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Wednesday, 29 September 2010 11:09

No Right Turn Interview

Turning Left

No Right Turn took out the Jack Daniels Platform competition, alongside The Replicants, at the end of last month. To celebrate, The Elephant and Wheelbarrow is putting on a showcase night for the winners to show us the goods.

The four-piece are a covers band heavily influenced by the 90s grunge era, which they’ll be rocking at the showcase.

“We play a lot more 90s than any of the other local cover bands around, and we want to give it a newer retro image, because the 90s is retro now. So it’s just a bag full of surprises, people will just have to wait and find out. Also, we’ll probably slip in one or two originals on the night, to promote our original stuff. But what the whole Platform thing was about was getting paid gigs for cover bands,” says frontman Stephen Green.

The boys already see the benefits Platform has brought them.

“Anything like this for a band starting out is a really good opportunity that can push you into the future. The amount of experience we’ve gotten from it is just amazing. We can actually pack out places now. We can perform and keep the crowd interacting. We’ve come a long way from starting out. We’re getting to meet everyone in the industry and just playing as much as we can.”

This year has seen No Right Turn delve into the original music scene. Stephen says their covers experience has provided an advantage in the original field.

“Many big bands have started off as cover bands just to get their act together, to know how to act professionally, and to actually entertain a crowd. With doing covers so much, you get used to each other’s styles and it really influences your music. It gives you a different perspective on how to actually go about your original music. I think our writing’s changed because of it. When you’re in a cover band you have to play so many different styles of music, so you can do a grunge song with a certain feel to it, or a blues gig, or you can do softer songs. There are different dynamics in a cover band.”

Alongside mastering numerous styles, playing in a cover band brings a polished sound, he continues.

“If you’re in a cover band and you want to get really tight as an original band and you’re playing four or five nights a week with the same people, you’re going to get a lot tighter than if you were playing one day a week in an original band.”

No Right Turn has high hopes for the future, and releasing a debut album is a priority.

“Getting on some decent lineups would be great. Trying to save up as much money as we can so we can put out an album as best we can. When we actually launch it we’d want it to be perfect. We’d probably take a little while out, and do the cover thing for a while, get a little following, and then we’ll be breaking into the industry. We’ve got a lot of friends already gigging around so we’ll see how we go.”

Stephen says more competitions such as Platform would benefit the local music scene, as it allows up-and-coming bands the chance to rate themselves against the industry standard.

“If a band isn’t prepared to go into it but they think they are it can be a really big eye-opener. But you’ll try and give them the privilege of knowing what they have to change to actually be a working band. And if you’re good you actually get reinforcement that you’re doing something right. I’d definitely say if they have more competitions like Platform around, you’d get to see a lot more Brisbane talent.”

Since winning Platform, the band is prepared to put in the hard yards to make a career out of performing.

“If you can get a stable income from doing what you love, and you don’t have to get a day job, I suppose that’d be the best thing. We’re still working toward it, but it shouldn’t be too long because this Platform thing’s really gotten us into gear. We know a few people who are actually interested in us. So we’re just kicking on from here.”

Catch No Right Turn, alongside The Replicants, at the Jack Daniels Platform Showcase at The Elephant and Wheelbarrow on Thursday September 30.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010 10:19

Klaxons Interview

Heavy With Drummer

Following a busy three years after bursting onto the scene with their debut album, Klaxons are set to release their sophomore release, ‘Surfing The Void’. Guitarist Simon Taylor-Davis explains why it’s taken so long for a follow-up album.

“I was talking to some English people today and they were like ‘why did it take you three years for your record to come out?’, and it’s like we were actually kind of touring non-stop until pretty much last summer. We were in Australia at the end of 2008 and then in 2009 we were still playing shows in England.

“We’ve just been touring non-stop. Super busy. I think people have this impression we were lying with bottomless mojitos on a deserted island for a year, but the truth is we’ve just been grinding away. Still waiting for that (mojito), it’s around the corner for sure.”

Living it up in the European summer, Klaxons have been keeping themselves busy with plenty of touring (and chatting) before the new album drops.

