SUPPORTING THE INDEPENDENT MUSIC / ARTS SCENE OF SYDNEY AND BEYOND WWW.MUSICFEEDS.COM.AU
ISSUE 21 may 11 - may 25
tighter than a nun's schedule
DAY OF THE MEERKAT COG FOREIGNDUB MATT & KIM YPPAH WAGONS BLUEJUICE CODA
T E L ED
Ok, so we’re a little late this fortnight but at least we have a good excuse this time. IT'S OUR 21st BIRTHDAY!!! Hip Hip! Hooray! It’s been non-stop in the office this issue as we’ve had a steady stream of exotic dancers, shifty South Americans with moustaches you could (and will) lose children in and a veritable menagerie of farm animals coming through as we try to push the boundaries of human excess to their logical limits. What were our results? Let’s just say we found the limit and it was somewhere around free-basing oven cleaner while double-penetrating a calf, then slaughtering it and serving it up as veal schnitzel. If you're still reading after that I may as well tell you that I'm pretty fucking wasted right now. We just invented a new drink which we have affectionately nicknamed The Bon Scott Bomb. You take a shot of Red Bull and bomb it in a pint of Red Wine, Gin, Whiskey, Milk and Raspberry Schnapps (for the sheilas), then you inject the whole vile mixture straight into your stomach through your bellybutton, then black the fuck out for a few hours and wake up next to a cheap trick named Ralph. I suppose I should mention something about the issue, but before I do let me balance out some of the hate filled ranting in this letter with a few words on what’s been keeping me from acting on the suicidal impulse to knock the toaster off the side of the bath. Grizzly Bear. I never wanted to like this band. So many trendy-hair-styled circulation-halting-jeans-wearing indie-rock douchebags have raved to me about this band that I never wanted to even consider that they might make decent music. I think this is because by having good taste in music these scene-obsessed hipsters would somehow demonstrate that their brains aren’t made up entirely of shit, and that is something my brain isn’t quite ready for
yet. But ready or not it seems to be the case as Grizzly Bear’s new album is fucking amazing. It’s not out for a few more weeks yet so I can’t publish the review but keep your eyes peeled for both the review and the interview we have coming up.
We also talk to Megastick Fanfare, We Say Bamboulée, Fergus Brown, Spikey Tee, Yppah and Rapids while in the photographicalogical department we have shots from The Drones, The Basics, Fuji Collective and One Flew East’s shows from the past few weeks.
Well I guess it’s time I mentioned the issue. As I am sure you have deduced from the cover, those warehouse-rocking, girl-nextdoor knocking, rockabilly mountain men Day Of The Meerkat swung into this issue, fitting when you consider the amount of homoeroticism that was flying around during the making of this, our 21st issue. Set to launch their EP, Dirty Tricks On Sinking Ships, at The Gaelic Club on May 22nd, the boys are understandably eager to end their months of studio-bound exile and return to doing what they do best, rocking the fuck out.
Before I leave you I would like to say something about Swine Flu. Who fucking cares?! We’ve had a whole bunch of swine in the office and aside from being rubbish kissers they haven’t bothered us at all. It seems like every year or so some virus makes a leap a little further up the food chain and every time it does people flip the fuck out like a Christian in a Natural History Museum. We’re still here aren’t we? We’ve managed to beat Bird and Horse Flu, not to mention SARS and the many other far worse epidemics such as Smallpox and The Plague. Why then is it always such a big fucking deal when a new Flu mutates? Sure it could be Also this issue we have a swag of stories from dangerous, but so is flying, driving a car and the increasingly manic pneumatic writing sleeping with toothless streetwalkers, but you machine Jesse Hayward (we had to get him don’t see me glued to the screen every time a down off the roof with a broom handle the herpes ad comes on TV. other week because he accidentally took my cat's constipation medicine thinking it was, While on the topic of the Flu, how many of you well, the cat meds they actually were). He out there have been stricken down with the catches up with Wagons frontman Henry usual Autumnal mucus flood? I have and I’m Wagons getting the low-down on how he fed up. We can put a man on the moon but we breaks fast of a morning. Wolf & Cub had can’t cure the common cold!? What the fuck? a quiet word as did ForeignDub, Rudely I'm sure this is a global conspiracy orchestrated Interrupted, Parades and probably a few so that pharmaceutical companies can sell us others, I’m not sure, he’s been doing so much clinical speed. If the elimination of the runny writing it’s hard to keep track. nose is somehow beyond our reach I will not only be surprised but genuinely confused as to Amelia Schmidt gets all moist with Jake how we as a race can leave the gravitational Stone from Bluejuice as he gives us a few tips field of our own planet,. To quote Gob from on what moisturisers to use and what it was Arrested Development, ‘COME ON!’ like running around like a madman on the Bacardi Express. Anyway, that’s pretty much done; it’s back to calf Thomas Mitchell climbs a mountain of for me, well after this one last Bon Scott Bomb. esoteric nonsense with Cog drummer Lucius Borich and I blast off to planet CODA to Mikey catch up with the lovely Naomi Radom ahead of the bands set at ProgFest this Music Feeds Baby! Tighter Than A Nun's weekend. Schedule
WAGONS By jesse hayward
enr y Wagons loves his band and loves his breakfast. We catch up with him for some updates on his upcoming musical feast.
“All I’ve been doing is eating poached eggs, sipping on lattes and watching T V. I'm having my first time of f in a while. It's been pretty hec tic making this album. It's taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears so now I'm just enjoying indulging in my passion for wanky breakfast food.”
ART DIRECTOR Dan Clarke firstname.lastname@example.org WEBMASTER Toby Smith email@example.com
SUB EDITORS Rochelle Fernandez, Janet King, Clare Molesworth, Jesse Hayward CONTRIBUTORS Thomas Mitchell, James Paker, Amelia Schmidt, Kurt Davies, Corinne O'Keefe, Matt Lausch, Zarina Varley & Pep's Mum.
“I first star ted get ting into music by recording it and I'm still really fascinated and intrigued and stimulated and motivated by being in the studio and recording songs.”
“I insist on runny yolks and crunchy bacon. Occasionally people are into it but most of the time people think I'm a wanker. I'm comfor table with that if I get good poached eggs.”
“Wagons first star ted by me just fiddling around in front of my computer playing ever y thing. I recruited a few of my mates through those recordings, star ted playing live and next thing you know, I'm here talking to you and a whole bunch of other people asking me questions and I don't have any obligation to ask any questions back.”
“I've also been doing a bit of studio work, doing some recording. I just came out of a recording session for a Melbourne band, Fur. Their singer is Jane Badler, who was the star of the eighties sci-fi series V. She was the woman that ate the rat on T V, I was just recording her vocals this morning.“
The band are currently a six-piece but occasionally per form stripped back shows as a three- or four-piece. Six guys on stage at once can be a bit close, so Henr y of ten prefers to play with the smaller line-up, not least because that means he gets to pull out some flaming guitar solos.
“I make heav y and sturdy demands when I ask for my poached eggs” he explains.
EDITOR Mikey Carr firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t know who thinks poached eggs are wank y, but I’m pret t y sure whoever does would prefer poached eggs to poached rat. Henr y obviously has interests beyond break fast foods though.
“It does get crowded. It's a big and vibrant mother fucker of a show. Ever yone's got their own twisted take on playing an instrument that isn't in any way going to remind you of a bad primar y school music teacher. Ever yone's got their own schtick and crazy way of doing what they do.” “It's a ver y strange and interesting show to see. We've got two percussionists, we've got an absolutely crazy soulful blistering lead guitar player. We've got three par t harmonies, we've got a keyboardist whose name is Sof t Moods. You can expec t me to prance around and ac t like a dick as well, but in the best possible way.” “I'm a bit of a dic tator when it comes to writing and recording,” says Henr y. “I write the songs and the guys come in and write most of their par ts. The other guys don't have that much to do with how it all comes together, but their input at rehearsal stage and getting the songs together is absolutely invaluable and contributes to the final sound of the song.” Though the band has been together since the turn of the centur y they haven’t taken
time out from their busy schedule of sit ting in pubs to tour the countr y. “Par t of our deal is that we'd lived of f the generous teat of the Melbourne scene for years and years before we really got out of the place. It was ac tually inspired a lot by a Rolling Stone inter view for our last album, The Curse Of Lightning. They said some great stuf f but then they said 'these guys deser ve to be bigger than they are but they haven't provided a context for wider success cos they sit on their arses in Melbourne all the time.' Basically, that gave us all a kick up the arse and that's when we got a booking agent and star ted to tour.”
