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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

Cool Perth Night Chats

Interview With Shoeb Ahmad | By Tahlia Palmer

Andrew Ryan

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How has your year been so far? What have you been up to?

It's been pretty crazy to be honest! I've spent all of the last 12 months working on getting "quiver" ready and playing shows around that as well as anticipating the release of the new Tangents album and the upcoming tour. As they say - when it rains, it pours.

What’s coming up for the rest of the year?

Perth is the last stop on the "quiver" launch tour so it's straight into Tangents touring after that and then a few sporadic shows here and there on the east coast. I am also working on a series of visual and audio works for You Are Here, a multi-arts festival in Canberra who commissioned me to work on an artistic response that helps with their development as an organisation.

One of your upcoming Perth shows is for the Revelation Film festival’s Music Days Program, so in the spirit of the festival, what’s your favourite film and what is your favourite film soundtrack?

It's pretty hard to pin down one favourite film these days - in a sad way, I don't really get to watch as many films as I would like any more. I do have a soft spot for Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (A Bout De Souffle), Lost In Translation and Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders. I do like to delve into soundtrack works when composing long extended instrumental things. Paul Kelly's score for Lantana is quite a moody post-rock thing while more recently, I really enjoyed Nils Frahm's work for Victoria - again, two more amazing films! - but I keep coming back to the many soundtracks that the band Tindersticks have done for the films of Clare Denis. They are truly great pieces of art, both to compliment the films themselves and on their own.

Do you have any favourite Perth artists?

I'm lucky that I get to play with both Erasers and Original Past Life at my album launch at The Bird but Andrew Ryan from CPN actually turned me onto Ryan Beno quite recently and that was a nice revelation. To be honest, all three of the other acts I'm playing with at The Rosemount are phenomenal. One of my all time fave bands is Bluetile Lounge so Perth music has had a certain allure for me for many years now.

"Quiver" is a sensual, soulful record full of vulnerability, the kind of vulnerability that displays immense strength. Can you talk a little bit about the creation of the album, the creative process, and the biggest influences over the atmosphere, both musically and personally?

The music itself was written more than three years ago now but I didn't quite feel the need to say anything important or relevant so I sat on the songs for a while while other projects kept going on. My juggles with identity were quite a personal matter during this time but in 2016, I experienced a hotel room robbery which blew the whole thing apart and made me realise that I needed to accept who I am and allow myself the time and space to reclaim and inhabit this part of me. I used the studio as a release from the pressure and slowly but surely, brought those who I knew would be accepting into my creative circle and working on this delicate and lush piece of music. The words on "quiver" are written for a therapeutic purpose but the greater idea of putting this music out there is for those who might be in a similar situation as me and for them to know that it's OK to be vulnerable and be strong in who they are. We are only prisoners if we let societal flaws get at our person.

How did you get your start in music? What inspired you to start playing?

I just wanted to play guitar and thought that I'd just do it - no real reasons apart from an idea it'd be fun and interesting... I'm not particularly talented and certainly not studious about it but I just picked one up and heard things that sounded nice to me and went with it. That was high school and I'm still here doing it, wrangling instruments and sounds to make music with. I was probably most inspired by reading about DIY indie rock and hardcore, just the idea of forming a band with yr friends and seeing what happened. Finding out about Sonic Youth, The Slits and The Pop Group really expanded my mind even before hearing their records - the whole Riot Grrl movement gave me a sense of excitement which I had trouble finding among all the white middle class males who surrounded me. Luke Sutherland and his band Long Fin Killie stood out especially - just as much Tjinder Singh and Cornershop, Natacha Atlas and Asian Dub Foundation did too.

In an interview from 2008, you mentioned you were in to nu metal when you were younger (I totally feel you, I was a Korn fan and still drunkenly indulge on occasion), and that playing in Spartak could sometimes result in “rocking out”, which you described at the time as something you weren’t "altogether pleased with”. What have you learnt about “rocking out” in the 10 years since then?

It's so funny, in hindsight I probably didn't love nu-metal as much as used the idea of it to bond with people - though Deftones still has a strong resonance for me because they seemed to be the most post-punk and sonically interesting of the lot (maybe the emo quality of Chino's singing and words do something for me too?). I think the idea of "rocking out" back then was almost like a cop-out - like actually easy to do without thinking about it but now, "rocking out" for me is very much a cathartic release and an abstract process that feeds off my emotional state in that one moment. I think I'm comfortable with it these days because I'm aware of what it's purpose is and how I can convey it.

How has your approach to music evolved over the years, and what kind of things influenced this evolution?

"quiver" was a reaction to my artistic insecurities in a way - being known for improvising and electronic-aided sounds, I wanted to make an entirely organic album relied very little on electronic accents and was strongly moored on the song arrangements, letting each vocal, melody and instrument have it's own space to breath whilst being part of a greater whole.

Do your various musical and sound art projects inform each other to some degree, or are they separate entities?

Each project revolves around their own core idea so that never changes but I think the energy I bring to each of them is based on what I think they need from me or how I think my presence will enhance it. Sometimes that's to compliment what is happening already in a subtle and understated way, sometimes that's to hijack and create sonic disruptions that give a more caustic edge to proceedings. Thematically, I think a lot of the projects I lead are very much influenced by the notion of identity at the moment because that is where my mind is at and what I think needs to be presented in a public arena.

What can audiences expect from your live show?

I've got a tight trio together for the Perth shows with whom I'm playing most of "quiver" as well as a few older solo songs too. We're all slow grooves and in the pocket, with just the right amount of ambient noise, textural interplay and dirty pop moves.

Favourite gig you’ve played? Favourite gig you’ve been to?

The Canberra launches for my recent solo music has been sublime for a combination of reasons - venue, stage settings, audience reception - but I think I still have much fondness for the times I've travelled to Asia and played shows with Spartak and Agency. All those tours were very DIY, rough and tumble but the warmth from all the people we met and the experiences around the performances really do have a place in my heart still. I saw Low and Lambchop in the last few years and both had a great vibe and nuance to them live - music for the head but also for the soul.

Can you talk a little bit about your label hellosQuare? When was it created, why, how, what kind of artists do you work with?

hellosQuare started more than a decade ago when I was in high school to put out underground music I was fond of. It was easy with the CDR world that was around then but as time moved on, I also moved onto CD albums, LPs and tapes. There was no really remit as to what I put out - the influences were diverse so naturally, the releases were as well. I love the fact that I release abstract improvisation records by Candlesnuffer and Pollen Trio as well as the post-punk pub rock of first Hoodlum Shouts album, which was picked up by Poison City for an LP version. Label activities are much slower these days with the nature of the record industry but I still look to do the odd art edition to compliment a digital release, as we have done for recent albums by Reuben Ingall and Moving Paths.

Do you have any advice for anyone reading who might be embarking on starting a label of their own?

It's a long game - a seed of an idea might grow into something really nice so be patient, don't over do it and be ready for some hard times because when something great finally appears, you'll feel a million bucks about it :)


Shoeb Ahmad will be launching her record Quiver at The Bird, Northbridge on Wednesday July 11, and featuring at Revelation's Film Festival's Music Days at Rosemount Hotel on Thursday July 12.

Tangents will be launching their new record New Bodies at Rosemount Hotel on July 22. Early Bird tickets available here

 

Shedhead Let Us Inside Their Head(s)

Andrew Ryan

Taking influence from The Smith Street Band and Violent Soho, Shedhead a local band of rock n rollers. Their new single Awkward is about to be released at YMCA HQ, so CPN had a chat with them about it!

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1. Hello Shedhead. Tell us about your new single, 'Awkward Smile'

Awkward Smile is one of shedhead's first ever songs we all wrote! It's written about a house party.

2. How/when/where did you write and record it?

We wrote it nearly a year and a half ago, it was originally another song that Alex had done but then we all took 

a look at it and changed it up a bunch, as for recording we did that all at our mate Harrison's house (from JAG), Alex then mixed and mastered it.

3. What's the most exciting piece of music you've discovered in the last month?

Either Space Jane or the aristocrats which is a band that Gus has been getting into recently

4. Band member Agustin De la Fuente has been described as "the lead guitarist with the good hair". Tell us, how does he keep his hair so good?

Shower once a day with regular shampoo!

5. What can we expect from Shedhead over the rest of 2018?

Maybe some more music? You'll have to keep an eye out ;)

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Catch Shedhead w/ General Waste, Boxset Boyfriend, JAG & Homebrand on Friday June 1 at YMCA HQ, Leederville. $10 from 6pm

 

A Tiny Review on Tropical Fuck Storm

Andrew Ryan

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All images by Tashi Hall

Words by Martin Belt

Easily the most creative band in Australia at the moment (I say that having seen all bands in Australia :  P of course I haven’t.... )

My genre tag is ghost train rock – as angular as they are spooky – the call and response choir, windy ear worm guitar riffs, lost elephant bass lines and jarring unorthodox shellac on smack drumming make Gareth’s vocal delivery fresh-as in a way that is in a short phrase – extremely fun. SO GOOD!

