Gareth Bryant

Gareth Bryant

Gareth is Scene Magazine's editor.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 13:00

Cloud Control

Blue Skies Ahead
They say optimism is infectious, and Cloud Control’s Alister Wright is brimming with it. 

And with their debut album attracting good sales and even better reviews, an English tour planned before a return to hit the Australian summer festival circuit, why shouldn't he be? Oh, and to top it all off, on the morning of his chat with Scene, someone's making him breakfast.

Wednesday, 06 October 2010 15:52

Dallas Frasca Interview

Angry Dallas

The Scene office is an interesting place to work - split personalities, eclectic tastes in music, and an editor with an eclectic taste in split personalities. But even our little ears ears pricked up when we got wind of this beef; the hardest working woman in rock Dallas Frasca calling out Oz Rock royalty Angry Anderson for a sky diving contest.

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 14:18

Caroline Nin Interview

Nin A Piaf

Parisian-born Caroline Nin has built a reputation interpreting other people’s music. As she tours Australia for the seventh time, we catch up with her to meet the woman behind the show.

Your repertoire is said to range from Edith Piaf to Liza Minnelli, Marlene Dietrich to Jacques Brel. How were you initially introduced to these artists?

Wednesday, 09 September 2009 10:44

Chris Pickering Interview

Cotton Pickering

Swapping one music hot bed (Brisbane) for another (Nashville) is all fine and dandy for Chris Pickering.

“I have been gradually adjusting back to Brisbane life,” begins the Warwick-born singer/songwriter. “It's pretty tough hey - it's hectic as hell.”

Dry humour aside, Pickering has been a busy boy, with his hard-to-pigeonhole style killing it over in the States, with gigs in LA's famed Viper Room and a run on San Francisco springing up like mushrooms in the night.

“It is - I am a bit different to what they are kind of used to, an Australian singer/songwriter who sounds a little country but isn't really country. Sounds indie rock but isn't really indie rock either. So it's interesting, but I think they generally dig what I am doing.”

They certainly dug what Pickering was laying down at last year’s SXSW showcase in Nashville, with his shows there snowballing into a semi-permanent move to the southern American city, which has a reputation that far outweighs its modest size.

“The vibe is that Nashville is very much like Brisbane and that's probably the reason why I found it easy to settle in there, it's got a really good indie music scene - there is a lot of great talent in Nashville, the bands and everything but the quality of songwriting and musicianship, everything is pretty off the scale. It's a real good place to kind of go and see music and be part of the scene.”

While the city hosted the world's most influential music industry showcase (with Australia donating literally a jumbo jet’s worth of attendees) Nashville has yet to outstretch its down-home bourbon bars and cowboy hats image. So has it been unfairly stigmatised?

“No there is that as well. Nashville is kind of renowned as the country music capital so there are a lot of honky tonk bars and tourist joints and things like that with cowboy hats but if you know where to go there are a lot of really good joints, the good songwriter joints.”

So it's no surprise really that Pickering found his spiritual home in such a city - with the quality on his latest offering 'Excuses Excuses' stacking up well against the best of them, particularly tracks like 'Ruby Ruby', 'Ghost City' and 'Honey' showcasing the singers undoubted musical chops, which sprung from a youth spent in regional Queensland with one ear on the ABC Radio.

“It was more being in the environment - we didn't really listen to any commercial AM radio at all when I was growing up. So my knowledge of commercial music was really restricted to what I saw on Rage and whatever the ABC played. The rest of it I got from my parent’s record collection, which was all stuff from the 60s and 70s and 80s.

“When Triple J went national I think it was in '94, I can remember when it happened because I can remember trying to find it and then found it on the dial and went to school the next day and said 'hey did you listen to Triple J' because it was Australia Day or something and they were like 'No we couldn't get it'. I was the only guy who I knew who could get it and for some reason I was getting it from Lismore; it was somehow getting over the mountains. The (frequency) from Warwick that we were supposed to be getting didn't work for anybody, they fixed it up like a year later. But for that first year I was the only one who was getting it.”

Ahead of the bell curve? Somethings haven't changed.

Chris Pickering plays X&Y Bar as part of the Big Sound showcase September 9, Bon Amici's in Toowoomba September 11, Set List @ Premiers Bar September 24, La Plaza on the Gold Coast September 25 and The Troubadour supporting Epicure September 26. ‘Excuses Excuses’ is out through Think Label/Fuse Music Group.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009 14:35

Clare Bowditch : Interview

Whether it’s tackling her new album, motherhood, or dealing with Australian backpackers abroad; you can always count on Clare Bowditch doing things her own way - with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

Wednesday, 08 September 2010 12:46

Clubber Guide To Spring Interview

New Season

When it comes to both the local and international dance music markets, Ministry of Sound need little introduction, offering punters the freshest acts and biggest dancefloor anthems. And with summer just around the corner, the label has just dropped the third instalment of the ‘Clubbers Guide To Spring’ series.


