Items filtered by date: April 2013
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 05:08

TJ Quinton: Telling Stories

He’s been writing music since he was a kid, but now singer-songwriter TJ Quinton is ready to bring back the ambitious idea of the concept album, starting with his first solo effort ‘Sorry Business’.

“It was an album that I had ideas for a long time. It's a concept album and the interesting thing about that is when you go to tell a story through song and music, it’s different to telling a story in any other way.”
Rather than waiting for someone else to tell a story he wanted to hear, TJ drew inspiration from others and took it upon himself to get his message across.

“It's not my story, it's the story of a friend of mine. It always occurs to me that the music industry neglects a lot of stories, and for me music is a way of life, it’s a way of experiencing the world – like a language. I wanted to use that to tell a more marginalised story, that I wasn't getting through the music that I was listening to.

“Because music has the ability to convey the emotions and feelings around an event, rather than the event itself, I took that on a fair bit and used a number of songs to tell the story.”

Known for his unique and virtuous guitar playing ability, TJ's weapon of choice is the 12-string acoustic guitar – an instrument he chooses for its variety and range of expression.

“I listened to a lot of Leo Kottke, he was really the first person to pick up an acoustic 12 string and just really go for it like a lot of finger-style artists do today. John Butler did a lot to further that. But I have a lot of love for the different tones and sounds you can get out of it. Also the physical experience is something I'm drawn to. It's really involved and I love that.”

With an east coast tour lined up for April/ May, and plans for a new album already afoot, TJ has no intention of slowing down his prolific output.

“I have a plan to continue the same storyline/ concept over two albums. I'm hoping that if I continue along this line I can create an audience for that. And in a number of years with subsequent releases, people will have a bit more of an understanding and a listening approach to the stuff I'm releasing.”

TJ Quinton plays The Hideaway April 25 and Kulchajam, Byron, April 26.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 05:05

Thy Art Is Murder: Game Change

A nomination for Best New Band at Golden Gods Awards has capped off a truly amazing past eight months for Western Sydney’s Thy Art Is Murder.

“It's definitely the biggest thing we've ever been nominated for and it's bizarre that all these amazing bands in the world can be nominated and we're one of five,” CJ McMahon, frontman of the deathcore act, says.
The guys have been so busy, in fact, they haven't had the time to fully prepare for their upcoming Australian tour for their new album 'Hate'.

“About ten days before the 'Hate' tour, Sean [Delander] and I will fly up to Brisbane and meet up with the other boys and practise for five hours every day and figure out what set we'll play and everything. We've just been promoting stuff through social media.”

Thy Art Is Murder don't use social media heavily for promotion, but McMahon admits to using his personal profile to promote the band.

“We just take it easy and really hope the music speaks for itself. I do spam my personal page a bit because of the nomination, but that's because I just really want to win this. If we win it'll change our lives.”
The band continue to go from strength to strength with 'Hate' becoming the first extreme metal album to crack the Top 40 ARIA charts, while their recent European tour was “insane”.

“The attendance was just incredible and five or six of the shows were sold out. Some of the crowds over there were bigger than the crowds we have at home. It was fucking mindblowing, man.”

German label Nuclear Blast recently signed Thy Art Is Murder, with McMahon admitting he wasn't sure they'd ever be signed by a major label.

“It's something that every band wants to achieve when their music is out there and they're doing well. We've always wanted it, but we didn't think it would happen. We thought we were too heavy and too offensive.

“It's been a roller-coaster dream ride, but it doesn't go down. It's just been going up and up and up.”

Thy Art Is Murder play The Rev June 6 and Expressive Grounds, Gold Coast, June 7.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 04:41

Turin Brakes: Safety Check

Having managed to release a record almost every two years since 2001, UK folk duo Turin Brakes have asserted themselves as a band always looking to move forward and stay fresh. With an Australian tour just around the corner, Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian are excited to return down under.

