It’s 5pm somewhere: an interview with Donita Sparks from L7.
Remember that saying, “it’s 5pm somewhere,” and you almost feel less guilty about cracking a cheeky beer at 10am? That’s kind of how I’m starting to feel as it’s 9.45am AEST and Donita Sparks mentions that it’s 5pm where she is, looking out towards the Hollywood sign as we begin our delayed phone call. Sparks doesn’t live in Hollywood, though she can see the infamous big letters sprawled out across the hills from where she does reside in L.A.
I’m thankful that prior to having the phone line connected I was made aware that it was an international call, because I probably would have suggested we go for a cheeky morning beer if she and L7 had already landed in Australia! We exchange a brief hello, which is enthusiastic – much to my surprise – on both ends of the phone. Sparks quickly asks me how to correctly pronounce my name, which is a prominent tongue twister to many of those having to pronounce it; I break my name (Mik-hay-lee) into syllables and we both laugh at the inconvenience of unusual names. Continue reading →
A couple of counts in on the high hat quickly fasten to set the pace for the first full length album from Melbourne psych rockers, A Basket of Mammoths. Their eight track album, titled Unkept And Matted, comprises a variety of musical genres and influences, opening with ‘Sinner’s Abyss’.
Lachlan Mill’s heavy bass riffs catch up to groove atop Alex Minicz’s rhythmic drum patterns, convoluting the rhythm section with Sam Krieger’s distorted guitar; sounding like a game of snakes and ladders might, the three piece groove through the opening song into ‘Wait, I’ll Find Somehow’. A bass heavy anthem from the album, Mill’s prominent riffs formulate lengthy interludes between the vocally dominated chorus’. Krieger leads the lyrical content with backing vocals to strengthen each word. Continue reading →
Words Emma Cooper.
Seedy Jeezus band photo Barry Takes Photos.
Artwork Mr Frumpy except Isaiah Mitchell poster, artwork Shannon Trottman.
It’s that time of year again. Collingwood is battening down the hatches and The Tote and The Bendigo are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for Melbourne’s sell-out celebration of metal, rock and beer, Brewtality. On Saturday 6th August 33 bands will strut their good stuff across three stages, including local psychedelic space rock legends Seedy Jeezus.
No strangers to Brewtality, Seedy have previously headlined the upstairs stage. Guitarist Lex Waterreus loves the festival and talked to us about how important it is to the local scene: “A lot of bands who many people don’t see or don’t bother to see will get in front of people and hopefully play their asses off and get new fans, sell merch and get support from punters. Anything like this is an oasis of unexposed local talent. I remember when Heavy posted for people to suggest names for it and seeing the spark that ignited everything. That in itself tells you the level that this was born from – grass roots. Local import, normal folks wanting to try something. Not a corporate shark tank trying to devise a strategy. Just fans of the music, seeing a scene and a place to do something to help it blossom. The Brewtality crew spend a LONNNNNGGGGG time deciding who they want to play and it’s not easy to get on. So you know it will be nothing but great stuff!!” Continue reading →
Higgo: Always great to chat with Phoebe (Pinnock) from Heaven The Axe. You will not find a more loving, caring and wonderful human who absolutely dominates on stage like a demon possessed. I have to mention that it was great to see Heaven the Axe complete again.
Phoebe Pinnock: Thank… can I swear?
PP: FUCK YEAH!! (Laughs) YEAH! Finally! Well it was a bit challenging there for a bit, sharing members with other bands, and you only get them for a couple of hours a week, we had lots of commitments and we had to keep forging ahead. It was really enjoyable for a while there but we all got to a point ‘nup, we have to find our own people’ so it was pretty incredible. We just put it out there on Facebook and see who comes to us, and you get messages from people around the world, and when Alex (Hellenbach), our current guitarist, contacted us from Croatia, we thought it was pretty funny, we laughed, but we said if you’re serious just send us a video. He sent one through, and it just blew everyone out of the water so we said you’re in, pack ya bags! Continue reading →
Great to talk to Eddie Fury from Fireballs, I honestly lost count of how many times I saw them between ’94-’97, which lead to us reminiscing about the ‘90s Melbourne live music scene.
