Lost BoY Zine a music, arts, literature, zine Smith Street Band Restless years
wtf iz in dis Gigs
‘Glorious Momentum’ – Isaac Graham ‘AA Single’ – Nick Van Breda ‘Split’ – Legions/Downside ‘Gone Fishin’ – Foxtrot ‘Full To The Brim’ - Lucy Wilson ‘Terminal Grouse’ - Sweet Teens ‘Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams’ – Smith Street Band
4 4 5 5 6 6 7
Addams Family @ Australian Museum
‘How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin’ – Leslie Woodhead ‘High Fidelity’ – Nick Hornsby
Smith Street Band
10 - 13
Restless Years Compilation
14 - 15
all photos courtesy of the respective owners. all design: jasmin stengos - email@example.com all text: oliver dan-cuthbert - firstname.lastname@example.org 2
Isaac Graham and the Great Unknown 1st Crowbar, Brisbane (18+) 2nd The Purple Carrot, Bellingen (18+) 3rd The Star Hotel, Macksville (18+) 9th Crown and Anchor, Adelaide (18+) 10th The Public Bar, Melbourne (18+) 14th Lizotte’s Central Coast (18+) 15th Phoenix Bar, Canberra (18+) 16th Black Wire Records, Annandale [AA] 17th The Commercial Hotel, Milton (18+) The Getaway Plan 2nd The Underground, Darwin (18+) 9th The Waratah Hotel, Hobart (18+) 10th The Waratah Hotel, Hobart (-18) 15th Small Ballroom, Newcastle (18+) 16th Coffs Hotel, Coffs Harbour (18+) 17th Thriller, Brisbane (18+) 22nd Surfers Paradise Beer Garden, Goldy(18+) 23rd Racehorse Hotel, Ipswich (18+) 24th Springwood Hotel, Springwood (18+) 29th Karova Lounge, Ballarat (18+) 30th Mooroolbark Community Centre, Melbs (-18) 31st The Wool Exchange, Geelong (18+) Frenzal Rhomb 2nd Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+) 9th Carmen’s, Miranda (18+) 10th Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale (18+) MDC 13th The Zoo, Brisbane (18+) 14th Fowlers Live, Adelaide (18+) 15th Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+) 16th Hermann’s Bar, Sydney (18+) Shackles and Starvation 15th The Metro, Adelaide 16th Animal House, Adelaide 17th Gasometer, Melbourne 18th Phoenix Youth Centre, Melbourne 50 Lions w/ Outsiders Code and Battletruk 16th Prince of Wales, Bunbury (18+) Mindsnare w/ 50 Lions, Outsiders Code, Battletruk 17th Amplifier Bar, Perth (18+) Smith Street Band w/ Joyce Manor (*not playing) and Cheap Girls 22nd Rosemount Hotel, Perth (18+)* 23rd Prince of Wales, Bunbury (18+)* 24th Adelaide Uni Bar, Adelaide (18+)*
25th Karova Lounge, Ballarat (18+)* 28th The Brisbane Hotel, Tassie (18+)* 29th The Zoo, Brisbane (18+) 30th Hotel Great Northern, Newcastle (18+) 31st Annandale Hotel, Sydney (18+) Foxtrot w/ various supports 16th Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne (18+) 22nd Phoenix, Canberra (18+) 23rd Newcastle (18+) 24th Beatdisc Records, Sydney (AA) Civil War w/Deathcage, Fattura Della Morte, Hostile Objects, Mood Swing, Chroma, Resistance, Sumeru 24th Gladstone Feeling, Chippendale, Sydney (18+) Japandroids 26th Rosemount Hotel, Perth (18+) 27th Ed Castle, Adelaide (18+) 28th Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+) 30th Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+) SOLD OUT 31st Manning Bar, Sydney (18+)
Japandroids 1st The Zoo, Brisbane (18+) Smith Street Band w/ Joyce Manor and Cheap Girls 4th Transit Bar, Canberra (18+) PREKENDER PARTY: Joyce Manor w/ Cheap Girls, Grim Fandango, Initials, Ride The Tiger, Freak Wave 5th The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood (18+) POISON CITY WEEKENDER 6th John Curtin Hotel (18+) 7th Corner Hotel (18+) 8th Reverence Hotel (18+) Joyce Manor w/ Grim Fandango 10th Animal House, Adelaide [AA] 11th Pica Bar, Perth (18+) The Getaway Plan 12th Prince of Wales, Bunbury (18+) 13th Players Bar, Mandurah (18+) 14th Rosemount Hotel, Perth (18+) 15th YMCA HQ, Perth (-18) 20th Black Market, Adelaide (18+) Shadow League 13th Chardon’s Corner, Brisbane FREE SHOW 14th TBA, Brisbane 15th Brews Bros, Brisbane (AA) 28th Reverence Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
