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29TH INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
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contents what youâ€™ll find insideâ€Ś
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letter from the editor
ISSUE 748: Wednesday 4 December, 2019 EDITOR: Michael Di Iorio email@example.com ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant
And a 1, and a 2, and a 1,2,3,4! It’s the fourth and final magazine for the year and this baby is more packed than a school bus heading out of Rouse Hill. Celebrations, censorship, celibacy and sensuality. What do all four of these things have in common? Absolutely nothing you madman, I’m just in the mood to list things in fours - after all, it’s Q4! Get into it! Many thanks for reading our gorgeous content, and without further ado, I’m Michael Di Iorio and here is my letter. (God that sounded so serious). What can I say about the number 4 that hasn’t already been said? It’s gorgeously shaped, oblique, fashionable and most importantly, skinny. It’s achieved so much in its life, and it refuses to be an odd number. That’s the kind of positivity I really vibe with y’know. Welcome to the fourth Brag Magazine of the year, the most jam-packed edition we’ve put on offer yet. You could say we do all this four you. Four the people. Four ourselves. Four the world. The pages? Simply fourmative, the essence of the magazine? At the fourfront of journalism. This amount of ‘four’ usage? Strictly fourbidden. In the name of ONEFOUR, patron saints of the West and guardians of the sacred number we hold dear to our hearts in this hallowed magazine, we hope you enjoy every page you lay your lovely eyes on. How fourtunate of you to be witnessing such a sheer amount of interviews and exclusives. Your fourcast? It predicts nothing but wellness now. May nothing but fourtune come your way, Powerball winnings, Keno winnings, Lotto winnings, the whole shebang. Let’s get you on the cover of Fourbes for your excellent taste in magazinery. Is magazinery even a word? You better believe it isn’t. The sugar high that only numero quattro can provide is flowing through my veins and taking fourmation in my very blood. Since you’re no foureigner to our mag by now, let me cut straight to the excellent content we have in store for you. We have like, at least more than four artists in here, and that, in my humble opinion, is quite fourmidable. Tove Lo, Liam Gallagher, Alex Cameron, CLEWS, Jack Colwell, Wolfmother, My Chemical Romance, Ali Barter, Twin Peaks and way more. Four out. Aight I think I’m over the fours, but what I’ll never be over is the lovely readers of this magazine. Thank you for picking us up and taking a gander at all our hard work. We appreciate the support, from the bottom of our hearts.
COVER ILLUSTRATION: Connor Xia ADVERTISING: Steph Robertson firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER: The Brag Media CEO, THE BRAG MEDIA: Luke Girgis - luke.girgis@thebrag. media MANAGING EDITOR: Poppy Reid email@example.com THE GODFATHER: BnJ GIG GUIDE SUBMISSIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS: Michael Di Iorio, Geordie Gray Elizabeth Green, Sharona Lin Augustus Welby, Tyler Jenke, Benjamin Piñeros, Alasdair Belling, Poppy Reid, Adam Guetti Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this NEW address Level 2, 9-13 Bibby St, Chiswick NSW 2046 ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Carrie Huang accountsseventhstreet.vc (02) 9713 92692, 9-13 Bibby St, Chiswick NSW 2046 DEADLINES: Editorial: Thursday 5pm (no extensions) Ad bookings: Last Wednesday of the month 12pm (no extensions) Finished art: Last Thursday of the month 5pm (no extensions) Ad cancellations: Last Wednesday of the month 12pm Deadlines are strictly adhered to. Published by Seventh Street Media Pty Ltd All content copyrighted to Seventh Street Media 2017 DISTRIBUTION: Wanna get the BRAG? Email email@example.com PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: spotpress.com.au 24 – 26 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville NSW 2204 EDITORIAL POLICY: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, editors or staff of the BRAG.
Thankfulness fourever, fourmalities never. follow us:
With editor’s love, Michael Di Iorio.
This Issue’s Cover: Illustration: My Chemical Romance by Connor Xia
My Chemical Romance
The Brag Gaming Xmas Tech Gift Guide
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THE RETURN OF
BLACK D A P RA E
Elizabeth Green explores the legacy of My Chemical Romance, from leading fans out of the depths of depression, to the days when parental hysteria would label the group as a suicide cult.
nce the voice for all the broken souls across the globe, My Chemical Romance’s departure from the music scene in 2013 devastated their hundreds of thousands of fans. They were left to carry on with only their music and the mistake of overly bleached hair. But it’s time to get your eyeliner on standby because the blistering intensity of My Chemical Romance is back. Gerard Way, Frank Iero, Mikey Way and Ray Toro are booked to do a string of shows, including two in Sydney and Melbourne. The six years of distance between the danger days of a united MCR haven’t diminished fan’s love for their raw theatricality.
The band’s forceful hooks and emotive lyrics were the catalysts for so much youthful angst from the 2000s onwards. With each song, Way’s gale-force voice barrels at you like a high-speed train, and you have no choice but to jump on his wavelength. Subtlety isn’t the name of the game when it comes to MCR, but if you needed a punch to the gut in the form of emotional vulnerability, these are your guys. That’s the thing about ‘emo’ music, you’re under a barrage of noise that echoes what’s inside of you, and MCR isn’t afraid to leave you choking on line after line of raw emotion. MCR was able to not only last beyond their breakup, but they’ve also been able to reach out to new listeners. It was their ability to tap into the rage, fear and sadness
The width of MCR’s fan base is undeniable, but the specificity of their appeal to younger audiences through music video after music video has allowed them to play a part in shaping the minds of an upcoming generation. Fans will recall what it was like to play a song and have whatever pent up feelings they had thrown back at them in a way that is addictively jarring. I spoke to fans Krystal Docker and Franni Kuan, who stanned MCR hard back in the day, to speak about what it was precisely about this band that their hearts clung to so earnestly. “At the time, it just felt truthful in a way that no other music had felt. It was very affirming at the time to hear music that really, accurately reflected how I felt,” Docker told me. For each person lost in the fog of their traumatic teen years, songs which appeal to the emotional and theatrical allow them to step into their feelings. Each generation needs music to soundtrack their coming of age - whether or not they are in a dark place, yelling that “No one understands” them before slamming their bedroom door. Songs like ‘Disenchanted’ spoke out for younger audiences, with lyrics like “I spent my high school career, spit on and shoved to agree,” calling out society’s inclination to force young people to fit the mould. Speaking to Kerrang about their rompy, feverish hit ‘Teenagers’, Gerard Way said that it was “…a commentary on kids being viewed as meat; by the government and by society.” Though they were born out of Way’s desires to “fight the good fight” and help people in the wake
Way doesn t just tap into the misery that his fans are going through, he s in the trenches with them of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, MCR never wanted to be a preaching band. Like their listeners, the members of the band were themselves ‘not okay’. Way has especially been open about his struggles with suicidal thoughts, depression and substance abuse, both before and during the band’s height. There’s not a ‘hush-hush’ attitude towards the severity of these struggles either. The band’s live album-cum-documentary Life on the Murder Scene reveals Way’s battle with alcoholism and drug use and shows footage of his excessive drinking and substance abuse. The videos include interviews discussing Way’s suicidal intentions, with their band manager from 2005 to 2009 revealing how he had to “talk him down” from committing suicide. Way became sober after that incident and revealed that both the music and the support of his fellow band members and support had “saved (his) life
My Chemical Romance illustration by Connor Xia
Their first reunion show, simply titled Return, sold out within minutes, and fans worldwide have kicked up a hell-storm and a new appetite for that irresistible fervency that’s been missing from the music scene. Their fan base has only grown in their absence, with waves of younger listeners latching onto the addictive riffs and jarring truths found in each song. Killjoys, it’s time to make some noise again.
universal to everyone who queues ‘Helena’ on Spotify which made them iconic.
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That s the thing about emo music, you re under a barrage of noise that echoes what s inside of you, and MCR isn t afraid to leave you choking on line after line of raw emotion
twice.” Though Way once described creating an album as “surgery without an anaesthetic”, he also revealed that in creating music: “You find yourself and your friends all over again, you find something to fight for, something to love. Something to show the world.” You only have to look at the comment section of any of their music videos to find scores of fans who say that their music saved them. There’s even a book on MCR titled My Chemical Romance: This Band Will Save Your Life. Way doesn’t just tap into the misery that his fans are going through, he’s in the trenches with them. Their music emphasises and commemorates the feelings of each listener who’s going through hell. Each song beats directly out of the band’s own struggles, speaking with candour to the loneliness and heartbreak of the listener in rabid echoes.
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It’s the openness to discuss mental ill-health and suicide that has influenced a generation of young people. “They spread a very hard-hitting sort of message at the time. It was that ‘It’s okay to feel shitty,’ because you’re not the only one. It’s okay to not be okay,” Kuan said.
My chemical Romance from the Brag Archives 2010
Out of the trust Way develops with his audience, he provokes them to speak out about their struggles and to try to get better. During one performance, Way directly calls fans to open up and speak about their issues. “If you, or someone you know, are severely depressed, you need to fucking talk to somebody. Your best friend, your mom, somebody at school, I don’t give a fuck. Because pissing your life away on suicide is fucking bullshit,” he said. For many fans, there is a darker side to conflating your band’s identity so closely with mental illness. If you’re feeling sad, broody music can help you reach catharsis or to work through inner turmoil. However, evidence shows that for people who have depression, listening to sad music like MCR’s can exacerbate feelings of helplessness and lead to spirals of rumination. This is something that Docker agreed with, and she says
that widespread self-harm amongst MCR fans normalised that behaviour.
gender is a significant contributing factor to how the media framed MCR.
“I think it can actually contribute to getting stuck in a rut. I think sometimes their music might have made me even more depressed… a lot of my friends and I made our depressive illness a part of our identities, and that’s a really dangerous way to define yourself,” she said.
“We need to listen to what young women have to say... Rather than emo being a fashion that pushes them towards the feelings of desperation, into self-harming, to commit suicide, it can help fans to survive mental ill health,” Hill writes.
The band has been criticised for being a ‘suicide cult’ by news outlets such as the Daily Mail, which blamed MCR for the death of a thirteenyear-old girl. Despite the Daily Mail’s less than perfect reputation, parental hysteria ensued. But for Kuan and many other fans, they were able to discover a support group in the form of the My Chemical Romance fandom. “I found, not so much that MCR themselves and their music helped, but I found huge comfort in their fandom and their community. Everyone was talking about mental health online,” she said. Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill, a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leeds and author of the research paper ‘Emo Saved My Life’, argues that My Chemical Romance challenged the discourse surrounding mental health. She also claimed that
Hill does acknowledge that for some fans, the music may be more of a hindrance than helpful. Still, within her research, she found that the band helped them overcome unhappiness, or to deal with bullying or long-term illness. Despite the focus on mortality and heartbreak within many of their songs, the ones that are remembered are the ones about carrying on despite whatever challenges you’re facing. “I am not afraid to keep on living / I am not afraid to walk this world alone ... / Nothing you say can stop me going home”, Way belts out on the track ‘Famous Last Words’. The defiance and unabashed rebellion of My Chemical Romance’s songs drive listeners to the centre of their feelings, then offers them a way out. For a generation that has led the way in opening conversations about mental health, rebelling against stigma and silence is exactly what they needed. ■
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Alex Cameron photo by Chris Rhodes
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The End Is Nigh Shannon Jade reminisces with Alex Cameron on growing up in Australia, high-concept characters and Miami Memory, his brand new album which marks an exciting evolution for one of the country’s most ambitious artists.
nown for high-concept ideas and inventive musical storytelling, Alex Cameron is an Australian singersongwriter taking on the world. With his eyes set on making music that connects deeply with its listeners, Alex is leaping from one career success to the next. As he grows as a musician, Alex has become more confi dent in his unique style, releasing songs that are tender, vulnerable, lustful, and conceptually interesting. True to form, Alex’s interest in character and narrative shines through in his latest releases. His new single, ‘Far From Born Again’, “celebrates the legitimacy of the independent sex worker” and the video for single ‘Miami Memory’ has a strong focus on elaborate costuming. Miami Memory, Alex Cameron’s latest album, released on the 13th of September. We sat down with Alex to learn to more about what inspired him to make the music that he does. Your music has a really distinctive and unique sound. Who and what has influenced your style? Growing up in Australia, there was a lot of people like Crowded House and Cold Chisel. Certainly coming up younger, and then the more I started working, I’d keep just attaching myself to the classic rock radio, it continues to inform me, consistently. At least with the tone and certain sounds.
When I work with characters, I’m just finding, accessing certain stories that I want to tell and giving a certain platform for ideas to launch off, that I get carried away with. It excites me, writing with characters, generally. I think that in order to do that properly, to do it to a point where I’m satisfied, it generally takes quite a lot of real-life experience, and consideration, and living, and learning. I just found that I start with it, and it was the most exciting way to go about telling stories. It was to use characters. It was just fun for me. I think it’s a really interesting approach. In your recent music video for ‘Miami Memory’ you chose a lot of characters and a lot of really bold, high-concept ideas. Could you tell us a bit about what inspired the creative decisions behind that clip? Yeah, I think that, in general, the city of Miami is usually inspiring for me. It’s a place where I’ve had a number of experiences, huge highs and very deep lows. It felt like the kind of city that maybe, in a hundred years, might be underwater. I wanted to have a song and a video that captured parts of Miami that I really hold dear. Song-wise, I suppose the concept is that there is this place out there for – I think each
“People in the music industry are extremely potholed” couple has their own destination or location that they either found themselves in or want to move towards. So it’s a fantasy, and at the same time it’s based on something real. Those extremely lucid romantic moments that in some ways can be a little bit too good to be true. Along the vein of your new music, your song ‘Divorce’ opens with the line “Well, in the age of conversation I guess I got the gift of gab”. How do you think that our age of conversation has affected music and the music industry? I think people are able to speak things into existence. And I think that ideas turn from gossip to tangible results extremely quickly. I don’t know if it’s ever happened at this rate. I know that people in the music industry are extremely potholed. No one really knows where to put their music, no one knows how people are listening for music. There are so many different platforms and so many different ways. ▲
But I’m open to anything these days. I’m really much more focused on the story than I am on productions or anything like that.
And with the story, character and narrative have been a huge part of the content you’ve been creating so far. What is it about the storytelling of music that draws you to it, and which role has been your favourite so far?
“It’s a crazy time to be writing music, and to be recording it, and certainly releasing it” thebrag.com
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Alex Cameron photo by Chris Rhodes
“It’s a fantasy, and at the same time it’s based on something real. Those extremely lucid romantic moments that in some ways can be a little bit too good to be true”
You could have a hit record using a method that no one’s ever used before, and that can change next week as well. So I think technology, and certainly the internet, and if you want to call it “the age of conversation,” it’s levelled the playing fi eld in many ways.
I’m really excited. The whole record gets me so gassed up. I’m extremely excited. I’ve got goose-bumps when I’m rehearsing the songs. With my energy, I’m very much invested in this album, not only meaning-wise, but the recordings are hot. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt like the recordings are as good as the songs.
But in order to level the playing fi eld, it has to create this vast space for everyone to exist in. It’s just vast, very vast. And I think it’s confusing for some, exciting for others, challenging for some.
At the moment, I’m really, really excited about ‘Far From Born Again’. It’s one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written. But also the title track, ‘Miami Memory’, I just don’t think I’ve ever succinctly expressed something as effectively as that.”
It’s a crazy time to be writing music, and to be recording it, and certainly releasing it.” Which song on the album are you most excited about?
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You’re achieving some incredible successes with your career. Where do you see the future taking you? Do you have any really big goals or plans?
I just recently realised that I have to set new goals for myself because I haven’t set a goal since – the last goal I had was to get a record deal in America, and I just haven’t thought about it since then. I feel extremely lucky to be doing something that I’m motivated to do. It took a while to access the position and to get my feet firmly in the dirt. I guess my goal is to keep making music, stay motivated, stay healthy, and keep releasing records that people want to listen to. And keep performing. I feel like I’m getting better and better at singing and putting on a show, so I’m just excited to keep doing that. That’s a goal right now. ■
Starin’ Down the Loaded Gun Michael Hartt talks to Liam Gallagher about his brand new solo album Why Me? Why Not., and the freedom that being a solo artist provides the ex-Oasis frontman. iam Gallagher is having quite the year. The former Oasis and Beady Eye frontman not only released his second solo album, Why Me? Why Not., but he’s just turned 47 and played a hometown show in Manchester to celebrate both landmarks.
“I’ve got a lot more say and I’ve got a lot more input this way round than what I did when I was in Oasis”
When we spoke a few days after, the owner of one of British rock’s more recognisable growls and some of the best haircuts in the last 30 years was only just getting over the hangover.
While he’d prefer to still be fronting the former biggest band in the world – who split in 2009 – Gallagher describes his current solo career as the “second best thing”.
It was a mad gig, small, in front of “It about a thousand people; then we had my birthday party afterwards, which was pretty hectic. I’ve kind of been recovering from it, really.”
s no egos in this at all. “II think there there’s Andrew does his bit, Greg does his bit, I do my bit, we’re there to make good music, we get in, we get out.”
Why Me? Why Not. comes just two years on from Gallagher’s first solo outing, As You Were and sees him working again with collaborators including songwriter/producers Greg Kurstin and Andrew Wyatt.
Liam Gallagher at Festival des Vieilles Charrues 2018 artwork by Sarah Bryant from original photo by Thesupermat CC BY-SA 3.0
Having been in a band who only released an album every three years in its later days, Gallagher likes the faster pace that he can work at as a solo artist. “We did half of the album in a week,” he says, “I went out there and we had five, six songs written and recorded.” “It’s different. I’ve got a lot more say and I’ve got a lot more input this way round than what I did when I was in Oasis, so that’s nice.”