“We’ve been working in London for a week, which is the longest we’ve been here for a while. We have just been playing shows at the weekend, mainly in Eastern Europe at the moment, just doing festivals all summer in Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia. I think we played our first London show for a while last week. At a place called the Village Underground. We’ve just been playing shows and chatting a lot, lots of chats. Surprisingly it’s usually about the same things; music, what you’ve been up to, mainly about ourselves. Unfortunately I’m quite a boring person so I try and make it exciting.”

Despite the band’s heavy touring commitments, their new record, ‘Surfing The Void’, only took a few months to come into existence.

“It came together last summer. We had a couple of songs we’d been playing for a while now but the majority of the record was written last summer. June/ July was when we fleshed it all out in London, and mainly in a studio in Wales. That’s how it physically came about. It probably took about six weeks to two months to write the whole thing.”

Working with production genius Ross Robinson (who has produced albums for Slipknot and The Cure) was an eye-opening experience for the British four-piece.

“He flew to meet us in London before we worked with him and he told us what he’d demand if we worked together, which was complete integrity and complete honesty. But yeah it was very much about giving absolutely everything we can, which instantly ignited an excitement in us.”

The band then crossed the Atlantic to work at Robinson’s LA home for the following few months.

“It was absolutely mindblowing. He’s a massively positively charged human being who does nothing but good things for people. We all learnt an awful lot from him, not just musically. He’s a very interesting and emotionally charged guy who works very passionately and makes the recording process really about capturing - he calls it a ‘fire’, it’s about capturing your pinnacle performance. So it was quite a different way of working than how we’ve worked before. It’s very much about the moment and very much a performance-based production … It was just a perfectly synchronised combination.”

The boys are only playing Melbourne and Sydney this time around, but they’ll be back early next year on the 2011 Sunset Sounds bill.

“I’m heartbroken we’re not going to Brisvegas. For some unknown reason I thought we were doing this massive tour of Australia and then I looked the other day and we’re only doing two shows. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say this but I’m almost positive we’re coming back in January. In my diary it says ‘Australia, question mark, question mark, question mark’.”

The new record does not mark a particular change in sound for Klaxons, but their line-up now involves a permanent live drummer, which adds a depth to their music.

“People say that it sounds heavier or something but it’s actually, instrumentation-wise, it’s exactly the same instruments, a distorted keyboard, a real piano, a bass, an electric guitar and a drum kit. I think that the difference is that we have a drummer now and on the first record, James Ford, who produced the record, actually played the drums on it because we didn’t have a live drummer at that point. A lot of people say it sounds heavier and I think perhaps that intensity comes from the drums, which are a bit more aggressive. That’s the main difference.”

When it comes to the songwriting process, it happens in a piece-by-piece development for the Klaxons.

“It just works in fragments, everyone might just have a few chord progressions or something and we take them to the band and then it just manifests from that. Normally it works with the instrumentation first, then the melodies and then the lyrics so it’s very much a kind of block-building process.”

Taylor-Davis describes Klaxons’ sound as music you can do almost anything to.

“We make high energy psych, kind of pop music, that you can dance to, or mosh to, or sometimes kiss each other to, or hold hands to or something.”

Now’s the time to catch Klaxons as the band say their live show is at its peak.

“We’re really kind of hitting our pinnacle playing live at the moment. The shows have been really, really good and we’re feeling really confident at the live shows. It’s bit of a weird circus. Really big, and weird and wonderful.”

While they’re only playing a few shows in Australia this tour, the boys regard our country rather highly, and are always excited to make the trip over.

“I’m telling the truth, it’s our favourite place to tour. We have more fun touring Australia than we do anywhere else. Our band seems to get born over there so we’re very, very excited about coming over.”


‘SURFING THE VOID’ COMES OUT ON MONDAY AUGUST 23. CATCH KLAXONS AT SUNSET SOUNDS ON JANUARY 5-6, 2011, AT THE BRISBANE RIVERSTAGE.

