MATTHEW COLIN

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“Less is more” – Sometimes this is true for certain musicians, and this is certainly the case for Matthew Colin, a solo acoustic musician whom I had the pleasure of seeing at the Junk Bar, Ashgrove. These days, especially in the current artistic climate, I have become weary of the “one man band”, so to speak. Only one other solo act has really stirred anything within me and that is George Higgins (another talented Brisbane musician). Some of these lone musicians fall into one end of the spectrum: socio-political narratives against the backdrop of a harmonica and acoustic guitar, or, the other end of the spectrum: breathy, folkish, hippie, lovelorn, waif-like indie kids (male and female) spewing the kind of passive-aggressive diatribe about heartbreak that bores me to no end. I can’t take it. It does nothing for me. Then you have someone like Matthew Colin – a tall, long haired, bearded, spectacled man who likes to talk to you. Not AT you, but TO you. I dig his candour very much. He is a well travelled guy who writes songs predominantly about his journeys, the people he has met along the way, how he lives, and to me there is nothing better than the simplicity in which he doles out these stories – there are no complicated metaphors, vocal aerobics or intricate guitar techniques. I think this is how true storytelling is done.

He does not have an air of pretentiousness, rather, he projects confidence because he has lived the things he writes and sings about, as opposed to some songwriters who are very hard to believe or relate to. In between songs he speaks to us about the meaning behind each song, the way in which it all came about and offers up humour which I think comes naturally to him. He does not need to try. There are songs about living in a van, a friend who pisses himself before jumping into a river and maybe even falling in love in a foreign place. Listening to Matthew play, I almost felt transported to the places which he has been. That’s not an easy feat. Even the older couple watching him clasped at each other’s hands and swayed and watched. It was cool to see. My favourite song is called The Vulture, and if I remember correctly it is a song he wrote about having disagreements with a close friend, but what a beautiful and honest way to capture that than in a song which made me feel like I was given a birds eye view of the human condition. It is real, rustic, hearty stuff.  Check out his music here:  http://matthewcolinsworldwar.bandcamp.com/

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THE CON & THE LIAR – “DESERTERS” ALBUM

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There’s a Brisbane duo that goes by the name of The Con & the Liar. You might have heard of them. Quoted as being “a two man rock duo who take a minimalist approach to styles like Blues, Rock, Punk and Indie”, these two lads definitely succeed in stirring up a melting pot of genres to deliver a brand of Rock that they should be proud of, especially as it isn’t easy being a duo. Having listened to their new album “Deserters”, I can honestly say that I identify with their sound more than I thought I would. Being a fan of desert-inspired landscapes as well as Stoner, Blues, and anything raw and heavy, I’m smitten with the diversity of emotive tones on this album. So I’m going to thank them for creating this. Who are The Con & The Liar? Or who IS The Con and who is The Liar in this duo? They are Callum Halstead (Guitar/Vocals) – who is also a member of The Skinnie Finches – and Alex Marzullo (Drums). Now, I can’t remember having met Alex before, in fact I don’t think I have, but I’ve met Callum on a few occasions and it is always a joy to see this chaps happy and cool demeanour. Certainly not one for pretension. So you’ve gotta believe it’s all about the music. With influences that flicker between Jack White, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, British India and DZ Deathrays (to name a few), it would be amiss to say that they sound exactly like their influences. Everyone does, in one way or another, but as I’ve mentioned before, there is a very diverse synchronicity in their music. To be honest, I had no idea there would be an album. I’d heard bits and pieces of info here and there, and finally Callum approached me with the finished product. Mind-lovingly-blown. So I finally have been able to give the album a good and proper listen in its entirety over the last week (more so the last few days), and this is an album that I can listen to on repeat. In fact, I have done so at work and on the train. This is a feat for me! How can I describe the album as a whole? I don’t even know where to start. Sometimes I like to view albums as stories – if I really feel the album, that is. I view this album as sort of a journey in towards maturity. If you think of a young boy or girl growing up in the deep murky South in an age of blues crooners like Ledbelly, Howlin Wolf etc, in an age of traditional Rock n Roll, trying to find his or her path in all of it and experiencing the extreme highs and lows – that’s what I feel and think of when listening to Deserters. The album opens up with brilliant tenacity – good over-driven minimalist simplistic Rock – which is evident in track 1 “Like Velociraptors”, and track 2 “Magic Show at the Match Factory.” This second track is actually a lot darker and is one of my favourites on the album. Then the album flows nicely through to tracks like “Love You (like a dog)” and “Bringing Me Down”, songs that really showcase their Blues appreciation and prowess. When I spoke of maturity before, I think in terms of the narrative context it’s a bit like that character in the deep South has experienced the life of a wannabe Blues gypsy, trying to get their grasp on whatever it is they’re searching for, considering a deal with the devil perhaps. For the sake of comparison, think of Bob Dylan’s journey from youth onwards. The close of the album is fucking brilliant with songs like “Believer” in which the lyrics include “I’m against the grain” and “I’m not a believer anymore”. Sort of a coming of age, actualisation and realisation of who one is and what one accepts to be in life. You can really hear the shift in the thought processes – the instrumentation is darker and more assertive. Here are a few of my favourite tracks:

1. NEVER YOU: God, this song is so beautifully written and played. The intro instantly hits you with a haunting bittersweet punch. Guitar effects are subtle but kind of play my heart like a fiddle, and I dig that the drums aren’t too subdued. Although I’m not sure what the song is about, lyrics like “You walk around slowly like you own the room, and you need all eyes on you watching everything you do” and “but it’ll never be you, you’ve got no value of your own – no one will miss you when you’re not around”, brings about thoughts of resentment, existential loss, insecurity of the character, conforming and looking like a jerk when you know you’re not one. The bridge in this song has this gorgeous little build-up which reminds me of PJ Harvey. There’s just something about that sorrowful twang of the guitar coupled with low crooning vocals that drives an arrow through my chest. Someone slow dance to this song with me someday please. Thanks.

2. MAGIC SHOW AT THE MATCH FACTORY: I want to say sex. And boots. And disarray. Entanglement. If you could combine grunge with voodoo, I reckon it would sound like this. It’s a warning siren and a siren song all in one. There is a good amount of growl in the vocals – not overdone. I have actually listened to this beast of a song 6 times now.

3. BELIEVER: Straight up rock and or roll. Fuzzy over-drive, John Bonham-like drums which is probably why I’m reminded of Led Zeppelin. Transported to the end of an era i.e. 1969 and onto the 70’s and dealing with the aftermath of having too much of a good time. Riffage like you would not BELIEVE!! (see what I did there).

Basically, this album is one that I shall have in my car and in my house. It’s one of the best examples of following music wherever it takes you. Two words: Riffage and Raw. The Con & The Liar are officially launching their album this Friday 3rd October at The New Globe Theatre. Joining them for this auspicious occasion are The Bear Hunt (another fave Brisbane band), Lusique and Love Hate Rebellion.

ZOE BERGMANS

 

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Zoe Bergmans – Artist

 

I first met you when you were a make up artist at Napoleon Perdis. You had and still have a really unique sense of self-expression. It was almost like you were going against the grain, so to speak. Was that a conscious decision or is that how you’ve always been?

Zoe: I haven’t ever thought like ‘I’m going to try and be different’.. Actually if anything, I tried so hard for so long to fit in! Now I just try and be myself and not worry about what that means in terms of fitting in or standing out.

Are you self-taught or did you study art?

Zoe:  I’m mainly self taught but last year I finally bit the bullet and enrolled in a fine art course. I’m currently half way through my three year degree at the Queensland College of Art.

When did you first dabble in art and make up artistry?

Zoe:  Art is in my blood.. I think I’ve been creative my whole life. For a long time I tried to ignore my desire to focus on art which is how i ended up doing makeup. I wanted to do something creative while earning a living, makeup seemed an obvious choice. It’s worked out pretty well for me as it turns out I love doing makeup!

I’d say there is a definite relationship between the two professions. Have you incorporated what you’ve learned from doing make up to your life as an artist and vice versa?

Zoe: I have found that a lot of makeup artists I have worked with are also very artistic. I think it definitely makes sense that they work hand in hand.. Applying makeup is just another art form to me. I definitely have a much greater appreciation of the face shape from doing makeup!

What inspires your art? What inspires YOU?

Zoe: Oh jeez.. What doesn’t inspire me. I’m very politically conscious so I definitely think about those things in my art a lot. On the other hand I just really like making cool images. It depends what sort of mood I’m in as to what direction I take. I love the environment and looking at the details of insects and things up close. There is so much beauty in this world that we tend to glaze over!

