initially born from a mutual affection for Led Zeppelin. “I met Charles when I was in grade 10… I knew Charles played guitar, and that’s all I knew about him so I just said, ‘what bands do you like?’ and he said he liked Led Zeppelin. We decided on the basis that we both liked Led Zeppelin that we would start playing together. We met Chris and Sean about 3 years later at university, and that’s when Yves Klein Blue formed.” Aside from Led Zeppelin, Yves Klein Blue draws inspiration from a huge array of bands. “Bands that really had a huge impact on us when we were really young were Television and Velvet Underground, and we’ve since gone on to like bands like The Clash, The Band, Big Star, The Replacements…” Michael trails out. Recording in Los Angeles and touring through the United States has given Yves Klein Blue a creative edge that staying in Australia probably wouldn’t have granted. , greatly assisted by the experience of producer Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids, Lost Prophets) “We went to the studio wanting to cut it live, just do it all rash and poppy. Kevin Augunas, who was the reason we travelled to LA, said ‘this
isn’t working’, and we realised… we still had a long way to go in the studio if we were going to make a record that sounded like the record we wanted to make.” “Kevin was really uncompromising, and that was I think his single greatest contribution to the record.” “He put it all back on us- ‘this isn’t working, you fix the problem’, and we had to just go back and search all our favourite records and search the back of our minds to find that missing piece. Other times, you’d go and do all that searching and say to yourself, ‘well, I think that what we have is the absolute best thing’. So everything was tested, and as a result, this record is something we’re really proud of, something that we didn’t think we were capable of.” “What we set out to do was to make a 45 minute experience, something that you could put on and listen to from start to finish, you know, and if you’re feeling happy you could have a happy song, if you’re feeling sad you could have a sad song.” Michael explains.” “In many ways, we can’t do any more, it’s nerve racking but we feel very confident.” Michael explains to me how Kevin’s approach affected their production process and sound. “I think when you write, you create. Then when you start editing, you discipline ideas, and in many ways when Kevin was saying ‘I think this needs to change’, I would just get a hold of that concept of editing and disciplining songs, and making them really concise, and I became obsessed with it. So there was lots of times where we would often be harsher or display more pop sensibilities or something, when it was first ordain.
In a way it’s a process, once we took on that role we really excelled at it, and I really find that to be something that’s a very valuable lesson to learn about music. I mean, I’m a big fan of songs, and pop songs, and I’m not a huge fan of sprawling rock epics. I like the concise song, the artful, the cool little turn around and all that kind of stuff. Touring has definitely taught us all of that, a lot about pop songs, it taught us a lot about good song writing I think.” And the result? “I’d say it’s a sound with no set boundaries, and there’s no real hard and fast version of what we sound like. From track to track, we take on different elements of bands we like, from country to punk to folk music. I’d say it’s all glued together by a spirit, or like a vibe.” “It deals with intensity of emotion rather than a set sonic kind of sound.” After experiencing the international stage, Michael still sings praises (no pun intended) for the Australian music industry. “I guess the Australian music scene is smaller than music scenes overseas, but that’s not to say that it’s any better or worse. I think it’s a very rich scene. In Australia there’s some great music to be found. In LA and New York I didn’t see any bands that I thought were better than bands back home… everywhere you go there’s good bands, it’s just that there’s a lot more of them in those other countries.” So what about Splendour?“It’s an incredible line up. I think playing last year was one of the highlights of being in the band, of my life. We’ll just have to see if we can top it.”
