president notes Halfway through semester. How did that happen? With one study break down, and another soon upon us, how are you tracking? On top of studies? Behind (I am!)? The Guild’s had a great start to the year. Thanks to all of you, we’ve had some amazing events, but one I really want to thank you all for is Club Carnivale. We had over 60 clubs register with us for 2011, and over half of those applied for start-up grants to get the ball rolling. We were completely amazed with both the number and the enthusiasm of these clubs. But better than that is how many of them were out and about at Club Carnivale and since, with events and activities being launched all over campus - really makes the place feel alive. I’m super excited about what’s still to come around the place this semester - keep your eyes on G News for more info! Much Love
Kyle Pauletto, Michelle Stanley, Clint Little, Celia Lim, Rhiannon Emery, James Ahern, Mat de Koning, Sonia Tubb, Callum Critch, Elizabeth Aisbett, Jenai Tomlinson, Phil Vlachou, Kate Collier, Nicola Sheridan, Jake Dennis, Ian McGlynn, Brodie Lewis
sub-editor Kyle Pauletto
Write to us:
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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photographic director We wish to extend our apologies to Otilee Lamb - the article on pages 16-17 of Issue One, 2011, contains text that was not attributed to her. We also extend our apologies to Ryan Watts, featured photographer from Issue One, 2011. The attributed url for his website was incorrect, the correct url is ryanwattsphoto.blogspot.com/
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ON THE COVER / Goyte
Disclaimer: Metior is published by the Murdoch Guild of Students, amenities building, Murdoch University campus. The Metior’s operation costs, space and administrative support are financed by the Murdoch Guild of Students. Metior is printed under the governance of the Murdoch Guild Council. All expressions are published on the basis that they are not be regarded as the opinions of the Guild unless specifically stated. The Guild accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions or information contained within the magazine, nor does it endorse advertisements and insertions.
there once lived a woman... when writing my book - rise of the ebook Outpost
nelson james hogg photography roller dirty - perth roller derby! how to be environmentally friendly gardening in your community... luxury vs. living ryan brabazon sustainability report sea shepherd - protectors of the sea
literature & theatre
Duncan Wright, Aidan White, Nelson James Hogg, Ryan Brabazon
Brodie Lewis For more information go to: www.the-guild.com.au/gnews
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up and coming events the cat empire ‘thank god i’m not famous!’ the life of riley sparkadia tickling your fancy - five environmental songs Change it for the better - pez and maya jupiter Gotye - this issue’s front cover man spills about koalas, racism and his barn studio they’re back...yellowcard! how to become clairvoyant - robbie robertson drapht - life of riley lowrider
nelson james hogg
skating 39 40 41
ian mcGlynn - downhill skating duncan wright photography james ahern on skating in perth aidan white photography mat de koning - skating activist?
film 42 43 44 47 48 50 51
the sad predicament of our modern world - callum critchâ€™s environmental education incendies paul capsis (die winterreise) mmm stomachs - facing up to the truth about our environment leon ford (griff: the invisible) audi festival of german films behind the screens: diary of a student filmmaker
Over the university break I moved back to my home in Dunsborough, after a year of studying and not having much money this was an amazing change. Most of the holidays were spent surfing and working at a vineyard in order to get some bones to spend on an underwater housing for my Canon 7d. The day it arrived at my door all the way from San Diego I went out with friends and shot all that day, and pretty much every single day after that. Once the swell started dropping we had about two weeks of no waves and most days we would spearfish and free dive just to get in the water. After seeing some awesome underwater caves and huge ledges I decided to take the housing down, we shot pretty much every day for a week and ended up getting a lot of footage as well that I compressed down into a little clip. The light and colour spectrum changes immensely only one metre from the surface, itâ€™s honestly much more interesting than above the surface. Underwater photography is on a whole other level. Getting things right the first time is key and trying to adjust settings by turning dials on the housing 6 metres underwater is a very weird feeling. - Nelson James Hogg
You may have heard of Roller Derby; women on skates with a touch of violence? It’s back with a vengeance, but not as violent as it used to be. It’s a contact sport played on fourwheeled skates around a skate track, and is the fastest growing women’s sport at the moment. It has been for a while, with players from all walks of life getting their skates on and hitting the track. Visually, a lot of people may associate it with tattooed girls in short skirts and fishnets beating each other up. Style is all part of the fun. Bruises become beautiful badges of honour. Fishnets, knee high socks and short-shorts or skirts are standard derby attire. And no, just because the girl is wearing fishnets and a short, short skirt, it doesn’t mean she’s up for it! Then there is the all important derby name of course which is a play on words such as Iron Maiden, Carmen Forya and Mince Meat Molly. Roller Derby has its stereotypes including that (a) all players are gay, and (b) they’re all heavily tattooed, pierced and aggressive all the time. But in truth training sessions see
women and men of varying backgrounds and sexual orientations building their derby skills. Some are tattooed and pierced, some are not; it has no affect on their skating skills. Mums, lawyers, photographers, office workers, engineers, photographers, teachers...the only requirement is that players be over 18. It is a contact sport after all. “The vast majority of skaters are clean cut, upstanding citizens and certainly I have never come across a more open-minded, intelligent group of women in my life.” says Morgan, the Media Officer for Perth Roller Derby. In fact the Derby community is amazingly supportive and hospitable. Players have been known to pack their skates when they travel and be welcomed to training sessions with a league on the other side of the world. As a sport, Roller Derby first popped up during the Depression, and was televised in the 1940s & 50s. It was huge in the 1960s and 70s in Australia, with sell-out crowds of over 5000 spectators a common occurrence, but then faded away. In 2000 the Texas Roller Girls re-invigorated the sport with
a fresh approach of feminism and third-wave punk aesthetics, focusing on a grass-roots volunteer run approach. It’s been spreading like wildfire ever since. On each team you have a pivot, three blockers and one jammer. The jammers start from a little further back than the pack of pivots and blockers, and from there they have to get past the blockers from the other team and lap them. For every opposing player that a team’s jammer laps and passes, they get a point for their team. As tradition dictates, most points win. Western Australia has five leagues in action: Perth Roller Derby League (PRD), Western Australia Roller Derby (WARD), Bunbury Roller Derby (BRD), Margaret River Roller Derby (MRRD) and Gold City Rollers (GCR). PRD was the first, establishing itself in 2008 with about 60 players, all over 18. In 2009 WARD set down roots, followed by Bunbury, Margaret River and the more recently formed Gold City in Kalgoorlie. Like all Roller Derby leagues, they take a grass-roots approach and are run with an ethos of
“for the skaters by the skaters”. Passionate volunteers put in an enormous amount of work behind the scenes to keep their league up and running. New players are called Fresh Meat, a term you might have run across if you caught the 2009 movie, Whip It. This year PRD has seen about 70 players sign up for their annual Fresh Meat regiment, while WARD has a lot of Fresh Meat turn up casually. Bouts are enormously popular with players and crowds. This year a Bloody Valentines bout was held in Kalgoorlie. It sold out all 800 tickets. Apparently organizers had to turn people away at from the door. Thundra Storm from the Derby Dames says each league usually only holds about three games per year, but there is interest in stepping this up. The bouting teams from Perth Roller Derby are the Bloody Sundaes and the Mistresses of Mayhem and bouting for WA Roller Derby are the Electric Screams and Sonic Doom. Both League’s have strict skills levels that Fresh Meat must pass before they’re allowed to pass. PRD’s are coded by number, WARD’s by colour. It’s all about keeping players safe. It can be a rough game; at best you collect some wicked bruises, at worst you may injure yourself seriously enough to prevent you from ever skating again. The bare essentials of safety that every player must wear at every training session
or bout are helmets, mouth guard, and 3 sets of padding. No safety gear means you’re not allowed on the track. No exceptions. As PRD’s Fresh Meat Coordinator, Huh-Knee Badger points out “It’s something that becomes very obvious rather quickly to every start up league that wants to grow. If you keep losing skaters to injury because they don’t want to wear safety gear, not only will you force your insurance premiums up, but you can’t grow as a league because everyone’s broken!”
style. Roller Derby Dolls (2008) Another doco, this time about the rise of Derby in Brisbane that was aired on ABC1. Still available online. Whip It (2009) Comedy-drama from Drew Barrymore, starring Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page. Words - Liz Aisbett
If you want to get involved... Perth Roller Derby trains an intake of Fresh Meat beginning in January at the Morley Rollerdome, and requires each player to pass four skill level tests before they begin bouting. 2011 is their first year with this tiered training approach. Their next intake of Fresh Meat will be in January 2012. Check http://www.perthrollerderby. com.au for details.
Dirty K.O., Killa ‘n’ Stinct, Maggie Snatcher, MaCy Hammer
Just up the road from Murdoch, at Rolloways in O’Connor, the Fremantle Derby Dames trains every Wednesday and Sunday night, with an equal emphasis on safety but a more casual approach to attendance. Check http://warollerderby.com.au/ for details. Derby on Film...
Zebra2010 = Zebra huddle at the Carnival Of Carnage
Hell On Wheels (2007) The true story about all-girl roller derby, Texas
how to be environmentally friendly 8
Every night on the news we see devastating pictures of habitat loss and extreme pollution, it can really make someone feel small and insignificant (in comparison to nature, aren’t we?). Hopefully some of you think ‘what could I possibly do to change it?’ Well the good news is every little bit helps. No, really. We as humans are harming this earth, not only for us and our children and grandchildren to come, but also for the animals that we share the globe with. Animals can’t speak and protect themselves, so it’s up to us to step up and help the defenceless! Below are a few things you can do to help conserve animals and their homes.
Throw your rubbish away when you’re at the beach! Did you know that 6 million tonnes of debris enters the ocean each year? Now imagine the ef-
fect all your food wrappings and plastic bags are having on the animals in the sea. It might not seem like such a big deal when you leave a cigarette butt on the sand but did you know that cigarette butts can take 10 years to break down in the ocean? Plus all of the other people that smoke! Plastic bags take more than 100 years and plastic bottles up to 400 years! Plastic litter from the beach and boats will kill around 1 Million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles a year. So next time you’re at the beach take your rubbish home with you, and make sure
your friends do the same. Perhaps walk the ten or so metres to the nearest bin and dispose of your cigarette butt properly. The world is not your bin and the ocean will appreciate your efforts. Back home a simple change in your own backyard can help our native Australian animals.
Don’t let your cat out at night. Keep your feline friend
inside, or better yet make a cat run for them. Shockingly up to 45 species of Wallaby, Bandicoot and other Australian animals could become extinct within 20 years unless we do something to control predators and other threats. By keeping your cat inside or fenced in a cat run, you will be protecting the native animals that could become your pets next meal. It’s also safe for your cat to be inside too, many accidents occur at night when your cat can’t be seen by oncoming cars. So tonight keep your cat inside, he will be safe as will native animals.
Avoid products with palm oil! This task is a lot harder
than it sounds when Palm Oil is used in many soap, food and makeup products. The key is to start being more aware of Palm Oil and the increasingly scary effect it is having on environments and animals in South East Asia. Deforestation in South East Asia due to Palm Oil plantations is destroying habitats of Sumatran and Bornean Orangutans as well as numerous other animals, birds
and plants. Australia imports 130,000 tonnes of Palm Oil annually and it is used in 50% of our shelved products. By being aware of this growing industry and its effects on animals habitats, you can start making smarter consumer choices and avoiding Palm Oil products by buying alternatives. Shops such as Lush are already stocking Palm Oil free products. For more information on this industry and how you can stop it go to palmoilfree.planetark.org The best way to begin making small changes (if that smokes your cigarette, pun intended) is to stay informed! Take the time to update yourself on current environmental issues and animal conservation campaigns. Stay aware of what your local council or shire is doing to help wildlife conservation and native animals. Join a Wildlife conservation organisation and get involved! There are many conservation organisations which are dedicated to helping the planet and saving animals and their habitats. For a head-start, look-up WWF Australia or Planet Ark to see how you can help. Good Luck! Words - Jenai Tomlinson
want to get your hands dirty? and perhaps other parts of your body?
You naughty minx you! We’re talking about joining a community garden? Care to share what you were thinking? Look through the list below and see if there is a community garden awaiting your help nearby! Urban Orhcard – The City Farm crew are there from 9.30am11.30am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. FERN Community Garden – On the corner of High St and Montreal St in Fremantle every Sunday, from 9am-11am you can volunteer! On the first Saturday of every month, FERN also holds a community bike workshop where you can fix/maintain your bike, help others with their fixing/maintaining, or build new bikes from old ones! Bentley Community Garden – This little ripper is on John Street off Albany Highway in Victoria Park. West Leederville Community Garden – For those public transporters, considering the train stops in West Leederville, this garden should be right up your alley! Hilton Harvest Community Garden – Located on Rennie Crescent South, in Hilton, for those students living close to Murdoch, this one is a short, freshaired stroll away! For more information go to communitygardenswa.org.au
luxury vs. living Being environmentally friendly is cool. Well, it is a little cool. A lot cooler than not being environmentally friendly I suppose. However, this wasn’t always the case. It used to be us tree hugging hippy students who were the only ones attending protests against uranium mining and climate change– now you see your mom and her bridge club joining in on the fight. Also, you may even see a few of those corporate executives joining in with the fight. Yes, you know being environmentally friendly is the next big thing when corporations try to impress you with how “green” they are and executives and their other halves start sporting their “carbon neutral” stickers on the back of their Volvos and Ferraris. But let’s get real here – are they actually environmentally friendly? If you want to lie to yourself, then say “why of course, by growing some trees this make everything happy again”. However if you want to be honest, then you must say no. While it may be fun to laugh at these executives and the horribly polluting companies some of them work for, a question I must ask is why do we allow for this? Why do we allow people to be hypocrites and not question their hypocrisy? Being a “Green” company does not give you permission to mine and destroy environmentally sensitive bushland such as Karara Mining Limited (owned by Gindalbie Metals Ltd). Karara Mining Limited describes on their website that it “prides itself on recognising the values and qualities of the environment where it conducts its activities. It has thoroughly studied and documented the biodiversity, ecological significance and heritage values of the Mid West region”, but then applies to mine iron
ore from the Terapod area from the Blue Hills Ranges. The Blue Hills Ranges have high conservation and environmental values, including highly restricted and endemic Declared Rare Flora species found nowhere else. Being “Carbon Neutral” does not automatically allow you to drive a Hummer around the streets of Subiaco. I don’t think people want to harm the environment – on the contrary, I think people actually do care about the environment, the potential effects of climate change and greenhouse gases. However people don’t want to give up the things they love. We should at least be able to raise these questions in a civil way. And we should realise our own hypocrisies – I am doing my Honours in Environmental Science but I love having air conditioning on in the summer and love being able to drive home from Murdoch without having to take horrible public transport. I also eat copious amounts of meat, use the dryer during the day and own a cat. Cats are native wildlife killing machines. Just because you named your cat something cute, this does not make it any less of a killing machine. My cat in Grade four was called Cuddles – he cuddled the life out of many native birds to put it lightly. In the end, it is important to realise our flaws so that we can become more environmentally aware citizens and improve our environmental performance, which means comparing our luxuries to the importance of sustaining the environment. Words - Celia Lim (Murdoch University, Environmental Science Honour student)
Ryan Brabazon sources menâ€™s and womenâ€™s vintage clothing from the United States, bringing them back to Australia to sell. They are currently stocked at Pop Shop, 7 Cantonement Street, where he also has a polaroid exhibition showcasing his most recent trip across the United States. Ryan Brabazon has aspirations to be a photographer with a strong focus on fashion photography. For enquiries, bookings and to see more of his work, go to: www.ryanbrabazon.com
Photographer/Stylist: Ryan Brabazon Model: Cloe Poliwka Hair/Makeup: Priera Russell
sustainability report analysis
Murdoch University – An of its environmental awareness and implementation Murdoch University publicises its sustainability objectives, which warrants an examination of how they are being achieved, as well as a comparison with other universities in WA, nationally and globally. Murdoch has listed sustainability as one of its four core values, alongside equity, social justice and global responsibility. I’m going to look at where Murdoch is meeting, falling behind and exceeding other universities in the area of sustainability.