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(Zoe Bergmans – fine line drawing)

Are there specific materials you prefer to work with? Which do you prefer?

Zoe: I’m majoring in print media so I’m learning heaps about all different mediums but  I tend to work mainly with fine liner pens on paper. I use a lot of tiny dots to create my images.. Some of my drawings take me up to 40 hours to do but it’s kind of therapeutic.

Street Art. Yes or No?

Zoe: So much yes! I’m actually doing a subject on it at the moment. Getting away from the pretentiousness of the gallery is so great and gives this amazing raw edge to the work. Art work on the street is always pretty current with political commentary which really interests me. I would love to see Brisbane begin to have the same sort of appreciation for street art that Melbourne has.

You do a lot of amazing fine line drawings of skulls, anatomy and animals. I’m reminded of the etchings from a botany almanac or something fantastical. How would you describe your style/genre? What is your favourite subject to draw?

Zoe:  I have a serious obsessions with bones, bugs, flowers and animals. I love to draw things that look pretty at first and then you realise that there’s a bit of a creepy undertones. I’m pretty inspired by henna designs also. They have been coming through in a lot of my work this year.

10411391_533315826772398_8412559436903445424_n (Zoe Bergmans – bone engraving)

Are there any local artists you are fond of?

Zoe: I go to an art school that is full of amazing local talent!  Support your local artists!

There are a few art related events in Brisbane, such as Scribble Slam. Have you thought about participating? Do you attend many events at all?

Zoe: Oh I haven’t heard of that one! I go to a lot of exhibitions but not as many as I would like to! Trying to find the time to fit everything in is difficult while at uni.

What is your opinion about the Brisbane Arts and Culture climate at the moment? What would you like to see more of?

Zoe: Brisbane is getting better but we have a LONG way to go. The more we embrace the creative industries the better.

Where do you wish to go with your work?

Zoe: I honestly have no idea. At this stage I just want to keep growing and developing as an artist. It’s a tough industry to survive in. At the least I’ll be happy if I have enough money to buy my art supplies and keep on creating.

ANTI-THESIS: Chaotic catharsis

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What’s the story behind the formation of Anti-Thesis and why did you choose that name?

David: This will probably be a little novel, but the information is required to understand the destiny feels we have.  At the end of 2008 I became completely burnt out with music.  I straight up quit, 10 years of playing shows, touring and never really getting anything for it took its toll and I bailed for a career.  In early 2010, I moved to Melbourne to start a computer store for a silent partner.  After working 6 months of 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week and not getting paid the commissions I was entitled to, I had a nervous break down.

I had to retreat back to Bundaberg and live with my parents for 6 months recovering my brain.  Andrew was renting a room from one of my best mates.  I went round for hangs and that’s where I met Andrew.  He was smashing out songs on Guitar Hero on expert+ on the drum kit (including all the crazy double-kick and weird timed stuff).  Since I had a tonne of experience selling simulators to people (and knowing how well they work for real-life applications), I hit Andrew up if he’d ever played a real kit.  He said “yeah for a while a few years ago, but I haven’t since then”.  So I said “I have a kit at my parents place, feel like having a jam?”.  That’s how it all started.  A few months later we moved to Brisbane and started rocking out.

The name was harder to come upon.  Eventually we picked with Anti-Thesis as it works on multiple levels.  Firstly, I think this country is very anti-intillectual, they don’t turst people smarter than them.  Just listen to what people say about doctors, scientists, psychologists and other health/science experts as an example.  The dictionary meaning of the word Antithesis, also fits us quite well as we have totally different influences and styles, yet they somehow squish together into the sound we have well.  Ok… That is that novel haha.

Lachlan: David & Andrew were jamming in Bundy & decided to come to Brisbane to a better music scene. They already settled on the name Anti-Thesis long before I came in the band but I dig it.

Why did you decide to add a bass player? How would you describe Lachlan as a bass player and is the band complete now?

David: We wanted to have a bassist from the very start but were lazy about finding one.  Suddenly we had a show come up at the ZZZ carpark, so we’re like “fuck it, we’ll play it as a 2 piece and find a bassist afterwards”.  Then shows just kept coming and kept coming.  We played at a show Lachlan organised as part of a tour in May 2013.  He asked us if we were looking for a bassist, we said “yeah – but when we have time to teach him the songs”.He kept pestering us constantly over the next month so we were like “fuck it, let’s make time and get a bassist happening” and BAM, Lachlan was in.  I don’t think we could have anymore members.  I’d like another guitarist, but I don’t think it’d work.  Our sound is full enough as it is.

Lachlan: One day David messaged me on Facebook chasing a gig, I watched some live videos of them on Youtube & said to myself “This is the kind of band I want to be in!”. I noticed they didn’t have a bass player & started harassing David to fill that role. I think my harassing skills are responsible for adding a bass player. it was either that or a restraining order. I’d describe Lachlan as a below average bass player but he seems to get the job done.

Andrew is amazing on the drums. I’m just sayin…..

David: Andrew is pretty fucking amazing on the drums.  His chaotic form of technical precision works strangely well with my loose, noisy, dischordant style.  We don’t know how it managed to work, but it does.  It’s fucking awesome.

Lachlan: Andrew is amazing on drums! the song Breaking Evolution, every time we to the 2nd verse I look back & say to myself “OH SH*T! look at him go”…. I’m very jealous.

Tell me a little about your creative process in the band.

David: Normally songs are written in one of two ways.  I’ll either write an entire song and bring it to rehearsal and say “here’s a new song” and we jam on it for a while so the guys can figure out what they want to do in the various parts. Other times someone will start playing a riff and we’ll just start improvising around it.  We film all our rehearsals, so when there is an amazing improvisation/jam,  I’ll normally take it home and sculpt it into something (if it needs it, they don’t always.  Fuck Abbott is a good example of this style… It’s still mostly improvised when we play it live).

What sort of issues/subjects do you address in your songs?

David: Pretty much whatever is bugging me at the time the song is written.  They mostly cover politics, idiots and mental illness/insanity.  There are other songs, like Distance, which is about a very close friend & fan who killed herself the night after one of our shows.  It did my head in… She was an amazing friend who did so much for me… I hadn’t seen her in a couple of months before that show, but then she came out and seemed a million times happier than I’d ever seen her. It took me the longest time to figure out how to deal with the fact she chose our event as her last night on the planet.  I still think about her alot.  She was an amazing person who I wished I could have saved/helped but was never able to accomplish it.

You guys are known for chaotic, improvised and occasionally bloody sets. Where does all that energy come from? Is that intentional or does it just happen naturally?

David: It’s a weird combination of things.  Anti-Thesis are like therapy for me.  I’ll spend the hour before the show channelling all the negative emotions I have building up and do whatever I can to bring them to the surface.  Once they start pouring out though, I’m merely a passanger.  I dissassociate at gigs quite regularly (which is something my psychiatrist was particularly worried about).  The guy you see on stage is not me, he is the culmination of all my negative emotions coming out and exploding.  Half the time, I’m literally a passenger just watching the show unfold from my eyes.  I have zero control at this point.

 This is why the shows are so unpredictable and so fucking angry.  I pretty much put myself through a breakdown each time on stage.  I feel amazing after a show once all the emotions are gone.  But it takes a while to come down from.  Most people avoid me for the first 20 minutes after I walk off stage… It takes a bit for regular Dave to reappear and all my rage to subside.

Lachlan: It is a lot of fun & a tad scary when Super Dave comes out.

Are you all technical players or do you prefer to just play what you feel?

David: I’m 100% self taught, I know some theory, but mostly none (pretty much just chord names and stuff).  I generally use my guitar as a frequency tool to express my emotions.  I like making people feel uncomfortable with frequencies, it’s a physical reaction unlike anything you get with a lot of music.  It alows them to physically feel how I do most of the time.  Hence why there is a lot of white noise, feedback and dischordance at our shows.  It’s the sound track to an angry, broken mind.

Lachlan: I prefer to just play what I feel, it’s a lot fun to just go with it & see what comes naturally. I think Andrew would be a bit of a technical player or maybe it’s just because it looks technical.

What is the band dynamic like?

David: I’m a pretentious wank and the others put up with my bullshit because they like the music and enjoy performing it on stage.  I think that sums it up well.

What equipment do you use?

David: Mostly stuff I find in 2nd hand stores.  I find that 2nd hand guitars create unique sounds and frequencies.  They’ve all lived a life before you get them, so they’ve got their own personalities, likes and dislikes. This is a big part of our sound I feel (particularly in the noisier sections).  I’ll always use Marshall Cabs, at the moment I’m using a Laney head, but I’m squirreling away money to get one of the higher-end Peavey heads.