edgemag.com.au | July 2009
Dark pop races ahead Bertie Blackman does Q&A with Denning Isles
a big voice and heart to match writes Lucy Vader
Denning Isles: An, amazing tour and amazing new album ‘Secrets and lies’. How has it all been received so far? Bertie Blackman: Well, by all accounts it’s been received very well.Which is nice. It’s always good to know that people are enjoying the record, it’s all pretty exciting and we really like it. It’s good to keep them happy and not be getting shredded by all the media. And we’re playing our first warm up show tonight for the tour. And my drummer Manny just walked past me, with his spray-and-whip to clean his clear drum kit, make it shiny for the gig. DI: How would you describe your music and the album? BB: I think for me, it’s a pop record, but dark. I really wanted to explore writing pop songs, since my last record was really rock’n’roll and far more indie. But I’m not trying to make it more commercial or anything, just a bit more of taking music that is good and trying to get on to a larger stage. Pop stars kind of have a bit of a name for themselves, like Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys or whatever. That’s what we collectively consider pop music to be, but for me good pop music is Kate Bush, The Eurythmics, Phil Collins and Fleetwood Mac and you know those kind of artists who did their own thing and wrote amazing songs that were really true to themselves and not trying to stick with the style of the time. They were ahead of their time. So I’m trying to race ahead a little bit on the record, so we’ll see. DI: How would you describe yourself when you were younger? BB: Probably just like a smaller version of me like I am now. But not much smaller because I’m pretty small already. I used to hang out on the street quite a lot. Not as a street kid ‘cause I’m from a good family and everything, but I used to wonder up the streets and throw rocks at people and sing songs and ride my bike. I wasn’t a video games generation kid or watched too much television or anything like that. With my family home, there were lots of people coming in and out, my mother had lots of friends round all the time, lots of parties, so a really social environment. Lots of music, dancing and fun, and whatever, not conservative, very open minded and a bit eccentric. DI: Have you done much travelling? BB: We have done lots of national touring for the past couple of years. Then we had a year off and made this record and I’ve seen a bit of the world. I’ve seen New York and Spain and a bit of Asia, so I look forward to going to the U.K at some point this year. DI: I love the final result the album ‘Secrets and Lies’ . There is a strong electro element to your music. How your music evolve into that? BB: I think due to the nature of the producers that I’ve worked with as they grow. With the influence of that high brow electro pop/indie pop. DI: How do you portray that (electro element) in a live show? BB: Well it’s a bit of a complicated line up. We’ve got many many keyboards,
and many different kinds of drums. It’s different, it’s a big sound. So I’m excited about getting it onto the road and getting it pumping. We have got a pretty full on set up; with laptops and ableton, five keyboards, an electro drum kit, a live drum kit, guitar and vocals. DI: Was it like that during the developing stages of the band? BB: No, it was just a four piece rock’n’roll band and now we’ve got triggering samples and a little bit of backing track stuff in there. Just for the finer bits, especially with the percussive stuff, things that you can miss in the groove of it. So I really wanted to translate that live, because we put so much effort into the production of the record. I really wanted to have that kind of energy coming through all the work. DI: How are you feeling about the upcoming tour? BB: I feel good, I feel a bit nervous. But I feel good. It’s been a little while since I’ve been on the road, so I’m excitedly anxious. DI: What’s touring like? What do you get up to during the day time? BB: We are basically just going from A to B just traveling and then I usually have a bunch of phoners (interviews) to do, or I just have a walk and discover the strange towns that we’re in. And then we’re usually sound checking by 4.30, so then you kind of do that for a few hours and then you go to your room and get ready, go get dinner, have a couple of cold beers and go and watch the other bands that play and then get on stage. It all goes quite quickly actually. There’s a little bit of waiting around and stuff, but we all get on really well and enjoy each other company and come up with lots of funny jokes. DI: Do you have much free time? BB: No. I don’t wish I did, but it would be nice sometimes. Right now I’m choca-block until the end of September. No breaks. Although maybe a week, where I’ll probably be writing. No rest for the wicked. DI: So when you’re on the bus or plane do have things like books or D.S’s to keep you entertained? BB: Oh yeah, I’ve got plenty of books, but I cant read in the van, which is annoying. But I do read because it takes me quite a while to unwind after a gig, so I like to read. And we’ve got pod casts that we listen too, and we do a bit of a round-robin with people’s music in the van. Which is pretty funny, everyone gets different turns and everyone puts the most annoying music on possible. DI: Any guilty (musical) pleasures that we should know about? BB: I think we all have guilty pleasures. I quite enjoy Justin Timberlake tracks, I’m a little bit into J.T which is pretty cool. And I’m really into that Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg track, ‘Drop it Like it’s Hot.’ So it’s a really cool track. I still keep listening to it.
Who knew that fifteen-year-old schoolboys were allowed to be overnight musical successes, complete with a Sony record contract – but talking to Australia’s Got Talent winner Mark Vincent, apparently they are. From his recent digs at Sony Recording Studios, fifteen-year-old Vincent described the experience of creating his new album, My Dream / Mio Visione. The album was spawned by an inspired plea from the Morning Show’s David “Kochie” Koch, who saw Vincent’s winning Talent performance. His televised request that Vincent was too good not to be a signed recording artist did not go unnoticed: the next day Sony called. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be where I am right now, with my first album coming out with Sony,” Vincent told me. “This is my goal and passion, absolutely, but I thought it would happen maybe when I’m twenty-five… but fifteen? Wow. I am honoured. Especially to be signed with one of the biggest players, Sony.” Vincent is a wise old soul, despite his youth. His voice training, determination and unique approach to life owe thanks to his beloved late grandfather who nurtured him as his own son. “My grandfather’s not here to see me now, but everything I’m doing is for him. I hope he’s looking down, with a big smile,” said Vincent. “He’s the one who picked up on my singing ability, and ran with it. He told me, ‘I’m going to make a man out of you.’ And he did, I think.” For a young man, Vincent really knows where he wants to go. “Big open air concerts. That’s what I want to do. I love operatic situations, but there are other musical avenues that interest me too, which I explore on my new album.” And shouldn’t he be in school right now? “Um… yes, but my teachers said I mustn’t miss this opportunity, so I’m allowed to have the day off…” Hmmm. I hope his grandfather is okay with that. Mark Vincent’s album My Dream Mio Visione is released this month by Sony Music Entertainment.
