The Music (Sydney) August 2019 Issue

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August Issue | 2019

Sydney | Free

DOPE LEMON Step out with Angus Stone’s technicolour alter ego

Upcoming Aussie indie games you should get hyped about

We go on set with Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga to talk Preacher’s final season

How Marcus Bridge’s harrowing upbringing drives Northlane’s new album


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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 Bryget Chrisfield finds out about Angus Stone’s collection of cat mascot costumes and Cyclone asks G Flip about her swift rise to fame. We also catch-up with WAAX and The Beautiful Monument to discuss their new albums. Away from music we are 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. Plus, Joel Burrows takes a look at how the rest of the year is shaping up for local indie video game developers. He’s got some thoughts. 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

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Our contributors

This month 12

Editor’s letter

This month’s best binge watching

17

Shit we did: Anti-SAD therapy

19

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

20

Dope Lemon

22 Indie games Upcoming local titles we reckon are worth the hype

DevilDriver Coming out without a shirt on stage and fucking ripping

24

33

Heidi Lenffer Heidi is in the band Cloud Control. She also just launched a solar investment fund for artists. There’s no correlation between the band name and her current interest in solar power, but she appreciates the spooky prescience.

Preacher On set for the final season

34

WAAX

36

Album reviews

38

Carley Hall Carley is a Gold Coast writer, science communicator and wannabe burlesque queen.

26

Killswitch Engage

She has ridden the figurative waves of journalism for a decade, but still falls off literal ones on weekends. In her spare time you’ll

Pic

: Reuben Moore

The Arts G Flip Helping people through heartbreak

26

Winterbourne

27

The big picture: Liu Bolin

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

30

The Beautiful Monument More than bandmates, they’re a family

her name.

The best arts of the month

42

Film & TV reviews

44

Titus Andronicus

45

Your Town

Rosie Piper

48

Your guide to BIGSOUND

32

Deaf Havana

find her wrangling her child or Googling

50

Your gigs

This month’s local highlights

52

The end

54

32

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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

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Get bent

Stonefield

Recently returned from Europe, Aussie psych-rock outfit Stonefield are heading on a run of east coast headline dates from this month in support of their new LP, Bent. Catch the Findlay sisters from 1 Aug with support from Bitch Diesel.

All in all

Punchy prose

Rainbow Chan. Pic: Hyun Lee

Sydney author Alex McClintock’s first book is an “essential guide to the art of hitting and getting hit”, told through the stories of some of the most notable characters to step into the ring, as well McClintock’s own rise through the amateur ranks. Out 6 Aug.

Podcast: Ctrl Alt Delete With Emma Gannon

Uncommon column Experimental pop artist Rainbow Chan is touring the country from 4 Aug with her much-lauded second album, Pillar. The innovative vocalist, songwriter and producer will perform in Newcastle, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Wollongong.

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Following on from the themes from her book of the same name, each episode Emma Gannon has a new guest on to discuss life, work and their relationship with the internet. Past guests have included the likes of Gillian Anderson, Elizabeth Gilbert and Greta Gerwig.

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On The Chin: A Boxing Education

Ainslie Wills

Ainslie Wills is playing three album showcases along the east coast this month for her new album All You Have Is All You Need, out 9 Aug. Catch the talented singer-songwriter in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne from 28 Aug.


Got7

Sh*t we did With Maxim Boon

Anti-SAD therapy In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, and for some of us who aren’t particularly fond about freezing our asses off, that means one thing: a nasty case of seasonal affective disorder is right around the corner. Otherwise known by the oh-so on the nose acronym SAD, this moody malaise sets in when the winter months reach their chilliest. And if you’re thinking, “Well duh, who feels particularly chipper when it’s cold and miserable out?” this is no mere case of griping at the weather. SAD is a recognised psychological syndrome, and for those most severely affected — which according to stats, is largely (but not exclusively) people in their 20s — it can be a debilitating condition. Symptoms range

U Got7 South Korean boy band Got7 are back in Australia as part of their 2019 world tour. The seven-piece K-pop phenomenon will play two east coast shows from 22 Aug in support of their May EP, Spinning Top.

from excessive fatigue, loss of concentration and motivation, irritability and mood swings, and weight gain driven by comfort eating. These can also create an insidious feedback loop of negative reinforcement, as SAD begins to impact other facets of wellbeing. Like many maladies of the mind, one of the ways to combat these nasty feels is through cognitive behavioural therapy (with a few bougie spa treatments thrown in for good measure), or simply put, doing shit to take your mind off it.

The Verdict I’ll admit, I’m not a major sufferer of SAD. But hey, who doesn’t get the occasional bout of

Swanderful

winter blues, amiright? Some of this condition’s treatments are pretty straight forward, such as doing more exercise, cutting out the

Aussie hip hop maestros Hilltop Hoods will embark on their first headline tour since 2016 this 9 Aug to celebrate their acclaimed February LP, The Great Expanse. They’ll be joined at all shows by Mojo Juju, Shadow and DJ Nino Brown.

grog, not giving in to hermit instincts and eating more fruit and vegetables (although the top-recommended “all-green diet” is the work of the devil and can fuck right off). And I have to say, these common sense health habits definitely improved my mood. But I didn’t embark on my quest to banish SAD just to do the occasional sit up or knock back the odd kale smoothie. Time to bring out the big guns. For those not shy about shelling out a few dollars, light therapy and vitamin boosting IV treatments offer a fancy pants way to sort your SAD. I opted for an infrared sauna, which supposedly penetrates the skin to release toxins and improve blood flow. While I’m not sure it made me any more immune to those winter

Hilltop Hoods

woes, I did get to drink some cucumber water and wear a fluffy white robe while a panpipe version of My Heart Will Go On played in the spa waiting room, so I’m gonna chalk this one up as a win.

