Sadly the summer festival season is drawing to a close, but rather than staying in, early nights and re-runs, it’s time to look to the future – viva la Future Music Festival. This year, organisers have promised that the production will blow our minds, and they’ve managed to wrangle some of the world’s most electrifying acts, from Eric Prydz to Pharrell, Deadmau5 to Phoenix. Fold Aussie-born EDM darlings the Stafford Brothers into the mix and you have yourself one helluva farewell to summer.
For Emily Lubitz, family and music seem to go hand in hand: her brother Jesse is the guitarist in their band Tinpan Orange, she is married to the Cat Empire’s Harry Angus and their two-year-old son has already been to more gigs and festivals than most people will in their lifetime. And while Lubitz and Angus both being in successful bands is great, it can be hard to find time together, but they’ve found a simple solution – book the same gigs.
This week sees the release of Real Feel (out Feb 21 through Liberation), the sophomore album from Sydney band The Holidays. “We’re excited!” revealed frontman Simon Jones when he spoke with Forte ahead of the release. “We’ve had a lot of these songs for a really long time now, so we just can’t wait for people to hear them.”
In the late eighties/early nineties, Nick Barker and the Reptiles were one of the biggest bands in the Australian music scene. With two top forty albums – Goin’ to Pieces and After the Show – they were at the top of the game. One of the main players on the Friday billing at Motor City Music Festival, Nick Barker and the Heartache State are bringing a string of new tunes, but Nick also assures me that your old favourites such as ‘Timebomb’ and ‘Make Me Smile’ will get a guernsey as well. Ahead of rocking out the Southern Cross stage, I caught up with the man to have a chat about his illustrious career.
John Butler has just released his latest album entitled Flesh and Blood. A combination of his previous works, Flesh and Blood is Butler’s most ambitious release to date. Produced by Jan Skubiszewski – longtime collaborator with Owl Eyes – Flesh and Blood is taking a different direction. Off around the country in support of the album throughout March and April, I recently got the opportunity to sit down with John to have a chat about the different direction and sound of the band.
The Smith Street Band is one of those bands that you hear and from the very first moment you are hooked. With an energetic stage show and some killer tunes, they are definitely developing into a special live experience. With two studio albums under their belt (The Smith Street Band and Sunshine and Technology) as well as an EP entitled Don’t F*ck With Our Dreams, this is a band on the edge of super stardom – although you would probably say that they have already made it after just one look at their CV. In the lead up to their first show of the tour, I caught up with lead songwriter and frontman for the group, Wil Wagner, for a chat.
Although it may be clichéd to say, after considerable research and having a chat to Hollie Smith ahead of her performance at the upcoming Apollo Bay Music Festival, I think it’s fair to say that she is definitely one of the most creative and successful musicians to come out of New Zealand in recent years – if not ever. Lorde and the Finn brothers are obviously up the top of the list too when you think of the greatest NZ acts of all time, but having shared the stage with Bob Dylan and Coldplay as well as Fat Freddy’s Drop, I can say with confidence that Smith is definitely one talented lady.
30 Seconds to Mars are not scared to dream big and shoot for the stars. Whether that means putting those stars in their music video, or reaching them in space rockets, the band certainly aren’t afraid to do things their own way. Their always extravagant music videos went one step further last year when they recruited some of Hollywood’s most controversial stars – Kanye West and Lindsay Lohan to name a couple – for their ‘City of Angels’ clip.
Like a shining beckon of hope in ’92, Arrested Development rose above the murky waters of early nineties gangsta rap to be named band of the year by Rolling Stone, win two Grammy awards and sell four million copies of their debut album. Fast forward twenty-odd years and their brand of uplifting, soulful grooves are as pertinent as ever. I was lucky enough to sit down with the one and only original founding member, Speech, ahead of their anticipated appearance at WOMADelaide.
Ben Weinman may be the most loved man in metal – or mathcore, depending on what you subscribe to – and now it’s time to show him we care when he returns for Soundwave with The Dillinger Escape Plan. He’ll be in the company of friends (although recent news of the Stone Temple Pilots withdrawing is a shock), and Ben tells me that being Soundwave alumni has its perks.