Wednesday, 07 July 2010 00:54

Lowrider Interview

LowriderBrothers In Arms

Adelaide's Lowrider have an acclaimed debut album, a revered live show, and are bringing back their unique brand of soul with their latest record, 'Round The World'.

Scene recently caught up for a face-to-face, round table chat with the entire band. Follow this as best you can. Lowrider has a different approach to most when it comes to songwriting, which they used when making their second album. "We generally have the music almost finished of a song for Joe (Braithwaite) to take away and draw inspiration from. It’s a bit unconventional compared to most bands but it seems to work really well for us," keys player John Bartlett says.

Lowrider's sound has elements of soul and funk in it, but is mostly difficult to identify, which the boys take as a compliment. "We've started asking people what they think and everybody's the same," John continues. "They just go, 'It's really hard to describe your music".

"There are bands like the Chilli Peppers, they're one of those bands that really sit by themselves in their own type of genre, and it's always a compliment when someone says they don't know where to put us. Even with CD stores they never know where to put us, which is annoying, but at the same time if you've created something that you can't pigeonhole, then it's something unique," vocalist Joe Braithwaite says.

The four-piece, comprised of two brothers and two mates, has a dynamic that is strengthened by the brotherhood. "I think we are not like most brothers that are in bands, we get on really well and have all our life. So I think it probably affects it in a positive way. If we ever get into a little thing, a little brother thing, we've got Joe and Scott who are always good at rolling their eyes," John says.

"Also, you can push each other harder. So you can say things and then at the end of the day you're genetically bonded to have to get along again," John's brother and drummer, Paul says. "Yeah they can get fairly heated sometimes, and that's when me and Scotty look at each other and slowly sneak out of the room," Joe says.

As for their upcoming gig at The Zoo, part of the tour promoting the album, punters can expect completely new material. "We've been rehearsing and all the new songs are so much fun to play live. I think we're really keen to get out for this tour. A lot of bands tend to road test their music before they release an album, and that's something we haven't done on purpose."

"They can expect a lot more than the last time we were in Brisbane. That was four years ago. Probably the difference between the first album to this one would be a good example of what the live show's done — it's gotten bigger; more layers, more dynamics," Paul says.

When the boys reminisce about how they got together, they mention that the size of the Adelaide scene had something to do with it. "The Adelaide music scene is pretty small so if you want a bass player, I'm your guy," Scott Duncan (the bassist) says. "As much as I love Adelaide it's not quite as supportive of original music as other states. But the isolation makes the bands genuinely unique. A lot of other cities, like Melbourne and Sydney especially, bands in their early stages are so heavily influenced by other bands that are around they all seem to get a bit polluted," Joe says.

'Round The World' was recorded at Chapel Lane Studios, where the atmosphere greatly contributed to the album's making. "Chapel Lane Studios was an incredible place. We really wanted to record in Adelaide but if we'd seen that studio and those people in another city we probably would have recorded there. It never felt like work — it's only a very new studio so we were proud to be in there in the very beginning."

While excited about their national tour, Lowrider have plans bigger than Australia with hopes to head abroad. "Once we've toured Australia a bit with this album, we’d really like to look at heading overseas at some point. That's something we've wanted to do for a long time and hopefully it'll happen this time around and we can head over to the UK or America," Joe says.


'ROUND THE WORLD', IS OUT THIS FRIDAY JULY 9. CATCH LOWRIDER AT THE ZOO ON SATURDAY AUGUST 21.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010 10:41

Platform Interview

The Ground Floor

Platform is a weekly night held at The Elephant & Wheelbarrow dedicated to giving local artists a leg-up in the music industry. Platform’s host, Nathan Ward, describes the event’s beginnings.

“Basically Platform is the brainchild of Duncan, The Elephant & Wheelbarrow venue manager. It came about through him doing some digging with some agents and seeing where and what access young bands had to showcase and to develop themselves into professional artists. And he found pretty quickly that there wasn’t a lot. So his idea was to start developing artists and quickly got Jack Daniels and Billy Hyde on board and asked me to host and run the night,” says Nathan.