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CPN responds to $3 mil funding to WA Music Industry

Andrew Ryan

  Carla Geneve performs at Mojo's Bar Fremantle. Image by Tashi Hall

Carla Geneve performs at Mojo's Bar Fremantle. Image by Tashi Hall

Words by Martin Belt

Cool Perth Night's responds to the news that the next WA state budget will hold a $3 million commitment over four years to contemporary music.

We support this investment on basis it is over and above existing funding to the contemporary music industry as already distributed by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries www.dlgsc.wa.gov.au
 

  Nelson (POW! Negro) and Shannon (of Koi Child) at Mojo's Bar Fremantle. Image by Tashi Hall

Nelson (POW! Negro) and Shannon (of Koi Child) at Mojo's Bar Fremantle. Image by Tashi Hall

As long as it goes into long term strategies such as real work toward determining new legislation for entertainment zones (Northbridge, Angove St, North Freo Town Centre) to recognise these zones and their venues as integral to nurturing talent in established live music venues. This will be achieved by resources going toward production of legislation to increase permissible music levels from live music venues within these registered zones.

As a second mechanism for protecting live music venues the funding must go toward legislation which ratifies a binding credence and respect for established live music businesses; whereby live music venues of recent historic cultural significance are prioritised by law for their nurturing of talent above the wants of those businesses and residents who move near to such venues. With such a policy in place the common sense of ‘I was here first’ will then protect the vibrancy and value of entertainment zones through state legislated protection of live music venues.

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Spacey Jane by Tashi Hall

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The money must also go into youth audience development through projects like CPN and HQ Sweet Oblivion project amongst other youth audience development programs - if there is going to be a development for the WA music industry amongst future generations.

These are measures that, once made, are irreversibly nurturing to the industry as a whole - as $3M in the context of things is a VERY small amount of money - as compared to the enormous subsidies to mining industries – for example.

Talent is a renewable resource - time for proper investment – but with only such a small cash injection at this stage this $3M can only be applied to strictly long term solutions.

In The Pines Special!

Andrew Ryan

 RTRFM 92.1 welcomes Perth's music community (credit: Sebastian Photography)

RTRFM 92.1 welcomes Perth's music community (credit: Sebastian Photography)

(It’s not mailout week- but who cares?)

Many things turn a quarter of a century in twenty-eighteen. In The Pines is one of them. With a line up that consists of both newcomers and veterans alike under the familiar pine forest (and a very welcome shade from the sweltering sun). In The Pines has been a launching pad for many home-grown acts that go on to be successful elsewhere, and Sunday was a celebration of that merry fact.

The welcome to country was performed by Phil Walley Stack, in Noongar and then simultaneously translated into English. The didgeridoo and the strangely florid dulcet of the Noongar tongue was on show.

 Treehouses (Sebastian Photography)

Treehouses (Sebastian Photography)

To open the proceedings proper up-and-comers Treehouses (and the Somerville Auditorium is entirely in their natural habitat) serenaded the early few who had set up camp. Their blend of emo, folk and spoken word somehow works a lot better what that idea might have sounded like. They were then followed by The Pipeline Band, the only band in the lineup to deliver rousing true blue country rock in both English and Noongar. Terrible Signal, a unit made out of the members of other bands (one from Hideous Sun Demon and Maddie Blue from lord knows how many other outfits) came on after, delivering the coastal chill pop that the West Coast handily produces all the time, they definitely weren’t terrible.

From then on its all back to back late night dive vibe and 80s throwbacks with Grievous Bodily Calm and Demon Days, the former all blaring with lo-fi nu-jazz that I can imagine forming the background soundtrack to a session of Sim City or perhaps Gran Turismo (the racing simulator), and the latter opting for some r & b inspired vocals. The humble saxophone was the honorary man of the hour for both sets.

Boltgun are a band worthy of its name (which may or may not be a reference to the iconic weapon of the Space Marines of Warhammer 40,000 fame)- with a loud, relentless post-rock reminiscent of a much rawer Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky, add plenty of droning and screaming. Then Em Burrows and The Web Rumours took us all back on a journey through the ages (to use the words of MC of the day, Caitlin Nienaber), with retro-inspired synth sound and girl-power lyrics. Thee Loose Hounds took us all back to the earth with a crowd going loose to loud old-school anthems.

 Thee Loose Hounds (Sebastian Photography)

Thee Loose Hounds (Sebastian Photography)

Lucy Peach, in a gold and recently washed jumpsuit, according to the artist herself, brought her soulful vocals and melodies to full throttle, and one of her songs brought up the topic of pre-menstrual syndrome (recently she had been performing My Greatest Period Ever across both the Perth and Adelaide Fringe Festivals).

Furchick were the most unusual act of the lineup, featuring an ensemble of unconventional, DIY instruments- an improvised wooden plave, cups and springs, and a footsie table, led by the sound scientist known as Claire ‘Furchick’ Pannell. Everyone listened to the set, appreciating the experiment and with a kind of curiosity as to what could happen next.

 Tommyhawks (Sebastian Photography)

Tommyhawks (Sebastian Photography)

The late afternoons was all about the bands of yesteryear returning on stage to entertain a new generation as well as an old guard- the Tommyhawks, Umpire / Mukaizake (whose 30 minute set was split between two bands), Nervequakes then came on brought a very grimy, early 90s grunge sound. To continue the all-Western Australian time capsule as night fell- Mile End, and Sex Panthers performed their old hits to a new crowd. The highlight of Mile End’s performance was that the lead guitarist kept on playing, unfazed despite bleeding on all four fingers and having it splattered on the guitar- CPN’s very own Ellen tells me this is completely normal. (I am terrible with instruments- this fact was very clear at a young age)

 Kill Devil Hills (Cam Campbell)

Kill Devil Hills (Cam Campbell)

Any opportunity to listen to the Kill Devil Hills should be taken- they’re always a highlight. They laid an undisputed claim to being the hairiest band on the day. The extremely masculine energy translates into some of the most haunting, poetic vocals on this side of the town. Kill Devil Hills is indeed music made for manly men.

 Mathas (Cam Campbell)

Mathas (Cam Campbell)

As the night calls its curtains Mathas waltzes on stage- complete in bling rhinestone fashion. The locally born and bred rapper belted out his most well-known hits, including “White Sugar” (I remember this one the most given that I’ve lost a poetry slam contest to it), along with a backup vocal team consisting of the ever present, almost umbilically attached duo of Joni Hogan and Odette Mercy (I cannot recall seeing them not playing together).

 Stella Donnelly (Cam Campbell)

Stella Donnelly (Cam Campbell)

Stella Donnelly, the latest starlet from our side of the pond on the back of a success over across the Atlantic, graced the stage all by her lonesome, and the audience merely listens in rapt attention, without the usual headbanging, whooping cheers, but just an awed silence. Stella’s attempts to interact with the audience resulted in many in the crowd laughing alongside her. She performed stripped back versions of Boys Will Be Boys, Mechanical Bull and Thrush Metal- the three singles that practically landed her on Pitchfork’s recommended list- to an appreciative and adoring crowd.

Abbe May, a veteran that has toured all across the nation, closed the night delivering her brand of punk rock that has entertained many west and east. Raw, melancholic and rousing at the same time are three words I’d use to describe any given set from Abbe May, and it was a good way to send off the crowd, and a fitting way to celebrate the end of In The Pines’ quarter of a century.

 

Words by Clayton Lin

Axel Carrington chats with FLOSSY ahead of their debut EP launch

Andrew Ryan

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Meet FLOSSY; a four-piece bratty grunge rock band fronted by sisters Sinead and Lauren with Tom Wilson on lead guitar and Steve D'Angelo on drums. FLOSSY is heavily influenced by nineties grunge and bands of the Riot Grrl movement such as Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney. FLOSSY have recently finished recording their debut EP with acclaimed WA producer Dave Parkin at Blackbird Sound Studio which is scheduled for release this weekend. 

Axel Carrington chats with FLOSSY ahead of their debut EP launch! Catch their self-titled debut EP launch at Rosemount Hotel, this Saturday April 28, alongside a massive talented lineup CALMLY, Edie Green and Oosterbanger

Axel: It's been a busy few years for you Flossers and congratulations on your first EP! I was curious about how the songs have evolved over this time – what inspired the group to form originally, and what informs how these songs have changed over time?

Lauren: Thanks! It’s been an awesome couple of years. The group was formed about three years ago after Sinead and myself caught up for a coffee, talked about how we felt stuck, felt we weren’t really progressing with our individual music projects. We decided that day to start a band. Our enthusiasm to create something new was out of control. We started writing, put a name to the band and started the search for more members. We went through about three drummers over a year before we landed on Steve - our perfect match! Then soon after came across Tom, and everything just felt right.