‘The World And The Everyday/Think About’ – Nick van Breda | Catch Release Records Sydney acoustic sweetheart Nick van Breda has followed up his 2011 EP, The Benefit and The Doubt, and 2012 split 7” with another vinyl release, this time a AA 7”. Both songs are definitely worthy of ‘A-side status’, with van Breda delivering some of his catchiest material to date. A stark juxtaposition to ‘She Makes His Heart Play Math Rock’ from the 2012 split, both songs are as upbeat as they are uplifting. Despite being about banal, ordinary occurrences – alarm clocks, the washing up, taking out the rubbish – ‘The World and The Everyday’ leaves listeners with a simple and optimistic message, “We could leave here tonight / I’ll get the car and we’ll go / take on the world / like we always wanted to”. Similar themes of the commonplace run into the next side, with ‘Think About’ focusing on the anxiety inducing situations that we have all found ourselves in. This is van Breda’s first release through Catch Release Records, let’s hope for another EP or debut LP soon. Stream and buy digital/physical copies from: catchreleaserecords.bandcamp.com
‘Glorious Momentum’ – Isaac Graham | Self-Released Two years in the making, Isaac Graham’s second LP has been long anticipated. A lot has changed for Graham since his 2009 debut release, Empty Vessels, most notably he was handpicked by Frank Turner to record a song for the B-Side of Turner’s Try This At Home 7”. Listening to the Glorious Momentum, one immediately gets a sense of this evolution between releases. The fundamentals – his voice, lyrics, style – are still there, but the whole atmosphere of the LP has been given new life in comparison to previous work, created partly by the cleaner production of this release. Graham continues to create vivid scenes and merry tracks through his unique story-telling of both personal and fictional tales. No matter the pace of each track, the energy and dedication behind them is persistent, always begging you to sing along to the light-hearted joyfulness. Accompanied by an array of friends, Graham’s exceptional release will no doubt be on many listeners’ best-of lists for 2013. Stand out tracks ‘Young Backs’, ‘Nomads’ and ‘The Man Who Stole The Sky’ will win you over, however this recording doesn’t come close to mirroring the sound and energy of hearing the Sydney-sider live. Do not miss the Glorious Momentum Tour when it comes to town. Stream and buy digital/physical copies from: isaacgraham.bandcamp.com
Split 7” – Legions/Downside | Deaths Grip Records After not releasing a song more than four minutes previously, the latest track from Legions, a six minute twenty second epic, was a bit of a surprise. Opening with a typically slow and moody Legions’ introduction, the guitars kick up a ruckus that will make you want to run in circles. The switch back and forth from these two paces throughout the song are seamless and impressive, tapping more ‘metal’ than ‘hardcore’ influences, unlike earlier releases. As always, the lyrics and vocals are bar-to-none, leading on from their outstanding 2012 EP The Gravestone Path. Legions are Sydney’s top hardcore act, and, dare I say it, one of the best in Australia. If you have not heard them by now, it is time you did. The more aggressive and in-your-face tracks from Newcastle’s Downside keep the ball rolling, providing a consistent follow up to their 2012 Demo. ‘Born Cold’ is manic and quick paced, setting up an excellent chance to ‘hit the pit’ and get some mic grabs, echoing ‘Born alone, to die alone’. Second track ‘Old Friend’ takes a more jolted but exciting approach musically, with vocals soaring overhead. However it lacks the lyrical panache of the previous two tracks on the split, and is thus rendered less memorable overall. Look out for these guys as they continue to mature as a band. Stream and buy digital/physical copies from: deathsgrip.bandcamp.com
Gone Fishin’ – Foxtrot | Jackknife Records With their debut full-length finally released on all formats, one of Melbourne’s best punk bands have come out firing. From the second this record begins, with opening track ‘Hammered Not Nailed’, Foxtrot hold back nothing, immediately launching into manic guitars, bass and expletives. Tuning influences from various punk legends, the bass and drums become integral to the entirety of the record, playing a particularly key role on tracks like ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ and ‘Livin’ The Dream’. The lyrics are at times short and sweet, but that is not to say they are of any lesser quality to other bands, inevitably only adding to the appeal found on Gone Fishin’, allowing listeners a chance to appreciate the instrumental composition of the band. Content ranges from tracks about dinosaurs to living life to the fullest, and really isn’t that all one needs in a great record? Slower songs, such