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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.”

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GUEST EDITORIAL


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Dropping into a mo 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. Cover and feature photo by Jess Gleeson.

“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 award-winning 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, so the punters could keep drinking whatever beers they were drinking, and they gave us the whole inside of the pub.” When asked whether any of the locals wanted to get involved and don a mascot cat head, Stone laughs, “There was a few 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, yeah!” As for the other cat ‘characters’ in the video, did Stone divvy out the mascot cat heads in accordance with the personalities of particular friends? “We did, actually, that’s cool,” he chuckles. “Some of them are so spot on.” 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, you know. I think you’ve only got so much time on this earth to not have fun with it all... This project, for me, is I get to express a bit of that side of me and, yeah! It’s been awesome.” 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.” Stone reflects on Dope Lemon’s beginnings. “So it started at a little shack

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

on the beach, just a few friends kickin’ around and different musicians from around the world dropping in and playing music, and then it sorta grew to taking the recordings to the property — I’ve got a little studio here. Over time it just became its own sorta thing. I dunno how it sorta happened; it just grew, it just flowed, you know? Like, I went away — I stopped working on the Lemon for a few years — and during that time I was getting lots of messages and people writing in saying, you know, ‘When are you guys gonna go on tour again?’ And people were starting to get tattoos and it sort of became this really underground following, and it was getting really strong, and for me I felt really, like, humbled by that. It sorta energised me to wanna create more of what it was.” But 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. “But the drums were something new, for sure; like, that was fun. I think what makes this record unique is [that] I produced and mixed it as well so, you know, it was a very hands-on record. It’s kind of like if you were to say it was 100% my brushstroke and when I listen back to it I can fully feel all the different moods that I was expressing through the different songs, and it’s cool like that.” Throughout this new album, some unexpected hooks come courtesy of less conventional instrumentation such as

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marimba; one main melody in the title track edges towards The Cure’s Close To Me. “I called up the engineer and he has lots of strange things lying around, and he has this old marimba,” Stone tells. “And he brought it in as a sick sorta orchestral thing from the ‘60s, and I started playing it on the different songs and it was just so cool. It reminded me of, you know, those cartoons where the skeleton, he’s sorta dancing around and he’s sorta playing the drums with his own bones? That sound reminds me of those old cartoons; it’s, like, really shake your bones, sort of. It’s got a really cool visual to it.” Stone’s been penning tunes “for as long as [he] can remember” and he 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.” If you’re attending one of Dope Lemon’s upcoming shows, here’s a hot tip if you fancy trying one of those mascot cat heads on for size: “So we wanna do this competition where with the preorder people can also win backstage tickets and they can jump up on stage in a cat head, and hang out — something fun like that.” Best of luck, Lemon enthusiasts.

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

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


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.

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C U LT U R E


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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

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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.

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


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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.

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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:

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“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.


WORLD EXCLUSIVE

ORCHESTRA OF

PAYING HOMAGE TO OZZY OSBOURNE FOR HIS BIRTHDAY

F E AT U R I N G

UGLY KID JOE’S WHITFIELD CRANE WITH

M US IC SCORE BY

PHILHARMONIA AUSTRALIA

ANDREA BATTISTONI

F E AT U R I N G S O N G S O F

BLACK SABBATH OZZY OSBOURNE UGLY KID JOE RICHARDS/CRANE AND OTHER ROCK LEGENDS

TICKETS ON SALE NOW PAL AI S THE ATRE MELBOU RN E

DARLIN G HARBOU R THE ATRE S YD N E Y

03 D EC EMB ER

07 DEC EMB ER

Co-Producer

TENNIS LEGEND PAT CASH THE MUSIC

AUGUST


Pic: Steven Cook

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.

Panic prevention Frontman James VeckGilodi acknowledges that Deaf Havana’s songs wouldn’t have connected with people to the same degree had he not endured incapacitating panic attacks. By Bryget Chrisfield.

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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.

Although

iven that Deaf Havana first toured our

When asked which bands he was

shores as part of the 2013 Soundwave

obsessed with around this time, Veck-Gil-

didn’t

seek

Veck-Gilodi professional

line-up, we’re keen to hear whether

odi offers, “My favourite band — well, still

advice, he did enlist the help

James Veck-Gilodi wound up partying with

— is probably Silverchair... Me and the guy

of ‘Dr Google’. “There’s a band

any of his heroes during that touring stint. “That

whose equipment I used to ‘steal’ were, like,

I like called Counting Crows

whole tour was full of stuff like that,” the band’s

obsessed with Silverchair so we just used to

and the singer [Adam Duritz]

frontman reveals, “but really embarrassing

try and learn all their songs and we covered

has the same thing; he has

stuff like bumping into the guy from Smash-

loads of their songs.”

this thing which is called

ing Pumpkins while I was wearing a Smashing

Sadly, Veck-Gilodi never got to see Silver-

depersonalisation [disorder],

Pumpkins T-shirt. And they’re notoriously not

chair live (“so annoying”), but praises Daniel

where anxiety makes it feel

nice to their fans, so I didn’t speak to him. I was

Johns’ vocal ability: “He’s my biggest influence

kind of like everything’s a

drunk, luckily, so I just sort of walked away.

