The Music (Brisbane) August 2019 Issue

Page 1

August Issue | 2019

Brisbane | Free

CUB SPORT Continuing Brisbane’s DIY aesthetic

Inside: Brisbane Festival

Cassie Workman & Cal Wilson: telling stories that connect people

High Rotation: 30 years that made a city’s sound


THE MUSIC

•

J U LY


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


Credits Publisher Handshake Media Pty Ltd Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast National Editor – Magazines Mark Neilsen Senior Editor Sam Wall

Who’s the boss?

Editors Daniel Cribb, Neil Griffiths

I

’ve never given much thought to Bruce Springsteen. In fact, I always considered Diana Ross ‘The Boss’ and Springsteen more of an apprentice to the title. So it comes as something of a surprise that one of the most entertaining films of the year so far is Blinded By The Light, a little Brit-flick about a working class kid’s obsession with the New Jersey hero. Knowing so little about Springsteen, I had no idea he’d written Blinded By The Light despite Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s cover of the song being an all-time favourite singalong. The ‘80s-set film touches on class and race issues, conveying how music can cut through those divides. It brings to the screen the true story of Sarfraz Manzoor, a Pakistan-born British journalist who began his lifelong love for Springsteen in his teens. The film (which is reviewed by Anthony Carew in this issue) is directed by Gurinder Chadha, who also made the similarly feel-good flick Bend It Like Beckham in 2002. It captures that lightning-bolt moment many of us have experienced when we realise that music can elevate our lives. That moment when a song, or artist, first speaks directly to us and sets our lives on a path of musical obsession. And, in the grand tradition of seamless segues, there’s no doubt acts we feature in this month’s pages have created that surge of dedication in fans. This month Carley Hall talks to Northlane about their very personal new album Alien while Joseph Earp explores the creative process with Cub Sport and Cyclone asks G Flip about her swift rise to fame. Of course, the aforementioned Cub Sport feature is a part of our exploration of this year’s upcoming Brisbane Festival. We also talk to a variety of festival guests including Holy Holy, The Middle East, Cal Wilson and Cassie Workman while Steve Bell takes a deep dive into the history of the Brisbane music scene. In this issue we are also excited to reveal that we managed to sneak Guy Davis onto the set of Seth Rogen-produced, comic book series Preacher while it filmed its final season in Australia. Now hopefully someone out there will get super inspired by one of the acts featured in this issue and be motivated to make some music, write about some music or even just watch a film about those pursuits.

Assistant Editor/Social Media Co-Ordinator Jessica Dale Editorial Assistant Lauren Baxter Arts Editor Hannah Story Gig Guide Henry Gibson gigs@themusic.com.au Senior Contributors Steve Bell, Maxim Boon, Bryget Chrisfield, Cyclone, Jeff Jenkins Contributors Nic Addenbrooke, Emily Blackburn, Melissa Borg, Anthony Carew, Uppy Chatterjee, Roshan Clerke, Shaun Colnan, Brendan Crabb, Guy Davis, Joe Dolan, Joseph Earp, Chris Familton, Guido Farnell, Donald Finlayson, Liz Giuffre, Carley Hall, Tobias Handke, Tom Hawking, Mark Hebblewhite, Samuel Leighton Dore, Keira Leonard, Joel Lohman, Alannah Maher, Taylor Marshall, Anne Marie Peard, Michael Prebeg, Mick Radojkovic, Stephen A Russell, Rod Whitfield Senior Photographers Cole Bennetts, Kane Hibberd Photographers Rohan Anderson, Andrew Briscoe, Stephen Booth, Pete Dovgan, Simone Fisher, Lucinda Goodwin, Josh Groom, Clare Hawley, Bianca Holderness, Jay Hynes, Dave Kan, Hayden Nixon, Angela Padovan, Markus Ravik, Bobby Rein, Barry Shipplock, Terry Soo Advertising Leigh Treweek, Antony Attridge, Brad Edwards, Jacob Bourke sales@themusic.com.au Art Dept Felicity Case-Mejia print@themusic.com.au Admin & Accounts accounts@themusic.com.au Distro distro@themusic.com.au Subscriptions store.themusic.com.au Contact Us Mailing address PO Box 87 Surry Hills NSW 2010 Melbourne Ph: 03 9081 9600 26 Napoleon Street Collingwood Vic 3066

Andrew Mast Managing Editor

Sydney Ph: 02 9331 7077 Level 2, 230 Crown St Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Brisbane Ph: 07 3252 9666 info@themusic.com.au www.theMusic.com.au

THE MUSIC

8

T H E S TA R T


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


Our contributors 8

Editor’s letter

13

G Flip Helping people through heartbreak

Pic

This month’s best binge watching

: Reuben Moore

This month

Guest editorial: Cloud Control’s Heidi Lenffer, founder of Future Energy Artists (FEAT.)

16

Cassie Workman and Cal Wilson

18

but she appreciates the spooky prescience.

29 Preacher On set for the final season

34

The Middle East

21

22

24

The big picture: Liu Bolin

Killswitch Engage

26

Carley is a Gold Coast writer, science communicator and wannabe burlesque queen. She has ridden the figurative waves of jourones on weekends. In her spare time you’ll

DevilDriver Coming out without a shirt on stage and fucking ripping

find her wrangling her child or Googling her name.

35

36

Album reviews

Your Town 40

High Rotation

42

Your gigs Northlane Writing songs that deal with very important issues that don’t get spoken about

Carley Hall

nalism for a decade, but still falls off literal

20

20

Indie games Upcoming local titles we reckon are worth the hype

30

32

Dope Lemon

The Beautiful Monument, WAAX

Holy Holy

just launched a solar investment fund for artname and her current interest in solar power,

Brisbane Festival Cub Sport

Heidi is in the band Cloud Control. She also ists. There’s no correlation between the band

14 Winterbourne

Fangirls Yve Blake on why it ain’t easy being a teen girl

28

Heidi Lenffer

This month’s local highlights

44

The end

46

28

THE MUSIC

10

T H E S TA R T

Rosie Piper Rosie is a Sydney-based comedian and writer. She’s featured on Tonightly With Tom Ballard, at Splendour In The Grass and Sydney Comedy Festival. She is a co-founder of Powerbomb Comedy and Comedy At Papa Gede’s, and co-host of the podcast We’ll Just Tell Your Mother We Ate It All.


SECRET SOUNDS PRESENTS

THE 27TH ANNUAL MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

BYRON BAY 3 1 DEC 01 JAN 02 JAN

LINEUP IS OUT! CHECK IT OUT & SIGN UP TO THE PRESALE AT FALLSFESTIVAL.COM THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


Pulp non-fiction

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The ninth film from Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio as TV star Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his friend and stunt double Cliff Booth in 1969 LA, around the time of the Manson murders. In cinemas 15 Aug.

’Tis the SZN WA-based hip hop artist Arno Faraji will embark on his debut Australian headline tour this month. The Faraji SZN Australian tour will kick off in Adelaide on 2 Aug before stopping by Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.

Hoo ‘ruh

Samsaruh. Pic: Michelle Grace Hunder

The Hunting

After a string of increasingly impressive singles, Samsaruh is heading around the country with her debut EP. The young singer-songwriter will make stops in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne from 9 Aug.

Shudderbug Coming to SBS TV and SBS On Demand from 1 Aug, The Hunting, starring Richard Roxburgh and Asher Keddie, follows the course of a nude teen photo scandal through the lives of four teenagers, their teachers and their families, dissecting contemporary sexuality, exploitation and privacy.

THE MUSIC

12

T H E S TA R T


Control

Stream dreams This month’s best binge watching Mindhunter, Season 2

The FBC won’t let me be Control is the new supernatural thriller from Remedy Entertainment, the makers of Alan Wake and Quantum Break. An otherworldly threat has invaded the mysterious Bureau Of Control. As Jesse, the Bureau’s new Director, you’re going to have to do something about that. Out 27 Aug.

At the tail-end of the ‘70s, FBI agents detectives Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) think they can figure out what makes killers tick by sitting down and listening to them – though not everyone agrees. Continuing the dramatisation of the birth of criminal psychology, this time the show focuses on the tragic story of the Atlanta child murders.

Streams from 16 Aug on Netflix

The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance

One of the true classics of the ‘80s, Jim Henson’s puppet opus The Dark Crystal has Arno Faraji

proven timeless. Based several years before the events of the original, and sticking with its practical visual effects, Age Of Resistance folJacob Collier

lows three young Gelflings trying to spur their

The Pinheads. Pic: Riccardo Quirke

people to rebellion after they discover the horrible secret of their Skeksis overlords’ power. Streams from 30 Aug on Netflix

The Set, Season 2

On the ‘cob Grammy Award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier tours Australia from 30 Aug with tracks from Djesse, Vol 1 and the upcoming Vol 2. This time with a band in tow, Collier will stop in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

Triple j’s Dylan Alcott and Linda Marigliano are back for the second round of ABC’s music

Pinteresting

series, The Set. Following last season’s formula, three artists are invited to perform for a live audience on different stages set around the

Starting 10 Aug, Wollongong rockers The Pinheads are taking their second album Is This Real on a five-date tour. The quintet are set to play shows in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane and Byron Bay.

THE MUSIC

show’s ‘house party’. The trio then join forces for the final Set Piece. No word on who’s making an appearance this time around, but acts like Vera Blue, Ball Park Music and The Presets set the bar high last year.

Streams from 28 Aug on ABC iview

13

T H E S TA R T


Why I launched a solar investment fund for the music industry, and what’s in it for everybody Cloud Control’s Heidi Lenffer, founder of Future Energy Artists (FEAT), breaks down how the new organisation helps musicians to carbon offset their tours — and just why that’s necessary.

I

t doesn’t take a hardened cynic to point out the hypocrisy of being a voice for environmental awareness while tweeting from the seat of a Boeing 737. So for many of us artists who fly for a living, the steadily growing crescendo of worsening climate change news over the last decade has created a problem too vast and overwhelming to deal with in any way other than disconnection. Tune out the thought. Too big for me to fix. Maybe spend $2 to “carbon offset” the flight. Not sure what that does. Guilt passes. Another tour done. You don’t have to be an artist for this mental salve to sound familiar. In terms of our individual impact, artists rack up an enormous footprint. A national band tour of Australia, playing 15 shows over five weekends, creates 28 tonnes of carbon emissions. This is roughly equivalent to what an entire household generates over the course of a whole year, and bands often find themselves on the road for years at a time. So the impact of the music industry is immense, but even so, it only makes up a tiny blip of collective world flight emissions. In fact, the entire aviation industry only contributes 2% to the total global CO2 problem. This context is important not to downplay the significance of our footprint, but to halt naive musings about whether all bands should simply stop touring, or whether all planes should be grounded. Understand that the problem is way more nuanced than that. There are few quick fixes in this climate crisis: we need to be more imaginative than prohibitive, and the best solutions we dream up need to be acted upon swiftly and as a collective. The simple but devastating reality is that the decisions that you and I choose to make about dealing with the climate crisis will literally determine whether or not our planet remains habitable to future generations of humans. It’s quite simply a matter of existence or extinction for us and the mind-bogglingly beautiful array of other animals and life forms we share the earth with. So back in 2017 when Cloud Control had just finished mixing our last album Zone and were starting to make touring plans, I spent several months with climate scientists to figure out whether there was anything my band could do that would make any real positive difference to the situation. The answer that came back at me was clear. In order to reverse global warming, we needed to stop powering our lives with coal, oil and gas, and globally transition to renewable energy sources like solar and wind. But to do this required a mammoth, worldwide construction effort to build the clean energy infrastructure of the future. My questions were then: Could the Australian music industry play a role in this?, Would artists be willing to seize an opportunity to accelerate this future?, How much does a solar farm cost? I knew that sun-drenched Australia had the perfect conditions for solar energy production, and what we’d need to create was an investment vehicle. So over 18 months of research, networking, and testing models of investment, trialling ideas with artists and building relationships with potential investment partners, I found the right partner in Future Super and I started FEAT, a renewable energy investment platform for artists. How does FEAT work? Artists at any level can invest as little as $5 or as much as $500,000+ to finance the construction of new solar farms around Australia. You can transfer a lump sum from savings, add $1 to the ticket price of your next tour and raise your investment funds on the road, or deposit $20 (or whatever) a month into your investment account. Whether

you’re skint or completely loaded, we’ve designed it to be as flexible as possible to suit every financial situation. How does FEAT create money for artists? The solar farms we are investing in generate clean power, which is sold to the grid, and any profits are distributed back to the artist investors every year. So this is designed to be an ethical nest egg for the industry, where artists can see annual returns which are currently targeted at 5.2%, kind of like ‘solar royalties’. We launched two months ago now, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. What was most staggering was how many people wrote to ask if there was a way that non-artists could get involved too. So the good news is that we’ve decided to open FEAT up for everyone so that this is an inclusive movement, led by artists for the benefit of all Australians. Keep an eye on our website for updates there. When you build a thing, it’s hard to know how it’s going to land. But in March 2018, over a year before I publicly launched FEAT, I had two very different conversations with two people in the public eye that super-charged my resolve to finish what I’d started. One conversation was with the then-Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, and the other with Reuben Styles from much-loved Aussie dance duo Peking Duk. The PM chat was in the context of an hourlong roundtable discussion with a bunch of other under-35-year-olds from Southeast Asia doing cool stuff to tackle various world challenges. When I introduced myself and FEAT, Turnbull said with wry bemusement, “Ahh yes, I remember reading your bio. so how does it work exactly? Do you get artists to dance on the solar panels?” He glanced around the room with a chuckle. His opening gambit didn’t give me much to work with, so I took it as comment, and launched into my well researched proposition to turn Australia into a solar energy export hub in order to help supply the predicted 80% increase in energy (coal) demands of our SE Asian neighbours. Within minutes the PM had steered the topic back to his party line about the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), and it was clear that the conversation was over before it had properly begun. In contrast, when I told the Peking Duk guys that I’d been working on an investment platform to enable touring artists to finance solar farms and reshape the massive carbon footprint of the music industry, Reuben’s response was unequivocal: “I am 1000% in. Fuckin’ oath. Suuuuuuper keen to invest in solar farms.” He later added for the FEAT press release that “.Given the current emergency we are now in, I feel like [renewable energy] should be on everyone’s agenda. I’ve been active on social platforms tweeting at people saying ‘come on what are you doing, put Australia to work’ — we should be building solar farms. We are the sunniest country in the world and all of this wasted sun is just going onto the dirt across the desert.” Two vastly different responses to the same idea, and only one of them in sync with the urgency of the current consensus of the world’s scientists. FEAT is an invitation to cut ties with the mindset that we can’t do anything about climate change. To face the reality of what flying for a living means at this particular point in human history. To tour with a strategy in place that will actively build the clean energy future we all know we need. To understand that business as usual doesn’t cut it when the stakes are this high. Head to our website feat.ltd to find out how you can get involved and keep your eyes peeled for our app coming soon called ARRAY.