How have the songs evolved over time? At first we had no idea what genre we even wanted to play because both of us had such different individual styles. We began messing around with a bunch of stuff we had in our journals and explored styles from blues, to eerie art-rock, to pure pop. We continued writing and listening and sharing music with each other and found our feet through a mutual love for grunge, rock and garage (especially of the 90s) so that now heavily influences our sound.

The songs themselves definitely started off in more of a garage style when we were playing as a 3 piece, whereas now we’re definitely more of a “rock band”. The addition of Tom as a fourth member helped not only thicken our overall sound but his lead hooks and guitar style definitely helped the songs grow. So I wouldn’t say they’ve changed necessarily over time, I’d say they’ve grown.

AC: There seems to be themes of unrequited, well maybe more like vengeance in love, especially in songs like 'Burden to my Lover' and most recent single 'I Want You' – am I widely off base here? How do you approach incorporating your major themes into your work?

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Sinead: No, you’re not off base at all. We do find that we tend to write a lot about our experiences in relationships. The reason for that is still unclear to us! ‘Burden to My Lover’ was not really about vengeance though, it was more kind of an expression of the frustration and resentment that can arise from the feeling of being stuck in a relationship. I know it sounds strange, but it was kind of an apology in a way too, in that it acknowledged a lot that couldn’t be said at the time. ‘I Want You’ is more in the direction of vengeance in love. It’s kind of the “f**k you I don’t need you anyway” response when your feelings aren’t reciprocated but there’s nothing you can do.

In general, we don’t set out to write about certain themes in particular. Like most songwriters, our songs are our outlet; an opportunity for us to express what we find hard to say in everyday life. However, lyrically, our songs so far have tended to centralise around themes of relationships, feminism, self-reflection and mental health. There’s a lot of frustration in some of these themes and so I think our lyrics tend to come out quite dark because of that. I think we (unintentionally) counterbalance that darkness by being sonically fun, upbeat and punchy and having copious amounts of contagious fun when playing our live shows.

AC: I've heard you speak before about your sibling bond and how that contributes to the inner workings of the band, but I am also eager to hear about what the boys Steve and Tom bring to the group? How have their contributions, both in and out of the jam room, added to the growth of the band?

 Sinead: Where do we start?! The addition of these guys to the band has significantly contributed to our progress over the past year. Lauren and I have always played music but our theoretical knowledge has never been very extensive so having Steve and Tom’s knowledge inform our songwriting has been so valuable. It’s provided more chance for us to play and explore and we’re learning more every day. They’re always so positive about songs we bring to the table and are open to basically anything which is awesome. They’re also the most committed band members you’ve ever met in your life - always at rehearsal before us, always keen, always positive.

Outside of the jam room, Steve and Tom literally feel like our brothers. We just have so much fun together and we’re all so close. There is actually no filter between us, we can talk about everything together. It’s just so nice sharing the experiences you have as a band with your best mates.

AC: You recorded these songs with certifiable wizard Dave Parkin at Blackbird Studios – tell me what was it like working with him? Did his influence and guidance twist the songs into new, weirder directions?

Tom: It was an absolute dream recording with Parko. For us, it was really our first time recording together in a 'proper' sense, and Dave really helped guide us and helped to find a process that really worked for everyone. I think he appreciated that we had a bunch of trial and error to go through and if he is the wizard of anything, it's patience.

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Dave's input definitely pushed the songs in new directions (well, new to us), and when we wanted to get weird he was fully on board which was super encouraging. He has an amazing ability to see songs from multiple perspectives. We really hadn't had much input from an outside eye with regards to song structure, parts, etc. before so it was great to receive that from someone like Dave. We really loved that he always provided his honest feedback but never made us feel like the song was being taken out of our hands. There's a genuine honesty in his approach and intentions which is all too rare.

He definitely pushed us to experiment and be a bit more 'on the fly' with regards to the recording process too, which definitely helped bottle that gritty essence we wear so proudly. I think myself and Dave could have sat on the floor of Blackbird for days playing with pedals! He took us for what we were, pushed us to explore what we liked further, and it definitely shows in the final product.

AC: It would be remiss to not ask about your crazy video for latest single 'I Want You' – it's certainly different from any dinner party I've been too! Does the video reflect the theme of the song? What was it like making it?

Sinead: I mean Toby is a delicious man but we don’t particularly want to eat him, haha. The video didn’t directly reflect the song but was more of a whacky twist on the themes of desire, greed and revenge that exist within the song. Making it was both absolutely hilarious and also up there with the weirdest and grossest thing we’ve done as a band. The vibe in the room when we were filming got really weird because we were playing classical music to help us with characters, and everyone was so committed to their roles and really believed in the idea, so it actually kind of felt like we were existing in this strange alternate world for a while.

Lauren: We didn’t want to play it safe with this one. But there were moments when we were chewing on meat and looking at each other while our half naked friend was hogtied on the table and we thought; have we taken this too far? It was also just really funny when we were devouring the food because all you could hear was everyone’s chewing noises and food enjoyment noises and it was just so weird. But it made for a great video!

AC: Gimme a list about the highs and the lows you've experienced while playing in the band – don't spare on the bad stuff, but also bask in the glow of the many good things, like dope supports or audience reactions that make it all worth the while.

Steve: Well there are more highs in this band than you can poke a stick at but some of the main ones include:

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Playing shows - nothing can beat the feeling and thrill of performing the songs you’ve worked so hard on. Bonus points for when you look up from the stage to see people dancing and getting into it. And yeah, we have been lucky enough to support some really sick bands. It’s hard to pick a favourite but Abbe May’s birthday at the Rosie was a pretty amazing show, and when we played recently for End of Fashion at the Indi Bar the vibe was out of control. WAMFest was also a massive highlight and being nominated for fave new act was the cherry on top!

Friendships - we have gotten to meet so many amazing people through music, whether they be other musicians or punters at gigs that come over for a yarn after the show. The scene we play in seems to attract such fun loving and genuine people.

Growing together as a band - spending so much time together in jam rooms and at shows means the four of us not only get to help each other with our musical journeys but also grow together as friends who can rely on each other for anything. To be honest friends isn’t even the right word… we’re like a little family.

As for the lows thankfully there aren’t too many. The hardest part would be trying to manage life whilst having such a demanding passion for music. Money, work, friends and family commitments mean we all have so much on our plates at any given time and it can sometimes put a strain on you mentally. Luckily we are all so aware of this and care enough for each other to make sure FLOSSY is as much a support network for us as it is a band.

AC Any surprises (well, that you may or may not reveal) to expect on launch night? You've put together an amazing, varied bill that speaks volumes of the greatness of Perth's local music scene right now – tell me about why you love them!

Steve: Yeah, we will be doing the whole show in mime. It’ll be good because we won’t need to bring any instruments. In all seriousness though, there will definitely be a couple of surprises on the night. But we can’t reveal anything, you’ll just have to come see!

We are so stoked about the lineup for the launch. Each act pumps out grade A bangers without fail and they are also such talented, driven musicians and genuinely cool people. We also wanted the lineup to have a strong focus on women in music because that’s really important to us, so we wanted to showcase some of the many talented and inspiring gals that are rocking stages all over Perth at the moment. We are really proud of the lineup, it just means we are going to have to really bring the thunder on the night to keep up with them all!

AC: It sure must be a load off to have the EP released – but where to next? Plans for the rest of the year and beyond?

 Tom: Feels like a cinder block being removed from the chest - phenomenal. I think the plan is to keep on keepin' on! We've got a little tour planned for mid-May so we'll get to go say hello to our East Coast buddies for the first time and spread the word about the EP! Outside of that, we’ve got some new songs in the works, there's definitely going to be a bunch of shows, and maybe a party or two along the way. The recording bug has definitely bit us so it won't be too long before we're at it again, who knows, maybe a surprise Christmas album?

RTR FM 92.1 | IN THE PINES 2018

Andrew Ryan

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March sees the hands of all music and arts lovers, RTR FM listeners, and the community as a whole, clasped in anticipation awaiting the roll-out announces of the In The Pines line-up. Celebrating 25 years since it's inception, In The Pines has emerged as an an institution of local music - there's almost no need to ask friends what they're up to that weekend - they're attendance has become a given (whether on stage or as a punter).

The final installment on the line-up was announced on Monday, so let's get the ball rolling.   

Abbe May
Bolt Gun
Demon Days
Em Burrows & Web Rumors
Furchick
FOAM
Grievous Bodily Calm
Lucy Peach
Mathas
Mile End
Nerve Quakes
Sex Panther
Terrible Signal
The Kill Devil Hills
The Pipeline Band
The Tommyhawks
Thee Loose Hounds
Treehouses
Umpire/ Mukaizake

Held once again amongst the heritage pines in Somerville Auditorium on the UWA Campus - the event kicks off at 11am. RTR FM Subscribers eligible for discount entry (yet another perk of being an RTR subscriber). Get your tickets.