Wednesday, 07 April 2010 14:36

Silent DJ Party Interview

Silent But Violent

Watching people groove and gyrate with huge smiles on their faces in complete silence is always slightly disconcerting - have you experienced the pure joy that is the silent disco yet?

So Bacon, tell us about the Silent DJ Party; how does it work? Where did it originate from (wasn't it two guys in Netherlands looking to overcome noise restrictions?)?
Yeah mate, I believe it was conceived as a direct response to noise restrictions. I haven't played one before but Danny Cool, the other DJ on the night has, and told me he had a great experience playing a silent disco in Auckland. There are two DJs set up, each sending a signal to a bunch of headphones worn by the punters. The punters can choose which channel they would like to hear and the volume.

What sort of music will Danny Cool and you be playing on the night?
I'm gona play it by ear (get it!), and see what the kids are feeling. I’ve traditionally been labelled as an old school hip hop DJ, which is true, but I've been playing sets to a lot of younger crowds lately and have been feeling a lot of new electro and uptempo club hip hop/ dance.

Will you two be conspiring to play the most opposite types of music at times, so that the dancefloor is a scene of havoc and chaos?
Hadn’t planned on it but now that you mention it could be a good opportunity to mess with people’s heads a bit. I’ve been sharpening up my cuts for Battle City the week after so the newbies might witness something they aren't used to from a turntablist perspective.

Being one of the highlighted events for National Youth Week, the Silent DJ Party is obviously targeted at a younger audience, many of whom will experience a live DJ for the first time. Knowing this, will you tailor your set any differently?
No I don't think so, I think I will try to keep the changeovers quite rapid to keep the youngsters interested. How does that saying about the attention span of kids go again? It will be a great opportunity to be part of a totally new concept in DJing and dance parties; I’m really looking forward to it.

With the event being free, there's no reason for the young-uns not to come down for a boogie, right?
It’s a ten dollar deposit that’s refundable with the return of the headphones, so yeah - come on down!

The Silent Disco happens Friday April 9 at King George Square.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:27

Dapayk & Padberg Interview

Strange Fans

High school mates, Berliners Niklas Worgt and Eva Padberg didn’t start collaborating together until the early 2000s. Moulded together from different musical backgrounds, it was the emerging electro minimal scene at the time that helped give birth to Dapayk & Padberg.

On stage, are you both active; jumping around, interacting with the audience etc?
Eva: We prefer playing in smaller venues. The connection to the audience is just more intimate. We always try to get in touch with the people on the floor.
Niklas: Normally, a computer live act is pretty boring for the audience. The only way to get out of this is to interact with the crowd. So depending on how wild they get, it defines how wild we get.

When it comes to the creation of new material, what is the process you two have?
Niklas: We don‘t have a particular pattern that we work with. I‘m the one constructing the beats. Sometimes that happens before there are any vocals, sometimes I build something around existing material that we recorded in the studio.

In terms of the show you’re planning for the Australian tour, what can you tell us about the music you’ll be playing on the night?
Niklas: We‘re going to play a few Dapayk & Padberg classics, but also a lot of new, unreleased material. We like our sets to get quiet ravy.

Tell us about the strangest encounter you’ve had with a fan?

Eva: One day a guy form Japan stood outside our apartment in Berlin and asked if he could buy a t-shirt.
Niklas: Often promoters are stranger than the fans.

Mo’s Ferry Prod is Dapayk’s own label - is it a constant job handling the affairs of the imprint?
Niklas: There are three people working on the labels. It‘s not only Mo‘s Ferry. There is Rrygular, Fenou and some other more secret platforms. It‘s a lot of work!

Berlin as a creative hub, is it quite conducive to fresh ideas being cultivated?
Niklas: Berlin is great city to live in and make contacts with other artists. Techno has existed here for more than 20 years now. It‘s part of the German culture. That also means there are many different styles people try to keep separated. Even though it is an open-minded city, there are many dogmas about sound and genres. But still, it‘s worth a visit!