Lachlan: My BAT-BASS!

You’ve played all the major venues in Brisbane so far. Where else have you played and where would you like to play?

David: Surfers Paradise Beer Garden was always a favourite of mine.  Sure they’d always end up not paying the bands, but there was always a huge, receptive audience there.  The Surfers Paradise shows are some of my favourite Anti-Thesis shows, which is strange because I actually detest Surfers Paradise with every bone in my being.

Lachlan: We’ve played all around South East Queensland & parts of North East New South Wales. We’d love to play anywhere and everywhere! I can’t wait til we take it overseas!

What is your honest opinion of the Brisbane “Scene”? What do we need more/less of?

David: The scene is pretty damn healthy at the moment, although, people aren’t going out to bars in the numbers they once were.  It’s not as big as Melbourne, but the qaulity of bands is heads and shoulders above.  The bands are mostly all trying to do their own thing here whereas most Melbourne bands seem to be conforming to particular scene sounds or doing whatever they can in an attempt to get signed.  The mindset is different here.  People want to create art.

 Personally, I think high speed internet access has changed things forever.  I started playing in the scene 11 years ago and back then everybody would go out during the week and on weekends (regardless who was playing).  Mainly because they had nothing better to do.  It was how you discovered new bands. If you were into “underground” music, you literally had to get off your ass, go out to venues and find it.  It’s not the case today.  Which is both awesome and terrible.  The internet has been simultaneously the best and worst thing for local music.

The only thing I’d change in the scene is related to that; people need to go out more and get adventurous again.  Go see bands who you’ve never heard of, attend every gig you can afford!!!  You meet amazing people and will always discover something awesome you’ve never heard before

Anti-Thesis are playing EarCandy #5. What can people expect? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

David: Pretty much all of them haha.  Although that’s impossible because of the schedule.  I can’t specifically name any of the bands because they’re all fucking awesome.   My personal favs on the lineup are Baron Samedi, Ghost Audio, Forward Beast and DPOOA, but like I said, I love every band on this line up.  It’s going to be hectic trying to catch parts of all their sets!

Lachlan: We always go hard for EarCandy. so it’s sometimes hard to put on a great show with a throbbing erection but we always pull it off in the end. I’m most keen to see The Molotov, Flannelette & DPOOA. These guys will no doubt tear the roof off!!

What is “earcandy” to you?

David: Since I’m also the promoter, I can’t really answer this.  It’s my baby.  It’s an event which always ALWAYS a HUGE party.  Everyone seems to go that extra level of insanity at them.  The bands are all headliners in their own right, so I can’t imagine why anyone would miss the show.  Even if I were just a punter, these nights are fucking perfect.

Lachlan: EarCandy is sweet, sweet music for your ears. I love EarCandy. It’s always tons fun & #5 will be no different.

What are your favourite Brisbane bands? Who would you like to play with?

David: The Johnny Mustards (rip), Whiskey & Speed, Forward Beast, DPOOA, Ghost Audio, Baron Samedi, Junkyard Diamonds, Dead Wolves, Mjootmn/Buttermilk, Midwest, Deadweight Express, The Royal Artillery, Trigger Warning.

I could keep going with this list, Brisbane music is fucking unbelievably good at the moment.  We’ve played with all the local bands that we like (that we’ve heard of), so I can’t actually think of one who I’d like to play with (but we haven’t).  I’ll cheat and say Regurgitator and The Red Paintings.  They’re still local Brisbane bands despite their success right? 😀

Lachlan: My favourite Brisbane bands are The Molotov, Flannelette, DPOOA, Columbus, Love Hate Rebellion, Whiskey & Speed,  Baron Samedi, Quorum Consensus, Baltimore Gun Club, Trigger Warning, Flowers For Lilly, The Real Eyes (sadly no longer together), Junkyard Diamonds, I could go on & on here…

What is on the horizon for Anti-Thesis?

David: The long awaited recording will be happening at some point over the next couple of months.  There is always something coming up which prevents it from happening.  I’m dying to get it recorded and out there.  It’ll happen sometime this year.

 

THE MOLOTOV – On Revolution

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(Photo by Reuben Beck)

Tell me a little about the birth of your band and what your band name means.

SCART: The Molotov started as a solo project with me rapping, singing & playing at gigs, rallies & parties. I then had various musos collaborate with me till settling on the first permanent line-up w/ KT, Stu, Matt & myself. We had a blast doing that for 2/3 years & produced the “Last Rites for Capitalism” & “Manifesto” CD. During that time Dan joined & after Manifesto we wanted to continue the heavier, more progressive direction. Some members had personal stuff, work, study etc that they needed to focus on so in a very short time we changed members till we now have our “band family” of Jayde (main vocals, keys/flute/guitar), Dan (keys/guitar), Claire (vocals/bass) & Paul (drums) and myself, Scart (vocals/guitar). The sound now has a heavier, more complex & melodic feel, the vocals are more varied & the lyrical & writing direction would probably be classed as more aggressive.

The name came from the idea of a Molotov being a working class weapon, a way to strike back even when it seems people have nothing left. The idea that each person is capable of being a point of resistance, regardless of nations, borders, religion or colour, regardless what corrupt governments or corporations try to do. Everyone’s a potential molotov & has the ability to fight back.

Your band bio states that your music has a “hard left twist”. Can you elaborate?

SCART: While we write about personal, social & imaginative ideas, we’re also well aware of how much politics controls society & media, sets agendas, seeps into culture & basically controls peoples lives, whether they acknowledge it or not. Punk is my core background & has always, to me, has spoken out against the right-wing, big-brother corporate/government mentality.  Right-wing is fascist, racist & fear-mongering (i.e. Nazis) while we sing about the opposite, a free society, equal rights & a better world & society, not just for one colour, gender, nationality or orientation etc but for everyone, which is seen as “left-wing”, hence the “hard-left twist”.
Some artists seem scared to state their values & where they stand in case it’s not popular or commercial enough but for us, it’s one of the reasons we do it, to make a difference.

You “create songs to inspire, challenge and provoke.” This is evident in your lyrics. Can you go into a little detail about what inspires, challenges and provokes you as a band and as human beings?

SCART: Bands like the Dead Kennedy’s & Rage Against The Machine, authors like Chuck Pahlniuk &  Arundhati Roy, comedians such as as Bill Hicks & Steve Hughes as well as artists & poets like Sara Moss, whose eloquent words have always inspired me & who I’ve frequently “borrowed” from, with her consent.  Just talking with people, reading & looking at things from different points of views is a good way to challenge yourself. There’s a lot of shit in the world but when you open your eyes you find a lot of people doing great things with no chance of personal gain. I find those people more inspiring than a thousand self-interested “rags-to-riches millionare” stories”. I also find it inspiring to get feedback, whether it’s someone in another country writing to us about In The Red, people singing along with “Go Back To Sleep” or a young women cheering along with Jayde’s words in DOLL, it gives you energy to keep moving forward.

Four of the band members are credited as Writers. What is the writing/creative process like for you, especially since there are 5 personalities and a lot of messages involved in the songs?

JAYDE: Writing with these guys is the best. Never gelled so well with anyone else (in any musical sense, actually, but especially writing. Often-times someone will come in with a riff and I’ll be like “yes. YES. I need to go home and put some fragments together for vocals” and then, sometimes even that night or the next day I have the vocals together, because the music is so inspiring, and we jam on it next session. 3 or 4 of our songs have gone from a rough idea to stage ready in one or two weeks because of this. So exciting.
Also, what never fails to make me smile is the shorthand that has evolved within the band. None of us relies on much solid theory to communicate ideas, so to have us all in a room violently gesturing and singing to explain guitar ideas, or making weird noises (and more violent gestures, of course) to communicate drum flow is super fun

SCART: Yeah, each song is different these days. Sometimes it starts with a tune jammed in the band rooms at Rock City, other times I’ll send something on to Jayde or Dan & if it sparks an idea we’ll go from there. Even when something is almost fully written before being brought in it rarely stays exactly the same. People change, add & rework their parts, from both an instrument & voice perspective. We essentially start with the bones & then each person helps create the layers till everyone’s happy with it & a new little animal is born.

What equipment do you use?

SCART: My Amp is a Mark 4 Mesa Boogie, my main guitar is a Schecter Omen & my back-up is an old Ibanez (that I think is only being held together by stickers, stale beer & attitude).