“It’s quite simply a matter of existence or extinction.”

THE MUSIC

14

GUEST EDITORIAL


4 NIGHTS

18 VENUES

150 BANDS

2019

M

TI

TS CKE FRO

$ SA L E NO

W

O

N

bigsound.org.au

Discover the Future of Music 3 – 6 SEPT

1 TICKET

PRODUCED BY

BRISBANE'S FORTITUDE VALLEY

THE MUSIC

AUGUST

MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY


Emotionally taxing Brisbane’s Cub Sport will help celebrate the iconic Riverstage’s 30th birthday next month. Here Joseph Earp talks to frontman Tim Nelson about how the band try to be “more than just about the music”. Cover and feature photos by Chloë Nour. Styling and Art Direction by Kurt Johnson. Cub Sport dressed by Prada.

THE MUSIC

16

B R I S B A N E F E ST I VA L


“It feels like the stakes get higher with each release.”

I

t’s an unseasonably warm winter’s day, there’s a crispness to the air, and Tim Nelson of Cub Sport is doing his taxes. “Sam [Netterfield, Cub Sport keyboardist] does pretty much all of it, and I’ve just stepped in to help a little bit,” Nelson explains, sounding surprisingly relaxed for a freelancer at bookkeeping time. “I was just like, ‘I know why I leave this to you,” he laughs. “It’s complicated working for yourself.” Nelson would know. Cub Sport, the band that he has led for almost a decade, is an almost entirely self-managed institution, free from many of the corporate intricacies that bog down other acts. Each of the band’s releases — including their widely beloved, commercial powerhouse from 2017, Bats — has been stridently independent. These are songs with all the urgency of diary entries, delivered by performers who have deliberately avoided the concessions that you usually have to make to financial overlords. “We do everything ourselves,” Nelson says, simply. He doesn’t just mean the creative side of things either. Nelson has even drawn up his own business plan for the band’s future, and constantly updates the direction he wants the group to move in. “We have a five-year plan. We always have all of our goals that we’re working towards. And we always keep making new ones as we knock over ones that we get to.” Of course, that kind of self-directed business model comes with its downsides too — one of them being the ever-present risk of burnout. Nelson’s been flirting with that kind of exhaustion recently; for the most part Cub Sport haven’t stopped touring and releasing music since 2016, when they dropped their debut This Is Our Vice. He knows that it’d probably be easier to manage that schedule if he cared a little less: “It feels like we’ve been going for so long without stopping that it’s like, ‘Maybe it would be good if we didn’t love it so much.’ That way we could chill and let it happen. “But for me, it’s amazing getting to do something you care about so much,” Nelson says. “And even though it can get pretty tiring, it’s worth it, putting in the hard work and seeing what you always wanted to happen, happen.” For Nelson, that means getting to see his band forge connections in the world. That’s the only reason he does any of this — to transform his own lived experience into these heartfelt packages of musical empathy, and present

them to a steadily growing audience, all too eager to take whatever Cub Sport have to give. “When it connects with people in a meaningful way — that’s what makes a successful album,” Nelson explains. Better yet, these days, thanks to the digital era we find ourselves in, it’s not hard for Nelson to tell whether a song like the shimmering Sometimes has found a place in people’s hearts. “Our DMs are always full with people telling us straight up how much the music has helped them. “But we also try to make Cub Sport more than just about the music. We get a lot of people who tell us how the band makes them feel supported and proud, and has given them the courage to live their truth. Which is incredibly rewarding.” Rewarding, of course, but risky. After all, how many other once great bands have allowed themselves to be won over by their own good press? Oscar Wilde said that the two worst things in life are not getting what you want and getting what you want — there’s always the possibility that too much support can shape and alter your understanding of your own product. For that reason, Nelson mostly tries to disconnect from his own hype these days. “I feel like if I try to think too much about who is going to be listening to the music, and who I want to listen to the music, it doesn’t feel like I’m writing from as much of a genuine place,” Nelson explains. “It can be really hard to switch off that side of things. Especially as we progress in our career, and it feels like the stakes get higher with each release. But I feel like my best writing comes when I’m working outside of that mindset.” Instead, when writing an album like the heartfelt Cub Sport, Nelson retreats into himself. His songs always start with a moment of clarity, with the realisation that what he is thinking and feeling is true. “I have to connect with it,” he says. “If [a song] brings up something in me, or it feels like it releases me from something that I have been feeling, and if I can’t stop listening to it, those are all good signs for me.” Often, Nelson isn’t even sure why a song is moving him while he’s writing it. There have been times where he’s written from a place of pure catharsis, sure, but most of the time, he’s just following impulses. “Sometimes I’ll have lyrics that will just come out that I don’t entirely

THE MUSIC

17

B R I S B A N E F E ST I VA L

understand. But it’s a feeling that I have. And then down the track, I’ll listen to it and be like, ‘Oh wow, that’s what that meant to me.’ Sometimes it is very obviously about something, and other times it is really cathartic without realising it.” That kind of invisible therapy came to a head during the writing of Bats, the second Cub Sport record. Nelson was writing what he thought were innocuous songs about his life and his feelings, only to discover, in retrospect, that they were all songs of adoration, directed towards his bandmate and now husband Sam “Bolan” Netterfield. “I was writing all these songs about Bolan and I. And I genuinely was convinced that I was writing about something that wasn’t personal. And he was listening to those songs and he knew exactly what was going on. It’s what gave him the courage to tell me how he felt. I felt all of that came from my subconscious before I was ready to acknowledge it.” Which to someone else might be scary, maybe — this knowledge that your artistic whims are not entirely under your control. But not for Nelson. “I’ve adjusted to it,” he says. “It’s kind of just the way that I work as a writer. I’m very revealing. It is what it is.” These days, Nelson is looking to keep things uncharacteristically low-key. After a long period of touring and recording, he’s shifting into a recuperative mode, writing whenever he has spare time. “This week and next week are the first times that I haven’t had shows or that I’ve had to be flying for in a really long time,” he says. “So I have been spending a good amount of time in my home studio. Bolan and I have been trying to stick to a little daily schedule.” Of course, that period of rest and relaxation will be pretty short-lived; Cub Sport’s headlining spot at Brisbane Festival is on the horizon, and Nelson is amped. “I’m really excited about it. I just saw the full line-up. I’m big fans of [so many of the acts].” But for now, Nelson is taking a little time for himself. Oh, and his taxes.

Cub Sport play 7 Sep at Riverstage.


Cal Wilson. Pic: Guilia McGuaran

The humanness in storytelling Ahead of their runs at Brisbane Festival, Cassie Workman and Cal Wilson talk to Hannah Story about how they love stories.

“W

“There’s nothing more lovely than being in a room full of people who are all laughing together.”

Cassie Workman. Pic: Tom Wilkinson

— Cal Wilson

THE MUSIC

hat I really love is stories,” Cal Wilson begins. The Kiwi comedian has been delighting Aussie audiences with her vibrant jokes and stories ever since she first moved across the Tasman in 2003. “I love telling stories, and I love hearing other people’s stories as well,” she continues. The host of the Melbourne iteration of global storytelling slam The Moth brings her new 2019 show Gifted Underachiever to Brisbane Festival in September. The show sees Wilson telling stories from her childhood, before looking into the future, talking about her hopes for her son, Digby. Ultimately though, her show, told “with lots of gags thrown in, it’s not serious”, is part of an overall effort to connect with people — and for people to connect with other. “I think as humans all we want to do is connect, we just want to connect to each other, and storytelling is such a great way to connect with people. “I just really love the humanness in storytelling. If you can make it funny, obviously that is a great thing to do, given it’s a comedy show. I get a real joy out of telling stories that connect people.” Cassie Workman, winner of Sydney Comedy Festival’s Best Of The Fest for her show Giantess — for which she was also nominated for the MICF Award and a Helpmann for Best Comedy Performer — sees herself as the creator of fables. Giantess is an intimate work, told through a mixture of illustration, music, storytelling and traditional stand-up. It uses the analogy of a young and awkward giantess, captured by a troll, to tell Workman’s story of coming out as a transgender woman. “The reason why I wanted to package [Giantess] as kind of a fable is because I wanted to reach a more innocent and less critical part of the psyche of the viewer,” Workman explains. “So that I could depoliticise some of the things surrounding trans people and just reach a human element inside people and tell my story that way.” Her intention was always to reach cis people — people whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth — and to talk to them about her experience in a relatable way. “I wanted to reach cis people with this story, because I feel like being trans and transition can be very difficult for people to understand. And gender dysphoria can be very difficult for some people to understand, having never experienced it.” Workman’s comedy often leans towards a kind of meta-comedy, deconstructing jokes in the very act of telling them. Yet,

18

B R I S B A N E F E ST I VA L

that understanding of the mechanics of a joke somehow only adds to an audience’s experience. “I became bored with the artifice of stand-up,” Workman shrugs. “I found it too predictable, and I began to resent what I was doing. So I turned to deconstruction as a way to pull back the curtain if you like, and show people that there’s no magic involved and yet somehow create more in the process. I really like ruining it for everyone — that just brings me joy, I don’t know why.” Wilson has never performed at Brisbane Festival and says she’s excited “to be part of the festival-festival”: “It feels like I’ve been invited to play with the grown-ups,” she quips. But she has performed as part of musical improv show Spontaneous Broadway at Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and found herself thrilled by the work she was exposed to in that setting: “You’re surrounded by people doing really different things and displaying different talents. “At a comedy festival, it’s always really inspiring to see what other people do with comedy. But then when you’re part of the Cabaret Festival or something, I’m surrounded by people who have skills that I do not possess and will never possess in my life. And it’s exciting in a whole other way because you’re outside your expertise.” Workman jokes that a festival-festival audience, as opposed to one at a comedy show or comedy festival, “makes me feel like I’m funnier than I am”. Giantess was originally produced for Sydney’s Batch Festival at Griffin Theatre in late 2018, and alongside comedy festival runs, Workman has also performed the show at Brisbane’s festival devoted to queer arts and culture, MELT. “[Festival audiences] are more theatre-oriented and they’re more ready to go on a weird journey,” Workman says. “Comedy is a lot more of a breath of fresh air for them than it is for obviously a stand-up club or a comedy festival audience. They’re usually a bit more excited by jokes.” Workman defines the role of a comic in our time as the same as at any other, as a “barometer of society and how healthy the society is”. She describes that measure as relating not just to what people are allowed to say or criticise, but also the way a comedian acts as “a historian of the general feeling of a society, of the zeitgeist”. “It’s your job to basically tell people what they’re already feeling, or what they don’t know they’re already feeling, more accurately.” For Wilson, a comedian’s role isn’t prescribed — the onus is on individuals to work out what kind of comic they want to be. When she tries to articulate what her goal as a comedian is, Wilson lands again on the importance of connection. “My personal aim is I want to say something that’s meaningful to me, I want people to feel included, and I want people to leave feeling better than they did when they walked in the room. “It’s a bit hippy, I guess,” Wilson demurs, “but [it’s] that feeling of connection — there’s nothing more lovely than being in a room full of people who are all laughing together.”

Cal Wilson plays from 18 Sep at Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. Cassie Workman plays from 24 Sep at La Boite Studio.


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


Divine chaos The tyranny of distance has become the norm for Holy Holy. But singer Timothy Carroll tells Carley Hall their trans-city set-up helped them take the reins as producers on their latest album.

“W

e’re a bit of a crazy band in some ways — our drummer lives in Hobart, I live in Launceston, Oscar’s in Melbourne and our bass player’s in Sydney, so it can be a logistical mindfuck to get everything happening.” Such is the current state of play for Holy Holy, according to singer Timothy Carroll. Embracing their long-distance relationship has always been a necessity for the transcity duo, but Carroll’s not complaining. “I actually love the kind of the freedom of this modern life — working at home, or the airport, in a tour van, whatever hours I want to work. When I sit down at my laptop with a coffee and I’m planning gigs, organising music festivals, listening to bands, I am like ‘Man, I never would have dreamed that this is possible to do as a job.’” From his Launceston home, Carroll is musing about the changes that have shaped Holy Holy. Since catching ears with the edge in their indie-rock on 2014 EP The Pacific, Carroll and Dawson expanded their soundscapes for debut When The Storms Would Come in 2015, then polished the guitar/drum/bass set-up with extra keys and catchy singles on Paint in 2017. Along the way, Carroll and guitarist Oscar Dawson kept at their respective side hustles — starting music festivals and producing for big name artists. Thus, it seems perfectly logical that the pair decided to take the reins on album number three, rather than rely solely on past producer and current touring band member Matt Redlich. “We self-produced this album so it was all on us,” Carroll offers. “We were open to trying different things and changing the way we wrote and recorded quite a lot compared with previous recordings. There were a few moments where it was a bit scary

in terms of us maybe not being on track. And then the last couple of sessions we made a lot of progress and it all came together — so I do feel a lot of relief. “Holy Holy often do this thing where we commit to a release date before we’ve even written or recorded the album. I guess because we feel like we have to do that — we’ve all got busy lives. If we waited until we finished an album, the cycles would blow out and it would just be too long. But that means that pressure to make it happen is there. “And now right before it’s due out, I’m just trying to keep my head down and not think about it too much. I am really proud of the album and I feel like for a lot of us, progressing the sound and style is essential to keeping the project interesting and exciting for us. And I feel like we’ve achieved that.” For their latest, My Own Pool Of Light, Carroll and Dawson set parameters for themselves as producers. One way they were able to achieve the blend of their usual searing melodies, rich instrumental textures and joy spliced with melancholy was to experiment with writing songs with drums at their core, and letting the layers unfold around them; the other was to reach out to collaborators. Japanese Wallpaper, Ainslie Wills and Ali Barter put their stamp on a number of tracks, which Carroll said was key not only to the album’s aesthetic but also to making the process fun. “Oscar and I are really on the same page a lot of the time about what we want to do, which is great. But we kind of wanted to step away from the drums/bass/guitar aesthetic a bit and experiment and find interesting ways to compose songs,” Carroll explains. “Holy Holy has lots of strengths but I always find it’s nice to reach out to others who have the strength where you’re weakest. “I guess taking the producer out of the mix by producing it ourselves we were keen to collaborate in another way. Now it’s out of my hands to see what people think about it.”

