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.
“The idea came to me when I woke up one morning in Ecuador. I was doing a bit of soul searching and thought wouldn’t it be a great idea to start a market,” she says. “Then I came back and saw that there was a gap in the market. There was no platform for our creatives to get their work out.”
We feel pretty busy of late. Besides our normal stuff of running and doing gigs, I have also been involved in three separate art exhibitions – two at Outré Galleries (Sydney and Melbourne) and this one coming up at Boom Gallery in Geelong. Besides all that, we have also been spending a lot of time working on our O/S tour which starts this June.
“I always like to get in the audience’s face a little bit, try and drag them into the joy and the energy which is present in all Jape Squad shows,” says Woody, Jape Squad’s lead vocalist. “With Jape Squad we really like to take the audience on the musical ride.”
Hunters & Collectors trumpeter Jack Howard is bringing his band, The Ambassadors of Love, to the Anglesea Golf Club on May 24. The performance, part of the venue’s Roo Twilights music series, is a tribute to the songs of songwriting legends Burt Bacharach and Hal David. According to Jack, the Ambassadors of Love arose out of what was intended to be a one-off gig at a St Kilda record shop.
Robyn Hitchcock is on a bus, riding around the inner streets of Sydney, when I finally get on to him to chat about his upcoming couple of months of touring around Australia. With a couple of special anniversaries celebrated throughout his solo show, Robyn is also teaming up with Steve Kilbey, frontman for seminal ’80s Oz rockers The Church, for a couple of shows.