The event involves unknown bands showcasing their talent every Tuesday night. After just four weeks, Platform is on the radar.

“It’s snowballing. We just finished our first month. Tuesday just gone we had some unbelievable original artists come through; their names were Black Whiskey, Company Sin and Burn Down Hollywood, and all three pulled massive crowds, and in terms of their musicianship and showmanship, were unbelievable. Each week has really developed. It’s just gotten bigger and bigger. We’ve had two cover nights and one night of unplugged acoustics, and the Tuesday just gone was original bands.”

Rather than treating the event as a competition, the creators consider it as a development program for emerging artists of all types.

“Basically we look at Platform as an introduction into the industry. The way we’ve broken it up is into two basic categories; cover musicians and original artists. And then every format in between that; they can do solo, they can do duos, they can do dance. For the original artists they’re going through rounds to have the opportunity to play with the main headliners at The Elephant & Wheelbarrow. In the past it has been bands like Butterfingers and The Butterfly Effect. As opposed to a band competition, we look at it as a footstep into a career in the music industry.”

As a professional musician himself, Nathan’s input is industry-based as he provides bands with the appropriate contacts.

“Personally, I go through industry contacts and point them in the right direction. Whether it be through agent contacts, management contacts, bio writers, helping them with street press, or helping them build a following. Whatever need be, I’m really on offer to answer any questions and help them in the right direction.”

Nathan says the event has so far produced some incredible talent, and he is looking forward to seeing what the rest of Brisbane has to offer.

“Each week it never ceases to amaze me how many great young musicians there are out there and it’s just a matter of tapping into it and giving them the opportunity to jump on stage and show you what they can do. It’s phenomenal actually, the raw talent is there and they just have to be pointed in the right direction.”

Band competitions have been around for eons, but the Platform organisers believe there is a lack of support for rising musicians currently on offer.

“Unfortunately, the south-east Queensland music industry – from the time that I started, which was back in the mid 90s – has really shrunken and it’s become ultra competitive. Bands don’t seem to have the networks of helping each other out anymore.”

Nathan says his career began with help from a supportive local scene and feels it is his duty to provide this for new musicians.

“I believe that all professional musicians making a living out of it, like myself, should put something back into it. I had guys when I started out that were just instrumental in helping me develop into a professional musician.

“Any bands that are ready to come in and play a 40-minute set, I’d just like to appeal to them, and give them the opportunity that I had as a younger kid, to come forward and have a crack.”

With an event of such good intentions, Nathan felt the need to acknowledge the team behind Platform.

“Queensland does have an unbelievable amount of talent … and I can’t thank The Elephant & Wheelbarrow enough for what they’re doing. It’s really comforting to know that there’s a venue and some management out there that see a bigger picture, and are willing to sink some of their own money into supporting that.”

PLATFORM HAPPENS EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT AT THE ELEPHANT & WHEELBARROW.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010 13:46

Loren Interview

No Carbon Print

Hailing from northern New South Wales, Loren explores a range of styles to put a unique edge on his blues and roots sound. Having been on the road for a while, Loren is now concentrating his energy into another record. “Well I’ve taken a bit of time off touring to get organised for a new album.

I’m just doing some rehearsing and pre-production … It’s changing moment by moment so we still don’t exactly know what the finished product will be. I’m just trying to put as much time and energy into this album to make it as good as possible.”

Loren’s past few albums were a little hurried, so he’s not imposing any time constraints this time round. But he’s still aiming for a 2010 release.

“I’d love to be able to release it by the end of winter or spring. But I promised myself I wouldn’t put time limits on this one. Because the other albums have always been a bit of a rush and you regret not being able to put that little bit of extra time into it. I’m kind of hoping that I can just allow it all the space it needs.”

Loren will be playing solo and embracing a folk sound at his upcoming gig at The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

“The venue is very intimate, candles on the tables, very quiet, you can hear if someone’s whispering kind of thing. I’ll be indulging in storytelling and more of that folk element because the venue just really calls for it.”