All that energy saved by hanging round in Melbourne pubs has been released into their new album, The Rise and Fall of Goodtown, so be sure to check it out.
By jesse hayward
ichael from Foreign Dub still likes it hard but these days the crew is taking it at all paces. If you were a forty-year-old housewife from Gunnedah you might be forgiven for thinking that all Drum n Bass sounds the same, though not for voting National, but if you’re into electronic music at all and you’re still biased against DnB you haven’t been listening hard enough. The scene is changing, evolving like a slick virus in the nightclubs of our brains. Dubstep has shaken things up a bit, artists are popping up from every country where there’s a scene and, now that the original rush of the dancefloor smash is over, it’s time to diversify. On the 30th of this month Foreign Dub will be launching their website with Sole Food: Food For Your Feet. This night will see the funkier, more soulful side of DnB playing – hopefully to soothe the sweating masses. “DnB is influenced by dub, funk, reggae, soul, every kind of music. With Sole Food we want to change the style a bit, so we will be concentrating on the jazzy, soulful, smooth-style sets rather than the hard edge, but don’t worry, there will be one or two sets that go harder.”
Says Michael, “Foreign Dub evolved naturally. We started doing events, mainly house parties at first, then moved into doing it commercially. It was a bit of a learning curve for us, having to abide by a venue’s rules and guidelines etc. We then moved on to working with some great artists. Sydney didn’t really have an output for the various types of DnB at that time.” “We had a compilation that we were gonna release through another label but Inertia picked it up and told us to run it under our own label so now that’s going on. Some good new artists to check out are Dubwise and The Bird. So yeah, things are going well. We’ve got more releases planned and more nights coming up.” Many of our interviewees complain about the situation in Sydney. It seems to be getting harder just to find venues appropriate for loud music. People move in to refurbished terrace houses next to classic pubs and clubs, then complain when they can hear the music. It’s like those bastards who moved into the apartment blocks next to Luna Park then complained about the rollercoaster! If you move into an apartment block on Mercury, nobody wants to hear you complain about the heat.
It seems that councils look far more favourably upon residents than commercial venues. “A lot of crews have taken it into their own hands and moved sideways into the (potentially illegal) warehouse scene. In Perth, a lot of young crews are attending raves out in illegal venues, which builds the scene, which is why they have a bigger scene. I see it as a positive thing but whether they do when they get arrested is another story.” Like electro pioneer Mark Pritchard, Michael thinks the Sydney scene is in danger of scoring itself into a rut. “The harder and dirtier it is the more props you get, ya know. It is a bit of a rut and it keeps getting deeper. I like it hard as well but I’m missing the many variations, the eclectic style of drum and bass.” Luckily there are crews like Foreign Dub out there, keepin it real, or at least real interesting. I get bored very quickly if a dance set doesn’t mess with my head. It doesn’t need to be a Dickens novel, but I want a bit of a narrative. “One genre all night does your head in. We only put on stuff we really like ourselves. Like I said, DnB is influenced by a lot of dub, reggae, all of it, so we try to incorporate it all.”
Foreign Dub have been fucking with people’s heads since 2004. They can teach you many things about the arcane business of club promotion. “Watch your stuff, sometimes things can be lost or ‘go missing’. Also, use contracts when dealing with international artists and venues, it gives you peace of mind and something to back you up if things fall apart. On a couple of occasions things haven’t worked out as agreed upon, so we fall back on contracts and take the loss. It holds you back if you dwell on it though, so yeah, always stay positive.” Michael has only one thing left to say to you. “We’re all still kickin and we’ll be bringing you more parties throughout the year” so beatmonkeys, stay tuned.
Foreign Dub’s Remedy night currently plays every second Thursday at the UTS Loft but will be moving to every second Friday in June – you should also check out Sole Food at UTS Glasshouse Bar on the 30th. Keeping the beats tasty.
parades by jesse hayward
et no Luddite or Terminator fan tell you different, technology is our greatest physical gift. Machines can save our lives, make our lives easier and, more importantly, allow all of us to produce fantastic art, adding our individual voices to our vast, swelling culture. Of course, without innate talent or skill the individual voice may simply join the cacophony of mediocrity that makes it impossible to find exactly what you want on YouTube. Parades do not join that mediocre crowd. Taking the path now more often than before travelled, Parades are producing beautiful music from the comfort and safety of their own DIY studio. “We have a sweet set-up in a suburban garage. We can record, write and rehearse all in the same place as well as sending off emails and doing our own art. Why would we do it any other way?”
shoot the player
by jesse hayward
melia Tovey and Jonathan Wald have hit upon the best musical scam since Milli Vanilli decided to fake being a musician. They don’t need to pay for tickets to gigs anymore, they get to meet their favourite musicians and they don’t need to give blowjobs backstage to pull it off either. It’s so simple I wish I’d thought of it. Get a video camera with a sweet mike for quality sound recording then just ask your favourite bands to play in public! For you alone! Isn’t that just the niftiest little idea you’ve heard in yonks? Wouldn’t you love to do it? Well you can’t, because then you’d be a big copycat. Based in Sydney, Jonathan and Amelia have been shooting their tasty shorts for almost two years now. “We've always been keen to show typical and iconic Australian locations - from a terrace in Petersham or a park in Glebe, to Hyde Park and the Harbour Bridge. We like turning the camera on the city. And we love unplugged, intimate performances.” Apparently artists think it’s a great idea too, so scoring a recording session isn’t as difficult as you might think. “Mostly we contact bands we really like and sometimes people recommend music to us. Beach House and The Tallest Man on Earth were both recommended to us and we'd never heard of them, and they're amongst our favourite videos. Most bands are pretty reachable. The internet rules.” Shoot The Player have shot films on three different continents but most are shot in Sydney.
“We also travel a fair bit and have both lived in lots of different cities. Being connected to an international project and filming international musicians kinda keeps us connected to the outside world in a nice way too.” Over thirty of these videos have been cooked up in under two years and all are available on the website. At the moment Ben Lee’s gormless face is displayed prominently on the front page, but we’ll forgive them that for the treasure trove of tidbits they have in their archive. We are also told to keep an eye out for Soko in a graveyard, Sarah Blasko in a tattoo parlour, Jolie Holland, Reggie Watts, Port O'Brien and a bunch more.
Why indeed? The DIY approach has many benefits. Visual artists have been doing it for years and now it is possible for musicians to realise a true, unfettered vision. This means, though, that the band must do all the work – no recording the sounds and then letting the mixer get to work for DIYers. “Basically, we get to do whatever we want, whenever we want with no unnecessary hassles along the way. As a band we're pretty controlling so by doing it DIY we get to have the last say and are involved with every step of the process. Although it keeps us busier than most bands, we find that it works best for us.” Though Malcolm McLaren was a dab hand at marketing, one wonders what The Sex Pistols might have produced were it not for his meddling hand. The clarity of Parades’ vision is evident in their music.
Lonely melodies band with swift drums and haunting vocals, reminiscent of Radiohead’s Kid A album. They say they’re controlling, but the word I would use is ‘precise’. “I think the one thing that sets us apart from other bands at our level is that we try really, really hard. We make very sure that everything we do that represents us as a band is exactly how we want it. When we're writing we try to go beyond writing three minutes worth of music and calling it a song. It needs to have the spark and it needs to be forward thinking. At the end of the day, if you're just writing really good stuff then it transcends musical tastes and anyone can find something good in it. I can't say how successful we've been, but we're trying to get it right.” Critics certainly think Parades have got it right. Dick Kingsmill gave a rave review. “These guys are fantastic. Simple as that. Five out of five.” The group have received national attention and playtime on Triple J but despite the favourable reviews Parades remain ambivalent about critics. “It's nuts to think that a handful of people (or just one person) can have so much influence, but a lot of the time it's for a good reason. The rest of the time it's because they're total arseholes. I don't know if you could ever change the fact that people are always going to think the way they do. I hate heaps of music but that won’t stop the next guy loving it. As long as you can say something constructive and intelligent then you can say whatever you want. I would definitely say we're lucky to have certain tastemakers enjoying our stuff though, very lucky.” At Music Feeds we’re pretty sure luck has nothing to do with it. The single Hunters, from the forthcoming EP, is out now.
