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.
Fiery, exhilarating, textured and artful is the best way to describe the new-school of Scottish traditional music – and Breabach are, without a doubt, leaders of the pack. Although admitting they needed to “detox plans” after winning over the crowd and critics alike at The Woodford Folk Festival, they’ll soon be back in the air on the twenty-odd hour plane journey to play for us again at the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
Adam Rozenbachs is one of Australia’s finest comedians today and is set to appear at Raw Comedy, which takes at GPAC on the 22nd of February. In the lead up to the event and just after the start of 2014, I got the opportunity to speak with Adam about his ambitions for this year, as well as some highlights from his career thus far.
Geelong alt-grunge four-piece Sons of Stereo is a band who not only love playing music, but they love supporting it. With no expectations to take the world by storm, frontman Robin Ricketts and guitarist Ash Laidlaw explain how they’re just out to have a good time. “Everyone wants to follow a dream that maybe one day they can live off of, but the reality is that only a few of us actually get to do that,” says Laidlaw.
When you’re missing a member of your family who is on the other side of the world, there are a few ways to catch up – some pick up a phone, some jump on a plane and some form their own band and tour Australia. The Simpson sisters, Vikki and Donna, have been missing each other since The Waifs took a break a few years ago, but now they are heading back to Australia as the Stray Sisters.
There’s a misconception out there that those in the arts world are hard to contact; whilst constantly creating, discovering the world and undertaking every experience they can, responding to an email falls down on their list of things to do. But for Courtney Ward, while her passion for life is running high, she still has time to type a friendly response – albeit it while she was trekking the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.