My Own Pool Of Light (Wonderlick/Sony) is out this month. Holy Holy tour from 12 Sep.

THE MUSIC

20

B R I S B A N E F E ST I VA L

Positive fandom Writer and actor Yve Blake chats to Hannah Story about just how hard it is being a teen girl.

W

hen Yve Blake met a 13-year-old girl who said, with full sincerity, that she was going to marry Harry Styles, at first, she couldn’t help but laugh.

“I know you don’t think I’m serious, but I’m going to show

you,” Blake recalls the girl saying. “I will be with him, because I love him so much that I would slit someone’s throat to be with him.” The ferocity of that young fan’s devotion stirred a “morbid curiosity” in writer and comedian Blake. From that fascination, which spurred her to research ‘fan girls’ obsessively for years, interviewing over 100 young fans, her next project formed, the new musical Fangirls, which premieres at Brisbane Festival in September, before moving south to Sydney’s Belvoir. Fangirls tells the story of 14-year-old Edna (Blake), a diehard

fan of the biggest boy band in the world, True Connection — and in particular its lead singer, her soulmate, Harry, played by The Voice’s Aydan Calafiore. Through the musical, Blake wants to unpack how the world cringes at “young female enthusiasm”. “All my assumptions about fan girls were built on society-wide prejudices towards young women when they express enthusiasm,” Blake explains. “And what I realised is that the world looks very differently at a group of young boys screaming their lungs out


at a football match, then it does at a group of young fan girls screaming their lungs out at a Bieber concert.” As a society, we’ve long dismissed the passions of teen girls. Words like ‘vapid’ are used to describe young women and their interests, whether they’re into boy band BTS or fashion magazines or romance novels. And the way that teen girls may express that interest is often negated as ‘hysterical’. That logic hasn’t applied in the same way to the hobbies of straight men of the same age group. “I want to know why it is that we judge young women as crazy based on a definition of what’s reasonable which is shaped by what we think it’s reasonable for young men to do,” Blake poses. Young men in our society are socialised to conceal their feelings — to perform a kind of socially sanctioned masculinity — Blake notes, while women are encouraged to be super analytical, emotional and dramatic. “The stories that we largely tell young women about, with aspirational figures in them that they can relate to, involve high drama. This is an outdated reference, but it’s Twilight, where you fall in love with a vampire and they might kill you!” Blake exclaims. “If you’re a young woman and the world is telling you to fixate on love, then it makes sense if you’ve got a pop star singing about first love, they go, ‘Yes, this is exactly what I’m interested in and interested in imagining and exploring.’” Blake recalls lurking outside the stage door of Belvoir

you, like lyrics that talk about a story you can connect with, I

aggression, the ‘mean girls’ stereotype. But Blake’s experience

Downstairs in 2008 and asking the cast of Simon Stone’s Spring

can completely understand why screaming your lungs out with

speaking to those women doesn’t venture into that kind of

Awakening to sign a postcard from the show. That’s the closest

ecstasy and joy is like such a deserved reprieve from the con-

toxic territory. “The majority of the fan girl behaviour I observed

she herself — now 26 — has ever come to a fan girl moment.

stant pressure that the world is putting you under.”

is actually just young women looking out for each other. And

Still, much of what Blake has experienced in her own life, from living as a teen girl, has fed into the writing of Fan Girls.

One way fan girl culture has been twisted is to talk about

“My experience of being a teenage girl and turning into

bands beloved by teens can end up dominating the charts.

an adult woman was to have the world suddenly give me a list

But Blake’s idea of what gives these young women a “super-

of things that I needed to change or maintain in order to be

power” zeroes in on something larger than commercial inter-

beautiful, and therefore to be correct. I felt like the world was

ests. “They know how to do something most of my adult friends

constantly telling me through a million messages that the true

have no idea how to do, and that’s love something without fear

value I should be cultivating is my beauty.

or apology.”

“I can completely understand why if you’re a 14-year-old

Often the sensationalised representations of the way

girl grappling with that, if you find something that speaks to

teen girls relate to each other centres on competitiveness and

Lost in The Middle East Back doing things on their own terms, Lauren Baxter returns to 2011 with Jordan Ireland of The Middle East.

I

t’s Splendour In The Grass 2011. Townsville band The Middle East are playing the GW McLennan tent: “We’ve decided this is our last show ever, thanks for being here — it makes it special for us.” Fast-forward eight years and it’s the Thursday morning before Splendour 2019 when The Music gets Jordan Ireland on the phone. While they now have an almost cultish status following their sudden onstage breakup, at their peak, The Middle East were a supernova of a band — running out of fuel, they collapsed under their own gravity. A simple, “I’m very tired. Until next time,” and they were gone. Looking back and trying to unpack the band’s split, there had been murmurs of an inherent dysfunction that lurked under the shiny surface of movie credits and big-name endorsements. Ireland, however, is far more self-deprecating. “It was probably more just me and my not really feeling like I resonated with the music industry. I didn’t really know how to find a pathway through all of that and through all the nonsense that

that’s kind of what the world needs more of, right?”

the extraordinary buying power of young women or the way

comes with [it],” he reflects. It’s something, he says, he still hasn’t been able to do, although time, as is usually the case, has mellowed some of the noise. So much so that earlier this year, to the surprise of many, The Middle East were announced as part of the 2019 Vivid LIVE program. “I think, when you get enough space between yourself and a part of your life which was particularly turbulent, it’s easier to revisit it, having done other things,” Ireland says of the decision to get back on stage. “[With] time flowering out in all its weird circular ways, it makes it a lot easier to go back to parts of your life that were something, at the time, I thought I would never want to get back to.” Importantly for the band, the opportunity felt right. “It became a thing where we started having discussions about maybe doing some more shows a few years ago,” he begins. “We were getting offers coming in and it just never felt right. It felt like, maybe there was an unspoken sort of agreement that if the right thing came up then we would do it. And yeah, getting the opportunity to play the Opera House and for Spunk’s 20th anniversary sort of made it feel special.” That said, those hoping the run of shows might mean something more for the future will leave empty-handed, Ireland dismissing the notion to say the feeling is “much the same as before”. “We’re just taking it show by show, and if some-

THE MUSIC

21

B R I S B A N E F E ST I VA L

Fangirls plays from 7 Sep at Billie Brown Theatre. Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for more details.

thing comes up that we feel like we want to do then we’ll do it but generally, I feel like something would have to be special for us to do,” he says. “Not just, I don’t know, like going and playing Splendour or something. As honoured as we are to get any offer like that that comes our way, I feel like I think we want to curate and think a little bit more than that.” The Middle East will play The Tivoli as part of Brisbane Festival this September, something Queensland fans can thank Jet Black Cat record store’s Shannon Logan for. “I guess we’re not from Brisbane but we’re from Queensland and, I don’t know, it felt a bit of a home show almost and it felt like unfinished business after having those first two shows,” Ireland shares. “Also I’m a really big fan of Shannon from Jet Black Cat and she’s kind of the one who got in touch so it felt like a nice connection to do that.” That connection to Queensland, and Townsville more specifically, is readily apparent when listening back to the band’s records. “I think it’s all there,” Ireland agrees. “All the loss and the distance and dysfunction of it, they’re all there. It was almost like escapism, the music we were making, in a way to offset this weird, I don’t know, I don’t want to get too hectic with the adjectives but it was almost like a literal dystopia up there being swamped in between the army and the mining and the racism and yeah. But yeah, I still have a real special place somewhere in me for up there... It will always be something special for me.” As for what longtime fans of the band can expect at The Tivoli? “I don’t rightly know,” he laughs. “I think they can just expect themselves, because that’s all anyone can do. I don’t think that we can do anything for anyone. I think we’re just gonna get there and play our music and people can come and listen and think about their lives.”

The Middle East play 13 Sep at The Tivoli.


Do you wanna play a game? Joel Burrows guides us through some of the most anticipated — and deservedly so — video games set to be released by Aussie indie developers this year. Illustration by Felicity Case-Mejia.

M

Moving Out

ore than half of 2019 is done, dusted, and in the recycling bin. This makes death feel imminent and new video games feel 2,000 years away. However, you can’t always trust your own feelings. There are a plethora of rad video games coming out. In fact, a bunch of them are being made by Australian indie developers.

Moving Out is a game about the most difficult activity of all time: moving furniture. But in this adventure, you’re not just delivering couches. You’re moving items across pools of lava, past dangerous lasers, or while dodging tumbling boulders. This is without a doubt going to be a challenging action puzzler. Ashley Ringrose, founder of SMG Studio, tells us that the story has a “morning cartoon vibe” and a “Scooby Doo-style of storytelling”. He also says that his team was making some ridiculous in-game furniture. His favourite piece is called the LOOONG couch. “That’s it’s official name” Ashley states, “and it’s all wobbly and stretchy.” This game seems exceptionally silly and that is its greatest strength.

Untitled Goose Game Have you ever wanted to be a goose that steals hats and sandwiches from the bourgeoisie? Well, thanks to House House, this desire can become a reality. In this top-down stealth game, you play as a goose in a quaint UK village. You waddle into yards, ruin gardens and flap to your heart’s content. House House, a Melbourne-based studio, has a brilliant idea on their hands. After all, who doesn’t want to honk at their enemies? Michael McMaster, one of the game’s creators, generously lets us know us his favourite item to swindle as the goose. For him, it’s a glass bottle, because “if you honk while it’s on your beak it makes a lovely resonant ringing noise”. He also says the game’s UK setting was filtered through an “Australian experience” and was influenced “by a lot of children’s TV”. McMaster’s comments make this game even more tantalising. We cannot wait to terrorise the Postman Pat countryside. We cannot wait to steal every glass bottle, and become a formidable goose.

Spin Rhythm Super Entertainment’s Spin Rhythm looks like the hoot of the century. It has a vaporwave aesthetic, EDM bangers and the trappings of a brilliant rhythm game. You tap and spin, down a highway of notes, to travel through hyperspace. If you’re into rhythm games, then this one is hand-tailored for you.

Projection: First Light

Way To The Woods

Projection: First Light from Shadowplay Studios is a sidescroller with a shadow puppet art style. What a genius concept for a game. Shadow puppetry is an under-represented artform and Projection: First Light wants to shine a light on it. According to its Steam page, this game will take “players on an inclusive voyage through the history of shadow puppets as it evolves through Indonesia, China, Turkey, Greece, and 19th century England”. So, not only will you get your puzzles and platforming shenanigans, you’ll also be learning! And what could be more fun than that?

Here’s another game in which you play as an animal trapped in an unforgiving world. However, in Way To The Woods, you’re playing as a deer. And instead of travelling around a village, you’re trekking across a post-apocalyptic landscape. This game appears to be foreboding and surreal, yet gentle and calm. Fish swim in the air and antlers can glow in the dark. It’s the textbook definition of ‘mesmerising’. Anthony Tan has been developing this game since 2015, and you can tell that his work has paid off.

THE MUSIC

22

C U LT U R E


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


THE MUSIC

24

THE BIG PICTURE


Camouflage As part of the 2019 Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Camouflage will examine Liu Bolin’s career from his pioneering series, Hiding In The City, in 2005, to today. The artist, who famously ‘disappears’ into the background of his own images, talks about his work and the intersection of social, human and technological development. The 2019 BIFB includes pieces dating all the way back to your beginnings as ‘the invisible man’. Is it significant to have the full scope of your career shown in one place? One of the most important aspects of an artist’s creative philosophy is to find his own creative clues, and find ways to communicate from his heart with the world. This exhibition will show my works from 2005 to the present — it’s 14 years. It gives me a good opportunity to talk to myself. We can look forward to the future when we find ourselves rightly. What does it take to be ‘the invisible man’? What’s explain the process behind making these images? Firstly, I choose the background and consider my position, the position of the camera, the composition of the entire work. When all is determined, I will communicate with the assistant on how to paint on my body, and then I will stand in my chosen position to keep my body still always. The assistant paints the background onto my body and clothes, so that I disappear entirely into the scene. It’s a long process that requires patience and calm. Considering Hiding In The City is so connected to China, what is it about your art that you feel has inspired such global appeal? The strong oriental culture and the role of communism in China is a significant part of my works. I actually think this is a very important reason why my work has attracted worldwide attention. It is also the root of my artworks. My work is rooted in China’s social development, which happens step by step, and then slowly extends from China’s problems, to the world’s, to the problems of all mankind and the problems of mankind itself.

Pic: Liu Bolin, Instant Noodles, 2012

You’ve said that ‘disappearing’ is a way to convey “all the anxiety I feel for human beings”. Have those anxieties changed since you first started? At the beginning I just wanted to express a kind of resistance actually – a group’s resistance for rights, and fight for the free expression of art. But when I calm down, the problems of Chinese social and human development continually appear in my work. Now my work is not only about my own problems, it’s about everyone’s doubts about the world, our civilisation and social development.