as ‘Runner’ and the title track, are just as passionate as others and are brilliantly composed, a style that will hopefully be further explored in later releases. Gone Fishin’ is consistently well above average, as Foxtrot contort the definition of punk into their own. With fewer bands straying from the cookie cutter sound that we have all come to know, it is refreshing and exhilarating to find a band doing what they do best – creating their own sound whilst still incorporating their roots and obvious love for music. With an incredible debut LP under their belt, look out for Foxtrot as they tour interstate, as well as release further material in the future. You do not want to miss this band’s rise, which could (and hopefully does) follow the path of their mates in The Smith Street Band. Stream and buy digital/physical copies from: jackknifemusic.bandcamp.com
Full To The Brim – Lucy Wilson | Jackknife Records After playing live for some time now, the debut release from Melbournite Lucy Wilson is due in the coming months. Featuring a whole lot less punx than most of her mates’ bands and labelmates on Jackknife, Wilson does not fail to instantly grab listener’s attention and hold it for the duration of Full To The Brim. With the majority of the tracks being love songs, Wilson’s phenomenal voice is what separates her from the pack. Joining the small group of female artists around the traps – Jen Buxton and Mara Threat instantly springing to mind – this release will cement Wilson’s place as one of their musical equals. This is a release that would not be out of place on Triple J, nor on a line-up with Jamie Hay or Fourteen Nights At Sea or the acoustic line-up from this year’s All Tomorrow’s Shoeys Fest (Wilson already proving this), showing the universally breathtaking and captivating nature of her sound. The title track and ‘Wake Up Alone’ both standout, but the EP as a whole is a truly beautiful record proving Wilson is not your average girl with an acoustic guitar, and that she is definitely only getting started as a musician. Stream and 7” pre-orders soon from: jackknifemusic.bandcamp.com
Terminal Grouse – Sweet Teens | Jackknife Records Terminal Grouse is the second indie-punk concoction from Sweet Teens, and is just as haphazard as their first. With tracks reminiscent of bands as diverse as Bomb The Music Industry and The Kinks, sometimes this release comes across as jumbled and chaotic, but perhaps that is all part of the allure put forth by Sweet Teens. This one might need to grow on you, however it is no question that their slower songs, like ‘All In Doors’ and ‘Crash & Burn’ are instant hits. The rest of the LP will have you nodding your head along from the first listen, but it may not stick. The band are vocally and instrumentally more than competent, but one can’t help feeling that some cohesiveness is lacking throughout this release. An eclectic set of songs about life and partying that have more energy than most recordings; one can only imagine that there live show is wild. Have a listen to ‘Hot Breath, Cold Breast’, ‘Nelly the Ked’ and ‘All In Doors’ if nothing else. Stream and pre-order soon from: jackknifemusic.bandcamp.com
Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams – Smith Street Band | Poison City Records You know who they are, and you have already bought this 10”, let’s face it: they’re probably your best mates. If not, you have either been literally living under a rock for the last two years or you have been too drunk to operate technology and buy a copy. Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams is the latest release from Melbourne favourites The Smith Street Band, and it does anything but disappoint. The formula hasn’t really changed – the lyrics, vocals and instrumentals are all still there in fine form – but one cannot neglect the gravity and zeal in this release. Wil Wagner has never failed to tell a story eloquently in the past, and this EP is no different, only proving that he still has the magic touch. From the very start of the opening title track, Wagner’s distinct vocals ring out and draw listeners in, comforting them with the overpowering similarity between his lyrics and their lives, seen in ‘Every night’s a Saturday night / and every day’s a Monday morning’. As if you weren’t already hyped up by this track, the funky guitar outro completes this song, instantly making you want to