Since 2001 you’ve managed to release a record almost every two years without fail, including a number of EPs and 7-inch singles as well. How important is it for the band to consistently write and record new music, as opposed to simply relying on your first few records?
If we didn't make new music we would simply be a nostalgia band on the live circuit [and] that would never work for us, we can't help creating new music. I always feel like our best work is the next thing we’re gonna do. 

You’ve also made great strides to reinvent the band’s sound with a fresh approach every record. Is this something you’re conscious of, trying to keep the band’s sound fresh and different with every record?
Again, it's something we can't seem to help; our new album is always a reaction to the one before it.  

Was ‘Outbursts’ an indication of what we might hear next from Turin Brakes?
Not really, ‘Outbursts’ was made with laptops across a whole year, at home and our little studio. The new album is currently being tracked to analogue tape in just two weeks at a wonderful old studio in the countryside with our live band; a totally different approach for a totally different sound and feel. With this album we’re trying to bring back an acoustic rawness we had on our first album as well as the energy and grove of our live band.

Was it difficult for you guys in the early days to break out of the bar/ pub scene, where acoustic-based music thrives?
No, we were really lucky with our timing. Everyone around us seemed to be making electronic beat music in the late ‘90s in London. We could simply pick up some guitars and have a whole sound right there in front of people and that got us noticed fast.

The combination of your acoustic sound and the nature of your music really turns you guys into modern troubadours. What type of stories are you trying to tell through your music?
The music of the human condition, our angle on the world. We never really tell stories, I think we’re more interested in atmosphere and the invisible. It's more about feeling than understanding. 

Olly and Gale, you two have been friends for a very long time. Has your friendship remained intact throughout the career of Turin Brakes?
Yes or we wouldn't still be going. Humour and understanding get all of us through. We have so many shared moments in life, that is where our music comes from partly. 

How has your continued friendship impacted the band, if at all?
I couldn't imagine it any other way, I guess we can only be honest with each other, if we were dishonest the other one would know immediately. 

In Australia, you’re going to be playing to larger crowds at the Apollo Bay Festival, but also keeping things low-key with more intimate performances at smaller venues. Does your approach differ at all when playing live, between a large, festival-type show and a small club show?
Not really. On big stages you just have to pronounce what you're doing a little more, but we just adapt. We've played so much that it is second nature by now.

You’ve been very fortunate to have travelled the world with Turin Brakes. Have you noticed differences in the way your fans react to your songs and your live performances, most notably, in Australia?
It’s been a long time but if the last Aussie tour is anything to go by, it's gonna be amazing.

Turin Brakes play The Zoo Wednesday April 24.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 04:32

Matt & Kim: Keeping It Simple

With four albums now under their belt, indie-pop duo Matt & Kim could almost be considered veterans in a rapid and expanding scene. But true to their renowned DIY form, their last effort, 2012’s ‘Lightning’, is as raw and fresh sounding as any good debut.

“We decided to completely make it ourselves – without any producer or studio or anything,” explains singer/ keyboardist Matt Johnson. “We thought 'you know what makes Matt & Kim? Just Matt and Kim.' Just the two of us, messing around and seeing what we can come up with. And for us we can be somewhat control freaks and that works for us, so we set up a home studio and just made a tonne of songs.”

Despite crafting over thirty songs, Matt & Kim were set on creating a complete album experience, and whittled it down to the more record-friendly number of ten.

“As much as people say that albums are dead, it was really important for us to make an album with no filler. I'm a big fan of pop music but there's so many different writers and producers. Sometimes there's one great song you love and then you get the album and you get burned, because the same people didn't even write the other songs. I love an album I can listen to top to bottom in one sitting.”

The band released their self-titled debut in 2006, but blew up with their sophomore effort, 'Grand', three years later thanks to the infectious hook of lead single, 'Daylight'. With four albums released in a relatively short amount of time, creativity is clearly not an issue for them.