a few things murdoch is doing (that other universities in wa are also doing) •Murdoch is buying green power. Murdoch has been vocal in advertising its Greenpower program. As of 1st August 2010, Murdoch is purchasing 16% of its electricity needs from Greenpower, the only Government accredited renewable energy reporting organisation ( h t t p : / / w w w . g r e e n p o w e r. g o v . au/how-greenpower-works.aspx). Curtin is also doing this, purchasing 15% greenpower (ok, one percent less). •Murdoch offers a sustainable development course. So does Curtin University, in a bachelor of arts program. (An undergraduate sustainable development degree is sadly lacking from ECU and UWA’s offerings). •Murdoch has recycling, water reduction and energy saving programmes. Any university worth its salt reports on its water and energy use reduction program. Both UWA and Murdoch report on water, energy, green building, recycling, and “zoning”/landscape. Murdoch had plans to launch a website called “Green Planet”
last year, which would report on and provide advice for all areas of sustainability to staff & students which did not eventuate. The waste, water and energy reduction programs are described on the websites in very limited terms.
where murdoch has shown leadership •Murdoch’s recycling program is exceptional. The number of bins and the extent of signage at Murdoch exceeds that of the other campuses. Talk to anyone from Curtin and they will tell you finding a recycling bin is a challenge. We’ve also installed signs all over the vending machines, and in the toilet cubicles, so it’s hard to get away from the recycling message. Our recycling goes to the Regional Resource Recovery Centre in Canning Vale which is the largest recycling plant in Australia. And while I have your attention – Recycle! We can recycle pretty much anything, as long as it’s dry(ish) & has no food scraps in it. That includes plastics (types 1-7). •Murdoch students maintain the campus surrounds. We have the largest campus in the state, and
the areas which have been left are managed for flora and fauna, partially by commercial services, and partially by a student group which relies on volunteers and grants. •Research. Murdoch is a leader in sustainability research. There is a Research Institute for Renewable Technology (RISE), an Algae Research centre, and the rumouredto-soon-be-closed Environmental Technology Centre on the South side of campus, all active research centres in their respective fields. Among other fields, Murdoch researchers are also involved in research into energy-efficient wastewater treatment, Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells, social change & community research. According to the Murdoch strategic plan 2010-2015, establishment of a Murdoch University Renewable Technology Centre will be a priority in coming years. •Murdoch is a power station. Murdoch has purchased 363 photovoltaic panels, producing ~56Kw at a market value of ~$400k. This was done at the end of 2009 and represents a major and investment in a sustainable campus.
It should be noted that the educational importance of the array outweighs the economic significance of the array, as green energy can be purchased more costeffectively from Greenpower. •Murdoch has a Sustainability course. The major difference from an undergraduate perspective is the presence of a specialised sustainability course which offers a range of undergraduate degrees, including energy management, international development, sustainable development and business sustainability. The sheer range and interdisciplinary nature of the course sets Murdoch way ahead for undergrads seeking sustainability degrees.
what murdoch could be also be doing •Get certified. Murdoch is not certified in ISO 14001. To become certified, Murdoch would have to engage an Environmental Management System, which has become standard practise for many organisations. Considering Murdoch already makes efforts for a “greener campus”, certification in ISO 14001 would represent an attainable benchmark that students could understand and set a standard for other universities. Alternatively; •Report on sustainability and meet the GRI standard. Many organisations, including the Ball State University in the US, which is a similar size to Murdoch, have done their own sustainability reporting and registered it with Global Report
ing Initiative. This is an international standard that recognises reporting on sustainability, including water, waste, energy reduction schemes, as well as overall organisation management and community / social and economic factors. Murdoch releases a 1page sustainability section with its annual report, but this should be expanded upon, made to be a separate sustainability report and audited to meet GRI standards. •Community and Student involvement in Sustainability events. UWA is the leading university for community sustainability events with its annual Sun Fair which roughly 10,000 people attend. The fair is largely technology based which is a limited view of sustainability. Murdoch could show leadership in this area by hosting its own sustainability fair annually to show other approaches to sustainability. Murdoch could also follow Curtin University’s lead by starting a community-run vegetable garden on campus. •End the plastic bottle trade. University of Canberra went waterbottle free in January 2011. The campaign to end the bottles was largely student-lead. Lost revenue from outlets was in part replaced by single-use water dispensers. Following UC’s lead would be in line with Murdoch’s values.
and •Incorporation of a bio-recycling system would set Murdoch up as a true leader in sustainability in WA. MUST, the Murdoch University Sustainability Team, is a ragtag group of students involved in various sustainability projects around Murdoch South Street Campus. email@example.com
Words - Phil Vlachou (MUGS Sustainability Rep.)
•A bike repair centre, greater involvement & autonomy in sustainability efforts in general, a sustainable food program, a sustainability award program, more bike paths to & from the university
the Sea Shepherd guardians of the sea! words - sonia tubb & jeff hansen (australian director)
The Sea Shepherd is setup to enforce laws and regulations that protect marine ecosystems. Although the laws have been put in place by the Federal Government, they fail to manage the oceans. All Sea Shepherd campaigns are guided by the United Nations which gives non-governmental organisations the authority to uphold international conservation laws. Sea Shepherd’s Australian director Jeff Hansen says “In a lot of cases in the southern ocean whale sanctuary what the whaling people are doing is illegal but there is on one down there to prosecute them. Our clients are whales, dolphins, sharks turtles, that is who we represent and ultimately our goal is to protect the biodiversity of the ocean
and uphold those laws. “If it’s illegal you should get in there and shut it down, there is no compromise. “We realise what we are doing is putting our lives on the line to protect whales and if you aren’t prepared to do that you shouldn’t be onboard the vessel.” Jeff believes the Australian Government hasn’t stepped in with a stern ‘no’ to whaling because the international whaling system is completely corrupt, and because they are one of Australia’s main trading partners. “It started off with a number of nations managing whale stocks and they were generally nations interested in whaling or had whales in the past. But Japan thought that if they wanted to continue with commercial whaling they needed to get more votes so they started buying them. They went to poor countries or an island nation, injected a heap of money into their economy or built them facilities and forced them
into the IWC so they would be a member and could vote for Japan to return to commercial whaling.” “It (IWC) needs to change its focus from the international whaling commission to one that aims to protect and defend whales. According to Jeff, Australia is the the most supportive of the Sea Shepherd in regards to media prominence. The only support received by the Federal Government is that from Greens Leader and Senator Bob Brown, who asks questions on behalf of the Sea Shepherd in the senate. “It’s definitely not funding, but the Greens will ask questions on our behalf in the senate and ask ‘What’s the Australian government going to do?’ The Sea Shepherd’s vessels are protecting Australian waters an up keeping their laws but why isn’t the government down there doing something about it too?” Public support includes anything from donors who give five
ongoing supporters that turn up when ships are about to leave port with carloads of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sea Shepherd campaigns can cost between three and four million dollars each, fuel alone for one mission is a million dollars. So how do they get by being a non-governmental, notfor-profit organisation? “We have money coming in from the United States, we are getting more effective with online merchandise stores in the UK, Europe, Australia and America and our admin is very low. I’m the only full time employee in Australia, and I work from home. We have two part time employees in Melbourne who work in a donated office. Our crew are all volunteers. The captain and chief engineer are paid but apart from that they are really just volunteers from all over the world including Japan. We believe if you want to help the ocean and you want to help sea shepherd then you will do it (donate/volunteer) out of your own interest and out of your heart. All of our volunteers aren’t paid and they aren’t on a commission, they give up their weekends and free time to go out and talk to schools for Sea Shepherd,” said Jeff.
facts • The whalers are everyday fishermen whose vessels are
provided by a company in Japan. The costs are now subsidised by the Japanese government who are in debt of $200 million dollars for their whaling. This year they went home a month early and due to the recent tsunami it is hoped tey won’t be able to afford a return next year. • 80% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. If the ocean dies, we die to. It’s quite simple. • 98% of the world’s whale population is already wiped out. • There is a lunch program in some Japanese schools where whale and dolphin meat is put into the lunch in the hope it can be promoted via children. Somehow this is supposed to get the industry up and running again. • Both whale and dolphin meat is highly toxic (mercury) as they are further up in the food chain and our oceans are so sick and polluted. The acceptable level of mercury in dolphin meat is .04 parts per million and the dolphin meat available on shelves in Japan is 2000 parts per million. • There is an area of ocean off the coast of Hawaii called the Pacific Vortex. It is the size of the United States and full of
plastic. Many of the world’s currents meet there and have created a plastic pool. Whales often ingest plastic bags and can no longer digest their food. Pelicans and other wildlife get caught up in fishing equipment and plastic. The smaller parts are eaten by fish! • Some beaches no longer have sand particles – they have plastic particles!
what you can do everyday • “One of the biggest things people can do is if you’re at a restaurant and they serve shark fin soup, say that you can’t eat there anymore because you serve shark fin soup and the reason is because we’ve lost 98% of the worlds sharks and if we continue to eat this dish we’ll lose our sharks and die. • Another thing is just clean up the beaches, get involved with beach clean ups and put your rubbish in the bin. There are onshore and offshore volunteering opportunities with the Sea Shepherd if you are interested. For more information, go to: www.seashepherd.org
there Once lived a woman who tried to kill her neighbour’s baby: scary fairy tales - ludmilla petrushevskaya words - kate collier
‘There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales’ is a collection of thrilling and mysterious short stories by Russia’s best-known and most controversial living author, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. Amongst a group of writers whose work was banned from being published until the fall of the Soviet Union, Petrushevskaya uses enthralling tales to bring to life, the collapse of relationships and values in the post-war era of Soviet Russia. With a twist of course. The book is divided into four parts, as described by the Introduction, they are: “Songs of the Eastern Slavs” –dark, surreal vignettes told in the manner of urban folk tales. “Allegories” – including two apocalyptic stories, some of Petru-
shevskaya’s best known, about the collapse of the social-political order. “Requiems” – an older and gentler cycle that explores human relationships under duress and after death. And finally, “Fairy Tales” or “real fairy tales”, as Petrushevskaya calls them. The introduction itself is something you should not skip past. Petrushevskaya has faced many obstacles over her career as a writer. An insight into the life of the author, her struggles and her stories (most of her work has never even appeared in English), it prepares and excites you for what you are about to experience, without spoiling the tales themselves. While I wish I could describe every story in this book for you, I’d much prefer if you experienced it for yourself. Each and every tale is just as good, if not better than the last. The characters find themselves in unusual situations, often before or after tragedy, and usually without any memory of how they got to be there. The bleak, dark, depressing and sometimes gruesome tales, often make you feel slightly ill, yet also sympathetic, while some are even sweet at times, similar to fantasy. One could perceive these tales as those of a strange, twisted and disturbing nature. But the stories of jealous, vengeful neighbours, rude, suicidal teenagers with overbearing parents trying to make better lives for their children, grieving fathers trying desperately to hold onto their children, and wives watching their homes and husbands crumble, are really those of
love, belonging, devastation and conquest. There isn’t a large amount of imagery used to set the scene. Instead Petrushevskaya uses the emotions felt by the characters to describe the situation, and keep the stories flowing. The mystery amongst the plots is what keeps you on the very edge of your seat. Loose ends are rarely tied. Leaving the reader to interpret for themselves, what might have really happened in the end. You never quite know what is going on. And when you think you just might have figured it out, there will be a twist to change it all. These ‘Scary Fairy Tales’ give us a small insight into Soviet Russia, an age that a lot of today’s younger generations have/will never experience. It may not be a realistic trip through time, but it is definitely an interesting, exciting and confusing one. The reader most likely won’t find themselves relating to characters, but this doesn’t deter you from the book. It’s not about being relatable. It’s all about the plot, the emotions and the intrigue. It’s the feeling of wonder felt afterwards, when you’re not left with your Hollywood ending. Easy to read and stimulating from beginning to end, I’d recommend it to those who like to step out of the norm every once in a while, readers who like to be left with their jaws dropped by shocking twists and mysterious endings. I wouldn’t however, recommend reading these ‘Fairy Tales’ before bed time.
