Items filtered by date: June 2013
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:29

Mono: New Energy

Emotionally driven guitar and orchestral arrangements will be the order of the day when Japanese instrumental rockers Mono tour their latest album, ‘For My Parents’. Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto fills in the blanks.

Mono’s music is said to fit into pristine concert settings as well as grungy rock clubs. Do you have a preferred setting?
As long as we have a space where people can concentrate on the show, then we are happy. We believe that music transcends cultural definitions. It’s a beautiful experience to play our music on different continents and feel no disconnect between us and the audience. This is the universal language of music.

The tracks that feature on your latest album are more like creations, rather than songs. Were they inspired by real life events?
Thank you for the kind words. ‘For My Parents’ came from the understanding that we all eventually lose the ones that made us. It’s the way of nature. How do you stand by the one that created you? How do you stand next to your home, the place that created you? For this album, we went back to our roots. It’s something that we wanted to do while we still had the chance.  I think the earthquake and tsunami in Japan unexpectedly stirred up emotions about our homeland and families. It made us think about how fleeting, and sometimes fragile, moments can be. So in some ways our new album was inspired by all the energy circulating around at that time.

You have repeatedly stated your interest in ‘70s rock and classical composers such as Beethoven and Sergei Rachmaninoff. What is it about these two very different genres that appeals to the band?
It's really just the raw sounds and emotions. They are different genres but there is something honest and pure about their music. I just think it's important for the audience to engage, connect, and decide what the music means to them. At this point, I’m not sure how to define our music. It kind of bleeds into a few different genres now, such as classical and instrumental rock. I'd rather have the audience experience our music and then dwell in possibility. Music can be a visceral, spiritual experience. It has the ability to communicate a sort of transcendence from the chaos of everyday living.

Mono play the Hi-Fi Wednesday June 26.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:01

Breaking Orbit: Party Pants Are Go

Aussie prog-rockers Breaking Orbit are setting off on a national tour.

The Sydney outfit are still riding high off their well-received debut album, ‘The Time Traveller’. Having recently finished a support tour with Dead Letter Circus, the band is heading out on the road again for the ‘Silence Seekers’ national tour, where drummer Mark Tyson says they’ll be bringing their full arsenal and some spanking new tracks.

“This tour we’re introducing some of the new stuff that we’ve been writing for the next album and, being a headline tour, we get a lot more creative control of our shows so we’re really looking forward to upping the ante production-wise and giving people an all-encompassing performance.”

Alongside showcasing the new material at the ‘Silence Seekers’ shows, the band is ready to put their “party pants” on and celebrate the opening of a new musical chapter.

“I think our party pants will definitely be ready, we’re pretty excited. Our headspace has been very much into sharing a bunch of new stuff so we’re always very optimistic and if it goes as well as the album has then our party pants will definitely be on.”

From their melodically intricate music to their live shows, the band does nothing with simplicity and the new tour will be no exception.

“A great live Orbit show is one where we get the chance to present what we do using all manner of senses – sight, sound, all those kind of things – and have a really well-produced show where we can engage the audience.”

Garnering praise nationally and overseas, ‘The Time Traveller’ incorporates storytelling with intricate sound layering, lyrics inspired by ancient mythology and even the use of a Quena (bamboo flute) on the ‘Machiguenga’ interlude.

“It’s funny now that when people talk about an album that tells a story across all the songs, it’s referred to as a ‘concept album’ as opposed to the true concept albums that came out in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I find it very interesting how that terminology has shifted based on what the market’s doing … our lead singer, Matt [Qayle], is very much at the forefront of that kind of thinking. He has these sporadic moments of great conceptual thought, and the whole story behind ‘The Time Traveller’ was something he’s been working on for a long time … I think it makes quite a valid social comment about where we’re heading, what we’re doing, how society actually thinks — whether you want to relate it to music or individual pockets of society then that’s open to everyone’s individual interpretation.”

Mark says the storytelling aspect and musical intricacy of ‘The Time Traveller’ is something the group intends to build on with future releases.

“Some bands will enter the market with something that’s the root of what they’ve done for a long time and they’ll come out with something really conceptual and the follow-up album will be a lot more commercially driven. I’d like to think that we wouldn’t go down that route and we’ll still stay true to what we love and what we think is the best style of music for ourselves. Judging by what we’re writing at the moment, it still employs a hell of a lot of technicality.”