dance and do shoeys left, right and centre. Nonetheless, there is more to a successful band than just the vocalist. The increasingly diverse instrumental components of Smith Street Band recordings is clearly displayed in these five tracks. For example, this EP shows the group’s divergence into experimentation with pedals and harmonics, such as on ‘Ducks Fly Together’. Perhaps the track that pulls together all that is Smith Street, their fans and their friends stand for is ‘Bigger Than Us’. Being the first track released from the EP, it perfectly sums up the atmosphere to be found within any other Smith Street recording or live show, as well as encompassing the attitude of those who make up the band and the scene they are a part of. A real highlight is the rumbling bass during verses throughout the track, not often as obvious on other Smith Street recordings. Soon to be the song-of-the-year, ‘Bigger Than Us’ will no doubt prove to old fans that they are still the same four mates from Melbourne, whilst also continuing their persistent rise and exposure to new fans. If you need a few lines to summarise this EP, band, zine or scene look no further than “Let’s start something / bigger than us / you could do more / then you were ever taught / let’s start something / bigger than us”. ‘Kids’ is probably the most out of place track on the EP, dropping the fast-paced tunes for a slower, more typically Wagner solo song that would not seem misplaced on his recent EP Laika. The instrumental segments of this song, particularly the wailing guitar solo, makes this their most beautiful track to date. It should, however, be noted that I inherently disagree with a large portion of the lyrics, I won’t display them all here, but most pertinent and clearly wrong are the lines: “We’re just kids staring at the sun / and we don’t mean nothing to no one”. It has become increasingly obvious over the last year or so that Smith Street mean a whole lot to quite a number of people, so stop thinking otherwise boys! The final track, ‘Self Control’, follows a similar, slower vein, but feels almost like a song to waltz or slow-dance to at times. The addition of horns may be a nod towards Signals Midwest, and hopefully more of these are to come on the next release as they work incredibly well but are seriously under displayed here. It will be interesting to see how this song translates to a live performance. Despite sticking to what they know best, The Smith Street Band have reinvented the very essence of “folk-punk”, “party punk” or whatever other sub-genre you want to stick them in to. I promise it has everything you love about them without sounding like a rehash of ‘Young Drunk’ or ‘Sigourney Weaver’. Actually they have dropped one part of the integral Smith Street sound – all the dadadas and bababas, but they replaced them with epic gang vocals; your call on what works better! Is this everyone’s release of the year? You know it (unless they manage to put together LP3 in the next few months, post-world tour). Buy now from: poisoncityrecords.com/estore/catalog Stream some tracks here: poisoncityrecords.bandcamp.com
Charles Addams: American Gothic @ Australian Museum, Sydney Seeing the large billboard outside the Australian Museum was the first time I had seen mention of the Addams Family in many years, so I was excited to get the chance to explore the personal drawings of Charles Addams, the man behind the legacy. Having drawn for The New Yorker among other publications for some time, Addams was approached to create a TV series which would end up running for two years in the mid-Sixties. The collection on display at the Australian Museum is a range of both Addams Family drawings, as well as one-scene comics. Seeping with dark humour, all works are outstanding however it was extremely unfortunate to find so few of them. It was also particularly awkward to see the works hung in a small room in the middle of the permanent dinosaur exhibit. Both detracted from the exhibit itself, leaving viewers feeling overall uninspired and disappointed. A bold step in the right direction for the Museum to display more left-of-centre and unique exhibits, nevertheless this one missed the mark. Charles Addams: American Gothic is included in a basic ticket to the museum, however it may not be worth visiting unless you want to check out the permanent collection too. Exhibition on until August 25.