“I don’t want to make some shitty little punk record like these so-called punks do today”
Often described as equal parts John Lennon and John Lydon (mostly for his voice), Gallagher has always thrived on the power of rock ‘n’ roll menace. Since going solo, he’s expressed a desire to make an out-and-out “punk” record and delive though neither album has delivered on that wish, he says the next one m may very well be the one. “I’ve got that kind of attitude whe where it’s like I always start off going ‘let’s fookin’ record but as make a proper punk rock record’ soon as we get in there and we have yo go a tune that sounds like ‘Once’, you w ‘nah, nah, fook it, let’s carry on with w this, this is a mega tune’, know what I mean? “So, one day I’m going to stick to my guns and just go ‘look, let’s make a proper, full-on, foot to the floor, no choru ballads’. It’s got to have big choruses, it’s gotta be like The Pistols. I don don’t want re to make some shitty little punk record like these so-called punks do tod today. “Double track all the rhythm guit guitars, s double track the fookin’ lot so it sounds like the Pistols meets ABBA,” he laughs. ou Even though his new music is out there and doing well, Gallagher’s past is never that far behind him. Aug August anniversa 2019 marked the 25th anniversary de of the release of Oasis’ iconic debut, Defi nitely Maybe. Would young L Liam disco have envisaged people still discovering
and celebrating his band’s work after all this time? “To think back in that time that people will be digging it in 25 years, I guess you’d probably be a little bit arrogant to say that but definitely I thought we were making a good record. “I think once them records are out and once you get past five or ten years, I think they just live on, they’ll be here forever. They just get caught up in the cosmos and they just keep going round and round it, you know? I’m glad that I sang on it.” While Oasis’ first Australian tour in 1998 became better remembered for its incidents off the stage than for what happened on it, Gallagher says he loves coming here, especially to beat the bitter British winters. He’s also quick to namecheck some of his favourite Aussie acts. “I mean, obviously you’ve got your Tame Impala. You’ve got Holy Holy. I like them, I’ve seen them a few times. Then, who’s that other band? Gang Of Youths! And you’ve got the DMA’s out there.” “To be fair, you’ve always had a good music scene and it always seems to be healthy, even though we don’t get to hear all of it. It just seems to be a really good, healthy music scene so fair play to yas, man.” ■
“I think there’s no egos in this at all… we’re there to make good music, we get in, we get out” BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19 :: 23
The Great Converge
Shannon Jade talks with Thomas Busby of Busby Marou about Australianness, pride and The Great Divide, the latest project from the duo who cross genres and challenge expectations, while never forgetting their roots.
uintessential Aussies with an easygoing attitude, Busby Marou’s sound is difficult to define and easy to listen to. The duo’s songs celebrate Australian identity, days spent on the beach, and the cultural divide that music helps us cross. I spoke to Thomas Busby about the meaning behind the group’s uniquely Australian sound.
The music’s laidback sound, he says, was an unintentional result of the duo’s general demeanour, but Busby isn’t complaining about the results: “It’s great hearing you say that.”
Busby Marou’s laidback Australian music has a lot to do with the duo’s Rockhampton roots.
“You don’t realise just how Australian you are until you get a little bit older, and you start travelling a lot and hanging around with people from different cultures and different countries,” Busby says.
“It’s all about the outdoor lifestyle, sport, being on the water, and being around family,” says Busby.
“We’re in it for the long game” 24 :: BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19
Australianness is a very strong focus of Busby Marou’s work, and it’s something both band members are proud of.
“You realise that our slang is really hard to understand if you didn’t grow up in central Queensland,” he jokes. “But we’re really proud of it. None of it’s put on. It’s genuine.”
“Initially, it was all my experience,” Busby says. “I was the key songwriter in the early days […], so it was all about my little lessons in life.” Now, though, Busby says that Marou’s stories are ready to come to light, with the new album set to include songs about Marou’s Torres Strait Islander culture and the influence of his late father. A recent trip to the Islands, Busby says, was an opportunity for two worlds to come together and “open up the doors in terms of the songwriting process.” The guys of Busby Marou pride themselves on writing thoughtful, insightful lyrics, but Busby’s favourite line, the title of ‘Drink the World Dry’ isn’t one he came up with. “I stole the line,” he declares. “It was a song written about my uncle, who passed away too soon. Paul Kelly tells this big story about living life [in the song ‘Right Outta My Head’]… really hard and fast. “It’s the good times and the bad times, something similar about those that [makes you] want to go out and drink the world dry. I stole that as a tag and song title. So it’s not my line, I stole it! And I’m acknowledging him for it, but I really love it. I love singing it, I love telling that story.” The Great Divide was released in September this year. Choosing a favourite song is difficult for Busby, but he lands on the title track, ‘The Great Divide.’ “The actual feeling it gives me when I hear it, when we sing it, it’s all those awesome feelings that are why I’m into music in the first place,” he says. “We recorded most of it live in one take […]. A lot of the other tracks on the album are nicely produced, and this one’s stripped back and bit more raw, and really finishes off the album well.” This authentic approach to recording isn’t new for Busby Marou. Crossing genres and focusing on producing an organic sound has been important throughout their career. “At the end of the day,” Busby says, “the most important elements for us are the two guitars and the vocals, together. We try to capture that as real and organic as we can every time, and for us, it’s really about exploring production around that.”
This identity really shines through in the duo’s story-driven songs, which are inspired by life experiences and differences.
Busby Marou’s successes have seen them tour with some of music’s biggest stars, including Elton John, Dolly Parton, Bryan Adams, and Paul Kelly. While Busby calls the last album’s #1 success their biggest achievement, meeting music icons has been a dream come true.
“You don’t realise just how Australian you are until you get a little bit older, and you start travelling a lot and hanging around with people from different cultures and different countries” “You’re dancing a fine line between hanging out and being muso buddies and also a fan,” Busby reflects. “You want to go ask for a photo to put on your socials, but it’s too shameful!” The journey isn’t over yet for Busby Marou, but neither of the guys are particularly focused on taking over the world with record sales. “We’re in it for the long game,” Busby says. “We feel like, hopefully, [our music] should be around forever, longer than us. “As a result of that idea, we just want to consistently create good music and get it out, and also have a bit of courage to do exactly what we want with no pressure from radio or what’s being played at the moment.” Hopes of cracking the American or European market are on the cards, but Busby says there’s still a long way to go on the Aussie scene. ■
“We just want to consistently create good music and get it out, and also have a bit of courage to do exactly what we want with no pressure from radio or what’s being played at the moment” thebrag.com
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Something Purer Than Happiness Alasdair Belling shines a light on Alex Knight, the man behind Brightness, whose self-titled new record takes leaps and bounds into the fields of optimism, glowing in the chasms of darkness and dread.
rightness, the moniker for Sydney musician Alex Knight, can be found in some pretty special corners of the Aussie music scene. Formerly of the Canvas Kites, his new solo outing has supported the likes of Alex G and Middle Kids while earning praise from some of the countries harshest critics.
melting pot, Brightness is a treasure that far too few seem to know about in Australia; hidden to an extent in plain sight, a gem in the haystack of modern guitar bands.
However, since the release of debut record Teething in 2017, those live airings have been few and far between – but it’s not because of lack of opportunities.
“If I get offered a show supporting a band, it’s always some guitar pop band. I’d love to do some stuff with heavier bands – but that seems like too big a gap to be taken on by a booking agent.
“I actually don’t particularly enjoy playing live much to be perfectly honest,” says Alex matter of factly, ironically speaking to us just hours before taking the Manning Bar stage to support City Calm Down. “It’s not something that I’ve curated or anything- it’s just one of those things.” Fusing rock, folk, pop and all manner of other influences into one colourful
“I don’t really like playing with bands that sound like me,” he admits candidly, yet with all the humility you would expect.
“I made an agreement with this American agent called Ground Control Touring – they have Nails and Code Orange, which is super awesome.” Would a move to America be on the cards for Alex, to thrash out his mysterious jams alongside some of the more unique head-banging acts across the Atlantic?
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“There’s an appreciation of the sublime, but in specifically grim circumstances” “If it was realistic, I would have already done it,” he says. “I was living in England for six years and I thought I’d just be back in Australia for a little while, but then the record deal came through, so it made sense to stay… for now.” The record deal in question, signed with the celebrated I Oh You! label (Violent Soho, DMA’s, DZ Deathrays) saw the release of Teething and is also the host of his new self-titled LP, with beautiful singles ‘Dallas’, ‘Year Of The Goat’ and standout track ‘Bukhansan’ already available everywhere. “It’s the name of the mountain that overlooks Seoul – that song is a story I made up about a drunken night out in that city,” he says of the latter. “One of the group members says that he heard the voice of this goddess – the point being the struggle between my rationality and my faith. There are moments like that where you encounter the beauty of this scale – your agnostic self is really put to the test.” “Every song is a different version of myself, but there’s this constant relationship between stress of some sort – be it mental or physical – and the theme of gratitude,” he says of the rest of the album. “There’s an appreciation of the sublime, but in specifically grim
circumstances. It’s not jumping around clicking your heels – more the relationship between spiritual struggle and transcendence. “Something purer than just what we would call ‘happiness’ so to speak.” With the new record comes a change of scenery for Alex, who closes our interview by telling us of the vague plans for the project. “I’ve actually made the decision to move to Canada, which is in the works for early next year,” he tells us. Being on the border of the US, we ask what he thinks he can expect with his music on the other side of the world. “There’s a different culture in Canada and America with the college radio station,” he muses. “You can tour there, and it makes sense. We’re paralysed a bit over here in Australia – at least some types of music are – but it’s no one’s fault. “You hear some artists knock triple j – but triple j do what they do to survive – they have to do their own thing.” Given we might not have him around for much longer, make sure you check out Brightness’ new self-titled record out now and keep an eye on his socials for any potential (emphasis on potential) shows. ■
“Every song is a different version of myself, but there’s this constant relationship between stress of some sort – be it mental or physical – and the theme of gratitude” thebrag.com
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the blacker the beary, the sweeter the truth Poppy Reid talks with blackbear ahead of his January string of shows about the triumphs of vindication and the woes of addiction.
hen blackbear was 16-yearsold, he was collecting iTunes checks, and his pop-punk band Polaroid was signed to the now-defunct Leakmob Records. When he was in his early twenties, he was one of just a few artists making money from SoundCloud, raking in over US$2,000 a week using the platform’s early monetisation offering. It makes sense then that Matthew Musto, a selfmade genre-defier with co-writes and collabs to rival Max Martin himself, held out from signing a label deal until just under two years ago. Speaking over the phone, blackbear is working on his next EP with Andrew Goldstein – the fabled co-writer behind his tracks like ‘hot girl bummer’, ‘do re mi’, and ‘anxiety’. It might have only been five months since his last release in ANONYMOUS, but blackbear is anything if not prolific. In 2017 he delivered three releases, all while dealing with chronic pancreatitis – but more on that later. blackbear is, currently, an outsider artist. He may have co-writing credits for Justin Bieber, G-Easy, Machine Gun Kelly and Linkin Park, and a deal with Live Nation which will see him tour Australia in January 2020, but it’s hard to say whether blackbear is properly appreciated yet. As a self-made millionaire, blackbear could have easily continued on the independent route. With no label backing, he was able to remain on the
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“I think a big part of my brand is just embracing all things that you like no matter if they’re feminine, masculine, whatever it is”
margins of the music industry and still chart inside the Billboard Top 20. However, he had reached a point where his own marketing efforts had hit their acme, and Interscope Records offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse. “I kind of couldn’t say no to it,” he says. “It was only about the music. Nothing about touring, merch or any of the other aspects in my career. It was really only to just distribute my music – and they just offered so much and I really, really love [Interscope President] John Janick.” To categorise blackbear is to rail against all that he is. His pop-punk beginnings weave through tracks like ‘idfc’ and ‘anxiety’, but his close ties to pop, EDM and hip hop make him a music industry enigma. Here’s an artist who regularly gets his nails done and indulges both his masculine and feminine energies (check out the cover for his collab with Mike Posner), who also proffers lyrics like: “I’m a fool for these thangs with the big butts / take her home, body turn into a rich slut.” “I think a big part of my brand is just embracing all things that you like no matter if they’re feminine, masculine, whatever it is,” he says, wise beyond his years. “[…] If blackbear was in high school it would be a best all-around [type] I feel like,” he says. “It would be a little bit of something for everyone.” ▲
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“I believe that some people can be addicted to anything because if you are not facing whatever is in front of you, then maybe you are not comfortable in your own skin”
“You should really utilise the fans because those are the people that are investing in you” ▲
With tracks like ‘Wish You The Best’ (“2016 was catastrophic I deserved it”), ‘SWEAR TO GOD’, the entire Help EP and most of ANONYMOUS, blackbear sings about addiction and vindication; and all the things which take you from the former to the latter. Now three years sober, with a baby boy on the way and currently touring the globe with the biggest concert promoter in the world, Live Nation, 2019 couldn’t be more polar opposite to 2016. “2016 I got like pretty sick. Out of nowhere I got diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and for somebody that’s only like 25-years-old, it’s a little insane and unexpected. It was a bit of a wakeup call for me. “You have to watch what you do and make more healthy choices or you will get sick,” he adds.
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blackbear said his pancreatitis – an inflammation of the pancreas which can cause acute pain – isn’t just a result of the highs and hangovers of excessive drinking. It runs in the family:
“I believe that some people can be addicted to anything because if you are not facing whatever is in front of you, then maybe you are not comfortable in your own skin.
“I think genetics played a big role too. I think there was appendix problems in my real father’s side of the family or something like that but just organ failure stuff,” he says.
“Everyone has the ability to be addicted to something if their coping mechanism isn’t correct, you know.”
“I think the good part about it is that I took it very seriously and I made a lot of changes and I think the album [ANONYMOUS] reflects that.” blackbear has been open about his past struggles with alcoholism, and about the fact that life offstage and on the road is a knife-edge situation for many artists. When asked whether he believes addiction can be present across different areas of someone’s life at the same time, he took a moment and said:
In an age where artists have never been more accessible, and behavioural data has never been more important, there’s never been a greater opportunity to exploit the artist-to-fan relationship. However, blackbear is only interested in strengthening his connection with his millions of followers. Heck, even his track ‘do re mi’ was born from a tweet he posted which received over 70,000 likes. “I see a lot of artists saying, ‘comment what city we should come to’, but half the time they just want to get a lot of comments,” he says. “In reality, the artists don’t
pick what cities they go to, the agent does and I’m not sure the agents are looking at that, but that’s the reality of all of this. “You should really utilise the fans because those are the people that are investing in you,” he continues. “Without them, I would have to learn a different trade.” blackbear’s close-knit support system will be out in full force this upcoming January when he returns to Australia for the first time in two years to play shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. And it looks like he’s planning something particularly bespoke for these local dates. “I’m going to do a special concert for Australia so I wouldn’t expect it to be anything like Europe or anything like the United States,” he reveals. “[…] Expect a show. Expect the songs you want to hear and expect a good performance.” ■
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Thandi Pheonix photo by Cybele Malinowski
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Mythological Talent Sharona Lin speaks with Thandi Phoenix as she rises from the ashes of her past to deliver us her stunning self-titled EP.
hatever radio station you listen to, you’ve likely heard Thandi Phoenix’s voice before. The soulful Sydney singer has that rare crossover appeal which has seen her perform with Vera Blue, OneRepublic and Rudimental, hit #1 on Spotify’s viral charts, and play festivals here and overseas. After four years of making sublime music, Thandi Phoenix has finally released her first EP. “My taste in music has changed over the years and I think I fall in love with different sounds and I just put that into my music and I experiment with it,” she says of her journey in creating the EP. “I think more now, I think I have a stronger message now than what I would’ve had before, so I’m really happy with how it’s all taken its time and didn’t rush to get the EP out. It all just worked out just right.” After writing in London, Sweden and Sydney and then culling the songs ruthlessly, what has resulted is six tracks of solid gold. “It was really difficult for me to cull, it was hard work to pick the songs because there were obviously so many to choose from, but these are the strongest I believed, and the ones which just made it very cohesive and connected with me the most,” she says. With not a filler song in sight, it’s hard to pick a favourite track. However, ‘Again’ featuring British musician Dan Caplen is certainly up there. Phoenix explains that she appreciated the song’s beautiful sentiment, “wanting not to reflect negatively on a relationship, but accepting that it had its time, it didn’t go the way you would’ve liked it to. But all the times you did have, the good far outweighs the bad.”
of took away from that raw, real sound that it had, just the guitar and vocals. “But it was tricky because, with other songs, you’re like just add this, add this, you can just keep adding stuff. But with this one I wanted it as minimal as possible. It was really about less is more for this track, and just finding that balance.” While Phoenix exudes confidence and charisma in her music and onstage, it wasn’t always the case. In high school, she started singing in the choir because she thought it would be less terrifying than performing by herself. But seeing other people performing made her realise that that’s what she wanted to do, and she pushed herself to make it happen.
“I think I have a stronger message now than what I would’ve had before”
“Looking back in hindsight, it does seem a bit weird,” Phoenix admits. “I was so scared, but also I was like, I want to do that! I just had to fight through the nerves and put myself in uncomfortable positions, and yeah that was such a… I made a fool of myself!” she laughs. Fast forward to now and she’s played Splendour in the Grass, Bigsound, SXSW and the NRL Grand Final, as well as her own headline tour. And anyone who’s seen her in perform will tell you that she’s electric live, whether at a show or at a festival. Phoenix approaches all her live performances the same way, she says. The only difference is the cardio involved: “I think I’m just going to go to the gym some more! I cannot help myself when I’m on stage, and just run around, so really if it’s a bigger stage it just means more exercise for me!” At the time of this magazine, Thandi would have played Festival X, but after that, who knows what’s in store. All Phoenix can promise is that she’ll stay true to her own vision.
Co-written with LA songwriter and producer Schmarx, the song is notable for how stripped back it is.
“You don’t want to make something to please someone else and then you’re not happy with it. I’m grateful when people want to play my stuff – if anyone wants to play my stuff I’m like, please! Thank you!
