Darren Percival is coming to Geelong on May 24 as part of his national Lovelife tour. The soul singer rose to prominence on the first season of Channel Nine’s The Voice in 2012, in which he was mentored by Keith Urban and finished runner-up. Already a professional singer prior to gaining fame, Darren says the experience on The Voice hasn’t really changed him at all.
Can you believe it’s been almost twenty years since three blonde-haired boys from Oklahoma MMMBop’d their way into the charts and the hearts of girls (and maybe a few guys) across the globe? Like The Beatles, every fan had their favourite – and now, thanks to a recent catch-up ahead of the Australian leg of their world tour, mine is the older, wiser and notably shorter-haired big brother, Isaac.
“Music is everything at this point,” John says. “It’s my job. I teach music, and I love that, and every other hour I’m writing music, recording music, playing music, rehearsing music, doing publicity for music: it pretty much consumes my life at the moment. On weekends I usually spend most of the time inside a dark room either mucking around with recordings or rehearsing. It’s definitely a driving force in everything I do.”
Good music is a wonderful thing – great music can change your life. Just ask James Hunt, drummer for Sydney dance trio RÜFÜS. “Life feels a little surreal at the moment. Our debut album [Atlas] just went gold and we’ve been able to tour internationally. These are milestones we never saw happening eighteen months ago when we started writing the album. It’s amazing, and we remind ourselves of that every day.”
It’s been a long journey from Zambia to Australia for Larry Maluma, and finally after ten years his eleventh album, Ndakondwa (I’m Happy), is hitting the shelves. Since coming to Australia in 1985, Maluma has had the opportunity to work with the likes of Paul Kelly, Diesel and Nicky Bomba to highlight but just a few collaborations. In the lead up to the release of Ndakondwa, Maluma speaks animatedly about this set of tracks.
“I’d like to make it known that this is the last CherryRock in the current incarnation. We are getting pushed out of AC/DC lane and that is a little bit sad, but by hook or by crook I’ll see if I can’t reinvent us and take the festival to another location around the city. It’s going to be sad though not being in AC/DC lane where it used to be that rock and roll wasn’t noise pollution.”
The Meat Puppets are the original band’s band, loved and respected by some of the world’s most influential musicians. In their career spanning over four decades, they’ve caught the eye of rock ’n’ roll royalty like Flea, Henry Rollins and the late, great Kurt Cobain, who personally invited the Puppets to appear alongside them at the now legendary gig, MTV Unplugged in New York, back in ’93.
Here at Forte we love punks – particularly Low Desert ones. Enter the incomparable Brant Bjork and his hand-picked band of rockers: “I’m excited to come back, man. It’s pretty obvious I love Australia, so I’m bringing some good buddies of mine and together we’ll bring some serious rock!”
It’s been too long since Canadian punk band Propagandhi have set foot on Australian soil, but as I found out in a recent heart to heart with founding member and drummer Jord Samolesky, they’re headed our way – and couldn’t be happier about it.
“We just got back from a tour of the West Coast of the US, so right now we’re laying low and spending a few weeks practising and rehearsing, getting everything ready to go,” Jord began excitedly. “The Australian leg is the longest we’re going out this year and we’re really happy to have the opportunity to come back. We’re all looking forward to it lots!”
Geelong locals will be all too familiar with the name Michael Stangel. Having grown up around the area, he is one of our biggest success stories. For those other regional readers of Forte, well, Mr Stangel is one of Australia’s biggest record producers, working alongside The Veronicas, Dean Geyer and Shannon Noll, as well as being a contestant on last year’s season of the Channel Nine show, The Voice.