July 2009 | edgemag.com.au
watch these on dvd...
Celebrating his 90th birthday this year, singer-songwriter Pete Seeger has been a key figure in folk music since the 1940s and recently performed at the 2009 inaugural concert. This beautifully filmed 1963 Melbourne concert showcases more than 25 beloved songs from one of the most provocative figures in music history. In 1963, Pete Seeger, blacklisted and barred from American television, fled the persecution of his homeland and embarked on a 10-month world tour. One of his first stops was Australia where he was welcomed with open arms and sold-out performances. From fascinating discussions of his musical influences to performances of more than two dozen songs, witness how one man, armed only with a banjo, a guitar and the power of song, captures the hearts and minds of a nation. 105 minute concert showcasing America’s national living treasure and father of folk music. This DVD not only presents a full concert filmed in Melbourne but also includes 55 minutes of bonus footage from various other Australian television appearances and rare performances by folk legend Lead Belly, as well as a 16page booklet with rare photographs. In 2006 Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Pete Seeger with his album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Session. In 2009 Pete Seeger headlined the Obama inauguration concert. Sam Balzac
Luke Jackson is a cool, gutsy prisoner in a Southern chain gang, who, while refusing to buckle under to authority, keeps escaping and being recaptured. The prisoners admire Luke because, as Dragline explains it, “”You’re an original, that’s what you are!”” Nevertheless, the camp staff actively works to crush Luke until he finally breaks. Written by alfiehitchie Lucas Jackson, natural born world shaker, someone with more guts than brains, a man who refuses to conform to the rules he has been given. Sent to a prison camp for a misdemeanor Luke soon gains respect and becomes an idol. He has some fun in jail doing things for the hell of it, after his mother dies the Bosses put him in the box afraid he might want to attend the funeral. When he gets out he runs and gets caught and runs and gets caught, the bosses try to break him but he just won’t break. Written by Sandra Spence Luke is sent to a prison camp, where he gets a reputation as a hard man. The head of the gang hates him, and tries to break him by beating him up. It doesn’t work, and he gains respect. His mother dies, and he escapes, but is caught, escapes again, and is caught again. Will the camp bosses ever break him ? Sam Balzac
He may be 78, but Clint Eastwood is no geriatric yet playing the role of bitter, bigoted, Korean war veteran Walt Kowalski. This poor old bloke has found himself surrounded by every ethnicity and young gangs and hoons and spends the majority of his time on his porch waving a gun, of course. It is Clint Eastwood after all. He’s the aged tribute to Eastwood’s plethora of hard-arse, idolised-by-meneverywhere characters; you will “Get. Off. My. Lawn” when Kowalski rasps it at you like Satan with a chest infection. Despite the fact that Hollywood is drowning in clichéd stories of friendship in unlikely places, Gran Torino executes this dangerous genre exceptionally well. This lies mostly with the fact that Kowalski softens in character, but still remains the same stone-faced crotchety old man with a ba of racial slurs up his sleeve. Instead, they’re almost more like a pet name rather than an insult. Kowalski’s character doesn’t undergo a complete facelift. Much like the featured classic car the film is named after, Kowalski is not restored to a newer updated version in brighter colours; instead, he’s simply a more polished up and less damaged character. The ending to this film also works massively towards the films credit. Massively. Gran Torino is funny in places and ways you never expected and it’s no-frills, upfront honesty kicks home the emotion. Nikki Friedli
Whether you believe the stuff people write in suicide note is up to you, but Kurt Cobain claimed that he was miserable because he felt like he was letting down his audience. ‘I can’t fool any of you,’ he wrote, perhaps understanding better than anyone that the fans know more about the star than the minders, the record company and the hangers-on. Piecing together the life of one of the world’s most famous rock idols, this emotional puzzle explores the circumstances that led to the tragedy of Kurt Cobain’s suicide and the generation of a deity. Containing a montage of photos, interviews, video footage and Kurt’s own narrative from before his death, the biographical documentary follows his last days through accounts from friends, family and band members, uncovering relationships, trials and tribulations of Nirvana’s escalation to stardom, and the anguish of addiction. Simultaneously exploring his rise to fame from a humble beginning, and his tumultuous downfall, the DVD answers the questions lingering in the minds of many fans of the rock god. Anna Bolton
PETE SEEGER: LIVE IN MELBOURNE Genre: Music Distributor: Reel
COOL HAND LUKE Director: Stuart Rosenberg Genre: Drama Distributor: Warner Home Video
GRAN TORINO Director: Clint Eastwood Genre: Drama Distributor: Roadshow
LAST 48 HOURS OF KURT COBAIN Director: Clint Eastwood Genre: Documentary Distributor: Shock DVD