Jayde: Mic, megaphone & flute, so far.

You cite Che Guevara, Richard Dawkins and Noam Chomsky as just some of your influences. What have you learned from them and how does this translate into music?

SCART: From Che, I’d say probably to stay true to your cause & your bottomline when it’s something you believe in. I’ve sometimes thought “Ah, that lyric is too political or provocative” & then thought “FUCK that, say what needs to be said”.  Richard would be that evolution is life, all things change & evolve & what could feel like a train wreck now may simply be everything falling chaotically into place. Noam would be to not be scared to think shit through, examine things, work out other peoples motivations & don’t look at the world from one angle.

JAYDE: Yeah, what he said. I’ll just add that Dawkins, in particular his older works, makes poetry out of reality, and reading his descriptions of nature (even seemingly “cold” stuff like how ribonucleic acid works) inspires me to write about stuff I am passionate about, because it’s the passion that makes it enthralling, and poetry comes from any subject matter, really.

EarCandy #5 is coming up and The Molotov are on the bill. Have you been to an EarCandy event before? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

JAYDE: I haven’t, and I’m super excited. Some of my favourite bands lately are locals that we either play with or support. There is so much talent around, it’s fantastic.

SCART: Haven’t been to one yet as the last one conflicted with a gig but two of our favourite Brissie bands are on the bill, Flannelette, one of the best brisbane bands I’ve ever seen live as well as Ghost Audio, who have a great alternate vibe & range of sound.

What is “earcandy” to you?

SCART: It’s above & beyond what you’d normally hear, a chance to see some of Brisbane & the Gold Coast’s best band in one place & party with em.

JAYDE: Lollies for your ears: they get stuck in your head and f* with your brain, but you don’t want to dig them out because they’re so so sweeet.

What can people expect from The Molotov at EarCandy #5?

SCART: We’re using a projector to run freaky vid projections as well as bringing our usual high energy aggression, melodic tunes, mildly psychotic exuberance and doing some of our new tunes as well as the more well known ones. Jayde will probably get scary with the megaphone, Dan will probably get naked & there could well be an explosion or 2.

JAYDE: plus I get really sweaty when I perform. Expect sweat.

What are your favourite Brisbane bands, who have you played with and who would you like to play with?

SCART: As I mentioned, Flannelette are one that have been going for years, Matt’s voice & their overall groove is just a joy to bounce to. Their lyrics are meaningfull & they just have an uplifting vibe to their music. LoveHate Rebellion are another we love playing with. Their dynamics & Jimmy’s range suit each other perfectly & there’s a real hypnotising feel to their shows. Feed were also great to play live with, really enjoyed their set & Gold Coast band The Black Swamp are probably our favourite heavy local band, massive grooves, powerfull voice & great riffs & beats as well as having a very positive live feel.

JAYDE: Pretty much what he said! I also feel bad listing names because there are so many good acts that I feel as though failing to mention one is inevitable.

What are your thoughts about the Brisbane “scene”? Do you think it needs improvement?

SCART: There’s some great bands out there and what I think the music scene in Brisbane & the Gold Coast needs more than anything is advertising and promo to get peoples arses off couches & out to gigs. Bands put a lot of energy & money into rehearsing, writing & gear and then think that just posting on facebook to your mates counts as promotion. People aren’t going to magically turn up, you have to create the sort of event that would get you out the door on a Fri or Sat night & then put money & energy into making sure as many people as possible know about it. Radio/Street Press ads, flyers & postering, promotional stunts, whatever it takes to punch through the apathy & let people know you’re about to go on a stage with the intention to blow them away.And if that’s NOT your intention then get out the way so someone else can.

What is on the horizon for The Molotov?

SCART: We’ve started recording the new album, loosely titled “Soundtrack To A Revolution”. We’re excited about it & looking forward to showing people what our new heavier & more progressive/alternative sound is like.  It’ll feature new songs as well as getting a few of our older ones down with the new style & arrangements in mind since people have asked for it. We’ll be making several videos from the album & touring it from Brissy/Gold Coast to Melbourne, Sydney, etc. We’ll also continue writing & evolving the bands sound, pushing what we’re all capable of & expanding on some ideas we’ve got in the works. Everyone in the band plays multiple instruments & are artists so it’s sort of a musical anarchist collective in that anything that works is fair game & I’m looking forward to seeing what’s possible.

JAYDE: Also, probably more smashable Abbott heads on stage. Those are always fun.

GALAPOGOS – On Mixed Netball

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(Galapogos in training)

Tell me about the formation of your band and the meaning behind the band name?

 

Dan Newton: We all met at Mixed Netball, we were all playing on the same team and were introduced by mutual friends. We had no real intention of playing music together really but one of the personal trainers on our team mentioned that playing music increases your upper body strength. So we just started playing ambient rock music to help our Netball skills and in the process we started to get caught up in the thrill of playing music. I mean we are better Netball players than we are musicians / artists and playing as a team in Galapogos has helped us greatly on the Netball court and given us all better upper body discipline. We recently got chosen to represent QLD in the first ever Mixed Netball Australian Friendly games so my advice to any young Mixed Netball player is to play in a band because it will improve your game and upper body strength. I’d also say to any young musician / artist starting out that if you want a back-up plan in case the music doesn’t work out then to play Mixed Netball because if you’ve been playing music long enough you’ll already have the upper body strength and you’ll be the world champions in no time. There is no money in it but our team is currently seeking sponsors so we can get proper uniforms and the funds to go to the Pan Pacific World Masters that are happening in Europe next year. It is like the BigSound of Mixed Netball and our application has been successful, we just need money to get over there. We’re traditionalists and believe in a good sausage sizzle and meat tray raffle to raise the funds for that but after playing in a band and being in the Brisbane music scene we’ve been introduced to crowdfunding so we might just use that so we can get the team over there in time for competition. In terms of the meaning of our band name, it is the ancient Egyptian word for “mixed sports” which really mirrors our motivations for kicking out the jams. In case you’re wondering our Mixed Netball team is called the “Camp Hill Panthers” and we play Tuesdays and Thursdays. We plan our whole music career around our busy Mixed Netball season, it’s a wonder we have time to do it at all.

 

                                                                                       

Your Genre is Ambient Punk/Death Pop/Doomgaze. For those who don’t know, what is Doomgaze and what is it about your sound that places you in these genres?

 

Dan Newton: We went to BigSound and were told how to run a successful business by some of Australia’s leading musical minds. They told us that the best way to make money in the music industry was to use sleight of hand and make up new genre titles to essentially describe rock n roll. This really put us out of our comfort zone and challenged our understanding of what art could and should be. We never really thought it was possible to blend our love of Doom Metal and Shoegaze into one word to describe what we do. It took a lot of time for us to really feel comfortable with it because to us it really pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible, I mean we were just mixed netball players so to have someone in the industry challenge us with the idea that we could not only be creative with our music but the business and brand side of things as well was a real game changer for us. I mean it was a risky business move just having one made up genre and we were way outside our comfort zone just calling ourselves “Ambient Punk” but when we were challenged to include three made up genre titles we almost walked away from music because we just didn’t know if it was going to work. I mean we just wanted to sell something to people that was tried and tested and met all of the KPI’s that go along with alternative / indie guitar rock n roll. It caused a great deal of tension within our band for a really long time and there was a period around 2012 where we just all sat down and discussed if we even wanted to be a band anymore. It put that much tension on all our relationships. Luckily we all went to BigSound that year and saw everyone comment on how brave it was to have three made up genre titles to describe our music. I mean we had doors kicked open for us in the industry as a result, so all of that pain and tension and the band almost ending was worth it. It was us being a big avant-garde with our brand awareness and thank fuck it paid off because it has really made people more willing to turn up and buy all of our music and it has brought has closer as a band as well. We encourage younger bands to be brave and adventurous when you have to make up genre titles for your music because as we learnt, people in the industry will want to make you famous if you are avant-garde and experimental with your marketing and brand awareness.

 

You’re signed to MGM Distribution/Noise Records, am I right? Can you tell me a little about how this occurred and what it has been like?