as a singer, 100%.”

dream and it’s not real, and I

“But I remember the first day we landed

When Mellor left Deaf Havana in 2010,

had that as well for ages and

in Brisbane — and before anybody had even

Veck-Gilodi took over lead singer duties and

it was horrible. But once I

played a show — Metallica hosted a massive

admits, “It took me a long time to actually

read that and found out that

BBQ and, like, invited everyone down to the

become comfortable with doin’ it... The play-

it wasn’t that weird to have

BBQ. Everyone was there getting drunk and

ing became ok after a while, it was more the

it, I just kind of did a bit of

eating and stuff, and Metallica were just goin’

talking in between songs that I was really

research and figured out that

‘round introducing themselves to everyone.

uncomfortable with; I didn’t know what

as long as you know that it’s

And that was my first few hours that I’d landed

to say.”

your head that’s doin’ it and

After moving to London in 2008, Veck-

in Australia, which was a country that I’d want-

you’re not gonna die, I think

ed to be in my entire life, and then a band that

Gilodi

incapacitat-

you’re alright. But it takes a

I grew up listening to were, like, walking around

ing panic attacks, which informed mate-

long time to get a grasp of it.”

introducing themselves to us, which was so

rial on 2011’s Fools And Worthless Liars, Deaf

Veck-Gilodi says his panic attacks were

weird!” he laughs, before stressing that Metal-

Havana’s second record, but the first to fea-

“quite vision-related”. “I’d get tunnel vision and

lica “were super nice” people.

started

experiencing

ture Veck-Gilodi on lead vocals. “The thing

black out and feel like I was gonna pass out

Veck-Gilodi formed Deaf Havana while he

that is the most rewarding for me is to know

and stuff like that. And it was triggered by cer-

discussion of mental health. If you are suf-

was in high school and explains, “I didn’t have

that other people can listen to [the songs] and

tain things like changes in light or tempera-

fering from any of the issues that have been

any of my own equipment so I had to borrow

feel like, ‘Oh, it’s not just me that has [panic

ture — it was so weird.”

discussed or need assistance, please con-

[it from] the guy who used to sing [Ryan Mel-

attacks],’” he offers, before acknowledging,

Even though his triggers tend to recur

tact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on

lor] — he used to scream in our band when we

“The songs wouldn’t have been the same

throughout live performances, Veck-Gilodi

1300 22 4636.

first started.”

if I hadn’t started to have panic attacks.”

marvels, “I never really had a panic attack

CONTENT WARNING: This article contains

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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.

The Beautiful Monument tour from 3 Aug.

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

Conquering the past 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.

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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,

while on stage, but when you’re not playing on tour it definitely happens a lot and, like, when you’re hungover it happens a lot. Drinking [alcohol] helps it, but only in the moment and then afterwards it makes it worse; so it’s kind of a catch-22, really.”

Deaf Havana tour from 20 Aug.

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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.


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.

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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

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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.


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Maz DeVita chats to Rosie Piper about WAAX’s debut LP, the pressures of being an artist, and how change begets growth.

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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 softer side on the record, with slower tempos and even acoustic guitars making an appearance on tracks such as the builder History, the sweetly calm Changing Face, or the ticktocking Last Week, whose instrumentation wouldn’t sound out of place on a later-career Radiohead record. “There’s slower tracks on there. It’s kind of more subdued production on some tracks,” she says. “I think we’ve always been looking for points in the set where we could explore those things and kind of give the set more room to breathe, because then the bigger moments are even bigger when they’re put next to a slower song.” This new direction was thanks, in part, to the production duo of Grammy award-

winning producer Nick DiDia and Brisbane music royalty, Powderfinger frontman, Bernard Fanning. “Bernard was so understanding and so welcoming and humble. He helped a lot,” DeVita says. “He definitely understood our sound despite the fact that he’d come from a sort of different background. And with Nick DiDia, it was just a really cool combo of musical wizards.” Fanning’s knowledge wasn’t just useful for expanding the band’s sound, however, but also in providing advice to DeVita as a songwriter — like no longer limiting herself with rules like, “Don’t swear in your songs,” as evidenced on huge single FU. “He kind of taught me to stop inhibiting myself,” she says. “I’ve noticed that over the years of songwriting I’ve developed these cans and cannots, like these little OCD things of, ‘Oh, I’m not gonna do that, but oh, I’ll do that.’ He was more like, ‘Well, why? Why do you have that? Why don’t you just open up a little bit and let that be?’” And the result? “Well, I can’t really find a better word to describe how angry I am, I’m just gonna say, ‘Fuck!’” she says, laughing. “And it worked out. It seemed to fit into the melody. So, I guess I do that now. I guess I’ve changed.” DeVita sees the shift less as demonstrating growth and more as a process of “unrefining [her]self and becoming less uppity about words”. The partnership with Fanning has been a fruitful one for the band, and is connected to several career highlights over the past year, including the impending release of their debut LP, a spot in triple j’s Hottest 100 (#88 for banging track Labrador) and a slot on 2018’s Splendour in the Grass line-up, which DeVita remembers very fondly as one of the bigger moments of their career. “We got Bernie up to come and sing a Powderfinger song with us,” she says. “We