Adult Concession Child (5 â€“ 15)
$12 $8 $6
Opening Times: 9.30am â€“ 5.00pm everyday
‘High Fidelity’ by Nick Hornsby
“Is it so wrong, wanting to be at home with your record collection? It’s not like collecting records is like collecting stamps, or beermats, or antique thimbles. There’s a whole world in here, a nicer, dirtier, more violent, more peaceful, more colourful, sleazier, more dangerous, more loving world than the world I live in…” Hornsby’s first novel is an unsung classic, following protagonist Rob, a middle-aged British record store owner who has been dumped yet again. A ‘journey of self-discovery’ done in all the right ways, Rob sets out to track his previous girlfriends so they can explain what is wrong with him. Brilliantly written, Hornsby has woven a man’s love for music and human relationships into one simple tale, to be easily digested and reflected on in terms of one’s own life. Any reader who collects vinyl records will emphasise with the protagonist throughout the novel, with many passages displaying the deep affiliation between man and music, interjected with everyday moments of obsession and rejection. A highlight is the continued ranking of various discographies and arguments over music that occur between Rob and his two employees at Championship Vinyl. A witty and highly-relatable examination of life, love and music, with more than enough rock and pop music jokes both subtle and overt, this is a must-read novel for any music or literature fan. First published 1995, now available in ‘Penguins Classics’ format.
‘How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin: The Untold Story Of A Noisy Revolution’ by Leslie Woodhead “‘The Beatles more or less melted the hearts and brains of millions of Russian youngsters, and prepared them for the end of the Soviet Union,’ Artemy Troitsky’s casual declaration about the impact of the Fab Four on his generation was for me the ultimate seduction. He insisted the Beatles were more decisive than nuclear missiles in winning the Cold War” Did you know that the Beatles actually single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War? Well it wasn’t quite like that, but this book is a stunning account of the depth of their influence in a nation where their music was illegal to own or listen to. The extreme lengths Soviet fans went to in acquiring LPs, creating their own instruments and keeping track of the Fab Four would start a social revolution that would aid the collapse of the brutal state they lived in, facing fines, jail sentences and, sometimes, death. Based on numerous personal accounts and interviews from Soviet Beatles fans who grew up under the Soviet Union, Woodhead writes with a playful and informed voice that feels more like conversation than a piece of non-fiction. The characters involved enrich the story with a life that could only be found in a book as remarkable as one infected with Beatlemania. An incredible read of a previously unheard chapter of Soviet history that is vital for anyone interested in The Beatles or music history, as well as political and social history. First published 2013, now available through Bloomsburg Publishing.
Smith Street Band With their latest offering released, we spoke to Smith Street Band front man Wil Wagner about writing, recording and hitting the road. If you’ve met Wagner he probably became your best mate instantly, his friendliness and generosity aided by his openness to speak to whomever confirming that there is no ‘rockstar ego’ to be found here.
You’ve just released a new 10” record. What was the catalyst behind writing the lyrics for it? Were than any bands or events that particularly influenced the new tracks? The songs on the EP were all written during/just before the Young Drunks tour. We recorded an EP because we didn’t have time to record an album so with that in mind we chose songs that were recent and kind of encapsulated what was happening to us. The song ‘Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams’ is about an incident in Byron Bay where our best friend Jules from the Bennies was injured in a violent altercation with a local. During the incident, Jules yelled to the perpetrator “don’t fuck with our dreams” and that kind of became a mantra for the rest of the tour. It really scared us that that kind of thing could happen at a show and the song is about trying to pick up the pieces after that shitty night. I wrote the song ‘Kids’ a little bit before the other songs, that one is about not playing shows for a while and then playing a secret show at a warehouse with El Alamein and Stockades, neither of which I’d seen before. Both bands blew me away with their originality and passion and I was inspired so wrote that song about that night!