Dapayk & Padberg headline Alchemy at barsoma Saturday April 10.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 14:12

Mista Savona Interview

Chant Rasta Sound

For a second time round, Melbourne’s foremost purveyor of all things reggae - producer and artist Jake Savona -  brings together some of Australia and Jamaica's finest on his latest endeavour.

Speaking from a Fitzroy pool, Scene finds Savona excited about the release of his debut on a warm and overcast Melbourne afternoon.

‘Warn The Nation' was created having built on the relationships he made back in 2004 when he recorded 'Melbourne Meets Kingston', where he travelled to Jamaica with some friends and set up to make a record and get a feel for the vibe over there. "Kingston is pretty hectic, so that time we drove up into the hills and found a nice small studio to base ourselves, but this time we found a great little studio in Kingston town, which is handy since most of the artists are based there.”

From there he went on to forge many new connections and really build on the friendships he already had. Issues close to his heart came to the surface for this album, and it’s basically about sustainability. "I wanted to make an album that had commercial appeal but also avoided the obvious themes of love, sex and booty, and with Jamaica being an island nation, rising seas and climate change are issues they're becoming more aware of ... I wanted to make a concious record, and it’s interesting because in some ways this is the first reggae record to deal with this idea, even though Sizzla and a few others have songs where they big up mother earth. Actually, Sizzla was incredibly hospitable; we stayed with him in his house for a few days and at the end he hosted a party for us and DJed for hours, playing only his stuff, which was pretty amusing. The title of the album came from an old reggae track by a legend who has just passed away so when I heard that, I knew that was the name of the record. It just fit and became a dedication to his contribution to music. It also features a great track from Alton Ellis, the godfather of rocksteady, who sadly passed away a short while after the recording, and it’s sweet to hear his voice in a contempory setting.”

Touring the album sometime near June is something Jake is looking forward to, doing an extensive set of shows around the country. Jake tells me he has a slew of other recordings, probably a whole record’s worth, but it’s a matter of finding time to go through it, being quite busy focusing on this release, giving it the exposure it needs and shoring up details for the overseas release plus new stuff coming up with Illzilla (a hip hop outfit he's in also from Melbourne). â€œAs an artist the idea of starting a project and seeing it come to fruition is really inspiring, so I really want to give it all the energy it deserves at the moment. After that I'm really looking foward to some more travelling, we're looking to play in South Korea in October, so getting out into the world, meeting new people and broadening my horizons is really exciting me,” says Savona.

“I've had a few links in Austria and Germany that I'm following up, so we'll see where that leads; anything is possible. In fact, Capleton’s song 'Prove Them Wrong' was written at the time the Olympics was on and Usain Bolt was winning gold and smashing records when at the same time people say nothing good comes out of the ghetto, he's from a really poor area and now he's the fastest man on earth.”

‘Warn The Nation’, featuring Sizzla, Capleton, Horace Andy, Prince Alla and more, is out now through Elefant Tracks.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 13:52

GPO Discovered Final Interview

Champion of Champions

After months of heats and semi-finals, the cream of Brisbane’s underground DJ talent lined up at GPO last Friday to battle it out for supremacy. Morgan Baker emerged victorious, holding his head high and a bucketload of amazing prizes aloft.

So congratulations on the win; how tough was the competition, right from the start through to the final?

Thanks, I was nervous as I knew most of the other DJs I was up against so knew it'd be tough.  Each week I just tried to put something together that worked and kept it as tight as possible.

Preparing for your routine in the final; how many sleepless nights did you have practicing the set?

Luckily this wasn't my first DJ comp, I knew what was needed to prepare the sets and roughly how long it should take. The further into the comp I got the more I knew I'd have to put in, so that required more time spent preparing each set.

When it came to creating a routine, what was your main focus - was it on the technical aspects of DJing, or did you want to be more creative in terms of the way you presented the music?

I was unsure at first, but thought about how I'd prepare for a normal set and tried to put the thought of it being a competition out of my head. It was a case of having a sufficient amount of technical mixing but still focussing on the progression of all my sets.

Were you confident heading into the final?

I knew in the back of my mind if I didn't stay confident it'd only hurt my chances ... a lot can go wrong if you're not upbeat going into a gig.

You have a host of prizes to collect and amazing opportunities to progress your DJing career - is it equal parts apprehension and excitement about the next couple of months?

Sure is, this is a real big step forward in my DJing career, I couldn't be more excited right now.  But the apprehension I'm sure will kick in over the coming few days. I'm up for the challenge, I have to take this opportunity and really steamroll my career with this win.

You can catch Morgan Baker as one of GPO’s fresh residents very soon. Stay tuned for more GPO Discovered action in coming months.


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