were super nervous to ask him to do it but he was super keen and that was really fun. People were like, ‘Oooh, wow. It’s legit. They’re really working together.’ It’s one of my favourite sets that we’ve ever played.” Despite all of the upsides though, the record is still called Big Grief, and certainly traverses some darker themes, with an almost prophetic connection to a recent loss for the band. “We’re grieving the loss of a band member as well,” DeVita reflects. “We’ve recently parted ways with our guitarist, Chris [Antolak], and that was only very recent, so it’s been a very emotional time for us, I suppose, in the last couple of months. I feel like the record was sort of therapeutic for that sort of thing as well.” The grief associated with loss, says DeVita, is the overarching theme of the record — a theme that has extremely personal ties to her life and personal experience. “I can’t really relate to something that doesn’t feel authentic to me,” she says. Loss, in this case, does not necessarily mean death, but looks at people coming in and out of DeVita and the band’s life. It covers, in part, the vulnerability one might feel in such a situation and how it’s ok to feel bad, but also the power that can be taken from these feelings and experiences. “I think a lot about how what I like to do is definitely this raw vulnerability,” she says. “It’s something that isn’t explored enough, I feel. Just the humanness of being vulnerable — that’s what I relate to the most because we all are in some way, no matter what situation we’re in, we can still feel vulnerable. I touch on those things a lot and I touch on the feelings of gaining power from those situations but also feeling deflated

“I’m strong, I have integrity and fuck you for thinking that I can be spoken to in such a way or told to do something that I don’t want to do.”

and sometimes quite self-deprecating and how that’s ok.” This sentiment can be heard on FU, a song whose vicious title might be seen as a furious bark at someone else. DeVita says it’s actually more than that. “I’ll have hints of songs that sound like they’re directed at people but then I always have a moment within the songwriting where I’m looking at my own feelings and looking at what that person’s done and at the interrelations between myself or someone else. I think though definitely for FU, I really get really annoyed when people try to walk all over me or act like I’m a doormat or they think that because I’m this understanding, nice person that they can kind of use that to their advantage and then think, you know, they don’t know me at all. I’m strong, I have integrity and fuck you for thinking that I can be spoken to in such a way or told to do something that I don’t want to do. So yeah, it’s kind of inward and outward.” The band is set to take this badass attitude on the road soon, which has always been their number one joy — DeVita explains how they all work “a shitload” to be able to bring their music to their fans. “People don’t realise how much work goes into it. Not just the music itself but actually supporting yourself as an artist,” she says. “I don’t like instability. I like knowing what’s happening. I’ve just had to grow into accepting that if this is the choice that I make as a career, then that’s just how it’s got to be and just hope for the best,” she laughs. “For example, me, I work in an office and then I go and play the rock show and it’s quite a dichotomy in life, but that’s just how it is, I guess.”

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

Pic: James Hornsby

Swear if you want to

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MUSIC


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AUGUST


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

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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

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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


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AUGUST


Em Rusciano: The Rage And Rainbows tour The infectiously funny Em Rusciano brings an eight-piece band to theatres across the country on her The Rage And Rainbows tour. Rusciano’s career – from Australian Idol contestant to radio host to best-selling memoirist to TV personality to stand-up – has seen her earn a fiercely loyal social media following. This is their opportunity – and yours, future fans – to bask in Rusciano’s glitter-soaked energy. The show is billed as a celebration of female empowerment, motherhood and the power of rage (and sequins), and allegedly features four costume changes, as well as original songs crafted with a little bit of help from Kate Miller-Heidke and her partner Keir Nuttall. It’s set to be brutally honest, deeply revealing and a whole lot of raucous fun. Get ready to sing along.

Em Rusciano is on tour now.


The best of The Arts in August

1.

1.

Natalia Osipova’s Pure Dance Russian ballerina Natalia Osipova, most recently principal artist at the Royal Ballet in London, will bring to life six works from classic and contemporary choreographers, like Alexei Ratmansky and Yuka Oishi, set to music from composers like Dvořák, Sibelius and music prodigy Nico Muhly. From 27 Aug at Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

2.

2.

Life Of Galileo Belvoir’s latest mainstage production is Tom Wright’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Life Of Galileo, in which Colin Friels plays the Italian astronomer whose observations corroborated Copernicus’ theory that Earth revolves around the sun. Pic by Daniel Boud.

3.

From 3 Aug at Belvoir Upstairs

3.

Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show National treasure Hugh Jackman brings his world tour to Australia this month. Backed by a live orchestra, Jackman will perform songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more. Accompanying Jackman on the tour is actress and singer Keala Settle. Pic by Karen Story.

4.

From 2 Aug at Qudos Bank Arena

4.

Bring It On: The Musical Bring It On: The Musical, featuring music and lyrics from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, high-kicks its way onto the Sydney stage this month, starring Kirby Burgess and Jasmine Smith as rival cheerleading captains, Campbell and Danielle. Pic by Nico Keenan. From 27 Aug at State Theatre

5. 5.

Avalanche: A Love Story Acclaimed British actress Maxine Peake stars in this Sydney Theatre Company/ Barbican Theatre co-production, directed by Anne-Louise Sarks, and based on writer Julia Leigh’s memoir about her experience trying for a child with IVF, Avalanche: A Love Story.

6.

From 29 Aug at Roslyn Packer Theatre

6.

Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi

In Concert

Cry out “It’s a trap!” in the fanciest possible setting this month when the Sydney Symphony Orchestra takes over the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall and performs John Williams’ score for Return Of The Jedi in time with the beloved 1983 film. From 15 Aug at Sydney Opera House Concert Hall

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ON IN AUGUST


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THE GUARDIAN

“Probably the best musician of the 21st Century”

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THE MUSIC

AUGUST


Film & TV Glow

HHHH Streams from 9 Aug on Netflix

Reviewed by Guy Davis

T

he Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling have taken it to the next level — kind of — in the new season of Netflix series GLOW, with a relocation to Las Vegas circa 1986 seeing their all-female wrestling revue setting up shop alongside the slot machines and showgirls of America’s playground. It should be the opportunity of a lifetime, and in many ways it is, but every chance for greatness is rife with challenges. Are the Ladies — led by Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin), aka allAmerican hero Liberty Belle, and Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), aka Russian ‘heel’ Zoya The Destroya — up to the task? Again, kind of, and that’s what makes GLOW such engaging viewing. As it enters its third season, the characters have well and truly been established, which means the women — and the actors playing them — can now be given storylines that intriguingly and unexpectedly expand and extend their personalities. While GLOW has always been an ensemble piece, the focus has tended to be upon Brie, Gil-

pin and Marc Maron as impresario Sam Sylvia (Maron continues to impress, subtly conveying Sam’s realisations that this wrestling caper may be his last, best shot at some kind of creative legacy). In season three, there’s a real generosity and inclusivity as many of the supporting players are given material with real emotional heft, including Sydelle Noel as the driven Cherry and UK singer Kate Nash as the supportive Rhonda. These ten new episodes put the women through the wringer in many ways — a Vegas residency may look like a party but it takes a physical toll (which manifests in different ways for different characters), not to mention a psychological and emotional one. But GLOW never overplays it — the struggles are real (Debbie in particular goes through a lot) and are more often than not depicted in a low-key but compelling fashion. And while there’s a lot of quick, barbed repartee, there’s also an underlying feeling of support, solidarity and love among the characters that gives the series a, well. warm glow. It’s perfect feast-watching for a lazy afternoon.

Blinded By The Light

HHH In cinemas 22 Aug

Reviewed by Anthony Carew

I

n the wake of the reprehensible Yesterday — and, for those with long memories, the awful 2007 musical Across The Universe — no one wants to see a cinematic excuse to play Beatles songs again. But what about Bruce Springsteen? Blinded By The Light arrives on screens at a time in which its premise — a ‘Springsteen musical’ in which the songs of The Boss are the centre, the spirit, and the narrative engine — will be viewed with due scepticism; audiences chastened by hollow shrines to classic rock hits. But, sometimes such proximity can also do a film a great favour. When compared to Yesterday, Blinded By The Light is better at every turn; effectively feeling like the Rocketman to Yesterday’s Bohemian Rhapsody. With shamelessly crowd-pleasing shades of her beloved 2002 hit Bend It Like Beckham, Gurinder Chadha — fictionalising the coming-of-age story in a Bruce-loving memoir by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor — tells the tale of a Desi immigrant in England who defies their conservative family and rises above

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REVIEWS

small-minded intolerance through a love of an adopted pastime. Only, this time, it’s not soccer, but Springsteen. In a 1987 of Thatcherism and National Front marches, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, stonewash and poodle perms, the teenage Javed (Viveik Kalra) discovers the music of The Boss, and finds his mind, and his world, blown right open. In the movie’s grandest gestures, Chadha splatters the words of Springsteen across the screen in stylised intertitles, or fashions songs into bona fide musical numbers (there’s shades of Chantal Akerman’s 1986 postmodernist musical Golden Eighties). Characters sing Springsteen songs to themselves or quote them in dialogue. But the film also interrogates their meaning, addressing the issues of class, alienation and being an outsider in the lyrics. This isn’t a mere jukebox musical, erecting a flimsy narrative to get us from one hit to the next; instead, it’s a warmhearted, sincere, genuinely sweet tribute to the power of music in helping young people find a sense of self-identity and belonging.