ROB THOMAS Something to be: Live at Red Rocks Soundstage DVD Distributor: Liberation Watching this DVD with my Rob Thomas obsessed mother and sister, I rather expected a positive response. And Thomas certainly didn’t disappoint. Recorded live at Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the lovely Rob Thomas performs hits from his flourishing solo career, along with some all-time favourites from his Matchbox 20 days – including 3AM, Bent and If You’re Gone. Proving that he is just as mesmerizing a solo artist as he is a frontman, Rob Thomas knows how to work the stage and the crowd. The performance also includes an acoustic arrangement of Smooth and a cover of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance. Anna Bolton Set List: 1. Something To Be 2. Fallin’ To Pieces 3. If You’re Gone 4. When The Heartache Ends* 5. Ever The Same 6. Not Just A Woman* 7. 3AM 8. You Won’t Be Mine* 9. The Difference* 10. Bent 11. Problem Girl* 12. Let’s Dance 13. Lonely No More 14. I Am An Illusion 15. Now Comes the Night* 16. Smooth 17. You Know Me* 18. This Is How A Heart Breaks *not included in original PBS broadcast
Diesel - 4 Corners - Liberation DVD 4 4 4 4 4
Jimmy Barnes - Live At The Enmore - Liberation DVD 4 4 4 4 4
Diesel’s new DVD of his live 2008 performance in Melbourne, entitled The 4 Corners – Live is a feast of amazing music and a visual masterpiece. Set in three stages, Diesel builds the gig from a solo, to strings, to a full band, complete with banjo. He truly shines in this intimate gig, ripping out some spectacular guitar work that ensures his seat in the boardroom of legendary guitarists. You don’t need to be a fan of Diesel to be transfixed by the quality of music and band work. And if you’re not a fan, by the end of the DVD you will be. Diesel seems to have reached a new level of musical maturity, and appears to be visibly possessed by his music. He embodies his chunky guitar riffs with a look of almost transcendental ecstasy, which is curiously compelling. A delightful moment during the performance is a solo by his daughter Lily Lizotte, who sings an elegant rendition of To Sir With Love. Diesel’s adoring smile is priceless as he looks on while she has her moment in the spotlight. And something worth waiting for towards the end is a drum duet between Diesel and drummer Lee Moloney, leaving the drummer looking a little giddy. Diesel’s repertoire is knitted with solid blues, soul and rock, and some great classic hits. The 4 Corners – Live is sure to go down in rock legend as one of the classiest gigs ever played. Diesel and his band enthrals from beginning to end, a magnificent show by an artist who just gets better with time like fine cellared wine.
Jimmy Barnes is Australia’s favourite rocker, and deservedly so. He has an outrageously quirky and friendly personality, a bear-like presence and charming blend of Australian and Scottish accent. He can belt out songs like a banshee on pcp. He emanates eccentric goodwill; in particular as seen on his newly released DVD, Jimmy Barnes – Live at The Enmore which includes songs from his ARIA-nominated platimun album ‘Out In The Blue’. Putting on his show at the fabulous Enmore Theatre in July 2008, we witness a man who revels in live performance, and deeply respects his loyal fans. And his band members love him. The DVD reveals remarkable backstage and private comments from his family and extended family – the band, and Barnsey himself takes us through all his singers’ warm-ups, which is fascinating and illuminating – especially Barnes’s personal warm-up techniques… From the opening song, Forgiveness and its haunting slide guitar, Barnes and his extensive band delivers 100% iconic Barnes rock. Barnes, thirty years on from the corker Working Class Man, still loves nothing more than to be on stage, tearing out his solo-Barnes and Cold Chisel classics. Jimmy Barnes – Live at The Enmore is a rare concert DVD must-have for Barnsey fans and – if there are any out there – the uninitiated. Reviews by Lucy Vader
edgemag.com.au | July 2009
There Will Be Rainbows A Biography of Rufus Wainwright Released: 9th July By Kirk Lake Published by Orion
Rufus Wainwright could be the greatest songwriter on the planet Biographer Kirk Lake speaks with Mitch Jordan about his latest book. What attracted you to Rufus Wainwright and his life? I had been aware of Rufus music since the first album and would have described myself as a casual fan. I had actually seen him play in Los Angeles way back in 1998 but I only had a vague memory of that show. I had bought and enjoyed Poses but for whatever reason I hadn’t bought the Want albums. And of course, apart from his appearing on film soundtracks which I am sure is how an awful lot of people first get to hear him, its difficult to casually hear his music. I mean its not likely to played on the radio. I bought a ticket for the Judy show at the London Palladium because the concept intrigued me. And then, coincidentally that same week I was visiting a friend in Paris who was a huge Rufus fan and he took me to the Judy show there. So I had seen him perform twice in a short space of time. The Paris show was something of a shambles but Rufus was so charismatic that he was able to somehow rise above it. Then my friend loaned me the Want album and I listened to them over and over and was convinced, and still am, that it is an absolute masterpiece. I had always been aware of Loudon’s work, less so Kate and Anna’s, and had loved Martha’s album and I thought it would be an interesting investigation to see how and why this family of artists had been able to produce such high quality work for so many years especially when they had never been particularly commercially successful.