rise of the e-book and what it means for the aspiring writer... Getting published is difficult, I know. When I began my quest to get published, I initially focussed on the traditional publishing houses, with little success. It was when a friend suggested I try approaching some e-publishers that my labours were truly rewarded. The aspiring author is likely to face multiple rejections and heartbreaking critiques in their quest to achieve publication. Thankfully, the trend towards the “environmentally friendly” e-book has opened a window of opportunity for those struggling, aspiring writers. Once considered the poor cousin of the paperback, the e-book has risen in popularity. Amazon sales indicate that kindle and e-book sales now outrank paper-back sales. This has lead to a staggering increase in the number of e-publishers. This is good news on many levels for unpublished authors. As e-publishers specialise in eformats, their subsequent production costs are lower. This makes them much more likely to take on a new, unsigned author. Most traditional publishers prefer to take on new authors only if they are represented by a professional literary agent, or have been previously published. This is because taking on a new author is a higher risk for them, as producing a run of paperbacks is a more expensive venture than producing a
pdf or other digital format. Additionally, as it costs less to run an e-publishing business, epublishers can afford to be a lot more genre specific. There are e-publishers who specialise solely in horror, paranormal, sci-fi, erotica, romance, and fetishism. You name it, if there is a market, then there is probably an e-publisher ready to cater to it. This is liberating for the aspiring author, as it allows them to submit to a publisher that caters to their own specific genre market. This in turn gives the author a greater chance of being accepted and given a contract. Once published by an e-publisher, the benefits seem to keep coming. Authors are often given higher percentages on royalties for e-book sales. Then, once an author has published a few times with a reputable e-publisher (there are some cowboys out there, be warned!), the author will then have a greater chance at being represented by an agent and getting a subsequent contract with a traditional publisher if they wish. It seems like a win-win situation doesn’t it? Alas, there is the flip-side to the e-book revolution. E-book piracy is a rising problem - stealing the royalties that you’ve tried so hard to earn. Competition is incredibly fierce. Advertising and self-promotion is bitter and difficult, as a large portion of
the promotion is left up to the author. Additionally, your readers must have the initial money to buy the technology to access the e-books. If they don’t have a kindle, or computer, then e-books are inaccessible. This removes a percentage of your potential readership. Then there is the loss of the tactile experience that holding a book gives, the smell and touch of its pages and the joy of holding a book with your name on it. I am lucky, my publisher produces both e-format and paperback, giving me the best of both worlds. However, for the author starting off, submitting to a reputable e-publisher is an eco-friendly and realistic option – and the most likely way to get your foot into the door of the publishing world. Words - Nicola E. Sheridan
up and coming events
Outpost book review
Wesr Coast Blues n’ Roots
author - adam baker Outpost is not a grand work of literary art. It’s a bloody, gory survival story that offers some kind of insight into the human soul, yet refrains from ramming its intellectual concepts down your throat. It might not be a classic, but it’s worth a read for the experience of reading an author who knows how to find meaning in a nihilistic situation. Outpost is Adam Baker’s first offering to the genre of thriller/horror and offers a present day world beset by a deadly plague with the few apparent survivors isolated in the cold Arctic Circle. Throughout the book it’s unsure which will kill them first; the freezing arctic temperatures or the infected humans heading their way. The survivors are located on an off-shore oil rig, about to return home, when channels on their television show scenes of chaos and death before going out one by one, leaving them stranded with limited supplies and the long Arctic winter approaching. Baker’s fairly original protagonist is Jane, a morbidly obese decan that is forced into the role of hero when encounters with the infected threaten her livelihood and that of everyone else on the rig. As for the key antagonists within the tale, it’s a fairly new twist on an overdone movie monster, less
Dawn of the Dead and more 28 Days Later, so expect less feeding and more maiming. The origins of the infection itself are a little vague, though an alien metallic substance seems to take over the host in strange new ways; some are even lucid which gives the reader an interesting new perspective on life after infection. As the general plot goes it’s pretty standard end of the world fare with a couple of twists and a few murky plot points that nag the mind a bit, but don’t interfere too much with the immersion of the story. The writing is fluid and polished with no jarring sentences or awkward dialogue. In fact most, if not all of Baker’s characters are fleshed-out with real flaws and personalities which can be one of the things that make or break an apocalypse story. Sure the survivors might live, but do you really care which ones make it out alive? Overall Outpost is very enjoyable, not too pretentious and provides a fresh twist on an overdone genre. Review by Rhiannon Emery .
Audi German Festival of Films Fremantle Street arts festival In the pines
Groovin the Moo Drapht Lowrider
Fremantle Park 17th April
from the Cat Empire
When I spoke to Harry James Angus the trumpet player and singer of The Cat Empire he was sitting outside the Harold Holt Memorial swimming pool in Melbourne. Like most of us Harry prefers the beach but according to him “in Melbourne there’s not really that much swimming to be done on the beach.”
Uwa Somerville auditorium 24th April Hay Park (Bunbury) 14 th May Breakers (Geraldton) - 19th May photo taken from Cat Empire CD
The bird 22nd June
Norfolk basement 18th June
Indi bar 19th June
Harry James Angus Words - Jake Dennis
Fremantle 23rd - 26th April
Rosemount hotel 17th June
– Interview with
Luna Cinemas 14th-18 April
Hatched National Graduate Show
thank god i’m not famous!
PICA 16th April – 5th June PICA 28th March – 19 September
Books provided by Crow’s Books
Of course, in Victoria there is Cheviot Beach, named after the SS Cheviot which sank, resulting in the loss of thirty-five lives. It is also the infamous beach where Australia’s seventeenth Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim and never came back. If I had increased Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War – he coined the famous slogan “All the way with LBJ!” – I too might have left our shores without warning. On the other hand, Harry has no political inclinations nor does he intend to depart the music scene. He isn’t Bono and he isn’t Nina Simone. The last time I interviewed The Cat Empire (Grok Magazine Issue #1 2009 pg. 24-25) their front man and percussionist Felix Riebl was
keen to promote environmental stability. He had recently written the lyrics to “No Longer There,” a somber song which asks listeners to reflect on what sort of legacy future generations will inherit as a result of environmental “negligence.” Harry, however, is “not such a big believer in the artist’s responsibility to spread messages as Felix is. I mean, I really respect that he is really trying to make a difference with that stuff but I guess where I come from is that you’ve just got to try and make beautiful music or good music at least and then the rest will just come, you know?
You don’t have to put it into your music. You can just do it.”
That is exactly what he hopes he will continue to do with The Cat Empire. “We’re really happy where we are, writing music, doing a record every couple of years, and touring. We still tour all the time. That’s our life.” Nevertheless, fame is an evil Harry wishes to avoid. “It’s not real. It’s weird. I don’t know why but it seems like the more famous you are the more messed up your life becomes, the more twisted your personality becomes, and the more out of touch you become emotionally. There are exceptions to the rule but it just seems to happen to so many people. A celebrity, it’s a weird thing to be. There’s just something not right about it.” Thankfully for him, he “hardly ever” gets recognised in public. “I’m not a TV personality. If you’re on TV that’s when you get recognised all the time. Thank god, I’m not famous. I can definitely say that from the small experiences of fame that I’ve had I would definitely not want to be any more famous.” Harry confesses that he has met some “crazy fans.” “Some
You can’t tell what’s gonna make a gig good or bad. It can be anything. You can’t predict it. Sometimes you have a good gig in a small room and sometimes you have a terrible gig in a small room. The same for a festival stage playing for ten thousand people.” However, Harry does believe that “you’ve gotta keep your head straight and keep your ego in check. Remember that you’re up there because you enjoy playing music [and] not because you want to impress anyone or any of that stuff. Once you get your head around it it’s fun.” Like Felix, Harry believes that “the best advice” for young and upcoming musicians “is to make the music that you believe in. Don’t try and be smart and make music that you think is gonna be successful or people want to hear or that’s cool at the moment. The only way you can be creative is by writing music that is yours and yours alone.” On stage, “lots of things have happened that are musically interesting to me,” Harry declares. For Harry, “really exciting or really beautiful or really crazy” musical moments are the highlight of a gig. “Then there’s all the weird stuff that happens on stage. You know, people running on stage naked, and stage divers having really dumb accidents, landing on their head. That’s always pretty full on.” Then, particularly when they tour overseas, there are “people dressed as kangaroos.” “The first time we
saw it we thought it was amazing but now we’re probably just a bit over it. But, you know, it’s still nice.” Harry is a firm believer that “whatever happens backstage stays backstage” but on stage “heaps of stuff happens, we’ve seen our keyboard player throw a chair at everyone on the side of stage cause he was kind of a little over excited and didn’t know what he was doing!” So there is a lot that can happen at a Cat Empire concert. He recommends you see them live. “That’s where it’s at. I like both [recording and performing] but I think live music is the real deal. These days everyone glorifies studio recordings, the process where you go into a room and create these amazing sonic landscapes, where you create ‘art’ but the word ‘recording’ really just means to record an event and the event is a musical performance. The best bands are getting in there and recording what they do live anyway.” All in all, despite the death threats, deluded fans, and fans dressed as kangaroos, Harry is grateful that he is able to perform with his mates as a part of The Cat Empire. “We’re quite lucky,” he admits. So grab your tickets for the West Coast Blues ‘N’ Roots Festival at Fremantle Park on 17 April 2011 to see The Cat Empire live. Who knows, you might see a streeker, a fan dressed as a kangaroo, or even get a chair thrown at you if the keyboard player gets a little too excited.
you have said the Life of riley is all about being your own man and answering to yourself – do you believe this can be a reality or is it just another dream along the lines of world peace? No, totally. Of course it could be a reality. It’s like you choose your own destiny. You can’t choose world peace ‘cause that’s changing everyone else, but you can change yourself. So it’s, you know, you pave your own path and you are the teller of your own destiny for sure. It’s your life of riley it’s not everyone else’s life of riley.
the life of riley was released on your own label – the ayems. What is the meaning of the word ‘ayems’ and why did you choose it for the label? The Ayems stems from a group of friends that I’ve grown up with that I’d like to carry on to my own label. So it doesn’t actually have any meaning, it’s just a graffiti crew that I’ve grown up with and we’ve just bought it over to the music side as well.
explain the Syllabolix crew, who are they and what does it mean to be a member. Syallbolix are a Perth collective of people that I’ve grown up with and looked up to before I started rapping. Optamus is the founding member and he started it in the late 90’s. It consists of Downsyde, Matty B, Hunter, Layla, myself and a bunch of other DJ’s and crews.
the life of riley
of them are great. You can’t believe how dedicated they are to the band, you know, people who kind of follow you around the world and come to all your shows and know everything about you. That’s kind of crazy. And then there’s the other end of the spectrum people who are actually crazy who you know want to kill you and say that you stole all their songs and they actually wrote all the songs that you’ve written I mean, that’s actually a really common thing. Heaps of artists have people that have the delusion that the artist has stolen all their songs. It’s quite common. We’ve had a few of those.” But death threats and deluded fans have not deterred Harry from performing. “I love Freo. [It’s] always a good gig; good people and it’s a nice place to be. We usually play at the Arts Centre which is a beautiful venue but there are heaps of good venues; the Fly by Night and all that. Yeah, it’s a good place to be.” He is looking forward to performing in Fremantle later this year for the Blues ‘N’ Roots Festival. “[It] should be good.” For Harry, performing in front of large audiences “feels good” but he has “no idea” what songs they will do. “It’s too early to say. We usually write the set list about half an hour before we go on stage.” He does not have a preference for any particular venue. “I like, you know, little rooms, and I like big rooms and I like festivals and I like jazz clubs.
it has been mentioned a few times that jimmy recard was your first big hit, despite releasing two albums come its release on brothers grimm... it seems to be a point that you have tried to overcome in this album in particular with the song rip jr. is this something you felt you had to do to remind the world you are drapht- not jimmy recard? Not really no; the idea of RIP JR sort of stems from a lot of jealousy fuelled questions from crews throughout the industry and trying to put pressure on me, more so “I hope you have another Jimmy Recard” and asking if I did have another Jimmy Recard on the record. Potentially if I was to write another Jimmy Recard it’d just be moving backwards. I made Jimmy so I can quite easily break Jimmy as well.
after the immediate success of rapunzel, are you worried that rapunzel is the new jimmy recard? Not really. Purely because people know both those songs and it doesn’t have the same sort of stigma as Jimmy did because Jimmy was a character in his own right. A lot of people knew who Jimmy Recard was back then but didn’t know who the actual artist was that formulated Jimmy Recard. I think now it’s pretty clear that Drapht, obviously had written both songs. I suppose it’s just another step with Rapunzel .
the life of riley’s style and sound strays from traditional australian hip-hop, and takes on many different vibes such as the introduction of the melodica in ‘murder murder’, and the
touches of wa rock queen, abbe may, even a subtle 1960’s psych beat in some tracks! Is this something you have been intentionally working on, or is it a natural development of your sound? I think it’s more so just a natural development and the time I’ve been able to put in it with this record. Previously with the last three records I’ve worked a 9-5 and I’ve only really had the time after work and on weekends to put into my music. However I’ve since been lucky enough after Brothers Grimm to live off my music for the last two years. I’ve sort of had the extra drive and this is my livelihood now so I’ve had a lot more time and been able to put more energy into it. So learning what I did and the people that I met touring Brothers Grimm I really wanted to get them involved as well in terms of musicians and the friends I met on the way.
the life of riley showcases you teaming up with a number of different mcs and artists from m-phazes to abbe may, trials and the rest! does it make the recording process easier, bouncing ideas off one another? is it something you will be looking to continue? Well yeah, definitely. It sort of makes it easier but in another way it makes it harder as well. I’m used to working by myself and at a pace I’m really happy with and sometimes you have to wait for artists. Usually with the collaborated songs, they’re the songs you have to wait the longest to have them finished because you’re always depending on other
people for their half of the song. With Abbe, it was really cool because she’s super motivated and she just comes in one day, and records for half an hour because she’s already prepared and that’s the end of it, I then write the song around that. But I’m pretty lucky that I’ve done my last two records now with Trials, we’ve got a pretty good formula now. I just fly to Adelaide and it’s really smooth when I get there.
what is the most challenging aspect you find in terms of recreating the album on stage? you’re doing a lot of touring- the Come together festival, gtm and your own shows as well! is there any desire or room for ad lib? There is. Because I’ve been touring with a band for the last two years, we’re pretty down to the second with rehearsing, but we definitely ad lib a lot throughout the songs and different shows. We pull songs here and there, and put extra songs in and so it just depends what works the night before and what doesn’t to try to get the set perfect.
in regards to the track ‘Good morning’, you mention that one night stands are a way of either going through girls one by one to find a ‘gem’, or you haven’t learnt from your mistakes. what’s your answer to this or are you still sitting on the fence? Especially growing up in a western culture, a lot of young males are driven into the fact that you’re placed higher on the
food chain with the amount of girls that you sleep with. It sort of just drives them into nothing and they end up attracting the girl that she’s looking for the same thing as well and she’s just looking for a partner (a girl looking for a partner that ends up being a one night stand). I just don’t think it’s very healthy. I’ve been in that situation and I’m definitely at the point now where I’m like there’s no point going out, going to nightclubs looking for girls because you just going to attract that same girl. You know really have to look under a rock these days because they are few and far between.