A

Blood and gore

n extremely gory revenge play popular in the 16th century, Titus Andronicus was widely maligned for the next 300-odd years, poet TS Eliot describing it as “one of the stupidest and most uninspired plays ever written”. By midway through the 20th century, though, the text was coming back into fashion, and was mounted on mainstages across the globe, the subject of endless interpretation and reinterpretation. A film starring Anthony Hopkins as Titus was made in 1999. Since Bell Shakespeare was formed in 1990, the company has never put on Titus Andronicus — until now. (In 2008, Bell did stage German playwright Heiner Mþller’s heavily political 1984 adaptation Anatomie Titus.) Director Adena Jacobs has a few theories on why that might be the case, citing the fact it’s one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, its extreme violence, and its beleaguered place in the critical discourse. “I think it needs the right group of artists at the right time to do it,” Jacobs concludes. “The interpretation is about, in some ways, approaching it through the myth of Titus Andronicus — so we’re trying to understand why it is that we tell this particular story, which is flooded with images of violence, and particularly images of violence towards women.” Then, the aim is to understand how its images of gendered and racialised violence, and the power structures therein, “kind of laid a template for how we’ve told stories about violence in years to come”. The group of artists to take on the task includes Jacobs, directing her first Shakespeare play, and Jane Montgomery Griffiths starring as Titus himself. Casting Griffiths was always Jacobs’ intention, not because she wanted to gender-flip the text so much as because she is “the perfect human to play Titus”: “She’s such a brilliant actor and brilliant collaborator.” Flipping Titus’ gender is part of what Jacobs describes as her “queered approach” to casting: “The way I’ve cast across the board unsettles the categories that you might expect different roles to play. “For me, that’s about trying to add dimension and more complexity to the roles and to particular moments in the piece.” Specifically, she mentions the moment at the end of the play, where Titus kills his daughter, Lavinia, as a kind of ‘honour killing’ because she was sexually assaulted. “I think in 2019 we can only read that in a particular way or it’s quite a hard thing to stomach — the idea of a mother performing that act on stage somehow opens up different questions about what that means.” The most famous and most alarming image in the play is of Lavinia after she has been raped, her hands cut off and her tongue cut out so she cannot name her assailants. Jacobs sees this as being the moment in time to try, as a female director, to address what that image says about our society. “What does it mean to have your tongue cut off in the face of this unfathomable act?” Jacobs muses. “And what does it mean to lose your capacity to speak or to choose not to speak or to be denied language in the face of horror? And what does that mean in terms of agency and language and power?” Titus Andronicus poses problems for contemporary theatre makers and audiences, Jacobs notes, because of both the intense misogyny that runs through the text and the graphicness of its violence. While Jacobs admits that maybe ten years ago, she would’ve depicted the violence in an intense, visceral way — “I would want it to be really affective and create a kind of shock in the audience” — now she sees us as “overwhelmed and oversaturated” with images of violence. But she’s not looking to stylise the violence, or move it off stage either. “I guess the challenge of this production is to find a way to usher in that violence, summon it into the theatre, but without doing any of those things. Because I think people wouldn’t wanna watch it and I don’t think I would wanna watch it either. “I think it’s about that violence being fractured and fragmented and more about the audience’s imagination and associations and relation to a moment.” As a feminist theatre director, Jacobs thought if she was going to take on Shakespeare “this would be one of the ones that I would love to do”. “In some ways, I am attracted to it because I am afraid of it — that always makes me curious as to why, and what I might be able to offer something like that. “I want to do the play, because it’s, for me, it’s about our basic humanness — so what it means to be a human, who is considered more or less human than somebody else, what is the value of human life and the human body and who gets to decide. And what happens to a society which has lost its sense of humanity? “How do we try to recover or reassemble ourselves from trauma or from a sort of society in which dehumanisation is the norm?” That question is a “bleak kind of analogy with our own world”. While Jacobs is not directly using Titus Andronicus to allude to issues in Australia in 2019, she notes that our society’s traumas — whether our history of violent dispossession from First Nations peoples, or the way we leave asylum seekers to languish in offshore prisons — are the “undercurrents” of the production. “They’re the things which drive me as an artist to try to understand why these things are the way they are,” says Jacobs. “It gets at two things that we’re talking about — one is about not being able to face and confront the history of dispossession, but the other is about not being able to name the kinds of inequalities and tortures that are happening right as we speak. And both of those things, I think, as a country certainly, we’re unable to swallow. “As an artist, I’m constantly asking the question of ‘why is that?’, ‘what is it that makes that so.’ I’m not necessarily sure that a Shakespeare play can answer those questions, but I think somehow there’s something about Titus that harnesses the energy of that kind of terror and anxiety, and the sort of crises that we face.”

Director Adena Jacobs speaks to Hannah Story about the myth of Titus Andronicus.

“In some ways, I am attracted to it because I am afraid of it — that always makes me curious as to why, and what I might be able to offer something like that.”

Titus Andronicus plays from 27 Aug at Playhouse, Sydney Opera House.

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Diesel Lloyd Spiegel Hat Fitz & CarA

TURNER BROWN BAND 19-twenty Hussy Hicks Mason Rack Blues Arcadia Andrew Swift Kris Morris & Josh Dufficy Afro Moses Blake O’Connor Fat Picnic Leanne Paris Montgomery Church Beating Hearts Club

Angus Gill Waang Djarri Dancers Mark Oats & Matt Zarb Sofiella Watt & the Handsome Husbands Josh Needs Colin Lillie James Bennett Miniq Vena KLYMO Then Jolene Hudson Rose Trapps The Southern Hold Ruby Blunt Wingsong

THE MUSIC

AUGUST


Pic: Brooke Harley

Yours Truly Following a UK tour supporting Sum 41 and State Champs respectively and an appearance at the original Download Festival in England, local pop punks Yours Truly are embarking on their debut Australian headline tour. It follows the release of their EP Afterglow in April and will see them do a hometown show on 9 Aug at the Oxford Art Factory.


T H E

STO RY

T H E

S O U ND

Maggie Collins. Pic: Mitch Festa

Storytelling forms the foundations of BIGSOUND 2019, as programmers Maggie Collins and Melody Forghani tell Daniel Cribb.

T

rying to navigate BIGSOUND’s pro-

that are still on their journey or are working

gram in recent years has become an

behind the scene, in Sahara [Herald’s] case.

increasingly daunting task, so you can

Melody Forghani. Pic: Sean Walker

only imagine the chaos behind the scenes.

