Who: Sticky Fingers | Bootleg Rascals | Karl S Williams Where: The Zoo, Brisbane When: 28/02/2014
I unfortunately didn’t catch the first warmup act, but the second was Bootleg Rascal. The name of the band was intact inspired by a track from Sticky Fingers themselves, aptly called Bootleg Rascal. Sticky Fingers were welcomed by a full house at The Zoo in the Valley, treating local fans to their favourites; “These Girls” with it’s acoustic, more heart-felt tone, sporting their signature new-age reggae feel in “Clouds and Cream”, and closing with their hit single Australia Street. This is one Aussie psych, pop/rock band that’s really taking off! selling out shows all over Australia.
It’s been a while (too long) since we’ve had the absolute delight of hearing some new music from Megan Washington, but she’s back in Australia to promote her long awaited new single Who Are You. The track lives up to the likes of past singles Sunday Best and How To Tame Lions – it’s a hum of dark instrumental, paired with a strong drumbeat (courtesy of Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa), and polished off with the stellar sounds of Washington’s voice.
With multiple ARIAs under her belt, not to mention a string of chart hits over her whirlwind career, we have to admit that she’s set the standards high, but there’s no doubt that her next album (due later this year) will reach, if not exceed, our expectations.
To promote her return, Washington will be playing two intimate shows in Brisbane and Melbourne in the first weeks of April. It’s not rare to see her gigs sell out, so get in quick and don’t miss out on getting your fix of Megan Washington in 2014.
We got chatty with The Naked and Famous’ number one lady, Alisa Xayalith about cocktails with Justin Chancellor, LAN parties and their upcoming gig at Groovin’ the Moo along with their Australian headline tour. Here’s how it went down…
Hi Alisa, thanks for chatting with SEMPLESIZE! No worries, it’s nice to speak with someone from our part of the world!
First up, we just wanted to congratulate you guys on landing a spot on the Coachella line up! It’spretty amazing – are you guys super stoked? We are so excited, I mean, it’s a really famous festival that I’ve always heard about and I’ve had friends in bands play and I remember living in Los Angeles writing Rolling Waves and every single person we would run into would be like “oh, are you guys playing Coachella?” and we would be like “ah, nope! Not playing Coachella. We know it’s gonna be great, but hopefully one day.” So it’s cool that we can finally say that we will play at the festival.
Yeah, totally. So you guys are from Auckland and are living in the states – do you ever miss home?
We do, we do miss home incredibly. I think all of us do, it’s more family and lifestyle and the weather… Just all of the little things, the small comforts really. We try and get home at least once a year and fortunately for us we get to go home in May so I will get to see home very soon.
You’re just about to do Groovin’ the Moo, a headline tour of Australia and a headline tour of NZ… so much traveling! How do you all cope on the road together?
We all travel together in one tour bus – there’s me and my merch girl against 11 guys. We all travel together as one happy family. We’ve been on this tour bus for the last 6 weeks supporting Imagine Dragons and it’s been great, I think in those types of environments you just tend to morph together and bunk in as family and it’s a lot of fun. Aaron, Jesse, David and Tom have all found a new video game, League of Legends, and it so happens that the boys in Imagine Dragons play that game as well and you can play it as a group so that’s the main tour activity that’s been going on. I will go into the dressing room and all of them would be on each of their laptops, nobody will say anything to me, there’s just the clicking of their mouse’s… And then I will walk into the Imagine Dragons dressing room and Dan the singer will just be there squinting at his laptop screen and then he will look up and be like “oh, hey Alisa! I’m just in the middle of this game,” and I will be like “you know what? I understand this. I will talk to you later, seeya!”
So it’s kind of just like a massive backstage LAN party?
(Laughs) Yes. Rock ‘n’ roll is definitely dead, isn’t it?
We are excited for your Australian headline tour – do you have any surprises in store for us? We are excited too! Surprises? I don’t know, we are just really excited to play our new tracks from Rolling Waves because we haven’t had a chance to play them over there apart from the Big Day Out festival. I just can’t wait to play a full album; we are all looking forward to playing Rolling Waves. But who knows, we might have something special. You just have to wait and see.
Cool – Vancouver Sleep Clinic is your support too, what do you love about him?
Vancouver really stood out because I really like his Bon Iver choice of influences and that kind of music just makes me weak at the knees and it will be so nice to hear him play before we go on stage, so he was the best choice!
So TNAF has been kicking it for 6 years now and you have made a pretty big impact on the music industry, especially hailing from NZ which is sometimes the tiny forgotten country sometimes…
(laughs) I know, right.
…do you ever pinch yourself because you are doing music on a big scale?
All the time! All the time, my goodness. I mean, when we first started touring in 2012, we stopped and we decided to make another record and I remember driving around LA and our music would play on the American radio station and I just had moments of thinking “wow, this is such a privilege to us, look at where I am right now, we are in LA with this whole reason to just create music,” so that’s amazing recognition and I think all of us feel very privileged for being able to do this and being able to make it through a second record. So hopefully we can do it all over again in many years to come, that’s our dream, that’s the big ambition for us.
Have you ever met someone incredibly famous and just been completely star struck? (thinks) I went to a BBQ once and I met the bass player from Tool, Justin Chancellor, and I didn’t quite know how to speak to him because he is this really famous rock ‘n’ roll bass player that so many boys and girls look up to when they start learning an instrument, they always learn how to play Tool first. So that was pretty… pretty cool. It was a great BBQ (laughs), he was making cocktails.
The bass player from Tool was making cocktails?
Yeah, it was awesome.