“It was different from a lot of the stuff I was working on at the time. I was just so cautious about adding extra production to it because it kind
“So I don’t really think about whether my music is going to be played on this or that, I just try to make music that I love.” ■
“I don’t really think about whether my music is going to be played on this or that, I just try to make music that I love”
“I just had to fight through the nerves and put myself in uncomfortable positions” thebrag.com
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Love, Lust, Liberation and the Lynx Michael Di Iorio chats with Tove Lo about her new album Sunshine Kitty, a deep-dive into the emotional responses we all have when faced with the sweetness and splendour of love and all its illustrious leanings.
hat can be said about the progenitor of festivalready anthems, Tove Lo, that hasn’t already been clearly stated by her discography? Coming onto the scene with the drug-fueled ‘Habits (Stay High)’, Tove Lo (pronounced as Too-va Lu in her native tongue of Swedish, or the more common Americanised version of just Tove Low) cemented her place in the pop world as a force to be reckoned with from the very beginnings of her career.
It’s important to identify the history of Tove Lo, as it all builds up to the glorious moment that is 2019’s Sunshine Kitty. Armed with imagery of the lynx, her guiding spirit and visual companion for the new era, Tove dips into raw and emotional evaluations of love, lust and liberation, in ways still unique and unseen in the artist’s discography. Sunshine Kitty revels in sweet-talk and seduction, and reveals a side to the artist that has clearly been dancing with the trappings of that four-letter word we all fear. I sat down with Tove Lo on her birthday to discuss her brand new album Sunshine Kitty, what the project means for her as an artist, and what it was like working with our very own Kylie Minogue on the project. ▲
2016’s Lady Wood saw the beginning of an entirely new era for the artist, with ‘Cool Girl’ bouncing into our lives with a disarming amount of nonchalance. Suddenly everyone and their neighbour’s dog were gliding down the streets at midnight dressed in neon, exchanging heated glances with passersby. Come 2017, and Tove Lo continues the Lady Wood era with BLUE LIPS (lady wood phase II). In comes ‘disco tits’, an
earth-shattering moment in the history of pop, which gained incredible traction with the LGBT community for its gaudy display of gusto and sexual prowess.
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“I would have been happy with so much less. It’s such a cool feeling that people really connect with me” ▲
So, your new album Sunshine Kitty came out. What would you say is your favourite song from the album and why? Tove Lo: Hmm making me pick from my babies! It kind of changes day by day but I think at the moment ‘Are You Gonna Tell Her?’ I’ve just been finishing the lyric video of that, so I have just been like ‘this is a dope song’, so probably that one! While your last two albums Blue Lips and Lady Wood kind of continue off each over and share similar themes. This new project feels very much about love and heartbreak. What inspired this new direction? I think after finishing such a big creative goal that I had with the last album and the short film and everything and the world tour, it just kind of felt like I had a clean slate in a way. So this album, in general, is kind of a bit more playful and I’ve been experimenting with new sounds and different vibes and I think I just write what’s on my mind. Lyrically it’s just what’s in my mind and in my heart and it’s kind of just me being a romantic, being naive, being happy, being sad, being scared, being hurt. I think it’s all just about love in the end. It always comes back to love. Everything in life! It always comes back to love. This time around, the iconic Lady Wood symbol is featured on the yellow lynx on the album cover. Where did the idea for a lynx image
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to surround this new era come from? So, I’ve always wanted to have something that is related to me without having to be me or my name. The Lady Wood symbol obviously did that for Lady Wood and then with Sunshine Kitty - A lynx is kind of like my guiding spirit, and Lo means lynx in Swedish. It’s something I’ve talked about a lot. I have a lynx tattooed on my hand.
deserve them. And I think that sometimes that’s what you need to hear when you’re feeling really down. I feel like it’s my first lift-you-up song. Another song of yours ‘Really Don’t Like You’ features Australian’s own Kylie Minogue. What was it like to work with her on your album?
I’m going to remember this. So when I had a song where I was like, ‘I can hear her on this’, I sent it to her and I was like, ‘hey would you be down to do a thing to this?’ and she loved it and was like, ‘yes, I feel this!’ and just gave it all the Kylie essence and just added some musical melodies and all of her ideas and it was quite magical. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to be in the studio with her but like whatever.
“Everything in life! It always comes back to love”
It’s been my nickname since I was little, and so when I was talking to my film director about what could be the symbol for this era, it came quite quickly that it should be the lynx. That kind of visual addition really helps to create the world I want to create when I release a new record. So, already ‘Glad He’s Gone’ has amassed 28 million plays on Spotify alone. Why do you think that so many fans have resonated with this song? Oh, I didn’t know that! That just made me really happy! It’s good not to look too often because then you’re like... well, you know. Ah, that’s amazing! People are going to fall in love and break up with idiots every day. I think it’s just a song that friends keep sending each other when someone’s going through it. In the end, it’s a breakup song, but it’s about friendship really; telling your best friend that they can do better and that this person that hurt them doesn’t
It was kind of surreal. It was me really playing the long game. She tweeted me when I posted a picture of me in 2016 when Lady Wood came out and I was holding my lyric book. I write everything with pen and paper. And so, she tweeted me, ‘oh yep, she’s a pen and paper girl’. I was just like *gasp*, she knows who I am! That was the first sitting and then I wrote back and was like, ‘yay Kylie’ and then we played the same charity event in Hong Kong and so I asked if I could meet her. I was like... ‘she knows who I am, so maybe she wants to meet me’, and she did, and we talked, and she was just amazing. So kind and charismatic and everything cool. She just said,‘it will be so great to do music together sometime’ and I was like, ‘ok,
As long as it’s Kylie, it doesn’t matter. Yes, exactly! She’s really cool, even doing the lyric video. It’s been such a fun collaboration and it’s cool to feel like, with an icon like that, you never know what they’re like and she was just so awesome. In 2017 your song ‘disco tits’ became super popular and resonated through the LGBT community, especially with queer women. Did you expect this song to become as popular as it did with the queer community? I usually don’t think about who it’s going to resonate with. It’s a song about just being free and owning yourself and I think that’s something that, if you’re a part of the LGBT community, that’s what you’re about. I’m happy that it resonated, because that means the song is communicating the feeling that I want it to communicate.
I headlined at pride in LA and New York a couple of years ago, or was it last year, and we opened with that song (‘disco tits’) and it was just amazing. It went off! Today, because it’s your birthday, a lot of fans posted photos of their tattoos and sent you lovely messages. How does it make you feel to see so many people in love with you and the art that you create? It’s amazing. It’s so powerful. It means so much to me that people all over the world connect with me so much that they brand themselves for life, with art. It comes down to them really connecting with the music. It’s what I dreamt of but never would have thought of having. I would have been happy with so much less. It’s such a cool feeling that people really connect with me. I really try to read all the messages and respond to make sure they know that I appreciate it. It’s pretty nice to have birthdays. Last question, what would you say has been your career highlight so far? Oh wow. A few things pop into my mind. I would say, touring-wise, when I played South America. Brazil was one of the most electric shows that I’ve ever played. Writing-wise, probably when I got to co-write a song with Lorde for her album (‘Homemade Dynamite’). And then the short fi lm. Making the short fi lm was pretty magical. ■
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Preaching to the Choir Augustus Welby chats with Lakyn about his new track ‘Choir Boy’, and the unmistakable powers of speaking your truth.
eleased in early September, ‘Choir Boy’ was Lakyn’s first release since 2018’s & Pains EP. Recorded and produced by Konstantin Kersting – who’s worked with Mallrat, Emerson Snowe and The Jungle Giants – it’s a song born of self-confidence, which draws on songwriter Lakyn Heperi’s love of hip hop.
Heperi’s hip hop fandom has never been a secret: 2014’s Not Original Material EP contained covers of Drake, Frank Ocean and Beyoncé, but they were all restyled as solo acoustic numbers. Contemporary hip hop had an undeniable influence on ‘Choir Boy’, however. It’s apparent in Heperi’s vocal phrasing throughout; particularly in the bridge, which namechecks Kendrick Lamar. “I’m from New Zealand originally and I did grow up listening to a lot of hip
hop and R’n’B before I even picked up a guitar,” says Heperi. “When I picked up the guitar, that wasn’t really considered connected to rap.”
“I should be writing everything that means a lot to me and the things that mean a lot to me are the things that positively helped my life,” says Heperi.
Lakyn’s first bit of public exposure came via reality talent show The Voice in 2012. He was one of the fi nal eight contestants in the show’s first season, performing songs by MGMT, The Cure and Angus & Julia Stone. He’s since been wary of getting pigeonholed as a certain type of performer.
“It’s just like writing down something and acknowledging something that worked for me and trying to fi nd a way where it can come across, but without preaching. [It’s about] reminding myself how it helped me and then putting that in a song as an example for others.”
“I didn’t want to box myself in at all because I don’t love any one genre,” Heperi says. “I love the power of communicating through music and communicating different emotions, and we all feel different emotions at different times. That was why I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself because I feel a lot of emotions and so do others and I’ve been inspired by the possibility of explaining all angles of myself to others.”
The entire song stems from a commitment to stay true to himself, which is what encouraged Heperi to more blatantly embrace hip hop production than he had in the past.
Heperi describes ‘Choir Boy’ as a song about redrafting his expectations. “It’s important to remind yourself that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be,” he says. By writing ‘Choir Boy’, he intended to actualise this advice.
“I was looking around the world and I was like, ‘Alright, who’s really speaking what they believe in? No matter how true it is to others, who’s really speaking their own truth?’ That’s when I started getting inspired by hip hop and rap,” he says. “Before I released & Pains I was already influenced by [hip hop and rap], but I didn’t make it known, really. It was something where I just felt a bit of freedom and felt able to speak my own truth. But in a light way, not in a forceful
way – just, these are my perceptions, these are my views on life.” Along with Heperi’s trap-inflected cadence, hip hop lingo gets a run, too. Each chorus is preceded by the line, “Don’t be so alarmed when you wake, just stay woke.” The chorus then revolves around the line, “I should be giving the blessing, I’m way up,” followed by the main hook, “like a choir boy, I could cry boy.” Heperi is giving the blessing to himself as a form of artistic self-affirmation. “Without ego attached at all, it’s finally being proud enough to say that I think I’m in a positive place to be standing in front of people as someone on stage, as someone that’s being looked at,” he says. “I figured if I was going to put myself in that light then I needed to be confident and back myself being up there, because if I’m not backing myself then how will anyone else? “I pushed through years of not believing in myself just because other people said nice things about my voice or this or that when I never believed it. I just kept doing it until finally believing it. It’s really awesome because I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to that.” ■
“I was looking around the world and I was like, ‘Alright, who’s really speaking what they believe in? No matter how true it is to others, who’s really speaking their own truth?’” thebrag.com
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Your Best Is Good Enough
Geordie Gray talks with Ali Barter about doing your very best, being okay, and the wellness that being true to yourself can bring.
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sat down with Ali Barter in the dingy green room of The Lansdowne Hotel to discuss her second record, Hello, I’m Doing My Best, the difficult task of pursuing okay-ness and the art of finding solace in music.
music climate, where gender representation is a constant dialogue, how has it been witnessing such a strong response to your record? It’s really interesting because I guess I didn’t write it as a feminist piece, but that’s how people took it. It’s called A Suitable Girl, and to me, that was my story.
On Hello, I’m Doing My Best, Ali Barter has grown into her own. It’s a bittersweet, driving, and reflective body of work that delves neck-deep into the nittygritty details of what it is to be human. Barter is the songwriter hero that we all deserve and the friend that we all wish we had.
I have a lot to say about my perspective as a woman, and it was a really interesting time to put out a record from that perspective. That song, I guess, became a symbol for feminism.
Your debut record, A Suitable Girl, was built on the backbone of empowerment. In this current
People with all this ammo behind them would ask me questions about feminism, and I guess I didn’t realise how much of a statement it was at the time. They
Ali Barter photo by Kane Hibbard
“It wasn’t that I didn’t get the things I expected, I just didn’t feel the way I expected to feel”
“I think it was because I put so much pressure on myself to be like my peers. To hit the same milestones they were hitting. This expectation meant that I didn’t enjoy it” How did you feel approaching your second album, considering how well your debut was received. Did you feel any additional pressure? To be honest, when I’d fi nished recording A Suitable Girl and just before it came out, I was like “I want to quit music.” I really struggled during that time. I put so much pressure on myself that when it came out, even though good things happened, I had expectations of how I was going to feel. I was doing a lot of touring and feeling like a bit of a fraud. I think that’s a thing that people feel. I really felt like for some reason I didn’t deserve to be there and I couldn’t back up what I was doing. Even though I was going out and I was playing shows, I just felt really empty inside. I think it was because I put so much pressure on myself to be like my peers. To hit the same milestones they were hitting. This expectation meant that I didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t that I didn’t get the things I expected, I just didn’t feel the way I expected to feel. I expected that I was like, “oh, I’m going to have a triple j Album Of The Week and that’s going to make me feel okay!” or “I’m going to play a sold-out tour and that’s going to make me feel okay!” and “I’m going to support Stevie Nicks and that’s going to make me feel okay!” And it didn’t make me feel okay. At the end of that, I was like, “why the fuck am I doing this if I don’t feel okay?”. I really wasn’t sure whether I was going to write another record. I had to go inward again and really be like, “I’m just going to write songs that I like!”. This record was very much me just writing songs that are about exactly how I’m feeling. This record is more brutal. I had to write it with no expectation of anything. I had to go back to being: “I’m Ali and I write songs and sometimes I play them and I record them, and that’s not all that I am, but this is just something that I do.” I have a completely different outlook now than I did last time. It’s so freeing, it feels really free and really nice and a lot better than the first time. So it was more of a therapeutic exercise, as opposed to you striving for success? Exactly. I wanted to be the best — deep down that’s what I was doing it for. I wanted to be the best and the best is an arbitrary line, it doesn’t exist.
would tell me that they really identified with what I was saying, and men responded to it as well. It was a really incredible tool for starting a conversation, rather than being another angry voice.
It doesn’t exist and so now it’s just like —this is going to sound really cheesy— but I’m just going to be me. I’m just going to be Ali and sometimes I write songs and I record them and I put them out. That’s honestly all it is and that’s why it’s different. What do you hope people will take away from this record? I just hope people enjoy it. I hope people sing along
and I guess I don’t need it to be a message or anything outside of that. I’m singing about some heavy topics. I feel like my songs are me sitting around with my friends telling them how I feel, so I want people to hear it and feel okay because someone else is feeling the same thing. I think that’s the best thing about songs. The best thing about a good songwriter — like Liz Phair or Courtney Love— was when they sang things and I was like, “Oh my god! They’re in my head! I didn’t know anyone else felt like that.” That’s the thing about music, it’s meant to make you feel less alone. When someone is telling a story about their life or whatever, it makes you feel okay. So, that’s all I hope it is. I just hope it makes people feel okay. If they feel bad about things, I hope that my openness with my experiences will stop them from feeling shame. That’s what it is for me — It’s me going, “I feel shame”, and “I’ve fucked up” and “bad things have happened but I have beautiful people in my life and I like guitars and big drums, so let’s all be human and jump around together”. That’s one of my favourite things about music, that people can take these really ugly emotions and put them out into the aether and you kind of think to yourself, “I’m not really as bad as I think I am because there’s this really great person who does really great things and they’ve just written about how everything is okay.” It’s true and I think people really appreciate that. I certainly appreciate it when I hear someone be honest and say, “I’m having a bad day”. The thing is, the more I talk to my girlfriends, we all feel like shit and that talking and laughing about it often makes you feel better. It’s a process I think. So, you have said previously that were heavily involved in music your whole life but you didn’t decide to pursue it wholly until your 20’s. What was it that pushed you to commit to doing music? I was working in hospitality and I was miserable. I guess, music is one of those things that, if it’s in you, it’s going to get you at some point — you really have no choice in the matter. It caught up with me. I went back to Uni, I studied music, but I really wasn’t doing it. I did an open mic night here and there, but I was really scared to do it. It wasn’t until I was about 24, and I met a boy who was a songwriter and he went to open mic nights every night of the week, and I followed him and thought to myself, “I’ll do it too.” I really wanted to do it, but I was scared, you know? Eventually, all the excuses fell away and I realised, I have to do this now. You can listen to Hello, I’m Doing My Best, which is out now. ■
“I’m just going to be Ali and sometimes I write songs and I record them and I put them out” thebrag.com
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A Guide to Better Living Mike Hohnen caught up with Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson ahead of their tour back in October, touching on nostalgia, appreciation and better living.
he ebb and flow of Australia’s music landscape has taken many victims, be they iconic festivals, venues or artists. To be an evergreen feature on the scene requires seemingly insurmountable levels of dedication, talent and as the French would say, a certain je ne sais quoi. Even still, few life forces have steadied the changing tides with as much panache as Grinspoon. Earlier this year, the band embarked on the Chemical Hearts tour, which saw them digging deep into their back catalogue to perform an anthology of tracks released between 1995 and 2013. The tour followed on from the band’s most recent outing, which saw them paying homage to their seminal album Guide To Better Living. It’s one thing for fans to appreciate the ‘old stuff’, but to come out in droves to celebrate a band’s entire decade-spanning catalogue, right up to the ‘new stuff’ is indicative of something even mightier – Grinspoon didn’t just steady the changing tides, they damn well carved them up. Ahead of the tour, we spoke with frontman Phil Jamieson. “There’s always doubt in my mind. I’m always going, ‘Is this the best idea?’” Phil says of the decision to return to the road for more shows that celebrate the band’s beloved anthology. “From my end, I didn’t really think about that too much,” Phil says, “It doesn’t weigh on my mind about slam dunks, sold-out shows. I just keep thinking about the artwork and the product. “We’re releasing on vinyl, and I’m mostly concerned about the production and what
fancy things I can take on tour, like crazy lights and what I am going to wear and all that kind of shit. I consider myself on the creative side of things rather than the commerce side. People will come or they won’t. I can’t control that.” The tour, which meandered across the country from October onward, was not so much a nostalgia tour, but a rollercoaster ride through the life and times of Grinspoon. “I know we’re playing songs from the rest of our – I forget how many years we’ve been together – but the seven albums that we’ve released or whatever,” Phil says. “So, sure there’s that but I don’t really put a name badge on it as such.” “I think the Guide to Better Living tour, the big anniversary and that kind of thing is probably a little more nostalgic because it will be 1997, very specific,” Phil says. “Whereas this tour encompasses from 1995 to 2013, I guess that’s sort of nostalgic in some ways but I think maybe I was a bit more itchy about Guide… then I was about this one. I feel more confident in my skin about this.” Digging through a back catalogue as extensive, and as cherished by fans as Grinspoon’s, to piece together their setlist for the tour couldn’t have been easy. The band were eager to spend the shows covering the big moments of their career, as well as some of the lesser-known moments that never got the air time they deserved. “It was an argument, I will be honest,” Phil admits. “It’s kind of excessive and kind of a longwinded process. We ended up with where we ended up. I really love that Black Friday made it one there.