THE MUSIC

25

THE BIG PICTURE

With the rise in modern surveillance technologies like facial recognition, do you feel like your work is taking on new meaning? The development of all technologies should be to provide convenience to people, not to control people. Modern technology treats us as a terminal, and then realises to control people, control the consciousness and judgment of humans. That is the sadness of it. Humans can appear to be inferior compared with technology. But the development of technology cannot be reversed. Perhaps this is the fate of mankind.

Camouflage runs from 24 Aug at Art Gallery Of Ballarat.


Out of the darkness

Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for more details.

Vocalist Marcus Bridge endured a childhood punctuated by violence and addiction, but he tells Carley Hall laying it all bare on Northlane’s latest album could create something positive from the negative.

This article contains discussion of

domestic violence and addiction. If you are suffering from any of the issues that have

been discussed or need assistance, please

contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

I

n the dying light of a mild winter day in Tokyo, Sydney metalcore five-piece Northlane are laying low. Having spent the day “enjoying being the Aussies wandering around Japan”, the band are content to potter about their temporary home before the last night of a three-show run. After notching up ten years as a band, the guys are starting to see familiar faces in the crowd, even at international shows. “I think when you respect the fans and show them that respect, they want to keep coming back,” vocalist Marcus Bridge explains. “We’ve been lucky to build these fanbases where we now know a lot of these people and see a lot of familiar faces. “It’s been growing steadily since I’ve joined. And the response we’ve got from the new songs already has been way more overwhelming than I thought it would be.” Bridge welcomes this fleeting respite in Japan - because 2019 is a big year for Northlane. The tail-end of the year will be a whirlwind of more international and local touring in support of their fifth album, Alien. Compared with previous releases, Alien is Northlane’s heaviest album since they started out in 2009. Writing it was a slowburn, with the band revelling in the rare - for them - joy of taking more than 18 months to explore and indulge in more diverse soundscapes and off-kilter sonic flourishes than ever before. The heavier sound reflects their heavy subject matter - joining the band in 2014, Bridge felt it was finally time for him to lyrically address a childhood living with violent, heroin-addicted parents. “I wanted people to be able to relate to these situations but I also wanted it to feel uncomfortable and to feel like it was coming from a bad place, because that’s what it was,” Bridge explains. “There’s only so much you can say about going through hardship and coming out the other side - I have been able to do that but that’s not the important part. This stuff happens and not too many people talk about it. “People will joke about heroin over thinking it’s a serious

problem. In the end, it’s important to make it an uncomfortable subject, something that’s not glamorous in any way, so that it’s not something people would even dream of doing. “This album is very close to my heart but I have no idea what people are going to think of it. There’s been a lot more feedback than anything we’ve done before, especially with only a few songs out before the album is released. But I think that does come from people being able to relate to this story. Hopefully there’s going to be something positive to come out of something really negative.” It’s difficult to fathom the anxiety anyone might feel in laying bare such a grim family history to fans and newcomers. With his younger sister, Bridge spent much of his childhood at the mercy of his parents’ drug and gambling addictions, evading criminals banging on the front door and the brutal hands of his father whenever he could.

In an album woven from tales of fear, anger and survival, single Bloodline is just the tip of the iceberg: “I can’t escape you/ No matter how far I run/I can’t erase you/ From who I’ve become.” This unravelling of personal history is somewhat cathartic for Bridge, but he’s confident it offers a journey for the listener too. “When you’re in these situations, there’s something that’s almost subliminal about it,” he explains. “When we were younger my sister and I would always favour mum’s company, because she wasn’t violent. Yet my dad would demand, ‘Why do you always run to your mum?’ But so many people go through this all the time - not knowing how your dad is going to react is not a way any kid should grow up. If you can’t expect affection in a good way, you don’t know any different. You remember those things that you experienced, and they may not seem major at the time but you remember them and how you felt.

“I think these songs deal with very important issues that don’t get spoken about.”

Pic: Giulia McGauran

CONTENT WARNING:

THE MUSIC

26

MUSIC

“I guess it was something I always wanted to write about and talk about, and I had floated the idea to the dudes in the past of talking about this - not necessarily basing a whole album on it - but I was never ready or comfortable to start telling it. I think coming out of the past two to three years we had all been working hard and having big ups and downs in our personal lives. It was not something we were thinking about writing a whole album on, but I think once the first couple of songs started getting written, like Bloodline, we realised that there was a lot to talk about. “I think these songs deal with very important issues that don’t get spoken about.” Bridge poured one of the bleakest times in his past into this album - is that something he and Northlane would be open to doing again on a future album? “Whatever we want to write at the time is what we’re passionate about. If this is something we want to keep writing about then, yeah, I’m sure we will,” he offers. Musically, Alien packs in the usual onslaught of tight, arrhythmic guitars and kit work, but there’s a multitude of subtle moments that support the solid stuff. Regardless, it’s their most intense, heavy album to date. “I think the music and the vocals mirrored each other in the end,” Bridge says. “The stars aligned when we started writing this album. The tone of everything was way darker than anything we’d done before. “In the past we just haven’t had ample time to hone in on all the details that we wanted to explore. That’s not to say that we’re not really proud of our other albums, but there are always albums where you could spend more time tweaking or changing things around. But for this we spent 18 months or more writing and recording, which meant we could be so picky with the little instrumental things. And for the first time ever we really could change musical parts to fit a vocal or cut bits out because we wanted to - in the past we’ve had to push forward to get it out. “It’s the heaviest thing we’ve done in a long time but it has a lot of elements that you wouldn’t expect in heavy music, so there is a bit of juxtaposition with it all, which I think is really cool. Being able to make these songs feel the way they do in the music and the vocals meant that we could bring this pretty diverse but complete picture of what we wanted to life.” Alien (UNFD) is out this month. Northlane tour from 11 Oct.


THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


Take a break

guys wrote what they wrote. I think for me, it’s just a real reflection of where I am with the state of the world, the 20-year metalcore vets Killswitch state of the country, and things that happened in Engage return with a blistering new my personal life. There’s a lot of anger, but righalbum bristling with what vocalist teous anger. It’s a posiJesse Leach describes as “righteous tive thing. I think anger can be used as a tool anger”. Brendan Crabb finds out more. for change, and I think that’s definitely reflected in this record.” “I think it’s a decent amount, [but] it doesn’t encompass the album as a whole,” Leach says of his mental health battles affording lyrical fodder. “I think there’s enough political stuff mixed in there as well, and just aggression in general. I’m very careful with how I write to not be overtly political, and not be preachy about anything in particular. I try to write in such a way where it’s poetic enough, and ambiguous enough where people can grab their own meaning and put their own idea to what I’m saying. That political, anarchist anger has definitely been spread illswitch Engage’s 2002 second album Alive Or Just through every single record that I’ve done in Breathing was a legitimate heavy music game-changmy career, and it’s something that I feel very er. It represented a shifting of the tides away from strongly about. But we’re not Rage Against nu-metal — a movement further solidified when the band the Machine, we’re Killswitch. It’s one of the appeared alongside upstarts such as Shadows Fall and Chimany things that encompasses the lyrics, maira on the 2003 Ozzfest stateside. The Massachusetts mealongside the existential thinking that I try lodic metalcore outfit has parlayed this early buzz into an to put in my lyrics as well.” enduring, two-decade career, with the gold records on their Recent trials have also perhaps led to collective walls to prove it. Leach being an advocate of the benefits of Frontman Jesse Leach left the ranks soon after Alive Or taking the odd social media hiatus, with his Just Breathing’s release, eventually returning for 2013’s Disarm first stint lasting several weeks. “I think peoThe Descent. And in a crowd-pleasing touch, successor Howple need to do that, you need to get off social ard Jones appears on a track on new record Atonement, their media because you realise how much you’re first LP since leaving long-time label Roadrunner. How does spending time staring at this phone that is attaining “veteran” status make Leach feel, other than old? dictating things to you, or comparing you to “Old is a given, for sure,” he says from New York. “I think someone else, or making you feel envious of grateful, man. The fact that we’ve been doing this for 20 years something,” he shares. and we’re still doing it, how can you not be grateful for that? “There’s just so much that is misleadI haven’t had to go find a normal job. Music has been paying ing you, and taking you out of the moment. my bills for the better part of seven years since I got back. So I think the moment that you take that hiait’s definitely gratitude, but also a little shock — like, how the tus and you are in the moment, you realise hell is this still happening?” that human interaction is so important. And The group ultimately struck a commercially appealing we’re losing touch with it, because we’re so formula, and their trademark arena-sized hooks are apparent busy interacting on these devices. These ones on Atonement. The record’s genesis was problematic, however. and zeros are manipulating us, and pushing For one, Leach experienced writer’s block. He also underthis air of separation around us where our went vocal cord surgery; the intense three-month recovery communication is devolving... I think everyended with speech therapy, vocal therapy, and scream therbody should take time, including myself — apy. “My voice feels better than ever, it’s crazy,” the singer I’m yelling at myself as well — you’ve gotta gushes. “I didn’t realise that I had been singing on a broken take a break, and realise that we as a human instrument for so long.” species were not meant to be so connected These weren’t the only obstacles. Leach has openly disto electronic devices. It’s detrimental to our cussed his battles with anxiety and depression. In January, he mental health.” announced that he needed time “to get help” after informing fans that he and his wife of over 16 years, Melissa, had decided to go separate ways. The singer took to Instagram to relay that he would be seeking treatment so that he could avoid Atonement (Sony) is out this month. becoming “another statistic of suicide”. These setbacks impacted on the recording schedule for Atonement, and it’s no surprise that the record features some Check The Guide on of the most aggressive, cathartic fare the band have released theMusic.com.au in eons: “As far as the music goes, it wasn’t conscious. Those for more details.

K

THE MUSIC

28

MUSIC

Flipping out G Flip aka Georgia Flipo has had a stratospheric rise in the industry since the release of her first single, About You, in February last year. She speaks to Cyclone about putting together her first fulllength record.

T

he Australian DIY-pop virtuoso G Flip (aka Georgia Flipo) leaves nothing to chance. When, in 2018, the energetic singer/drummer performed her inaugural solo show at

the frenetic US industry fest SXSW, within weeks of uploading the viral single About You on triple j Unearthed, she pre-empted every mishap. “I breezed through that gig,” Flipo recalls. “I rehearsed so much that I rehearsed if any little thing would go wrong... So I even rehearsed if my mic would cut out and I wouldn’t be able to hear myself. I rehearsed it about ten times, that happening.” Funnily enough, she faced just that scenario. “I sat down on the drumkit to play the first song and my mic wasn’t in my in-ears [monitor], so I couldn’t hear myself — and then I’m getting announced to start performing. I looked at my best mate — he plays in my band on stage with me, Toothpick [Oscar Solis] — and I was like, ‘Toothpick, my mic isn’t in my ears, I can’t hear!’ He just looked at me, dead in the eyes, and he said, ‘Flip, we rehearsed this over ten times. You know exactly what to do.’ Then I was like, ‘Fuck, yeah, I know what to do. I’ve rehearsed this. So it doesn’t even fucking matter. I’m not gonna let this destroy my first show ever.’” Indeed, Flipo “slammed” that slot. She garnered rapturous reviews and her subsequent sets at the Austin, Texas event attracted epic lines. Hailing from Melbourne, Flipo is an earthy, gregarious prodigy. As a kid, she learnt the drums before picking up the piano, guitar and bass. She’s had multiple sonic phases. Tween Flipo dug “really catchy pop/R&B stuff”, such as Usher. She became “a rock chick”, mooching to Paramore, only to gravitate to nu-metal like Slipknot. When she studied music at Box Hill Institute, Flipo embraced jazz. But she’s always appreciated “catchy melodies”. Flipo gigged in various bands. In her late teens, the muso-for-hire joined the indie outfit EMPRA, reputedly blitzing 20-plus dudes in auditions. She’d play with them at 2016’s SXSW. This experience prepped Flipo for a solo run, the drum-


Bourne to try

kit proving an ideal vantage point. “I was observing the whole time and watching and learning and taking notes.” What’s more, by providing backing vocals while drumming, she flexed that future mighty singing voice. “I wasn’t shy,” Flipo says. “I just wasn’t ready to be confident and go out and start singing solo.” Coincidentally, EMPRA dissolved at the close of 2016. The assiduous Flipo spent the next year honing her skills as a bedroom producer and songwriter, paying the bills as a music

Jordan Brady and James Draper of the Central Coast’s Winterbourne chat to Anna Rose about finally making a statement about who they really are with their first full-length record.

teacher. Then, early last year, she circulated About You, which blew up, Pitchfork declaring it a Best New Track. In demand, Flipo toured globally through 2018. She appeared at Splendour In The Grass. Flipo was also a hipster guest on the ABC’s New Year’s Eve spectacle at the Sydney Opera House. In January, she issued the queer anthem Drink Too Much. Flipo had originally conceived the “jam” following a big night out at the infamous Melbourne nightclub Revolver on being “dumped” by her girlfriend for a spell of excessive partying. She opens the song namechecking her “crush”, local model/influencer Steph Claire Smith, who awesomely stars in the video. Recently, Flipo aired the empowering I Am Not Afraid, co-produced with Californian Ariel Rechtshaid (Blood Orange, HAIM and Kelela). Now Flipo is dropping her debut album, About Us, on Future Classic. She describes the LP as a song cycle, charting a relationship and her coming of age. “It’s very much an open diary to my life.” About Us isn’t all bops. Flipo offers introspective numbers like the delicate, piano-led Bring Me Home, another

W

ith Central Coast duo Winterbourne’s new album Echo Of Youth set for release this month, the anticipation is building for longtime friends James Draper and Jordan Brady. “Because we’re getting into the final phase of doing stuff toward the album, it’s more exciting than anything,” says Draper. “It’s always better to be waiting for the album to come out than it be out and us having nothing to do,” adds Brady. Draper and Brady have played music together since they were teenagers, Echo Of Youth the culmination of the last eight years’ worth of professional experience. “Our EPs [All But The Sun, Pendulum] were points along the way for us,” says Draper,

it’s like everyone, ever, everything that’s ever gone in our ears and come out in our fingers, that’s what this album is.” Winterbourne were never actively writing songs as a way to emulate their favourite bands, they’ve just gone with what felt natural for them. “It’s something that gets a little difficult,” Brady begins. “Sometimes when you write a lot of songs and you realise you’re starting to head down a certain path to make it sound like something you’ve heard before, you have to find a way to keep it true to yourself. “We’ve done that with the vocals on this record — we could experiment with different sounds but if the core of the music was James and I singing harmonies, it feels like us the whole time. “Even as musicians, it gets a bit muddy sometimes in terms of what your sound is, and we really struggle to explain our sound to people — having an album that explains for us was the goal.”