‘the paul, the dan’ is one of my favourite songs on this album. it reminds me of me and my sisters and what we’d be like trying to record something together! is this chilled, messing around vibe something you’d like to do more of, or was it a one off? *chuckles*It’s really easy to do this with Trials because he’s got a great sense of humour and this is probably the most humorous track on the record. When we were recording it we were in stitches on the ground. I would love to do more of this but it’s sort of hard doing it as a solo artist because there’s no one else to bounce off. It was a great opportunity to do it with Dan because (he) produces all my stuff and he knows what I’m like as a person so it was a bit more personal if anything – we can take the piss out of each other without anyone taking heart strings out of it.
brothers grimm, pale rider and the life of riley feature some pretty interesting cover work- who is your artist and why do you choose to have such a dramatic piece of art on the cover? The artist is Dash – he’s a Perth graffiti writer and I just give him creative right, from the very beginning, purely because I’ve looked up to him and it sort of embodies my art, my music now. He’s someone that I’ve looked up to since the age of 12 and he’s one of the best graffiti writers in the world, let alone Australia so it’s more of a respect thing and a face to my brand now in the sense of the hard cover for the cd. But you can’t go wrong with Dash, he kills it every time.
Can you reveal any unknown shenanigans that occurred when you snuck into the hyde park hotel as a teen? I did have an ID and the Hydey was one of those places that cops would hit frequently. Myself and Layla used to go there when we were 15, 16 and used to just love the vibe down there but it was always so hard for us because we couldn’t get in we weren’t of age obviously so we’d get kicked out and after that ended up being the death of the Hyde Park which is a real shame. But, I don’t know – there was a lot of fights back in the day but other than that can’t I really think of too much else! It was just a great time.
you seemed pretty set on creating an album that shows the world exactly how you feel, and from the hype around it already i’d say it’s a good way to back up the last three
albums... so what is in drapht’s crystal ball for the next year? Well I pretty much only just finished the record 3/4 weeks ago and now just rolled on to doing a heap of press and rehearsing for the shows that I’ve got coming up. I really just need a holiday because the last year’s been absolute mayhem! I probably plan to go to, I don’t know, New York or something in July. After that whole leg of touring I’ll probably just come home and try to think about writing another record and start the process again I suppose!
finally- this is our ‘green’ issue so we have to ask you a question about the environment: if every person that went to one of your gigs had to take a mode of transport that didn’t include a car, what would you suggest would be the top three ways to get there? A bike, for sure. Because I ride six gear bikes and I think it’s the best way to get around, especially with Perth being so small. A trolley from Coles. And, I’ll just have to say a skateboard because it ties into hip hop so well. Words - Michelle Stanley
S p a r k a d i a - interview Fresh off the plane from London and very jetlagged, Alex Burnett , the talented artist behind Sparkadia talked to me about his new album, “The great impression”.
interview with alexander burnett words - kyle pauletto
‘the great impression’ was the first album that was solely written and recorded by you as a solo artist, how did you find the process differed from when you had a band to work with? Well the first record was essentially all my songs as well. The first record was a lot different, it was a live record and we made 12 songs in 12 days with a big name producer in London and it was the first time we had been there so it was all very exciting. That was two years ago and we were I guess much more young and wide eyed then when the band left. I was left
in your opinion do you think there is anything noticeably different in the finished product because you were alone and had that freedom? Yeah totally, I think it would have a completely different record if it was with the band that did the first record. I don’t know if it would have been better or worse, I just know it would
whose idea was it, and what was the reason behind letting your twitter and facebook followers listen to the album before its release? I think that it was the record labels decision. We started touring directly after the record’s release and we would be playing songs from both the old and new album. It seems to be such a different world in terms of making records even from just the first record to the second.
have been different. Something about the band leaving inspired me to be more selfish and to go further in myself, to write bigger bolder pop songs as well as more honest, quiet songs. with a bunch of demos on my computer that I loved and I think it just gave me the ticket to just be free and do whatever I wanted. It was just exhilarating to have that freedom of not having a band. Of course at the same time it was daunting, because there’s no safety net, no one to rely on and fall back on.
in only 3 years since the first album ‘postcards’ was released you have toured to a large percentage of the major destinations, do you think with a second album at your disposal you could go places that you wouldn’t have been able to, limited to one album?
do you think for future albums you will recruit more band members or remain a solo artist? I don’t know, I have a band I tour with and they are great musicians and great live and we have a lot of fun but who knows what the next record entails. I do like just doing whatever feels right at the time so if we get really good at playing on the road and decide to release some demos then great and if not then the next record might be more acoustic or it might be more ridiculously pop, it depends what happens in life. I write songs based upon what’s going on in my life and how I feel, so I don’t want to plan too much.
is your online popularity surreal at all?
Yeah definitely more places, it seems to be going that way, especially Europe and the UK. I was looking forward to maybe having a week off and going somewhere exotic but its back to the road. I think we’re going to Iceland this year which is going to be amazing, who would have thought? We’ll probably spend more time in America which is exciting. Sometimes with music you never really know, I mean ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Kiss of Death’ were hits in Germany so we did quite a bit of touring there and that was very surprising. In the UK ‘Too Much To Do’ was played a lot which allowed us to do a the big festivals, so who knows what will happen with this one.
Yeah it is, its really strange to be in a situation where its up to the world to either love it or hate it, some people will hate it because other people love it and people will have songs that they think are amazing other songs they think are ridiculous and terrible. I love the concept of music in the sense of just putting it into the world, and let- being our environmental issues, are there ting the world decide, and that’s just any environmental issues you feel particuhow it is, I don’t want to control it.
larly strong about, and have environmental problems ever been a point of inspiration for your music?
Of recent times I’ve been pretty concerned about how the world is going, with so many natural disasters, especially with the 2012 prediction. I did actually write a song recently touching on those topics, and I think that’s something I will be writing about more in the future.
in the mood to move your shit? five songs about the environment! All the tracks you need to know for any environmental themed party or shindig are right here! Bet you haven’t heard any of these songs have y..NO! The first would have to be the Beach Boys ‘Don’t go near the water’, you can make up your own reason as to why not. The delicate voice of
in ‘Earth Song’ is sure to be a hit with the ladies on the dance floor; it’s one of those slow, head-on-his-shoulder numbers. Wow! I’m excited, you’re excited.
‘Ray of Light’ will get you back into that smooth jive though, so don’t get too comfortable, and if you already are, make a dive for the auditorium side door.
Simon and Gar-
‘Sound of Silence’ will be the tune to anyone’s protest against uranium mining and whale saving! Yeah! Last of all is ‘A Day
In The Life’ by The Beatles , those classic bowl-hair-cut-sporting English boys! Sure to warm up the globe with those looks! Phew! Are you feeling this?
change it for the better
interview with pez and maya jupiter words - sonia tubb
pez Last year the Australian Federal Government launched ‘The Line’ a $17 million, four year campaign to promote anti-violent behaviour amongst Australian youth. This year The Line will be sweeping the nation as a tour showcasing three of our most prominent hip-hop artists, Maya Jupiter, Pez and 360, who will be communicating messages of respectful relationships to their audiences via music. The Line was launched in June 2010 and by February of this year has reached over 2 million young Australians via social media sites such as facebook and its strong partnership with the Australian music industry. I interviewed Pez and Maya Jupiter about the campaign who then also shed light on issues such as the environment, what defines a healthy relationship, and further action they think the Australian Government should take to communicate anti-violence messages
has the success of ‘the festival song’ been something that people have permanently labelled you with, and is it hard to stray from that and get audiences to acknowledge the rest of your music? Yeah to some degree. I guess you always get your core fans that look beyond the exterior and see what you’re really about, which is awesome. But to a large chunk of the greater population, I’d still just be the guy who did that song on the radio. The battle with this new album will definitely be trying to make sure it doesn’t become a permanent label, hopefully just a little phase at the beginning.
is honesty, in your opinion, the greatest tool when writing hip-hop music because it makes songs easy for people to relate to, in comparison to other genres? Personally, I think honesty is the greatest tool in any genre of music. I guess what helps people relate to hip hop even more, is the stripped back nature of the lyrics. Sometimes with other forms of music, the melodies can take your attention away from the words, but with hip hop it can feel like you’re just talking directly to the listener. You’ve got their ears for that little verse and it’s all about the words. That of course still depends on the rapper, but that’s how I look at it.
how does shine differ in message to ‘the way it should be’ or ‘lost’? I guess ‘Lost’ was a concept track, where I wanted to get across the message about how dodgy the music industry can be and how artists can be taken advantage of, but rather than just talking about it directly, I made a little story with a moral to try and make it clear. But ‘The way it should be’ is kind of similar, not in subject matter, but in the sense that it’s about my observations, how I see things, and then saying “It doesn’t have to be this way, we can change it, can’t we?”
shine seems to stray from traditional beats and reflected attitudes in hiphop music. what other elements, if any, do you think will make it more appealing to people who don’t listen to hip-hop? I guess the fact that I wrote the song with my close friend Raymes, who is an amazing song writer and writes more traditional rock/folk songs. The majority of the music we both listen to comes from influences outside of hip hop, so the idea was to let a lot of those influences show through and attempt to make something a bit more new and exc iting. This would also make it more appealing to people who don’t listen to hip hop because it has some of that familiar structure and sound that they look for in
do you intend to capture people who don’t particularly like hip-hop? what demographic do you try to cater for? I don’t think I’m trying to cater for any particular demographic, it’s more just about making music that feels special to me and something that I’m proud of. As far as capturing people who don’t particularly like hip hop, I guess I always hoped that I could make music that just appeals to everyone, it doesn’t have to be put in a category, it can just be good music. When I’ve had people say “well I don’t usually like hip hop, but I like your stuff”, it’s one of the coolest compliments I think I can receive, and does help me feel like I’m on the right track in some way ha ha.
you have been quoted as saying you want ‘a mthe period of time from’ when you were 20 to 24. looking back now, does it reflect that? Yeah I think it does. It shows how I tended to spend a lot of time looking out at the world and wondering why. “Why is this like this?” “What does that really mean?” Now I think I’m finally starting to look back in at myself a bit and do a bit of soul searching that I was probably a bit afraid to do in the past.
australian hip-hop artists are generally tagged with the ‘that is ok for australian hip-hop’ label after releasing an album. how do you think this term came about, and what is it about australian hip-hop that has made it unique/highly criticized? I think because Australian hip hop was so under developed on the large scale of worldwide hip hop, something that might be good over here couldn’t really stack up next to the sound of an international release. Whereas now it’s really starting to catch up, and in a lot of cases, the music and song writing coming out of Australia feels ahead of a lot of the dumbed down shit we’re subjected to from overseas. I n regards to the line tour, explain
your understanding of ‘the cycle of violence’. I guess like anything, there’s a spectrum, at one end you have extreme’s like physical and sexual violence which is obviously a horrible thing, and something that rings the alarm bells, because to think that things can ever get to that level is a scary thing. But what really bothers me is the other end of the spectrum, the little nitty gritty things that go unnoticed and have now become considered normal. Kids feeling uninspired at school, their parents working jobs that they hate just to keep
the wheels spinning, coming home at the end of a long day to escape through some T.V shows or get bombarded by negativity on the news, then go to sleep and wake up to do it all over again. That’s the tiresome drain that most people call life, which slowly eats away at them and then the people close to them, which is their family and friends, and gradually leads to the world that we see before us today. That’s what I want to try and do something about.
your act and maya Jupiter’s will create an interesting mix of australia hip-hop, how do you think such diversity will affect the audience’s recognition of violence? (for example, because you are male and your hip-hop sound is very different to maya’s in regards to instruments, technique, message, the factors which influence your music etc) I think the fact that it’s a male/ female combo is a really cool thing and will help to reach people of different levels, because even though we have very different musical backgrounds, we are both trying to make positive music. So for example, a female might not take in what I’m saying in the same way as if they heard it from Maya and vice versa.
if there was one thing you could
do, or say, that would instantly make people cease to act in violent ways, what would it be? Turn the T.V off. I think most people are in a trance, where they’re acting out their days like robots. But if people start to accept that they’re in control of their own destiny and focus their energy on getting what they really want out of life, it will do wonders for the negativity that’s taking up the majority of our consciousness at the moment.
can you shed any light on the way in which children are affected by relationships that have a violent nature, between their parents? for example, do you think they take what they see and use it as a model? Yeah definitely, I guess it’s human nature to learn from what you see. That’s why I’ve met some people who may say that they hate their dad, but then they turn out exactly the same. Everything that they say they don’t like about that person has become exactly how they now treat their children but they don’t know it.
how do you think women, and men, should be treated by each other, in regards to the needs of each? I guess everybody’s different, but communication is the most important thing in all relationships. Everybody slips up and makes mistakes, but if you really love someone then you should
be able to talk about anything and everything all the time. So rather than getting mad and holding resentment, and playing little games all the time, you just actually talk openly all the time and keep each other on track.
do you have any environmental concerns? I think that nature’s been a bit out of balance for a while now due to the human condition, but at the same time I know that there’s nothing that we can really do that the world couldn’t fix... We might not be here to enjoy it ha ha, but the planet will be ok. So I guess my biggest worry is the corporate control over everything, so the food that people put into their bodies is covered in all these chemicals, they’re taking all these pharmaceutical drugs when they get sick, and then people wonder why they get diseases? Can you list three ways someone can be kinder to the environment, whether they believe in current environmental issues or not? •Do your own research about what’s really happening with the environment, instead of just blindly swallowing political campaigns as truth. •Buy organic food. •Support independent businesses.
maya jupiter what kind of backgrounds did the young people attending the At Risk youth hip-hop workshops you conducted in Sydney come from, and what do you think the workshop might have done for them as an individual? They come from backgrounds that are more challenging than the majority of us have to face at a young age, whether it’s financially supporting their family, finding housing or dealing with parents that are absent or drug users. I hope the workshops are a way for them to express themselves, develop relationships with peers and help deal with some problems they may be facing. I know when I write it’s therapeutic.
do you think joining Son veneno aided in the development of your musical style? do you think becoming part of a band like that is a privilege to new artists who are just starting out and perhaps trying to fine tune their sound? Being in Son Veneno was a lot of fun and an enriching experience. I had been involved in Latin dance groups since I was 18, Brazilian and Mexican, so the musical style was not foreign to me. A few of the musicians in Veneno also play with my brother-in-law Victor Valdes and his Mariachi so I think it was natural for me to join the band. I have to say I had the most fun on stage with Veneno, we were a 12 piece group, you
can’t deny that kind of energy on stage, plus the musical styles were more true to who I already was. I do think joining a band is a great experience for any vocalist/musician starting out, it’ll give you chops.
when presenting with Channel v, and during interviews, you come across as a very vibrant, enthusiastic individual. however in the foreign heights ‘get yours’ video, you are projected as a street tough, independent, full of attitude woman. how can you explain the shift in your portrayals, and do you change to fit into the environment or character you are in at the time? When I’m making art I like to tell different stories from various points of views, all the characters you see of me publicly are part of the same person. You’re just seeing different sides at different times.
do you think female hip-hop artists are perceived by modern western society as being street tough, don’t’-give-a-sh*^ women? Yes. if yes, do you think that perception is an extension of the way male hip-hop artists present themselves? I think its part of the Hip Hop mentality which is kin to Punk. The music itself comes from a ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude, it’s born out of struggle and when you’re starving and oppressed, you can’t play by the rules. I think this braggadocios attitude is an extension of that.
what made you want to get into hip-hop originally, and are you still in it for the same reasons now?
as an artistic ambassador for the australian government’s anti-violence youth campaign, the line?