There Will Be Rainbows uses all sorts of analogies for Rufus; how would you best describe him? I think at one point in the book I liken Rufus and Martha’s musical careers to have been almost like a curse passed on by their parents. It is almost as though they had been fated to have to pursue a career in music. Martha tried to avoid it for years but eventually succumbed, Rufus embraced it right from the beginning. And I think that is what is particularly exciting about Rufus as an artist. You really get the idea that he actually was born to write and perform and entertain.
What do you think is the appeal of Rufus’ music, when as you wrote in the book, it is not really radio-friendly or commercial? In my opinion Rufus is actually a more complex, innovative and in a way ‘difficult’ artist than he is often portrayed as being. I don’t think that he is ever likely to be hugely commercial and I also don’t think that was ever likely to have happened in the past. I think that the attempts that were made to kind of line him up alongside the likes of ‘coffee table’ artists like Elton John, Sting, Keane etc were a mistake. The reason that those artists become hugely successful is, lets face it, because they are bland, the corners have been smoothed away. Rufus is an intelligent and innovative artist and his eccentricity should be embraced. I would consider him to be more along the lines of Antony. A one-off. You can’t imagine that Antony and his label would be overly concerned with making a commercial record. He would just make the record that he felt like making. That’s why I think that Rufus’ last album was something of a commercial dead-end. Rufus by committee. I’m looking forward to his opera, it doesn’t matter if itís a success or not what matters is that he pushes himself in new areas. Likewise I really hope he pursues the idea of the stripped down solo album. How enduring do you think Rufus and his music will be? I think that anybody who can write music that can connect with people on an emotional level to an extent where a song can make you laugh or cry will find that their music will endure. There are songs by Rufus that are sublime and its very difficult to imagine a future where people will not still be moved in some way by those songs. The book is unauthorised: did you attempt to interview or contact Rufus? My original outline for the book was to write a critical study of Rufus’ music and place it within the surrounding culture, tracing
influences and positioning Rufus within wider artistic ideas. I had never intended to write a straight biography and so it wasn’t really part of my plan to interview Rufus. There is a quote from Jean Cocteau which goes ‘Asking an artist to talk about his work is like asking a plant to discuss horticulture’. I contacted his management and asked if they would like to get involved in the project. I think I actually asked if I could just observe the rehearsals for the Judy concert at the Hollywood Bowl but for whatever reason the management chose to not get involved at all. I hadn’t originally envisaged the book becoming such an in depth biography but as I researched it and spoke to people I felt a kind of duty to tell the story of Rufus’ life and times probably because there are no other books on him and, who knows, this could be the only one there will ever be. So I decided it had to be as comprehensive as possible. This was especially important after I made the decision to include his parents and Martha in the story so that it became more a biography of the whole family. Again, I hadnít originally intended to cover Loudon or Kate McGarrigle to such an extent but it became obvious that without understanding how they lived and worked you couldnít really understand what makes Rufus the way he is. At the same time I was applying this kind of traditional, rigorous approach to biography I was still keen to consider Rufus and his family’s work within other areas of art and culture and music that a more traditional rock biographer might ignore hence the references to so many artists, poets, film-makers, even comedians and my unashamedly lengthy footnotes that take in everything from the patron saints of spinners, to the forgotten Bronte brother to mythical big cats in the Chelsea Hotel. Kirk Lake is a writer and musician, He has contributed articles to The Gauardian, Observer, The Idler and the NME. “Rufus Wainwright is the greatest songwriter on the planet.” - Elton Johm
July 2009 | edgemag.com.au
Photo: Beau Grealy
Matisuahu Denning Isles: So what have you been up to lately? Matisuatu: We’ve been on the road now for a little over a month. Out with a new band and playing shows. DI: Where are you touring? M: Pretty much all over America. We started in Florida and we’re working our way across to the south and the west coast and now were back in the mid-west. It’s pretty much a full American tour right now. DI: What’s like on the road like for you? M: It’s fun and it’s focused and exciting. The main thing is the shows and getting in front of fans, getting in front of the audience and making music. Starting out four or five years ago and touring and doing shows and then getting into the grid of it all and having to perform night after night has lead me to a decision to make some changes in the way that I want to create music. And