The upcoming tour is set to promote ‘Silence Seekers’, the record’s epic closing track. The shows to promote the Massive Attack-inspired song mark both an end and a beginning for the band as well.

“A little while ago, we did a cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Dissolved Girl’ and the way we constructed that cover sort of spurred us on to write in a kind of electronic basis, and ‘Silence Seekers’ was seeded that way and then we orchestrated and pieced it together. For us it’s a really epic closer on the album. It’s quite poignant in terms of where we are with the album because essentially we’re kind of signing off on it and looking forward to the future, so being the closing track and being as emotive as it is, it’s a good track to run around the country with this time.”

Breaking Orbit Play Tempo Friday June 21.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:50

Yellowcard: Starry Eyed Veterans

2003 was all about fame and living in the fast lane for Yellowcard, who shot to fame with the release of their 'Ocean Avenue' album. A decade on, and their breakthrough record has been given an acoustic makeover, with Australian audiences set to get a taste.

The sheer disbelief and utter thankfulness can be felt right down the phone line; as lead vocalist Ryan Key reminisces on the year 'Ocean Avenue' dropped.

“It was insanity. We left home and moved to California when we signed our first independent record deal in 2000. I think our biggest goal in life was to maybe be on The Warped Tour someday, so to be on the main stage at the tenth anniversary of The Warped Tour supporting 'Ocean Avenue' when it was exploding... I'm not gonna lie, it was too much really.”

After rocketing into the hearts and minds of countless fans worldwide, Key gets nostalgic thinking about the legacy he and his close friends have built.

“I owe my life to those 13 songs, it's everything that we have to stand on. The reason we still get to make records, the reason we have such a devoted and incredible fanbase – it all lies in those songs and that record. It was just so overwhelming to be 23-24 years old and going through what we did; with that said it was the most important chapter of our career because it set us up for everything after.”

But every great story has to start somewhere. In Jacksonville, Florida, sits the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. This is where violinist and vocalist Sean Mackin says the talents and skills of his crew were able to flourish.

“I played in the orchestra and Ryan was a theatre major and learnt to sing through that. It was just cool that out of this type of setting we were drawn to the same style of music. We would find ourselves at the Strung Out show on the weekend or face to face in a performance setting, and we were drawn to that Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph movement. I was just friends with the guys, they wanted to get some violin on this demo they had, and we started a band.”

It's not uncommon to hear about upcoming bands succumbing to the pressure of the rock lifestyle. Mackin says the attention was appreciated, but it took its toll nevertheless.

“2004 is really just a blur, we weren't sleeping much. If we weren't doing a radio show in the morning, which is hard because it's difficult to sing at six in the morning, we were flying to New York or something for press or photo shoots. You start to get a bit down on yourself because that's exactly what it is, hard. We just bought a van and wanted to be on tour someday, it was nothing like we had ever imagined.”

As a generation of people continue to follow the progress of the band, there has been a flurry of new support from the next generation of pop-punk enthusiasts. Support for the genre has trailed off a little from the ‘glory days’ of bands like Blink-182 and Sum 41 many years ago, but a new wave of artists are reinvigorating the style and keeping the older bands fresh. Mackin makes specific reference to Baltimore boys All Time Low when he talks about a breath of fresh air for the scene. 

“They have sort of taken us under their wing and brought us all around the world, and just to have the injection of youth in our crowds is great. They grew up listening to Yellowcard and now they're one of the biggest bands on the planet.”

Ryan knows, however, that despite his band’s continued success, the rock landscape has changed dramatically.

“I can speak for America, there's next to no rock and roll played on the radio anymore. Overall the radio and television and award shows aren't driven towards genres like pop-punk. A few bands like us have amazing runs, but at present rock and roll is not present in the minds of the mainstream.”

It doesn’t matter too much to them, however. There’s still a healthy audience for their music, as evidenced by their recent acoustic unveiling. 'Card fans down under can rest assured that their beloved rock quintet is looking forward to touring Australia in support of the release. When asked about his experiences here, Key has nothing but praise.

“It was overwhelming in Australia, how much energy and passion there was from the audience. It just felt so fresh and brand new. I think it's just a place that we have as much of a future as a band as anywhere in the world, if not more than most places.”

With respect to the tour, Sean says they have planned something intimate to commemorate their milestone achievement.

“There's already been, at this stage, a lot of 10 year anniversary tours, and since Yellowcard have been at the back of it we wanted to do something unique. We wanted people to realise that we've grown up a bit and that the songs are taking on different meaning and they've evolved.”