“and now everything we’ve loved and learnt about music has come out on this album. “We haven’t gone for anything in particular sonically, we just made what came out and that’s ended up [as] a record we really love and sums up the sound of the band now and what it has been all this time.” When you listen to Echo Of Youth you’ll hear Winterbourne, straight up — Draper and Brady have said they wanted to make a sound that can be linked to them and no other, and yet their influences are so incredibly diverse. While they’ve been compared to the likes of Simon & Garfunkel or The Verve, ultimately Winterbourne would prefer to be identified for their own unique sound. “It’s the worst thing about putting out songs and making records that you have to come up with comparisons with other musicians,” says Draper. “The whole soul of what you’re doing is that it’s unique and you’re offering something to the world you haven’t before. “When we get an email asking for a list of people that have inspired the album well,

As wonderfully cohesive yet intricate their debut album is, Winterbourne have still left themselves space to get creative in future releases by not confining themselves to any one label. “We wanted to make something that we liked now and the kind of music we always wanted to make,” says Brady. “That was the reference — if we liked it, then it goes on. “That leaves us room in future, if our tastes change or what we like about our own music changes, then we can go in any direction we want.” For now, it’s all about getting a true Winterbourne album out. “We don’t listen to a particular genre more than another,” Draper continues. “It’s always more about the song than the sound. There were a lot of opportunities where we could have gone further. “We tried to stay within a framework to make it a little more unique, something we applied to each song. Now, when we listen to the album, it definitely sounds like Winterbourne to me, which is all we could have hoped for.”

single, about the psychological strain that came as her career “jumped pretty quickly”, plus the power ballad Waking Up Tomorrow. “There’s some more vulnerable songs on the album that I want to have in the world. I’ve released a lot of singles, and the more radio-friendly songs, but there’s some really deep ballads that I wrote when I was really heartbroken. I want people to hear that [side], ‘cause I know, when I was heartbroken, I would listen to heartbreak songs to mend myself. I feel like I have songs that could help people through heartache.” Flipo admits that her music defies categorisation. “I think, when anyone ever asks me what genre my music is, I’m genuinely confused, ‘cause I don’t know,” she says. Flipo is into juxtaposition: heavy rock drums mixed with shiny pop synths, or jaggy guitar and “Top 40 poppy hooks”. “Every element’s just a little piece of me and my past through music, so I would put myself in that box of being genreless.” Significantly, as a visible queer pop star, Flipo’s songs are connecting with young LGBTQIA+ listeners. She generously interacts with her fans via social media. Many share stories of the part her songs have played in their lives. “For me, as a songwriter, that’s like the most lovely thing to hear; that a little piece of art that you’ve made has had such an impact and effect on another human being’s life,” she muses. “So I’m absolutely

humbled

with

that — and it always makes me teary, actually. That’s so crazy. I know when I was growing up, I wish that there was more representation of female queer artists in the music industry and in pop culture. If I fulfil that role for people, then I think that’s amazing. I’m honoured that anyone would say that or think that, for sure.”

About Us (Future Classic) is out this month. G Flip tours from 8 Nov.

THE MUSIC

29

MUSIC

Echo Of Youth (Island/Universal) is out this month. Winterbourne tour from 25 Oct.


Speaking to the converted: on set with the cast of Preacher Guy Davis takes us behind-the-scenes on the Melbourne set of the final season of irreverent comic book series, Preacher, and chats to its stars, Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga.

Y

ou can all too quickly leave the streets of Melbourne circa 2019 behind once you open a big, heavy door, tread lightly down darkened corridors and after a few turns left and right find yourself deep in the bowels of some ancient stone structure. Reaching high into the air, the shafts and columns are incredibly realisticyou would be inclined to believe they’re the work of Mother Nature until you overhear someone say they’re on par with anything they’ve created for master of blockbuster disaster Roland Emmerich, the director of Independence Day. The Preacher show has well and truly rolled into town. The latest in a line of international productions making use of Australian crews and locations, Preacherthe gleefully gory and perpetually provocative tale of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), a hard-living Texas priest with supernatural abilities, a shit-tonne of personal demons (figurative and literal) and a grudge against Godhas been filming its fourth and final season in Victoria, using Melbourne’s massive Docklands Studios complex as its primary base of operations. On the day this writer visits the Preacher set, episode nine of the ten-episode season is being shot on a massive soundstage, with crew members milling to and fro and the sweet scent of incense lingering in the air. While UK actor Joseph Gilgunwho regularly steals scenes on the show as Jesse’s offsider, hedonistic Irish vampire Cassidycracks up a crowd with a spirited tale of a stunt performer getting tossed through a plate-glass window by B-movie tough guy Steven Seagal, the stunt double for Cooper is strapped into a harness, lifted maybe ten metres into the air and dropped smoothly to the ground. It’s a process repeated time and again, even before the cameras roll, and then repeated even more times when the good-humoured Cooper is strapped in to perform the action himself. In all honesty, Cooper should be well used to such activity by nowover the course of Preacher’s lifespan, the UK actor (whose eclectic body of work includes Captain America: The First Avenger, Mamma Mia!, An Education and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) has been involved in so many fistfights and gunfights against various adversaries that one could easily lose count. (Having said that, the conclusion of Preacher’s third season did involve Jesse brawling in a grotesque pile of blood and gutsthat was pretty memorable.) And with the fourth season bringing to a conclusion Jesse’s long-running pursuit of an ever-disappointing Godwho has done a runner from Heaven to hide out on Earththe mayhem is set to ramp up even further. Over the course of its run, however, Preacher (adapted from the comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon) has run the gamut of tones and emotions, from low-key melancholia to high-pitched hysteria, and Cooper has revelled in the shifts the role has allowed him.

“I’d like to say I felt quite comfortable in jumping between all these styles you mentioned,” says Cooper, taking a breather between scenes. “That certainly has made it so enjoyable to make. You do want a mix of everything, all these things we’re managing to do in one showmaybe we’ve been totally spoiled!but it has progressed, and it is an everchanging entity. There were moments in the pilot that felt very different from what happened in the first season, and the second season was very different from that. We’ve all adjusted as the show has grown.” It’s the same for Cooper’s co-star Ruth Negga, who vividly brings to life badass Tulip O’Hare, Jesse’s former lover who has literally come back from the dead to fight alongside Jesse and Cassidy and “unshackle herself from God’s bullying”. (Viewers who enjoyed Tulip kicking the crap out of a bunch of Nazis at the end of season three should note that Negga enjoyed it just as much: “That was fun!” she smiles.)

“”We’re not departing from the vulgarity, and the fight scenes are even more bonkers.” – Ruth Negga

“Each of our characters is so bold and so vibrant and so clearly delineated, so in a way it’s quite easy to slip those coats on,” she says in her natural Irish lilt, a marked contrast from Tulip’s American twang. “We were all very familiar with the comic books by that stage, and their energy, and I think we took joy in the fact that anything is permissible. We’re in a realm where we can be larger than life, and I think all three of us [Cooper, Gilgun and herself] love that opportunity. “The fun thingand the challengeis that you can oscillate between tones. There are no restraints or constraints. You have the freedom to turn the volume up or down, and if someone says, ‘That’s too much,’ you can simply say [shrugs], ‘It’s Preacher.’” Cooper points out, however, that the creative powersthat-be guiding the showincluding executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberghave taken great pains to ensure that Preacher, for all its excesses and extremes, is grounded

THE MUSIC

30

TV

in a recognisable reality, no small ask when your gallery of supporting characters includes God, the Devil and Hitler (played by Australia’s own Noah Taylor!). “They fashioned storylines that took place before those in the comics so they could embed it in a type of reality, so you knew who the characters were and where they were coming from,” he says. “I think audiences could have been very confused by what it was, and I think it’s the reality of it that makes it good, that makes it enjoyable, and it makes the extreme even more extreme. It’s about achieving the brilliance of the comicsone man’s glimpse at a very specific part of society. It was a vision of a strange world, and as this world gets more and more incomprehensible, the show needed to push the boundaries, as the comics did. You have to grapple with that, whether you’re making it or watching it, and it’s very exciting.” Preacher also grapples with religious and spiritual notions of good, evil and everything in between, and when you take on that kind of framework, you have to be primed for potential blowback from folks who take that sort of thing very seriously. “There has and there hasn’t,” says Cooper. “The show has been very clever in the way it addresses some very risky subject matter, and what it’s done very delicately is deliver no judgement. It acknowledges. It raises questions. And if it gets people talking, that’s brilliant. There may be a backlash against our portrayal, but I think it’s open to everyone’s interpretation. And I hope people see the humour in it.” Neither Cooper nor Negga can disclose muchif anythingabout what transpires in the show’s final season (“We’re not departing from the vulgarity, and the fight scenes are even more bonkers,” reveals Negga), but it’s clear that parting from Preacher will indeed be such sweet sorrow for its lead actors. “It’s a big part of one’s life, and you’re among people that you’re comfortable with and that you trust, which makes you capable of good work, so I’m certainly sad,” says Cooper. “But [the makers of the show] have been very brave because it could have continued but I think they didn’t want it to fade. It needs to end; it should have an ending. I sometimes wrestle with television because if it’s successful there’s no end to it. It’s why I’ve always loved films or novels because a beginning, a middle and an end are all tougher to handle than the last part. But they are ending this... and they’re ending it brilliantly.”

Preacher streams from 5 Aug on Stan.


“O BRIAIN HAS A LASER EYE FOR THE ABSURD AND THE SPURIOUS”

As seen on

Saturday Night Live & Portlandia

FRED ARMISEN

THE GUARDIAN

Comedy for Musicians But EVERYONE IS WELCOME

WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER QPAC, CONCERT HALL

TUESDAY 3 SEPTEMBER THE TIVOLI fredarmisen.com

DARAOBRIAIN.COM

BOOK AT ABPRESENTS.COM.AU

Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird

new romancer The new album featuring ‘Love Is Heartbreak’, ‘Hot Pink’, ‘Best Face To London’ and new single ‘Joy’ OUT AUGUST 30TH —— TOURING OCT/NOV facebook.com/ctbnf

doubledrummermusic.com

THE MUSIC

AUGUST


Dropping into a mood

“I

just got home off the highway. Went for a little hike with some friends for a little getaway and now I’m just unpacking the car,” Angus Stone, the mastermind behind Dope Lemon, shares. He’s now “back at the ranch” and if you wanna get an idea of the landscape surrounding his property — a sprawling 120-acre farm just outside Byron Bay — look no further than the music video that accompanies the lead single from Dope Lemon’s new Smooth Big Cat record Hey You, which was directed by awardwinning cinematographer Stefan Jose. “It was shot in the Billinudgel Hotel,” Stone reveals. “It’s such an amazing pub, like, it’s one of those old rickety ?- it looks like a haunted house upstairs and stuff, it’s all warped, and a beautiful piece of history, that pub.” So did Stone have to bribe the regulars to vacate the premises for the shoot? “Yeah, kind of,” he allows. “They were really cool. The pub didn’t charge us at all and all the punters moved out into the beer garden, and they had eskies set up with all the bottles of beer on ice.” When asked whether any of the locals wanted to get involved and don a mascot cat head, Stone laughs, “There was a few

After checking in to discuss the logistics of transporting “a pallet of mascot cats” from America to his Byron Bay farm, Bryget Chrisfield discovers some of Angus Stone’s friends don’t even realise Dope Lemon is his project. blokes that wanted to get involved, for sure. I think some of them even made it into the clip.” We suspect old mate wearing a Bluey singlet, who is given a featured role in the video, could be one such bloke and Stone confirms, “Yeah!” To source the mascot cat heads, Stone “just looked up ‘Cat Mascots’” and enlightens, “There was thousands, hey! “So I had them all custom-made in America and they just came in — there was 17 boxes and they were huge, yeah. It was, like, a pallet of mascot cats.” After finding out Stone had the pallet delivered “to the property”, we can’t help but wonder whether a specific truck was dispatched for this delivery. “There was, yeah.” Was the driver really curious to know what was inside? Stone laughs, “We pulled one of them open and I think everyone’s pretty tripped out by the idea, they’re like, ‘Holy shit! That’s insane!’” His Dope Lemon alter-ego definitely allows Stone to express a side of his musical personality that’s different from both his solo and Angus & Julia output. “I love doing fun things,” Stone enthuses. “I think you’ve only got so much time on this earth to not have fun with it all... And this

project, for me, is I get to express a bit of that side of me.” Although Stone’s Dope Lemon project is now one EP and two albums deep, some people still don’t connect the dots and realise he is the man behind the (Lemon Head/Smooth Big Cat) mask. “It’s cool like that; even some of my friends, man,” Stone marvels. “For some reason they just never knew and they’re like, ‘Holy shit! I love Dope Lemon and, like, it’s you!’ “I had this kid, also-Julia and I, we were playing a show and he was backstage and, I dunno, I said something about something and we were talking about music and he was like, ‘Yeah, that’s kind of like that band Dope Lemon,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s cool. I am the guy! I’m Dope Lemon.’ He’s like, ‘What?’ Like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s my project.’ He was like, ‘What? That’s crazy!’... I think there’s something really sweet about-if people are connecting with the music that are outside of your fanbase with other projects, it’s a really cool thing to have.” On Smooth Big Cat, Stone played every instrument. Has he done that before? “I’ve sorta touched on it, but this record was 100% me on all the instruments. And I was talking to a friend earlier today, actually, about how you can apply your skills

that you have on your main instrument universally, really, to anything, like, all instruments, you know? It just comes down to your ability to drop into a mood and, you know, feel it and then the rest will follow. I mean, I’m constantly learning as I’m going along, but for this record that was one of the things that I was just really stoked to figure out and to do.” He’s been penning tunes “for as long as [he] can remember” and Stone admits, “It seems like it’s been a sorta lifetime gig. You’re constantly shoeboxing little trinkets of ideas but, yeah! I guess it’s a labour of love — if you find something you love and it makes you feel good, just keep doin’ it, you know? And I guess I’m on that path.”