“We love writing music and we love playing shows but it's funny because the two things are totally different in every way. Writing music is about sitting down and going through the pieces, and for us playing shows is about throwing tonnes of confetti and balloons and jumping around, playing covers and just trying to make a party. But unless we stop and give ourselves six months with no shows that's the only way we can make new music – especially an entire album.”

Even though the band have never struggled in terms of composing beats or melodies, Matt says  lyrics don't come quite as naturally.

“Lyrics are hard. I never claimed to be a poet but for the kind of music we like to create you need to have lyrics and it's important to us. But as a couple we don't really have an interest in writing love songs. We feel there's plenty of people taking care of that and it'd just be weird for a couple to ever do that. So it takes a lot more thought in writing the lyrics.

“Even though we write a lot of upbeat music, our lyrics tend to be a little bit darker in the sense that they're about figuring your life out or might be about the freedom you get from hitting rock bottom, so it’s still uplifting but it's not about sweet love and lollipops.”

With very little musical experience prior to forming Matt & Kim, the band were forced to keep things uncomplicated from the get-go. But even with their increased musical ability over time, they still prefer to stick to their simple ethos.

“Kim had never played drums before we started making music and I had never sung or played keyboard. So even just in the sense of understanding how to play an instrument we've grown.

But we always had the saying of WWMKD [What Would Matt And Kim Do?] which we would use whenever we got too musician-y or too mature. I don't want to be too mature.”

From New York, the band are just one of the countless talents that the great city has produced – something that Matt & Kim are very thankful for.

“For us it was a great place to start as a band. We were around so many people playing music to the point where we were playing three shows a week at different warehouses and art spaces, whereas in a smaller town that would be impossible. New York is such an expensive city; someone once told me that it's a great place to do things, it’s not a great place to think about doing things. So if you have that weight on your shoulders it pushes you to try really hard.

“But there's a lot of people doing cool stuff. It doesn't have to be music; whether it be film or photography or writing, if people around me are doing cool things, it makes me want to do cool things, so it’s very inspiring in that way.”

Matt & Kim play The Zoo alongside Citizen Kay and Tigerbeams On Thursday May 9.

Published in Pop/ Electro
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 19:28

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Adele is touring Australia! Actually it is Adele's doppelganger Naomi Price touring Australia for the second time with her 'Rumour Has It' cabaret, and she promises fans it will not seem like the same show.

Back with bigger hair, a bigger band and new tunes, Naomi says no two audiences get the same thing. “We rewrite the show every time we perform it. It doesn’t matter if we do two shows at the same venue, we always try and rewrite it because we want to make sure we keep things really fresh.” 

Even though Naomi's singing her songs and copying her style, she says Adele probably isn't aware the cabaret show exists. “We obviously pay royalties on all the songs, but there's nothing against getting up and impersonating somebody. The only thing we actually copy are her songs — the parts in between are written by me and my co-writer — and are all our original ideas. We've never heard from Adele and I'm sure that she's got far more interesting things going for her to worry about me. But I'd like to think that if she came to the show, she'd have a really good time because it's a fun show and it's also got a lot of heart.”

Much effort goes into recreating Adele's look, with three stylists part of the team and yes, a fat suit is needed. “Even when I'm in costume, I don’t think I look exactly like her. It just gives me a sense of her, a taste of what her character is like and I also feel more like her which I think is important. My costume designer is Nathalie Ryner and she made me the most incredible fat suit in the world, honestly I feel so sexy wearing it. It's really comfy but once it's on, it's like a unitard and you can't go to the toilet unless you pretty much get naked. That can be a bit stressful when you’re really nervous before a show and so I have to wait until the last minute to put it on. 

“My hairdresser Rebecca Hubbard styles my wig and I have a brand new wig coming for my April shows, which I'm really excited about, because I'm all about the hair. Then I have an amazing make-up artist called Hayden Megaw, and she basically does the most amazing artwork on my face.”