The Yellowcard journey has been about achieving a goal that was once a pipe-dream for a band of young men. Having stamped their name on eight studio albums, Key makes no secret of the fact he's stoked with the direction his career has taken. 

“The best feeling, to be this far into your career, is to feel that it's still growing. I've been in a band 13 years this month, and to be in a band for 13 years and still have the feeling that we're doing something new and that new people are coming and the career is building, it's amazing.”

Yellowcard play The Tivoli October 25.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 05:30

Kora: Zombified Funk

New Zealand lads Kora are heading across the Tasman after an extended break from the live stage. 

With the release of last year’s longplayer 'Light Years', the Kora men pushed headfirst into a hectic schedule of touring that included a number of summer festivals. Now, after enjoying a bit of time to themselves, they've regathered their thoughts and instruments and are ready to lug their equipment once more around Australia. But band member Richie Allan hopes they'll be able to snaffle a little sightseeing as well.

“We've been to the UK about three times, and we've toured Europe in places like Germany. As far as Japan, US and Singapore as well. It's one of those things where you don't get to do as much sightseeing as you'd love to, but when you get back home that's when you think 'damn, I should have visited that place'. But at the time it doesn't cross your mind.”

Influenced by reggae, funk, soul and a collection of other musical elements, the brains trust in the Kora equation is so diverse. The inspiration for their music, however, can be found by looking at the stars. Allan says it's the unknown that triggers the band member’s imaginations.

“We like aspects of space and the universe, as well as documentaries relating to that kind of stuff. It's something out there, something you can get in the zone to. We were big hip hop fans as well, and were into some older Daft Punk stuff, so it all comes through in the music.”

Life on the road has its tribulations, but Richie says it's nothing short of rewarding.

“We just like performing. It can get pretty tiring but it's good when you get into autopilot mode. You know, you're a total zombie but you always try and put on a good show.”

Richie says the group’s musical push into more electronic territory can take some getting used to, but it's a part of who they are as a band.

“It really depends on how you promote it. People need to grow into it, and sometimes it might take a while to absorb something fresh. We just did it for fun, and it all happened at once because we'd been jamming all our lives.”

Kora play The Zoo Saturday June 22.
Published in Reggae/ Roots
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 04:09

Mat McHugh: Top Five Live Songs

Mat has selected his five favourite songs from his new live album, ‘Live At Random Hall’

1. ‘La Mar’. I've been blessed to be able to play around the world for ten years. Everywhere I go, this is the song that is most requested. I'm proud of it. It took a lot of work to make it so simple.

2. ‘Strange Days’. Ever since I was a kid I have been puzzled as to why things are the way they are. A lot of things seem strange to me. I write songs about them just in case they seem strange to someone else too.

3. ‘Brand New Broken Heart’. I like songs that say sad things with a happy melody. Nothing is sadder than a fresh broken heart.

4. ‘Go Don’t Stop/Is This Love’. This one is fun to play. It's pretty much my philosophy. Just go until you stop. Also, it's probably cliche but I can't help throwing Bob Marley in the mix on a regular basis.

5. ‘Guns Of Brixton/Dub B Good to Me’. Beats International built their song on the backbone of a Clash bassline. The fact that both songs are amazing testifies to the strength of a good bassline. My favourite instrument.

‘Live At Random Hall’ is out now.
Published in Reggae/ Roots
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 15:31

The Beards' Tickets

“People living in developed countries are more susceptible to shaving,” says The Beards’ frontman, Johann Beardraven. “They are a high risk group, so it's important for our message to reach them before it's too late.”

The Beards are currently touring ‘The First World Tour’, with Queensland on their radar this week. “The message is: grow a beard,” Beardraven says.

To win one of three double passes to The Beards Hi-Fi show this Friday, June 21. This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 10.30am Friday 21st June at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00

Cockneys vs Zombies DVDs

Love Horror described it as ‘a visual orgy of guns and gore with some great effects and plenty of action’.

‘Cockneys vs Zombies’ is the story of Andy and Terry: two hapless cockney brothers who try to save their grandad’s care home by robbing a bank. At the same time, a virus sweeps across East London turning all the inhabitants into flesh eating zombies. Faced with hordes of undead, the challenge is to rescue a home full of tough old folks, escape with the loot and get out of London alive!