Did you guys take into account the increasing popularity of the band in writing for this EP, and do you think it has affected you as a band?
I think it might have affected me a bit writing Sunshine and Technology but I guess we are used to it now. I try and take myself out of the writing process as much as possible and just let the lyrics write themselves but it’s hard not to think about more people hearing the words than just me sometimes. But after coming to terms with it a bit its almost had the opposite effect because what I’m doing seems to be getting across to some people so that just spurs me on to write better songs!
Have you adapted any more of your solo songs to be played as a band for the EP?
Not for this one, maybe for the next album but I’m not sure. We can fall back on doing that when we run out of ideas!
The recording for this EP was different to previous releases. What have you changed and how do you think it shaped the record as a whole?
We didn’t have much time to record this EP, we would have done an album if we had more time, so we decided to record it live! It was a very different recording experience to normal but I preferred it and I think the recordings are better for it. Besides vocals and a few guitar overdubs the tracks are all of us standing in a room together, kicking pedals on and off and playing off each other which felt far more natural than recording track by track. Also we kind of pride ourselves on being a live band so it just made sense to try and capture that!
You have done several slightly different things on this EP in terms of how it is released, including giving 50 people who pre-ordered it the chance to see you play a secret show. Is there a distinction between playing smaller shows like that and the size you regularly play nowadays?
There is definitely a difference. We organised the two Old Bar shows we are doing to launch the EP not only to support our friend’s pub but also to give us a chance to play to a little room again! It is a completely different experience playing at The Corner/The Annandale to Old Bar/Blackwire Records, there’s a bit less pressure and its fun being amongst the crowd!
Have you been surprised at the interest in, and popularity of, Smith Street Band’s music, for example with your debut LP now being in its 4th vinyl pressing?
Yeah it’s very surprising. It’s funny to think about and I must admit I cringe whenever I hear my voice on that album, I think it hadn’t really broken yet! It’s great that people who may have heard us on the radio or seen us at a show go to the effort to get the first album as well and I still love playing a lot of those songs live.
You’re about to go on a mini-world tour, hitting Australia nationally before going over to Europe and then straight to America. Is it hard being away from home for so long, or do you view it more as an opportunity to connect with new people and places?
I love travelling and touring. I’m always excited, even if it’s just going to Geelong on a Sunday but What’s the story behind the artwork for Don’t Fuck am especially excited for these shows. I’ve never With Our Dreams? been to Europe, Canada or ¾ of the places we are The photo was taken at our mate Matty Rabbit’s going in the U.S! It’s so exciting to be able to travel house in Perth on the first day of Young Drunks the world and see all these places, and to get to tour. So much happened and changed on that play shows every night for such a long period of tour but that photo kind of encapsulates all of the time will be the best! positive sides of touring!
What new song are you most excited to play live and why?
In all honesty I’m most excited about playing the song we probably won’t ever play! The last song on the EP is a slow song called ‘Self-Control’ with piano and trumpet, I would love to do a full version of that one day with a pianist and a trumpeter!
Whilst in America, you’re supporting Frank Turner on over 40 dates. You must have been pretty stoked to be offered such a huge support slot and to play in completely new parts of the country, but does being stuck with the same group of guys for months at a time get old? This tour will be the longest time we’ve spent together or with another band so who knows what will happen! I think on a tour the size of the American one we’ll have some nights where all the bands hang out and party, some nights where I’m in bed before Frank’s on stage and other nights where we’ll just explore the cities we are lucky enough to visit. We have done a week with Frank and the Sleeping Souls guys before and got on really well then, just going to test their patience now!
Before you leave Australia however, you are of course playing at the Poison City Weekender. Are events like Weekender essential for the ‘scene’ it supports?