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“It doesn’t weigh on my mind about slam dunks, sold-out shows. I just keep thinking about the artwork and the product”
“‘Black Friday’ was only released on an EP back in 1990-fucking-8 or something. So, it never was on an album of any description. I really love that song and always look forward to playing that live.” “‘More Than You Are’ never appeared on an album either and that’s nice that that song’s on there as well, so, yeah. There are songs that are sort of, I don’t wanna sound like a wanker here, obvious like maybe ‘Chemical Heart’ or ‘Hard Act To Follow’ or those type of songs that people know.” The fact that Phil, a founding member, struggles to remember key milestones is a testament to just how long Grinspoon have been not just ‘surviving’ but thriving on airwaves and headphones around the world. The band has proven their mettle countless times, as well as their staying power. We put it to Phil to surmise, from his perspective, why he believes Grinners managed to remain interesting, relevant and above all else – awesome. “It’s really lovely that you think that and maybe there’s a little bit of evidence to suggest that in some ways. “From my perspective, I think that the reason that we still maybe – there are a few factors but – number one is that there is a really nice genuine feel of the fact that we’re all still the four same dudes that started the band,” he says. “That’s a nice connection from ’95 for people that were there from the start. Then there’s kind of been this weird thing where we release albums in ’97, ’99, 2002 and 2004, and all of those
records had different personalities to them. If you weren’t around in ’95 and maybe you heard us first in the Chemical Heart era, or maybe you heard us first in the Hard Act To Follow era. “There was a period of time of about nine or 10 years that I guess we put out some good shit, I don’t know. ’cause I think there were some songs that weren’t always the same stylistically too. There was a bit of variety as well, I think in those four records. I hate this word, there’s an authenticity to that that you can’t pretend.” “So, yeah, short answer… I don’t know. It’s flattering and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.” Having inhabited the highest peaks of Mt. Rock, Australia, since the mid-’90s would no doubt provide Grinspoon with some interesting takes on how the landscape has changed in that time. Having performed at Big Day Out during its glory years and dominating venues in Sydney when, well, Sydney had venues to dominate, the biggest shift Phil has noticed isn’t on the live front, however. "I just think it’s the way people consume music really." “I think the biggest change is how people consume music, because of streaming; that’s changed. It allows people to gain music more readily, that’s the only thing that’s changed, from my perspective, the way we listen or consume it but apart from that, people are still people, people still like music, especially live music…” ■
“There is a really nice genuine feel of the fact that we’re all still the four same dudes that started the band” thebrag.com
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Howling at the Twilight Augustus Welby takes a look back at Wolfmother, one of the greatest rock bands to ever come out of the land Down Under.
“Oh my god… Wolfmother.” These were David Letterman’s words immediately following Wolfmother’s June 9, 2006 performance of ‘Woman’ on CBS’s Late Show. The Sydney trio had risen from playing support slots at half-empty innercity venues to performing live on US network television in just two years, and they were making it count. ‘Woman’, and the self-titled album it was lifted from, showcased the band’s disinterest in the prevailing sounds of indie guitar music. Retrorevivalism characterised early-‘00s rock music to a large extent. Starting with The Strokes’ CBGBs simulation in 2001, hordes of millennial musicians emerged with their eyes fixed firmly on the past. By 2005, bands of a post-punk persuasion dominated the conversation, including Bloc Party, Interpol, The Killers, The Walkmen and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Within this crowded field – which also included Aussie Beatles-worshippers Jet and The Vines – Wolfmother stood out for being completely immersed in a separate quarter of rock history. Wolfmother split the difference between the blues-rock extroversion of Led Zeppelin and the protometal sweep of Black Sabbath. Andrew Stockdale’s voice even aptly channelled Robert Plant’s charismatic effeminacy and Ozzy Osbourne’s wailing countertenor. As for contemporaneous parallels, Wolfmother were closest in sound to The White Stripes. Like Jack and Meg, part of what made Wolfmother’s first incarnation exhilarating was that it seemed close to falling apart at all times. The Late Show performance exemplifies this quality – ‘Woman’ revolves around a few pirated Zeppelin riffs, but unlike other Zeppelin acolytes such as Audioslave or Kingdom Come, Wolfmother couldn’t give a damn about studioperfected enormity. They just wanted to thrash it out and if some equipment got hurt in the process then so be it. Wolfmother’s Late Show appearance was just one step in a wildly successful three-year period for the band, which began by signing
with indie tastemakers Modular Recordings in 2004. They recorded their debut EP in Detroit with producer Jim Diamond who’d helped out on The White Stripes’ first album. After its release in September 2004, the trio of Stockdale, drummer Myles Heskett and bassist/organist Chris Ross embarked on a massive touring campaign that included dates in the US and the UK. Wolfmother’s debut full-length arrived in 2005 and picked up triple j’s inaugural J Award for Australian Album Of The Year. The album’s penultimate track ‘Love Train’ featured in an iPod commercial in 2006 and in early 2007 ‘Woman’ scooped up the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. And a lot’s changed for Wolfmother since 2007. Heskett and Ross made their exit in the lead-up to 2009’s second album, Cosmic Egg, and the band’s had a revolving door roster ever since. Stockdale even briefly retired the Wolfmother moniker in 2013 to shift focus to his solo debut, Keep Moving. The gambit was short-lived, however, and two new Wolfmother records have since followed – 2014’s independent production New Crown and 2016’s hi-fidelity Victorious. This might seem an awful lot of looking back for a band that’s still active. But when it comes to Wolfmother, looking back is entirely the point. That’s certainly the impression given by the project’s latest single, ‘Chase the Feeling,’ which features additional vocals from Jet’s Chris Cester. ‘Chase the Feeling’ bristles with the same energy as seen on the Late Show performance, with Stockdale’s preference for stoner blues riffs, ecstatic vocal wailing and garagegrade production still firmly at play. Those looking to catch Wolfmother live can see them at 2020’s Twilight at Taronga – a not-for-profit event with all proceeds going back into Taronga Zoo’s ongoing conservation work. With the fantastic setting of Taronga Zoo and views of the Sydney Harbour skyline, Twilight at Taronga is the ultimate live music experience. ■
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Drenched in a Dream Michael Di Iorio and Jack Colwell explore the dreams, nightmares and fantasies that built up Swandream, Colwell’s upcoming album made with the help of Sarah Blasko, a few tales of transformation, and a Kate Bush song or two.
ack Colwell has been breaking down barriers and pushing the limits of what music should and can sound like for quite some time now, and we’ve been eagerly waiting for his next project since his killer EP Only When Flooded Could I Let Go came out three years ago in 2016. Earlier this year he’s returned with the stellar track ‘In My Dreams’, a delicate and broken ode to relationships fleeting passed their prime, only to be perfect upon one’s sweetly splendid slumbers. The track was then followed by ‘Weak’, a crumbling and harrowing gaze upon queer struggle which evolves and shifts over time. I sat down with Jack to discuss his new album Swandream, which will be coming out early 2020, and together we explored the nature of the new project, which was carefully crafted with assistance from the unreasonably talented Sarah Blasko. So, the ‘In My Dreams’ video just came out, it seems so strange seeing you in the real because I’ve been watching the video all day. The song just came out with the help of Sarah Blasko who is a good friend of yours. Could you tell me about working with Sarah? It was really amazing. For somebody like me, it was really special to work with Sarah because when I was a teenager Sarah was one of my favourite three artists of all time.
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Each one of Sarah’s albums was such a big Australian album but I remember her second record was such a big release. Sarah defiantly dominated triple j and the Australian music market, and I even remember, I was saving my school lunch money each week to buy her music. Was that how long ago it was? Yeah. 2006 I think the record came out. I would have been 16 when What the Sea Wants, The Sea Will Have came out and I remember going to an independent music store in Paddington to buy the record. I have this really distinct memory, they had a wall runner of Sarah’s second album and I was desperate to take the poster home and they said ‘yeah if you come back after the campaign you can take it home and put it up in your house.’ I was so excited to even have this poster and now I’m friends with her and I’ve made an album with her. For me it seems like a really amazing professional milestone to do. It was an amazing opportunity. It was amazing to work with Sarah. She is definitely one of the hardest working and most committed people I’ve ever met in music. I can only imagine what it’s like being a woman in the music industry. I think the conversation is definitely changing now though. Even with queer artists. Still a long way to go.
Yeah, I think there’s definitely still a long way to go for queer artists. I definitely think Sarah’s
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dedication, her passion and her commitment to everything throughout the process was just amazing. It was really inspiring. With the album that’s coming out, Sarah invited me to come to her home every Wednesday for four-five months. And I would play the material that I was working on for Sarah and she would give me a really amazing, critical feedback on what she liked and didn’t like as my homework.
“I started writing music when I was a teenager as a coping mechanism, as a way I could express myself emotionally”
She made me really believe in myself and my writing and what I want to talk about on the record. The album kind of looks at my childhood and some type of trauma that I had, and I guess feelings that I have as being a queer artist and somebody that doesn’t get offered to exist in totally queer or gay spaces all the time. Or spaces in general really. How do you find you are treated in specifically queer spaces? I’ve found it difficult to be accepted in a lot of queer spaces. I found that I’ve always been embraced by more artistic scenes and by musicians. Working with Sarah... she really empowered me to think about what I was writing and try to be as true to myself as possible with my experiences. I felt really empowered by Sarah’s enthusiasm and belief in my work. She really tried to strip down the elements to what she felt made me my most authentic self. You mentioned fitting in queer spaces. Do you feel there’s any pressure when you’re making music, if you don’t make a very niche type of queer music? No. I feel like I’ve always made my music for myself. I’ve always written music I liked, and would listen to. I started writing music when I was a teenager as a coping mechanism, as a way I could express myself emotionally and then bit by bit it became more of a serious professional thing that I did. I’m definitely not worried about writing music that appeals to certain spaces as I’ve always written music I want to listen to and if other people enjoy it then it’s great. I’m lucky that people are enjoying my music. Australia is a tricky market for many musicians and its so wonderful to see radio and media come out and support so many queer artists now. But I definitely feel like even before my EP, four or five years ago, the culture wasn’t the same. There’s been a really drastic shift. But I could still probably count on one or two hands the amount of big queer artists. Your new tracks take some very obvious inspiration from Kate Bush. Was she a big influence on the project? I love her, I saw her live at her 35-year show in London. That one was one of the first things that Sarah and I bonded over. Sarah loves Kate Bush. We sang together at this marriage equality concert that I helped at the end. We sang ‘Cloudbusting’, which is essentially about this boy whose dad was a cult leader in America and he invented this machine that could harvest the air in the clouds around us and the energy from peoples orgasms and place the energy in this machine to make
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“I don’t think my record is about becoming a beautiful swan and that everything is fine, it’s more like having a dream then realising that the dream is a nightmare” power out of it. He became a cult leader and then was arrested. This is a real story. His son made a book about it years later and his machine was called the Cloud Buster. The song is so incredibly written. When I was growing up, I was convinced the song was about a gay child because when I read the lyrics ‘it’s your son coming out’ but when Kate wrote the song, I think she meant that he was coming out and revealing the story. But a lot of people had this pro-LGBT mindset. It’s funny in a way. I listen to it all the time. Kate has always been a big influence on my music, I feel nothing but happiness that people can pick up on. Her more unusual sounds, like in ‘Waking the Witch’, are things I really tried to use as inspiration for my first album. ‘In my Dreams’ is the most ‘popular’ song on my record and then it’s probably going to get darker, more confessional and a bit more surreal from there. What other musical inspirations do you have? I’ve always been inspired by the same people. I love Tori Amos. There was a period when I was in my late teens / early twenties when I just listened to Tori Amos, I was obsessed. When I had an iPod, I had 724 tracks of Tori Amos songs, bootlegs, live versions and covers. Tori is someone I am inspired by with my writing. When I was first demoing the first album, 5/6 years ago, I had some songs that didn’t sound as much my own voice. They say when you try to do a painting for the first time, you do a copy of a painting, I think I’ve found my own voice. Some days I love my work and would shout it from the rooftops and some days I have a complicated relationship with it. I always feel very proud of the work I’ve done. I think that my own voice is my own now and I’m excited to share that with people. What is it like performing these new songs from the album live? I think some of the songs on the album are so personal that when I perform them live, I don’t want them to be distracted by anything else. I admire artists that can perform solo really well. That’s part of the reason why I love Tori Amos. She’s toured the entire world, even the Opera House multiple times, just playing an entire show on a grand piano and I would love to be able to work up to the point that I feel that confident as a solo artist.
I want to perform these songs with conviction and power, especially my personal songs. They are political in a queer way about very confusing feelings, how I feel about my own body and my own queerness, childhood trauma, sexual abuse and violence. And then there’s some of the normal songs about failed relationships. I want to show the power in them, and I feel ready to do that now. From the sounds of it you need to be very prepared to revisit those topics. What’s it like going back to those mindsets? It’s really emotional. I’m really surprised, I’ve been rehearsing for the shows. There are two songs that I sang in the studio and I haven’t been able to sing again since I went into the studio and I know I have to do them live. I’ve only been able to play them on the piano, because I feel terrified about singing these two songs in front of other people. I also feel it’s important and I have to find the courage to go through this work and this process. It will be good for me to do that. The name of the upcoming new album is Swandream. Where did that come from? It’s kind of a hodge-podge of a name because when I was starting to write the record, I had all these songs about the idea of working through trauma and transforming yourself. My family used to listen a wad of classical music. I really loved classical music because I loved these big stories of fantasy around the music and as soon as you get to the 19th century you get the romantic side. For the first time in history people are writing music for themselves. Not for a church or a party. Stories of love and addiction and fantasy and it helps people get into classical music a bit more if they don’t have a way in. I was fascinated with Swan Lake and the idea that transformation could lead you to be a truer version of yourself. It got me really thinking about this idea of transformation in queer people. A lot of queer people struggle with the idea what they should be like and overcoming their own traumas to reach a point of who they think they are going to be. And then people get to the point and realise they have all this stuff that they haven’t really dealt with. I know that happened to me. I guess the swan is a well-used archetype, but archetypes can do a lot of the work for you sometimes. People come to it with their own preconceived ideas. It’s a story that has some test of time measure. In my case the swan is a nightmare creature. I don’t think my record is about becoming a beautiful swan and that
everything is fine, it’s more like having a dream then realising that the dream is a nightmare. There’s a track that closes out the record called ‘A Spell’ which is a song I wrote myself during a difficult time about hope. As bleak as some of the record is, it’s also hopeful to people. The second single from the album was ‘Weak’, how does the tune differ to ‘In My Dreams’? It’s probably the song that’s most sonically similar to ‘In My Dreams’. It’s got a more late-night feel. it was the hardest song to finish because I had this idea for so long and when I played it to Sarah she loved the idea and pushed me to finish the song. I felt like I didn’t understand it for so long because I had this lyric ‘you say I’m weak, you say I’m small, I’ll never be anything but a punch line...’ and for a year I tried so many versions of this song after this opening line and none of them worked. I didn’t understand the puzzle of the song. I couldn’t crack it for the longest time. Meanwhile ‘In My Dreams’ is about a relationship, about wanting something to be reborn. It’s about a long-term relationship, about waking up after 4-5 years and looking at the unhappy parts and the destruction and thinking ‘can I continue to make this work?’, wondering if in your dreams you can make it whole again. It’s about not knowing, but also realising that in this kind of relationship, I’m both the victim and the destroyer. I’m caught in this situation where the other person is not solely to blame for why this relationship is failing. I’m trying to say that if I could stop time and go back, I would. But I’m already on this train that’s moving at the speed of light and I don’t know how to stop this train and get back to where we were first at. We’re both too far away and moving in different directions. To be really simple it’s about me being really drunk on a train and heading to the Blue Mountains and then waking up a couple of days later wishing I could undo the last couple of days. What’s one song you wish you had written and why? I couldn’t imagine writing Tory’s songs because they are so personal. Maybe I would say ‘Cloudbusting’, it’s a song I love. It can be interrupted lyrically in so many ways. It’s really special to me. If I could turn back time and be blessed with some kind of future intelligence it would be ‘Cloudbusting’. ■
“They say when you try to do a painting for the first time, you do a copy of a painting” thebrag.com
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No Search Party
ew Zealand’s blooming pop icon BENEE, formerly known as BENE, is about to kick off a global trek.
With sold-out dates across Australia, and international appearances in the pipeline, a teenaged BENEE, real name Stella Bennett, is in high demand. But does she slow down? Never. Right before her gargantuan tour kicked off, we chatted with her about the creation of FIRE ON MARZZ, and what it means to be a woman in the music industry. But it all started with a confused Bennett being unsure of what a post-high-school life could look like. The 19-year-old enrolled in a now-deferred Communications degree. But she was constantly drawn to music.
Nathan Gunn finds an island with BENEE, unpacking her EP, FIRE ON MARZZ, one of the two projects the budding artist released in 2019.