so I’ve channelled musicians who can relate to the music the way I do, from a kind of improvisational background. Or to be patient, to take time with the music and create something new, night to night. Which requires a lot of different skill. Being able to listen and to feel the music and relate to each other and relate to the audience. To create and have fun doing it. To have real emotional experiences on stage. And that’s kind of what the aim is on the road. It’s a blessing to be able to do that. DI: Do you have a new band for this tour? M: Yeah. I’ve changed. I had a trio with ‘Live at Stubbs’. And then I changed the drummer. Then I bought on percussion and keyboards, it was a five piece for a while, and then I changed the drummer and dropped the percussion. So it was a four piece. And then I changed the keyboard player and the bass player for the last tour. And on this tour I’m playing with Aaron Dugan, who brings something that sounds very very special. I think he will be in my band for a while. And I’ve got Rob Marscher, who’s a keyboard player, who has been playing with me for over a year. It’s a trio called ‘The Dub Trio’, you can check them out. They play very heavy hard rock to pop rock and they also do very heavy rough reggae and in their own music they go back and forth. They also create some very beautiful melodic sort of sounds, with ambient guitars, almost like Radiohead. They play hip hop music beautifully. So now we’re a five piece, with me its six. We really share a lot of musical sensibility and are able to go back and forth in terms of blending different styles of music.
Creating a common sound, but building in and out of going different place with the music. There’s sort of an organic tie to it all. DI: What has the response been to your sound? M: It’s been amazing. People are into it. For me it’s been the real moments, night to night, that I’ve had are on stage. There was this time, where we would come out and we would play the songs, and there would be maybe a couple of places where there would be room for improvisation, a place where there would be guitar solos. And I would just step to the side of
the stage during those moments and then we would come back to the songs. And that developed into what it is now, which is a fuller journey, a musical journey night to night. We play our songs, but pretty much every song will have the ability to develop into something brand new. And the music needs to be new; it needs to have that ability to breathe and to respond in a moment. Like, our keyboard player might be playing a line that is just in the song. I’m not going to be paying attention to it, but I know to listen. To see what’s going to happen, then he might play a
line which stimulates a certain emotional response in myself. That creates me singing a certain melody, which influences the bass player to play in a certain way and the drummer to play a certain rhythm and the whole music begins to take on this organic life of its own and where we’re saying something real. And what we’re saying is influenced on what’s going on in the audience, what’s going on for us, what city we’re in, what it feels like out side. All these different things. It’s alive and that’s really what music should be. DI: What first made you want to peruse music? M: Music always just made me feel the best. When I was a teenager and I was struggling with authority and typical teenage stuff, I’d get into this space and go into my room and turn on a song. And I would find in the music a sense of love, peace within myself and from the moment that happened, music became more to me. It became the way to access a deeper part of myself. A certain sense of goodness within myself that I was unable to access within the real world. And from that point on, I knew that I wanted to make music. That that’s what I wanted to do with my life. DI: What were the early days of music like for you? M: I didn’t really have the focus in me to learn an instrument, so I had a drum, a little bongo drum, and I would write poems and would put little melodies to them and sing them while I was playing the drum. And then I started getting into beat boxing and, in my beat boxing I learnt about rhythm and the feel. Just like a drummer would. And then I was able to figure out how to put melody to it, how to be able to beat box and make melodic sounds while beat boxing. So I would do the bass line and the drums together, and that was sort of like the rhythm section, but the bass line has the melody. And I learnt a lot about space and time and music through that. My main instrument was coming from within. And then I started free-styling and rapping and as I got more and more into reggae music I started to do that sort of reggae style of chanting which was appealing to me for a few reasons. One of those was that I was into rap and I was into singing and that was one of the only places where you would hear that sort of melodic rapping. Now you hear it with a lot of rappers, even T.I, but at that time, there was a certain fire for me listening to that continues reggae stuff that no one else had and also, the spirituality of the music, and the lyrics. The royalty of it, and the royalty comes from a lot of the music being biblical. So that’s how I got to write music and how I got into that starting out.