I enjoyed writing rhymes, making music and performing. I didn’t analyse myself, I just did it. I enjoy the craft, the freedom of expression and collaborating with other artists.
I was a part of the Launch, I help by doing interviews such as these and soon I’ll be touring doing shows and high school performances encouraging a dialogue about The Line.
did you ever think a fusion between mexican folk and urban contemporary hip-hop would sound...out of place?
do you think that music is the most effective way to communicate with young people about violence?
I didn’t think about it, I just wanted to make an album fusing all the genres I loved together. Son Jarocho, dancehall, soul and hip hop. This album is a passion project, it’s something I did for myself.
does the use of traditional mexican instruments such as the mexican harp, Jarana and Cajon keep you connected to mexico in some way? These instruments talk to me in a unique way, but it’s also the way they are played. It evokes a different emotional response, something different to your basic drum loop.
has your music, especially the Son jarocho influence, had a response from mexico? I haven’t had a chance to take it to Mexico other than to give it to my cousins who love it! I have shared it with the Chicano community in Los Angeles and the response has been great.
what duties do/did you conduct
I definitely know the power of music to evoke social change. I think it’s a great medium of communication.
what, to you, defines a ‘respectful relationship’? One that is full of love, happiness and kindness. For me, it’s when you are free to be yourself without control or abuse.
what if Change it for the Better and The Line campaigns are not strong enough as a method of communicating anti-violence messages? What else could the australian Government do to promote such messages to australian youth? I think this is a great start. We are talking about education and a change in attitude. So the more discussion that takes place the better.
during the Change it for The better tour, what verbal messages, external to the lyrics of your songs, will you be communicating to the audience, if at all?
help for you if you need it.
your performances at the 2010 big day Out featured mexico inspired stage sets, costumes and vibe, will that be the case on the change it for the better tour? The set was part of the theme for the Lilyworld stage, so I was lucky that I fit in. The costumes will be left as a Big Day Out experience only but don’t worry, I’ll still make an effort to dress up.
what is the general atmosphere yourself, pez and 360 will try to create in order to engage with the Change it for the better audiences most effectively? A respectful, fun and loving environment.
the line will be coming to perth and bunbury in june 2011 • Thu 16th June Bunbury – Prince of Wales • Fri 17th June Perth – Rosemount Hotel • Sat 18th June Fremantle – Norfolk Basement • Sun 19th June Scarborough – Indi Bar All tickets can be purchased through Heatseeker – www.heatseeker.com.au – 08 6210 2850
Be kind to one another and know that there is support and
interview with gotye words - sonia tubb
in the film clip for ‘heart’s a mess’, there is a scene with marching figures. is this a reference to pink floyd’s marching hammers? I can’t say with authority- you’d have to ask the film clip’s director and animator Brendan Cook. But it certainly reminds me of the marching hammers from The Wall.
can you explain in more detail, the way your songs are expansions based on snippets of old records which are then used to make a mix of old sounds and live instruments?
Some might think of Belgian born but Australian raised artist as someone whose stage name simply provides entertainment by allowing for a play on words. For example ‘got ya’ or ‘goat yeah’, though this could be fun for a few seemingly rather long seconds, if you pronounce Wally de Backer’s stage name like that, you are pronouncing it wrong. What is the right way you ask? Well, I’ll leave it up to you to find out, and in the interim you will be left open to your own embarrassment. Below is a compilation of Wally’s thoughts and quirks, or perks, depending on how you take hole’s in one’s pants as means for let’s call them ‘bodily gases’ to escape into the world.
Writing songs is a very reactive process for me. It can be a certain emotion, the timbre of an instrument I’m playing (usually piano or some kind of organ) or in the case of most Gotye songs, a sound from an old record that starts a song off; makes me want to respond to it in some. I hear an intriguing sound on an obscure record I’ve found and it just has a certain something that suggests it could be the basis of an engaging soundworld. I throw other sounds at it- samples from other records, piano/organ/keyboards I play,
or vocal melody ideas- and a song builds from there. I also kinda serially sample incidental “grabs” from records (one ear on the record player while doing other things, waiting for those grabs to pop up... individual drum hits, stabs of horns, the tiiing of a triangle) and file these away in folders so that I have a bank of interesting sounds on call to throw at the canvas when the more inspiring samples start a song off. I like virtual instruments too (string samplers like the Mellotron, drum machines, synthesizers etc) but there’s something about building my own bank of sample snippets from records that has a more interesting vibe to it. Greater variety of textures I guess.
what is your perspective on the state of the environment, and what message would you tell others to encourage its sustainability? Hard to sum up in a few words, but generally I feel most folks could think more about how their lifestyle impacts on the environment. The only thing I’d tell others is that if you can make small but significant changes to how you do certain things, it’s a good thing. It also makes life more interesting day-to-day I reckon, keeps you more in touch with things outside your life perhaps. I live in a small town that has a large koala population. Recently a friend of mine, a local ranger, stopped on a road that some people race down
at 100km per hour (that is the speed limit admittedly). My friend stopped to shield a koala that was crossing the road. A driver came from the other direction, and despite my friend’s hazard lights and him waving his arms for the driver to slow down, they mowed into the koala and kept driving. Who knows what the story was? Maybe the driver was momentarily distracted, or was uncertain about what my friend was stopped on the road for and was fearful to slow down and check it out. Nevertheless, when I hear about something like that in my own community it feels devastating (I’ve come across a number of dead and injured koalas on the same road in the last year). I just have the feeling it was most likely carelessness; someone too focussed on their own objectives and not in tune with how their actions relate to the world around them. One small but significant thing I feel I can do in response to a story like that is drive at 60-80km on that road, keeping a constant lookout for wildlife, and accept that it takes a little longer to get home. Small things I guess, but I think they make a difference.
what is your perspective about genetically modified...anything (frogs, food, plants)? I avoid GM foods if I can, out of principle. I’m pretty excited by the wonders of technology most of the time, but messing
you’re playing at groovin the moo, how do you feel about methane gas? I have a debilitating flatulence problem (holes in jeans etc), so I’m playing the right festival.
can you provide your ‘barn studio’? with complimentary (is there a link with moo’...?)
details about does it come farm animals? ‘groovin the
What kind of details do you want? Address... security code...value of gear insured at the premises? WHAT KIND OF INTERVIEW IS THIS?!! Ahem..excuse me. I have my studio set up in a barn on the Mornington Peninsula. There are cows and foxes in the paddocks next door, but only my folks’ cats on the block itself (well...and birds, insects, dodos etc). The cats sometimes venture into the studio if the door is left open and poke around in the corners of the workshop downstairs, probably looking for rats. And bats- I had a little flying fox caught in the barn one time.
if someone walked into this barn, and perhaps came across the animals, and thought you were very similar to one of them, which would it be, and why? I just asked my girlfriend what animal I am, and for some reason she randomly reminded me that Guy Sebastian once said I “sounded black”. So, um, let’s say I’m a flying fox. Because...I’m black on the insi...er, I like sweet fruits I’m also racist I mean, not racist NOT racist!
explain some of the ‘illuminating insights’ you learnt when reading ‘perfecting sound forever’. It’s possible to directly connect the multi-track recording work of Les Paul in the ‘50s and Def Leppard in the ‘80s and make it highly engaging reading. Also, I never considered the difference between the phonograph and the gramophone.
how do you think changes in recording technology has shifted what we perceive the concept of music to be? It has multiplied massively the environments in which we listen to music, the amount we listen to it (or are simply constantly exposed to it), the “mode” of experiencing music (private vs. communal, exactly replicated through recording vs. subtly
different each time a piece is interpreted by live musicians)... the changes are so far-reaching. I think it has opened up new ways that music can excite us- give us that spine-tingling transcendent feeling. But it has also dampened that specialness in many ways.
who do you think does want to be attacked, enslaved and put to work in a rubber mill? You mentioned it...
to what extent would you describe australia’s “general obsession with measuring to the rest of the west’s heightened level of self-importance?” Probably to a very limited extent I’ll say, um...this!We have an opportunity in Australia to be really forward thinking, rather than feeling we have to follow the lead of various Western powers. Our isolation geographically, and often culturally, doesn’t mean we have to aspire to economic and lifestyle models that are clearly breaking down in the US and Europe. How’s that for a broadband statement! Note: Wally de Backer (aka Gotye) will be playing the national Groovin the Moo tour! Buy your tickets just in case he is wearing holey jeans! Also note, some of the questions below were based on his self-written biography which is accessible on his website. Whether or not you are a fan it is worth a read... http:// gotye.com/about.html
Took almost an hour to shoo it out a window!
y e l low c a r d
with the structure of food is not a good thing. Food is already industrialised and corporatized enough. Hopefully trends in the other direction (local produce for smaller communities, eating seasonally, growing organically) will increase. Genetically modified other things...well, I don’t think there’s the space for that convo here..
when announcing your indefinite hiatus in 2008, did it ever occur to you that it could have been the end of yellowcard for good, or was that never an option in your eyes? I definitely thought about the possibility that we had reached the end. We didn’t have any plans at that point as far as when we would be working together again. It was important for us to keep the door open though. We didn’t want to say we were breaking up so that we would have the freedom to make another record without the breaking up and getting back together gimmick.
between then and the start of recording did any of the members work on songs for when the reunion came?
I was writing songs with my friend Sean O’Donnell who now plays bass in Yellowcard. We have been friends for many years and after his band broke up and we went on hiatus, we decided to start working together. “Hang You Up” and “Hide” were both songs that we worked on and then transformed into Yellowcard songs.
how did it feel for you to be back in the studio writing again? It was amazing. We spent most of the year last year writing together and when we finally got into the studio we couldn’t have been more ready. We were also very lucky to have the chance to work with Neal Avron again. He is pretty much a 6th member of our band.
you said that this album quite resem-
bles your 2002 breakthrough album Ocean avenue, is that suggesting yellowcard have taken a step backwards? I have said that fans are saying it reminds them the most of it compared, to any other albums we have made since. What I love about it is that we were able to rediscover some of the original sound that made people fall in love with our band without forcing it. When we write together as a full band that is what we create. This is the first record in a long time that we have had the chance to really write that way. So for us it wasn’t a step backwards, it was a step in the right direction. Words - Kyle Pauletto
After 10 years of silence, Robbie Robertson has returned with fire in his eyes. Teaming up with huge names such as Eric Clapton, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Steve Winwood and Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph and the Family Band), How to Become Clairvoyant is bursting with million dollar guitar riffs and Robertson’s husky voice that does nothing but draw you in and leave you gagging for more. The album follows a continuous path through Robertson’s endless talent, with all songs featuring a catchy beat that’ll stick with you all day, yet still so chilled you can immerse yourself and all is calm in the world. It is a very personal record and you can feel the emotion Robertson has put into each song, in particular touching on the fall out of The Band. The first track on the record, Straight Down the Line, reminds you that this man is back, and there is no doubt about it. It features a great beat, backed up by lyrics you can’t help but sing along with. The guitar work is pristine from the get go and is a perfect way to set up what is going to be a fantastic album. Fear of Falling is another track filled with the fantastic instrumentation and lyrics, as well as an overall great vibe. How to Become Clairvoyant features two instrumental tracks and this is the perfect complement to the emotion heard in the lyrics of other songs on the album. It is also a great way to feature the phenomenal talent Robertson and his collaborators have with their guitars. The ominous beginning for the final track; Tango for Django, followed up with a striking tango beat is a superb way to top off the album. My only issue with this album is even though it has such an easy listening vibe, which can be great; Robertson builds you up with his phenomenal talent on the guitar, yet his voice continues to be cool calm and collected, and we never seem to reach a climax. Apart from this, I believe this album proves he still hasn’t lost it and is definitely one to keep an eye on. Words - Michelle Stanley
the life of riley album review Back for his fourth studio album with all guns blazing, Perth MC, Drapht presents The Life of Riley. Released on his own independent label; The Ayems, Drapht has teamed up with the likes of MC’s M-Phazes, Nfa, Mantra, Urthboy and long-time collaborator, Trials; Perth rock Queen, Abbe May; and blues singer, Simon Cox, to produce an album that is set to be his biggest so far. Stepping away from 100% conventional hip-hop, The Life of Riley is infused with an assortment of different sounds from the melodica in ‘Murder Murder’, the feeling of the wild west in ‘We Own the Night’, all the way to the wonders of the classical guitar in ‘Air Guitar’ and the classic blues intro on the second track ‘Down’. Tracks to note include the swinging beat that will stick in your head; Bali Party (feat. Nfa). Chilled track; The Paul, The Dan (feat. Trials) makes you feel as though you’re being included into some kind of personal joke. If you are into the sound of melodica, Murder Murder is the track for you. Drapht takes this track on his own and using personal experiences makes it a bold song on this album. Drapht has made an intrepid move with the track RIP JR, essentially killing off the character who was the standout in previous record; Brothers Grimm. Then there is the first release on this album, reaching a massive number 12 in Triple J’s hottest 100 count for 2010; Rapunzel. With its catchy one-liners this is a track determined to get stuck in your head for hours on end. Overall it is clear Drapht has something to say and through The Life of Riley, he has certainly made his point. The entire album takes you on a journey through his thoughts of the world around us, without losing focus. However, it is still an easy listen and you can lose yourself in the music. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and, even if you aren’t overly familiar with Aussie hip-hop or even Drapht himself, I think this is going to be a must-listen for 2011. Words - Michelle Stanley
how to become clairvoyant
l o w r i d e r - paul
in january last you supported hip hop superstar lupe fiasco during his australian tour, this year you are the starter for iconic pop star Lionel richie, what do you believe playing with such a diverse selection of artists says about lowrider? Well hopefully it means that our music is diverse, and also has a diverse crowd. Something we have noticed is that people under 30 will come to our gigs and relate to it from a hip-hop and neo soul point of view whereas some older folk will come to a show and will relate to it more from the old soul kind of stuff. Hopefully there is enough substance from the music for different people to relate to, and that it can sit with a few different genres. Of course were excited to be able to tour with such diverse people, and we feel privileged to do that, it’s cool.
you have been described as a hiphop cross soul fusion band, is that something you would agree with? We are pretty careful with the hip-hop thing, because there’s no MCing whatsoever, it’s all singing. The hip-hop tag comes from the feel and the beat, so people who don’t like hip-hop can be put off when they hear the hip hop tag, expecting a lot of rapping. The soul label comes from the singing. I can see how it fits going from Lupe to Lionel and John Legend but I’m just glad that other people can see that there are a lot of other influences in the music. It’s weird sometimes with the crowds we find ourselves in front of and we’re thinking “these guys are gonna hate it”
but half way through the show we seem to win them over so it’s always a fun experiment.