TH E

“I think people are more interested in other people that they can relate to, so they’ll

That’s why, last year during the event,

go to events or they’ll be really drawn into

we received very exciting news that the

events where they can see someone that

team was expanding to include confer-

they can learn something off. And that’s why

ence programmer Tom Larkin of Shihad

the good storyteller is really, really important,

fame, and Melody Forghani and Tim Shiel

rather than just a big name.”

as festival programmers, aka the “lifesavers”,

As BIGSOUND rapidly expands, with a

according to Executive Programmer Mag-

bigger program, more attendees and a new

gie Collins.

home at Cloudland, Collins thinks back to

“It was too big a job for one person to

Archie Roach’s powerful keynote in 2017,

do for ages, and just having the asset of

something that’s helped guide the program-

extra brains and ears on the program was

ming since.

really good this year,” Collins begins. “They’ve

“Something that really stuck with me

brought a bunch of whole new perspectives.

was the idea of songlines, so the fact that

“When we started programming the

STAT E

everything is connected,” she tells.

[conference], we wanted to make sure that

“We were maybe putting things in silos

we were keeping our focus on storytellers

a bit too much, and there’s still a necessity

rather than just big names for the sake of

to do that to a certain degree, but ever since

big names. Anytime we can get someone as

then, we’ve been making sure the conversa-

amazing as [Best Coast’s] Bethany Cosenti-

tions we have are stretched across broader

no, that’s a win for us, it’s exciting, but some-

subjects so more people within different sec-

times the best stories come from people

tors can contribute.”

QUEENSLAND

OF

Whatever Jaguar Jonze is selling, we’re buying.

NATION

With influences including everyone from Nick Cave to Angel Olsen, Jonze will be one to watch at this year’s BIGSOUND and beyond.

BIGSOUND is fast approaching. Let Jessica Dale take you through some of the excellent talent repping each state and territory this year.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

NEW SOUTH WALES Much like their name, The Buoys and their fuzzy guitar sounds will keep you afloat. They’ve

Listening to Mambali’s Mambali. Pic: Duane Preston

I N

recently picked up a triple j Good Nights premiere and are about to tour with DZ Deathrays.

Yuwani (featuring guest

Catch their drift.

vocals from Emily Wurramara), it would be near impossible not to be excited about

VICTORIA

this group from Numbulwar in the Gulf Of Carpentaria.

Nancie Schipper might have only recently wrapped up her secondary studies (where she was

They’ll be one of the most important acts to emerge

picked as a finalist for triple j’s Unearthed High competition) but she’s already supported the

from this year’s festival.

THE MUSIC

likes of Ball Park Music, Jack River and more with her catchy, catchy tracks.

48

BIGSOUND


Working closely with Larkin, Collins has continued to build on her previous efforts of

excited and inspired. “I think also, there’s a lot of great websites and stations

answering the ‘why’ instead of the ‘how’, in an effort to progress the industry as a whole. “As soon as you look at the ‘why’ of things, the ‘how’ just follows naturally,” she says. “There isn’t one way to do things anyway,

and key people who are really pushing hip hop and encourjust be comfortable to talk about whatever they want to talk about in their own accents, and it’s become less of a stigma.” Collins adds: “That’s definitely one of the biggest things

‘how to get things’, it’s going to be different

breaking boundaries right now. And it’s also as a genre, or at

for everyone anyway, so it’s

least a culture of musicians,

way more important to focus

who are excelling in diver-

on the ‘why’ and, ‘What is

sity too.”

far have we come?’, ‘What are we in at the moment?’, ‘What needs to be improved as a community?’” One

element

of

the

music industry that doesn’t need improving is the quality of local acts, which is why Forghani and Shiel had their work cut out for them when programming

the

festi-

val aspect.

“That’s definitely one of the biggest things breaking boundaries right now.”

Part of the appeal of Forghani explains, is those genre boundaries fall away during the event. “It’s a really natural platform; it’s not like there’s a specific group or person

NEW OFFICIAL VENUE

who’s benefiting from it,”

BIGSOUND has put the call out on Facebook (“Anyone

Forghani tells.

have a ute?”), packed up the truck, and is moving its

“It’s just there for peo-

to Cloudland, the home of Brisbane’s “number one salsa

their music in front of lots

night”. Muy caliente.

opening,” Forghani admits.

huge promoter or anyone

One thing they were ada-

that is getting paid a stack

mant about was ensuring

of cash, so it’s just nice to be

regional acts and others who

able to play in front of your

really

central hub down the road from Judith Wright Centre

ple to be able to showcase of other people. There’s no

been

With so much going on at BIGSOUND every year, Lauren Baxter has pulled together a list of new things you can expect from the 2019 event.

BIGSOUND for artists, as

eye-

“It’s

NEWS

aging people to not Americanise themselves too much and

so if you talk about a ‘how’, in the context of

our environment like?’, ‘How

B I G

more and more people are being exposed to it and being

might otherwise fly under the radar were

peers and in front of the industry and have as many opportu-

represented. In doing extensive listening and

nities as the next person does.”

NEW ARTIST VILLAGE A lush Artist Village has been introduced thanks to a new partnership with YouTube Music to provide “a sanctuary and meeting place” so the 147 showcasing artists can relax, network and just get down with their bad selves.

With the festival line-up going from strength to strength

research, a few trends became apparent.