Totally! Having EVERYONE you have met at a show anywhere in Australia all flooding Melbourne at once is just so exciting. Everywhere you go you bump into people, there’s always about 7 people crashing at my house and the vibe atmosphere at all the shows is electric! It also brings out the best in bands because of the community aspect of everything, every band wants to play their best set and everyone else wants them to succeed! Ultimate party!
You are also playing Fest in America for the second time this year, what is it like to play such a renowned festival? Is Weekender our answer to Fest?
We are super honoured to play it, especially two years in a row, and yeah it’s insane how good it is! It’s one of those things that everyone raves about and talks up and then Fest completely pulls through. Weekender is very similar and I can see it growing every year!
There are a heap of awesome bands playing Fest this year – Glocca Morra, Empire! Empire!, Pentimento, Restorations, Signals Midwest, Menzingers, to name a few. Who are you most excited to be playing with, and which of your mates are you most excited to catch up with whilst there?
Shit there’s a million bands I’m stoked to play with and see! Glocca Morra, Sidekicks, Restorations and Signals Midwest are all on my must watch list and it’d be great to catch up with Restorations and Signals dudes! I missed Braid last year so would love to see them but we are flying in on a day off from Frank tour and then flying back to join it so mightn’t see much!
You’ve given me some awesome suggestions for new music in the past, so could you share with us some local and international bands we should all be listening too?
Yes! California X are really fucking cool, 90s grungey stuff but really good. The new Grim Fandango album is maybe my favourite of the year so far it’s so fucking good. I’m really enjoying The Uncluded at the moment as well, which is Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock’s project, their new album is sick. Oh and the new Jen Buxton EP and her split with Linc Le Fevre are both 10/10!
Having just released Restless Years: Volume One, a free download compilation featuring some of Australia’s finest independent artists, we caught up with the man behind the magic, Adam Collins, to talk about curating the whole project singlehandedly. With artists as diverse as The Bennies, Nathan Seeckts, Lucy Wilson and Harbourer, there is no excuse for not getting this on your computer and/or mp3 playing device now!
Why have you put together the Restless Years compilation?
It’s an idea I’ve had simmering on the backburner for a couple of years that’s evolved and snowballed over time, but basically it’s been put together as a DIY way to help celebrate the strong undercurrent of Australian bands and solo artists with a hardworking, likeminded approach to making honest music. Looking back to the late 90s and early 2000s, the punk rock record label samplers and compilations of that time were hugely influential on me – not only in that they often gave you new songs by bands you knew and loved, but also introduced you to a bunch of new bands that you maybe hadn’t heard before. Looking past genre limitations, I wanted to create something that functioned like these, and was an effective way to help some amazingly talented bands and solo artists reach some fresh ears.
How will the compilation be released?
I’ve gone for a digital-only release, for a couple of reasons – I think these days CDs are a little redundant and not having to pay for disc duplication and packaging means I can make it free for bands to be a part of, and free for listeners to download. My main focus was to make it as accessible as possible and I think a free digital download is the most effective way of doing this. I am a big fan of having artwork that accompanies music as well as liner notes, so in the download package I’ve included album artwork as well as a .PDF zine-type supplement featuring a profile of every band involved and some liner notes. The other great thing about being a digital download, it means I wasn’t restricted by the limitations of a CD – I’d have to do a double CD release to include as many bands as I have.
How did you choose the artists that would feature on Volume One?
I wanted to make this a showcase of hardworking artists who have a great approach to making honest music, and who espouse DIY punk rock spirit, regardless of genre. There’s so many amazing bands and artists with these values that fly under the radar. I made my selection based on this, and I also wanted it to be comprised of brand new or recently-released music to keep things interesting – a number of bands were keen to be involved but recording / new material didn’t sync up with dates, but I’ll be doing some stuff with them down the track. Quite a number of the bands and artists involved are mates of mine that I wanted to get involved when I started this project, a number of them I have become friends with over the course of it and I also took a punt on getting in touch with some bands that I’d never had contact with, but enjoyed their music. Most of these I’d discovered through live shows or word of mouth if they haven’t toured to Melbourne.