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“In my last year of school (2017), I had a moment where I was like ‘I actually don’t know what I wanna do with my life’. Everyone was enrolling into university and I was like ‘fuck, I actually don’t know what to do’. By then, I’d released a few
SoundCloud covers just for friends. That got the attention of Josh (Fountain, producer) who contacted me and told me to come into his studio,” Bennett explains. “We released ‘Tough Guy’ later that year, and I was like ‘ah crap, maybe I can actually do this a little bit more’. I dropped out the second week of 2018, and spent the whole year in the studio.” It was after that she released ‘Soaked’.
muc h se ns
“I wrote it with Josh and Jason (Suskov, co-writer). It was the first time I’d written a song in a different studio. It was Jason’s studio, and it had all this incredible artwork all over the walls. That was part of the inspiration. It’s about an important moment – where you’ve got words to say, and being unable to get them out,” the singer tells of the breakout single.
She confesses, “It reflects on that time, like ‘fuck, I wish I said what I had to say,’ and it stuffs up the whole situation.” All the tracks on FIRE ON MARZZ were conceptualised in quite different ways. “It’s made up of a bunch of songs that I’ve been working on for about two years. They’re all a little bit different to one another, I think. That’s what I liked about the idea FIRE ON MARZZ, because I couldn’t come with a word or anything to sum them all up together. I wanted something completely irrelevant that doesn’t make much sense,” she tells. “Some of the songs on it are like that. I also wanted to be visually appealing with the videos for the songs. A lot of the lyrics from my songwriting I feel are quite visual – so I try to piece the two together when I write songs.” Bennett is proud to admit she’s been able to have creative freedom when creating her
songs. When asked about the level of support for women in the music industry, she believes we’re getting there. “Now is a good time for women in the industry. I’ve felt very free with choices, and the people I work with. I feel like there are a lot more women working in the industry now. There are also times when you’re in a meeting, and it’s completely male-dominated, and there’s one other chick in the room – a bunch of business dudes,” the musician explains. But she too knows there’s room to grow. “We’re getting there. It’s about supporting women as much as possible, and this whole thing of having more women on festival lineups – like Laneway did this year, which was incredible. I think it’s great to see so many doing well while being so supported in the music industry.” While she loves touring (especially to Australia), she’s keen for a well-deserved break. “I’m having a little break after my Europe and the States tour, but I’m pretty excited to come to Australia, ‘cos the last time I was there I played a couple of little shows in Melbourne and Sydney, but it’s pretty awesome. Most of my fans are in Australia – so I’m very excited.” Her admiration for Australia is strong. “The weather’s nice, it’s like a sunnier version of New Zealand, and the beaches are pretty cool. The people are great too.” BENEE’s new single ‘Find An Island’ the follow-up to FIRE ON MARZZ is out now, alongside BENEE’s second EP of the year, STELLA & STEVE. With her upcoming Australian tour sold out, your next chance to catch BENEE here will be Laneway Festival 2020! ■
“I had a moment where I was like ‘I actually don’t know what I wanna do with my life’. Everyone was enrolling into university and I was like ‘fuck, I actually don’t know what to do’” thebrag.com
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At the Height of their Powers Michael Di Iorio sits down with Grace and Lily Richardson of CLEWS, the soaring Sydney sister duo who are taking over the country with their unique brand of passionate Rock and Roll.
ydney sister duo from Mollymook, Grace and Lily Richardson, have been carving their place in the music scene for months now, dropping by whenever they so please to drop an incredible single, and then returning to the studio to work on more music. The discography of CLEWS so far is something to be admired, only six tracks in total at the moment, and yet anyone who knows Australian music has heard of their name. First single ‘Museum’ put the girls on the map, showing the world that contemporary indie music can still sound fresh and fierce in 2019. What drives the band to new heights however is their lyricism, each song spilling out like a beautifully crafted poem, where the listener becomes adrift on a river of pure magic. Currently, the unstoppable force are touring the UK, and are set to perform an opening show for Tash Sultana in the middle of December. This all follows their Halloween trek around Australia titled the Spooky Pageant Tour, which was an incredible tour de force, showcasing the band’s incredible live prowess that is constantly getting better. I sat down with the duo to discuss the origins of the word CLEWS, the impeccable bliss that is ‘Crushed II’ and the incredible behind the scenes story of their video for ‘Hollywood’. You’ve just released ‘New Age’, and just like all of your other singles, the cover is incredible. When you have a new single what goes behind the cover? Grace: Whenever we do a cover, all our visuals and online content is done by my housemate and best friend Maya
Luana. She does all our videos and photoshoots. Lily: She does all of our visuals. Every time we have a new single out, we will do a content shoot with her. We just pick a solid visual vibe. Revolving around the world that the video and song exist in. So, it usually starts with the video. We will brainstorm a video idea then the cover. It’s about painting the world of the song. Where did you get the idea for the ‘Hollywood’ video? L: That was Maya who storyboarded it. We shot a different idea at first. It was going to be a dancing competition. We didn’t like it as much, so we redid it to the big theatre in Newcastle. G: We did one really big shoot for it like Lily said. It was going to be a dance competition where we lose and kill the people that beat us. Then we looked back on it and it looked way more linear than we had imagined. So, we ended up using the fight scene in the video. It turned out to be so much better. Where was that incredible desert background shot? G: Cronulla. It was bucketing down with rain. It was so cold. L: We were covered in sand, rain, sticky fake blood. Our crew were all under an umbrella. Between shoots we had jackets thrown at us we were all huddling together and shivering. It was so much fun. You know when you get so drenched that you just give yourself over to it? G: The fake blood was dripping down our faces Are all the singles released so far going to end up on an EP or an album? G: We didn’t want to do an EP. The idea behind doing all these singles is
“We’ve now shown ourselves and everyone else what CLEWS at its core sounds like. Now we can go crazy” 54 :: BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19
“ I have no sense of our popularity. We don’t follow ourselves. Once you release a song it’s out in the world like a little bird” that. By the time we release six singles it will equal an EP. L: We have always said that if we want to do an album, we would like it to all be recorded in the same place and thought out, both the narrative and the sonics of it. G: It’s a daunting project. We have never done anything like that before. It’s exciting. It’s going to be a really different experience only recording one song at a time. L: Because we have been doing it by singles. Each song is like an isolated project and all of your energy is going into that one song and how it sounds. G: I picture that going into an album, you will have to keep the context of the whole catalogue of songs in the back of your mind to make sure there’s contrast in it as well. You don’t just end up recording the same song. When you go into recording a new song. Do you subconsciously think that you have to do something new or do you just do whatever you feel at the time? L: Up until this point we haven’t thought about that but in our newer singles we’ve had to think about that more. We were starting from scratch and no one knew us. We had like three singles and they were all different from each other. But now we’ve done a few different songs with a few different sounds, because we can’t keep repeating the same sounds. G: A part of not thinking about making the early songs sound too different is that it’s very much about solidifying our sound. If people are going to be hearing us for the first time, they don’t know what CLEWS sound like yet. We’ve now shown ourselves and everyone else what CLEWS at its core sounds like. Now we can go crazy. CLEWS have definitely skyrocketed in popularity over the months. Do you guys feel that popularity or do you still feel smallish? L: I don’t know. I have no sense of our popularity. We don’t follow ourselves. Once you release a song it’s out in the world like a little bird.
CLEWS photo by Maya Luana
You don’t feel like checking on it sometimes? G: No, you spend so much time listening to it and making tiny notes and over-listening and you put so much energy in it before it’s even released that you actually forget people are going to be listening to it
when it’s out there. Once it’s out it’s out you can’t change anything. L: Whatever will be will be. G: That’s why I really enjoying doing singles. Finish the song, boom, on to the next one. Are all the instrumentals and vocals in CLEWS all you? G: Lily and I both play live and record the two vocals and guitar. Lily is on rhythm guitar and I’m on lead. We have a drummer and bassists as well who are great friends of ours. L: It depends what the songs are. We’ve had someone come in and play for ‘Crushed II’. We’ve had people come in to play extra guitar lines or cello. I have to say ‘Crushed II’ is amazing. If I had to pick a favourite from the singles released, it would be ‘Crushed II’ all the way. G: Everyone says the same thing and I agree. Matt Mason from DMA’s came in and played pedal steel. It was the most amazing thing ever. And where did the name CLEWS come from? G: I was walking into school one day. Lily was in Sydney I was still in high school and said hey if we are ever in a band together, I think we should be called CLEWS and bam. And the spelling? Both: I have no idea G: The word looks cool. This is kind of cheesy, but you think of band names like Blur. That’s a great name. One word that doesn’t really mean anything. I like the one-word thing. It’s very strange because originally I thought CLEWS would be more of a collective thing between us. L: When we started CLEWS, Grace had never touched a guitar in her life. She was an amazing piano player, but I didn’t want that to be our thing. Piano is not our version of rock and roll so I said ‘Grace, you’re going to have to learn guitar’. G: I still haven’t learnt guitar. I write individual parts of songs, but I still don’t know what ways up and what ways down when it comes to a guitar. Adrian, the producer at Sony said that maybe if you are trained theoretically in music it can be restrictive. There are certain rules that you can’t cross. I was playing bass at first then I moved on to the guitar.
“The word (CLEWS) looks cool. This is kind of cheesy, but you think of band names like Blur. That’s a great name. One word that doesn’t really mean anything” BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19 :: 55
Sharona Lin knocks on Kwame’s door to catch up with Australia’s very own pioneer of hip hop, making moves Down Under.
ou probably know Kwame is doing big things. Maybe you’ve caught one of his fire sets at Splendour in the Grass or Spilt Milk or his sold-out tour, or maybe you’ve heard his huge new tune ‘STOP KNOCKIN’ @ MY DOOR’, from his upcoming 2020 EP, which has hit the internet and our eardrums like Miley Cyrus’ proverbial wrecking ball. Kwame is proud as hell of it. “When I first made it I was like, I know this is huge,” he says. “Like this is on some like, international, world-respected, hip hoptype track, and I just wanted to sort of come out with something super different.” “I’m so appreciative of what tracks like ‘WOW’ and ‘CLOUDS’ did, but like that for me… those are tracks I just made. They were just beats where I was just making fun and then I would like throw vocals on and it did what it did. “But with this single and with this new stuff, it’s like, this is Kwame. This is me,
this is literally like the sonics I’ve been trying to get to for so long, so I wanted to put that song out, for people to realise the direction that I’m moving in.” It’s easy to forget the Western Sydney hip hop artist is only 22, because it feels like he has been defining Australia’s hip hop scene for years. “I guess it’s wild,” he says. “Like I’m ever so grateful for everything that has happened, like thus far, and for more things to come.” In 2016, Kwame was releasing his early singles when he went viral with a chance cameo at A$AP Ferg’s Sydney concert. 2017, his debut EP. Then last year with the release of Endless Conversations., he says, “That was sort of like, things starting to pop off. And 2019 is slightly solidifying but still trying to solidify myself into more of a household name.”
the year things will change. I feel like a lot of people have said that 2018 was the breakout year or whatever, but 2019 is the one where I’m really coming for things. “I’m trying to sweep up some ARIAs, then in two or three years I’m going for the Grammys type thing, there are no games in 2020 you know. It’s going to be crazy.” And his plans don’t stop there—he’s got the next 10 years figured out. “It was always in my head that like, this is the next thing I’m going to get on, but then I’m going to get onto this, and then I’m going to get onto that, and then I’m going to be doing an album here, and then this, and then that. I don’t know, I just love looking into the future’s future. It’s just like, fascinating to me. It inspires and motivates me.”
2020 is where it’s at for Kwame.
This year, he did SXSW in Austin, toured Australia, finally played live with his band (a long-held ambition), and went to London for the Nando’s Music Exchange, where he mentored artists from Australia, the UK and South Africa for five days.
“I always felt within myself that 2020 is
He has nothing but praise for the
mentees: “They know what they’re doing. Everything I listened to, I was like, you guys are ready for radio play. “I think the gap between professionals versus someone who is starting out is slowly caving in. I feel like, those who are starting out are so hungry for it, like they’ll do everything and anything it takes to get to that level that they’re aspiring to.” The whole trip was amazing, but, “I guess the one thing I took from it was the fact that my opinion was respected and valued which was crazy. The fact that someone would take something on board, and just only want to better themselves, which I believe we are so capable of,” Kwame says earnestly. “For me at least, every day I’m always looking to be a better version of the person I was the day before, you know what I mean? I feel as humans we’re all capable of doing so. Sometimes it can be hard because you don’t always have people guiding you towards that mindframe. “But as long as you’re surrounding yourself with people who do, then the sky’s the limit, you know what I mean? Anything’s possible.” ■
“Every day I’m always looking to be a better version of the person I was the day before” 56 :: BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19
“I think the gap between professionals versus someone who is starting out is slowly caving in”
“Sometimes it can be hard because you don’t always have people guiding you towards that mindframe, but as long as you’re surrounding yourself with people who do, then the sky’s the limit... anything’s possible” thebrag.com
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Looking Out from the Peak Benjamin Piñeros talks to Clay Frankel, guitarist of Twin Peaks, the band not to be confused with the television series, who have released the barebones rock album of the year, Lookout Low.
magine if you could transfer the cosy, familiar feel of your favourite pair of old sneakers into your brand new kicks. Well, that’s exactly what Chicago quintet Twin Peaks does for traditional rock’n’roll. In 2012, these guys were a bunch of teenagers recording in a basement with an outdated iMac, GarageBand, and a crappy digital mixer. Today, they’ve turned into one of the most hardworking, vibrant live acts in America.
Their energetic, low-fi debut Sunken got them labelled by NME as “Chicago’s most promising band”, and in little more than six years, they’ve become such stalwarts of the live scene of the city that they were invited to perform at the Cubs’ World Series trophy presentation in 2016. “When we first started playing we were all digging a lot of the stuff The Black Lips were putting out, you know, Good Bad Not Evil. “That was sick and that was like a kind of catalyst for what we were doing, bands like Deerhunter and Girls, we wanted to be just as cool as them,” says Twin Peaks vocalist and guitarist Clay Frankel, talking about their early days. At first, Twin Peaks were this fiery, freewheeling garage riot ala Fugazi. Over the years the band has expanded their views to adopt a myriad of influences that range from The Rolling Stones to the Stax sound, from John Sebastian to The Doobie Brothers. This past September 13 they released Lookout Low, their fourth studio album via Grand Jury in North America and Pod/Inertia in Australia. “This is bare-bones, old-school rock’n’roll,” says Frankel. “This one is a little more like mellow I guess, it has a bit of a folk and country vibe to it, a very intentional record yet very raw. Probably the most collaborative thing we’ve done so far, and that’s huge, because all of our records have been pretty collaborative, we all write songs and bring ideas.” From their very first album, Twin Peaks has worked with the Beatles’ mantra, “if you write it, you sing it”. In that respect, Lookout Low is probably the work that shows all band members at the peak of their songwriting abilities, with tight, clearly structured songs accompanied by oftentimes lush arrangements. 58 :: BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19
Legend has it the band was casually listening to the early records of Kings of Leon when they realised that sound was exactly what they wanted to pursue in their next album. At further inspection, they found out the producer on those early Kings of Leon works was none other than Ethan Johns, revered multiinstrumentalist who had worked with artists like Paul McCartney, Rufus Wainwright, and Tom Jones. To further seal the deal for Twin Peaks, they found out Johns was the son of record producer and engineer Glyn Johns, who had worked with many of the idols of the band, including The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and The Who. It was a collaboration almost written in the stars. To their surprise, Johns agreed to produce Lookout Low, but only under one condition: they had to record it live at his studio in Wales. Rough stuff, but for a band moulded by years of constant touring, the challenge was more than appealing. “Lookout Low is a little different than what we’ve done before, the recording was all done live. The whole band playing in the studio at the same time, track by track. That’s a first for us, we’ve never recorded like that before,” Frankel explains. “It felt like the perfect challenge.” To minimise studio time, Twin Peaks laid out and exhaustively rehearsed the entire record at their practice space in Chicago before ever setting foot in Wales. They ended up with 15 songs defined up to the last riff, bassline and drum beat. By the time the recording sessions began, the band was so sharp they nailed some of the tracks in the first take. “At least three songs on the album were first takes,” says Frankel. We could say that amidst a discography that has proudly waved the flag of lowfi, this is Twin Peak’s most polished album in their career. The sound isn’t quite sparkling perfect like most sugary pop tunes we can stumble across on mainstream radio, and that is precisely the record’s appeal; it oozes with unapologetic energy and is full of tiny sonic imperfections that make it simply delectable. Lookout Low is an enjoyable listen. Just ten tracks that amount to around 42 minutes that pass like an optimistic breeze. “I definitely like the album. There’s something crunchy, a little different about this one,” says a proud Frankel. ■
“This is barebones, old-school rock’n’roll”
TR ACK BY TR ACK The album opens with ‘Casey’s Grove,’ and ‘Laid in Gold’, two inviting tunes that place you right in the thick of the American rock tradition of the late ’70s. ‘Laid in Gold’ in particular has the inclusion of a horn section that takes the song into Motown territory, almost making it feel like something The Style Council could’ve done in their early years. ‘Better Than Stoned’ is a simple, charming song reminiscent of The Stones’ ‘Wild Horses’ about that friend or lover that comes into our life at that precise moment when we’re at our worst.
On the other hand, ‘Unfamiliar Sun’ is a melancholic Wilco-esque tune about struggling with depression and finding love at the end of the tunnel. “I want to thank you for your light in my unforgiving life,” sings bassist Jack Dolan in a wobbly voice. The first single of the album, ‘Dance Through It,’ is an infectious funky tune spiced with a thick bassline and a groovy Wurlitzer melody. A tight composition with tasteful arrangements, this could be the most mature song in the entire catalogue of the band.