Eating In With Airline Food

Andrew Ryan

Local 5 piece Airline Food just launched their new EP "Fragments in Green" at Rosemount Hotel. Cool Perth Nights had a little exchange with them about (actual) airline food, safer venues and the recording process.  

1. What in flight meal best represents your band?

A good shepherds pie or Pringles 

2. Can you share a photo with us of you having a Cool Perth Night?

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3. What was it like recording in Brod’s fancy new studio (Tunafish Recording)?

We actually recorded it ourselves with Jack Seah's studio but Brod mastered the single for us and he was a legend (and very keen to check out his studio).

4. How important is it to make venues safe around WA?

It is very Important that our venues are safe because no body wants to feel intimidated but feel comfortable on a night out. 

There has been more light shed on this issue recently and we hope to do the best we can to ensure and promote a safe environment. 

5. Can you give a 3 word description of each band supporting you on March 24th at the Rosemount?

SPACEY JANE Good Vibe Farmers
NOAH DILLON (pictured below) Really good, but...
MAL DE MER hip awesome sounds
& AH TREES  cool. smart. real

 

6. Why is your EP called “Fragments of Green”?

Well we setup all our gear up at Jack Seah's Grandad's shed for a while, which is this old soundproofed music room he used to use back in the day to jam in. We wrote and recorded all the music there and we had heaps of random ideas which often were very unrealised. The EP is a small few of those which were developed into somewhat of an end. There is also a lot of greenery that hangs by the windows of the room and sometimes it felt as though you were surrounded by green, which is kind of lame but we thought it worked haha. 

 

Airline Food play Mojos Bar Fremantle on April 5, 2018. Also featuring Jeremy Segue (of Segue Safari), Fraeya, Kat Wilson (Duo), Airline Food, Fox Scully. Doors at 8pm from $5. Event link here: https://bit.ly/2pFmcTS

Demon Days | Behind the scenes of their 'Fake Jazz'

Andrew Ryan

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Jazz, soul and r&b - are just a few of the styles that Demon Days resonate within their music. They sure have been the talk of the Perth music scene; creating one huge buzz as they don't bloody stop! After heading on their first National Tour late last year and playing Falls Festival, the band has just released their new self designed and in-house approved merchandise line - Fake Jazz launching this Sunday March 18 at Rosemount Hotel. And if that wasn't enough - their new single 'NO WINNERS' has just dropped and they'll soon be jetting off on their national single tour.  We sat down and chatted all things merch, fashion, touring and of course, their latest single.

This Sunday’s launch differs to a lot of launches in that you’ll be launching your new merchandise line ‘Fake Jazz’. Mark is currently studying fashion and is the visual brains behind this line – a few of his pieces have popped up on stage before, correct?

Mark: You could call them pieces but they were more just a bit of fun. We would go to Target and pick up some plain shirts and customise them with fabric pens and write funny drawings and jokes on them. That said my ‘proper’ designs usually have little jokes or slogans attached to them to poke fun. We at Demon Days struggle to take almost anything completely seriously.

Tell us a little more about the concept and creation of the ‘Fake Jazz’ merchandise line and the tongue in cheek name selected?

Mark: Well, it’s pretty common for people to tell us we’d ought to change our name because it sounds like that of a metal band, which is fair (we find it pretty funny so we don’t plan on changing it). ‘Metal’ or ‘gothic’ fonts and illustrations have been popping up in the fashion world for the last few years from labels like Vetements and Gosha Rubschinskiy, so I thought it would be funny to use the trend to highlight the irony of our name and lean into the trend to highlight the humour of our name and lean into the joke a little. I wanted to put something on the back panel and started throwing ideas in the group chat, when Josh replied with ‘FAKE JAZZ’, which we all thought was hilarious and it fit the general joke-y vibe of the shirt. At the end of the day it’s just a shirt with funny words on it, but I also happen to like the look of it.

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Although music is often interpreted as an aural medium of art, and fashion visual, they seem to naturally intermingle and inform one another in terms of identity creation and self-expression – particularly with live performances. With passion in both areas, do you feel there’s a union that contributes to your identity as a band? And how do you feel the artistic involvement with the merchandise line would compare to the involvement in selecting something like album artwork?

Mark: Fashion and Music are inherently linked in the ways they both follow trends, and can often be the litmus test for what’s currently ‘cool’. I think that ‘big-time’ bands have always been trend-setters in a way, and even today (rappers even more-so) have an insane influence on what is considered fashionable on the street. I think the clothes people wear and the music they play is often inherently linked. Demon Days has touches of a lot of genres which are reflected in our individual styles (I listen to mainly rap and hip-hop, I play like a hip-hop drummer and I wear a more ‘street’ style of clothing, where-as Bella has a diverse taste which includes vocally driven indie music, which influences her lyricism and tone as well as the more thrifted, vintage styles she often wears, and so on) The combinations of styles is what makes us interesting to me.

For the shirt designs, I did it myself mainly. I would go away and draw something up, send it to our group chat, get feedback and adjust. The process when I’m designing posters and the single art is pretty much the same, but I rely more on the gang’s opinions and feedback. I like to think I have some sort of aesthetic drive or vision for all the Demon Days stuff, but it really just ends up being whatever I feel like creating at the time, so the others’ input reminds me to keep it in line.

A little more about musical identity - you’ve become synonymous with the ‘neo-soul’ genre and the modernization and accessibility of the traditionally ‘exclusive’ genre of jazz to young fans. Was this a conscious decision? And how did your previous studies at WAAPA contribute to this?

 Nah it’s all been luck. We just happened to start making music like this during this whole resurgence of soul and jazz. The response to our stuff and bands like ‘Greivous Bodily Calm’ has been kind of incredible like even if we play something whack some people are still into it. As for WAAPA, it’s helped build the fundamentals that we use in our music even if all of us didn’t stay for long.

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We can’t kidnap your time without discussing your new single ‘No Winners’, which dropped yesterday and was coupled with the announce of a National Single tour. Tell us about the single – how it was selected, it’s meaning to you, how you found the process of recording?

 “No winners” stems from an almost relationship but due to a lack of self-understanding did not bloom into its true potential. In life we fall for people that are not at the same stage that we are, which creates problems. It’s not that you were wrong for each other, but that the timing was off. And here lies the dilemma... do we wait for this person to get their life together, or do we move on and hope that you can stay friends? The name comes from a common understanding that in most breakups there is a clear winner and loser however in this case no one won... there were “no winners”.

Instrumentally the song was sparked by some chords and melody that our bass player (Marley) had been sitting on for a while. From there we jammed it out and the song came together in less than an hour. The tracks intention was to create a ‘cute’ vibe evoking that sense of adolescent romanticism. After we had the basic idea for the tune we started adding funny parts to it which added a kitsch feel. We made the melody a main motif throughout the whole song with the vocals and lead synth parts following its sweet tones.

This will be your second foray into National touring as an act [Demon Days toured nationally in October 2017 with their single ‘Killer Bees’] – how does the pre-tour buzz and prep differ for this tour? Do you feel a slightly increased sense of touring ‘street smartz’?

Bella: This time we are thinking more rationally about the tour. The last tour in 2017 was a big eye opener for us on the actual amount of work that goes into making a tour happen as well as keeping in mental and physical health (which is important when you are playing back to back shows with little sleep). Having hindsight makes us all the more excited for this tour coming up as we feel better equipped on how to make the most of it and have learnt from previous mistakes that will not be repeated.

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It only takes a quick review of the band’s history to see the incredible achievements within the previous 12 months – supporting Hiatus Kayote front person Nai Palm, selected to play Falls Festival and signing to National Booking Agency New World Artists. Those highlights aside – what was your favorite ‘this is the shit’ band moment of recent memory?

I think for us as a band, playing alongside some incredible artists that we admire and chatting to some truly inspiring people we find a lot of pleasure in small moments. For instance, playing Falls Festival we were all gob smacked that we got our own trailer with a fridge just for us of beers and a platter of food. Or another highlight was playing a show at Mojos and the audience were packed in like sardines singing along to our songs; for me (bella) as a lyrics to have people singing words that stem from something personal is a feeling like no other but brought me so much joy that people could connect with them as I did writing them.

When googling your band name, the Gorillaz album ‘Demon Days’ monopolizes majority of the search results. Have you formulated an evil plan to rectify this?

Honestly we really just didnt think that through when we started the band, but we will now. We just couldn’t come up with a name so we took Bella’s Instagram handle and all liked the Gorillaz. Our band was founded on a common interest in music. Maybe we will get big enough so the Gorillaz will notice us and wanna do a collab or show together.

You can get your hands on Demon Days new merchandise via their Facebook and at the launch this Sunday March 18 at Rosemount Hotel featuring special guests Grace Sanders, Heavy Flow, Jamilla and DJ Shy-Fi. Their single tour kicks off shortly, and you catch get in on the action at their Fremantle launch at Mojos Bar on April 7.