NEW LIVE VENUE

“There’s a couple of genres that seem

each year and frequently breaking artists, it’s not surprising

to just be really thriving at the moment,”

to hear that international labels, agents, managers, publish-

Brisbane, you lucky so-and-so. New venues pop up every

she tells, highlighting post-punk and folk,

ers and more are increasingly expressing interest in appear-

time we blink. And now The Fortitude Music Hall has offi-

while stressing that hip hop is unstoppable

ing on the conference line-up.

cially opened its doors, a 300-cap venue within the space

“We try to capture a good sample of each different sec-

has also risen from the construction site and will welcome

“Sometimes seeing an example of some-

tor of the industry and also different genres as well, based

BIGSOUND showcases for the first time. Inter-staters, meet

one from your world doing something that

on what we’re planning on programming at the event,” Col-

The Outpost.

you resonate with can open you up to be

lins explains.

right now.

more encouraged to do the same, so I think

“Any time there’s a match between a BIGSOUND show-

there have just been a lot of great [hip hop]

casing artist and an international delegate that was brought

artists who kind of started the process, and

out, then that’s BIGSOUND’s job done.”

NEW BIGSOUND BUS Fortitude Valley isn’t that big, alright. That’s why it’s the perfect place for a conference like BIGSOUND. But hey, we’re lazy, so news of a BIGSOUND-branded doubledecker bus that will do loops of the venues is A-ok by us. Especially when that ninth margarita is looking pretty

There’s just so much to be said about Electric Fields. This duo leave crowds awestruck everywhere they

perform (they even made Amy Shark shed a tear when they covered I Said Hi). Their BIGSOUND show-

damn good.

TA S M A N I A

NEW WTF SERIES

Kat Edwards’ hauntingly beautiful voice might just

stop you in your tracks on first listen. Her recent track

Yeah, there’s a lot of things in the music biz that make

Good Girl commands attention — just like we’re sure

us go “WTF?!” too. Well, BIGSOUND, as always, has our

her BIGSOUND appearance will.

back and are introducing a bunch of small, focussed mini

case will be packed and for a damn good reason.

panels on everything from social media ads and Tik Tok, to blockchain and neighbouring rights. They’ve dubbed it the WTF Series.

N E W S P O T I F Y I N T E G R AT I O N Impress all your industry pals before you make the pilgrimage north with a fire-emoji playlist thanks to BIGSOUND’s brand new Spotify integration feature. Basically, it will create a unique playlist of BIGSOUND acts based on your Spotify history to help with your search for Australia’s next big thing.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

NEW TECH SHOWCASE

Spacey Jane have been one of WA’s most

BIGTECH gets its official launch in 2019 as nine emerging

buzzed-about bands for a while. Smart

companies showcase their game-changing inventions.

money says their BIGSOUND appearance will

The tech showcases will now be exclusive to BIGSOUND

see that hype travel all the way across to the

Spacey Jane

Jaguar Jonze

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

east coast.

and will welcome a stack of new mentors and judges into the mix. It’s all about tech, baby.

N E W M A N A G E R S R E T R E AT A U S T R A L I A N C A P I TA L T E R R I T O R Y

Life as a manager is tough, no doubt. So this year the

In addition to their very excellent name, Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers also make very excellent music. They’ve

Association Of Artist Managers, will provide a space exclu-

BIGSOUND Managers Sanctuary, thanks to the Australian

picked up slots at Laneway and Groovin The Moo and they’ll surely be on festival bills all across the upcom-

sively for managers to rest, recharge and just hug it out

ing summer.

with likeminded souls.

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49

BIGSOUND


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

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50

REVIEWS


NEW MUSIC ALBUM

30

AUG THE MUSIC

•

AUGUST


This month’s highlights Schooled

B Wise

HTRK. Pic: Kate Meakin

Looking for hot tips on ‘the biz’? This 24 Aug MusicNSW presents Feedback, a music conference for 12- to 25-year-olds looking for music career advice like how to how to get gigs, release music, work with publicists or find a manager. Keynotes from Jack River and B Wise.

Boy & Bear

Star sings Five years on from Psychic 9-5 Club, Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang, aka HTRK, are launching their new album Venus In Leo with special guests Tralala Blip and Nat James this 16 Aug. Catch them at The Red Rattler.

Bear nerve

Oh buoy Margaret Leng Tan. Pic: Jim Standard

Boy & Bear are back with Hold Your Nerve, their first new music since their certified Gold third album Limit Of Love in 2015. The indie vets are touring the single with support from Tia Gostelow and Jess Day, catch them all at Enmore Theatre, 17 Aug.

With their second EP on the way, and a trip to BIGSOUND locked in, The Buoys are doing the rounds with their latest single, Gold. Cop a face full of the four-piece’s unrelenting fuzz down at Bank Hotel this 9 Aug.

Classic

Oxford Art Factory are hosting a triple header this 10 Aug to celebrate Sydney’s beaten but unbroken live music scene. Sloan Peterson is taking point, with support from Pearl The Girl and Lola Scott.

New Yorke After supporting Ruel on his recent national tour, Byron Bay-based singer-songwriter Yorke is paying us a visit with her own new single, Thought I Could. See her performing the polished pop banger at Oxford Art Factory this 8 Aug.

THE MUSIC

52

YOUR TOWN

The Buoys

Nightlife in the old dog yet

Yorke

Sloan Peterson

Extended Play returns for another dynamic exploration of classical music. City Recital Hall and Lyle Chan have created a program that spans 20 concerts, 12 hours, and four floors, with Margaret Leng Tan, Synergy, Decibel, Halcyon and more performing this 31 Aug.


Australia’s Newest Podcast Network

?

? more podcasts coming soon

Listen On

THE MUSIC

AUGUST


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

54

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?


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J U LY


THE MUSIC

•

J U LY


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