Smooth Big Cat (BMG) is out now. Dope Lemon tours from 2 Aug.

Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for more details.

“I think you’ve only got so much time on this earth to not have fun with it all.”

Pic: Jess Gleeson

THE MUSIC

32

MUSIC


BALL PARK MUSIC | CONFIDENCE MAN | CUSTARD EMMA LOUISE | FRED LEONE | GEORGE | KATE MILLER-HEIDKE KEITH URBAN | KEV CARMODY | POWDERFINGER REGURGITATOR | SAVAGE GARDEN | SCREAMFEEDER SHEPPARD | THE GRATES | THE JUNGLE GIANTS | THE VERONICAS THELMA PLUM | VIOLENT SOHO | WAAX | AND MORE

30 AUGUST 2019 — 19 APRIL 2020 MUSEUM OF BRISBANE LEVEL 3, CITY HALL TICKETS ON SALE NOW

museumofbrisbane.com.au PRESENTING PARTNER

TECHNOLOGY PARTNER

EXHIBITION PARTNERS

MEDIA PARTNER

THE MUSIC

AUGUST

Open, search and scan on SPOTIFY


S

A Monument to trust Amy McIntosh and Lizi Blanco of The Beautiful Monument talk to Anna Rose about how trust allows them to tell each other’s sometimes painful stories.

Swear if you want to Maz DeVita chats to Rosie Piper about WAAX’s debut LP and the pressures of being an artist.

F

ans of Brisbane band WAAX’s blistering EPs Holy Sick and Wild & Weak, and indeed anyone who’s attended their

famously raucous live shows, might be surprised by the five-piece’s debut LP, Big Grief. It’s something vocalist Maz DeVita is acutely aware of. “I think people are gonna be surprised by it. There’s lots of ebbs and flows to the record and, yeah, hopefully people see us in a different or more mature light.” She’s referring to the band showing a

ince The Beautiful Monument released their second album, I’m The Reaper, the reception, they say, has been overwhelming. “I spent the whole release day wanting to cry because everyone was being so nice and I thought they were lying!” says bassist Amy McIntosh, a remark received with laughter from vocalist, Lizi Blanco. “It’s overwhelming, but in a good way,” she adds. I’m The Reaper mixes alt-rock, nu-metal and killer melodies with an unabashed realness. It might be tempting for the band to doubt the authenticity of people’s praise for the record, but there are ways to confirm the positivity is actually for real. “I think it’s the amount of random people I get in my inbox,” says Blanco. “Instagram, Messenger, people I’ve never met in my life, thanking for me for lyrics that I’ve written and whatnot. To me that seems heaps genuine and authentic because I don’t know who these people are. “For strangers to message me about it, I think that’s what makes it really authentic.” “Mine’s the opposite,” adds McIntosh, “People I don’t like are suddenly being nice to me, so it must be good, right?!” McIntosh and Blanco laugh again, but the reality is that The Beautiful Monument have released an album that reaches people because of its shocking relatability. Blanco, as the band’s primary songwriter, has talked about the songs being a look into her diary. But what’s curious is how easy it was for McIntosh and the rest of the band to get on board with sharing Blanco’s very personal experiences. “You never want to stop your friends from having an opportunity,” McIntosh says. “We’re more than bandmates, we’re a family, we always have been, and I think Lizi is really good at keeping other band members in mind when she’s writing, [her view is] ‘You guys are just as important as me’. I don’t think she’d ever write anything we’d be uncomfortable with. “We have that trust with each other, and respect for each other, that we’d just put out something we all agree with.” The Beautiful Monument have been family for so long, they just know how they each try to express themselves — and so will only ever write music that they all believe in. It’s that cohesive mentality that makes I’m The Reaper such a good listen.

softer side on the record, with slower tempos

He was more like, ‘Well, why? Why do you have

we’re in, we can still feel

and even acoustic guitars making an appear-

that? Why don’t you just open up a little bit

vulnerable. I touch on

ance on tracks such as the builder History,

and let that be?’”

those things a lot and

the sweetly calm Changing Face, or the tick-

And the result? “Well, I can’t really find a

I touch on the feelings

tocking Last Week, whose instrumentation

better word to describe how angry I am, I’m

of gaining power from

wouldn’t sound out of place on a later-career

just gonna say, ‘Fuck!’” she says, laughing. “And

those situations but also

Radiohead record.

it worked out. It seemed to fit into the melody.

feeling

So, I guess I do that now. I guess I’ve changed.”

sometimes quite self-

more subdued production on some tracks,”

Despite all of the upsides though, the

deprecating and how

she says. “I think we’ve always been looking

record is still called Big Grief, and certainly tra-

for points in the set where we could explore

verses some darker themes, with an almost

those things and kind of give the set more

prophetic connection to a recent loss for

been

room to breathe, because then the bigger

the band.

ber one joy — DeVita

“There’s slower tracks on there. It’s kind of

deflated

and

that’s ok.” Touring has always WAAX’s

num-

“We’re grieving the loss of a band mem-

explains how they all

ber as well,” DeVita reflects. “We’ve recently

work “a shitload” to be

This new direction was thanks, in part,

parted ways with our guitarist, Chris [Anto-

able to bring their music

to the production duo of Grammy award-

lak], and that was only very recent, so it’s

to their fans. “People

winning producer Nick DiDia and Brisbane

been a very emotional time for us, I suppose,

don’t realise how much

music

frontman,

in the last couple of months. I feel like the

work goes into it. Not

Bernard Fanning. “Bernard was so under-

record was sort of therapeutic for that sort of

just

the

standing and so welcoming and humble. He

thing as well.”

but

actually

moments are even bigger when they’re put next to a slower song.”

royalty,

Powderfinger

The grief associated with loss, says DeVita,

helped a lot,” DeVita says.

music

itself

support-

ing yourself as an artist,” she says.

Fanning did more than expand the

is the overarching theme of the record. Loss,

band’s sound, however, but also provided

in this case, does not necessarily mean death,

advice to DeVita as a songwriter — like no lon-

but looks at people coming in and out of

ity. I like knowing what’s happening. I’ve just

ger limiting herself with rules like, ‘Don’t swear

DeVita and the band’s life.

had to grow into accepting that if this is the

“I don’t like instabil-

“I think a lot about how what I like to do

choice that I make as a career, then that’s just

“He kind of taught me to stop inhibiting

is definitely this raw vulnerability,” she says.

how it’s got to be and just hope for the best,”

myself,” she says. “I’ve noticed that over the

“It’s something that isn’t explored enough, I

she laughs. “For example, me, I work in an

years of songwriting I’ve developed these cans

feel. Just the humanness of being vulnerable

office and then I go and play the rock show

and cannots, like these little OCD things of,

— that’s what I relate to the most because we

and it’s quite a dichotomy in life, but that’s

‘Oh, I’m not gonna do that, but oh, I’ll do that.’

all are in some way, no matter what situation

just how it is, I guess.”

in your songs.’

THE MUSIC

34

MUSIC


Conquering the past

Performing songs with such heavy connotations over and over on tour, and hearing their fans’ sometimes heartbreaking stories, could be difficult for the band. Do they have any mechanisms for coping with that emotional labour? “I think singing them is already a coping mechanism for me,” says Blanco. “Being out there and being able to express these songs live, as vulnerable as it’s gonna be for me, I think performing live is my way of overcoming it. “I think you once had reservations about singing [single] Reaper live,” McIntosh says to her bandmate, “but then you decided it would be a shame not to.” Reaper is a beautiful account of Blanco coping with the death of the band’s friend and mentor, Justin Nichol, a fixture in the Australian heavy scene, who tragically died almost three years ago. “[Justin] was from Sydney,” McIntosh continues, “and you said we at least had to perform it in Sydney, the people who knew him best are there, and you knew it was important to you and them to perform it at that show.” The Beautiful Monument have the potential to go forth and conquer the world, so how do they attack that? What’s the next step? “Next is lunch,” jokes McIntosh. “Working on new music, just keeping at it,” Blanco adds after she recovers from more laughter. “We want to play more shows, record more,” says McIntosh. “We don’t want to leave such a big gaps before releases, for sure,” finishes Blanco.

As US groove-metal merchants DevilDriver return to Australian shores, growler Dez Fafara talks to Brendan Crabb about outlaw country, his work ethic and recounting his life story.

C

alifornian metal behemoths DevilDriver last year released Outlaws ‘Til The End, Vol 1, a selection of outlaw country covers, leaving some fans and industry types as puzzled as when they saw the ending of The Sixth Sense for the first time. However, frontman Dez Fafara has never hidden his fandom of this style of music. “I was a punk rock kid who grew up on goth, that found metal. I was a punk rock and goth kid before I was a metal kid. And then I found outlaw country as well.” Fafara says not only was the record commercially successful and the songs well received live, such an approach appears to even be spawning a small scene stateside of metal acts covering their favourite country tunes. “I was told by many people, ‘You can’t put country and metal together, you don’t want to do that to the DevilDriver brand.’ If anybody really knows me or has been following my career, I’ve got a gigantic middle finger for anybody who thinks they understand what art is, or what art should be, or tries to put art in a box.” It’s testament to Fafara and his band’s work ethic that not only is there another covers record in the pipeline and a sizeable touring schedule booked, but DevilDriver are also working on original DevilDriver material. “It’s a double record, staggered release,” he says of their next project. “We’re releasing next year, and we already have the month and everything. We’re releasing next year, and then the following year, at the same month we’re releasing. So you’ll get a record every year, starting next year you’ll get a record every year. And then I’m going to do Outlaws number two, which is going to come out in the third year. So you’ll get 2020, 2021, Outlaws II [in] 2022, and then another DevilDriver record in 2023/2024.” However, there are no plans to reactivate defunct numetal favourite Coal Chamber again, although the singer notes that DevilDriver will continue to play beefed up, “monstrous” versions of a few of said songs live. And the aforementioned upcoming releases could prove fruitful for Coal Chamber fans, too. “If you’re a fan of DevilDriver,

The Beautiful Monument tour from 3 Aug.

Pic: James Hornsby

Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for more details.

WAAX is managed by Leigh Treweek, who is a director of Handshake Media, owner of this magazine. Big Grief (Dew Process) is out this month. WAAX tour from 8 Aug.

THE MUSIC

35

MUSIC

and if you’re a fan of Coal Chamber, you’re going to get both of those things put together in this double record. I’m breaking all the rules; it’s a completely new sound for what we’re doing.” From DevilDriver affairs to his Oracle Management firm and surf apparel/lifestyle brand Suncult (the latter a partnership with Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe), the vocalist and family have established an entrepreneurial mini-empire. Retirement is certainly not looming for Fafara, now in his 50s. “Not at all. I’m vegan, I’m sober, I was out skateboarding with my kids last night until 11 o’clock. I run five, six miles a day. I’m in better shape, [a] better place in my head than I ever was in my 20s. I look at the future as being extremely bright, and the fact that I conquered my past and came through 25 years of touring, starting with Black Sabbath and Pantera and learned how to drink from them. The fact that I came out the other end, I’m not dead, raised a great family with three sons. And now here I am, literally at the pinnacle of the career as it’s getting ready to launch off even harder. “With Oracle Management, I’ve got probably 20 clients, I’m up at 5am, I’m working ‘til midnight. I’m extremely active, so I don’t put anything on age whatsoever. Any time a musician hits 50 and has been in it a long time, it’s like, ‘Hey mate, when will you stop, or consider stopping?’ And what I’ve always said, ‘When it doesn’t feel good, when it doesn’t look good.’ At this point now I can come out without my shirt on on stage, with a six-pack, and fucking rip.” Fafara also plans to write his autobiography, which will include stories from more than two decades in the heavy music game. “My wife just secured a book deal with a major publisher. It looks like I’m heading in to start writing that this year. It’s going to be a very personal book, because my life wasn’t easy. I left home at 15, I slept under bridges, I stole food, I went to prison. I’ve got a story. To come out of it, to where I’m at now, sitting in a gigantic house across from a golf course and raising three beautiful kids, having multiple businesses, I think it’s a good place to be in right now.” DevilDriver tour from 22 Aug.