 

Dan Newton: We were awarded distribution after months and months of fundraising at our local netball club. In fact, it’s actually all a moment of synchronicity really – we were fundraising to get new uniforms for the “Camp Hill Panthers” at our local Mixed Netball club house and one of the players Husband ran a local DIY rock n roll label who only exclusively put out DIY rock n roll music and he brought one of our compact discs at the Sausage Sizzle and contacted us. He said that he only worked with strictly DIY bands and wanted to put out all our DIY EPs and Albums and that he had a special DIY only distribution deal with MGM who would put out all our DIY albums and EPs in DIY and non-DIY record stores. We only had to pay him a start-up fee of $200.00 and then tell ten of our friends in DIY rock n roll bands and get them to come along to the free seminars. That was a life changing moment for us, we never thought that you could survive financially by being just DIY but we have and all we have to do is tell other DIY bands about all the amazing opportunities they can also indulge in if they attend one of the free Noise Records seminars. We’re not really too across what Punk Rock is but the guy that runs Noise Records told has that his method is based on Punk Rock and so we were sold. Every now and then we have to hold seminars on his behalf but he told us that it is merely about spreading the Punk Rock message and making sure we exist outside of the mainstream. A lot of the things we talk to young DIY bands about you can’t buy in normal department stores or find in normal business textbooks which is why it is so Punk Rock and the traditional music industry do their best to cover up the truth about getting paid and being a DIY punk rock or guitar band. We’ve managed to make moderate returns as a result of being DIY and Punk Rock all at the same time.

 

 

You’ve cited Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The Drones as some of your influences. A lot of cool ambience in their music. Can you specify what it is about these musicians that has influenced you?

 

Dan Newton: Well, we don’t really like those bands at all. We were given some very sound business advice by the owner of Noise Records that in order to get fans, especially punk rock fans, we need to list bands as influential as the above mentioned artists. We’ve all casually listened to these bands and they are pretty crazy and intense. A little bit too much for us but I think it was a genius move really because we have got a lot of facebook likes and compliments from reviewers and music scene blogs / magazines as a result. We really approach our music like a professional chef, we need to put in the right mix of ingredients in order to serve the right kind of flavours and the bands we list as influences are the special ingredients that will help design us the perfect mix of punk rock and intelligent art rock. We’re not afraid to design parts of our sound to please people and to get kudos for being a fearless punk rock band. These bands in no way mirror our tastes but they do explain what kind of image we’re trying to design for our band.

 

What equipment do you use in recording/on stage?

Dan Newton: We don’t actually own any gear, we just hire everything. We just use what the man says.

 

 When I listen to your music I definitely get a sense of ambience, especially in the gorgeous instrumentals. How important is “technical” playing to you? Or do you just play what you feel?

 Dan Newton: For us it is more about getting an adequate cardio workout and making sure we reach the appropriate heart rate levels. We’re all athletes before we’re musicians / artists so for us it is important to reach our own personal bests when we play. Like all good exercise regimes it requires a lot of stretching which is the most important thing to learn. The technique side of thing is important but it is also about pushing yourself beyond the pain threshold, we’re all really addicted to the endorphin rush that exercise can provide so that is what we chase when we perform. It is also important to have a good warming down program as well, it is just as important as your warm up stretches so we usually spend the last ten minutes of any musical workout on the treadmill or exercise bike doing a casual ten minute ride to the finish line. By the end you would have worked through all the relevant pain barriers and once those endorphins kick in, you’ll be relaxed and pain free. It’s important to make sure you drink plenty of water as well.

 

 

You’ve released quite a few EP’s/Singles. Which ones are your favourites/which ones are you most proud of? Why?

 

Dan Newton: All of them, any of them.

 

 You’re playing EarCandy #5 soon. Have you been to an EarCandy event before? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

 

Dan Newton: We played the first EarCandy back in 2013 and it is the only one we’ve been to so far.

 

 What is “earcandy” to you?

 Dan Newton: Um, Arrested Development

 

 

What are some of your favourite Brisbane bands? What bands would you like to play with?

 Dan Newton: ADHD and Emma Louise

 

 What is your take on the Brisbane “scene”? What do you think Brisbane needs more/less of?

 

Dan Newton: A sustainable business model where participants are allowed to make money solely by recruiting new participants into the scene. More sky-high returns in a short period of time for doing nothing other than handing over your money and getting others to do the same.

 

What is on the horizon for Galapogos?


Dan Newton
: More of these

 

FLANNELETTE

 

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How did Flannelette form and what is the story behind the band name?

Scrambles: Myself and my original guitarist back in high school formed Flannelette but we didn’t really form a band until 2010. As for the name, we really just wanted one word that was something that represented Aussie pub rock. It was just temporary and we didn’t think it would stick but we, along with our listeners grew to love it.

Having listened to your songs and seeing you at the Indie Rock Party this year, I’ve noticed that there is a lot of positivity in your music? Are you just naturally positive or is there a message you’re trying to convey?

Krispy: I don’t think we go out of our way to be positive. It just happens. Alot of the credit goes to scramble in that respect. He is generally happy and outgoing so it comes across in the lyrics.

Scrambles: It’s funny that we come across that way as most of the lyrics I write are mostly on negative topics, so to then project it in a positive sound I guess it just reflects back to our nature as individuals. I don’t think we’d feel like Flannelette if we were to come across as constantly whingey or angst. We try to uplift people with our music, not upset them, no matter what the message.

You’ve been through some adverse times. How did you move forward and did your approach to music and playing change?

Scrambles: Moving forward wasn’t immediate by any means, there was nearly a year between Flannelette being reborn and in the beginning it was extremely hard behind closed doors to try and reincarnate something so personal. From the very start though, everyone in and around the band has been so understanding and patient that it gave us the right amount of room to grow. As far as our musical approach the only thing that changed is the hunger I suppose, now with old members passed we have more to play for than just ourselves.

What equipment do you use?

Scrambles plays with a Marshall amp and Schecter guitar. Krispy plays with a Vox Ac30 and a telecaster. Jaymes plays with a Warwick bass, eden cab and Labsystems Amp and Gordo plays with a PDP kit and Ziljdian cymbals.

 You’ve toured quite a bit and all over the place. How do you maintain such a hard work ethic?

Krispy: When you enjoy it. It makes it easy! Best job in the world. Just annoys our employers a lot taking time off regularly!

Can you tell me a little about your Valley Nights EP? What does this EP mean to you? What is it about?

Scrambles: The EP name comes the opening track “Hit The Valley”, a song about (believe it or not) my old rusty back number plate. I got pulled up once for random check and they found my back number plate was beginning to get a bit rusty. $350 fine on the spot! So the song’s about how that cop should been stopping some actual dickheads out in the valley instead of little rusty old me. There’s no theme for the EP as whole though, with other tracks being a love song in reverse, a song about dickheads in general, a song about the pursuit of happiness and the other about working for the man. In. That. Order.

Krispy: We recorded it up at mt nebo in the white room studios. Producer/ engineer by the name of neil comb recorded it. It had 3 brand new tracks and 3 old ones being way down and hold my hand. The 3 new ones hit the valley, serotonin and violator. The ep doesnt have an overall theme as such i think the group of tracks shows people what we are about and being a high quality production it puts our best foot forward. The first single way down is about quitting work and joining a band. Hit the valley is about the way police are in queensland. Revenue raising that sort of thing. Violator is about arseholes in general. And i think hold my hand is a love song. Serotonin is about happiness!

 The video for Way Down – what was the process like in creating it?

Scrambles: It was all done over the one weekend and it was a lot of fun with heaps of adlib randomness. We actually did the second half of the clip first because of the locations and the whole process wasn’t too meditated. Apart from our director having to edit it, the whole process was just a blast.

Krispy: Lol pretty funny actually. We left it to the last minute and constructed the idea about 3 days before the weekend we had to film it. The director was moving to Canada and we had tours either side of it. I think the 4 of us figured out what the the song was about and created a dream sequence/ reality. At work dreaming about playing a show!

 Not long until you play EarCandy #5. Have you been to an EarCandy event before? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

Scrambles: We’ve actually played in two Ear Candy’s before and they’ve been a great success. Familiar faces with a whole night of great music always add up to epic smiles. We’ve played some great shows with Dead Wolves, The Molotov and Anti-Thesis before, and as we all evolve I can’t see why this shouldn’t be the best one yet.

 What is “earcandy” to you?

Krispy: At the moment im listening to graveyard and red fangs latest album. Favourite band is black sabbath. Ear candy is something you like to listen to. Makes you warm and fuzzy.

 What are your favourite Brisbane bands? Who would you like to play with?

Scrambles: I love my Junkyard Diamonds and Love Hate Rebellion, they put on a great show those guys always get stuck in my head.

Krispy: Bare White Knuckles, Junkyard Diamonds, Walken, it’s a pretty long list!

 What is your honest opinion about the Brisbane “scene”? What would you change or want to see more/less of?