Not only does she need to look like the British icon, but Naomi says there's plenty of pressure to sound great as well. “I think the most difficult thing is just the complexity of Adele’s songs. I mean they’re just really big songs and no one sings Adele like the woman herself. She is just phenomenal, easily the best voice in the last decade, maybe in my generation, and there won't be anyone that beats that in terms of how talented and unique she is. So probably the biggest challenge is taking on her songs and trying to do them justice.”

'Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele' plays at the Judith Wright Centre April 24 -27.

Published in Cabaret
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 19:20

Kings Konekted: Mean Streets

Brisbane hip hop collective Kings Konekted are about to launch their new EP ‘The Campaign’, a real landmark release for the group. DJ/ producer Stricknine and MC Culprit explain how much it means.

“It feels great to have it finished,” Stricknine says. “It was all done at Class A Records and it was an absolute pleasure working with producer Trem.” We always love recording,” explains Culprit. “We would do it every day if we could. When writing we usually start with a beat first, and we can ponder on that for days or weeks, and from there we'll either decide if it needs a theme or a message, and Dontez might write some verses to it. Generally the writing process starts with the beat, and the beat dictates where the writing of the track is going to go for us. It might be all three of us or just two of us working at any one time.

“Dontez really controls the boards; the computers and the programming. I don't do any of the computer work, but once we load the beat in we work out the layout of the song, and whoever is going to rap first does their part. The choruses tend to get done at the end, after we get our verses out over the beat and have a listen. If there's something that's going back and forth then the process changes a bit where we might switch things around to make sure we get it out effectively.”

Serbian-Australian Culprit and Aboriginal-Italian Dontez forged their friendship and musical bond from a young age, growing up in the western suburbs of Brisbane, before joining forces with elder statesmen Stricknine, Prowla, and Trem to make 'The Campaign'.

“There was a lot of segregation in what we call the 4300 postcode area,” Culprit says. “It's a working class area and unfortunately there's a bit of crime. You could call it a low socio-economic environment if you wish, and a lot of things in the lifestyle – things like graffiti, things like music, things like sport – dictated who stood where and by whose side. And unfortunately fights are pretty common out there.

“But most cities across the world – wherever you go – have riff-raff; it just happens to be a bit more common in that area, and we bring it all to the table. It's not a negative view or a positive view; we're not saying it's good that there's fighting or it's bad that there's fighting, we just want it to be known. It's our life, our story, and what we've seen, so we want to portray that. But it's each to their own. We don't think you have to come from that sort of background to be a hip hop artist.”

‘The Campaign' is the group's first release since 2009's 'Trails To The Underlair', but fans won't have to wait as long for the next, with a full-length album planned for late 2013.

“It's going to be called ‘Corrupted Citizens’,” Culprit says. “We wanted to put out the EP as a taster to give something to the fans and to thank them for waiting so long as we've been working on this since 2009. But that's not to say the quality on the EP isn't as good as what the album will be.”

When asked about the local hip hop scene, Stricknine is quick off the mark.

“More Kings Konekted!” he says. “Nah, the scene in Brisbane has its moments. There's plenty of stuff out there that would make me want to go and see it. But there's a lot of stuff out there that's labelled as hip hop that isn't. We try to make music that can be recognised as hip hop the world over, so someone in New York can listen to it and know what it is, not just someone from Australia. Some hip hop artists are together for only a couple of years and put out an album, and it shows in their music. Whereas we started in 2007 or 2008 and the guys were together for about ten years before that.”

‘The Campaign’ is released April 19. Kings Konekted play Stand Up at The Hi-Fi Saturday April 27.

Published in Urban
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 18:23

Evil Dead: Remake/ Remodel

Thirty years ago, the original 'Evil Dead' - Sam Raimi's “ultimate experience in grueling terror” — grossed just $100,000 in its opening weekend, going on to make a total of $600,000 at the US box office. Despite a significantly higher profile, the sequel grossed less than $1 million in its opening weekend; the next film in the series, 'Army Of Darkness', cost $13 million to make and earned $2 million less than that domestically. And that, for any other film franchise, would be that.