On your last album ‘around the world’, you collaborated with mC Suffa from the hilltop hoods, was that a connection you had prior to lowrider, having both come from adelaide? Yeah we’re just good friends with those guys, regardless of the music, so any time we get a chance to work together or do something together its basically just for fun, and he was kind enough to jump on that track and send us a verse. He smashed it so we just wanted to make sure we got it out for everyone to hear. Those guys are great, we have learnt so much from watching how they operate and how they do their thing.
are collaborations something fans can expect for future lowrider albums? Yeah, I think working with collaborations is something that we’re going to look at for the next album. I’m not sure if it will be on the album specifically, but even if we do a whole heap of remixes and leak them out as well, really its just fun to work with other people.
for the next few months you have multiple festival gigs, and a headline tour coming up, are there any plans at all for an international tour?
Yeah we really want to head overseas this year, so we have just got to balance the schedule, with getting the new album underway, making sure we have visited everyone in
Australia and then see where we can squeeze in heading overseas. Something we really want to do is take the music over there, especially with ‘round the world’ having a lot of overseas influence. The horn section was from New York and it mixed by Jason Goldstein, so we just want to get over there and see what the music does, for sure.
do you think so far you have much of a fan base outside of australia? Well we sell a lot of cds on iTunes which is a wonderful thing. We seem to have quite a good response in a few different countries, so we really want to get over there, and even if we’re just playing to the people who are buying those albums it’s definitely still worth it.
while lowrider is in western australia you are playing 4 shows in total, two of which are in fairly standard locations, the other two are in the country towns of bunbury and dunsborough, is there anything significant about these destinations that made you choose to play there? Well this is the first time we’re coming to Perth to do our own shows so we wanted to see as much of Perth and WA as possible, and just see what works. We wanted to do the more standard popular places that bands play but we also like to try and get out to different areas, put a show on to just see how it goes. A lot of the best gigs we have had have been at little towns where you don’t expect anything to happen but people come out and it’s a good time.
you have just released ‘hold on’ a single with a great film clip, but are there any signs of a new album on the way? Well once all this touring wraps up then we will start to look at it and head into the studio to have a play around. Of course we are already thinking about what we want to do but we’re still focused on getting all this touring done and making sure all the sets are up to scratch. Playing with diverse people can be difficult, you still do what you do but you have to put certain songs in and make everything suit. But a new album is definitely something that’s starting to get talked about. Still no idea on when it would be finished or released but it’s definitely in the works.
what’s your opinion on playing festivals, in particular the big day Out? Big day out was a heap of fun, a lot of bands played there that I was a huge fan of personally, so being able to see them not just once but four or five times was a huge treat, very very cool.
this is our green issue; do you have any thoughts on the current state of the environment and what people can do to help? I think at the end of the day, it’s important to just live your life being considerate of not just the people around you but what is around you. In the scheme of the world we are only here for a very short time so it makes sense to just treat the earth like your borrowing it, not like it belongs to you.
with “when your through thinking, say yes” out now, can we expect an australian tour fairly soon? You can definitely expect one this year. We are working on the details but I promise we are coming.
“hang you up” is a fairly slow song choice for the first single of a comeback album, what was the reasoning behind the decision to make an acoustic ballad the poster song to your comeback? We released “For You, and Your Denial” first as a way to get fans excited about what was coming. But the single choice for the radio was a little different. We have signed to Hopeless Records and they are using a third party radio promotion company for our record. From what we were told, it was a unanimous decision at the company that “Hang You Up” was the song to go with. I guess time will tell if they were right!
in regards to your new song “with you around”, you give a shout out to popular pop punk legends “Saves The day”, what made you choose them in particular? I actually went to sleep one night with that melody and lyric in my head. When I woke up I still had it so I knew it was something. I have always loved Saves the Day. They were an influence on my song writing early on in our career.
downhill Skating -ian mcGlynnAt 10 O’clock on a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, thirty skateboarders met at a secret location to compete in Perth’s first downhillskateboarding race. After waiting for all of the latecomers with sore heads from the previous night, the day got underway. There was a quick riders meeting, and practice run, then the racing started. The track was a windy section of road about 2km’s long, with a tight hairpin right before the finish line. The races were running in a tree format, with heats of 6, and the top 3 progressing to the next round. As soon as we started to get things moving along nicely, we had police troubles and we all thought that the day would be a bust. They were just checking us out though, and in the end were stoked. They hung around and watched the first bracket of heats while they had lunch and then split. From here on in the day ran without anymore hiccups, with loads of super tight, fast races (65km’s per hour +). More often than not each heat came down to the final corner, as skaters with exhausted legs tried to negotiate the tight corner in a pack of 6. There were lots of falls, but no one was seriously hurt during the race. The final was a cracker with, Jack and Raine Kent, Craig and Dane Bond, and Lachlan Carey all coming into the final corner super close. Craig fell right in front of the line leaving Jack to take the win. If you want to find out about future events, or just want to come for a skate, visit the ‘West Aus Riders’ Facebook page. Results are as follows: 1st Jack Kent 2nd Raine Kent 3rd Lachlan Carey 4th Dane Bond 5th Craig Bond photography by: Ducan Wright
this being our ‘green’ issue of the magazine are there any environmental issues you or the band feel strongly about? We aren’t necessarily activists in any way, but we are aware of the crisis our planet will find itself in if we don’t all begin to take action. Words - Kyle Pauletto
skating in perth Skateboarding in Perth is a very popular hobby, not only with some young children of today, but with a whole lot of teenagers and young adults, even some pool shedding dads! There are many little groups scattered around this small isolated city, who love skateboarding so much that they make clips, take photos and rip street spots to shreds without the general larger skate community knowing about it. These are the people who keep skateboarding alive. There are also a few competitions every now and then, a bunch of summer series YMCA sponsored competitions have just passed. Just recently there was one held at Manning Skatepark and there are a few in the near future also (check with your local council). There are also free skateboarding clinics for beginners and intermediates every now and then, as well as the chance to hire a group of skaters for birthday party coaching sessions. This has only recently become active and aims at trying to encourage as many youngsters to get active and start skateboarding (for more information contact Ben on firstname.lastname@example.org)
photography by: Aidan White
A few videos are being made as I write too, with titles about to be sold in shops coming from Quentin Guthrie, Ben McCor-
mack and Matt Evans. These videos will demonstrate some of the best skateboarding in Perth to be caught on camera in the past years (check on the GMTA, Momentum and Beyond sites in the future). A few skateboard trips have been happening as of late also. A recent bunch of Sydneyians came to skate our streets, and the GMTA crew just went on a down south tour at the start of February. These have been documented and are printed in issues of skateboard magazine SLAM (available in newsagents - the GMTA tour will be featured in a future issue of SLAM). Skateboarding in our isolated city is friendly and amazing, but it seems that the younger generation are becoming more fond of the ‘easier to ride’ exercise machines like bikes, scooters and rollerblades. If the new generation doesn’t phase out of these fads, skateboarding might be on the brink of extinction not only in Perth, much nationwide too. Momentum: momentumskate.com.au GMTA: gmtaskateboards.com.au Beyond: beyondskate.com.au Words- James Ahern
Do you agree with James?
Send us your thoughts about Perth skating to email@example.com or on our facebook.
We made a documentary called SHARE PATH SKATE PATH . It was my response to a comment made by both the CEO of the City of Perth, Frank Edwards, and Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi. They both stated that there’s not enough room to accommodate skateboarding within the City of Perth. This may be true if they thought we we’re proposing something like HQ (the skate park in Leederville) but we’re not. HQ is the epitome of what many members of the street skating community don’t want for skateboarding. We would be happy with a few ‘skatable’ sculptures on a footpath. Skatable public art if you like. We also like the idea of the path being situated in a public area, preferably a park. So the idea behind the documentary was that instead of proposing this in writing, we conducted guerilla film shoots and made it into a reality. A temporary reality, but a reality. We built a series of skatable objects, painted them primary colors, placed them in public parks, such as Hyde Park and Russell Square, and skated them. While my co-filmers we’re capturing the skating, I went and vox popped over 50 members of the public about the concept, the logistics they thought would need to be in place to make the idea work and whether or not they thought it
would be a positive addition to public parks. The biggest concern was boards hitting people’s ankles. However people came to the same conclusion I did, create a parallel path about 8 meters away from the pedestrian path for the skaters. That way the public doesn’t need to be confronted by the skate path, but can watch the skating and feel perfectly safe. So you can visualize, imagine a 30-meter path 3 meters wide hosting 3 different skatable sculptures. I describe the project as a social experiment that asks ‘can skateboarders co-exist with the public in open spaces’.
Original intentions: To show people the artistic merits of skateboarding and promoting our inclusion into public spaces. But also to get people thinking on a higher level about what skate facilities could be. The skate path idea can be a simple, cost effective and artistic contribution to public spaces. Success
My original intentions were to see how the public would react to the idea. I found that there was huge support from many different community members, be it young people, families, middle-aged joggers to senior citizens. So the experiment was successful because we know the idea of a skate path is vi-
able and when given the right education, will gain community support. On an artistic level, we finished the documentary in time for the West Australia Screen Awards and we achieved a nomination for Best Documentary. We then submitted it in the St Kilda Film Festival and were given notification last week that it’s a finalist. St Kilda is definitely one of the most prestigious festivals for Australian Short films. So I feel we’ve made a solid and socially relevant film. However its real success lies in supporting the cause and getting the decision makers to see the strengths in the idea and make it become a reality. That will be the real measure of success.
The next step: Getting all of the supporting material including the documentary, short video segments, research and proposal documents online. That way the education people need is only a link away. For councilors to support this idea they need to feel like it’s a viable cause. I doubt many of them will stick their necks on the line if their constituents are still stuck in the mentality of thinking ‘big grey concrete skate park that will be a hot spot for vandalism and attract antisocial behavior to their local area’.
Medals: I’ve had a lot of media
interest as a result of winning this year’s WA Young Filmmaker of the Year Award in March. Most are keen to hear about my next projects and unlike the rocumentary I’m currently editing, the skate project will evolve with greater community awareness and support. That and the fact that my ambition to keep developing this project online, on a political level, and eventually into a feature length documentary, has and will gain the attention of more people in the relevant industries.
Other projects: I always have 3 main projects on the go that are ever evolving until I eventually develop them into feature length documentaries. My rocumentary, which I’ve been filming for 6 years, work I do in various remote indigenous communities, and of course the ongoing push for the greater good of street skateboarding. Filmmaking style: My filmmaking
began with creating skate videos. I loved the spontaneity of being in the streets with a camera in my hand. I started filming the many people you meet whilst skating the streets, which lead to developing more of a documentary style approach to filmmaking. Using local music in my skate videos led to making music videos. Then the desire to manipulate what the viewer is seeing and blur between real life and acting also started to intrigue me. Ultimately my aim is to make feature length documentaries that have the entertainment value of fictional films. Therefore I value being experienced in many different filmmaking styles.