Scrambles: I think we have a very happening scene and it’s great to see it always so busy, but I’m sure just like every other city it can get frustrating. All the hard working bands know each other well and we all want see each other on bigger and better stages, yet we constantly see ‘local’ bands we’ve never heard of getting big support acts, grants and radio play. And it’s nothing to do with talent, your ears will tell you that, it’s all about money and/or arse kissing. Hopefully ourselves and our fellow bands will break through if we can continue what we’re doing.

Krispy: I think having played down south and out west and both the coasts sunny and gold. We have a great little scene. Very healthy. Sure venues close down that will happen in any city. But another one opens. We should be very grateful with what we have. Pretty much every weekend there is a gig on that will please the metal head, the rocker, the clubber, and the indie kids.

 What is on the horizon for Flannelette?

Scrambles: More touring! We do Sydney/Melbourne and their surrounding areas over the next few months and we’re trying to organize our first international tours, starting with either NZ or Japan. There’s a couple more film clip ideas about to be pushed a massive amount of ‘potential’ material we can’t wait to polish up and show the world.

BARON SAMEDI – The Art of Skrunge.

 

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How did Baron Samedi form and what does your band name mean?

Chris: We formed in 2012 after my band at the time (MCP) broke up, and Tommy’s band (Fourth Offense) stopped doing anything in an effort to make something new and different that we hadn’t done before while playing around with all the styles we enjoyed. Though admittedly, we started out as a straight-up ska-punk band with the more grungey elements coming in later. Our original drummer left the band in late 2012 and was replaced by Ben, who really brought the sound together and made us a lot tighter as a whole. Quinny joined in late 2013 when we decided a second guitarist would add more to the overall sound. As for the name, to me it’s just  a name, but I’m aware that it’s the name of some voodoo god or something. It was chosen because ska.

Quinny:  Mr Bingham shall field this one.

Ben:  It was destiny, god came down to earth and said, “You, you four there, I grant you the power of eternal badassery, and all I ask in return, is that you give us fully sick hectic riffs brah“. True story (10/10)

 Can you explain “Skrunge Punk” and its origins?

Chris: I’ll put it to you how I put it to the promoter for EarCandy: The secret is to murder crack-rock-steady, ska, punk and grunge violently, then blend. It’s origins, I suppose, would be my back shed.

Quinny:  Ska/ Grunge. Origin, Chris, probably.

Ben: Ever been asked a question you don’t know an answer too so many times that you made up an answer? Skrunge Punk was the answer.

You’ve stated that Chuck Berry and Leadbelly are a couple of your influences. What do you admire about these musicians?

Chris: For me, it’s the fact that they were punk before punk was even a thing. They were both insanely passionate and just outright amazing musicians and, I won’t lie, I’ve stolen the intro to Johnny B. Goode for just about every guitar solo that I play.

Quinny: Chuck Berry and Leadbelly?

Ben: Chuck Berry is arguably the punkest individual to ever live. Being a black musician in that time period, to get up and just rock the fuck out was no easy feat. Playing guitar to that extent, and walking like a duck, takes talent and courage. In my opinion, he changed music, and lots of other punk bands agree. Look at the tonnes who have covered Jonny B. Goode, for example, NoFX, Bad Religion, Green Day and many others. I grew up with Leadbelly, things like that can go a long way unintentionally. Plus, everyone likes blues.

When I listen to your songs I notice that you don’t have a lot of that repetitive Ska guitar strumming. It’s refreshing. Is that intentional or is that Skrunge?

Chris: It’s because I don’t know how to ska properly. But it’s definitely become a part of our sound. I don’t know if “intentional” is the right word. “Incompetent” maybe? I dunno, I learned the skanking guitar rhythm for listening to bands like The Flatliners, Choking Victim and The Clash.

Quinny: That’s just us being awesome, apparently

Ben: That comes down to us being us, put a word on it if it helps. Skrunge happens to be one of said words

What equipment do you use?

 Chris: Broken. In all seriousness, though, I play an Ibanez Gio through a Kustom DX100 and a purple Behringer distortion pedal. Our gear is all usually in some state of broken, though.

Quinny:  Our hearts. And Broken. Broken Hearts.

Ben: Broken equipment. If we’re lucky other peoples. If a miracle occurs, they actually work. I don’t think something hasn’t broken in a single show or practice sessions we’ve had in at least 4 months, and thats almost always Quinny’s.

What are your songs about? What motivates you to write?

Chris: I write most of the lyrics, so for the most part, I write about stuff that affects me. So, feelings, socio-political stuff, nihilism, anarchism and whatever else I think is important. The motivation to write for me comes in the form of needing to get this stuff out of my head before I go insane and blow my brains out.

Quinny: Chris. For both

You’re playing EarCandy soon. Have you been to EarCandy events before? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

Chris: I’ve actually never been to an EarCandy before because I usually lack door charge when they come around. I’m stoked to be on the lineup though. Bands I’m looking forward to are Anti-Thesis, because the guys are great friends of mine and I always enjoy seeing them play, The Molotov, because awesome semi-industrial metal stuff, Dead Wolves because I haven’t seen them before but I’ve heard a lot of good things and Forward Beast because, once again, I’m friends with the guys and they always put on a good show.

Quinny: I’ve been to EarCandy once last year. Saw some of my now favourite Brisbane bands there. I hear those Baron Samedi guys will be worth seeing.

Ben: Nope. Dead Wolves, Anti-thesis and Forward Beast, thats it really.

What is “earcandy” to you?

Chris: Anything that is very “fuck you”, if that makes sense. Most music I listen to is punk in some way, shape or form, such as bands like Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains, Star Fucking Hipsters, Lounge Lizards and pretty much anything that’s loud and abrasive. And forever always, early Against Me.

Quinny: Sweet sounds. Candy for your ears. RADICOLA!

Ben: A miss leading title for extroverted cannibalists trying to get themselves out to other like minded individuals.

What are some of your favourite Brisbane bands?

Chris: There’s too many to name them all, but my top five are Whiskey & Speed, Goon on the Rocks, Deputy Dipshit, Kingston Stompers and Midwife Crisis.

Quinny: Whiskey & Speed, Obserd, Junkyard Diamonds, Trigger Warning, Dead Wolves, Deputy Dipshit, etc.

Ben: Currently, Goon on the Rocks are undoubtedly my favourite brisbane band. Following that, Whiskey and Speed, Flangipanis, Deputy Dipshit and Midwife Crisis never fail to please

There was a huge surge in the Ska/Punk/Reggae scene a couple of years ago. Is it still as active as it was? 

Chris: When I first came into the scene when I was about 17, there were bands like Prophet Margin and Order 66, as well as The Black Market, but between now and then, there seemed to be a huge drop-off of bands and venues, as well as just general shows on. But in the past year, it’s really picked up again thanks to promoters like Lauren Confos, Sam Howe from Scum, Matt Cutlass and David Beattie. So the scene’s become a lot more active again, which is great.

Quinny:  I was unaware of this surge.

Ben: In Brisbane, probably not. But the thing about “underground” scenes is that they tend to just appear sometimes.

What do you think of the current Brisbane “scene”? What do we need more/less of?

Chris: The scene at the moment is as strong as I’ve ever seen it, which is great, but I’d like to see more all-ages venues. And just more venues in general, I think. We’ve had so many shut their doors recently, and it’s causing the whole scene to centre around one or two venues, which isn’t inherently a bad thing, but more venues means more exposure and more people getting involved.

Quinny:  The Scene is love, the Scene is life. More free shows, less primadonnas

Ben: Less cliques, more politics.

You’re signed to Scum Records. How did that come about and what has the experience been like so far?

Chris: That came about completely by accident. We played a show at an all-ages venue last December and the set was just… We’ll it wasn’t our best. Halfway through the last song, Quinny’s amp broke and we continued going to just bass and drums with Quinny just singing the guitar parts. Afterwards, we were approached by the guys from Scum, who said they were really impressed with the energy and the fun we were having on stage, and they asked us if we’d be interested in recording with them. The experience has been great, it’s a pretty laid-back label.

Quinny: We were asked, i think. It’s pretty cool.

Ben: From what I’m aware, Stringo being the cool guy that he is digged our stuff and asked us to join. Its honestly rather wonderful, Scum are doing great things for the scene, and its an amazing feeling to be playing with them. They do a lot of favours for bands like printing merch, recording EPs, and they’re shows are ussually exceptional.

What’s on the horizon for Baron Samedi?

Chris: We’ve got a new EP coming out in the next couple of months, hopefully an east coast tour either late this year or early next year, and more shows and general good times.

Quinny:  A new EP and a release show to be announced in the near future.