 

Courtney Jane vs Love Letters | The Immersed Female

Andrew Ryan

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Love Letters interviewing Courtney Jane on ‘The Immersed Female’ for Cool Perth Nights

Courtney Jane is a Fremantle based artist and photographer who is known for documenting her and her friends lives through her film photography. Courtney’s photographs are often raw, candid shots which paint life in the creative port town in all its delicious glory.

When Courtney approached us to help throw her first solo exhibition, we jumped at the chance to throw a party in celebration of her latest series and to allow everyone to see her beautiful new work. The exhibition titled ‘The Immersed Female’ takes place one night only at Mojo’s Bar, with acoustic sets from Racoo Charles and the Moke Folk, Gemini Talk, Fraeya, Georgia Faith and Pulse Valley.

The entire series is of friends in Courtney’s outdoor bathtub, directly exploring the female form and identity, with each subject choosing an object that represents them to be present in the photographs.

We spoke to Courtney ahead of the exhibition to chat her creative journey, love of film photography and more about The Immersed Female:

Love Letters: When did you start taking photographs and how has your photography evolved over the years?

Courtney: I have always been obsessed with cameras from a young age. It probably began in high school when I chose to reject the higher education system and the pressure of others for me to conform and let go of my creative side. Instead I decided to study cooking, art, woodwork, photography and all that jazz. From memory I had a digital camera that lived in my pencil case which I used to take photos of everything during and after class. I’m pretty sure I got it taken off me at one point.

Eventually my interest faded in and out when Iphone’s became all the rage and digital photography lost its originality or uniqueness. That changed when I met a girl at a party one night who took a photo of me on a disposable camera, this was the moment I fell down the rabbit-hole of 35mm photography. I started using disposables half way through 2014 and after about a couple of months I decided to get my first real film camera, a canon eos 500n, which was just the start of my collection which sadly got stolen earlier this year. I had around 40 different types of 35mm/120 cameras.

I have always felt that photography is about capturing the moment, never posed or predetermined. I feel like that’s the way I have always shot. I have always been and will always be the person at events or everyday life, taking sneaky photos of my friends before they can even acknowledge my presence. I guess the only difference in my style has been that I’ve improved with practice and been able to refine my skills.

Which photographers do you admire?

Well I don’t particularly admire any photographers I guess I thrive off the creative people around me who also shoot 35mm or just take magical photos in general. I grew up with a parent who didn’t accept my creative spark so I started to doubt myself for a while, but when I started meeting people who understood photography in the same way as I saw it, I guess it just motivated me to continue with what I felt so passionate about.

In saying that, a couple of years ago I did watch a documentary called Finding Vivian Maier, which is about this super mysterious nanny, who managed to secretly take over 100,000 photographs and had them hidden in storage her whole life. They were discovered decades later at a house auction by a random guy who later went on to find her whole collection and get them into exhibitions all over the world. She took amazingly beautiful photos of herself and of those around her, I guess I was really touched and amazed by her work.

Your latest series The Immersed Female is the first youve exhibited right? Can you tell us about the initial idea behind the project and how it was progressed?

This will actually be my second exhibition, I was part of a group exhibit called A Stray Alien a couple of years back at the Moores building in Fremantle which was up for a whole month and featured 40 local artists. But I’ve never done anything on my own before and I hadn’t yet thought of doing a series of photos for a particular reason. When I moved into my current house I was introduced to the outdoor bath and as soon as I saw it I knew something had to be done there as it was such an amazing space. Since I wasn’t working or studying due to a hand injury I had a lot of time to get creative so I just made an event with a heap of my friends telling them my idea and asking if they wanted to get involved and now we’re here, a week before the exhibition.

What made you want to share these photographs and create your first exhibition?

I’m very lucky to have a lot of amazing creative friends around me who continuously give me support and motivate me with my photography. I guess after taking photos for so long, and never really doing anything with them (besides Instagram), I chose to try with an exhibition and see how it would go.

Watching the Immersed Female series come to life has been truly enjoyable and beautiful, I’m super excited to see how others interpret my images and I hope it brings nothing but happiness to their faces as it did to mine.

The series is all shot on film, and the rest of your work in general. What draws you to this medium?

I think there’s something super magical about the whole process of shooting with film.

I’m not really sure what it is exactly that draws me to film, but I feel that it really does capture moments, in a completely different way to digital photography. I love that you only have those couple of shots to take that magical picture and even once you’ve taken it you can’t go and look back at it on a camera, you don’t know how it’s going to turn out until you get them developed.

What can people expect from the gig and exhibition next Wednesday 21st March at Mojos?

Well hopefully nothing but magic, I’m going for a super comfy Mojo’s vibe this time round more of a bring a cushion/blanket and enjoy the amazing acoustic artists. However as this is my first personal exhibition, I’m not really sure what to expect myself. But I hope people come with open hearts and take the time to view and understand these images, and hopefully appreciate the time and effort that went into the making of this series. Also that people feel comfortable to come and talk to me on the night for any question they may have, I’m very nice.

Catch Courtney’s exhibition The Immersed Female presented by Love Letters, Wednesday 21st March with live sets from Racoo Charles and the Moke Folk, Gemini Talk, Fraeya, Georgia Faith and Pulse Valley. $10 entry from 7

Peace & Love: CPN chats with LGBTQI+ Icon Heather Peace

Andrew Ryan

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Heather Peace knows her shit. In a career that spans over 2 decades in industries from theatre, music, radio and activism, her work as an artist and mentor has been revolutionary. She chats with Maggie from CPN about Perth sunshine, damaging postal survey's and her vision for the future. 

You’ve been active in the industry for a while; multiple industries that is! Do you feel you’ve found the right “place” for you to exist as a creative?

I’ve been a professional actor for over 20 years now but always been a musician too. The two go hand in hand. One allows me to follow the other. The music has been a great asset to me and my family, meaning I can work from home so much more than if I was acting. The last four years have been about family. My wife, Ellie, had our first daughter, Annie, three years ago and I gave birth to our twins Jessie and Lola just 9 months ago. It’s so amazing to have the option, working for myself as an artist, to say when and where and how. My creative space is much less as you can imagine but I’m finding time now to write again and coming out to Australia has played a big part in helping me shape how I can balance my work and family life.

I’m also presenting a radio show in the UK for DIVA Magazine and am their music editor too. This helps me keep in the loop with what’s going on in music. 

What did the 4 year “break” from music do to your sound?

I haven’t had a four year break from music. I’ve not really stopped at any point. I even toured the UK whilst I was 6 months pregnant! My EP “Come Home”was released in 2016 and was indeed quite a different sound from “The Thin Line”. I’d learnt an awful lot about production so was no longer just writing on piano or guitar but building ideas of the final sound myself. It’s more electronic, sometimes dancey. My songwriting is similar but the final sound is fresher I suppose. 

What sort of world do you hope you’re kids grow up in?

A tolerant one. A kind one. A conscientious one. I meet young people today and they’re passionate about equality and passionate about the environment and correcting that damage we’ve done. I hope our kids just keep forging forward. 

Australia recently legalised gay marriage; what are your feelings on this? What are some other important campaigns we can support for the LGBTQI community?

I’m thrilled for you guys. Australia always led the world in tolerance towards our community so it’s surprising that it’s taken this long to be honest! I was shocked also that it was put to a public vote, that must have made it a very difficult period to live through for the community. I know it was bad enough with Brexit in the UK and that wasn’t a personal attack on me. I’m just thrilled for you. We have to support our trans friends now and just keep forging ahead till everyone can be who they want to be without fear. 

How has the queer community shaped who you are/your music career?

The queer community is who I am. They’ve supported my work and made my music career possible. No one was paying any attention before they embraced me quite frankly! I’m proud to be part of what I consider an international family. No matter where you are in the world it always feels like I’m amongst friends. I love our community and I’m super proud of the bravery that’s been shown whilst moving things forward. 

Are there any Australian acts on your radar?

6. Toby Beard is supporting me on my trip to Australia this time. We met in Germany at the L-Beach festival. She’s awesome and super talented. If you don’t know her, which many of you do in Perth, then check her out.

What are you most looking forward to about visiting WA?

Can I be honest? The sunshine. And the people. I love you guys. 

Catch Heather Peace at Mojos Bar Fremantle on the eve of IWD: March 7th. Tickets here: http://bit.ly/2oToSMx

Picking the Brain of Carla Geneve

Andrew Ryan

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There are very few regular gig goers who aren’t familiar with the musical stylings of Carla Geneve and her talented band of musos. Last year we saw her emerge as the winner of Cool Perth Nights Mojo Rising, and her impressive song-writing abilities, down to earth stage presence, and ability to twang that guitar in the most aurally pleasing of ways have secured her position within the music community.