Asked of her dream shoot, Amelia has bright ideas. “PJ Har vey would be great, I'd film her anywhere. Maybe Patti Smith in Dollywood?” I would definitely watch that. “If I had heaps of money I'd get Gar y Jules out here to do his cover of Mad World,” says Jonathan. “Maybe Tears for Fears will read this and come and do a shoot themselves. I'm hoping the Flaming Lips will let us film them when they're here.” “If anyone reading this wants to do a tears for fears cover go to our website and get in touch,” Amelia suggests. “May the best pitch win.”
Check out Jonathan and Amelia’s work at http://www.shoottheplayer.com
Music feeds tv coming real soon
MATT AND KIM By zoltan blazer
ears ago Brooklyn made the small transition from a giant crime scene to a trendy hipster jungle. It was here that two lost arts students were asked to headline a party with instruments they couldn’t play and songs they hadn’t written. Moving ahead a few years the duo previously known as Kim & Matt, yet now known as Matt & Kim, are eagerly greeted by over-enthusiastic fans insisting they were the sound of their New York summer. Currently touring the world in celebration of the release of their sophomore album, Grand, I got Matt Johnson on the phone to find out what's happening in poptastic duo’s world. When we spoke Matt had just stepped off his flight to Australia, a bit tender from a recent back injur y. After a quick crack of a vertebrae here and a pop of the spinal column there, we began by discussing the Brooklyn arts and music scene, the nursing grounds where the band was born and raised. “I think it was somewhere where we just found a lot of inspiration, and not just the music scene,” says Matt. “At first I felt kinda lost, as in unsure of where I belonged. I grew up in Vermont and was schooled in New York and didn't know what my place was until I stumbled upon the Brooklyn’s DIY music scene. This is where I felt at home. People around me were doing
rad shit. People working in film, ar t and photography, it inspires you to do more.” From there Matt & Kim hit the net in search of a fan-base. After they began documenting their gigs and personal lives on a variety of social networking sites, more and more New Yorkers started showing up to their gigs. In fact Matt & Kim are a band that can attribute their international popularity almost entirely to online media written and supplied by themselves.
“We were looking for ward to writing and fleshing out this album. It was such a pain in the ass. We had set aside six weeks to work on it and after that time it still wasn't done. We were working in between tours non stop to get it finished in the end. Even though people say that albums are dead and people just download songs or put them on shuffle or whatever it was really important to us to create an album that stood on its own as a piece of music as opposed to just a collection of songs.”
“WE WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO WRITING AND FLESHING OUT THIS ALBUM. IT WAS SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS. WE HAD SET ASIDE SIX WEEKS TO WORK ON IT AND AFTER THAT TIME IT STILL WASN'T DONE.” “It worked out great because we got to do ever ything how we wanted to do it. We just always did what we always did and we controlled ever ything. We banked on word of mouth for so long and when people get to choose themselves they feel more connected. On the other hand people also get upset when you put your song in a TV commercial because they felt it was their thing. Music is ver y personal.” After using the “quick, that’s good enough, move along” philosophy for their debut record, Matt wanted things to change for Grand. This time the album had to be wellrounded and slick.
Matt & Kim don't really sound the way you’d expect considering they emerged from the Brooklyn underground. Having risen to prominence in a scene that for so long has been overr un by a postmodern malaise, where does all of this chirpy music come from? “Writing songs is two dif ferent things.” Matt explains. “There’s writing a beat and melody and writing lyrics. We just write music from what we are inspired by without any preconceived notion of what we want the song to be. The lyrics are a dif ferent thing. When we were doing Grand we would figure
out ever ything and star t of f using free word association until it formed with a personal meaning in a more abstract way.” The band’s creative use of keyboards to produce a variety of dif fering sounds is what fuels their unique take on pop, ensuring each of their songs bear the pair’s vibrant and unique sonic signature. “When we star ted, Matt & Kim was gonna be whatever Matt and Kim played. Keyboards give a cer tain freedom. You can write similar songs on dif ferent instr uments but for instance using the same chord progression on a keyboard rather than a guitar gives it a new life.” As an album, Grand makes pop cool again without making you feel like you sold your soul to Billy Ray Cyr us. Songs such as Daylight, with their minimalist melodies and happy go lucky lyrics, are cer tain to make you cancel your repeat of Prozac and hi-five the guy that just spilt beer all over your nerdchic blazer.
Grand is now out through Popfenzy so have a listen and make sure that if you see them around you yell out “Hey! Matt & Kim!” now that we are on a first name basis and all.
Bluejuice by amelia schmidt
t's a brisk night in Melbourne. A visceral shock after a year in Sydney. But tonight, tonight I am home for a brief sojourn and wearing a scarf for the first time since 2007.
by Claudia Santangelo
ppah, happy backwards, is Joe Corrales, a solo producer from Texas. A man who dapples across a number of instruments, sampling guitar, bass, drums and vocals to create his electronica soundscape tunes. His music making started off in “shitty high school bands” playing guitar and bass, he then ditched the ‘band thing’ and started playing mostly alone with his guitar and took up scratch DJing. “I used to really been into hip hop. I started to record scratch music songs, then I found music programs, then I kinda realised I could do it all myself and the scratching thing phased out, then I started making my own songs.” Then instead of searching for samples Yppah just made his own. Solo work suits Yppah. He confesses that when people are around him when he works “I get
real paranoid; I don’t like anybody to hear anything until it’s done.” In 2006 Yppah released an album with Ninja Tunes entitled ‘You Are Beautiful At All Times’ and is set to release his second album ‘They Know What Ghost Know’ in May this year. His debut has influences of hip hop, psychedelic soul and rock; an emotive electronic landscape that got picked up by the entertainment industry, his songs featuring on CSI, House and a video game. Soon after his first release he got some of his friends together to translate parts of his songs and they started gigging his tunes live. ‘We Know What Ghost Know’ is spooky and giddy, intimate and epic all at once and has a more live feel. Yppah says he’s “worried it’s too different to the vibe of the first one but it has got a really good reception actually.“
Despite an album release on the cards there is no tour to follow. “I wish there was. I’m getting hit up by a lot of leads in Europe but they don’t follow up. It’s really hard to tour a band right now.” We could blame the GFC (the Global Financial Crisis bro), but what Yppah voices next is an ongoing complaint for lots of musos out there. “If you don’t have an agent or know somebody you’re pretty much taken advantage of. You’re not going to be promoted to the point where you can sustain yourself. The money has been coming out of my own pocket for a while.” Yppah hasn’t succumbed to a day job but “is just scraping by.” Yppah is signed to Ninja Tunes and has taken up their initiative of a Remix Comp. The ‘Yppah Remix Comp’ invites anyone to take a stab at
remixing one of Yppah fans’ favourite tunes, ‘Gumball Machine Weekend'. Yppah embraced the idea because “I love remixing a lot, I like to hear people’s interpretations.” This year Yppah will more than likely make it to Japan, where his biggest fan base lies, to showcase his upcoming album. In terms of fans his home town doesn’t offer much. “I don’t want to sound like I’m making fun of my own city but it’s a very small town. The music scene here is very one dimensional, like mainstream, mostly rap and top 40.” But in his hometown Yppah has his “few people on the same page” and says “as a place to live I love it”.
Yppah’s second album “They Know What Ghosts Know” is set to hit Australia in June and will be distributed to Oz through Inertia.
Jake Stone cleanses, tones and moisturises twice a day because he fears getting old. He told me this a couple of nights ago on the roof of the Abercrombie while we watched Philadelphia Grand Jury (who he says will be touring with his band soon). I kind of doubt he managed to fit that routine in on the Bacardi Express where this interview took place, due to the fact that he spent most of his time running around like a madman playing shows and doing vox pops. And drinking. He is also pretty knowledgeable about the George Foreman grill, which is unsurprising I guess considering his facial routine. Jake Stone, regular housewife: “George Foreman set up this thing whereby an older man who did some other job before can sell a grill, so - ” he begins to explain, before Stav interrupts. “It’s like a microwave oven,” he says, before Jake responds with “No no! It’s like Back to the Future, like frozen foods are completely cooked within minutes! But the guy’s also sold Snickers. He’s older and he’s not working in his traditional form, which is basically acting and beating people up. So brother got to get paiiid, so Snickers and microwaves and whatever else…”
Now, fair enough, this has all come up because we’re discussing Mr T’s new ad campaign. Jake says, “It is inappropriate the way he talks to people. Mr T’s manner could use some work. He’s always talking down to everyone, pitying the fools. He has to talk to people on their level.” When he’s not cleansing, toning, moisturising, grilling or considering manners, Jake manages to fit in heaps of work, too. When asked how many different hats he’s wearing just on the Bacardi Express tour, Jake says “I feel like I’m wearing a lot of different hats all at once.” And how many pairs of underpants? “I’ve had four pairs of underpants that I’ve taken on and off based on sweat,” he explains. And sweaty underpants they must be, considering all the running around he's been doing as both a performer and Channel V correspondent. “It’s been fine doing the Vox Pops,” he says, despite the chafing. “It’s been a lot of work and sometimes I hate it but that’s what you get with a job. But you know, you just get out there and fake your way right through it. It was a joy this morning because I got to kick in the doors of people’s cabins and stick a mic in their face while they were really hungover and totally ambush them Ray Martin style and that was awesome. Vox pop rape.”