“A lot has changed since we started, but I think the goal has always been the same you know, to try to make a record we’re all proud of”
The next track on the album is ‘Lookout Low’, with a Southern vibe reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The tune is successfully enhanced by vocals courtesy of Chicago indie act OHMME (Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham). ‘Ferry Song’ is another nostalgic entry inspired in lost love, again boosted by vocal harmonies by OHMME and featuring a heavy presence of horns and piano. The tune immediately brings
back memories of late ’70s Americana and could easily fi t in a John Sebastian album.
teenage angst titled ‘Sunken II’, which is based on ideas that the band kept in a drawer since their debut album in 2013.
The deliciously raucous ‘Oh Mama’ is probably the song from Lookout Low that most reminds us of the band’s early material, a partly improvised rocker full of strong hooks, energy, and groove.
Frankel takes a small pause when we ask him if he thought the band had changed its objectives over the years.
The album is capped off by the scruffy, yet dreamy gospel ballad ‘Under A Smile’ and the refl exive and climactic tale of
“A lot has changed since we started, but I think the goal has always been the same you know, to try to make a record we’re all proud of.”
In summary, Twin Peaks’ latest album is the strong statement from a mature band that unashamedly mines the past to fuel their future. It’s a wellexecuted and highly enjoyable re-interpretation of classic rock that will appeal not only to contemporary indie fans but to old-school rockers in love with The Allman Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other representative bands of the ’70s. Have you ever wished for a record that you could play to
your parents without causing any generational disputes? Well, this might be it. Frankel capped off the interview with his description of what is the heart and soul of the band, “The heart and soul of Twin Peaks has always been the same throughout our career, we consider ourselves a good live band, we always try to shine live, that spirit is always there. You know, have a good time and hopefully make people have a good time too.”
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Smiling Under the High Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape takes Poppy Reid through all 12 tracks of the As one of the most iconic examples of the ’90s punk scene, Lagwagon sparked serious pandemonium among fans when they not only announced the follow-up to 2015’s Hang (their first studio album in nine years), but an Australian tour as well.
Released October 4th, new LP Railer, produced by Cameron Webb (Alkaline Trio, Motörhead), marks a welcome return to the frantic, visceral tracks of old.
TRACK #1 TRACK #2
Stealing Light: “Stealing the spotlight. In any time of great change, it is essential to remember we all deserve the same freedoms and compassion to become the best we can be while retaining our individuality. Some are interested in the spotlight for the thrill of righteousness. Some suffer afflictions, physical and psychological, that warrant some special
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consideration. Some are starved for the attention that other extraordinary groups receive. Being outraged is advantageous and neurologically addictive. Identity is everything. Finding the path forward becomes more difficult as real problems become diluted. People act divisively rather than effectively caring for each other.”
Surviving California: Two words that do not go together. In the land of bliss, there is a stark contrast, a contrast between the California that is sold and the one we experience by calling it home. There are multiple messages in this song: the cultural, the economic, the ecological and the personal. Yes, California
has elements of a paradise but it is overpopulated and there are many issues as a result. A land so desirable brings pockets of wealth, “debtors of the dream”, people who gentrify areas and turn towns into gated communities. Later the wealth crest spills and pushes into less affluent areas. Standards for wealth reflection are lowered and people living
beyond their means are priced out of their homes. There are also not enough homes in California to house all its citizens. And it’s not just the mentally ill who experience homelessness and the sharp end of the housing crisis. Many people lose everything and the state’s moderate climate sets the stage for a very Californian lack of empathy and sympathy. Smiling under the high-priced
TRACK BY TRACK: TRACK #4
Parable: The cycle of abuse that is indoctrination. The damage that is done to the innocent. The destruction of wonder and ultimately trust. The hand-me-down that gifts little more than disappointment, as it is first received at a young age. Indoctrination tears through generations. It starts with the devastation of the individual, then goes tribal where the outcome is predictable and the cycle repeats.
The Suffering: It begins with a Bertrand Russell quote. He’s a philosopher that I have grown very fond of in recent years. The premise of the song is somewhat different from the actual beliefs behind his quotes but it seems any of his quotes are somehow pertinent to any of my more recent songs.
-Priced Sun band’s brand new album Railer. In the track-by-track below, frontman Joey Cape takes us through Railer, which was written in an incredibly condensed period of time, in an attempt to capture the spirit of the band’s prolific TRACK #3 early days.
My friend Jason Simpson is the reader on the track. He has one of those voices that has an earnest nature and soothing quality to my ears. The song more specifically speaks to empathy for the suffering of the world as you grow older and gain perspective on your own painful experiences. Suffering can be beautiful in that it gives us the opportunity to relate to others in their need for recognition of their own struggles.
sun, they write off the suffering of others in their bubble of relative comfort, given the utopian climate. Ecologically speaking, we are waiting for the inevitable giant earthquake while we try not to lose our belongings or die in wildfires. That is dramatic to say but it also feels true.”
It’s about problems that are too common to be interesting. The lyrics are a bit tongue-in-cheek. I wanted an anthem with comedic levity.
Dangerous Animal: Human beings are dangerous animals
Dark Matter: I see a shrinking fascination with scientific discovery. People seem to fear the unknown and for many, something that is not conclusively explained by science will cause them to hastily determine the cause by a supernatural force. Scientific wonder has guided us for thousands of years. We have found cures for deadly diseases and solved planetthreatening mysteries. Still, some see no room for theory, study or scientific phenomenon. The fascinated mind that takes pleasure in the search for knowledge is losing the battle to maintain widespread reason. Information for many is superficially derived from senses and faith. Faith can turn the senses into a cage and limit reality while the scientific method seems to have the opposite effect. Some say science is faith but its job is to rewrite itself.
T R A C K # 10
Pray For Them: The lyrics reflect my belief that many of faith believe their prayers absolve them from further responsibility or accountability for the suffering of others. Most of us feel powerless at one time or another in our lives. The minimum effort of prayer is all many see themselves capable of.
Bubble: A song about Lagwagon. Any band that has been active for a long time is categorized and historically stamped. You reside in a bubble by design. You cannot take it personally. You have to have a sense of humour. The song is about embracing that bubble as your home. It may not always suit you but at least they built it and perhaps that is something to be thankful for.
Fan Fiction: The song is about any band’s or artist’s triumphant return after being inactive for a period of time. When they return to tour, fans often speak of their early career with great exaggeration and sometimes pretend to have loved the band always. When, in fact, they just recently discovered the band and grew to appreciate the music in the interim between the active days and the present reunion. Followers fan the fire of a reunion. I used a space and star analogy for this one. Space statistics are mysterious and entrancing. The analogy and imagery are fun.
T R A C K # 12 T R A C K # 11
Jini: Jini is the name my daughter gave to one of our cats. I think it’s from Harry Potter. This song is for the unconditionally loving but speechless Jini, and complains about economic woes that are too widespread to be able to be brought up in conversation with other adults.
It’s a letter to a nemesis. A peer that gives you equal amounts of grief, anxiety and healthy competitive inspiration. We all have had one or two of those. Exiting the contest seems like the only way to peace but there are other reasons you participated as well. Many experiences have inspired you. There is no shame in moving on but you persist because you fear you will not find another bridge.
Faithfully: Well, obviously this is a cover, originally by the San Francisco-area group Journey. We all grew up listening to the songs by this band. I have always thought this song, in particular, would make a great punk song. For years I pitched it to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and it wasn’t enthusiastically received. All good! It works well for Lagwagon and most of us are actually fans of the band. I like it as the album’s closer. It is a nice departure from the rest of the album and brings a bit of levity on our way out. ■
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n o i t p m u s n Co The New Era of
Girl’ Trinny Woodall, ‘It K U ith w s at ch Poppy Reid d progenitor of the an ul og m ss ne si bu style icon, ption. new era of consum
t’s 9am and Trinny Woodall is in sequins. She’s having her hair done, and while a stylist blow-dries her hair in curlers, she’s taking this interview and using another hairdryer to speed up the process.
It’s quintessential Trinny. The wasp-waisted entrepreneur, CEO, style icon and UK ‘It Girl’ is on a whirlwind visit to Australia to launch a local website for her beauty brand – and she’s making every minute earn its place in time. In her trademark white trainers, worn with a sequin skirt and top, the 55-year-old is radiating. Partly thanks to her extensive skin routine – and the LED mask she wore in the car on the way here – but also because she’s talking about her fans. The visit isn’t just for Trinny London, it’s for her to connect with her ‘Trinny Tribe’, the organically-formed legion of devotees who have been following her since the launch of the brand two years ago. Local Trinny Tribers met her for a ‘shop-up’ (where she offered her thoughts on Zara’s latest collection in Bondi), attended a personal development and skincare masterclass, and on the night of our interview, they dutifully formed a snaking line around the building as they patiently waited to celebrate Trinny London’s second birthday.
“You can be the woman you want to be… today”
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“Sometimes... we want to be a different woman. And sometimes the hardest way to be a different woman is when your family and friends treat you like the old you” “In this day and age with social media, you have lots of friends that you’ve made all your life. But sometimes, we want to reinvent ourselves, you know?” “Sometimes we might break up with a boyfriend, or move country, or change jobs – and we want to be a different woman. And sometimes the hardest way to be a different woman is when your family and friends treat you like the old you.”
Trinny Woodall pictured hoding her London Stack. Photo supplied.
As her on-ground makeup artist Rae Morris will explain later, Trinny’s business is the destination she has always been travelling toward. The last time she was in Australia was almost a decade ago with her What Not To Wear show cohost and business partner Susannah Constantine. If the penny just dropped for you, and brought up memories of “Trinny and Susannah Magic Pants”, you’re welcome. In 2010, Trinny and Susannah were filming a special ‘Makeover Mission’ takeover for Foxtel and when Morris stepped into her hotel room to do her makeup she noticed Trinny’s DIY-style makeup pots, which were stacked on top of one another. The Trinny London ‘build-yourown’ Stack, featuring everything from BFF cream to eyeshadow, is
now synonymous with Trinny herself. The brand sells one of the Stack’s most popular inclusions, Miracle Blur, every 23 seconds. Here’s a woman who started her own beauty brand in her 50s, launched it with three staff in 2017 and now boasts over 50 staff (90% of which are female) – and ships to 56 countries worldwide. Soon after Trinny hand-delivered the first-ever shipment (and filmed the entire thing, because of course she did), her staff noticed a fan page pop up on Facebook. It hosted discussions about the products, about Trinny’s fashion tips, her beauty regime, and even arranged meet-and-greets for the members. More and more groups have popped up online, their members helping to make up Trinny’s 1 million followers on Instagram and Facebook. To look through Trinny’s lens at the atypical Trinny Triber is to see a woman who has been through her fair share of crap and has decided to become a fun-loving optimist. A woman in her 20s, her 30s, her 40s… all the way to her late 60s who has decided to choose happiness and bask in the power that comes with femininity. “They want something positive,” says Trinny, expertly unrolling a curl while keeping eye contact. “They don’t want anyone being negative or troll-y or to be putting each other down; because you can get enough of that every day of our life. So they then allow themselves to say, ‘this is who I want to be now’.” “The thing that I love in the work I do – which I didn’t get from television – is building a community,” she continues.
“The thing that I love in the work I do – which I didn’t get from television – is building a community”
“[…] That to me, is nearly more exciting than the physical embodiment of the brand which is the product, because I’m no longer thinking, ‘Ha! Sell it for hundreds of millions, blah blah blah’.” Trinny’s daughter Lyla stands next to her as we talk. At 16, she’s effortlessly cool in a hair bandana and a baggy shirt with trainers. She’s helping too, passing Trinny hairpins as her mum needs them. Lyla’s father took his own life in 2014. Trinny and Johnny Elichaoff married in ‘99 and stayed together for almost 10 years, a lifetime before she began dating her current partner, art dealer Charles Saatchi, in 2013. The last two years as a new business owner, a newcomer into the makeup sector and a CEO have been a dream since Trinny’s childhood in London. When she was six-and-a-half she was sent away to boarding school, and it was there where she conducted her first makeover. “I would make over the girlfriends who weren’t leaving, because lots of girls went home to their parents and my parents lived abroad. So for the remaining ones I would get out this appalling, shitty makeup and funny things and I’d make clothes for them and I’d do their makeup,” she laughs. Trinny as a personality is utterly addictive. Her IGTV page offers fashion and skincare advice for any budget, but it’s her effervescence and thirst for the daily grind which is binge-worthy, yet guiltfree. Also she accidentally dropped the c-bomb on The Sunday Project during this visit, which is equally hilarious and winsome. Two years in, and her start-up has grown exponentially in footprint and staff size, but her past financial struggles have kept her modest. She respects financial stability as only a woman who has seen the opposite can.
Unsurprisingly, Trinny’s team includes just three males, including COO Mark McGuinness-Smith, who is paid a higher salary than her because she has shares in the business. “I’m thinking we need more boys here,” she laughs. Her staff also includes Harvard graduate Shira Feuer, who was previously on the marketing teams for Walt Disney and Burberry. “She (Feuer) will know analytically who our customer is, but I know emotionally because she lives inside my head.” As an entrepreneur, Trinny has a colossal drive, but a sparse track-record in her current sector. She’s written 11 style-advice books, had her own shapewear line (both with Susannah) and presented on countless TV shows. While there are many remarkable things about Trinny’s story so far – least of which is that she underwent nine rounds of IVF and two miscarriages to have her Lyla – what stands out most right now is that she’s ushering in a new era of consumption. Trinny’s message is that life isn’t over at 60, or after your pregnancy, or because the world dealt you a shitsandwich which crippled you for a time. Life is about colour, living within your own means, and choosing joy in times when it’s easier not to. The move from pop-culture ‘It Girl’ to corporate culture magnate has its trade-offs, however. Trinny can be dreadfully serious when she needs to be, especially when it comes to managing her staff. “I can be a very hard taskmaster,” she says, leaning forward. “If things are wrong I’ll come in the office and say, ‘Who fucked that up?’” Later at her event that night, Trinny commanded the 150 fans in the room.
“I have had lots of financial rewards and I’ve also felt so lost because, you know, life takes over and you then don’t have the income you had,” she admits.
She delivered a speech which stressed her gratitude for their support, her amazement at how far her team had come, and the importance of self-care.
Trinny pays all her interns, she feeds everyone in the office with breakfast and lunch, and every employee who has been with her from the start has had at least one pay rise, if not more.
Speaking loudly over the applause, Trinny smiled wide and raised her arms as if pre-emptively going in for a hug from a distance. “You can be the woman you want to be… today,” she said. ■ BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19 :: 63
A NDY K ING :
The Great Misconception of Fyre Fest’s
By Poppy Reid
n mid-January 2019, Andy King was seated at the Netflix premiere of Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened in New York City. He did not have an account on any social media platform. He didn’t know what a meme was (he pronounced it me-me at the time). But what he did know, was the exact imprint he wanted to leave on the world.
There’s a common misconception about Andy King, the man who was willing to give a Customs Official a blow job in exchange for the release of four 18-wheeler trucks filled with Fyre Festival’s Evian water supply. Granted, King decidedly leans into the comical edge where he now sits after going viral: “He [Fyre’s convicted felon Billy McFarland] didn’t say go find nine vaginas and sleep with them. One dick I can handle,” he quipped at BIGSOUND in September. But Andy King is not a businessman who endeavoured to turn a dick-sucking promise into a personal platform after he went viral. Andy King knew his surreal revelations would give him a platform, and prior to taking part in the documentary had a clause written into his contract to help pay the Bahamian workforce.
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and ticket holders for Fyre Festival as well as selling US$100,000 worth of fake tickets to events like the Met Gala. He’s currently serving time at Otisville FCI, the same prison housing former Trump attorney and convicted felon Michael Cohen. There are rumours McFarland will soon be let out of jail, and the general consensus of that possibility is a knowing shrug. He hadn’t even locked in the island as the festival venue six weeks out from show day, there were no bathrooms or plumbing pipes on the island; there wasn’t even enough housing on the island for the staff, who he placed on a cruise ship nearby.
Above: Billy McFarland and Ja Rule at Music Notes Conf during Web Summit 2016. Below: Andy King talks to Poppy Reid at BIGSOUND 2019.
McFarland had an innate ability to make people feel like the house could withstand Armageddon while the walls were burning around them. It’s easy to forget, McFarland’s fiasco was intended as a branding exercise for his black platinum credit card, and that King was a board member of that business and had hosted 40 events for him previously. “He has the ability to pull people in. He raised $26 million for the festival [from sponsors],” says King. “[…] Billy had no touch with reality.”
Andy King by Stewart Munro Photography, Andy King and Poppy Reid by Stewart Munro Photography
“The only reason I agreed to the Netflix documentary was to use it as a vehicle to pay back everybody in the Bahamas,” he said. Andy King is seated in the restaurant of the Ovolo Hotel in Brisbane’s Valley. It’s his first time in Australia and his sister has travelled with him – his partner is back home on his farm in upstate New York with their dog, Thor. “First, I need to pay back everyone in the Bahamas,” he says sincerely. “That’s not my responsibility. I didn’t make any of those big decisions. But, I’m keeping my word.” The destruction that Fyre Festival caused did not discriminate. Many who paid US$1200 for their tickets have not been refunded, however, some received refunds through disputing charges with their banks or credit card companies. The influencers who were paid upwards of US$200,000 for one Instagram post are now being targeted in court. The US-based organisers of the festival are either rebuilding their careers or capitalising on the fall-out of the greatest festival that never was. Ja Rule is even promising a Fyre Fest 2.0 despite the colossal flop of the first edition. Crucially though, back in the Bahamas, over 13,000 homes were destroyed, two islands were desolated, and the entire workforce on the island was left out of pocket.