But for 'Evil Dead', box office receipts have never told the full story. The original was one of the first films to receive considerably greater notoriety on VHS than it did in cinemas, and the sequels followed its lead. It's the ultimate cult horror franchise. More than scares, though, its fans love it for its rough-hewn quirks; for Raimi's  slapstick sensibility and leading man Bruce Campbell's square-jawed charms. It's impossible to imagine anyone else remaking it, or attempting to do so without Campbell in the lead role.
So that, ofcourse, is exactly what Ghost House Pictures has done.

“If I was reading about them remaking 'The Evil Dead', I'd be like, 'F*ck Hollywood',” laughs director Fede Alvarez, the man tasked with remaking 'The Evil Dead'. “But I'm an insider and I know the way it works. It's not the Hollywood machine trying to make money. It's way more personal than that.”

He's right. Unlike other horror franchises owned by studios — think 'A Nightmare On Elm St' or 'Friday The 13th' — the rights to 'Evil Dead' are owned by the producer, director and star of the original film. “This is one of those strange horror movies where it's a huge title for horror but it's owned by Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi and Mr Bruce Campbell,” Alvarez elaborates. “Here we have the big studio backing us up, but creatively, it is all up to these guys.”

If an anonymous studio exec had been calling the shots, it's unlikely Alvarez — with no feature film credits to his name — would have been picked for this high-profile gig. But Raimi hand-picked him after seeing his short film, 'Ataque de Panico!' (aka 'Panic Attack'), on Youtube. Knowing that this was his moment, Alvarez didn't just take a seat in the director's chair - he asked if he could write the script, too. “At first, it wasn't exactly the story he wanted,” Alvarez admits. “The tone was right but the story itself changed. We were coming up with more of a sequel. So Sam said, 'we want to do a remake.'”

 (Indeed, the question of whether this 'Evil Dead' is technically a remake or a sequel is a murky one - Alvarez sees the film as taking place 30 years after the original, in the same cabin, which the Book of the Dead has somehow found its way back to after the events of the original trilogy. Still, Alvarez says there are too many similarities between what happens in his film and the original for it to work as a “continuous storyline”. It's best not to think about it.) 

After Alvarez and co-writer Rodo Sayagues turned in their draft, celebrated screenwriter Diablo Cody ('Juno', 'Young Adult') was called in to doctor it. Ultimately, so much of Alvarez and Sayagues' script — and so few of Cody's changes — were used that the Writers Guild of America ruled against crediting her for her work. Alvarez prefers to look back on the process fondly. “We did a treatment and they loved it,” he remembers, “we wrote a draft and then a second draft and they loved it. Sam is a pretty awesome guy as a producer because he's a director, so he's always supporting the director.”

Aside from the fact English isn't Alvarez' first language, re-imagining such a beloved film came with its own set of challenges. For instance, how could you possibly re-cast Ash, the protagonist of the original trilogy associated so closely with actor Bruce Campbell? Ultimately, the decision was made not to.

“I never wanted to mess with those iconic elements that are impossible to remake,” Alvarez explains. “We didn't want to put an actor in that position, and those were the kind of ideas where we really connected with Sam (Raimi) and Bruce (Campbell).” Instead, the protagonist of Alvarez' 'Evil Dead' is Mia (Jane Levy), whose friends take her to the secluded cabin to help her detox from an opiate addiction.

The next challenge was the tone of the film. While Raimi's approach to horror had as much in common with The Three Stooges as it did with Wes Craven, Alvarez opted to take a grimmer approach, delivering the gruelling terror promised by the tagline of the original. In a sense, Alvarez has opted to remake the fright-fest he remembers from his impressionable youth, rather than the slightly silly film that actually existed.
“It was the scariest movie I ever saw when I was 12,” Alvarez admits. “I went to the video store and asked for something really scary and the clerk looked around and put down the VHS on the counter. I still remember that iconic image of the girl in the cellar. Cut to last week and we did exactly the same shot, it was awesome.”