Stav takes this opportunity to interject with “Smashing in to your bedroom and sticking a phallic object right in to your face!” “And that’s what I live for!” Jake continues. “I got to do it to our manager, do you know how satisfying that is? To see him freaking out in his underpants at about seven in the morning? It was horrifying for both him and me. And that’s when shit gets REAL people! Other than that some of the pre-prepared stuff is hard because I’m not that good just off a script. So it was a bit punishing yesterday because they were like, ‘Now you’ve done a show, come outside and do these vox pops with chicks who are just really drunk and out of their minds and can’t really talk!’ And I’d be like, ‘Hey baby, how are you, how’s everything?’ and they’d be all ‘AAUUGHHIOOUUCHHGHHUOOA HHHAUGHGHGHGH - (unintelligible sounds) – ILOVEYOURARAGHVANSHEEE’ and I’m like ‘I’m not even in that band.’” As for Bluejuice, they’ve got themselves signed and are working on a new album, which is a great chance for them to really develop as a band. “We just got a record deal motherfuckers!” says Jake. “We just got a deal with Dew Process so suck on that. Things are gonna change!”
“They are!” agrees Stav. “And who would have thought Jake’s ego could have got bigger?” “But it can!” Jake laughs. “It’s huger than ever! Get out of my way! You can’t sit down at this table! This table is for one even though it’s a table for seven!” “We’re recording as of Wednesday next week,” Stav explains, somewhat more calmly, “So it’ll be about a month of recording and a month of mixing and mastering so straight after that one song we’ll get on an obscure community radio station and then we’ll be done!” As to what’s going to be on this new album, Jake says there probably won’t be a Sequel to ‘Midnight at Band Camp’ on it. “Haha, adult contemporary. No, but there are a couple of songs which are at the same tempo. So yeah, there’s some funny stuff but we’re trying not to be a band full of clowns for the rest of our lives.” I agree that’s a good plan. I think someone’s already doing the band of clowns thing anyway. (link: http:// www.insaneclownposse.com/) And should Jake find some time to do some shows in between toning and moisturising, Vox-Pop-raping and grilling frozen foods in minutes flat he should be appearing on stage for their May/June Australia tour.
DAY OF THE MEERKAT by kate dunlop
by mikey carr
ooking and sounding like the lovechild of Eagles Of Death Metal's Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes, and Travolta’s best friend from Grease (you know, the one with blonde hair who thinks he got Rizzo pregnant), the mutton-chopped and handlebar moustached guitarist and sometime singer of Day Of The Meerkat Tyler Broyles is a man of great charisma and raw animal magnetism. Having spent the past few months applying their slippery digits to the recording of their debut EP, Dirty Tricks On Sinking Ships, and with the launch at The Gaelic Club on May 22nd looming near, Tyler dropped in to our offices recently to talk about the EP, their love of facial hair and the slightly Mormon relationship between band members. “Aden’s got an infectious moustache, which is getting pretty surly and curly,” Tyler tells me with a wry smile and a laugh. “But I mean, we’re all pretty hairy which is important. I’m sprouting hair from my face at about an inch a day cos you know it’s the coming out party and the more facial hair you have the sexier you are and we want to be as sexy as possible.” “Also we’re more attracted to each other the more hair we have and it is a bit of a five way sexless polygamist marriage, so the hair is an important lubricant for that sort of relationship. It helps you really trust each other, like lovers,” he pauses for a second before adding, “without having to, you know, bend over or anything.” Regardless of how twisted and Freudian this relationship may be, you can’t argue with the results. The band have built their reputation on spleen-fracturing live shows, their musical ore
heated in the furnace and beaten in the smithy of the Sydney warehouse scene, so they are very clear on what sort of a show they’re going to put on for the EP launch. “If you’ve never seen us, we’re used to doing warehouse parties where you can do whatever you want. So with the EP launch we’ve had to think of things we can do at The Gaelic Club without getting kicked out. “I mean we can’t use fire, we can’t break glass, and you definitely can’t give out shots of tequila from stage… Wait, can you give the audience shots of tequila from the stage, do we need a liquor licence for that?” He asks with genuine curiosity and confusion in his voice. “Anyway, shit like that,” he continues after it becomes apparent I don’t have an answer. “Basically we want it to be the best party ever and when I throw a party I like to have a bottle of tequila for the crowd, but we’ll see. “When your playing at a party, it’s a party, so your whole goal is to get rid of every wallflower in the building. You want it to be rowdy, you want it to be fun, you want it to rock and you want it to be a bit unpredictable and a bit dangerous, and some of these warehouse parties you know, it’s always a bit dangerous if you’ve got riot police on the stage. When you’ve got cops rocking up with helmets and bats and shields you know that’s a good party.” We start talking about the Ep and straight away Tyler is off on a rant. “It’s a mix up of deranged ska, a bit of surf, some chicken pickin’ chickenfried rockabilly, basically an assault on all genres,” he explains in his excited Yankee drawl.
The EP has a sort of venereal infectiousness to it, in the same vein of some of those irresistibly grungy and filthy women you meet at 2am in The Townie who leave you with a morning after itch and a few bills missing from your wallet. “It’s definitely got a sort of infected rockabilly virus quality to it,” Tyler agrees. “Is there a cure?… I don’t want a cure,” he laughs, an expression creeping across his face signifying he’s already beginning to regret some of the analogies he’s making. “It’s definitely something that’ll stick to you,” he continues undaunted, an air of resignation impregnating his words. “You’ll be left with some rock and roll symptoms you know, like it’ll make you shake your tail feather, it’ll make you dislocate your hips it’ll make you… I don’t know, shit yourself,” he laughs again in abandon, “though I’m not sure that’s what people are looking for.” Neither am I to be honest, at least not outside of Germany. However, aside from the EP’s status as a sonic STD, the recording process itself saw the band adopt a more raw and honest approach that they had once intended. “Originally we were being all nitpicky about recording the vocal delivery, but eventually we stopped all that bullshit and just let Aden unleash and record everything on one take. That was a real changing point when we were like ‘ok this is shit hot’ and just gave him licence to do what he does. That was the highlight for me watching Aden just nail it. Like we had this tent we set up in his kitchen, this hot little tent and he was in there with half his clothes off just wailing.” Sexual, reminds me of a snuff film I saw the other day. However, my own perversions aside,
Day Of The Meerkat have always been a band to do things their own way, like Frank without the Mob affiliation. What makes their style so original is the apparently involuntary nature of its creation. “It’s never gone through our minds to bring back old school, it’s like handwriting you know, you can’t help how you write, it just happens and that’s what it’s like when we play,” he says. “When we get together this music is just what comes out, we’re not there thinking like we want to be more Stooges or more Dead Kennedys or whatever, it just kinda… comes out. “I think if we tried to make a plan on how to sound a certain way it’d sound shit, it just has to be sort of au naturel I think. Even when we play other peoples music it just sounds like us, like we can play a Barry Manilow song and it’ll just sound like us." While not being in control of your music might sound like a musician’s nightmare, Tyler is keen to point out that for Day Of The Meerkat it affords them an edge over other, more sonically conscious bands. “It’s great, we don’t have to worry about having a distinguishable sound or style or whatever which I think is something a lot of bands work really hard on,” he tells me with a haughty tone in his voice. “So ha ha ha really.” Take that Evermore. Day Of The Meerkat will be launching their EP at The Gaelic Club on Friday May 22nd.