One chef, Maryann Rolle, was forced to give up US$50,000 from her life savings to pay back the fellow Bahamians and employees she tapped to prepare 1000 meals per day for each of the six scheduled festival dates. The verified GoFundMe page set up to help Rolle and the workers has now raised over $232,000 of a $250,000 target. This wouldn’t have happened so quickly without King insisting Netflix link to that page. In fact, Andy King is the only Fyre Fest organiser consistently sending money back to those were bamboozled in the Bahamas. “From where I’m standing right now, I’m not monetising most of the stuff for myself,” says King. “I’m monetising it to try to direct positive change and to make sure everyone in the Bahamas is paid back.” It should be noted that while Hulu’s Fyre Fest documentary aired first, it did not feature Andy King. The streaming provider wouldn’t agree to King’s terms of including information about the GoFundMe page. The Hulu doco did, however, feature Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland. He accepted US$150,000 for taking part. “Billy went right behind my back, as usual,” he later told a packed room at BIGSOUND. McFarland, who King believes is “definitely a sociopath”, was sentenced to six years in jail for defrauding investors
The Netflix documentary, which made its debut on January 18, was viewed in more than 50 million homes in the first three months of airing. Overnight Andy King went from a behind-the-scenes events business veteran with a hay farm to a walking, living meme. During his whirlwind four-day visit, Andy King met with Australian music promoters about a possible environmentallyconscious festival, checked out Australia Zoo, and probably said ‘yes’ to arguably more press requests than P!nk did when she toured the country for three months, and on top of this, he delivered a BIGSOUND keynote interview with Secret Sounds CEOs Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco (Splendour, Falls Festival). Between the witty references to the time he was really going to take one for the team (“I could help save this festival, no one would have to know”), and the final nail in the festival’s coffin when his suggestion to give drunk punters a sandwich while gourmet meals were prepared went viral (“I will never eat a cheese sandwich again”), Andy King makes it clear he’s on a mission. As opportunities and partnerships roll in fast and thick (including a podcast and a reality TV series about his life) the environment is always front and centre for Andy King. Pepsi approached King to host a Half Time party for the Super Bowl but he declined because “their messaging sucks”. “I can only allow myself to be [associated] with organisations that are doing the right thing, people that are doing the right thing,” he tells The Brag. “Because, you know, kids are smart today, and they can see right through it.”
King’s goal is to make the world of zerowaste not only appealing to younger generations, but cool. King speaks of how his company is able to host events like the fundraiser to DiCaprio’s Foundation, where even human waste is reused. And somehow, in a way only King can, he makes it cool. “We partner with as many compost facilities as possible as far as bathroom facilities are concerned. Obviously, that waste gets composted. We partner with sorters… There’s an amazing woman out in California named Green Mary, kind of like Queen Mary, who is a professional sorter,” he smiles. “She does amazing work. She sets up these stations at all these large events where, oh, coat hangers that are left on site, they’ll get donated to local drycleaners. Oh, coffee cups that are paper, are repurposed, recycled, or reclaimed. “Any of the plastic cups that we do utilise are predominately compostable and will turn into dirt after thirty days. [They’re] made from corn products, et cetera.” Once you get King talking about his zero-waste initiatives – like the farmers he hires to feed Hollywood’s elite at prominent hotels in Beverly Hills to serve ingredients solely raised on their nearby land – you almost forget he’s a walking meme. For a person who even now shies away from too much social media (he only has an Instagram account @realandyking), the Fyre Fest debacle and the aftermath was a harrowing experience for King. After a four-hour wait in the forest on Great Exuma Island for a plane sent by his lawyer, to being followed by the FBI for four days after, to not receiving a single dollar for his work, King is now stopped at every airport, restaurant, shoe store (you get the message) by pointing fingers, phone cameras, and whispers of, ‘There’s that guy!’. He has completely lost his anonymity. “It’s a little nerve-wracking, you know? It’s a little hard to go out to eat,” he admits. “It’s a little hard to go out without people whispering. Now I’ve got to say, ‘Listen, come up and say hi to me, and if you want a picture taken, I’ll take a picture, but just don’t shoot videos of me from across the room and just secretly take a picture of me’. Because it’s kind of creepy.” King is well aware of the trade-off. Fyre Festival was intended to be one of the last projects he would take on before he entered retirement. Now, at 59-yearsold, as he navigates the public eye, he understands the importance of his new platform. And unlike Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, he isn’t using it for personal gain. “It’s a lot of responsibility, you know,” he admits. “But I’m ready for it, and I’m handling it every day.” ■
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I Worked At A Dinner Party For A
(Redacted)ology Group By J. Arthur
(Redacted)ology front groups have been proven to have existed from as early as 1966; known front groups include The Way To Happiness Foundation and Narconon. However, smaller groups have become more commonplace in recent years out of necessity. Membership of (Redacted)ology is in rapid decline since the Anonymous protests of 2008 and several documentaries scrutinising the group released over the past few years. Additionally, several famous former members, like actress Leah Remini and Hollywood writer-director Paul Haggis, have come out swinging against their former religion, drawing (Redacted)ology’s finances and treatment of its followers into question. The retention rate for new members is now almost zero, according to Oh No, Ross and Carrie!, a skeptical investigation podcast. Front groups have thus become (Redacted)ology’s main sources for new members and income. This particular front group that I encountered, run by Robert Kirby International, was at the time called Heartfelt Brilliance and is presented as a series of leadership and relationship courses. ▲
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Usually, I would have minded, but not that night. It turns out I hit the jackpot in boredom-breaking experiences because halfway through this evening, I discovered that I was working at a dinner party for a (Redacted)ology front group.
Illustration by Janey Li
y first close encounter with a cult was last year, while working at a popular Surry Hills restaurant as a host and waiter. It was a chilly Sunday evening on the 23rd September, 2018, and my shift was meant to finish at 8pm. However, due to the bizarre activities this certain group had planned between each course, involving screaming at each other and an emotional handpan performance (we’ll get to it), I ended up finishing at about 11pm.
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I Worked At A Dinner Party For A
(Redacted)ology Group By J. Arthur
Robert Kirby teaches ‘core energetics’; a teaching entirely based on L. R*n Hubbard’s theory of ‘Dianetics’. Dianetics forms the basis of (Redacted)ology practices and can most simply be described as a process in which self destructive behaviour is ‘cleared’ over a series of auditing and self betterment courses that are based entirely on the writings of L. R*n Hubbard, the founder of (Redacted)ology. Members invest a lot of money into their quest to be audited and go ‘clear’. Hubbard originally called Dianetics a branch of psychology but it was rejected by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association as quack science. Coincidentally, I’m sure, psychiatry is seen as evil within (Redacted)ology circles.
There’s also some stuff about all human beings having an immortal alien soul called a Thetan inside of them that somehow relates to the selfdestructive behaviour but I feel that’s beyond my ability to explain, so I’m just going to move on to talking about what I witnessed that Sunday night. Within half an hour of the group arriving, Kirby called for one male and one female volunteer amongst the forty or fifty people in attendance to play a game. I remember a couple of people jumping up and down in their eagerness to be picked as I left the private dining room, but honestly, I wasn’t paying much attention. When I returned two minutes later, a young woman was on the floor curled in a foetal position - except for her hands, which were clasped around a man’s ankle as he stood over her. They were both screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. I had a moment of panic. Should I do something? Should I call an ambulance or the police? Then I realised the onlookers in the room were egging them on from their seats at the tables, shouting out advice and support. I sidled awkwardly along the wall to get to safety behind the bar, where my manager was studiously moving wine glasses from one position to another. Meanwhile the bartender wasn’t even trying to look busy. She was facing the wall, shoulders shaking with suppressed laughter. I stood beside her, studying the bricks and listening to the yells while the reality of the situation dawned on me. Two grown adults were screaming and yelping inhumanely at each other, like seals, on the floor of a restaurant, while everyone in the room was acting like this was … normal. I started to giggle. The more they yelped, the funnier it got and it wasn’t long before, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my manager whirl out of the room, followed almost immediately by the bartender. I waited a moment, thinking that I had to make our exits seem natural. I sped out after them into the public area of the restaurant, which seemed obscenely ordinary compared to what was happening in the other room. “What was that?” one of us asked, breathless. Our other colleagues were staring at us. It was like the weirdness had tainted us too. When we went back inside, the guests were all back in their seats. I’m sure we weren’t very convincing at hiding that we thought the attendees of this dinner were all a bit crazy. The thing that was weirder was that they didn’t seem to care. Then there were the dietaries. It’s normal for large groups to have the occasional coeliac and a few vegans or vegetarians. This was a whole other level. More than half of the fifty guests had something - several no processed sugars, vegetarians, vegans, no red meats, no cheeses, dairy-frees, no alcohols, no wheats, only green vegetables and, the real kicker: one flexitarian. A flexitarian, I learned that day, is someone who is a vegetarian but will eat meat occasionally. This turned out to be Robert Kirby himself. After the first course, there was the handpan performance. A handpan is a
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piece of metal shaped like a dome with regular indentations that make a hollow ringing sound when the musician hits and strokes it. It’s a self help group, or a conference, I reasoned with myself. Music and roleplaying is normal. The handpan playing was improvised by a student who claimed it was his first public performance and he was basing it on the emotions he was feeling right then, in that moment. That was a bit kooky, but I have artist friends who have said weirder things so I had a little chuckle to myself and cleared the plates off the table as the man began to play. It went for about ten minutes, and as I cleared, I realised that a few people were beginning to cry. I thought, it’s nice but… really? At this point, I had been there for much longer than I was scheduled to be. I was hungry, grumpy and I didn’t care that I was being paid. The evenings oddities had begun to accumulate so I decided to sneak out and google the name of the group. My manager found me sitting at the front desk with my jaw on the floor because there were pages of information about Heartfelt Brilliance and Kirby’s connection to (Redacted)ology. He was a member of the Glebe (Redacted)ology chapter. He can’t go back to the United States because of ‘boundary violations’. All of his psychology degrees are from fraudulent online universities. A number of his female students felt seduced or led on by him. Heartfelt Brilliance, it turns out, is just (Redacted)ology repackaged. I, of course, spread this information to everyone who was working that night. It was a Sunday evening so there wasn’t a lot going on and there’s probably some great CCTV footage saved somewhere with us all crowded around the computer fighting for a good look at the screen. It was from that point that I began to really pay attention. Everyone in that room looked ‘normal’ and I was reeling that all of these people, of different ages and ethnicities, had fallen victim to the same scam. I overheard one man talking about his dietary requirement of no red meat, which he was adhering to for this class, and I deduced from the conversation that all the food restrictions were a course requisite or homework of some kind. There was an ‘award ceremony’, in which everyone got a certificate of completion. Kirby called out their names one by one and handed them the paper, standing beside them as they monologued about how he and Heartfelt Brilliance had changed their lives. One woman spoke fondly of how Kirby’s mentoring had “touched her”; I think she meant emotionally, but, like the whole evening, it felt extremely off-kilter. Afterwards, I overheard a group discussing the course levels, with names like ‘warrior level’. One man asked the group what happened when you reach the final level of the course. His friend replied sincerely, “You go back to the first level and start again”. They all laughed. A quick search of Heartfelt Brilliance’s page revealed that courses cost a couple of thousand dollars each. I’d never knowingly been in a room with so many people being swindled. I thought of what I could say to someone to get them to leave as I passed people their drinks but nothing seemed viable. It was obvious to me that the group was a scam, and researching it after my shift, had only convinced me of it further. (Redacted)ology has been a source of fascination, even entertainment, for many people - myself included. But I don’t think I had ever really comprehended the ways in which people are targeted and victimised by it until I got an inside look that most outsiders will never get to see. Thinking back to write this, I still feel the same sense of helplessness I did that evening when trying to think of something to say, because Robert Kirby International is still operating, now under the mantle of Breakthrough Brilliance. ■
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Logitech G PowerPlay Wireless Charging System RRP: $199 If your PC is anything like ours, it’s a mess of cables linking all sorts of devices that would send Marie Kondo into a fit. Logitech has helped alleviate some of those woes with its Logitech G PowerPlay. To help simplify the complicated tech-speak, essentially it’s a mousepad that will charge a compatible Logitech G wireless mouse whenever you use it. That means zero wires and zero batteries required for either product. To watch it in action is a thing of wonder and works a treat. In our many hours of testing we didn’t notice any lag or drop out, either. Just make sure you have the desk space, because the mat itself is a little on the large side.
By Adam Guetti
Struggling to think of the perfect pressie to leave under the tree this Christmas? Well, we’re here to help with a handful of nifty gadgets you didn’t even know you needed. They’ll, ahem, tech you to another level.
The Brag’s 2019 XMAS Tech Gift Guide
Google Pixel 4 RRP: From $1049 While Apple seemingly dominates much of the smartphone conversation, Google has been steadily toiling away at improving its Pixel line-up and the Pixel 4 is the best so far. We could talk about any number of features at this point, like the clean Android interface, incredibly speedy face unlock technology or nifty motion sensors, but the Pixel 4’s biggest selling point is its camera. And hot damn does it snap some beauties, plenty of which look so good they’re almost art-like. Night Sight in particular is a thing of beauty – capturing an unprecedented level of detail compared to its competitors while avoiding an annoying flash. The overall finish might seem a little more plastic than others, but it’s hard to argue with a pretty affordable price. Also, it comes in orange, so consider us sold.
Ember Mug² RRP: $170 If there’s one first-world problem we truly believe in, it’s the heartbreaking sip of lukewarm coffee or tea. The genius’ at Ember are here to solve that issue with the Ember Mug2 – a smart mug which allows you to set an exact drinking temperature. Not only is it incredibly pretty to look at, set up is a breeze too thanks to a smartphone app that quickly pairs with the unit. We were a little surprised that the max temperature was only 62.5 degrees, but in putting it to the test our cuppa remained piping hot, allowing us to polish it off in much less than the 80-minute battery life. Once you’re done, you can throw it back on the included charging coaster, ready for next time. Ah, technology.
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Sphero Mini Activity Kit RRP: $129.99 Sphero has been making a range of delightful tech for some time now (including its incredibly beloved Star Wars droids), but with the Mini Activity Kit, the company has turned its attention to helping kids learn to code. As a result, as well as a robotic ball and assortment of extras like miniature pins and cones, the kit comes with 15 STEM-inspired activity cards that promote the creation of mazes and obstacle courses. Coding might not be our strongest suit, but even we could tell it’s a great introduction for any little ones keen on diving into the world of tech.
WD_Black P10 Game Drive RRP: From $138 While you’re free to use the P10 as a top-tier external HDD (of which it performs exceptionally well), this tank of a unit’s real bread and butter is helping expand the storage space of your console or PC by having your library handily on the go. With an extra 2–5TB to play with (depending on which version you pick up), you’ll no longer have to engage in the painful experience of constantly deleting and reinstalling your favourite games.
DJI Osmo Action RRP: $499 The action camera market is certainly a competitive one, but DJI has worked incredibly hard to sway you towards the Osmo Action and we’ve been impressed with the results. The image stabilisation performs great if you’re filming while on the move and the UI thankfully works without lag or glitches – which has been a major sticking point for us with some of the Osmo’s competitors. The biggest help, however, is the addition of a second screen on the front of the device, making it perfect for anybody wanting to start a vlog, or even just to take the perfect selfie. Oh, it’s also $100 cheaper than its biggest competitor.
Fitbit Versa 2 + Charge 3
Even better is that downloading games to the device is incredibly simple and we didn’t notice any difference between using the P10 or our standard PS4 HDD in terms of mance and performance lag.
RRP: $229.95 (Right: Charge 3) + $329.95 (Left: Versa 2) At this point, it might seem as though every man and his dog already own Fitbits, but there’s a good reason for that. Having had hands-on with the recent Versa 2 and Charge 3, both do an excellent job at tracking your daily fitness and encouraging you to be healthier overall. We started as sceptics and ended actively trying to complete our daily step, calorie and activity goals. Controversially, we preferred the Charge 3 thanks to its arguably more easily digestible interface, but the Versa packs a greater range of features (like visual workouts) and is a more affordable alternative to most smartwatches on the market.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 RRP: $249.95 For the Xbox One gamer who wants to enjoy the finer things in life, may we present you with the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. Everything about it screams premium – from the adjustable tension thumbsticks, shorter hair trigger locks and interchangeable components. The carrying case even doubles as a charging stand, which is damn impressive and has to be seen to be believed. Is it expensive? Absolutely. But it also feels so wonderful in the hand that it’ll make your old controller feel strangely light and plasticky in comparison (though you will have to get used to not unintentionally hitting the paddles underneath). The good news is that the hefty price tag won’t be in vain. Microsoft has previously claimed the Series 2 will be compatible with its upcoming next-generation system.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 RRP $599.95 Bose has long been the undisputed headphone king thanks to its stellar QuietComfort line-up, and this new entry only solidifies that fact. With a more streamlined design that helps shave off some of the bulk of its predecessor, the 700s instantly feel comfier for longhaul listening. The all-important noise cancellation also remains top-notch, with plenty of ways to adjust on the fly – be that through a physical button that cycles through your top preferences or via Bose’s smartphone app. Meanwhile, the introduction of touch controls on the ear cup is a nice addition, but there will be a bit of a learning curve to locate the sweet spot in order to get it working perfectly every time.
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SOLD OUT THU
DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL 2020
+ MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
WEDNESDAY 04 DEC Gus Dapperton Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Ice Nine Kills The Lansdowne, Sydney. Khalid Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park. Reel Big Fish Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt.
THURSDAY 05 DEC
Mako Road Factory Floor, Newtown.
Come along for a local safari with NZ’s Mako Road, the grooviest (and hottest) band to come out of anywhere in a long time. Catch me in the front row throwing phone numbers and remembering every single word to every song.
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Bob 'Bongo' Starkie Brass Monkey, Cronulla. Boydos The Chippendale Hotel, Chippendale. Crazy Town Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst. Deez Nuts Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Hooligan Hefs Sydney The Lair, Surry Hills. My Leonard Cohen Bondi Pavilion Theatre, Bondi Beach.
Metro Theatre, Sydney.
Despite only having a handful of songs under his belt, Hooligan Hefs has made quite the name for himself, and is bringing his unique brand of Hip Hop to the stage to prove who’s real.
