When i was really young, like 8 or 9 my mum used to book me in for singing lessons. That was where i sort of found out that i loved music (and singing). My teacher told me that “if you are going to write a song, you’ve got to tell a story”. It doesn’t have to exactly be a lineal story with a beginning, middle and end, but it’s good to at least say ‘something’ in the song you are writing i think. When I’m writing lyrics i still often sit back and ask myself “what exactly am i trying to say here” and do often think about narrative in some way, shape or form. So yeah, i guess I do focus on it a bit.
“I’m not going to put on a Nina Simone record and think ‘man, I kick ass!’ I’d be a real jerk if I did that! Or I’d be very deluded!” Jeff joked when asked about his secret to success. “I try to maintain a perspective on why I do what I do in the first place, and the simple answer is I fall in love with music and I just felt compelled to give it a go, you know?” The humble multi-ARIA winner is back on the road this winter to promote his latest, and in my humble opinion, greatest release yet, I Live in My Head a Lot These Days (out now through ABC/Universal).
If throwing television sets out of hotel windows and playing to thousands of people each night seems like a charmed life to you, then tune up that guitar and get out of your bedroom because the Courthouse ARTS’ Battle of the Bands is coming back to town and is happening on Thursday, August 7. Although there are no televisions to be thrown out of the Courthouse’s window, you will have a cracker crowd to play to. Last year’s winner, Residual, officially formed for the battle despite jamming together ideas for songs twelve months beforehand. Since then the band has gone on to national touring and sold-out shows at Beav’s Bar and is getting ready to release their debut EP in the next couple of months.
Chatting with the guys from the Surf Coast’s own Barbarella is like listening to some sort of mutual admiration society. Barb Peppard and Evan Jones are just so full of praise for each other’s abilities and clearly deeply respect each other as musicians. The duo plays a mixture of a few covers and Barb’s original songs, with Evan providing the lead guitar alongside Barb’s acoustic rhythm and beautiful vocals. They met while playing in a backing band for Victoriana Gaye and then decided to play some solo gigs.
It’s been seven years, seven long years, but finally in 2014 we should be getting the long-awaited fifth album from Melbourne’s own The Band Who Knew Too Much (TBWKTM). From busking on the streets of St Kilda to playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the band has taken in a lot of miles over the last twenty-five years. I recently got the opportunity to sit down with Dave Evans, accordionist and vocalist for the group, to have a retrospective chat at their illusive career so far and to find out what the future holds.
While Liz Stringer’s release, Warm In The Darkness, may be a few years old she’s still sharing her smooth vocals to captive audiences around Victoria. Liz will take her sweet tunes to Geelong and down the coast for a few one off shows. She took the time out while on the road, to have a chat to Forte about her writing process and what she has planned for the future.
It may be cold outside but things are heating up for bong-loving Brisbanites, the Dune Rats. Not ones to revel in bad weather, the Dunies are back on home soil with plans to make these first weeks of winter their bitch. Now affectionately known as the month of Dune, it’s the perfect time to check out their explosive live show when they roll into town in support of their self-titled debut album.
“If I’m up there singing about someone losing their job and nobody’s buying it, then why am I doing it?” asked Forte favourite and local musician Nathan Seeckts. “If I don’t believe in what I’m singing, how the hell is anyone else that’s watching or listening going to? That’s a thought constantly in the back of my head.” Nathan is a natural born storyteller inspired by the likes of Bob Seeger, Tom Waits and The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. “These tales come from where I live, the place I call home…” As a Geelong native, his lyrics echo themes felt by all in the community – pride, love, loss, hope and resilience.
From the early days of Northeast Party House, an exceptional and high energy live show has always been a must. Now four years on, they are releasing their debut record, Any Given Weekend. Guitarist for the outfit, Jack Shoe, feels that after a long time of refining the songs, being able to put the album out releases some pressure off the band and gives them time to consider their next move. “These songs have been two years in the making and to finally have the disc out is great.”
Electronic music is everywhere these days and with current technology, a new breed of musician is able to create, distribute and promote their music from almost anywhere, anytime. I caught up with Chris Noonan from Oxygen College to get the low down on what Electronic Music Production is all about and how to get started.