If you’d like to grab a copy of Dirty Tricks On Sinking Ships contact the band via their MySpace or send us an email at email@example.com
SOSUME - FRIDAY 1ST MAY FEAT. ONE FLEW EAST, POLYPHONIC CHILDREN AND NICHOLAS COLE Q BAR, DARLINGHURST PHOTOS BY DONNY SEMKEN
we say bamboulee by jesse hayward
e Say Bamboulée say many things, Bamboulée being one of them, obviously, but other things as well. Doug says things
“Our major influences come from the bands we listen to who produce and/or use instruments in innovative ways - to give some names, things like Caribou, Xiu Xiu, Battles, Klaxons, Mu, m83, The Knife, High Places, and Miracle Fortress. That being said, we listen to a lot of different stuff, and some other notable names are The Shins, Bread, Ben Folds, Joanna Newsom, and The National.” That's a hefty swag of musical influences. We Say Bamboulée began in the womb of Pete and Russell's mother. Doug met the brothers through some mutual friends and over a period of about a year their discussions about cool bands slowly evolved into writing music together. The parents are still in the picture, according to the band they turn up to all of their shows. For those not so close as parents however, Doug can tell you exactly how to pronounce Bamboulée. “It is Bomb-buh-lay. But we've also heard some great interpretations: Bam-boolie, Boom-baa-lay, etcetera.” If you didn't know that, don't worry. Nor did I. Doug interprets the sound of Bamboulée as “a T-shirt bought from St Vincent De Paul, subsequently tie-dyed, and then acid washed.” Which probably makes sense to somebody. Aside from making far-out music, the boys are involved in a range of extracurricular activities, such as fishing. “Pete has been filling our Myspace with slanderous comments about Russell's abilities. You haven't seen that man with a rod! Don't
fixture of Sydney’s art-rock scene for over ten years, CODA are a band whose music is constantly shifting and evolving. Currently working on their follow up to their last effort, Calling Mission Mu, as well as rare upcoming live show for Progfest at The Annandale, we set some time aside to find out what the weather is like on Planet CODA.
doubt his skill, Russ could look at a river, judge its flow, know exactly where to cast a line, and pull out a bass in the space of about 10 minutes. No jokes. He's the true Huckleberry Finn of the Bamboulée team.” Every band needs a Huckleberry Finn and many could do with a Nigger Jim. We Say Bamboulée do without centuries old Negro stylings but say they couldn't do without their piano.
Talking to CODA violinist Naomi Radom the first thing I ask is how the recording of their new album has gone since we last spoke in 2008. “We’re still at it. Nearly done. Or did I say that last time?!” She did, I tell her and she laughs nervously before moving on. “Well we keep chipping away at it, and keep writing fresh tunes so it feels like it is still evolving into its desired being.”
“We unanimously agree on the piano. It's much easier for us to put pen to paper sitting in front of a piano than on a sequencing program on the computer. Though my friend is building me this crazy device called a Monome (www. monome.org) and I'm pretty sure that it's going to be my favourite once I get my head around how to play it.”
While you might assume all the delays would be due to laziness on behalf of the band, if you’ve ever heard any of their albums or seen their live show it’s instantly obvious that it probably has a lot more to do with the bands attention to detail and perfectionism.
Upcoming performances should be grand. Doug promises us some specialist dance moves from each of the members: Pete has his Pitch Stick Hand Waggle, Russell blasts us with the Drum Automaton and Doug's fatality move is the Ghetto Shuffle. Dancing is good for keeping the blood warm and pumping, a necessary move in the cold air of the Blue Mountains.
The other reason why this latest offering has experienced a particularly long period of gestation is that this will be the band’s first album to incorporate vocals. Having always kept their music instrumental in the past, I am eager to find out what to expect from their show at Progfest. “We’re actually considering our gig at Progfest to be our last instrumental show ever,” she announces dramatically.
“To keep warm we eat hearty soups and huddle around tube amps. We think the entire continent of Australia should be concerned about Peter's nocturnal bacon consumption.” That's nothing to worry about. I eat bacon in my sleep too and it does wonders for the skin.
Leaving aside the fact she said the same thing about the bands show at Sydney Uni’s VergeFest last year, I continue on, asking her if she’s excited to see any of the bands who will playing alongside them at Progfest this weekend.
The boys are cautiously optimistic about the future. “Zillion dollar record deals, Jacuzzis, and Condos everywhere! Before that, we're going to take some time out during our Uni holidays to finish recording our debut EP. Keep your ears out for the launch tour!”
by jesse hayward
s band names go, Megastick Fanfare at least has the originality thing covered. The name was suggested, jokingly, by a friend of the band and it's stuck. It's not just a joke however, the band opens each show with a piece of music, a fanfare, unique to that per formance.
absolutely required in today's radio world, where mediocre mainstream pap is put on high rotation and celebrity gossip is the order of the day. Megastick Fanfare have been on the receiving end of this publicity boost and it has given them a shiny view of the Sydney scene.
“We tr y to write something new for ever y show though we have recycled a couple. We have been on a writing break while we have been recording our first release so there a whole bunch of ideas we’ve been holding back on. There’s one song we’ve never played that we really wanted to record but it doesn’t look like we’ll have the time. I’d like to turn that into a fanfare but we’ll see.“
“The music in Sydney is great. Lots of bands tr ying different things, it’s really exciting. We’ve had a lot of support from bands and venues ever since we started last year which has made things a lot easier. We are starting to get more people coming to our shows I guess fbi is to thank for that.
The five-piece began in high school and are now wowing audiences across Australia. In high school I used to hang around with musos after school and listen to them jam. Listening to Megastick Fanfare reminds me of those golden hours, even to the point of evoking the smell of the pides we ate after wards. Mmm... Kusbasili. “It's pop melodies over experimental textures. We all pretty much do our own thing. Someone will star t playing the instrument they feel like playing and we’ll all join in. There normally isn’t much need for someone to direct, and when there is, it’ll be someone dif ferent ever y time.” Sydney radio station FBI are hard at work promoting local bands, a function that is
Megastick Fanfare will be playing at Spectrum on the 23rd of May, with Made In Japan and Ghoul. They will also be playing the Come Together Festival at Luna Park on June 6th. The band is currently in the last stages of producing their next release so there will be fun and surprises at the upcoming shows. “We haven’t played for about 2 months, though it feels like 2 years, so expect an explosion of suppressed energy. Hopefully our release will be done by July. We’ve been recording it ourselves so it’s been a lot of work, but it’s coming together. We’ll be gigging as much as we can in June.” Be sure to check out Megastick Fanfare at Fuzzbox May 29th @ The UTS Loft Bar. For a taste of fanfare check out http://www.myspace.com/megastickfanfare
Editors Note: We don't know who's behind either of these illustrations, but if you do email firstname.lastname@example.org
“To be honest they are all new to me which means I’m excited. It’s always great to check out what’s really going on out there.” The band have built their career on creating music that is at once cinematic, expansive and abstract yet at the same time doesn’t leave the audience confused and static. They never allow themselves to get carried away with their own experimentation, always ensuring they avoid churning out undanceable pieces of pretentious wank as so many other bands of their ilk are wont to do.
“This is the music we create as a band,” Naomi explains with a hint of embarrassment at my fawning over the bands music. “It comes from the combination of us as individuals and each of our influences. It isn’t intentional. It’s just the point at which we arrive.” Regardless of how they do it, CODA’s music was never going to be the sort of stuff you’d expect to hear on Australia’s ear-searingly poor excuse for radio. It comes as no surprise then that Naomi seems quite excited about the shift in the local scene over the past few years which has seen more interesting and experimental bands finding more venues and promoters willing to book them.
“Yeah it seems like audiences and promoters are embracing acts that are a little different, a little more left field. However as well as more promoters and venues taking risks with more interesting bands, as always there are bands out of the mainstream which are creating their own scene and their own venues. “But things are always changing. It’s like there has been a couple of different generations of bands since we started playing and the same goes for venues. Some close down but others open, things never stay the same.” Speaking of change, evolving and developing has been a very dominant characteristic of the band, never content to sit on their laurels when it comes to artistic progress. “We naturally feel like experimenting and keeping moving and this is what drives us really. It always feels new and exciting cos we’re going somewhere we haven’t been before. It keeps it fun for us instead of rehashing our old ways. Bring on new adventures I say.” And what may those adventures be? “Expect a new album soon. Definitely more gigs to coincide. We are just waiting til the whole new surprise package is ready to launch itself out there and we look forward to it!” She’s not the only one.
Be sure to catch CODA at Progfest at The Annandale this Saturday and Sunday the 16th and 17th of May, and keep an eye out for the next record.
METRO THEATRE SATURDAY 25TH APRIL PHOTOS BY TYNAN CURR Y REVIEW BY MIKEY CARR.