To win one five DVDs: This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 4pm Thursday June 20 at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners have been drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners have been notified]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Thursday, 13 June 2013 17:45

The Great Gatsby Party Tix

Swing back in time to the Roaring Twenties with The Great Gatsby Party Friday June 14 at The Met. The night will be a mix of nostalgia and old-style Hollywood glamour paying homage to the 1920s dames and fellas, flappers and philosophers, gangsters and their molls.

To win one of two double passes: This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 1pm Friday 14th of June at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. 
[Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. 
[Winners notified]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, prior to 5pm Friday 14th of June.

4. Entrants' e-mail address will not be usd for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00

Slava's Snowshow Tickets

Since its creation by renowned Russian clown Slava Polunin in 1993, ‘Slava’s Snowshow’ has played to millions of people in more than 30 countries and 120 cities including New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.

It is to clowning what Cirque du Soleil is to circus, and the show brilliantly creates a world of wonderment and fantasy that transports the audience to a joyous dream-like place, where a bed becomes a boat in a storm-tossed sea; a woman is wrapped in cellophane and becomes flowers in a vase; a child walks in amazement inside a bubbles.

To win one of three double passes to the Wednesday June 26 show: This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 3pm Tuesday June 18 at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners have been drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners have been notified]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' e-mail address will not be usd for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 15:28

Maureen O'Hara Spends A Quiet Night At Home

Celebrity, femininity and the many aspects of self are all topics explored in Belinda Locke's performance 'Maureen O'Hara Spends A Quiet Night At Home'.

It's safe to say that celebrities are a prominent fixture within our cultural landscape — one would be hard pressed to find a newsagency that isn't teeming with glossies offering the latest scoop on what they're doing/ wearing/ eating or who they are (or aren't) dating — but how much of this hype is real? QUT graduate and and PhD candidate Belinda Locke explores the construction of the celebrity image in her performance 'Maureen O'Hara Spends A Quiet Night At Home'.

Based upon a photograph of 1940s screen siren Maureen O'Hara in her natural environment, Belinda says the performance was inspired by the many different representations of self.

“Maureen O'Hara is an actress who was around in the Hollywood Golden Era and the performance is inspired by a photograph of her apparently relaxing at home where she is all dolled up, wearing a giant fur cape and crocheting while in bed. I was interested in creating a performance that was looking into what people are like when they're actually having private moments on their own and what the disjunct is between that and their public selves. In the performance I take on the persona of Maureen O'Hara as a character in the '40s but a lot of my own life feeds into the performance as well.

“I think this is something that everyone experiences — we all have many different versions of ourselves — and in a way we're always playing a version of ourself, whether it's to our parents or our work colleagues or in any specific situation,” she explains. “As an artist I feel that there's a performance that goes on when artists meet each other at opening nights; that there’s a persona you try to live up to and how different it feels to be on your own when no one else is watching. We can observe this in celebrity life particularly but I think it's something that everyone identifies with to some extent.”

The performance places emphasis upon visual and aesthetic elements and is set to an eclectic soundtrack which incorporates 1940s big band, jazz and French electro-pop. Belinda explains that the performance is intentionally intimate in order to force the audience into the role of voyeur as O'Hara arrives home from a glamorous social event and winds down with a drink and a bath. 

“The performance starts in a very naturalistic space; I come into the show and really try to strip things back so that it's just a person being themselves at home getting ready to have their evening bath. I use the music that was popular in that era and then later on into the piece we see deeper into Maureen O'Hara's imagination and the music supports that imaginative space and becomes a bit more abstract. I think that helps to make it more relevant to contemporary living as well.”

Belinda also believes that her exploration of Maureen O'Hara's psyche brings forth salient themes regarding the construction of feminine beauty and identity.

“I didn't actually know a whole lot about Maureen O'Hara before I started creating the show but I was generally interested in the aesthetic of the 1940s and the glamour and costumes that went with it. The more that I've read about Maureen the more I've become interested in her life and the way she was a representation of female beauty. She was a big icon in her time and I'm interested in female identities. There are some voyeuristic aspects to the performance where having that connection to the celebrity as a character is quite pertinent because although we often become voyeurs of women as objects, it is even worse for celebrities. I found that taking on her character as a persona was very powerful in a performance.”

Maureen O'hara Spends A Quiet Night At Home runs from Wednesday June 19 To Saturday June 29 at Judith Wright Centre Of Contemporary Arts.

Published in Theatre


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