Archive for the ‘This Is Nowhere’ Category

Amber Fresh, Inglorious Busker

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Amber FreshTime to take another look at one of the Inglorious Buskers playing at This Is Nowhere.

This time round we’re checking in with Amber Fresh, AKA Rabbit Island, as she performs “Adam’s Song”.

We’re eight days out from the event — you can get your tickets here.

Interview: HTRK

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

HTRK are one of those bands where attempts to describe their sound often range from the unhelpful to the pretentious. We’re going to eschew any attempt to do that: if you haven’t heard HTRK before, scroll to the bottom of this interview and listen to their second LP, Work (work, work), while you read.

htrkOriginally from Melbourne, the band have been based out of London since 2007 following a brief stay in Berlin. Now a two-piece after the passing of founding member Sean Stewart, the band are putting together their third record and getting ready to play This Is Nowhere. Jack Midalia caught up with Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang to discuss their new record and altitude sickness.

How are you guys?
Jonnine: We’re good. We’re just in the middle of a few concentrated rehearsals with our new music, trying to fit that into the set.

There’s not really much out there about what you’ve have been up to lately. What’s been happening?
Jonnine: We’ve been through a lot, you know. We needed to kind of shut everything down and stop everything after the heavy touring of Work (work, work) and really just concentrate on the writing process and the next chapter of what we were going to do, without playing any shows to distract us. And also, we felt like it was a start again, but keeping within the same feelings and ideals that were the reason we started the band in the first place.

Nigel: We just finished recording, too. We were in New Mexico recording a new release?

Why New Mexico?
Nigel: We got an invite to a studio there. Nathan Corbin, he plays in this band called Excepter. He also shot a video of ours for a song called “Bendin” for Work (work, work). He was in Santa Fe and just invited us, so we took him up on the offer and had a really amazing time.

Was it a different experience to recording previous albums? I think Work (work, work) was not as studio-based, is that right?
Nigel: Yeah, Work (work, work) we kind of did ourselves. This time round was a really unique experience. Nathan was kind of involved in playing some synths and doing some programming. It was all super-chilled…

Jonnine: In saying that, I lost my mind. I think Nigel has blocked out the fact that for five days of this experience I was completely insane in a new psychosis, trying to hide it from the boys. I didn’t know what had happened to me, I thought all my past experiences had kind of cemented in this burst of “oh, ok, now I’m crazy”. What it turned out to be was that I was suffering from acute altitude sickness and could have died. Our producer, Nathan, picked us up from the airport, handed me a beer and a cigarette and then took us on a really intense hike. We were at the highest point at New Mexico. What we should have done was laid low in Albuquerque and acclimatised, or acclimated, as they like to say, and then I should have had a lot of electrolytes.

For the first five days it was a really emotional experience. We bonded with Nathan through this trauma of me losing my mind… and then after that we put down some pretty sweet tracks.

Does that come out in the recording?
Jonnine: I think so, yeah. When I listen back to the vocal takes, it’s like “I could never do that again”. It’s purely in the moment which I’m really happy about… I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else.

What’s the new record like?
Jonnine: It’s more melodic. It’s far more up. It’s actually an album you could dance to. We’re calling it a love album.

A love album?
Jonnine: Yeah. It’s very different from the other two. All three albums serve a specific purpose. Marry Me Tonight is the lust album before you go out. Work (work, work) is the come down album when you get in bed with a couple of mates. This was the love album that I think you would either be in a club or at least in a car coming home from a club kind of thing.

Do you go into writing and recording records with some sort of a theme in mind?
Jonnine: Yeah, we do. In saying that, this album we didn’t put any pressure on ourselves. We didn’t know what we were going to be without Sean. It’s been a really intense time. And so, rather than put pressure on ourselves, we thought “let’s just make some music together and see what happens”. We didn’t have the pressure of making an LP, we thought “let’s just make some songs.” Without that pressure, we’ve made an album.

So it’s a full album?
Jonnine: Yes, it will be. We’ve got two under-wraps, special guests that will feature on the album which is really different for us. It’s a really different kind of album for us.

You’re back in Melbourne now?
Jonnine: Yeah, Nigel’s in Sydney and I’m in Melbourne. We’ve got four or five festival shows coming up until ATP next year in February.

What’s it like being back in Australia and playing shows after living away for a while?
Jonnine: Well, we haven’t played a show this year. This is going to be our first show with almost like a new attitude. I must say, playing shows last year we had some really magical experiences, but we were grieving. We were in a pretty strange place.

Making some new music and being in a new chapter — I’m really looking forward to starting again.

I haven’t seen you guys live before… what should we expect at This Is Nowhere in terms of a live show?
Jonnine: Well, I think what you should expect is to let go. It’s almost like when you go to the cinema, you pay the money, and you should really not talk to the person sitting next to you and ask “what’s going on with the plot?” You should just lose yourself and trust that the Director is taking you somewhere.

You should just trust us that we’re trying to take you somewhere.

Win a Double Pass to This Is Nowhere

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

TortoiseFancy checking out the mind-melting awesomeness of Tortoise, Xiu Xiu, Tenniscoats, Jimmy Edgar, Grails, Ikonika and a whole stack of other great acts? You’re in luck, because we’re giving you (and a lucky friend) the chance to win a ticket to This Is Nowhere!

All you have to do to win is go to the This Is Nowhere Facebook event page and state which act you are looking forward to seeing most and why in five words or less.