Album Reviews

Known for her quirky theatrics and outstanding vocals, art-pop superstar Montaigne’s second record Complex far from disappoints. There’s no holding back as the noisy and ruffled opener, Change, kicks off with the rapping drumbeat of a marching band and slowly grows into a full-blown fun, cheeky cheerleader pre-chorus. It then continues to rise and grow into a stellar theatrical track. This style is what Montaigne does extremely well, utilising her highly dynamic range and overtly expressive tone to create a multi-layered story that balances perfectly between a traditional pop song and a dramatic monologue. The droning piano line humming underneath the chorus of For Your Love sounds like something straight out of an ‘80s cult classic movie, stirring nostalgia as it whirs and dips. On Losing My Mind we are treated to more electro-poppy goodness with heavy stabbing synths, a disco-dancing bass and shimmying drum beats straight out of the discotheque, which are heavily contrasted with mentally exhausting lyrics. The Dying Song is heartbreakingly hilarious as orchestral elements mix with hip hop-styled beats and sweet harmonies. Cathartic and open, Montaigne reveals the deepest parts of herself with candid lyrics about loneliness in the emotive Showyourself, comprised solely of a soft vocal paired with an eerily haunting piano line. A rush of electric guitar rips through the soft air for Please You. It stabs through the tranquillity of the previous tracks before it heads straight back into soft strings

Montaigne Complex

Wonderlick / Sony

HHHH½

and angelic harmonies, rising abruptly to a vigorous and inspiring chorus that overwhelms the senses, like a wave of sound crashing to the shore, then rolling back out to sea. The thematics of the album centre around some heavy, real-world experiences such as an abusive relationship in Stockholm Syndrome (“It always feels like something is wrong/ But you’re my only one and this is where I belong”), the lyrics swaddled in mechanical clanging and choppy synths that add to a sense of dysfunction and destruction. “Every day I wake up and measure the skin around my waist/Is this all I am good for?” is the opening line of the candid Is This All I Am Good For?. The song is real and raw, and sung alongside the sweet taps of a xylophone — it’s an uncomfortably stark proclamation of a very real and unapologetic feud with one’s body. Ready picks the mood back up for a final curtain call — the finger-clicks grab you instantly before the soaring vocals hook you in as Montaigne reaches the highest of highs within this anthemic and powerful song. Blending theatrics with emotion perfectly, Montaigne’s melodic pop tones create a gut-wrenching contrast between wanting to dance and wanting to cry. It’s an ode to Montaigne’s maturity to be able to write without metaphor around things so often trivialised and turn it into a gorgeous journey of self-discovery, determination and growth. Emily Blackburn

Northlane

Holy Holy

Press Club

Seeker Lover Keeper

UNFD

Wonderlick / Sony

Independent

Liberation

HHHH

HHHH

Alien

My Own Pool Of Light

Wasted Energy

Wild Seeds

HHHH

HHH½

Setting aside the fact that their latest is every bit as brutal, technically demanding and elegantly produced as their past releases, the decision to turn the lyrical focus inward, rather than into the cosmos, has revealed another facet to the rough diamond that is Northlane. Vocalist Marcus Bridge boldly delves into his childhood for subject matter in many songs. Such an unravelling of personal history is clearly cathartic, but it’s a journey for the listener too. Musically there’s the usual onslaught of tight, sometimes arrhythmic guitars and kit, but there’s plenty of subtle moments that weave a web around the solid stuff.

The appeal of My Own Pool Of Light doesn’t strike as immediately as it did on Holy Holy’s debut, but it does seep beneath the surface after a while. Pitched vocals and an upbeat swell of beats and reverberating harmonies on opener Maybe You Know is a great way to ease into the duo’s latest, and punchy single Faces has rightly pricked up many ears. But there are pretty sonic details in the form of drum loops and synth bursts dotted throughout that could be glossed over without an active listen. Flight, Starting Line and People are the standouts in that regard, the ‘80s-tinged Teach Me About Dying is an album highlight.

Whether at a live show or studio recording, there is an overwhelming force that comes from Press Club lead singer Natalie Foster, and Wasted Energy is a testament to that. She, alongside the equally commanding instrumentalists, was made for the punk world. Opening with Separate Houses, it’s already evident that this is Press Club’s best work. The beginning of Get Better has a distinct sound due to a stronger Aussie twang in Foster’s vocal — she sounds like a punkrock Courtney Barnett. Wasted Energy is wholly gripping. It’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s 12 huge tunes that you didn’t know you needed until now.

Like their self-titled 2011 debut, this Seeker Lover Keeper album offers the best of a wonderful, three-headed beast. Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann are incredibly accomplished, but here the listener quickly stops trying to ‘trace’ who’s contributed what, and instead just enjoys a glorious blend. The soaring Time To Myself rewards those that like a mid-album minitrip, while Two Dreamers is a fine adventure in jangly soul. Towards the end, Dear Nighttime creates a vivid sonic picture about the joy of solitude, again backed with that blend of voices and instruments that run into each other like a glorious watercolour painting.

Carley Hall

Carley Hall

Keira Leonard

Liz Giuffre

THE MUSIC

36

ALBUM REVIEWS


For more album reviews, go to www.theMusic.com.au

The Lazy Susans

WAAX

Wagons

Off With Their Heads

Resist

Dew Process / Universal

Spunk

Epitaph

HHHH

HHH

HHHH

People listening to Now That The Party’s Over may be disappointed. Well, new fans will be at least — they’ll kick themselves for not experiencing the power of The Lazy Susans until now. The album is magic, poignant and broody. It somehow leaves you feeling serene, sometimes thrilled, due to the authentic and prevailing talent from the band. Goosebumps and awe are likely symptoms upon hearing this record. There is a striking vulnerability in Antonia Susan’s voice, often shifting from delicate to powerhouse. The Melbourne-based emo/pop-rock band as they nail their debut record.

WAAX have gotten angrier, grittier, and a whole lot more unapologetic in Big Grief. WAAX carry their gripes cleverly and creatively; they course through 12 tracks of unabashed, relentless realness. In their most stripped back form, indeed, their most vulnerable form, WAAX allow Maz DeVita to weave through intricate melodies and give their material its unique colour. This is an album that makes a point, one that sits on the top end of the anguish scale without sacrificing the band’s melodic ingenuity. WAAX have redefined what it means to be punk in the 21st century.

After a five-year rest, indie veterans Wagons are back with a studio album that marks their 20th year together as a band. Standout track and single Keep On Coming Back is an uplifting tune with a slick chord progression and lyrically explores the push and pull of leaving home and returning. While the album retains enough alt-country to keep fans satisfied, it also operates outside the genre, as on songs such as Wake Up, which harks back to the moody rock of the early ‘00s. This collection of ballads from the Melbourne band will keep old fans happy but pick up some newbies on the way.

Relentless, freeing, and refreshingly shameless, Be Good is the Minnesota gruff punks’ best release to date. The angst and aggrieved melodies that rip through the speakers on songs like Take Me Away and standout track Severe Errand are well suited to one of those urgh-I-feel-like-crap moods. Extreme Irish pub song You Will Die is the ultimate DILIGAF anthem — deeply relatable. Matched with the volatile crashes of cymbals and the relentless strum of low riffs, the tortured cries of the vocals really make this one of those releases you can lock yourself away with when you’re feeling meh.

Keira Leonard

Anna Rose

Adam Wilding

Anna Rose

!!! (Chk Chk Chk)

Slipknot

DZ Deathrays

Bon Iver

Warp / Inertia

Roadrunner / Warner

I OH YOU

Jagjaguwar / Inertia

Now That The Party’s Over

HHHH½

Wallop

HHH½

These days !!!, with a bigger and fatter bottom bass end, bounce and jiggle to a funky electro-house sound. The synth-heavy Wallop moves like a kaleidoscope, without focus in a bunch of different directions, often simultaneously. Serbia Drums comes with an amusingly trashy ‘80s pop vibe while Let It Change U washes over you like an EDM 3am rave-up. Off The Grid continues the vibe with streetwise female vocals that throw back to the early days of hip hop. There’s a funkiness about everything !!! try on this album — even when trying their hand at ‘00s-styled electroclash on UR Paranoid or $50 Million. Guido Farnell

Big Grief

Songs From The Aftermath

We Are Not Your Kind

Positive Rising: Part 1

HHH½

The chaos that typically surrounds Slipknot tends to ensure each subsequent album release is a bona fide event. Excluding frantic standalone cut All Out Life, the singles from We Are Not Your Kind somewhat confirm expectations of an approach meshing 2004’s Vol 3 The Subliminal Verses and 2001’s Iowa. Twenty years on from their boundary-smashing debut album, Slipknot have already blazed their trail, their primal attack offset by loftier creative ambitions. But We Are Not Your Kind is executed with the characteristic self-assurance you’d expect from one of metal’s biggest names. Brendan Crabb

THE MUSIC

37

Be Good

i,i

HHHH

HHHH½

Positive Rising: Part 1 is certainly more indulgent than previous offerings, drawing out low-key jams and letting songs delineate from their usual riff/chorus/uprise format. It’s nice to hear the basis for those undeniable anthems unravel into meatier offerings, like closer Silver Lining. DZs also scored an idolised guest star in the form of The Bronx’s Matt Caughthran and his hoarse wails on Year Of The Dog. Despite the notable shake-up in songwriting, there is no shaking that DZ swagger, with A Lot To Lose sporting some surf-rock flavours and Nightmare Wrecker retaining their doom-rock vibe and angular guitars.

With a similar style and production value to 22, A Million, i,i forces you to really sit and listen without distraction, to search for that warmth amid the abstract. These 13 tracks are more open and undemanding than their predecessor. More than anything they feel like an amalgamation of the seasons that have come before: welcome cooling from summer, a harvesting of spring’s crops, communal gathering before winter. Look to Faith and Marion for a return to that cabin in Wisconsin, to Naeem for magic percussion layering and keep your face towards the sun with RABi. Justin Vernon has charted new territory here and mastered it.

Carley Hall

Lauren Baxter

ALBUM REVIEWS


THE NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE 27.09.19 STEELPANTHERROCKS.COM

/STEELPANTHER /STEELPANTHERROCKS /STEEL_PANTHER

THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


Lady Beatle Lady Beatle isn’t your bog-standard tribute show – instead, the production by Naomi Price and Adam Brunes, tells the story of the so-called ‘fifth Beatle’, their manager Brian Epstein, through the British popstars’ rollickin’ back atalogue. Price also features as the titular Lady Beatle, bowl-cut and all, performing their most iconic tracks – Eleanor Rigby, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Penny Lane, do we really need to keep listing? – with the help of a live band, including Mik Easterman, Andrew Johnson, Michael Manikus and Jason McGregor. Best get your flu shots, folks, because since Yesterday, Beatlemania’s highly contagious.

Lady Beatle runs from 7 Aug at Roundhouse Theatre.


T

here’s definitely something unique about music from Brisbane, when held up against the similar fare emanating from the other Aussie capitals. Not better, not worse, just different. Back in the day our patron pop saints The Go-Betweens used to refer to it as That Striped Sunlight Sound, an aural attitude derived from enduring seemingly endless months of blue skies punctuated by the odd electrical storm, augmented by humidity and isolation. There’s a freedom of expression and willingness to experiment in the Brisbane scene, with most making music for the love of art and because they’re drawn to it rather than any reasonable expectation of fame or fortune. It makes for both great music and a tangible sense of community, with bands across genres often sharing not just members and equipment but mindsets and worldviews as well. But it hasn’t always been this way. For the longest time the Brisbane music scene operated under an enormous and stultifying shadow, one the shape of a portly peanut farmer from Kingaroy. Under conservative Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, from 1968 to 1987, it didn’t

Behind the banana curtain Steve Bell gives a quick history of the last 30odd years of Brissie music to celebrate Brisbane Festival’s exhibition celebrating our music heritage, High Rotation.

Violent Soho. Pic: Stephen Booth

Powderfinger. Pic: Stephen Booth

Ball Park Music. Pic: Stephen Booth

THE MUSIC

40

YOUR TOWN

really pay to stand out or even look different as Queensland effectively morphed into a police state, and this affected local musicians (as well as many minorities who were equally vilified) in a myriad of ways. Potential venues didn’t want to rile the cops and bring attention to themselves by housing rock’n’roll, hence tales abounding of ‘70s Bris-bands like The Go-Betweens and our punk overlords The Saints hiring out local halls to put on their own DIY gigs (many of which were busted up by the boys in blue anyway). Just looking like a rocker in public could be enough to get you picked up by the police, whose resolution to keep Brisbane boring could manifest in a beating, being locked up or in extreme cases finding oneself unceremoniously dumped over the NSW border. Faced with this lack of accountability you can’t really blame the tide of great Brisbane musicians who fled south for safe haven during this oppressive regime. Great music flourished — as always — but rather than be trodden underfoot many musicians left for cities where their art wasn’t just tolerated, but appreciated as well.


The Saints and The Go-Betweens both set their sights abroad and were soon enough based overseas, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Aspiring musicians like Brad Shepherd and Tex Perkins abandoned ship and were quickly making massive inroads in calmer waters with Hoodoo Gurus and the Beasts Of Bourbon/ The Cruel Sea respectively. It should be noted that one thing that does flourish under an oppressive regime is protest music, and Brisbane under Bjelke-Petersen soon possessed a large and proactive punk scene. The Parameters’ single Pig City gave Brisbane a new nickname, Razar provoked the authorities with Task Force, and a slew of bands like The Leftovers, Xero and Vampire Lovers all toughed it out and created their own DIY scene, rife with fanzines, guerrilla gigs, protests and poster art. This courage and interminable spirit flowed down the generations of local punk bands like Blowhard, Chopper Division, The Disables and Dick Nasty (to name but a few) and into the current crop like Fat, Flangipanis, Mouthguard and HITS. Community radio station 4ZZZ was another stalwart during this period, pro-

nos — became a wasteland of cheap rent, which for bands meant rehearsal space aplenty. With the addition of venues like The Zoo and the Roxy, the Valley began slowly morphing into the music mecca it is today (later protected by its Entertainment Precinct designation, the first such protection to live music offered in the country), and initiatives like Rock Against Work brought people to live music in droves. Soon enough Brisbane was producing some of the most beloved bands in Australia such as Powderfinger, Regurgitator, Custard and Screamfeeder, who were all happy to stay in their own hometown now that they were free to be themselves without consequence. Convergent factors were at play too such as Livid burgeoning into a massive concern, triple j going national and Nirvana’s success making underground music mainstream — which suited Brisbane’s then-current crop just fine — while in the pop realm Savage Garden was soon taking on the world from a different perspective, and dominating. And so it continues to this day, Brisbane still home to some of Australia’s best and brightest talent and possessing an ever-growing support infrastructure

viding a bastion of alternative music and culture and providing all-too-rare avenues for bands to play to like-minded people with their Joint Effort initiatives. Yet for 20 years Queensland was considered by the rest of the country to be a cultural backwater, reliant on its climate for tourism and possessing a hankering for economic development in which art had no place. But then things began to change. Bjelke-Petersen was forced to relinquish his reign in 1987 when ABC TV show Four Corners’ exposition The Moonlight State shone a light on rampant police corruption, and the end for the Nationals was nigh. In 1989 Labor finally swept them from power with a 24-seat swing, on the same day a fledgling festival called Livid — established earlier that year to shine a light fairly and squarely on local product — held its second Brisbane instalment, co-founder Peter Walsh taking the stage to a buoyant crowd upon arrival of the news to trumpet, “No more fascism!” With that roadblock removed Brisbane was given a licence to flourish, and flourish it did. Post-Fitzgerald Inquiry the inner-city hub Fortitude Valley — once the domain of “illegal” brothels and casi-

of venues and shindigs like BIGSOUND that are rapidly becoming the envy of the nation. But it still all traces back to the time when Joh tried to defeat our indomitable artistic spirit. The Saints’ howl of sequestered frustration with (I’m) Stranded paved the way for Violent Soho’s unabashed Brisbane patriotism, while The Go-Betweens’ unquenchable artistic ambition is echoed today in the work of disparate artists from Ball Park Music to Blank Realm and everyone in between. We’re so lucky on so many fronts, and that’s why That Striped Sunlight Sound lives on. In this brave new world there’s nothing holding Brisbane artists back except their imagination. The cultural cringe is dead and Brisbane finally believes in Brisbane, making for an incredibly exciting artistic future.