As an environmentally conscious guy, Loren is mindful of the carbon footprint involved with touring, so he’s aiming to spread his music in a more green way.   

“I’ve been touring for about seven years. And I kind of feel like my energy is more for being settled at the moment. So I guess I want to focus a little bit more on the creation and recording and writing of the songs. And trying to find ways to offer that to the world from my little spot in the rainforest here, rather than constantly having to take it around the world.

“I mean the carbon footprint is ridiculous – especially for a musician writing songs about sustainability while we leave a trail of destruction in our wake. I want to work out ways to create music here. So that’s where I’m going to head I think.”

LOREN IS PLAYING THE BASEMENT AT THE ARTS CENTRE GOLD COAST ON THURSDAY JUNE 24.

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 10:17

The Beautiful Girls Interview

Not Really Girls At All

The Beautiful Girls have consistently delivered the goods for the past decade, and consequently are enjoyed around the world. With the release of their latest album, ‘Spooks’, comes a long-awaited national tour.

The fourth record from The Beautiful Girls was crafted differently from their past records. “It came about in a completely different way to how it would usually happen. Usually I’d write the demos and then I’d take them to the band and they’d just learn the demos and then record it in a certain timeframe, just put some mics on everything and go for it.

But this one was completely different. I kind of set up a little studio downstairs in the house, and every day I just went in there and built the album from the ground up. So we sampled our drummer’s individual drums and then made them into beats and then added some programmed stuff and did all of the bass and the keys.

Basically everything on this album was done at home except for a little bit of keyboard and horns at the end. So it was putting it together in the style of a hip hop record or a dub record or something, a studio kind of thing,” says Mat McHugh.

Mat, the frontman and brains behind The Beautiful Girls, has clear ideas of how the band should sound.

“I have pretty formed ideas of how I want stuff to sound in my head before it happens. It’s not like I write a guitar part and throw it to the guys to see what happens, it’s pretty much always been I’ll write the bass, the keys, the horns, everything. Usually I just demo them and they play them, but this time I went to the extra degree of playing them … I feel like I don’t really want to make radical left turns just for the sake of it, you know, I just feel like I want it to move in a direction of it just being completely its own thing.”

Having been around for the best part of ten years, the band is at a stage where they’ve grown into a sound that is truly their own.

“It’s finally getting to a place where we’re all pretty confident and proud of it, and we’re comfortable in people actually turning up and watching us. I think to begin with, it was just a learning process and we accidently got known and swept up in a bit of a scene. And our influences have always shown up, and I think now we’re finally at a point where it doesn’t actually sound like anyone else on Earth, which is great. I mean, the goal for it was to combine all the styles we love and just make it sound completely unique, you know. You can say it’s got a dub feel, or a this and that feel or whatever, but it certainly doesn’t sound like any particular artist, which is what we were aiming for.”

With such a complex record, Mat says it’s been hard to work out their live set but will be ready to impress crowds with their fresh sounds on the upcoming tour.

“The challenge was to get this record and fully replicate it live. It has a lot of weird sounds and third dimensions so we didn’t want to approach it like The Cat Empire or Blue King Brown, like a show band or something, we wanted to approach it from a futuristic standpoint, more like a dub show or dancehall show, and have these kind of electronic elements incorporated as well. There’s going to be four of us, and we’re going to have horn samples triggered as if they were like old school dub samples, and have all the big delays. We haven’t actually played the show live yet but we’ve been rehearsing really, really hard and it’s starting to sound great. We want to step it up from where we left off.”

The Beautiful Girls are pumped for their Tivoli shows, which will be high-energy from the very start, and to get out and play some new material.

“It’s been a while since we’ve done a full Australian tour, especially for an album, so we’re really excited. This one will be enjoyable from the get-go, because it’s just set up for dancing and everyone having a good time. And approaching the night like one big dance party, a dub dance party, which will be awesome. We’re going to change it, make it different for anyone who’s ever seen us. Pretty much we’ll play a bunch of new songs off the new record and then some of our old ones that we always play just because everyone knows them and it’s fun when everyone sings.”