All entries must be in by 5pm Wednesday, Perth Time.

David Craft, Inglorious Busker

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

It’s that time again, people. This time round, we’re checking in with David Craft, one of the many Inglorious Buskers performing at This Is Nowhere.

As well as watching the video below, you can take a look at the previous Inglorious Buskers (Rachael Dease, Alex Griffin, Andrew Ewing and Peter Bibby), as well as finding out more info about This Is Nowhere.

Alex Griffin, Inglorious Busker

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Alex GriffinTime to check in with another of the Inglorious Buskers from This Is Nowhere. This time round, we’re taking in a track from Alex Griffin, also known as Ermine Coat.

You can check out more This Is Nowhere info over at the website, and get excited about the other Inglorious Buskers — including Andrew Ewing, Amber Fresh, Peter Bibby, David Craft and Rachael Dease.

Listen to “Science Gurls”, below.

Rachael Dease, Inglorious Busker

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Rachael DeaseFresh from winning the Martin Sims Award for most promising WA work at this year’s Fringe Festival, and taking that work (City of Shadows) to New York, Rachael Dease joins our cast of Inglorious Buskers for This Is Nowhere. We’re rather excited about that.

Check out Dease warming up for This Is Nowhere, and stream “Lover’s Little Helper”, below.

Interview: The Bank Holidays

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

If you’re a fan of intelligent pop, harmony and damn fine songwriting, you might be rather excited to hear that you’re about to get your first chance to see The Bank Holidays in quite a while. Naomi Faye caught up with Nat Carson ahead of their performance at This Is Nowhere

The Bank HolidaysHi Nat! How are you?
I’m well, thanks for asking. Life has been busy, mainly of my own doing though!

What have you and the band been up to in the last year?
The band has been dormant for the last two years or so. After releasing Sail Becomes A Kite in mid-2010 I moved to Toronto, and Stuart had already moved to Melbourne earlier that year. We planned to do some touring but due to geography, logistics and life, it never happened. I’ve since moved to Melbourne, so with James and Bekk in Perth, at least we’re all in Australia now.

When in Canada, I bought a little acoustic guitar so I could keep writing songs. Doing this writing and recording simple demos was the extent of my musical activity. Earlier this year I played with Joe McKee (Snowman) at a couple of his Melbourne shows, which was fun. I was surprisingly nervous, but it was my first time back on stage since leaving Perth.

It’s been two years since your last gig, many people are looking forward to it — How are you feeling? Do you miss it?
Yeah, I miss it. That said, it was great to have a break from being in a band and all that goes along with it. We were all pretty quick to say yes when offered the chance to play again, and we’re excited. This might sound dumb, but I really hope we have a great show. We often felt at various times that we had something to prove, even it was only to ourselves, and I’m sure this will be one of those times.

You have strong local following in Perth, have any excited fans contacted you?
The announcement of our return was greeted by many likes on Facebook, if that’s a decent measure of anticipation!

Have you played at Somerville before?
We’ve played at numerous In The Pines events for RTRFM. Our first In The Pines appearance was steeped in controversy. We wore coordinated stripey shirts, then Trash Band 1987 directly followed on from us wearing almost identical stripey attire. People seemed to get a laugh out of that. Our last Pines appearance saw us gather massive bags full of fallen autumnal leaves and spread them all over the stage right before our set. It took longer to clean up the stage than to play our show.

What makes a good gig? Do you have a favorite Bank Holidays show?
Given the importance of melody and harmony in our songs, great shows happen when we sing really well. Playing at the Perth Concert Hall when we supported Belle & Sebastian was a massive thrill, and our first EP launch at Rechabites Hall was special. On our European tour we played a number of packed 150-person venues, and those cosy shows were a lot of fun.

Will there be much planning when it comes to your This is Nowhere performance or are you more of a “get out there see what happens” kind of band?
We’re not massive on improvisation, so you can expect to see something that has been very well thought through. If we appear onstage in coordinated clothing, it’s a good sign that we’ve been planning meticulously.

What about performing are you most looking forward to?
The funny looks that we give each other across stage when something is going well. And the chance to pull out a couple of songs we haven’t played since the early days. I’ve been looking at the old EPs thinking “hey, what about this one?!”

Do you think it will relight the fire for playing more gigs in the future?
That has crossed our collective mind, but we’ll to see how this show goes.

What’s your favorite song to play live?
Some of the songs from Sail Becomes A Kite weren’t often played live, so they require a lot of thinking, but I always enjoying playing “Thereabouts”. I love the arrangement, and I think we all put in our best on that.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at This is Nowhere Festival?
Many years ago I was obsessed with the song “Seneca” by Tortoise, and any band with two drummers is bound to be a spectacle. So I’d say Tortoise for those reasons. Beach Fossils have piqued my interest too. I’m really looking forward to seeing the whole line-up.

Have you been working on any other projects or any talk of new album with The Bank Holidays?
I’m about to start recording the songs I’ve written in the last couple of years, and Stuart is involved with that venture too. The songs are still very melodic, and to some degree will be an extension of the path we started on with the last Banks album. We’ll see how it develops as the recording goes on. I’ve also joined a band with Ben Mason, who played in a Melbourne group called The Smallgoods. The Bank Holidays were on a label called Lost & Lonesome along with The Smallgoods, so it’s cool that Ben and I get to team up.