Reverand and the Makers’ John McClure talks with Denning Isles Denning Isles: How has the album been received so far? John McClure: Really really well, and all the musicians have been giving it lots of praise, people I’ve always looked up too, people like Noel Gallagher and that. You know it’s a f__ken’ good response. The news papers in Brittan like ‘The Enemy’ and that say it’s a f__kin’ a work of sh_t. So it’s pretty mad. DI: How does that make you feel? JM: Really positive because for the first time since ‘67, ‘76, ‘89 there’s this kind of scene bubbling. There’s this website called instigatedebate.com, where you’ve got loads of celebrities and MP and sports stars and page three girls and all that kind of business, being asked a lot of real questions, what really matters. So there’s a bit of a scene developing. It’s an exciting time and the record is about a lot of those things. DI: When you say ‘A Scene’, what do you mean by that? JM: There’s no word for it, but it’s this feeling in Europe, in Australia, in England that people are fed up with fatuous celebrity culture. Or like a long period of time you have bands that dress like The Strokes, look like The Strokes, not been as good as The Strokes, or just like a bunch of fatuous air c_cks basically. People are sick man, they want something more. You know with twitter and all them kind of things, makes this thing kind of vital. So it’s an exciting time, whether you call it a scene or a movement. It’s a really f__king modern man, using mobile phones and the internet and laptops and we’re not screaming for f__king revolution, were just driving the agenda, and talking about things we want to talk about. So in lots of ways were using the very tools of capitalism. Were like f__king them with their own d_ldos, you know what I’m saying? It’s an exciting time, a cool time to be around, and I think it’s not just Britain; it’s all over the place. It’s something really positive, and it’s good to kind of be around. It’s an exciting time in music. DI: You’ve mentioned some rather political things, is that what you mostly write about? JM: On the first album, I wrote it four years before it came out, it was all stuff about living in Sheffield and stuff like that, because it’s all I knew. By the time it came out it seemed almost outdated. Where as on this album, I’ve been digging deeper. It’s about what’s happening in the world at large and a lot of the things that are happening here in Australia are happening in Britain. Look at the way the MP’s are behaving, the same f__king icecaps started melting; the same bands start f__king us all over. But I’m not trying to be like Gordon Ramsey, coming here to tell you all what to do, that’s not what I’m saying. More of what I’m saying is that you guys drive the agenda when people come together. Not try and have a revolution and seize the f__king parliament, but make them act in a responsible way, lets stop talking about f__king cool stuff, not just all this fascist bullsh_t. But that’s what people want. That’s the reaction against twenty years of tabloid celebritism, there starting to rise up. People are bored. Bored of what came before. Let’s push on. I’ll try and get something happening here. DI: More specifically, how do you musically portray this? JM: Track 7, is a song called Manifesto People Shapers. It’s about when the BNP, which is the British National Party, the Nazis, came and gave me death
threats last year. Had someone ringing on me and they got all the seats in the European election, all over Europe. So I put that track online the next day against the wishes of the record label, they went f__king mental. All the people wanted me on the chat shows and all the business on the TV. Not three months after it happened, not one month or even a week, but two hours after it happened. There’s the f__king soundtrack horse kicking off and that’s what it’s all about, it’s instant. That’s what’s happening in Iraq. It’s our time, it’s not like the 60’s come again, it’s not even like the 70s come again. It’s 2000 and f__king 9. It’s the future come again; you know what I’m saying? It’s never been done before, because we have never had that technology or that kind of instant thing. Facebook and Twitter are killing it and MySpace, it’s all different. It’s a different playing field, it’s a level playing field. DI: How have you embraced this kind of technology? JM: I’m on it all the time, I get a thousand messages a day, I respond to every single one. And you know, if people want to see me as some kind of sportsman then fine, but more than that it’s about being real. It’s about
being a real person. People don’t want f__king Bono anymore. They want something a bit more real and something that speaks to them about their lives. So I think that yeah, I like the interaction between the fans. It’s what makes me tick. You know the way music is. I did a mongrel album, which is kind of a political/dope/hip-hop side project. And we gave it away on the front cover of a newspaper. The first time a debut album has ever been released free on a newspaper in the world. And the music industry deprived me a f__king heretic, but it’s a crime charging people 14.99 for something that’s not worth it. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy albums anymore, that’s not what I’m saying. But sometimes you should show a bit of love to your fans. Then they might come and buy your next record. Interesting times, you know, sky news, can foretell the demise of the music industry. DI: What do you draw your sense of perspective from? JM: Went to Africa last year, went to Lagos. I jammed with Femi Kuti, a member of Afro Beat, with David Rowntree from Blur, went with him. You know the track on the album, it’s called ‘No Wood Just Trees’, it’s kind of like that Afro Beat horn sound. When you have an orchestra of sixty-four people, you know you’re on to a good thing. Also I went to Jamaica; I spent a lot of time in Jamaica. I want to go back there and make a dance record, which is probably gonna be about weed and girls bums, because I don’t always want to be political. Every album has got to be different man, you’ve got to move. Went to Venezuela too. You gotta do sh_t, the Beatles went to India, I want to explore. The western nations can be so f__king stale. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve really woken up. You gotta look for the heat and the heat isn’t necessarily in London. DI: I love the music; I particularly love the last song, ‘A Hard Time for Dreamers.’ How did that come about? JM: Yeah, it’s a bit of a love song. I’m glad you like it, a lot of people really like the art work too. A lot of people think that’s me, the guy on the front, because I used have long hair. DI: Making out in a nuclear war. JM: Sexy isn’t it. Nothing makes you want to get more jiggie than an atom bomb. So that’s the french kiss, that’s where you find your solace as a human being. Where, yes, we do live in a world or fascist celebrity bullsh_t culture, but increasingly large numbers of us are all fed up with up it. Let’s come together and do something about it.