Haha, I could imagine. What motivates and inspires you and the guys to keep making music? I don’t think there is any singular answer as to why we want to create music. It’s just an innate desire to make music and do it and you don’t know why. And when you do do it, and it sounds really good you just want to keep those endorphins that make you feel good so you keep creating and you struggle to do it sometimes and the process can be really torturous but when you accomplish it you feel so proud about what you have created and it’s a humble experience, emotionally. Things that inspire me on an everyday basis are books that I’m reading, or films that I’ve watched, or other muso’s that I’m listening to. Often I find something that resonates strongly inside me and it makes me want to create something.
Who is currently on repeat on your playlist right now? There is this artist called Sombear who is relatively new, who came out last year, and he is the drummer from a band called Now Now, they’re from Minneapolis. They did a support with us on our American tour last year and we became such good friends with them and I had no idea that made a record and released it and it’s gorgeous. It’s absolutely gorgeous. One song is called L.A. and when I listened to the lyrics he talked about being in the hills of L.A. and going to see somebody…and then I remembered Brad had stayed at our house one night so I go to him “Brad, did you write those lyrics about that time you stayed at my house that night?” and he was like “yessss,”. So it was cool that I was part of some little slither of his music right there.
Sombear, I will have to have a listen. Okay, so some of us at SEMPLESIZE have been dying to know– who’s naked and who’s famous? (laughs, a lot) Oh my god…neither? It’s something that’s always been taken literally
Ha Ha, well besides that we also want to know - do you have an artist that you secretly love? Oh, like a guilty pleasure?
Yeah! I think Mariah Carey. She’s my original favourite from when I was about 7 years old and I wrote her a fan letter, owned all of her albums and her documentaries on video tape. Yeah, I like Mariah Carey circa 1995. She was pretty amazing.
So that’s just about all our time! Any famous last words? I think just… we can’t wait to come and play our headline tour and for everyone to make sure that they listen to the new album because we will be playing plenty of the new material.
So we should put it on repeat and learn all the words so we can sing along?
Yeah, listen to it in the car with your friends and listen to it when you’re eating pizza!
It’s hard to picture a top Aussie summer without the heat and the beats of a music festival such as Future Music, the self-proclaimed (and rightly so) “biggest festival of the summer”. Tens of thousands of Melburnians flocked to the Flemington Racecourse yesterday to appreciate a wide variety of techno, trance, dubstep and electronic music. There was loud music, pumping crowds, insane sweaty mosh-pits and some seriously impressive headline acts.
As I walked into the festival, I immediately saw that it was full of colour, life and energy. Every stage was playing different styles of music and attracting swarms of dancing crowds. It was impossible to stand in any one place of the festival and not hear loud bass pumping through every speaker and feel it from your feet up. Due to the huge number of stages (10 to be exact), you could really choose your own adventure that day. For example; an hour of intense crowd-pumping dubstep in a cesspit of sweaty music heads, then an hour of dancing outside with plenty of room to something a little smoother and deeper; a bit of time in V’s inflatable nightclub-eqsue ‘Green Room’; maybe some afternoon bangers before heading over to the square kilometres of crowd for whatever headline act was playing.
My standout acts included Knife Party – whose haunted house projections and fire displays all over the stage and tent were seriously impressive – Netsky, Pharrell Williams and Phoenix. Eric Prydz was definitely up there, with seriously powerful house and techno tunes that made you felt like you were partying with thousands of people in Ibiza. Baauer’s absolutely off-chops dubstep and trap set mesmerised the audience; we all waited in anticipation for each insane drop and all simultaneously jumped as one solid mass of people when they finally came. Harlem Shake, an obvious crowd pleaser, painted ear-to-ear smiles on everyone’s faces. It would be blasphemous and unjust to not mention the best act of the day – the most iconic silhouette in the history of electronic music – deadmau5. I need to take this opportunity though to say that after consulting with the crowd around me and my buddies, there’s a general consensus that deadmau5’s set was a spiritually awakening life-changing moment for everyone there. That’s all.
If festivals are any glimpse into the city’s current fashion trends, then printed jumpsuits and printed high-waisted silk shorts are apparently all the rage right now. There’s also recently been an emergence of the classic ‘festival style,’ which made a large appearance; bindis, overalls and flower crowns galore. Long gone are the days of nothing but short denim shorts that barely cover your ass and a teensy tiny bandeaux top; summery dresses and jumpsuits have taken reign for the majority of festivalgoers. As for the guys, let’s just say that if all the males in there were in a shirts vs. skins basketball match, shirts would be really outnumbered. But hey, it was almost 40 degrees and I don’t think anyone was really complaining.
Overall, Future Entertainment has once again shown Melbourne and the whole country that they know how to throw the biggest party of the year. An incredible festival highlighting the popularity and importance of dance music; everybody seriously needs to attend one Future Fest in their lives.
Vance Joy’s touring Bassist, Jono Colliver, with the help of brother Joel and childhood mate Josh Eales, has created a new solo side project that goes by the name of Money On Verema. The acoustic indie-pop-rock group has a sound not too dissimilar from the likes of a country Vance Joy and is slowly but surely making their way into the Australian music scene.
The peculiar name, Money On Verema, hailed from the 2013 Melbourne Cup when French racehorse Verema was euthanized after breaking a leg during the race. The death put thousands of gamblers out of money but sparked a brilliant band name in the mind of Colliver.
Their first single, Hook, Line, and Sinker, is nothing short of an infectious pop track that lends itself to a cruise-y afternoon spent relaxing in the sun. Despite being quite lyrically deep, Colliver has still managed to tackle such heavy feelings of lonliness and loss in a way that pulls it out into a brighter light. Having just had a taste of the beginnings of Money On Verema, we’re super stoked to find out what the rest of the 5 track EP will sound like when it’s released mid-year.