Words - Mat de Koning and Sonia Tubb
5 (lesser-known) movies to further educate oneself about the sad predicament of our modern environment
incendies - film review Language
King Corn (2007) Dir. Aaron Wolf Americans are composed mostly of corn. That’s one of the major revelations of this doco - in which a duo of college pals move from Boston to Iowa to farm their own acre of corn. It’s a fascinating look at the death of the ‘family farm’, the near total mechanisation of the farming industry and the overwhelmingly economic prerogative (over environmental/social) behind the absolute abundance of corn in the US - high fructose corn syrups and such now (unhealthily?) dominating most of the food Americans eat (and the foods the food Americans eat eat).. Tapped (2009) Dir. Stephanie Soechtig, Jason Lindsey You’ll definitely ruminate on that contents and price tag of that bottle of storebought “natural spring” water in your hands after watching this doco. Or the lethality of that one you left behind in the front seat of your car, becoming slowly toxic in the oven-like atmosphere of its surrounds. Or the hundreds upon thousands of others you’ve consigned casually to waste baskets and landfill over the years - finding their way into our ecosystems, oceans and the foods we eat. Well done you. Well done us. Gasland (2010) Dir. Josh Fox An amazing doco from curious citizen Josh Fox. Puzzled when he receives a letter from a natural gas company offering to lease his family’s land in Pennsylvania for $100,000 to drill for gas - he decides to embark on an odyssey of exploration to see how others who’ve taken advantage of such “generous” offers have fared. We see families able to light their tap water on fire, water and air literally too toxic to ingest, pets losing their hair and lives withalarming frequency and peoples on the precipice of similar. And industry
representatives continually deny the existence of any hazards whilst exponentially expanding their usage of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques so obviously poisoning the groundwater, the land and the peoples. “A safer energy alternative!” they proclaim. And I cry frustrated impotent tears. Who killed the Electric car? (2006) Dir. Chris Paine Try watching this flick without wanting one of these nifty little silent and economical contraptions. In the mid 1990s General Motors creates a limited number of battery powered electric vehicles in the US. While these proved enormously popular with those fortunate enough to obtain one - eventually GM would recall every last one of them - destroying them all in a disturbing orgy of wanton and petty wastefulness. But why? Why? Why? Well that’s what this film aims to investigate - lining up the usual suspects and determining their culpability one by one. And they’d have got away with it too if it weren’t for those darn meddling.. Oh wait.. They did. Disregard. Dr Seuss’ The Lorax (1972) Dir. Hawley Pratt Come now.. If we can’t learn from Dr Seuss then quite frankly we are incapable of the act. A young lad encounters a ruined industrialist in a tree-less wasteland and hears a tale of a wise old creature named the Lorax - whose warnings on environmental greed and unsustainable logging are unheeded. A fable on the dangers industrial society poses to the natural world - they are about to remake it as a 3D film starring Zac Effron which actually segues nicely in to my second list.. Words - Callum Critch
Country Director Starring
French Arabic Canada Denis Villeneuve Lubna Azabal Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin Maxim Gaudette Rémy Girard Allen Altman 130 mins
Incendies , the film, was a pleasant surprise. Except perhaps ‘pleasant’ itself is a misleading description of it. Unless one counts the metaphorical receipt of a repeat volley of kick-crunch-kicks to the testes (and/or female equivalent) as a pleasant experience. Tis a movie of rare and raw emotional power. Of visceral, harsh and moving impression. And - being a film I’d not heard a whit of prior to viewing (despite being featured among the Best Foreign Picture nominees at this year’s Oscar) - it’s strong and assured impact came as a welcome revelation to me. And also to the somewhat shell-shocked daytime Luna audience I experienced it with. Emerging blinking as an afterwards into the harsh Perth sunlight. More oft than not emitting similar sentiment as to the emotional crash-wallop of what they’d borne witness. An adaptation of a theatrical piece (Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad) - Incendies is written and directed for the screen by tyro Canadian auteur Denis Villeneuve. It follows the story of two Canadian siblings (twins!) learning first from a family friend and notary, of their recently departed mother’s strange and cryptic deathbed wishes. Then - through their slow and arduous attempts to fulfil those self-same wishes (the sister contributing more so than her pouting sooky brother) - learning more (and more than they might want to know) of the life and stories of their strange and cryptic mother herself.
For those undeterred by more testing fare however - they will be rewarded by an absorbing meditation on the cyclical nature of religious tension, violent abuse and a man‘s inhumane nature expressed to his and her fellows. They will be rewarded by strong and absorbing performances from the two female leads (Azabal and Désormeaux-Poulin). They will hear a soundtrack accentuated by the brooding melancholy of Mr Thom Yorke and his Radioheads. They will view a film of deep emotive impact with a modern stylistic flourish. And after an ending in which everything again comes full circle - they will be left to ruminate on whether it is indeed possible that 1 + 1 need not always equal 2. That maybe love might sometimes triumph over hatred. Footnote - Incendies, whilst missing out on a gong at the Oscars, won the Best Feature jury prize at the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival. Villeneuve promised “as a poetic sign of gratitude, I’ll give the name of ‘Adelaide’ to one of my main characters in my next film!”
Words - Callum Critch
Filmed mainly in French and Arabic this movie will not appeal to those of the Megaplex set. Between the constant subtitle reading, the at times languid pacing, the non-linear nature of the revelations and plot and the infrequent bursts of gut-churning violence - it’s a film to challenge and affect rather than stupefy and comfort.
paul capsis die winterreise
Paul Capsis is an extraor-
dinarily gifted performer who has had a long and varied career in Australian Theatre, Cabaret and Film and is one of three featured performers in Perth born theatre director Matthew Lutton’s production of Die Winterreise (The Winter Journey). The inspiration for which, came when during a typically searing Aussie summer day Matthew stumbled across a vinyl recording of Shubert’s 24 part song cycle that conjures images of a European winter. The timing of Die Winterreise couldn’t be more appropriate for while the rest of the country has been virtually underwater this past summer, Perth has quite literally been on ﬁre and the chilly imagery of this play may prove a welcome antidote to what has been a seemingly endless summer. It traces the journey of three Australian men who are at different stages of life and while they listen to the Shubert songs they are interpreted through dance, performed by James O’Hara representing youth; the songs are voiced by Capsis as the face of middle age and spoken performance by George Shevtsov is the grey haired older man. The production’s world premiere will be held at the WA State Theatre Centre and will run from April 15-30. For tickets go to http://bocsticketing.
die winterreise has had various incarnations over the years including being performed as a ballet, and has even been translated into austrian sign language, how is this production being presented? Matthew is going for a theatre (production), a very direct way of telling the story using the three of us guys in different stages of life and different stages of age and different ways of expressing the story. George, through acting in his piece that Tom Holloway has written and I’m interpreting a number of the songs, about 17 of them at this stage which is quite a lot.
One of the themes is escaping from reality, how do you translate that through your performance? The aim is its very simple, we have a combination of the simple music, and then I’m singing the words, then there’ll be sound coming in on top and that will enhance the mood. We start in summer and move into winter, its one person but each of us represents him in the past, the future and in the now. When you read the play and listen to the music by Schubert there’s a lot of reflection and there’s also a lot of projection in the future where this person wants to go back to a time when he was happy. In one way the optimistic sunny weather clashes with how he’s feeling inside which is a deep sadness and longing to be ahead of the grief, he wants to be older and ahead of what his heart is feeling. It’s all about moving on, but some of us can’t, some of us find that very difficult. Others process things very difficult. Others process things very quickly but that’s not the case for this particular individual, I think he like a
lot of people can go into depression, even into a bit of madness in terms of where grief can take you. You may not want to get out of bed or you just don’t want to eat, you may feel immobilised, you can’t see anything that’s ever going to help you out of it. You can’t think of any other person or the possibility of meeting somebody else. Like this person was IT, you know some people don’t even survive that. Some people don’t make it.
have you experienced that in your own personal life? Oh yeah absolutely I have indeed, there have been times when I’ve fully experienced that and I can relate to where this person is and the feelings of no hope and every day is about fighting that and every day is about finding a way out. sometimes you have to sit in it and let it pass and try and do something to get yourself out of it, whether its listening to music or going and seeing theatre or reading a book or going to a therapist, it’s about action really, but for some it’s not, some cannot see a way out. And unfortunately some people end their lives because they cannot see the way out. That’s the hardest thing of all, thinking that death would be the easy way.
you’ve had a pretty successful run in the theatre in the last few years with your role in the Sydney and melbourne production of rocky horror, and your play about your maltese grandmother, angela’s kitchen, after die winterreise will there be more theatre roles or will you be exploring other creative pursuits? I just go wherever feels good, and what’s interesting, I don’t really plan it at all, but I’ve been really fortunate in the last few years where I’ve had
a lot of interesting, varied and solid work. The Rocky Horror Show was for a whole year and I’ve never done anything like that before and at first the idea of doing something over and over for eight shows a week just made me go aah I can’t do it! But once I got into a routine you become part of a big family. When I’m not doing that I’m working on my own stuff which is my cabaret work, and finding songs and my visions and putting that stuff together for various festivals and venues. I get to do theatre and I get to do plays. Between Rocky Horror and this (Die Winterreise) I’ve been involved in All About My Mother and I’ve been with The Malthouse Theatre doing The Threepenny Opera, so each time you’re learning a lot working with different people and learning different disciplines. And then there was the play about my grandmother, which was probably the most important thing that I’ve done since maybe Boulevard Delirium with Barrie Kosky, because it’s me on stage on my own and I’m not singing and I’m telling a very personal story. That was a massive shift in terms of what I thought I could do, I didn’t think I could really do that kind of theatre. In a way I have been doing that kind of work, because even though it’s been solo up on stage, there’s a lot of music and its high energy, so it’s just another way of communicating something to an audience.
you’re probably best known for your theatre and cabaret work but many people outside of that world would recognise you from your afi award winning performance in ana kokkinos’ 1998 film Head On starring alongside alex dimitriades. is
it tough finding opportunities in film for a performer like yourself? Well yes it’s almost impossible, and I’m a great example of that. You get a great role, a very distinctive role in film and then that can be pretty much how people see you, (that) is what I’ve experienced. I’ve had a good chunk of time to process and think about that, gosh in 1997 I was in Melbourne filming this film, playing this character but instinctively I knew that this role would define me, I had a very strong feeling about it. I knew that Ana’s vision was a powerful one in the way she wanted to execute it, she wanted absolute truth, and I knew we would confront people, and it did. But it’s also the most known of my work, it’s consistently the thing that people will come up to me and talk about. I’ve been a performer on the live stage for 20 years or more and every now and then people will come up to me and say “I saw you in this play or that concert, but consistently its Head On, and after that I got offered roles that were similar, because people saw me in a particular way, they thought I was Johnny/Toula. It’s really bizarre because people forget, and in a way its kind of says a lot about the film and how truthful and real it was, because for a long time afterwards people were asking me, is Alex Dimitriades gay? Rather than, isn’t Alex a great actor and isn’t he versatile? And I could imagine that that’s how people saw me, as that person and that’s how I lived my life, and therefore the people who cast films, don’t have the expanse of mind to think of me as an actor. Whereas thankfully in the theatre I have been perceived that way (as an actor), and I’ve played various characters, I’ve played transgender characters
a lot, but they’ve been varied characters though, and because its theatre I’ve kind of gone there. Whereas in film, there’s so little film in Australia let’s face it and I find the stories that are being told are very narrow, we are kind of stuck on a theme, in Australian film writing. A lot of it is about crime, it’s about corruption, about hospitals and about the police, which I find very strange, but every now and then, we’ll have a story that’s reflective of who we are across the board. The last film that Ana Kokkinos was responsible for was Blessed, a very honest, very in your face kind of film and then there was Animal Kingdom but there are very few, it’s probably the worst time ever, for that in Australian history. At the time Head On came out, that year alone there were five major Australian films, with The Boys being one of them and I think Proof was another, and it was an incredible year of strong stories. Then I think there was a big gap and then Lantana came out. The great thing about when I did my play last year about my Grandmother was the kind of response I got. It was important in that it was a different story and I was incredibly proud of how people responded to it. So in terms of film I find it very disappointing. I’m open to it but no one has come up to me and said can I utilise your voice, or skills. That’s what happens, it’s the danger of playing a character like Toula, and I’m incredibly proud of it, but it was so long ago and I remember it being such an extraordinary experience for me. It was probably the highlight of my career as an artist for a really long time, until I worked with Kosky, and then I’ve had really wonderful things happen in the last few years in particular, if films will happen again, well we’ll see.
So is there a danger of being too good in a role, in how people perceive you and you can get stuck there? Hey, it’s better to have one great performance that people respond to rather than a hundred mediocre crap ones, there’s that way of looking at it. But I’ve many great opportunities in the theatre and there are a number of them now and there are quite few that I can say were highlights that I enjoyed every second of being involved in, either with the director or the cast or the experience of working on a particular production. I’ve had so many of those and if not everybody knows about them, then big deal. But there are people who remember and can recall things from a long time ago. There are things that I’ve seen that are with me to this day, performances that I’ve seen from when I was a teenager that have stayed with me that have changed my life, concerts that have changed my life, it’s alive and it’s an experience that’s happening in present time. Film is a whole other thing, it’s a great magical thing that happens, if it’s a good one it hangs around and you can see it and go back there. Take Elizabeth Taylor, you can go back and see her great performances.
after her death for me it was Cat on a hot tin roof. Absolutely I saw a bit of that on the news yesterday of that one in particular, and I thought I really want to see that one in particular and Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I don’t know how that system worked for people like Elizabeth Taylor. It said on the news that she was the last of that generation of Hollywood, because before her there’s a list of great people like Humphrey Bogart, Lauren
Bacall, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, all these great performers who had a long history and a long body of work, and Ingrid Bergman. There was a kind of nurturing that went on, a lot of it to do with the studios and nurturing their stars, those sorts of things don’t really happen anymore. It was a different world a different system.
you’ve been described as possessing a voice that sounds like an act of god and you’ve used it in many live cabaret performances and studio recordings, do you feel pressure to live up to that reputation when you perform? I didn’t say it... no I don’t think about that, I think about whether I feel connected to it, I think about if I can connect it to myself and allow it to be a part of me and where I am at the time. Like this particular piece now, (Die Winterreise) it’s grim, there’s a grim-ness to it but there’s also a hope, it’s not just a bleak piece. But at the beginning of this year, I’ve had close people die and I feel like that’s what I value about what I do in my work and what I feel grateful for because I feel like I can channel it, what I’m feeling into something like what I’m doing right now. It seems to be synchronistic with everything I’ve done and sometimes if I’m not in that frame of mind, and I do something like I’m doing now, and it takes you there and forces you to go there and it reminds you of what life is, it has these many shades and elements, and as you get older you experience different things and you see the world differently. So it s interesting as the singer I have the bulk of the stories with the music and with where I’m at in my life it represents the middle in terms of middle age, it’s the middle of this person’s journey so it’s interesting that I’m the one that has to express it. We’ve
got James O’Hara, the dancer who’s the youth and George whose the older grey haired man, so it’s the representation of three different stages of life.
finally the theme for this issue of the magazine is green and my editor will kill me if i don’t ask you something about the environment, so paul Capsis, for the record... do you recycle? I am such a recycling fanatic it’s ridiculous, if I’m somewhere that I cant recycle, I get very anxious, and I make piles everywhere for people to recycle, like this is the paper recycling pile, and this is the bottles pile, because that’s not going in the bin, and my ultimate idea of perfection is recycling bins, plus a worm farm. Because I was raised by my Maltese grandmother who lived through the depression, as a kid we were screamed at if we left the light on, if we opened the fridge door more than once, if we left the tap on and we weren’t doing anything with the water so I was raised that way. I’m one of those people, I just hate waste, I don’t like to live lavishly, I’ve got what I need and that’s it, I’m very conscious I unplug all my plugs at home, if I go away I turn everything off and unplug it, I’ll go to that extreme, because it saves money as well, I don’t have a car because I think if I get a car I’m just going to pollute the world so I’m very much into that whole recycling thing, I love that question, I never get asked that. Words - Clint Little
5 important environmental movies that i will probably never have the stomach to see... The Cove (2009) Dir. Louie Psihoyos Winner of the Academy Award for best doco in 2009 - this film is a clarion call to action to bring a halt to the mass slaughter of dolphins in the annual Taiji dolphin hunting drive. The migrating dolphins are herded into a hidden cove where they are netted and killed by the hundreds and thousands by spears and knives and whatever is handy really. Guh. I threw up a little just writing that. While I think this an amazing and worthy revelatory work - I don’t suppose I’ll ever be able to bring myself to watch these graphic scenes. Seriously guys. Please tell me the pretty little dolphins are just sleeping. Upside down? And inside out? Food Inc (2008) Dir. Robert Kenner I’ve heard only good things about this doco examining the wasteful, inhumane and unsustainable corporate farming practises in the United States. But I’m also told there are several scenes of animal cruelty that are pretty difficult to stomach. And given I am still mentally scarred from Artax drowning in the Swamps of Sadness in the Never Ending Story a quarter of a decade ago - I just can’t bring myself to endure it. Earthlings (2005) Dir. Shaun Monson Affirmed vegan Joachim Phoenix narrates this hidden camera expose on mankind’s industrial eexploitation of nonhuman animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific experiment. Buddy in veganism, Moby, provides the soundtrack. Hidden camera footage of pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms. Oh my! See above for why I can have the utmost for the message but can’t necessarily view it through my own eyeballs. Poor poor Artax.