CATCH THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, SUPPORTED BY WASHINGTON, VIDA-SUNSHYNE AND CHASM, AT THE TIVOLI ON FRIDAY JUNE 4 AND SATURDAY JUNE 5. THE GIRLS ALSO PLAY THE GREAT NORTHERN JUNE 3 AND 6. ‘SPOOKS’ IS OUT NOW ON DIE! BOREDOM RECORDS.

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 14:13

Bonfire Nights Interview

Boy Girl Dynamic

New to the scene, but oh-so- promising, Bonfire Nights are a boy, girl duo - Ruth Nitkiewicz and Stephen Foster - ready to wow Brisbane crowds. Stephen, who is guitarist and vocalist, describes their sound as raw and experimental.

Party Time

The Brisbane Powerhouse has been providing our city with world-class art forms for the past decade and is holding the ‘Brisbane Powerhouse Is Ten Birthday Party’ to celebrate. Powerhouse’s head of programming, Sarah Neal, gives us an overview of what the event will involve.

“Well basically we've decided to have a party that we're inviting the whole of Brisbane to. It's a Sunday, and the day starts in the morning with some activities and entertainment for kids. We've got some fantastic live music with Spacifix, and then Regurgitator and Last Dinosaurs performing on the Turbine Platform. It's a whole venue event, and we finish off the evening with our artists-in-residence Topology in the Powerhouse Theatre doing a free gig and some free comedy with Tripod. So it is going to be massive. It's all free, the whole day is pretty much just come on down and spend the day with us and help us celebrate the birthday.”

Alongside live acts and performances, there will be artists creating pieces on the day for community members to observe and involve themselves with.

“We've got two amazing things happening on the day. An artist we've commissioned to come out from Paris, Blek Le Rat, who is the godfather of stencil art, is going to be doing a new commissioned work in the Powerhouse. “Because, of course, we're one of the only venues that is heritage listed for our graffiti, we are honouring that. It's very, very exciting to have an artist of that stature coming and doing a new work for us.

“In terms of participation actively, we have got another artist, Chrissy Foreman, who is going to be doing some painting with people to try and encourage them to write a birthday message to the Powerhouse on some artworks at the front of the venue. There is a lot to get engaged with.”

The Powerhouse is a space long known among the Brisbane community as somewhere to appreciate quality arts and entertainment.

“It's become a space that people identify as being a leading art centre and a place they can sort of come down to and see a range of works they would never get to otherwise see, and feel really comfortable in the space doing so.”

Always at the forefront of the arts, the Powerhouse is using the same approach environmentally by introducing sustainable initiatives.

“We have done a complete look at how we operate as a venue, a big audit of everything we do, and we are absolutely working toward being able to find ways to reduce energy and do things in a more green way. There are some new bike paths that will be opening up around the venue and one of the things that we're going to be doing is offering people who ride to the Powerhouse on their bicycles cheaper tickets to shows.”

With massive audience and production growth since it first opened its doors, Sarah hopes the Powerhouse will continue to increase in audience numbers and shows over the coming years.

“I guess what we really want to do is continue to grow our reputation as the leading arts centre in Australia and to really make our mark on the international map as well. We want to continue to grow audiences for all the works we are presenting. Also for people to feel comfortable that when they come and take a risk by seeing a show they might not normally see, that it will be a really quality work.”

Sarah and her team are very excited for the upcoming event and are doing their best to give the people of Brisbane something to party about.

“It's pretty much like we're working on a festival 12 months a year because of the amount of shows we produce. The birthday party will be a big day for us - the whole team is sort of getting in and getting organised to make sure that it goes off like a rocket. We hope that people will come down and support us and have some fun.”

‘BRISBANE POWERHOUSE IS TEN BIRTHDAY PARTY' IS A FREE EVENT HAPPENING ON SUNDAY MAY 16 AT THE POWERHOUSE FROM 10AM TILL 8.30PM.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 15:02

Surfers Paradise Festival Interview

Celebrating The Gold Coast

The inaugural Surfers Paradise Festival is a group of events celebrating the creative industries on offer at the Gold Coast. Festival coordinator Jolie Hertzberg gives us an insight into what to expect.