What can I say about The Dr ones’ per for mance that hasn’t been said about Nor wewgian weather. It was tumultuous, thundering and left me wet to the bone. If you’ve never seen this band live, firstly tr y and get out mor e. They did play both Big Day Out and Laneway Festival for Christ’s sake. Secondly, and mor e impor tantly, be sur e to jump on the next oppor tunity to see them you get. The fact that bands like Grinspoon, The Living End and Faker gar ner well over thr ee times the radio play that The Dr ones do is one of many signs that the local music industr y is not only ill, but is so deluded and infir m due to the sonic syphillis that has infected it since the 80s and arguablely earlier that it’s completely lost it’s mind. The way Gar eth Liddiar d leads the band thr ough idiosyncratic tempo and key changes befor e launching into a full volume assault on your ear dr ums is awe inspiring. Opening the set with Nail It Down, the opening track fr om their latest album Havilah, The Metr o was literally shaking with excitement as Liddiar d’s gravelly vocals car ved thr ough the cr owd like a r usty butcher’s knife. As usual dr ummer Mike Noga and bassist Fiona Kitschin played their par ts with that sor t of ef for tless grace that makes you think, ‘hey I could do that,’ and always ends later with you at home, alone, having once again discover ed your gimpish r etar dation when it comes to playing music. I spent most of the set violently moshing with some friends despite the fact most of the cr owd wer e the quiet types and this, coupled with the absur d amount of booze I imbibed means I don’t have a ver y clear r ecollection of the songs played. I definitely hear d The Minotaur and I could have swor n they busted out Jezabel and a few others fr om Gala Mill and Wait Long By The River, but ther e was a lot of material fr om the new album, all car ried of f with a pr ofessionalism and passion unpar ralled in Australian r ock music today. Their last song, whose name eludes me, was by far the standout track of the night. Star ting out with a jar ring bassline, Liddiar d and other guitarist Dan Ludscombe let loose with heavily distor ted sections of fr etboar d bashing glor y. The song finished with an escalationg series of plodding br eakdowns, each louder and mor e fer vent than the last, that built into a fir e and brimstone cr ecsendo that left the audience begging for mor e. I can’t str ess how good this band is. Their albums have such a raw and ear nest quality that you’d think they’d str uggle to r ecr eate it live, but having tour ed Australia, Eur ope and The US almost without pause over the past few years, the band ar e as well oiled a musical machine as you’r e likely to find anywher e in the world right now. If you haven’t hear d them, go buy their albums. If you’ve hear d them but never seen them live, go buy a ticket to their next show. If like me you’ve hear d them and seen them live, well ther e’s only one thing left to do… buy tickets to see them at ATP New York wher e they’ll be playing their first album, Wait Long By The River & The Bodies Of Your Enemies W ill Float By, in it’s glorious entir ety.
wolf & cub by jesse hayward
he album artwork for Wolf and Cub’s new album, Science and Sorcery, evokes psyche delic eras now long since relegat ed to dust. Fitting, then, that the image feature s a desert landsca pe, dunes shadow ed by a triangle of light that contain s an outcrop ping of rock. It could be Mars, it could be Colora do, it’s imposs ible to tell becaus e of the washed out, sepia tones.
I wonde r why it is that the guys have gone for this image. The album does have some strange electro nic sounds that remind me of Doctor Who; and vocals that are occasio nally as dissoci ated from the music as Karl Hyde of Underw orld, but there is no overall psyche delic sound – it is more ambien t, or experim ental. “The album has been receive d a lot better than I though t. Most people who haven't liked it, haven't liked it becaus e it doesn' t sound like our first record, which is fine. That's cool, but I don't think we're gonna make it our goal to make the same record twice. The people that have liked it have liked the fact we've done someth ing a little differen t from the first one. “ Whethe r you don’t like it becaus e it’s not the same or you do like it becaus e it’s not the same, you’ll probab ly still have an opinion . Joel is fairly sanguin e when it comes to critics and feedba ck. “There comes a time where you have to remove yoursel f from it, but initially I was prepare d for the worst becaus e the album is really differen t. The negativ e things that have been said I sort of expect ed, but the positiv e things that people have said have been things they see in it that I haven't even seen. Thankf ully there have been more positiv es than there have been negativ es.” Many artists are angry at the ease with which people can downlo ad their music for free. Fantast ic, origina l artists such as Lars Ulrich and Madon na. It is good to see some musicia ns realise that change s are occurri ng and subseq uently roll with the punche s, getting hits in where they can. “Record sales are down, but the live scene is thriving . All these kids are getting music for free and it's encour aging them to take their money and buy tickets. It's great. I guess it's 'cause people aren’t spendi ng money on music, they're spendi ng it on going to festival s and going to shows. “ Wolf and Cub are touring now so there will be shows on which to spend your money. With two drumm ers there’s bound to be some dancin g going on. “It's gonna be a bit of a party vibe I think. It's gonna be dynam ic as well, there's gonna be ups and downs. It'll be quite tense, but then quite joyous as well. I really don't know. That's the thing, expect the unexpe cted. Our shows could go either way. Someti mes they can be really great, but someti mes they can be really bad. It's really depend ent on the vibe on the day.” Wolf and Cub are playing on the 19th of June at the Oxford Arts Factory, so get down there and check em out.
spike t by Claudia Santangelo
was christened Spiky T, by my parents, like Frank Zappa in that respect.”
He’s taking the piss; it was an old nickname that stuck. Little locks growing up like spikes on his head and a T for his name, Trevor. He chats away over the phone in his thick Londoner accent. Spikey T came to live in Sydney for the “music and me missus”. His first taste of Oz was 1995, Womadelaide. “We had a fucking wicked time. I was in love with Australia from then on.” He was here for six weeks, touring as lead vocalist for the Jah Wobble's Invaders Of The Heart. Before that he worked with the Sindecut; he’s collaborated with Mr. Scruff, Morcheba, Sola Rosa; his DJ, MC and singing skills have taken him around the world, he’s performed with reggae legions such as Dennis Alcapone, Ranking Joe and Horace Andy and now he’s here, performing at a ForeignDub gig – ‘Soul Food’ on the 30th May @ UTS Glasshouse Bar. Spiky T first worked with reggae sound systems as a surprise selector/operator when he was thirteen. It wasn’t until 1989 that he heard drum and bass – “reggae music with fucked up amen breaks… jungle reggae, then it developed into liquid and wobble”. After experiencing his first jungle sound system his ears were ringing for three days. He supports Foreigndub and the scene they are trying to build but when asked what he thinks of the drum and bass scene here in Sydney compared to the UK he flatly responds “[it’s] like my grandfathers pants, you can publish that”. He attributes this mostly to lack of support. “Its fallen off in such a big way it’s scary. The scene in Sydney has really died on its arse. It was really growing and emerging and it was really exciting. That was another thing that pulled me over here: seeing, hearing lots of good DJs and producers, but it’s just not supported because people don’t understand it, the culture’s not here for it, it’s SO small, so small” Spikey T expresses a frustration familiar to many independent music lovers out there: the music that is getting mainstream exposure is so limited.
rapids by jesse hayward
riginally from the Gold Coast, Rapids have made Sydney their second home. The band is a new incarnation of Ballet Imperial, the name change occurring because of a change in line-up. “With that change, inevitably, came a change in our music. I think Rapids are a bit dirtier, a bit grittier, but with the same importance placed on melody. I think we've grown up musically from Ballet Imperial to Rapids.” Admittedly I’ve only heard the one song on Myspace, but that sounds about as dirty and gritty as a newly washed satin sheet to me. The plaintive vocals are set to whimsical melodies that grate on the ner ves like custard being rubbed against a fur coat – not at all. This is soft stuff but it obviously isn’t tr ying to be hard. It’s nice, like ice cream. “I feel we still have the soul of Ballet Imperial in Rapids. The need for some sense of a pop sensibility still exists. However, Rapids are more experimental. We have more time to play and more of a need to explore. We also have a wider range of influences these days.” Though many musicians in Sydney decr y the lack of appropriate venues, perhaps they should appreciate what there is here, rather than complaining about what isn’t. For instance, Afghanistan has a ver y poor local music scene and so, it seems, does the Gold Coast. “There is no music scene on the Gold Coast.