Alvarez' brutal approach to the material has obviously paid dividends. As well as receiving positive reviews, the film has done the unthinkable and made franchise history by actually having a successful theatrical run. Costing $17 million to make, it raked in $26 million in its opening weekend alone, placing it atop the US box office.

Of course, diehard fans will always prefer the original. And Alvarez is okay with that. “The original is still going to be there,” he promises. “It's not going to disappear because we do a new one.”

The Gold Coast Film Festival will host The Australian Premiere Of 'Evil Dead' on Sunday April 28.  

Published in Film
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:39

Food: Theatre In Preview

Kate Box credits a role as writer and co-director Steve Rodgers' girlfriend in ABC's 'My Place' for landing the role in Force Majeure and Belvoir's production of 'Food'.

“That's how you get the good roles,” she jokes. “I remember him talking to me about this project. It was a few years before anything came of it, and then several years later I got the phone call saying 'we're ready, it's time'. And I read it and I just completely fell in love with it.”

Food tells the story of sisters Elma (Box) and Nancy (Emma Jackson), who run a small truck-stop takeaway joint on a remote Australian highway. “There's a lot of dark subject matter in there,” says Box. “The sisters haven't had easy lives, and they hold on to a lot of resentment for how they let each other down. I think there's a lot of past trouble to be brought to the surface and whether or not these women can forgive each other and move on is a big part of the play.”

The arrival of a Turkish traveller adds a touch of spice to the mix, and brings issues of family, relationships, sex and change to the fore. It also kickstarts the evolution of their greasy takeaway stop into a popular restaurant. “They try and turn their life around,” Box explains. “The changing of the food and the changing of the menu, and the thought that they could do something more with it, rather than just fry up some Chiko Rolls and hand out some fries to the truck-stop fellas, is a feeling of new beginning.”

Hungry audiences will get to experience this new menu firsthand, as the sisters serve up meals and local wines. “Once they open up their new restaurant, it opens up to the whole audience and there's a sharing of food and wine. I was so excited about it, because I think the sharing of food is such a special and intimate thing, and it was just such a great barrier to overcome between the audience and the sisters on stage.”
Box loves the play for its exploration of often-unrepresented characters.

“You get to see these characters on the stage. These women that you see are not women that you often see represented on the Australian stage. And so they're just such stoic and hard-working women — and particularly Elma, my character, who always chooses practicality over emotion — and they're characters that rarely get a look in on the Australian stage. And so it's really exciting to able to bring them to life, and for people to be able to have a little look in at their world.”

The co-direction of dance-theatre guru Kate Champion was, says Box, challenging but exciting. “I've been a big fan of Kate Champion's work, so the thought of putting movement into this script I thought was so exciting. We wanted to involve movement in the script to express moments where words fail the characters. I thought it was really interesting because they're such stoic, no-bullshit women, so I was intrigued as to how this movement world was going to weave into their personalities. But it's a really beautiful thing, because often these women just can't say what's on their mind and so the movement has worked really subtly in being able to express little moments of inner turmoil or crisis or joy.”

Box says these elements of family life resonate strongly with audiences. “I know a lot of people who've seen the show who have a sister, or a similar relationship with their sibling, and they've had a lot of 'aha' moments.

“For anyone who has family, which all of us do, I think it often reminds us of many uncomfortable, dark and awkward moments with our families. We're thrown together with these people and we somehow have to make them fit in our lives, and we can hate them and run away from them, but ultimately it's about them coming back together.”

But, Box assures theatre-goers, “it's also really joyful as well. That's been my ultimate experience of it. It's a challenging but ultimately joyous evening in the theatre.”