Having just announced the long-awaited release of her debut single Greg’s Discount Chemist, and soon to share the stage the stage with Jen Cloher – it seems a perfect time to delve into this artists musical influences, pre-show rituals and what keeps that brain of hers ticking. Maggie sat down with Carla to pick her brain.

How does Jen Cloher’s music make you feel?

Excited! I get excited when I listen to her music because it makes me think about how much I like music. But also I just admire her and the longevity of her career, and the way that she is just doing it because she wants to do it. That’s so sick. She’s got a really rock and roll feel.

Do you think you’ll be star struck when you meet her?

I hope not! I have a bit of a tendency to do that. I really hope I wont embarrass myself.

Did listening to her music change you music?

When you listen to a lot of an artist you absorb them a little bit and take a bit of them on.  I like her lyrics. They affected me a lot because they are so…I had already written “pedestrian” honest stuff – she kind of centered that for me. Before I felt it was silly.

Why did you feel it was silly?

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I don’t know! Maybe that’s not the best way to explain it.  

You were unsure about it?

When you write a story about walking down the street you wonder, does anyone really care about this? I would feel self conscious about that. But listening to her  music, which is describing events, I realized that is a really nice way about going about writing. It makes me feel good.

Such a good point. You hear songs that are honest and don’t doubt it, but perhaps as a writer you would wonder – does anyone question this? Is it deep enough?

Yeah totally. I also really love the tones she uses. The guitar she uses is sick. The personal vibe of her music I really connected with it make me feel stronger to share my personal stories.

Favorite song on her album?

Dark art. (I love) the simplicity of it. The way she pauses between lines. It feels like they put a mic in the room with her and she plays a song.

You haven’t seen her play live yet?

No I haven’t

You haven’t seen her play live, and the first time you do you are playing 2 support slots for her!

I’m playing in Bells Rapid (aswell). I caught up with Stella (Donnelly) and she showed me the parts. I’m kind of nervous. I’m more comfortable with my own music, but playing music that isn’t mine and I’ve kind of just learnt for the gig and playing it in front of my music idols…it’s gonna be scary!

Do you have any pre-show rituals to help you before the show?

I like putting on eye-liner before I play. If I don’t have it on I feel weird. I kind of want it to look a bit imperfect. I like picking clothes. I like putting all my gear in my car and triple checking it. if I know I have everything then I feel calm.

You can catch Carla on stage with her band, and playing with Bells Rapids in support of Jen Cloher at Rosemount Hotel on Friday March 16.

And of course, don’t miss the launch of her single Greg’s Discount Chemist at the Bird on Saturday March 17 with very special guests Jack Davies & The Bush Chooks and Isla Imogen.­­­

Behind the Zine scene with Love Letters

Andrew Ryan

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Holed away in a share house in Fremantle, Lola Stephen and Pamela Bond sit cross legged on the floor surrounded by photographic prints, empty film canisters, a jumble of lap top leads and dozens of pages of scribbles and thoughts. They have been working hard on the inception, creation and launch of Love Letters - a DIY, not-for-profit zine showcasing female and non-binary musicians within the music industry. I had the oppurtunity to speak to Lola and Pam about all the gnitty-gritty in the lead up to the launch of the zine this evening at Mojo's.

For those who aren’t familiar – let’s start with the basics. Tell us the inspiration for this project – was there a ‘eureka’ moment that stands out to you?

Yep, definitely. It was around this time last year and I really wanted to put some creative energy into a new project and at the time was going through a bit of a bummer stage with a past relationship. I’d just watched The Runaways biopic and had made this playlist which heavily featured them, Patti Smith, Miss June and other loud female artists and it was one of the only things making me feel better. I thought it’d be cool to thank these women that we often turn to in these kind of times, the ones who give us a kick up the butt to be like ‘I’m good! I’ve got this! I’m great!’ - that’s where the idea of writing these ‘love letters’ to these women came about and the zine was born.

We’re very much in the age of the internet and online blogs and articles tend to be the major format for cultural and social discussion. What inspired the decision to put together a physical zine, as opposed to an online format? And what’s the importance of this to the themes and message the zine is encouraging?

I’ve always loved printed publications, having something to hold and flip through and pick up when you want and its so rewarding having a physical product of something that you’ve worked on for so long.

I’ve worked on zines and magazines in the past and always had this idea that I’d create one in every city I lived in (I’m from Scotland) and thought Perth was the perfect place to do one focused on music, specifically women in music because there is such a beautiful supportive scene here that I’ve never seen anywhere else. And although the music scene is thriving, there’s not much of a zine culture here so I wanted to bring that to the table and open more people up to the idea of creating your own DIY publications on whatever you want.

You’ve noted the inspiration of this zine is a celebration and exploration of femme and non-binary artists and their ability to provide a safe space when in times of need. I am more than familiar with this thanks to many contemplate evenings with PJ Harvey and Nico – which artists really affected you?

Oh gosh so so many. Big hitters for me are people like Debbie Harry, Patti Smith (lol how many times can I mention her in an interview), Kim Gordon, Beyonce!, Kim Deal, Angel Olsen, Jen Cloher, Julia Jacklin - I’ve written about Debbie Harry and Angel Olsen for the zine and our cover star is Julia Jacklin which is exciting.

Then there’s the women working and creating in this city around who through watching them play have given me the courage to start my own musical project from watching them do it, and kill it while doing so.

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The Love Letter’s scene utilizes a combination of photography, written words, art and design – why did you make the decision to include a variety of artistic mediums, and how does this marrying of mediums influence the way the ideas/topics are expressed?

For sure, I wanted to make something really visual and I know so many artists that I wanted to get on board to create imagery in order to accompany written aspects of the zine. I’m really inspired by 70s punk gig posters they’re always really bright and punchy so wanted to emulate that with Love Letters.

It was also really cool to reach out to friends who’s work I love and ask them to create these pieces and everyone created something so perfect for each piece. I think it’s really important to provide platforms and spaces for local artists and being able to merge so many different mediums into one publication is really special.

You and Pamela personally met with all the artists featured in the zine to photograph them. Was the direction/staging of the shoots quite deliberate? Or was there an organic, mutual approach to each shoot? And were there any artists that you particularly enjoyed chatting with/shooting? 

It really varied with everyone we met. For some we had a really clear image and idea how we wanted to photos to turn out, for example our shoot with Hyclass was a really strong vision Pam brought and created this really dreamy image, and then others had a clear idea how they themselves wanted to be portrayed. Sakidasumi was really cool to work with in that respect - she’s has such a strong image and is so sure and clear about what she wants. 

And then others we would just rock up at their houses and see what happened! A fun one was with Oosterbanger (hey that’s you!), there was some serious tree climbing involved - impressive skills. But it was really nice chatting to everyone involved and hearing who’s inspired and impacted their music. 

The zine celebrates femme and non-binary artists within the local community and across Australia. There is increasing awareness of representation and celebration for these artists within the music community. What decisions and steps do you believe we can take as gig-goers to support and strengthen this progress?

As gig-goers I think it’s really important to attend events with diverse lineups and question others which may be comprised of the usual straight, white, man bands we’re so used to seeing all the time. Diversity and representation is so important, Jennifer Aslett (San Cisco/Gunns), put it really well in the zine saying “you can’t be what you can’t see” which is so true, seeing someone like yourself on the stage really helps give you the confidence to do your own music or creative projects, it’s the little ‘fuck yeah I can do that too!’ push which is why it’s so important.

Can you tell us a little about the launch at Mojo’s this Thursday and where people can buy a copy of the zine if they’re unable to attend?

So our launch kicks off at 7.30pm at Mojo’s with an absolute killer line-up of women who we have featured in the zine - Childsaint, Demon Days, Ruby May, Kopano, Oosterbanger, Jamilla playing live sets as well as Nicole Filev and Love Letters DJs spinning tracks to keep ya dancing. And when I say Love Letters DJs it’s me and Soraya Stuart-Smith most likely playing Janet Jackson on repeat. They’ll be $10 on the night and we’ll be setting up an online place to buy zines, but if anyone is interested send us an email theloveletterszine@gmail.com and we can forward details. 

Cool Perth Nights' (Unofficial) Fringe World Festival Guide

Andrew Ryan

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It’s this time of the year again, where the would-be poets, the emerging actors, and the hardened artistic veterans come out of their creative hidey-holes and come together in the celebration of the weird, the colourful, and the… Fringe. (ugh, this sentence, it’s so cringe.)

Cool Perth Nights has, in its generosity and desire to tell you where the good things are happening- after all we would absolutely feel awful if you had to sit through an hour and a half that you’ll never ever get back (and trust us, we’ve been there.). So in an effort to help you have as much fun at Fringe, this (very much unofficial) guide to what looks great (what looks great initially- may however leave much to be desired).