My Chemical Romance, Deftones, Jimmy Eat World, Clutch, Ministry, In Flames, Testament, Alestorm, Carcass, Lacuna Coil, Hands Like Houses, In Hearts Wake, The HU, Baroness, Ne Obliviscaris, Bodyjar, New Years Day, Clowns, Venom Prison, SKYND, Thornhill, Disentomb, Stand Atlantic, Plini, RedHook, Dregg
Pacific Avenue + More Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Papa Pilko And The Binrats The Vanguard Porangui The Lansdowne, Sydney. The Million Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Thirsty Merc Highfield Caringbah, Caringbah.
FRIDAY 06 DEC Austen Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Deez Nuts The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle West. Doorly // At The Flinders 107 Projects, Redfern. Halestorm Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Jones The Cat
The Chippendale Hotel, Chippendale. Kash Kal Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst. Liza Ohlback Metro Theatre, Sydney. Rose Tattoo Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst. The Animals Factory Theatre, Marrickville. The Beasts Metro Theatre, Sydney. The Know Low 302, Sydney. Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange The Eastern, Bondi Junction.
SATURDAY 07 DEC Diesel Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Dr Packer // Disco At The Flinders 107 Projects, Redfern. Emil And The Detectives Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Front End Loader + Peg Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Good Things Festival Centennial Park, Centennial Park. L.A.M + Keyes The Argyle, Sydney. Loonie & Ron Henley Metro Theatre, Sydney. Love Train Factory Theatre, Marrickville. One Day Only Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Peoples And Persons Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Slip Inside This House Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. The Gadflys Factory Theatre, Marrickville. The Temper Trap Enmore Theatre, Newtown. The Vanns Metro Theatre, Sydney. WCB Low 302, Sydney.
SUNDAY 08 DEC Catfish Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham. EarthGang Max Watt's, Moore Park. La Factoria Home Nightclub Little Wise Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham. Summer White Christmas Party In The Paddock The Star, Pyrmont. The Gadflys Brass Monkey, Cronulla. The Lemonheads Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
MONDAY 09 DEC Liam Gallagher Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
TUESDAY 10 DEC Gerry Cinnamon Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Matt Charleston + More Brass Monkey, Cronulla.
WEDNESDAY 11 DEC Cate Le Bon Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Dead Prez Metro Theatre, Sydney. Lorelei Low 302, Sydney. Marty Friedman Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt.
THURSDAY 12 DEC Against The Moo Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Bakers Eddy Low 302, Sydney. Brad Cox Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. DJ Koze Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Sandy Bigara & Friends Low 302, Sydney. Pop's Not Dead Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. $5 The Babe Rainbow Paddo RSL, Paddington. You Am I +
Jebediah Theatre Royal, Sydney.
FRIDAY 13 DEC Alex Lloyd Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Black Fridays At Akademi Bar Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Brother Love Metro Theatre, Sydney. Cate Le Bon Theatre Royal, Sydney. Chris Holmes & The Mean Men The Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Don West Metro Theatre, Sydney. Egyptian Lover Waywards, Newtown. Heists Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst. Hill Town Miranda Hotel, Miranda. Johnny Hunter + Moaning Lisa Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Meat Rack Home Nightclub Miami Horror Metro Theatre, Sydney. Giulio Biddau Home Nightclub, Darlingharbour. Platform // Volume 3 Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Polish Club At The Polish Club Metro Theatre, Sydney. Six60 The Big Top, Milsons Point. Split Feed The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle West. Steve Poltz The Vanguard, Newtown. Tash Sultana Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Tasman Keith The Chippendale Hotel, Chippendale. The Dangerous Summer Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. The Nightcrawlerz
Takeover Metro Theatre, Sydney. Vetty Vials Slyfox, Enmore.
SATURDAY 14 DEC Blake O'Connor The Domain, Sydney. Dragon Brass Monkey, Cronulla. Enter The Jaguar Metro Theatre, Sydney. Gina Jeffreys Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Helena Legend The Argyle, Sydney. Johniepee Civic Hotel, Sydney. Karen Lee Andrews The Vanguard, Newtown. Luca Bachetti Civic Hotel, Sydney. Mako Road Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Opeth State Theatre, Sydney. Paul Kelly The Domain, Sydney. Rhythm Is A Dancer Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Ric Herbert The Vanguard, Newtown. Steve Poltz At The
Acoustic Picnic The Music Lounge, Brookvale. The Angels + Baby Animals Metro Theatre, Sydney. The Gadflys Theatre Royal, Sydney. The Petting Zoo Greenwood Hotel, North Sydney. Timomatic & K-Time (U18) The Oxford Hotel, Drummoyne. Young Lions Slyfox, Enmore.
SUNDAY 15 DEC Chasing Giants The Vanguard, Newtown. Rice Is Nice Christmas Special - Sydney Vic On The Park, Marrickville. Seed Festival Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Thaiboy Digital + Suicideyear Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Thirsty Merc Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach.
MONDAY 16 DEC Welove Nakadia // After Party At Goodbar Goodbar, Paddington.
TUESDAY 17 DEC
George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Lawrence Arabia Low 302, Sydney. Roisin Murphy Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
WEDNESDAY 18 DEC Furnace And The Fundamentals Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
SATURDAY 04 JAN Dimitri From Paris Cafe del Mar Sydney, Sydney. Freddie Gibbs Metro Theatre, Sydney. Truckfighters Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt.
THURSDAY 19 DEC Ben Salter Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Jackson Carroll Brass Monkey, Cronulla.
SUNDAY 05 JAN
FRIDAY 20 DEC Augie March Theatre Royal, Sydney. Behind You The Chippendale Hotel, Chippendale. Freyja Garbett Lazybones Lounge Restaurant & Bar, Marrickville. G Fest Metro Theatre, Sydney. Lime Spiders Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Lloyd Cole City Recital Hall, Sydney. Ryley Walker Petersham Bowling
22 JAN THU
George Thorogood & the Destroyers Enmore Theatre, Enmore.
‘Bad to the Bone’ has been irresistible since the ‘80s, and ever since then, George Thorogood & the Destroyers have been getting better and better. And badder. Meet me in the mosh pit throwing elbows for George.
blackbear The Metro Theatre, Sydney. Forget Hot Girl Summer, blackbear is bringing the hot girl bummer anthems to the streets of Australia, for a string of shows that won’t just sell out in a fl ash, but will also be incredibly unmissable.
Club, Petersham. William Singe Metro Theatre, Sydney.
Aaron Gocs Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Dreamers Crime The Chippendale Hotel, Chippendale. Elton John ICC Sydney Theatre, Sydney. Enough To Escape The Vanguard House On The Hill The Star, Pyrmont. NERVO The Star, Pyrmont. Ryley Walker The Star, Pyrmont. Thunder Fox Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Ultimate Power Metro Theatre, Sydney.
SUNDAY 22 DEC Band Together - A Charity Concert & NSW Bushfire Appeal Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Murray Cook Paddo RSL, Paddington.
MONDAY 23 DEC Elton John ICC Sydney Theatre, Sydney.
George Thorogood photo by Kevin Dobson
FRIDAY 27 DEC
Lauren Daigle Enmore Theatre, Enmore.
Armed with piano ballads and aiming at your heart, Lauren Daigle is bringing her heartbreaking and sombre vocal melodies to the stage, and we encourage you to bring along some tissues because this show will kickstart the emotions.
Floating Points Metro Theatre, Sydney. Jay & Lindsay Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Jon Hopkins Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Tom Trago Metro Theatre, Sydney.
MONDAY 06 JAN Lizzo Sydney Opera House, Sydney.
TUESDAY 07 JAN
SATURDAY 21 DEC
Melinda Schneider + Mark Gable Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Michael Bibi Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Yungblud Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
Gang Of Brothers At Hard Rock Cafe Sydney Hard Rock Cafe, Darling Harbour. Parcels Metro Theatre, Sydney. Thirsty Merc Metro Theatre, Sydney.
SATURDAY 28 DEC Andy C Metro Theatre, Sydney. Bob Log III The Vanguard, Newtown.
Chunk + The Distractions Brass Monkey, Cronulla. Claptone Home Nightclub Elusive The Chippendale Hotel, Chippendale. Jeremih The Star, Pyrmont. Onesevenfour Max Watt's, Moore Park.
TUESDAY 31 DEC Comeback Kid Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Ganggajang Tea Gardens Hotel, Bondi Junction. Harbour Party NYE Luna Park, Milsons Point. NYE And NYE Manly Wharf Hotel, Manly. NYE In The Park Victoria Park, Camperdown. Will Sparks + Joel Fletcher The Star, Pyrmont.
WEDNESDAY 01 JAN Field Day 2020 The Domain, Sydney. NYD2020 Greenwood Hotel, North Sydney.
THURSDAY 02 JAN Basia Bulat Low 302, Sydney. John Floreani Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Lewis Capaldi Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. Russell Morris Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt.
FRIDAY 03 JAN Basia Bulat Low 302, Sydney. Hellions Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Hobo Johnson And The Love Makers Metro Theatre, Sydney.
Ella Mai Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Elton John Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park. Of Monsters And Men Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Pink Sweat$ Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. The Brother Brothers The Vanguard, Newtown.
WEDNESDAY 08 JAN Milky Chance Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park.
THURSDAY 09 JAN Blackbear Metro Theatre, Sydney. Courtney Barnett Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Elton John Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park. Saint-Léon Freda's, Chippendale. Stray From The Path Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Vampire Weekend Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
FOMO Parramatta Park, Parramatta. Golden Years – Bowie's Birthday Bash! Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. The Growlers Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Tom Curtain Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
SUNDAY 12 JAN Courtney Barnett Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. India Sweeney Factory Theatre, Marrickville. The East Pointers Factory Theatre, Marrickville. The Growlers Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Mclusky* Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
WEDNESDAY 15 JAN Elephant Sessions (Scotland) Brass Monkey, Cronulla. Rory Mcleod Bridge Hotel, Rozelle.
THURSDAY 16 JAN Cavetown Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Laibach Metro Theatre, Sydney. Wolf Gordon + More Factory Theatre, Marrickville.
FRIDAY 17 JAN Amistat The Vanguard, Newtown. Bootleg Rascal Miranda Hotel, Miranda. Daniel Tosh Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Etana Spread Red Rattler, Marrickville. Kevin Borich Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Obituary Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Ray Beadle Brass Monkey, Cronulla. Terror The Lansdowne, Sydney.
Tim Hecker & The Konoyo Ensemble Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Tom Curtain Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
SATURDAY 18 JAN Boat Party // Lucky Presents Cr 003 Darling Harbour, Sydney. Clem Burke + Bootleg Blondie Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Hoochie Mama + Jordan Kenny Band Brass Monkey, Cronulla. Out Of Bounds Campbelltown Athletics Centre, Leumeah. The Beautiful Girls Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Unearth Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Vagabonds Afloat - Harbour Cruise Ft Molly (Fr) Man O'War Steps, Sydney.
SUNDAY 19 JAN Bootleg Rascal Park House, Mona Vale. Lauren Daigle Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
WEDNESDAY 22 JAN George Thorogood & The Destroyers Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Tex Perkins + Matt Walker Brass Monkey, Cronulla.
THURSDAY 23 JAN George Thorogood & The Destroyers Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Kaylens Rain The Vanguard, Newtown. Yawning Man The Vanguard, Newtown.
FRIDAY 24 JAN Flying Lotus Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Hiss Golden Messenger Theatre Royal, Sydney. Hollow Coves Oxford Art Factory,
FRIDAY 10 JAN Courtney Barnett Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. Dragon Narrabeen RSL, North Narrabeen. Jay Park Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Mac DeMarco Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. Scab Baby + More Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
SATURDAY 11 JAN Courtney Barnett Bridge Hotel, Rozelle.
J.I.D Max Watts Sydney, Moore Park.
If you haven’t heard of J.I.D by now, that’s on you, not me. J.I.D is one of the most incredible voices to come out of Hip Hop and R’n’B in a while, and he’s only just getting better as the years go by. A show that shouldn’t be missed.
BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19 :: 73
gig guide Pennywise
J.I.D Max Watt's, Moore Park. Randy Newman State Theatre, Sydney.
WEDNESDAY 05 FEB Omar Apollo Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Tom Curtain Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
THURSDAY 06 FEB
Pennywise Max Watts Sydney, Moore Park.
You’d be an absolute clown if you missed out on seeing this raging and raucous band live and in the flesh. This bands energy is never gonna die, and an incredibly entertaining show is absolutely guaranteed.
Darlinghurst. JOYRYDE Metro Theatre, Sydney. The Beautiful Girls Factory Theatre, Marrickville.
THURSDAY 30 JAN
SATURDAY 25 JAN Elrow Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. John Garcia And The Band Of Gold Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. The Beautiful Girls Narrabeen RSL, North Narrabeen. Wafia Metro Theatre, Sydney.
SUNDAY 26 JAN Critical Sound Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Kevin Bennett & The Flood Metro Theatre, Sydney. Tiny Moving Parts Metro Theatre, Sydney.
MONDAY 27 JAN Bastille Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. Solange Sydney Opera House, Sydney.
TUESDAY 28 JAN Solange Sydney Opera House, Sydney.
Mahalia Metro Theatre, Sydney. Northlane Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge. Perturbator Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Solange Sydney Opera House, Sydney.
FRIDAY 31 JAN Cry Club Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Diesel Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Everclear Metro Theatre, Sydney. Fatboy Slim Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park. Freedom Fighters Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Geoff Tate Manning Bar, Sydney. Jason Transe Candy's Apartment, Potts Point. Max Frost Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Neal Morse Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Sean Paul + Shaggy Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. Sebadoh
Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Solange Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Tom Curtain Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.
SATURDAY 01 FEB Billy Idol Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. Cold Chisel Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. Cry Club Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge. Diesel Ettamogah Hotel, Rouse Hill. Home Free Metro Theatre, Sydney. Red Hot Summer Tour Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park.
SUNDAY 02 FEB Laneway The Domain, Sydney.
MONDAY 03 FEB BBNO$ Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
TUESDAY 04 FEB Col3trane Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Fontaines D.C. Paddo RSL, Paddington.
Deva & Miten Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Gladys Knight The Star Event Centre, Pyrmont. Kirk Fletcher Band Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Wicca Phase Springs Eternal Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. X Ambassadors Metro Theatre, Sydney.
SATURDAY 08 FEB Adrian Eagle The Lansdowne, Sydney. Bernard Fanning The Lansdowne, Sydney. Opiuo + More Manning Bar, Sydney. Red Hot Summer Tour Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour. Steely Dan & The Best Of The West Coast Brass Monkey, Cronulla. The Clayton Doley Band Music @ StreetMarket, Crows Nest. The Stranglers Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
Dick Valentine Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Red Hot Summer Tour Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour.
TUESDAY 11 FEB Integrity Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt.
WEDNESDAY 12 FEB THU
The band with the best album covers of the decade and the freshest take on pop punk you’ll ever hear are coming our way for a set of unmissable shows. Just make sure you wear black to respect the culture.
74 :: BRAG :: 748 :: 04:12:19
James Bennett + More Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Pennywise Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
Scorpions & Whitesnake Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.
Here I go again bragging about how good these two bands still air to this day. Scorpion and Whitesnake need no introduction at all. Both bands are still full of venom and ready to strike, for one of the biggest shows you’ll ever lay your eyes on.
The Badloves Brass Monkey, Cronulla. The Parov Stelar Band Enmore Theatre, Newtown.
MONDAY 24 FEB Stiff Little Fingers Metro Theatre, Sydney.
WEDNESDAY 26 FEB The New Pornographers Metro Theatre, Sydney.
THURSDAY 27 FEB 10CC Enmore Theatre, Newtown. An Horse Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Between The Buried And Me Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Men I Trust Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
FRIDAY 28 FEB
First State Super Theatre ICC, Sydney.
Year after year Pentatonix evolve and grow in ways that we’d never expect them to when they first began their vocal harmonies a few years ago. They’ve honed their craft to perfection and are coming our way to lay on the talent to our unworthy towns.
THURSDAY 13 FEB As It Is Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Jess Day Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Moon Duo Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
FRIDAY 14 FEB Cattle Decapitation Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Jaguar Jonze Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. KOTA The Friend Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Okilly Dokilly Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Rupaul's Drag Race: Werq The World Tour 2020 State Theatre, Sydney. Trophy Eyes Manning Bar, Sydney.
SUNDAY 16 FEB Nick Lowe Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Red Hot Summer Tour Bella Vista Farm, Bella Vista.
MONDAY 17 FEB TOOL Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.
THURSDAY 20 FEB Allah-Las Paddo RSL, Paddington. Amanda Palmer Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Kate Tempest Factory Theatre, Marrickville. Yeasayer Metro Theatre,
FRIDAY 21 FEB Jay Som Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.
SATURDAY 22 FEB Chon. Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Electric Gardens Centennial Park, Centennial Park. Pentatonix First State Super Theatre ICC, Sydney. Scorpions & Whitesnake Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.
SUNDAY 23 FEB Conrad Sewell Brass Monkey, Cronulla.
Oliver Cattley Candy's Apartment, Potts Point. Polaris Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Pseudo Echo Paddo RSL, Paddington. Sacred Reich + Vio-Lence Manning Bar, Sydney. Tony Hadley Metro Theatre, Sydney.
SATURDAY 29 FEB Don't Change Ultimate INXS Oaks Hotel, Neutral Bay.
SUNDAY 01 MAR Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats Factory Theatre, Marrickville.
TUESDAY 03 MAR Kikagaku Moyo Paddo RSL, Paddington. Weyes Blood Factory Theatre, Marrickville.
SATURDAY 15 FEB Bleeding Knees Club Low 302, Sydney. Moody Beach Low 302, Sydney. Queen ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park. Squeeze State Theatre, Sydney. Steve Lacy Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. The Interceptors Manning Bar, Sydney.
Between The Buried And Me
Between The Buried And Me Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.
What exactly lies between the buried and me? Incredible riffs, endlessly catchy songs, riotous vocals and high-octane energy that could shake heaven off its axis. Get your body down to the show, and leave your soul at the door.
Xxxxx photo by Jxxxx
As It Is
FRIDAY 07 FEB Beastwars Crowbar Sydney, Leichhardt. Private Function The Eastern, Bondi Junction. The Angels + Boom Crash Opera Paddo RSL, Paddington. Unwritten Law Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge.
SUNDAY 09 FEB As It Is
For our full gig and club listings, head to thebrag. com/gig-guide.
Scorpions & Whitesnake