Dash and Will Up In Something Universal Music Australia
edgemag.com.au | July 2009
Dash & Will With the impending release of their debut album, Up In Something, 19-year olds Charlie Thorpe and Josie De Sousa-Reay are about to burst into the spotlight as musical duo Dash and Will. The pair has been creating music together for close to ten years, with this first album embodying their youthful spirit, energy and zest for life. Their quirky, edgy pop bursts with energy and an unwavering vitality, entrancing an impressive following. Josie De Sousa-Reay recently spoke with Anna Bolton Anna Bolton: How do you think growing up in Melbourne has influenced your music, if it has at all? Josie De Sousa- Reay: There’s such a great culture in Melbourne. And it has an amazing music scene and nightlife, I mean, you can go out and just see, you know, any bands under the sun. And I think, more now, being able to go out and see what other bands are doing is a great influence. Growing up, you had all these venues you could see these great bands in. I spent most of my money on going to see live gigs when I was really young, making my dad take me to all of them. AB: When did you two decide to get together and form the band? JDS-R: We met when we were 9, and didn’t start making music together until we were 13. The more we did it, the more we fell in love with it and we started to write our own songs. It’s what we did during school, what we did after school, on the weekends. We just sort of became obsessed with it. I don’t know how we were so driven at such a young age but I guess we loved to do it so much it worked out for us. AB: Who have been your biggest influences or inspirations? JDS-R: It’s been sort of several things, or several musicians throughout my life and growing up, from listening to my parents’ records, like Blondie, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Marley, to now, being inspired by other bands. Seeing what they’re doing and if they create music in a way that’s different to how we do it. You hear how people push boundaries, like the Presets. In Australia they’ve really created this whole new market for commercial dance music. I find that inspiring and I’d love to be able to write a record like
theirs. AB: What do you think about the Australian music scene? JDS-R: It’s fantastic. The bands in the industry are so incredibly supportive of each other and we always go to each other’s shows. I just wish the industry would be a bit more supportive. And radio could start encouraging more Australian bands and putting them on their roster as opposed to, you know, the Pussycat Dolls who just get their gear off all the time and are telling twelve year old girls that if they want to be sexy and superstars then they have to be half naked and dress provocatively. I just hate that. AB: Do you think people have been receptive to your music? JDS-R: Yeah, definitely. I think people were surprised that we weren’t a pre-produced pop act that the record label spat out. We’ve been writing together for nearly ten years, and we’ve been working together and we co-produced our record. I think people really began to
see that we’re the real deal, and we tend to convert a lot of fans live. We’ve got quite a raucous stage show, people just see we’re having fun and we love what we do and we work really hard. AB: What should people expect from the new record? JDS-R: Great pop music really. Some of the older songs are quite poppy and quirky, the newer songs are quite rocky, we’ve sort of got this tougher edge now. It’s a really good fun pop record that people can really enjoy and dance and sing along to. It’s nothing pretentious, we don’t take ourselves seriously. We just want to have fun and work with music, and that’s really what the record’s about. AB: Where would you really like to perform or tour? JDS-R: I would love to go and perform at Glastonbury. I’ve seen so many videos on it, and seeing the bands perform there… It looks amazing. I mean, we need to actually break the UK and become successful over there before that happens but I never thought we could tour with The Kooks and we ended up touring with them, so maybe we can go to Glastonbury as well. AB: Is it daunting supporting these big acts like the Kooks? JDS-R: Not really, it’s pretty exciting. I mean, it’s a
guaranteed really big show for us. I was a little bit nervous about meeting them because I’ve been such a big fan, but they were really down to earth guys and we had a great time. The shows were amazing, we got to perform to five and a half thousand people. But I sort of think about the shows more than the people and concentrate on winning a few of their fans over. AB: What advice would you have for other young, aspiring artists? JDS-R: Work really hard, play open mic nights, keep writing songs, enter competitions, the government grant… Playing live is really great, that’s when you start to develop your following. If you do demos, take them into local radio stations, and you have to use all the little things like that that Charlie and I did to make a name for yourselves and get your CD out there.
Dash and Will Up In Something Universal Music Australia
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