 

Without further ado-

 

Cabaret- This is why you go to Fringe. Presenting cabaret in the right setting is difficult to find any other time of the year, as are to find patrons who are willing to go to sleep at 2 am rather than a healthy 8 pm. Here’s some of the top picks at a glance:

 Tomas Ford

Tomas Ford

Tomas Ford’s FXXK YOU tour- Tomas Ford is a veteran of the fringe festival circuit, like no other- after all he has performed at the Edinborough Fringe Festival, the holy grail of all fringe festivals, and was not booed out of it, as far as rumours go. Tomas Ford’s previous work included the (in)famous Crap Music Rave (the only time where it’s appropriate to have Rebecca Black on the playlist), and now he’s back on the road with a series of improvs, comedies, late night cabarets and dance-alongs by him and other company This is happening at the Rosemount’s very own Bar 459, and at the very least you’ll never have a bad time at Tomas Ford’s performances. How you process what happens afterwards, is up to you.

Jamie Mykaela’s Napoleon Complex- A frequent tour companion to the above, but nonetheless has become a breakout star in her own right- from being on the British X-Factor (but not quite making it) and being semi-viral in Malaysia- no mean feat for someone who is 4 foot 7. Complete with comedy, ukelele and saccharine whimsy, the entertainment could be way above six-foot- all of it happening at the Moon Cafe’s Loungeroom from the 11th to 16th of February (except on the 12th).

***

Theatre- All the world’s a stage and the men and women are merely players…. Yada yada yada. Theatre is the other most popular battleground of the festival, attracting both experienced playwrights, directors and actors, alongside ones fresh out of acting school ready to show they can be more than just themselves. Here's some of the top picks at a glance:

 

 Fleabag

Fleabag

Fleabag- Based off the BBC series by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag is all about the daily lives of a 20-something millennial enmeshed in a world of shit, meaningless sex, and shit, meaningless jobs. Sounds like material that will relate to a lot of us. Fleabag runs at the Blue Room from 13-17 February, and then 20-24 February.

How To Kill The Queen of Pop- Three back-up singers in drag. One knife. It is the year 2000, and the Olympics have come to Sydney. Vanessa Amorosi will be the one singing at the opening ceremony- or will she? The concept is lurid, and honestly, this one can be roaring laugh out loud, or embarrassingly terrible. But such lop-sided risk / reward factors are part and parcel of Fringe World.

19 Weeks- 19 Weeks is a very personal piece by Emily Steel, about how she dealt being pregnant with a baby diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, and the aftermath. The setting of a swimming pool and the fact that you will be putting your feet in said pool promises to be an unflinching and intimate experience. 19 Weeks runs at the COMO pool, at COMO The Treasury (1 Cathedral Avenue) from the 30-31st of January, and then 1-3 and then 6-10 February.

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 Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby

Comedy- HAHAAHAHA!!! Or sometimes, the crowd goes quiet, and you know you’ve done goofed. That’s the comedian life for you.

Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette- This is her magnum opus, and she brings it back to Perth as a final swansong to her comedy career. This might be your only chance to watch it live, and that alone might just be a good reason to go. It runs on the 27th and the 28th January at the State Theatre Centre.

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Music- Perth is the most isolated capital in the world, yet produces a music scene that kicks ass. Cool Perth Nights always wonders if its something in the water that’s responsible for this- but we’ll leave that introspective solipsism for another day, and celebrate the fact that we have viable export material that doesn’t come from under the ground. Whilst music events tend to play out as sideshow, still it's something for everyone.

 

 Menagerie Choir

Menagerie Choir

Silent Disco- The Silent Disco has been almost a part of Fringe World, that without it, would it even be the same festival? The Silent Disco is never not popular from dusk to twilight, the song and dance goes on. The atmosphere is contained entirely within a set of noise-cancelling headphones, and with several different channels to dance to, there’s something in it for everyone. Entry to this is rather unconvnetional, as you have to go to the Box Office to purchase Showman’s Coins- which is the actual way to pay for entry. This is on throughout the duration of the festival.

Menagerie Choir Presents: Keeping Secrets- The Menagerie choir is another very popular act, from its early days, several years ago, it finds itself performing everywhere, anytime, and here they are performing once again for the patrons of Fringe World. For those who don’t know, they make acappellas out of popular songs and have fun doing so. And you’ll probably have fun too, possibly singing along quietly, wondering why you didn’t join this choir (and they’re very open to newcomers!). On at the 17-18 and 24-25 February at the Teatro at the Pleasure Garden.

 

(Note: This guide should only be used as an advisory, and not a statement of fact. If you must see a show because a friend / relative of yours is in it, though do so by all means, and be gentle, unless you are a reviewer in which case, go strike while the iron is hot. Cool Perth Nights is not responsible for any lack of enjoyment you may have during the 2018 Fringe World Festival.)

6006 Feature | North Perth chats with Spacey Jane

Andrew Ryan

Spacey Jane.jpg

With North Perth Local's 6006 In The Park at Woodville Reserve just around the corner, we thought we'd have a chat with some of the incredible musicians playing the event. It's not often you get to see a line-up like this for free. We touched base with up-and-comers Spacey Jane to chat about their North Perth experiences, music, and pizza toppings.

To get things started - what’s the Spacey Jane origin story? You formed about a year and a half ago, was there a inspired moment of ‘this is a fantastic idea’? Or was it more of a natural progression?

Kieran and I have been playing for a few years now and we’d been looking for people to play with around Perth but being new to the city made that a bit tricky. When Ashton and Meils came along it wasn’t a big magic moment or anything, I think we were all a bit self-conscious, we whipped out Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon covers. It was all a bit awkward but it evolved pretty quickly, certainly a natural progression.

If your sound was a pizza – what would be the toppings (edible toppings are preferable).

Fruit salad and carbonara. It wouldn’t be much of a pizza.

Songwriting break down. Do lyrics or riffs come first? Do you have a main songwriter or is it a collaborative effort?

I (caleb) usually bring the band most of a song and we work at it together and everyone’s parts come together over a couple weeks. Sometimes I write riffs or Meils and I share a riff for a song, it’s pretty fluid, we haven’t really locked into a formula just yet.

You launched your debut EP No Way To Treat An Animal in November last year. Are you still basking in the wonderful achievement? And what have the roll-on effects of the release been?

Yea its been super nice to have a body of work to put our name on, it’s the result of lots of work for us so we feel a little chuffed with it. It feels like we solidified a bunch of great fans, its amazing having full rooms singing along to our songs. There’s a few other exciting things rolling out from it but that’s a secret for now…

I’ve wrangled you in because you’re playing North Perth Local’s 6006 In The Park event next weekend celebrating the local community. To get thing started - what’s the weirdest night you’ve had out in North Perth (keep it PG – this is a family event).

Living in freo makes it pretty uneconomical for me to get up here very often, one of last times I had a big night up there I fell asleep on the train home and woke up back in the city with bunch of concerned suits looking at me. Had work in an hour so I spent 50 on a taxi (questionable) and my driver was a retired priest who helped me sort out my life choices for our 30mins together.

You’ve won $500 on a scratchie and are spending the day in North Perth. What do you do? Where do you spend it? What do you buy?

This is tough one seeing as we don’t have a firm grasp on North Perth geography but a good friend of ours shared this from his memo.

“…bought a hot chicken and some wonder white bread from coles and spent the day fighting Ibis in Hyde park”- Nath Lewis.

You can see Spacey Jane alongside Tired Lion, Rick Stelle and Felicity Groom at the 6006 In The Park event held at Woodville Reserve in North Perth on January 28, kicking off at 4pm.

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Mailout Soundtrack - A Crow Looked At Me

Andrew Ryan

It is significant that Mount Eerie, who's album A Crow Looked at Me was amongst all the top ten album count downs that matter, has sold out Mojo's Bar. Check this openly sombre album while you pick at the final potentially mouldy left overs from Christmas day.

Fireside Chats: With the Ban Uranium Mining Permanently (B.U.M.P)

Andrew Ryan

 BUMP in action. Photo: Claire Anderson.

BUMP in action. Photo: Claire Anderson.

Nuclear.

Ever since humanity dropped the atomic bomb- illustrating its dangerous potential- we have been nonetheless fascinated- and to some repulsed by it. When the threat of nuclear annihilation receded, humanity was then immediately challenged by the spectre of global warming, one to which we are yet to solve (assuming that we do at all).

Often conversations about environment boil down to energy. After all electricity is something we use- and by use- literally dependent on it. Coal, gas and other fosil fuels fuel our energy-reliant society (especially in the age of BitCoin), and the constant expansion for new sources inevitably results in the trampling of natural resources, to which some segment of our population disapproves.

Nuclear power has often been billed as an energy efficient, environmentally friendly replacement for the smog-inducing coal power plants. But the use of nuclear power always presents the spectre of the deadly fallout, that thankfully, rarely ensues. For some, however, it is a price too high to pay, and groups like Ban Uranium Mining Permanently dedicate day, night and twilight to fight.