I feel as though there are a heap of bands on the Gold Coast, but nowhere to play. They exist only in garages. We have loved the music scene in Sydney. So far, it has been relatively easy to lock down a decent gig. People here seem to want to help. Brisbane is a totally untapped territor y for us. To my understanding, it is a thriving scene. Sydney, in our eyes, goes off. I have seen some of the best bands in this countr y play in Sydney for $12.50 or less. On the Gold Coast, you are hard pushed to get a reply email from the two venues that put bands on.” Two venues? Even Kabul has Sheik AlMuzwari’s Sharia Shazam Palace where you can regularly see the Three Abduls perform their own special versions of Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits. “Gold Coast is fucked as I have before stated. “ “We are recording our debut EP in October. Until then, we will continue recording demos in preparation. We are focussing on our live show for the next couple of months. And writing. That's it.” Rapids will be playing at the Annandale Hotel, next Wednesday the 20th. Make sure you take the opportunity to see the intimacy of this band close-up. It is something to behold. They hold hands. “We love cuddles and kisses, but we are not that kind of band. We do live together though.” Oh right, I forgot that I was lying there. Thanks.
He generalises the industry’s focus as on “commercial rock or your Presets, - funny hair, skinny jeans crew” and criticises the music industry for having a narrow approach considering “the wealth of music we’ve got out there”. Support is what is needed, from labels and people with influence, which is why Spikey T is so passionate about teaming up with independent crews like ForeignDub, saying “it’s important to give support and encouragement – it’s really lacking here”. Spikey T also sees an ignorance of the history of Drum and Bass, stressing the importance of this knowledge to truly understand the music - “you got to pay attention to the roots, know where it’s come from”. He laughs as he tells an antidote of a ‘kid’ hailing love for old school hip hop “and I’m like who Steady B and stetsasonic and they’re like - who? Nah like JC man”. Strong influences of Drum and Bass and jungle are hip hop; and reggae and dub sounds from Jamaica - all with strong links to black culture and black movements. Spikey T voices a bit of dismay at flicking through a Drum and Bass magazines to find so little representation of black people and a lack of understanding of ‘black music’ commenting that “… so obviously the cultures not going to flourish, but the people who do appreciate it, fucking appreciate it” He admits “I’m an older geezer, I’m 40 years old, I’m not a spring chicken, I’ve been running around the world for like 20 years now” and from his experience offers some advice to the younger generation of Drum and Bass artists - “music, music not noise, I can appreciate the guys that get all technical and dirty, finding new ways to fuck with technology, I love that, but give us some music. People are crying out for it, put some soul in there, you got to get to people’s hearts”. This year is the 2oth anniversary of Spikey T’s music career and he’s flying back home to celebrate with a European tour set for June to “thank the northern hemisphere for fucking helping to pave the way… to pay respect to my roots”.
THE VANGUARD, 25TH APRIL. PHOTOS BY TYNAN CURRY
by thomas mitchell
y interview with Cog drummer Lucius Borich started off innocently enough. We spoke about changing rooms, the physical act, not the long running Channel 9 renovation show. Little did I know where we were headed. “Last place we were rehearsing we rehearsed there for eight years so it’s good to change the vibe. It’s a big ordeal to set up our equipment. We’re at a new studio rehearsing, called studio 19 in Mascot, it’s different.” I wasn’t aware that bands still rehearsed. I mean, where do they find the time between the groupies, the hard drugs and the bitter in-fighting? It has been twelve months since Cog released Sharing Space, an album so different from their previous, The New Normal, that Lucius feared they’d lose some fans. I would later discover this was the least of his fears. His fear was unfounded however, as album sales show. “I think it has had some wins, the fans that like Cog's music gave us the thumbs up which is good because it was different from The New Normal. We’ve ended up selling a bit more records than The New Normal as well, it’s creeping to gold status.” I’m impressed by the words ‘gold’ and ‘status’, they sound promising, but I’m struck by my middle class guilt. Cog are about creating music that makes sense, not cents.
Refocusing, I ask Lucius why the band strove for a new sound. “It was a natural progression to source out new instruments, different sounds, different structures in songs. You don’t want to make the same album again. You want the new sound to be a reference point for where the band is at.” And where is the band at you ask? Well geographically, Mascot, in southern Sydney, but on a greater scale they’re on the precipice of greatness, commercial radio has come-aknockin, and surprisingly, Cog’s ok with that. Smiling, Lucius says “There is always pressure from the label, they need something they can play on the radio as an advertisement for the album. What was lucky with us is that we like songs that are catchy and hooky, and can be played on commercial radio, as long as they’re in line with what Cog's about.” What is Cog about? Hard work. Not the physically demanding, back-breaking, sweating in the sun kind of hard work, but mental toughness. The band returned to the wonderfully named Weed, California, to record with Sylvia Massy, who crafted The New Normal. Last time Cog had worked one on one with Massy, but this time a team of technicians and engineers looked after them with Sylvia appearing sporadically, like a rumour.
“The first time was great, but halfway through the project it started to fall on its arse a bit, the relationship between Sylvia and ourselves. Her facility is a sausage factory, she has five bands recording at once.” It’s clear that perhaps Sylvia is off the Christmas Card list, which means the band saves on postage. Cog’s response to their situation was like one of their songs, powerful, intelligent and inspired. “We didn’t mope, we grabbed the reigns and kicked on. There was so much pressure coming from every angle in our lives and as a band we had to stay focused. We were lucky that we were reflecting off all the negative energy, staying true to the focus of what needed to be done.” The focus of their album, besides guitar-driven rock, is exposure of corruption. Somewhere in our idle chitchat, the conversation takes an interesting turn and Lucius and I are discussing conspiracy.
this album. We’re concerned with the way they’re trying to set society up and we want people to know about it.” I’m not sure who ‘they’ are but I imagine Gene Hackman is involved. I’m on board with Lucius, and I imagine us fighting the good fight, travelling in a van and having nicknames. “The Global Financial Crisis is a classic example, they’re using the problem as a way of control. Scaring us into believing they’re our only chance, then creating a one world banking currency, ruled by a selective few. Everyone loses their individual power.” This grim portrait of the nature of society isn’t what I expected at 11:45 on a Tuesday morning. I ask him if at least the prospect of the Between Oceans tour excites him.
“When you see so much control happening, through Government, and how that affects the human family, you want people to know as soon as possible. That’s why the album isn’t as abstract lyrically.”
“Yeah, we’re ready to celebrate. People have been reacting well to the new material, on this tour we’ll be playing new songs we haven’t played, also got Oceanside, a band from the UK coming out. Soon we’ll take some time out, have a break, then get together and start focusing on a third record which is exciting.”
I try to offer my thoughts but Lucius is on a roll. I am the humble rambling hiker and he is my Sherpa, guiding me up the mountain of enlightenment, or something equally spiritual and intellectually masturbatory. “We’ve taken our time to look at the agendas and then put it into
The Between Oceans tour starts soon, so get ready to party like it is the end of the world, cos it just might be.
fergus brown by jesse hayward
f one of my high school teachers had been in a folk band we would have reduced his self-esteem to nothing by the end of the first semester, but we were little bastards like that. However, it is likely that we would never have known what he was up to as they tended to keep their personal lives pretty personal – probably because we were all little bastards. Fergus Brown’s folk stylings are nothing to throw Bunsen burners at. His debut album is called Burgers Frown, a spoonerism that amuses me muchly. We catch up with Fergus to ask him how he spends his days. “I suppose balancing trying to get my record out with trying to work. I've got a couple of more weeks work before we go on tour. I'm a high school teacher so I manage kids till three o' clock then frantically email. At the moment I'm frantically saving to try and get myself on tour.“ Fergus will be playing a benefit gig for FBI radio at the Hopetoun on the 16th so be sure to check it out. “When we were organising the gig an email came around talking about their recent financial trouble. I just thought it was a good thing to do because they support me and about a billion other bands. It was a bit of a no brainer. At the end of the day, I think FBI is just so crucial, for Sydney music in particular.” Teaching and touring must be difficult to reconcile but Fergus manages to do so.
the shiny brights by jesse hayward
he Shiny Brights are a fantastic example of independent success. Since forming in late 2007 they have released a single, Electric Tigerland, mastered by Oscar Gaoana, which scored them an invite to the CMJ Music Marathon in New York. They've supported outstanding acts such as The Wombats and The Vines and in 2008 they won a slew of band competitions which threw them into the national spotlight. Not too shabby for a band that has only released one EP. Their new EP is titled Too Many Chiefs and will be released in the coming months. We caught up with Alex "Rego" Rajkowski, The Shiny Brights' Polish powerhouse, to discuss a bunch of random crap that has little or nothing to do with their music. That is the MusicFeeds way. With four vocalists in the band it must be difficult to decide who sings what. Given the multicultural mix, two Poles and a Kraut, it's easy to imagine differences in the band spilling over into an international conflagration. “This is a dilemma and a hurdle that we face every week at rehearsal. We recently employed Dicko from Australian Idol to decide who goes to the gig with the microphone in their hand. The 'losers' then get to sing back up. There was a period when our German lead singer Wolfgang was really into power metal and leather pants. Not being the biggest power metal fans we tried to resist his change in direction. Venting his frustration he rocked up to band practice, his marching entourage behind him, and tried to steer us in another direction. Luckily we had some friends over the road to help us.”