Do you feel more initiatives like Restless Years are needed in the punk/folk/hardcore/independent music community?
Absolutely, it is a fantastic community to be a part of and I’ve enjoyed watching it grow in the past few years – I even moved to Melbourne to be more involved with it. It’s great to see a number of people putting on house/warehouse DIY shows, putting out zines, starting small bedroom-based record labels but it’s always great to have more. All positive action for the community is good!
Where does the name Restless Years come from?
It’s actually from a line in Japandroids song that really resonated with me. I think ‘Restless Years’ sums up where a lot of the musicians involved are at, young, not content with just sitting back and sitting still, travelling around the country where we can and working hard doing this music thing, that we’re all probably a bit crazy for doing. I also see music and being involved in this community as a pretty important thing for selfdiscovery and shaping us through these years when we’re young and have the hunger to create something.
Did you do all the design work yourself?
Yes, I’ve got a background in graphic design, so figured this was a good opportunity to utilise that and keep in the DIY spirit of things. Also, not having to pay a designer means saving money! There was quite a bit of work involved as far as design stuff goes – I was lucky enough to score a takeover of a very prominent Australian music website that was actually funded (unbeknownst to them) by a major label who screwed up with their advertising, so I had to design a bunch of web graphics for that too.
Whose track are you most excited to release through Restless Years?
There’s a number of bands and artists that have recorded music especially for this release, and I’m blown away by that. There’s also many bands that have contributed new or unreleased music, and this is the first way people will be able to get their hands on it. I can’t pick a single song, but just the fact I am able to get so much new and unreleased music out to fresh ears is exciting enough!
After all the hours you have put into pulling together this compilation, has it been worth it since releasing the final product?
The amount of support I’ve received has been amazing! I put on a launch party at the Reverence with 10 of the artists from the compilation playing on the night of the release day and had a great turnout. It’s had about 6,500 streams in the week and a bit since it was released, made its way to Richard Kingsmill at Triple J’s desk and is going to be the basis of a Sydney radio show so I’m really, really pleased and surprised at the interest, support and spread it’s received.
Apart from playing drums in Foxtrot, Initials and Japan For, what else do you do with your time? (or what’s left of it at least!)
All those bands are pretty damn busy this year – Foxtrot’s released our debut album as well as a split EP, so there’s been a bunch of touring involved off the back of those releases and a bit yet to come. Japan For’s just finished off recording our new EP (on USB bottle opener in special packaging) and we’re about to launch that – I’ve been organising everything related to the artwork / manufacturing / printing / booking for that. We’ll be doing a bunch of touring on the back of that. I’ve also just finished recording drum tracks for the debut Initials record, and once Japan For finish touring the EP, Initials will be going out on the road for a run of shows. Things are a little crazy right now! I also work full-time as an aerospace technician and do freelance graphic design as well, so between all of those things I don’t have much spare time – I’ve had to turn down a bunch of design work for bands lately unfortunately. Any free time I have I can probably be found down at the Rev having a beer or two with mates and my goal in the next few months is to find some time to create more art and maybe do some screen printing!
What’s next for Restless Years? Volume Two?
Volume Two is definitely on the cards, I am aiming at an early 2014 release for that, but that will depend on the time I get outside of touring/recording/life commitments. I have about a dozen bands already locked in for volume two that either weren’t going to have their new material ready in time for volume one or had later recording plans, and I’m really excited at how that’s shaping up already. I’ve also been getting quite a lot of submissions from bands from around Australia that I need to go through when I get the time – but quality control is of utmost importance, not only music-wise, but also I don’t want bands with bullshit attitudes/rockstar egos/’managers’ involved.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you haven’t already downloaded Restless Years volume one, there 32 tracks of free music waiting for you at www.restlessyears.bandcamp.com. Go and do it right now!
Infinite thanks to: Bosma, Wil, Adam, you and the rest of this scene; without which this zine wouldn't be possible. 16