Ben: New EP, new songs, more shows. The new material leaves the old stuff in the dust, so once we get that to a the live show standard, its going to be incredible. Words of a tour have been bouncing around, won’t be a reality til at least the end of the year, but its something to look out for.

DEAD WOLVES – Wolf Love

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(Photo by Ben Knight: WORDSIMAGESMUSIC)

 

How was the band formed and what’s the story behind the band name?

TBF: DEAD WOLVES was formed in the wake of one band, the winding down of another and by stealing a drummer for a guy you just met on the train. Unlikely circumstances led to getting together for one jam which would change all our lives and we knew it from the very first moment. Bones – I remember it so clearly, I had set up the drums and Pat and Heath had their guitars pretty much ready to go and in walks Callum. He sat down at the drums and after half a second of getting comfortable he did the craziest drum fill all around – the kit hitting every drum in a blink of an eye. It was in that moment that i went “GOOD GOD!!! Well there it is, that’s the drummer I’m gonna have til the day i die”. The Story behind the name has many different forms, even within my own head, but the one that stands out in my mind is that I selfishly wanted something that sounded cool, on the off chance that someone like Conan O’Brian or any late night host would introduce me and say “Our next guest is Bones of Dead Wolves” and i just thought it would sound cool but it also has reference back to one of my favorite bands of all time, The Dead Boys.

You’ve just returned from a tour in Melbourne. How was it? How does the Melbourne scene compare to Brisbane?

TBF: Our Melbourne Adventure was easily one of the funnest things we have ever done as a band and probably also just as individual people. We played some of our best shows with insanely high energy, which they loved, because they get alot of great bands down there. But in most cases they are all very professional and us as Proud Brissy Boys had to show them just what the Sunshine State has to offer, and that meant alot of bare skin, open hearts and a warm embrace with our punk rock arms.

What is the Dead Wolves creative process?

TBF: The creative process for when it comes to WOLVES is pretty crazy. It is a lot of a “don’t over analyse it” approach. We have over 40 songs written and recorded and it’s the ones we are yet to produce that we are the most interested in. It’s the best way for it to be because I’ve seen a lot of bands sit on songs, a style or an idea of what they think the band should be and it’s never healthy. There’s a reason why all the WOLVES stuff is now coming out under our own DIY group called CONSTANT-CREATION-CAMP.

There are some pretty intense personalities on stage? What’s the dynamic like on and off stage?

TBF: I can only speak for myself on this but I try not to think about the idea of separating on and off stage. Being on stage is home for me but that’s because i think of it as just a huge house party where all my best friends are invited, and the person right there in the front row will probably but up next standing right where I am now. That’s the beauty of music and its ability to pull us out of our selves and if done right, you can hold a moment where every meaningless thing is washed away. That’s what we try to do every time we play no matter if its in a rehearsal room, or to people on a stage with lights and smoke.

What is the most memorable gig you have played?

TBF: The best thing about a DEAD WOLVES show is that every single one of them is memorable for the good moments and the bad. It’s moments where you get to play on the same stages where you have seen your  heroes perform that blows my mind. For example we played The Zoo for the first time; I just had to stand in the exact same spot for about a minute, because I knew that was just where Mark Lanegan had stood and continuously shot glares off towards the monitor guy, or like when we played The Hi-Fi ; the image of Greg from The Dillinger Escape Plan shaking the hanging PA, and everyone was so scared that it would break and crush half the audience. Yeah we try and make every moment memorable.

What equipment do you use on stage?

TBF: (KISS) Keep It Simple Stupid – 1 Vocal, 1 Guitar, 1 Bass and 1 Kit that is losing cymbals and toms everyday now. Not having to rely on too much gear just makes the connection between band and audience just that much more real.

Dead Wolves are playing EarCandy #5. Have you been to an EarCandy event before?

TBF: Yeah we have all been to an Earcandy, sometimes even playing. David BeeTea is a bloody legend!!! Always putting on amazing bands and looking after the tasty Brisbane music scene with things like his Blog (http://the-teeth-pit.tumblr.com/).

What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

TBF: The whole event is gonna be fun because it grabs from a lot of different friends groups that, together, can have one hell of a wild night and hopefully we can meet a lot of new people. We just played The Underdog for Zed’s Birthday Bash and finally met the guys from Forward Beast, and yeah keen to hang with them and again and check out their set nice and early.

What is “earcandy”?

TBF: Isn’t it obvious? Earcandy is the sweet sweet nectar that can be collected by the use of a cue tip. Best time to do so is after a long night standing in front of PA speakers, and if you want to know what it tastes like just ask 1997 Mike Tyson.

What are some of your favourite Brisbane bands?

TBF: OK LETS DO THIS!!! Muddy Chanter, The Keepaways, Seismic Toss, MIdwife Crisis, Roth, Minus Nine, Columbus, Hits, 6ft Hick, Ape Farm, Rook, Ghost Audio, The Mercy Beat, Junkyard Diamonds, Waax, The Halls, New Jack Rubys, The Johnny Mustards, Sabrina Lawrie and The Hunting Party, Babaganouj, Black Deity, Frown, Waken, Giants of Science, Bmx-Ray, Smoke. Stature::Statue.

What do you think of the current scene in Brisbane? Does it need improvement?

TBF: There are only four words that need to be said, BRISBANE IS KILLIN’ IT!!! and yeah why not Tim “The Tool Man” is always welcome.

How do you pull a crowd?

TBF: Lesson 1 on pulling a crowd – BE GOOD.

          Lesson 2 on pulling a crowd – BE BETTER.

         The third and final lesson on pulling a crowd – BE IN THE CROWN WHEN YOUR NOT PLAYING BECAUSE WHY SHOULD THEY SHOW UP FOR YOU            IF YOU’RE NOT SHOWING UP FOR THEM.

What’s on the horizon for Dead Wolves?

TBF: The future paw prints will consist of releasing our new EP “BLEK SHURP” on Sat 2nd Aug at The Underdog ,then a lot more shows, one of which being our Single Launch for the track “BRISBANE” with Muddy Chanter at Ric’s Sat 6th Sept (First night of the Brisbane Festival). We really wanna get over to Japan next year and spread the love, and we have talks happening right now for a really exciting inter-state tour with 4 amazing bands, one from each state and then a Big Old Hometown Headliner. So yeah all is busy busy in the DEAD WOLVES Constant-Creation-Camp. LOVE LOVE XO

FORWARD BEAST – Enjoying the Ride

 

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(Photo by Chrome Plated Photography)

 

 

How did Forward Beast form?

 

Daniel: Me and Michael had been jamming on and off for at least 5 years. Starting off with covers (mostly White Stripes), then started to try and write songs. But we stopped for a while because we were too poor. We started jamming again early last year at Michael’s place at Moorooka when it first dawned on me that we could start something. I was at work driving my bosses car and a question on Dr Karl’s show reminded me of a poem I’d written years ago called “Sadness in the stomach”. I decided to give it a sing and it became my first proper vocal melody and our first song, “Should’ve Known Better”. More songs followed and Loki heard it and liked it, so he booked us a show. And then joined the band. I should also mention Michaels Girlfriend Nyssa, who is a very talented artist and without her there would be no logo or artwork at all. So she’s a huge part of this, too. 

 

Michael: Daniel and I had been jamming together on and off for a few years before we decided to be serious about it. After a few years break on the drums, I finally got back to playing when Daniel started coming round to my house on the weekends. We’d drink and jam all Saturday and it started to become a regular thing. We realised early last year that we’d come up with a few ideas we could turn into proper songs. After a few months of solid practicing on those songs we asked Loki to find us a show. 

 

 

What does “Forward Beast” mean? What is the origin of the band name?

D: It was really just a drunken brainstorm and we thought it sounded kind of cool. So we went with it. Nothing deep there, haha.

 

M: It was just a case of trying phrases and words that might sound cool. Forward Beast is part instruction and part description. It’s also a nice, visual name, which I think my Girlfriend Nyssa appreciated when she was designing our logo and album art. She’s my hero.

 

 

Your band biography states that you are “intent on spreading our message of Rock to the world.” What is this message?

 

D: This was entirely one of Michael’s tongue in cheek ramblings, worded well to get us attention, I think. ‘A brand new local band with aspirations of spreading a message to the world…  Sounds good to me dude!’ He’s better at that sort of thing. But of course, we are stoked when people tell us they like what we do. I guess “spreading our message of rock to the local music community” doesn’t sound as good.

 

M: To Rock! We want to keep rock in the hands of the people. It’s also something I wrote without really considering the true meaning. I’ll be honest, I say a lot of things without thinking.