The boys are based in Adelaide, city of churches. That moniker can be a turn-off to some of our militant atheist friends, but, according to Alex, Adelaide is a lovely place with a super awesome musical vibrancy. “Adelaide is a great place to be based, the music scene here is great. There are a lot of great bands coming through the Adelaide scene right now. I think one problem is that bands from Adelaide often get a stigma attached to them just because they are from Adelaide. The scene here is super supportive. There is no hierarchy amongst the bands, everyone is happy to do shows together. Look out for Adelaide bands like The Touch, Special Patrol and the newly formed Jay Walker and the Pedestrians.” Hitting the UK tomorrow, they will be heading straight back to our shores for the JD Set tour, with You Am I headlining. “Touring with one of Australia’s most respected bands is really going to be amazing. The knowledge and experience in that band is incredible. Tomorrow we fly to Perth to play at the WAMI Festival and then we’ve got one day of rest before heading to the UK to play at The Great Escape festival in Brighton and then we go straight into the JD Set. After that we’ll be getting ready to release our new EP ‘Too Many Chiefs’ which will involve lots of touring and losing our day jobs! Album wise? You’ll have to wait and see...”
Wait we will. Find The Shiny Brights on the JD Set tour. We guarantee your enjoyment.
“Teaching was a later thing. It probably came because of music. You work in all sorts of jobs and you think 'well, I'm know I'm always gonna be doing music and I don't always want to be doing this side job.' I suppose teaching sort of works, and I teach at a school that's pretty sympathetic to what I do so I'm pretty lucky. I'm not a full timer, so I just tell my scary deputy that I wanna go on tour and he says 'no worries.’” Burgers Frown is… hehe. Great name. Always gives me a chuckle. Tell us about it, Fergus! “It's probably been at least two and a half years in the making. It's been a bit of a schizophrenic production in that I've recorded it with a bunch of different people in a bunch of different places. There was lots of chopping and changing and life just got in the way. I went on a few little tours and had to stop for a while and save more money. Before you know it my friends were asking where the record is. Now that it's finished I'm really excited to write more songs again. I've been writing heaps of songs that I'm quite enamoured with. I became obsessed with recording rather than song writing for a while.”
Fergus Brown will be touring the east coast of Oz in May and June then will be heading to the US. Be sure to catch him at the Hopetoun on the 17th and 24th for his album launch residency and don’t forget the debut album Burgers Frown. Heh.
by jesse hayward
or a band that still seems to be in the humble beginnings phase, Rudely Interrupted have received a good deal of attention. They’ve met Tom Cruise, played for the UN and are the subjects of a feature-length documentar y which should be coming out soon. Rudely Interrupted are unique in a few ways. Five of the six band members share a range of both physical and intellectual disabilities (Blindness, Deafness, Aspergers, Autism and Down Syndrome) and the music is refreshingly unpretentious. The band came together under the guiding hand of Rohan Brooks, but since formation the group has become greater than the sum of its par ts. “I star ted a ‘school of rock’ for intellectually disabled and disadvantaged musicians at the disability ser vice where I was working and thought it was way too cool to keep in a rehearsal studio. When it first gelled and we all played a single note together I think I star ted cr ying.
a desire to be the next big thing. It reminds me of that fantastic band from NZ, The Chills, combining relatively low key guitar strains with subdued vocals. In Our Dreams has raw vocals that provide a neat counterpoint to the retro synth sounds. “We tr y to keep it as organic as possible. The songs come through a few techniques I use to gain interest and the attention of ever yone in dif ferent situations. The guys have a never-ending stream of fantastic topics to put melodies with. They have a totally dif ferent take on life. Me and Josh (drums) might be jamming on a rhythm idea and Ror y (vocals and guitar) will be tr ying to get my attention with a repetitive phrase, but instead of dismissing the interruption we use the phrase as a melody and keep the moment moving for ward. Don’t Break My Hear t came from a question Ror y asked me, ‘Can you die from a broken hear t?’ I hit a discordant note and Ror y laughed and said MALFUNCTION! MALFUNCTION!”
“It was a total mess in the beginning. All sor ts of behaviour and tantrums. Josh had never played a drum kit, Marcus had never played in a band, Connie has always and will always rock, Sam is the ultimate rock star, Ror y is a bloody musical genius and I had never played guitar. Put all that together along with the Asperger’s and all the other dif ferences and it amazes me as to how we do anything!”
Since the band’s first live per formance in 2007 Rudely Interrupted have per formed sold-out shows in New York, Toronto, Bristol, Manchester and London, proving that the band has a pull beyond that of the hear t-warming ‘triumph over circumstance’ gimmick. Cynics can say what they want, these guys know their stuf f.
It would be easy to write this ar ticle with sentences that begin with phrases such as ‘despite their disabilities’, but to do so would be ignoring the obvious abilities of the musicians. Listening to their first song, Don’t Break My Hear t, I am struck by how genuine it sounds. The lyrics are simple but ef fective, displaying pop sensibilities but not limited by
“The disabilities have of course opened doors and created dif ferent oppor tunities, like the United Nations invitation in New York etc, but at the same time a big par t of why we keep on keeping on is to challenge the thoughts of those who don’t believe these guys have a place in the Australian and international community.
“The band have grown so fast and so far in such a shor t amount of time. The first single took us months to record all the par ts and get it to the stage to go and mix it in the studio. Now the guys have been through the process a couple of times from writing to recording and know what is expected from them, so it all r uns smoothly in comparison to the early days. “ The band’s first album has songs titled “The Pimple Song,” “Get Me Out Of Here” and an amazing cover of “Love My Way”. “It’s come together a lot quicker than other times we have recorded. We have been playing most of the songs live now for a while so it was a real hoot to record them all. We have called the album “Tragedy of the commons” which basically means if people co-operate rather than being defensive then there is more for ever yone.“ This seems to be the fundamental spirit of the band: more for ever yone through cooperation. “I’ve been in bands all my life and had to put up with crap and in turn others have to put up with my crap. When it happens with this band we turn it into a song, that’s the way we deal with anything and ever ything that’s hard to express for the band members. Ever y musician does it (self expression) although most people tend to think it’s about how good you are at playing your instr ument and that couldn’t be fur ther from the tr uth. To us it’s about nailing the par t in the song that rocks the hardest for each of us. “If you go back in the shor t histor y of all things rock n roll from Elvis to the Beatles, I think you find rock n roll music has car ved the path for so many in the world. Even just
a shor t month or so ago you can look at the event called “Sound Relief“ in Melbourne and Sydney. Rock raised more money in one day than any other fundraiser Australia had to of fer and yet people still dismiss music as not impor tant and music as a therapy to be nonsense.” The band have even earned the esteem of Tom Cr uise, famed nutbag, through a chance meeting at a TV studio. “We were in Canada at Much Music for an inter view and it was snowing outside, we walked in to the TV station and Tom Cr uise walked up to us, stuck his hand out and said he was ver y pleased to meet us. All I could think of was Risky Business and Scientology, so I said ‘no problem Tom’. I said to Ror y who was next to me ‘It’s Tom Cr uise’ and he said ‘pull the other one, I’m not falling for that’. “ Given the success Rudely Interr upted are already enjoying, it is likely the future holds far more in store, such as the movie that will, hopefully, be out soon. “We had a group of film makers (Susie, Ben and Whitto) follow us around the world and they captured all the drama, highs and lows so with a little luck and a lot of funding, it should be out sometime before 2020.”
Check out Rudely Interr upted at http:// myspace.com/r udelyinterr upted and http:// www.r udelyinterr upted.com and keep an eye out for their upcoming album, Tragedy of the Commons.
Music feeds tv launching soon
FUJI COLLECTIVE THE VANGUARD THURSDAY 30TH APRIL PHOTOS BY DONNY SEMKEN