High Rotation runs from 30 Aug at Museum Of Brisbane.

Livid. Pic: Peter Fischmann

Regurgitator. Pic: Stephen Booth

“Brisbane [is] still home to some of Australia’s best and brightest talent.” Screamfeeder. Pic: Stephen Booth

THE MUSIC

Custard. Pic: Peter Fischmann

41

YOUR TOWN


For the latest live reviews go to theMusic.com.au

Splendour In The Grass @ North Byron Parklands. Photos by Clare Hawley and Peter Dovgan.

The juggernaut that is Splendour In The Grass returned for another year and even a last-minute headliner cancellation couldn’t dampen the

spirits of a crowd who enjoyed sparkling weather over the three days

and topline performances from Tame Impala, Childish Gambino, Court-

Kwame. Pic: Peter Dovgan

Thelma Plum. Pic: Clare Hawley

Charly Bliss. Pic: Peter Dovgan

ney Barnett, Charly Bliss, Fidlar, Thelma Plum, Kwame and many more.

“A love of music and mateship cutting through all the noise - and that is what Splendour is all about.”

Fidlar. Pic: Clare Hawley

Crowd. Pic: Peter Dovgan

- Lauren Baxter

THE MUSIC

42

REVIEWS


SATURDAY 3RD AUGUST

DAISY BRAINS, TULLY JOGN & LIZA JANE, SHIVVS FRIDAY 9TH AUGUST

PORT ROYAL, TOXIC FOX, PLANKO

THUR 22 AUG STATIC-X

SOLD OUT

SAT 26 OCT SOLD OUT

SATURDAY 10TH AUGUST

MORGAN EVANS

TUES 3 SEPT

SAT 2 NOV

GRETA VAN FLEET

SCENE & HEARD

SQUIDLICKERS, BELLIGERENT GOAT, BRICKLAYERS

SAT 7 SEPT

FRI 22 NOV

FRIDAY 16TH AUGUST

VEDO

80’S MANIA

FRI 20 SEPT

SAT 14 DEC

ULTIMATE 80’S FLURO PARTY

SO FRESHTIVAL 2000S PARTY

SATURDAY 17TH AUGUST

FRI 27 SEPT

WED 1 JAN

LLOYD BANKS

NEW YEAR’S DAY FOAM PARTY

GOOCH PALMS, SHIVS, SURF TRASH

SAT 28 SEPT THE DOBRE BROTHERS

SAT 19 OCT

FAIT ACCOMPLI, DICKLORD, VOIID

FRIDAY 23RD AUGUST

THUR 13 FEB

EAGLE EYE JONES, SUNROSE, THE OOGARS

HYBRID THEORY

BRING THAT BEAT BACK

SATURDAY 24TH AUGUST

LITTLE GEORGIA (07)

FRIDAY 30TH AUGUST

3325 6777

CHILLI GOMEZ, SOY

TICKETS & INFO GO TO: EATONSHILLHOTEL.COM.AU EATONSHILLHOTELPAGE

SATURDAY 31ST AUGUST

646 SOUTHPINE RD EATONS HILL

THE PINHEADS, BLISTER, THE UNKNOWNS

JONSON STREET BYRON BAY

THE MUSIC

AUGUST

TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE WWW.THENORTHERN.COM.AU


This month’s highlights

Adrian Eagle. Pic: Clare Nica

Eye of the tiger

Tigerlily

DJ Tigerlily will return to Australia following a European summer this month to headline at Eatons Hill Hotel. It kicks off on 23 Aug and really, who needs Greece?

Beyond the horizon

Nice Biscuit. Pic: Savannah Van Der Niet

The Sunshine Coast’s Horizon Festival is a ten-day celebration of arts and culture happening from 23 Aug. Make the trip north for events like Blak Social, a celebration of First Nations artists including Alice Skye, in the Maroochydore City Centre on 28 Aug, and debut event POINT, which will take over The Events Centre in Caloundra on 30 Aug, and will feature headliner Adrian Eagle.

Supersonic

Sarah McLeod

The Superjesus’ Sarah McLeod is hitting the road this month and will play an intimate solo show at the Woolly Mammoth on 29 Aug for Rockin’ 4 The Homeless. One hundred percent of ticket sales will go towards funding services for people who are homeless in our community so get around it.

Bowl over Sonic Masala Fest returns to Brisbane this month for a day of mates, music, bowls, beers and good times. Featuring the likes of Nice Biscuit, Tape/Off and Gooby Jim & The Goobs, roll on down to Club Greenslopes on 17 Aug to get in among the action.

Fortified

The Gooch Palms

Brisbane has scored two brand new venues for the price of one and to say we are excited would be an understatement. Catch acts like Architects, ARC and Allday live this month at the newly opened Fortitude Music Hall or maybe get around the smaller venue within dubbed The Outpost – it gets its official launch on 1 Aug with Major Leagues and more.

Hand of god Allday

The Gooch Palms are bringing their brand new baby III out to meet you this month, including a brief sojourn at The Northern. It’s going down on 17 Aug and they’re bringing pals Surf Trash and Shivvs along for the party. Best of all? It’s free baby!

THE MUSIC

44

YOUR TOWN


“An absolute genius... I have never in my life seen a talent like this… Beyond category. One of my favourite young artists on the planet – absolutely mind-blowing”

QUINCY JONES

“Jazz’s new Messiah.”

“Probably the best musician of the 21st Century”

THE GUARDIAN

VANITY FAIR

JACOB COLLIER MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE FRIDAY 30 AUGUST SATURDAY 31 AUGUST

AUCKL AND

THE POWERSTATION MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER

WELLINGTON

THE OPERA HOUSE

WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER

BRISBANE

QPAC, BRISBANE FESTIVAL FRIDAY 6 SEPTEMBER

SYDNEY

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE CONCERT HALL SATURDAY 7 SEPTEMBER

ON SALE NOW

CHUGGENTERTAINMENT.COM JACOBCOLLIER.COM

PRESENTS

Established 2015

FEATURED August RELEASES

9TH

16TH

SEEKER LOVER KEEPER

SLEATER-KINNEY

(Liberation Records)

(Milk Records!/Remote Control)

The second LP from the Aussie supergroup featuring Sarah Blasko, Sarah Seltmann and Holly Throsby proves somehow more substantial than the sum of its considerable parts.

Ninth album from iconic US trio finds them at the top of their game, still mixing the personal and the political but focussing on the individuals caught in the mayhem.

Wild Seeds

SARAH MCLEOD 2 9 th A U G U S T 2 0 1 9

16TH

16TH

The Center Won’t Hold

BIRD FLIES HIGH • AMANDA EMBLEM

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD

TROPICAL FUCK STORM

(Flightless/Inertia)

(Flightless/Inertia)

World-beating Melbourne psych lords keep pumping out the weirdnesstinged goodness, their third album for 2019 being touted as “the thrash album”.

With their first album TFS followed in The Drones’ hefty footprints and took their acerbicly catchy worldview global, take two finds them setting their phasers to stun.

Infest The Rats’ Nest

THE WOOLLY MAMMOTH 633 ANN ST FORTITUDE VALLEY

TIX AVAILABLE AT

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 12/360 Logan Rd Stones Corner (In car park of Stones Corner Hotel)

WWW.ROCKIN4THEHOMELESS.COM

THE MUSIC

AUGUST

Trashing Thru The Passion (Frenchkiss)

First album in five years from Brooklyn indie brawlers The Hold Steady once more combines barroom rock’n’roll with empathetic lyrics to stunning effect.

UPCOMING INSTORES

23RD

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS 100% OF FUNDS GO TOWARDS SUPPORTING THE HOMELESS

THE HOLD STEADY

Braindrops

SUN 18 AUGUST POST-SONIC MASALA FEST PARTY (FOUR INTERSTATE BANDS) SAT 31 AUGUST THE UNKNOWNS (1PM) SAT 31 AUGUST ANGIE (3PM)

(07) 3397 0180 sonicsherpa.com.au


the best and the worst of the month’s zeitgeist

The lashes Front

Back

Pic via ESPN

Pic via Instagram

Pic via ABC

Pic via Barnaby Joyce’s website

Wild card

H2Oh no

Bach-handed compliment

George of the bungle

Barna-baby

Pass the Kleenex

Nobody loves tennis like

Last month American

The Bachelor is back to

George Calombaris jumped

Poor ol’ Barnaby Joyce.

Splendour — you know we

Woody Harrelson appar-

teens discovered mermaid

reinstate our faith in love

on ABC to give a teary

While we love a backbench

love you. We’d never say a

ently. He’s also the only man

drama H2O: Just Add

after Honey Badger’s trash

apology for accidentally

hellraiser, and advocating

bad word about you. But

that can spend 30 seconds

Water and they had some

season. This time, he’s an

underpaying his staff $7.8

for a Newstart increase is a

this post-festival flu? Get

licking his entire face like

opinions — TikTok flooded

astrophysicist with a strong

million. We couldn’t help

noble cause, come on, mate.

tae fuck. Between the nose

a sun-parched gecko and

with clips taking the piss out

jaw who actually picks a

but sympathise once

Crying poor on a pollie’s

running like a faucet and

look kind of good. Both

of the cultural touchstone.

winner – what more could a

we understood it was an

salary of $211,000? Let’s go

coughing up a lung, we’re

things we learnt watching

Australia’s basically an oven

lover of reality TV ask for?

“oversight” that damaged

back to the dog smuggling

still hocking loogies. See you

the delightful weirdo’s wildly

and we’ve still never been so

his reputation. Jks. Pay your

and sex scandals.

again next year though.

emotional journey in the

mercilessly roasted.

workers, loser. Then climb under a rock.

stands at Wimbledon.

The final thought

Words by Maxim Boon

Can humanity unite in the face of such horror?

T

he looming existential threat of climate change couldn’t do it. The rise of white nationalism and mainstreaming of far-right politics couldn’t either. And as for the refugee crisis on Manus and Nauru? Of course it couldn’t do it, not even close. With the world devolving unchecked into a hellscape of civilisation-ending

THE MUSIC

calamities and societal rot, it seemed the human race was doomed to sleepwalk into oblivion, a species divided and isolated by our radically incompatible values. But then, just when all hope seemed lost, humanity was thrown not one, but two proverbial bones. These twin evils have finally succeeded where so many issues before them have failed – by galvanising mankind behind common enemies so heinous even the most diametrically dissimilar folk will set aside their differences to combat these shared foes. The first of these atrocities mostly come at night, mostly. And they are way worse than any puny Xenomorph. Their faces are deceptively human, and their years of training in ballet, jazz and tap are impressive. But do not be deceived by these feline fiends: they are nothing short of an all-singing, all-dancing affront to nature. I’m referring to the waking nightmare that is the ‘live action’ but fundamentally not live action movie of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical theatre classic Cats. Since the trailer dropped in midJuly, people around the world have been left psychologically scarred by this Island Of Dr Moreau wet dream, cooked up by some unhinged madmen in Hollywood. “Digital fur” is now a thing, and none of us will be able to look at Dame Judi Dench

46

THE END

in the same way ever again. It would not be hyperbole to say that the Cats trailer is quite possibly the greatest hate crime ever perpetrated. But if that wasn’t bad enough, another unthinkable injustice has been inflicted on a truly vulnerable corner of society: social media influencers. The despotic monsters in charge of Instagram will no longer display the number of likes a post has earned, claiming that this inhuman decision is to allow users to ‘focus on content’. This is clearly a move by some shadowy reptilian overlords to rob us of the only means of validating our existence. Be honest, do any of us want to live in a world where thirst traps and product placements can’t help Facetuned AF millennials rack up millions of delicious double taps? Be strong, dear friends. This fight may be long, and the battle may be fraught. Dark days lay ahead, but if anything can unite the world (other than the very possible collapse of civilisation as we know it) surely it’s this?


S TA R T T H I S S E P T E M B E R At SAE, you’ll learn the skills you need to create your future in Creative Media. With Fee-Help* available on all Bachelor, Associate Degree and Diploma courses, you can learn now and pay later. Start your creative career sooner; join the SAE crew today. *Visit sae.edu.au for information on FEE-HELP

ENROL TODAY

SAE.EDU.AU | 1800 723 338

THE MUSIC

NAT -T3-19 - Enrol Sept - The Music 275x350 - FPAd - Film.indd 1

J U LY

9/7/19 3:09 pm


THU 12 SEPT

WED 11 SEPT

Girlpool

THU 26 SEPT

SAT 21 SEPT

Tia Gostelow

Justin Townes Earle

Carmouflage Rose

BRISBANE FESTIVAL, BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL AND TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND PRESENT

AUSTRALI AN EXCLUSIVE

(CAN)

S A T 2 8 S E P T | R I V E R S TA G E

TUE 17 SEPT

BRISBANE FESTIVAL AND THE TIVOLI PRESENT

Paul Dempsey

WED 18 SEPT

No mono

THU 19 SEPT

Emma Louise

THE MUSIC

•

J U LY

FRI 20 SEPT

husky


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.