 

 

You released a 4-track album, Sick of Tired, this year. Can you tell me a little about the album title, the songs and what was involved in making it?

 

D: Sick of tired is a quote from one of our favourite shows, Workaholics. It also fits well as a description of our everyday lives. I’m pretty sure it was Loki who first suggested it as a title. As for the songs; “Should’ve Known Better” was brought on by depression mixed with anger and betrayal. Its probably my favourite of our songs. I wrote “Acid Cop” after watching a documentary about a cop who was doing a drug bust on an LSD lab. The vapours seeped into his skin through shaving cuts and he absorbed a horrible overdose. He had to learn EVERYTHING all over again. So that’s full on! “Straight to His Head” is about a dude I was good mates with who kind of (for lack of a better phrase) flipped his lid. And “Hopelessness” is as the title suggest: a reflection of negative thoughts, I guess. We recorded the EP in a 10 hour day with a Producer called Matt Taylor (Black Box Recordings). He was really good to work with, and also looked after us with the price. It was my first time in a recording studio and it was a really good experience. We’ll most likely be working with him again.

 

M: The title’s part of a quote from an episode of Workaholics that we love. It’s also how I feel about life. As for how we chose the songs; Loki had only just joined the band so we decided to pick the four songs that he knew best. Not that he really needs a lot of practice to get it right. We got extremely lucky with our recording: Whiskey&Speed were recording their album ‘The New Dumb Idea’ and our producer, Matt Taylor (Black Box), was kind enough to let us in for a day in the middle of that. It was a long day but I’m really happy with how it turned out.

 

 

What equipment do you guys use on stage?

 

D: My guitar is an Ibanez ART600, and I put it through a Blackstar valve distortion pedal. I use a Bugera 6260 120W valve head and a Marshall MG 120W quad. Its a simple set up which suits me and our style. I’m not much of a guitar nerd, yet. I’ve only been playing since I was 20 (now 29) and I’m mostly self-taught. I haven’t ventured into the world of microphones at all, yet. I just use what’s there. 

 

M: I have a second hand Pearl Export kit with a mixed bag of cymbals. Personally, as long as it’s not total piece of shit, I’ll play it. And I will also play it if it is a piece of shit. I have a Yamaha DTXtreme 3 electronic kit for jamming at home that I would like to use live some day, but it’s got about a million cables and I’m lazy as balls.

 

 

What is it like working/creating with your cousin Loki (of Whiskey & Speed).

 

D: Collaborating with Loki is great. He’s previously been in heavier bands but I think he’s liking the change in style. Michael and me already know each others style well and we’re learning to improvise with him, which is awesome. It’s all in the family yo… He’s already added his own flavour to almost all of the songs (written before he joined) and of course brought his special kind of stage presence. As far as writing new songs, he’s brought an old head to some newbies, really (even though he’s only 5 months older than me).  He’s very good at playing off my ideas and helping with song structures. He is also basically our manager. He books the shows and we show up. 

 

M: He’s great to work with. He’s been doing the music thing for so long and he has a massive amount of knowledge on everything from song structure to event planning and how to practice efficiently. I think it’s fair to say we wouldn’t have come this far if it weren’t for him. I started playing when I was 20ish; Loki needed a drummer for a band that became a bit of a controversy. So I’d only ever really played live and so had little to no ability. But he planted the seeds of music in me. After those shows, I had a need to be playing live. Now he’s been in the band 6 months or so he’s also bringing us ideas. I love working with my brother and my cousin. It’s really fun. We have a go at each other and that’s fine. We can be totally honest with each other about the sound because we’ve been friends since… forever, I guess.

 

Now that EarCandy #5 is on the horizon, you’ll be sharing the bill with some great local acts. Have you been to an EarCandy event before? 

 

D: I’ve only been to one which was last years. I hadn’t been getting to local gigs that much until last year when all this became a thing. From what I remember it was an awesome night, and from what I have seen and heard David runs a solid show. 

 

M: I’ve been to a few of the shows but this’ll be our first time playing. David scored the New Globe Theatre and that’s truly awesome. We played there a few months ago and it’ll be great to play the Cinema room for our return. The double stage set-up will be cool to check out.

 

 

What is “earcandy”?

 

D: From what I understand Earcandy is sweet, sweet sound nourishment. For auditory consumption only. Which will be in abundance on the 18th of July at The New Globe from 6:30. Also, David is doing a great job organising and promoting it, so it promises to be a great night.

 

M: That is a question too existential for my mind. I guess, maybe, things that make your ears straight ejac. Like, totally sploosh.

 

What does this gig mean to you and who are you looking forward to seeing?

 

D: We are so keen to play this show. It’s another chance to play at the New Globe, which is an awesome venue. An opportunity to play our first Earcandy and of course get ourselves out there and see some bands we haven’t seen yet. To be honest, I haven’t seen most of the bands on the bill so I’ll be keen to catch as many as possible. I have seen Dead Wolves and Anti-Thesis and they are sick live so i’ll be catching them for sure. Baron Samedi are playing, too, so I’m pumped to see them. 

 

M: Like all gigs this early in a career, this means another chance to play and another chance to try and impress. They’re all as important and exciting to me. There’s a heap of bands on this line-up that I’ve never seen before which is cool and Baron Samedi are always good. And it’s been too long since I’ve seen David play, so I’m looking forward to watching Anti-Thesis. I’m ashamed to admit that most of the times I’ve watched them rock out, I’ve been too wasted to have actual memories. Luckily, he has a tendency to record shows.

 

 

What are your favourite Brisbane bands? Who have you played with and who would you like to share the bill with in the future?

 

D: Well Whiskey and Speed are probably my fave (no bias) and are always great live. A few others are Junkyard Diamonds, Buttermilk, The Seal Club, The Green Whistle, DMS, Flangipanis, Anti-Thesis and Baron Samedi. And a few that I only caught a couple weeks ago are Dead Wolves, Phantom Lighter Thieves, Minus Nine and Jade Haven. All of these bands we’ve shared bills with and hope to again in the future.

 

M: Every time I’ve seen El Monstro they’ve rocked it and their EP ‘Parthenia’ is great. We got to play with Minus Nine and Monkey Island at our last show and I thought they were both great. Buttermilk are always fun to play with, as well. Plus, I really like being on a bill with W&S because I get to let loose after our set. As for more established band, I love Regurgitator and Spiderbait. They are my musical role models where attitude is concerned. They respect the place they came from and they’re always happy to be playing. If I could Space Jam a Brisbane drummer, I’d Space Jam the hell out of Cram. I haven’t seen my friend Allen Ellis’ band Archetypes in a really long time, but I’d really love to see them again. They’re SO good!

 

 

What’s your take on the current “scene” in Brisbane? Do you think it needs improvement?

 

D: With not much experience, I think the scene is awesome! It’s been so much fun for these last 6 months or so. It’s become just about my favourite thing playing in this band. And being my first band I can’t see any improvements needed like the more experienced guys and gals might be able to. So I’m happy the way it is, really.

 

M: As far as I can tell, it’s pretty vibrant. Sure, it’s hard to get people to come out and pay to watch new bands. But, I think the scene’s growing for all genres. It keeps us on our toes. We have to play well because people want validation for paying to see us. As for improvement, I don’t really think I’ve got the credentials to say anything about that. All the shows I’ve played and been to over the last year have been pretty great for the most part. Things go wrong but you play through it and people still enjoy the vibe. We’ve played a with a handful of bands more than once and it’s getting to be like hanging out with your mates on the weekend. I’m really enjoying it.

 

 

What’s on the horizon for Forward Beast?

 

D: We just want to keep playing gigs and writing songs as a 3 piece. We’ve got Loki’s Birthday gig coming up on the 12th July. Its called “Old Enough to Know Better” and we’re really looking forward to that. Its a super rad lineup but also Spitfireliar are headlinin, and, for Michael and me, its a great opportunity to share the bill with such a well known band. Of course, Earcandy’s also coming up on the 18th July and is another big one on the horizon which we’re pumped for.  We were hoping for 12 gigs (1/month) this year and we’re looking like blitzing that. So we’re taking it as it comes basically.

 

M: We’ve got Loki’s birthday show on the 12th of July at The Underdog. $10 entry with a killer line-up. I’m kind of intimidated to be playing with Spitfireliar. We’re also writing new material, almost weekly, in the hopes of getting enough songs for a full album. I said I wanted to play at least 12 shows this year and we’ve been really lucky to play way more than I’d expected, which is awesome. I’m just enjoying the ride.