Following a sell-out season in Sydney and a tour of regional Victoria, Box hints that the end of Brisbane's season will not mean the end of the show. “There's rumours for 2014. This definitely won't be the final stop in our carny travels.”

Kate Box Performs In 'food' At La Boite's Roundhouse Theatre From April 17.

Published in Theatre
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 08:54

Cheap Fakes: Getting Ska'd

Reggae/ funk/ ska fusion band Cheap Fakes are set to support Melbourne Ska Orchestra this May.

After a warmly received debut record in 2010, and a similar reception for their second album 'Hand Me Downs' last year, the band has been stamping their name in venues all over Queensland, cementing their reputation as upbeat party-starters — a move that vocalist Hayden Andrews says has been a good thing for their development as a band.

“We've basically just been playing our arses off for the past three years and just getting a good, tight sound and I think we've turned into a really good live band.”
You've got to have chops to introduce the 30-plus piece Melbourne Ska Orchestra, who have horns and high spirits in abundance.

“I'm [most] excited just to see their band, a 30-piece big band, it sounds awesome,” enthuses Hayden.

Cheap Fakes also have shows coming up at a number of local festivals and are gearing up for their third studio release, which has some rock influences sneaking into the mix.

“We're at the demo stage of our third album and we've recorded our first single, we're just working with producers and fleshing out the rest of the material to go on the album … our line-up has changed a little bit and the new musicians that we've got are taking us to a more intense sound and it's kind of leaning a bit more [towards] a little bit of rock.”

Not surprisingly, seeing as their inimitable sound lends itself to an extremely diverse range of influences within the band.

“I really love all the old stuff like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones, but then I really love lots of pop stuff like The Eagles and Lenny Kravitz and Fleetwood Mac. Lots of the other boys like heaps of jazz and some of them even like a bit of metal … we just have our own influences and sort of just go where our hearts take us and where our music takes us. We don't really follow any trends.”

And five words for those yet to discover the sounds of Cheap Fakes?
“High energy celebration music. That's four words.”

Cheap Fakes support Melbourne Ska Orchestra at the Tivoli May 11.
Published in Reggae/ Roots
Monday, 15 April 2013 22:59

Kaki King: Brooklyn To Barrier Reef

Kaki King returned to her instrumental grassroots with 2012’s ‘Glow’, her sixth album, which delivered a combination of her flawless guitar technique with the rich atmospherics of string quartet ETHEL.

Growing-up in a very musical household, Kaki was heavily influenced by her father’s wide-ranging record collection, which covered everything from Fleetwood Mac and Kraftwerk to the lush mood and tones of guitar soloists on the pioneering ECM label. Still residing in Brooklyn, this New York native explains why she began busking on the subways in her early days.

“The thing that motivated me to do it was 9/11, because New York was so traumatised. It seemed like what we were all searching for was a return to normal things, and one of the things that was normal was music in the subways. I didn’t have a job at the time, I didn’t have a thing that connected me to normal people every day, and a few weeks after it I was like, ‘I need to go and play some music in the subway, ‘cos I don’t know what else to do’. People were very responsive, especially around that time. Everyone was grateful for things that made them feel normal again. I really encourage people to busk if they can, it’s a very good way to get yourself on stage without actually having to get on stage.”

She also recalls her experience dealing with a major label for her second album, which was released on Epic Records just before the music industry bubble burst and she returned to the independent Velour label.
“They gave me an absurd amount of money for a really basic record. That record could have been made for way less. ‘Parting ways’ is not even the word for it — there was no one left to even call. Everyone we knew got fired! Sony imploded under its own weight. It was one of the first big ones to have to scale back what they were doing.”

Returning to our shores for a series of live shows this May, Kaki has developed a strong connection to Australia.
“It’s so funny, the lengths in America we go to just to go to the beach, and 90 percent of Australians live within half an hour of the beach!”

Kaki King plays the Brisbane Powerhouse May 11.
Published in Rock
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