Eddie Fury (EF): We used to do a lot more of the Uni circuit, the student unions stuff, and I’m a bit out of the loop with it all, I dunno if there’s the platform for young upcoming bands to do that sort of stuff anymore, do you reckon there’s as much of a platform as there was say in the ‘90s? I definitely remember seeing a shift in the mid ‘90s music venues when pokies came in. That was the biggest shift for the arts community in Melbourne I reckon. Things were shutting down left right and centre. I mean the Bendigo is doing it these days, but the venues that are 2-300 people that have bands on 4-5 nights a week, that’s a rare commodity these days.
H: Yeah I agree, although there are still venues that do it, there’s definitely less of them, and it felt like it was as it was rising, I dunno, maybe it’s because I was discovering it all legally then, but it felt like 97-98 pokies really took hold. Continue reading →
Maybe it’s just the pathway this writer has been fortunate enough to undertake but ’90s punk is an amazing facet I can include as part of my résumé and upbringing. There is an energy, life-force and rejuvenation which this art-form carries especially within this era of time. For those lucky enough to have experienced this period, they would hopefully also have an instant injection of adrenaline with such a prolific sound and lifestyle. Then again, since Australia has one of the most remarkable surf and skate cultures in the world, essentially this headline band’s touring schedule of our fine nation was more of an enjoyable necessity than an occupation, for all involved.
Local goth-punk trio Dead Joe were called upon to open this event and unfortunately the detriment of an early time-slot equated to only 15 observers being present for their performance. It’s of no surprise or mystery that Dead Joe really like The Misfits, excessively as a matter of fact; this adoration blatantly shines throughout the three-piece’s tracks. Showcasing songs from their LP Carry Me Home which is basically a collection of all songs the band have released in their history; the show was polite but not particularly inspiring (understandably due to low crowd numbers). The addition of Mikey Valentine as a new member is a nice touch though. Continue reading →
Based in Sweden, but drawing members from the States, and France as well as Sweden, Blues Pills present as diverse a lineage as their musical influences. Bassist Zack Anderson took the time to speak to me about the new LP, Lady In Gold.
El Jefe: Could you tell me a bit about the new record, recording experiences around it and how you approached it differently to the first LP?
ZackAnderson: The first one was a bit easier due to the fact that we already had the songs written. This time around, we were touring all the time and didn’t have many opportunities to stop and write. Because of this, we also had to work a lot harder to get it together. So the writing process was a lot slower. We’d go into the studio and put a few things down at a time and gradually add to it. This was done over about two years. But the actual recording process was much the same as the first record. We used the same studio and engineer, just spent more time writing and recording. And because the songs were a lot more diverse and had moved away a bit from the late ‘60s / early ‘70s blues rock of the first record, we were a bit worried about how this one would be received. We’ve introduced a lot of soul and Motown, and even folk. Elin (Larsson – vocals) is a huge Aretha Franklin fan (no surprises there! EJ) and added a lot of this into her vocals. So far, everyone has been really positive about it. Continue reading →
Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘Space’ as “The region beyond the earth’s atmosphere or beyond the solar system” and ‘Junk’ as “Slang: Male genitalia”. These definitions withstanding, the latest offering from Melbourne scuzz-rock quartet Spacejunk is every bit as confronting, fun and perversely entertaining as a thousand half-erect penis’s flailing and jostling wildly in zero-gravity.
Spacejunk’s recorded work plays out a lot like their live set. They pretty much throw you straight in the deep end, no fucking around with softly plucked intros and shit. The atmosphere grows thick in an instant, engulfing you in a fog of violent, chaotic noise. The deep, hellish hum of bass turns your skin to fuzz as the piercing squeal of the band’s collective feedback challenges even the most seasoned of gig-goers to a battle between amp and ear-drum. Under this haze, however, you will find a great deal of musicianship on display. The drum work in particular, is stellar. Sweat drips from every pore of the four-headed rock monster as it thumps, screeches and bellows through the motions of it’s 40-odd minute tirade. Continue reading →