“It's basically a nine-week festival that consists of a lot of key large events that are all free throughout the Surfers Paradise precinct. The main focus is food, film, art, music and the fringe component of the festival.We're just trying to support the local artists, musicians, and local creative industries on the Coast.”Launch It! will be the first event to kick off festivities with You Am I headlining and support from a range of Australian and local bands.

“We've got the Launch It! event next Sunday on the beach front in Surfers, which has You Am I headlining supported by Bertie Blackman and Yves Klein Blue. The first three acts are Elke, Shadow Thieves and Dirtywings, and they're all Gold Coast bands. So there's a big focus on tying in initiatives from the Coast.”

Jolie says the Gold Coast has needed this festival for quite a while.

“It's about time we should have this festival happening. We're showcasing on a much larger level how great the Gold Coast creative industries are. We've got a lot of incredible talent here and to put on a festival like this means we can get exposure for our local artists and be existing on a national level. And give everyone on the Gold Coast free events to go to that are really cool.”

While it hasn't yet begun, the plan for this festival looks amazing, and hopefully will be such a success it can continue well into the future.

“We hope for this to be the start of a very long term and growing festival that reaches the scale of other city festivals around Australia.”

Jolie and her team have spent hours ensuring all interested community members are incorporated in the festival and as a result, the festival truly reflects the Gold Coast community.

“I've been liaising with different community groups and trying to get them involved, whether it is integrating them into the larger festival, or supporting events they're already organising in venues. I'm always accepting phone calls and e-mails from anyone that's keen to get their work out there.”

THE SURFERS PARADISE FESTIVAL IS HAPPENING THROUGHOUT THE SURFERS PARADISE PRECINCT OVER MAY AND JUNE. IT WILL BEGIN WITH LAUNCH IT! NEXT SUNDAY MAY 2 AND CLOSE WITH THE GREAT AUSSIE BBQ ON SUNDAY JUNE 27.

Wednesday, 03 March 2010 05:20

Los Amigos Invisibles Interview

The Art Of Disappearing

Los Amigos Invisibles are a Venezuelan six-piece famous for their eclectic disco, acid jazz and dance music combination.

The boyhood friends, now based in New York, are gracing Brisbane for the first time at QPAC to promote their sixth album 'Commercial', which won a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Album. Their celebrations, however, were a little thwarted by their busy promo schedule.

 "We were in Las Vegas for the Grammy's, and had arrived two days early to do a lot of press. By the time we got the award, we were all exhausted and I think I was in bed asleep by 10pm that night."

Their sound, which is a massive combo of bits and pieces from all around the world, still strongly reflects traditional South American music.

"Our sound is generally always danceable music. We're inspired by salsa, house, acid jazz, funk, disco and we just mix those genres into one album. One of the reasons the Los Amigos are an important band in South America is because we are mixing the traditional music with European and American stuff, but never losing our roots. So people appreciate that."

The boys are excited to strut their stuff at their upcoming QPAC headliner.

"We always give a very high-energy performance. We consider every show a time to give everything we have and commit to the performance, and try to engage the audience."

Having played together for an impressive 19 years, I had to ask how they manage to continually come up with new material.

"We like to explore new things, but it's more because we've been playing together for so long that it's so easy for us to work together."

While many genres influence the sounds of Los Amigos Invisibles, the Caracas boys hold a special connection with Mexico.

"We've kind of found a second home in Mexico. We go often and do really well there. A Mexican band called Café Tacuba has been a big inspiration to us. Not only in the creative sense but they've been together 30 years and are still playing amazing music."

While nothing new is on the cards for the moment, the boys are hoping to head back to the studio.

"This year we'll just be promoting 'Commercial', but hopefully we'll be back in the studio by the end of the year. We would love to have a new album out next year."

The Los Amigos Invisibles will be playing at the Concert Hall, QPAC, on Thursday March 11.

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