So here I am, Clayton Lin, part-time arts reviewer, writer of miscellaneous topics and occasional player of card games, gets out of his typical medieval-history filled box, to chat to Olivia from B.U.M.P about the glowing, smoldering issue at hand.

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C: As someone who is a more of a hermit than in the know, explain to the uninitiated who B.U.M.P is and what they fight for?

O: BUMP (Ban Uranium Mining Permanently) is a grass roots collective of volunteers working out of Fremantle. BUMP has been at it for nearly ten years and was previously called FANG (Fremantle Anti Nuclear Group).

We are a pretty diverse group of people with a range of different skills and expertise, but at its core BUMP is driven by some incredible individuals who have dedicated most of their lives to the anti-colonialism and anti-nuclear struggle. I think BUMP strives mostly to be an accomplice to the Aboriginal people who are opposing the brutal and permanent dispossession that is Uranium mining.

Where most people get involved is through one of BUMPs biggest and longest running projects which is the Walkatjurra Walkabout, now going in to its eighth year. Walkatjurra Walkabout is a month long walk in the northern goldfields that takes place every year, usually at the beginning of August. Every day the walkers travel on foot through country, from camp to camp, connecting with the land and learning about the strong history of resistance to uranium mining in WA. Internationally there is a powerful legacy of walking for country and the Walkatjurra walkers get to be a part of that.

Definitely check it out ~ https://walkingforcountry.com/

C: On to the topic at hand- whilst I did some of my own cursory research regarding the Yeelirrie mine site and its contentious approval- but the populace at large who may not have heard of this story- explain to us what is at stake here and why the public should care about the issue.

O: Yeelirrie is an incredible place in the northern goldfields of WA. Yeelirrie is within Tjiwarl Native Title lands and means ‘place of death’ in the local language. The uranium deposit at Yeelirrie is the largest known deposit in Western Australia and Traditional Owners have fought to stop it for over 40 Years.

A Canadian mining company called Cameco wants to create a 9kmlong open pit mine and uranium processing plant at Yeelirrie. Not only will it destroy this sacred area but mining and processing will use an estimated 8.7 million litres of ground water a day. This project is estimated to generate 36 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste to be stored in open pits. The Environmental Protection Authority has officially warned that that this project would lead to the extinction of several species of subterranean fauna.

The proposal threatens important cultural heritage sites that are part of the Seven Sisters Dreaming song line.

For me it is important to know that the history of the uranium industry in Australia is a history of racism. Aboriginal people face the destruction of their land by this industry and its radioactive legacy. Uranium mining functions as a violent and oppressive perpetuation of colonialism in this country.

And it doesn’t end here in Australia. Everyone is stressing out at the threat of nuclear warfare, well where does that threat begin? Uranium mined in Australia fueled the disaster at Fukashima. It was Australian uranium in those reactors.

Not to mention that mining and processing uranium is a very carbon intensive process, and not the solution to climate change that people are being sold.

This is an amazingly multi-faceted campaign, with many people fulfilling different important roles; from people who are passionate about policy making and international campaigning to the people who attend, play music and cook food at grass roots events like The Nukecracker.

When lands are threatened right in our back yard in the city, its hard to ignore and essential to act. We need to remember that there are fights happening on the stolen lands of people living in the Goldfields and the Pilbara, and all over Australia, all the time. Wanti uranium – leave it in the ground.

C: The controversy regarding the approval and the long drawn out legal battle for both sides, but more so for the Band Uranium Mining Permanently. To this end, your organization has decided to hold a fundraiser at Mojo’s called Nukecracker (whoever came up with this name needs to be given a pay rise or an extra lump sum on top) to help raise money to continue the fight. Again, for those who aren’t aware of this story- can you tell us about the legal battle in the courts, and what are you hoping to achieve through it?

O: Three Tjiwarl native title holders and Conservation council of Western Australia with the EDO (Environmental Defenders Office) have taken Cameco and the State to court over the approval of the Yeelirrie uranium mine by the Liberal Government just weeks before the election this year. The EPA had recommended that it not be approved as it would lead to the extinction of several species of subterranean Fauna.

This court case will set precedent for all of Western Australians and their right to have a fair and environmentally conscious approval process for development projects. Ministers should not be able to sign off on the extinction of a species.

BUMP seeks to support the Tjiwarl native title holders in their continued struggle against this project. Part of this is by helping raise funds for this court case, which is entirely crowd-funded. The Nukecracker will be a party celebrating the efforts and strength of everyone who has been involved and all money raised will go towards the court costs. 2017 has been a massive year and we need to celebrate all the hard work that has gone in to keeping WA nuclear free.

It is important to note that this mine is currently not economically feasible. The company has stated that they need a $55- $60 a pound for uranium, to break even, current prices are $24 a pound.

Uranium is a dirty and toxic industry and there is no current plan on how to clean up the mess this mine will make, especially if Cameco goes bankrupt, like almost all uranium companies are currently doing due to the instability and undesirability of uranium as a global product.

You can donate or read more about the court case and Yeelirrie at our Chuffed account https://chuffed.org/project/yeelirrie-court-case

C: Non-topical and closing question- Whenever I do interview, I make it a tradition to ask about their most favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner, and in addition to any other hobbies / fun stuff you do outside your activism?

O: I guess I prefer to be eating whatever Id be eating when I’m the bush. Which I means I eat a lot of watermelon when I’m in the city. At the moment I love boxing, trail running and playing music.

 

Cool Perth Nights | A Year In Review | Tash Sultana Home Coming Tour

Andrew Ryan

What a year for music culture! Aside from Cool Perth Nights owned and operated Mojo’s Bar picking up the publicly voted WAM award for best venue, and Cool Perth Nights programmed and marketed venue Rosemount picking up best live entertainment venue award, 2017 saw many glass ceilings righteously smashed by femme activists and artists. 

The gender playing field is still out of whack – and there’s still a lot of work to be done - but in the same breath, 2017 has been a year of celebration and consolidation for all the hard work and progress achieved.

In keeping with this, Cool Perth Night’s produced and promoted our biggest shows to date with the one woman band world beater – Tash Sultana – selling out her Fremantle Arts Centre performances, with close to 7000 music lovers attending to share in this incredible experience.

We have additional large scale events in the works for 2018 and 2019 – and at the same time, are continuing to champion Under 18 artists with our Sweet Oblivion programming at the YMCA space HQ. Mojo Rising is slated to continue through 2018 sharing the love at both Mojo’s Bar, and a selection of other performance spaces.

Eternal respects and congrats to Carla Geneve, one of the brightest stars we’ve been privileged to see at such an early stage of their career and no doubt the beginning of a long and prosperous journey in music and performance.

And with that we leave you with this incredible video filmed and produced by our new and very talented friend - Jacob Crawford – featuring Tash Sultana performing at Fremantle Arts Centre.

THE VICTIMS | New release "Charlie"

Andrew Ryan

The Victims.png

Charlie Manson is dead: goodbye and good riddance from The Victims. 

In 1977, The Victims went to see a film called Helter Skelter, a made-for-TV film that received a cinema release in Australia. Helter Skelter depicted the Manson murders and the subsequent investigation and trial. Charles Manson himself had become a notorious figure and for some people he was a pop culture icon, a kind of anti-James Dean. People were endlessly fascinated by the lurid details of the murders and the bizarre world of Manson and his followers, his co-called “Family”. The Victims took a different view - they thought Charles Manson was a total loser. After watching Helter Skelter, drummer James Baker (who went on to gain notoriety in the Beasts of Bourbon and The Scientists) wrote some lyrics and Dave Flick, aka Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus), set them to music. Charlie was born and became another Victims anthem in the tiny punk scene in Perth, Western Australia. 

Flash forward to the 2017 and Baker and Faulkner performed under The Victims name for the first time in nearly four decades with aussie hardcore legend Ray Ahn of The Hard Ons playing bass. They enjoyed themselves so much they decided to record a half dozen of The Victims songs that had never had a proper recording back in ’77/’78 when they were active. Excitingly for fans of this highly influential punk outfit, these brand new Victims recordings will soon see the light of day. Charlie is the first taste of the sessions which took place at Perth's RADA Studio's earlier this year. Manson himself died the day before the band went in to mix the first couple of songs so he will never hear how little respect The Victims had for him. 

Who cares what he would have thought. Now we can all dance on his grave metaphorically, singing “Charlie Manson, you’re a fool!”.

Backstage | Amber Fresh chats with Dean Lewis

Andrew Ryan

Dean Lewis.jpg

Sydney local turned globe trotting musical extraordinaire - Dean Lewis - played to a sold out crowd at Mojo's Bar last week. It only seems fair he has a fellow wondrous human to celebrate with, so here's the lovely Amber Fresh chatting with Dean at Mojo's Bar, Fremantle, about all things life, music and lovely.