griff the invisible Sharkwater (2007) Dir. Rob Stewart Oh you sneaky Canadians, trying to engender sympathy in me for one of my most dreaded phobias. Those cold, deadeyed assassins of the sea. This doco aims to counter every prejudice you might currently possess regarding sharks while outlining how the shark-poaching industry (and the deplorable practise of sharkfinning) has them on the verge of extinction. When I was a child I used to think Jaws was going to swim up through my toilet and eat me. I’m fairly certain I might have outgrown that fear - but really - why take the chance? The Great Global Warming Swindle (2007) Dir. Martin Durkin Seriously. Fuck climate sceptics. I’m so sick of this ‘teach the controversy’ bulldung. If your views are outside those of mainstream scientific opinion perhaps there‘s reason for it beyond your being an enlightened prophet whom future generations will fete as some sort of Nostradamus-like visionary. Perhaps you’re merely a conspiracy theorist or a contrary jerk. I won’t watch this for the same reason I wish I’d never watched Loose Change 9/11 or Ben Stein’s Expelled. They add nothing to the debate beyond obfuscation. Why elevate their petty hypotheses and speculation to occupy the same level as proven scientific research. Anyway this is a polemical film - claiming scientific opinion on global warming is a lie and reliant on funding and politics and suggesting there is no true consensus on CO2’s role in climate change. Fuck. These. Guys.
Words - Callum Critch
interview with leon ford
griff the invisible marks your debut as a full length feature director but previously you directed 3 shorts, The mechanicals (2005), glitch (2006) and katoomba (2007). How much more difficult was it to get griff to the screen as opposed to these shorter productions? The challenges were bigger, but when it comes down to it, regardless of the size, getting any film up and happening is all about convincing people (whether they be the financial backers, the sales agents, the distributors, the crew, the cast, anyone you need) that you can put your vision on the screen. It’s about identifying their doubts about you and then diminishing those doubts enough for them to feel secure about coming on board. It’s about narrowing odds. The difference with a feature length film is that you have people who have legitimate commercial interests in your film so their priorities are not just about making good art, but about seeing their money come back. For example if I’m a first time director looking for $100,000 from a private investor to complete the finance and greenlight the film, I may have to cut together a teaser trailer, or show them my short films, or give an extended pitch. I almost certainly will need some experienced and successful people on the team, be they EP’s, crew or main cast, to show that other people have faith in me. This makes the investors feel more secure in parting with their money. And fair enough too.
superhero movies usually have a romantic element to them, but Griff is a little different, where did the idea for such a socially awkward, romantically challenged superhero come from? The character came first. I once saw this child playing by himself while his parents were having dinner. He was having such a good time I thought to myself, I want to be where he is. But if I did that, at my age, I’d be arrested and put in hospital or I’d certainly lose a lot of friends. And I thought what a shame that is. This lead me to Griff. A man my age who DOES still live in a created world, a man who never gave up that part of himself when others did. This of course then brought up many questions. Why would he live in this reality and not ours? What’s the ‘real’ world like for him? What are the consequences of holding on to this other reality? And is there anyone else out there that would not only put up with it, but embrace it and adore it? That’s where the love story came into it.
with ryan kwanten starring as Griff, a mild mannered office worker by day, superhero by night, the film is loaded with classic superhero references ranging from batman, Spiderman and even (briefly) the Six million dollar man. were these references indicative of the rich fantasy world inside griff’s mind? Absolutely. I had a lot of discussions with the Art department and Costume department about what his world and his superhero looks like.
And really it made the most sense to be borrowing from all of them. Not because we as film-makers necessarily want to make a comment about the comic book/super hero world, but because they would be Griff’s own references and therefore would inform his creations. (Nice work picking up the six million dollar man bit by the way!)
griff is a customer service worker, who is picked on by the office bully and whose only friend is his big brother, why was it important to you to tell the story of an antihero like griff? The bully element came to the story after the character was created in my head. I thought, surely he’s not going to be left alone in an office environment like that, if he is such a unique individual. On a personal level it was important to give a strong, creative voice to someone who normally doesn’t get to be heard in our dog-eat-dog world. I certainly had run-ins with bullies myself, as I’m sure many people did during school. So I really feel that every one of us has a bit of Griff inside us and everyone feels partially misunderstood, or that they have a part of themselves that nobody knows about, and I wanted to say that this is not only normal and ok but it should be encouraged and celebrated. We spend so much time trying to conform, that I think we forget that we’re all actually different and unique and eccentric and thank goodness!
when an adult indulges their imagination and chooses to exist in a state of child-like innocence this often leads them to be labelled as crazy, but when griff meets melody, a clumsy isolated young scientist (maeve
dermody) he discovers another soul as equally disinterested in reality as he is, why was protecting these characters’ innocence an important part of the story? I hope the film says to everyone, young and old, that we don’t have to lose the playful side of ourselves (our imagination or dreams or secret fantasies) in order to get on in life. I also wanted to make a statement about judgement and how quick we are to judge people on the outer of what is considered normal. Plus to show the strength of love and companionship. If I see a flying giraffe in the sky, I’m crazy. But if two of us see it, then it’s there.
how important was it to you in your filmmaking process to be working with much of the same crew members from your shorts? That was pretty crucial, especially for our first feature. We have developed a short-hand and an ability to say if an idea is stinky or not. We also have similar tastes so it cut a lot of time out of the process.
do you have particular directors or filmmakers whose work influences or inspires you? Yes indeed. Michel Ghondry, JeanPierre Jeunet, Charlie Kauffman, Woody Allen, Baz Lurhman...
bold & stylised are two words that were at the forefront of my mind during the first few minutes of Griff, how challenging was it to get such a high-concept polished looking result onto the screen on a modest filming budget?
of looking at the money we had and deciding, in consultation with the heads of department and me, where to put the resources. For instance a shoot day in the office might be 6 minutes of screen time, but then the following week we get to spend all night on a 30 second fight scene. Greg Cobain, the first AD, also has a lot to do with this. Equally spending a lot on the suit but then taking it away from more indulgent areas, like a trailer for the director.
what are your hopes for griff the invisible when it is released in cinemas? (through luna cinemas in perth from march 17) I hope it lasts for a while. I hope people talk about it (positively) after they have seen it and this convinces cinemas to keep it on long enough for the audiences to build up.
what projects are on the horizon for you after griff? We have been in Amsterdam for the last 6 months developing the next film at the Binger Film Lab. The film is called Mechanicals. It’s a featurelength version of a short film we made a few years ago.
Words -Clint Little
That was a huge challenge and I think brilliantly achieved by Nicole the producer. It’s her creative way
audi festival of german films 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the Audi Festival of German Films. The festival will be travelling around the country throughout April and will screen a range of films including the latest contemporary German releases, some radical documentaries as well as highlights from the history of the festival.
In Perth the charming Vincent Wants to Sea opens proceedings on April 14, the more mature Julia’s Disappearance screens on the 16th and closing night The Day of the Cat ends the festival in style on the 18th.
Vincent Wants to Sea – Review The road movie is a tried and tested genre in film, but director Ralph Huettner delivers a bittersweet spin on it with Vincent Wants to Sea. Vincent is a young man with a severe case of Tourette’s syndrome characterised by uncontrolled outbursts of foul language and physical tics that manifest at times of stress or high emotion. In the opening scene Vincent is at his mother’s funeral and his disorder is used to great comic effect when he unleashes some extremely inappropriate language upon the congregation. His politician father, who blames Vincent for his mother’s death deposits him in a rehabilitation centre where he must share a room with Alex, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (O.C.D). When he meets and is attracted to the anorexic Marie, they form an unlikely trio and after escaping from the rehab centre, set off in a defective stolen SAAB on a journey through the Alps to the Italian coast to scatter his mother’s ashes. When Marie becomes dangerously ill due to a lack of food, Vincent must make a choice between escape, and learning to face up to his
reality. Though the story is told through the frame of illness and disorder this is never used as a ploy to manipulate sympathy, rather the characters simply exist outside a “normal” state of existence; Vincent’s father and the therapist assigned to treat him are highly dysfunctional in their own ways. Although the ending is a little predictable, Vincent Wants to Sea boasts engaging performances from its three leads and has some extremely funny moments while still being emotionally rewarding, and the cinematography of the European countryside is breathtaking.
3/5 Julia’s Disappearance – Review Julia’s Disappearance follows three intersecting sets of characters as they try to celebrate a friend’s birthday on one night in Zurich. Jessica and Fatima represent youth. The teenage pair are sullen, wilful and oblivious to any concern but their own. They are on a search for a gift for an older boy that Jessica has a crush on. The titular Julia is on route to her 50th celebration, and so is the also
middle aged Lilli, who says to her on the bus “We’re invisible”, which gives her pause about attending her own party. Lilli meanwhile is headed to the 80th of the free spirited but cantankerous Leonie, a woman who lives only to torment her carers and the other more conservative ladies in her home. As Julia, actress Corinna Harfouch seems to drift through the film as a benign presence and the coterie of middle aged friends who await her arrival are tired, jaded and obsessed with the tedium of slowly failing bodies and lost youth. As a meditation on the invisibility that comes with encroaching age Julia’s Disappearance is effective if in only that Julia’s feeling of insignificance is believable but doesn’t make for engaging viewing. The moments of spirit that the film does possess come from Jessica who acts out against her father after being caught shoplifting; and from Leonie who having grown tired of her tedious birthday party, livens up proceedings with a good old fashioned food fight. Though well intentioned Julia’s Disappearance takes a subject that could have been insightful about what it means to age in the modern age but it’s populated by characters that it’s difficult to feel any empathy for.
The Day of the Cat – Review The Day of The Cat is a slick political drama that follows the campaign of the Swiss President (Bruno Ganz) for re-election, while being plotted against by political rivals who are scheming to bring about his downfall. However, the Day of the Cat is also a heartfelt personal drama about a man facing not only his own professional mortality but also that of his eight year old son, who lies in a hospital bed dying of cancer, unbeknownst to any but those in his inner circle. When a state visit by the King and Queen of Spain offers an opportunity to save his presidency, a series of events are set in motion which unveil the subtle intricacies of the machinations of the Swiss political system. Facing pressure to use his personal situation for political gain in the face of plummeting approval ratings the President must out manoeuvre his rivals to save his career whilst trying to preserve his crumbling marriage to his beautiful wife. (Who bears a striking resemblance to Carla Bruni, the wife of French President Nikolas Sarkozy). Throughout he is haunted by images of an incident in his childhood that has shaped his entire life, that have lead to his nickname ‘The Cat’, and the possession of the nine lives it implies. Clever, moving and unpredictable, The Day of the Cat is a timely exploration of a leader struggling to cling to power, that has parallels to the plight of our own national leadership crisis and speaks to the universality of political reality the world over.
3.5/5 Words - Clint Little
behind thediaryscreens: of a student filmmaker (My Very First Social Networking Stalker!)
One thing that is absolutely true about filmmaking is that you have absolutely no control over how people are going to respond to your work. Once it’s released into the public sphere whether it’s via commercial release or simply uploaded to facebook or youtube, some will like it and some will not. Social networking websites have changed the reality of media output and communication forever. There was a time not so long ago when self made movies were restricted to a viewing audience you could count on one hand with the images beamed onto an old bed sheet on a living room wall. Today, thanks to wireless and mobile technology, footage can be shot, edited, uploaded and gone viral in minutes, available for all to see, enjoy or rip to shreds for the mere sport of it. Such was the case when I proudly uploaded to facebook a short film I completed for my coursework. It is a brief 30 second piece featuring a fire dancer performing for the camera. I thought it was pretty cool and wanted to share my work with my online friends. Although most people were appreciative not everyone shared such a positive view. Out of the social networking ether there appeared a “friend” who I hadn’t seen for more than 20 years who instead of providing constructive criticism chose to unleash a tirade of bile about what he considered to be the inadequacies of my work
And fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion and he certainly made his known. But the democratic forces of the interweb didn’t listen passively to his online filmmaking tutorial. Soon enough my facebook wall boasted a torrent of back and forth bickering over the merits over what is ultimately a very small blip of footage of a dude dancing with fire in the dark. Not content to restrict his opinions to the public comment wall, my newly stalky friend began to fire off privately abusive individual messages to all respondents to his critiques. Which were then collectively shared out of mutual concern over their troll like nature. It was at about this point that it stopped being amusing and began to get a little creepy. Thanks to the attention to detail of stalkbook, trollboy was able to track his friend status with those he chose to abuse. Thus unleashing a further volley of poorly spelt insults and logic free ranting. Guess what? Blocking works. Just so long as you make sure you delete all known user profiles of your assailant. At the end of the day though, it is enormously gratifying to have provoked any response at all with a work I created, positive, dispassionate or even troll. Plus now I can say I have my very own social networking stalker.... I feel like I’ve arrived! And now in a shameless act of self promotion this is the youtube link to my little film. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=xSrL6DTCwvE Words - Clint Little
Photography: Nelson James Hogg
5 6 8 9 9 10 12 14 36 36 37 26 Halfway through semester. How did that happen? 18 19 21 24 32 35 Metior is a Murdoch University student publi...
Published on Nov 2, 2011
5 6 8 9 9 10 12 14 36 36 37 26 Halfway through semester. How did that happen? 18 19 21 24 32 35 Metior is a Murdoch University student publi...