Items filtered by date: May 2013
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:57

The Meanies: Pub Punks

Seminal Australian punk-rock band The Meanies will bring their raucous live show back to Brisbane this June.

The Meanies rose to prominence in the late '80s and early ‘90s with their enthusiastic brand of frenetic, unkempt punk music. Australian audiences responded well to the unpretentious four-piece, and the cult status the band enjoyed in Melbourne soon expanded to the rest of Australia and beyond. Bassist Wally Kempton attributes the longevity of The Meanies to the spirit of fun that has stayed with the band since its inception.

“We just all met around the traps, there was never a grand plan and we were lucky because whatever we were doing tended to work and it just kept getting bigger and bigger. It got to a stage where the amount of work we were doing was too much and we stopped playing for about three years. The very reason we got together was for fun, and for the last 15 years it's been fun to just get together and jam, but it’s not necessarily a career path as it accidentally became in the early ‘90s.

“We didn't take ourselves too seriously and never will. None of us had any stupid airs or graces; we were just four ugly kids from the suburbs that people could relate to. We were always very easy to approach as well, regardless of how big or small we were as a band, we were never too big for our boots.”

Wally says that time has not diminished the group's ability to bring the punk spirit, and like a fine wine, The Meanies are only getting better with age.
“It won’t be as nuts as it used to be. Link cut his forearm rather badly at the last Melbourne show that we played, so I think he might finally realise that’s not necessarily a wise thing to do. He ended up having 13 stitches, some internal and some external.

“I'm hoping lots of old bastards come out of the woodwork and we end up with a massive crowd. With my humility hat on, I can honestly tell you that we are a much better band than we ever were. It's louder, it's faster, it's harder, and even the singing is better. We will definitely still jump around.”

The Meanies play 4ZZZ’s Rumble Rock Wrestling at the Arena Sunday June 9.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:51

The Red Paintings: Time For A Revolution

The decision to move to Los Angeles was a simple numbers game for Trash McSweeney and The Red Paintings.

The orchestral art rockers saw more opportunity in The City Of Angels and it paid dividends with the band getting significant airplay on a number of American radio stations.

“A smaller market means more close-minded people. You've got 21 million people in Australia and you've got 22 million in Los Angeles alone. It made more sense for me to go to America and work the market and build our name. You can always keep busy in America because there's so many opportunities to tour. I was really inspired by the people in Los Angeles. It's a very creative city.”

After five years of writing and recording with a revolving door of producers, The Red Paintings are set to release their debut album, 'The Revolution Is Never Coming' — Trash's creative vision taking a while to bear fruit.

“I started working on it in Brisbane and I got into a place where I realised the studios I was working weren't capable of mixing an album this big. It's also very hard when you're opinionated about a vision and what you're trying to create. I butt heads with producers quite often because they want to do things differently from what I would. I got to the point where we'd finished the album and I said, 'this is crap, I can't release this!' It wasn't the album that I told the fanbase I would create.”

Trash's unique style comes to life during The Red Paintings shows with artists creating human canvasses while the band performs. He says he wants fans to experience a show that incorporates all the senses. A major influence on his musical life is the condition of synethesia, which he developed after a seizure in 1999.

“The way it works is that I write songs and the images behind the songs become metaphors for the human canvasses and all the props on stage. Even the paint we use reflects the colours and moods of the songs. It makes it fun for us because we're continually evolving in the show and as a band.”
The inclusion of the artistic displays is a way for Trash to help struggling artists to showcase their talents in a creative setting.

“I'm always trying to find talented artists that are struggling. That's what I was, I did visual arts at school and I couldn't get anyone to buy my paintings and it was a really hard kind of world to be in. I understand what they're going through.”

After touring with the Dresden Dolls in 2006, Trash was in debt and looked to the band's passionate fans for support.

“It was the first time I'd taken a band to America and we got no help from anyone in Australia. I pulled the fans together and they helped me a little bit financially.”

The band then shopped around for a record label to help produce their debut album but Trash was disappointed at the offers. He believed an album that was so creatively intense needed better funding.

“I announced the record and I had all these meetings with labels and the money they were offering wasn't viable. The vision I had for the album needed better funding than what was being offered. So I went back to the fanbase and I said, 'look, this is what I want to create and this is why' and before I knew it they had donated $160,000 and I had enough to make the record.”

Trash is his biggest critic but he is confident in 'The Revolution Is Never Coming' and hopes the fans will appreciate the work the band has put in.
“I just wanted the album to be special for the fans, I think they are ready for something concrete. If this is the last thing I do in the band it will be worth it.”

The Red Paintings play The Great Northern June 8, Hi-Fi June 22 and The Coolangatta Hotel July 6. ‘The Revolution Is Never Coming’ is out now.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:41

Sheppard: Keeping It In The Family

Being in a band with two of your sisters may seem like a nightmare to some, but it’s all in a day’s work for George Sheppard.

“It's not too hard, to be honest,” he says. “When we first decided to start a band together I was a bit hesitant, and we're like normal siblings in that we have tiffs now and then, but it's all over quickly and it's like it didn't happen. I find it easier in that sense, because if you're in a band with your friends an argument can leave a bad taste in your mouth or bad energy in the air. But with them it's over within two seconds and it's back to normal. The only people I ever have arguments with are my sisters, so it's pretty easy.

“Amy started the band,” he continues. “She began singing from a very early age, and it wasn't until I was about 17 when she asked me to sing harmonies for songs she had written. Then I started helping her write the songs, and we came up with a few cool little numbers. Soon after Jay [Bovino] came on board; he's an accomplished songwriter and guitarist I met in Sydney, and he added a lot to our songwriting. We realised we needed to play live, so we auditioned Michael [Butler] for the guitar, and my younger sister Emma decided to learn bass. And in January we added our drummer Dean [Gordon]. We started playing 18 months ago, and the current line-up has been together since January.”

The Brisbane indie-poppers' single 'Let Me Down Easy' is the band's most well-known song, and has been getting considerable radio play of late.

“It was released last August when we put out our EP,” George says, “but it's only been in the last five or six weeks that it's been picked up on commercial radio, so it's all happening for us now. It's pretty much a break-up song, but it's different to most break-up songs because it's funky and happy, which is strange for such a depressing subject matter.

“The reaction to the song has blown our expectations out of the water; we've had all different ages of people interested in our music. We've had videos sent to us of three-year olds singing along to 'Let Me Down Easy', and we've had seventy-year olds e-mailing us telling us that they love our music.
We love to know that people are enjoying what we're doing; we get mostly positive reaction through our Facebook and Twitter. There are heaps of bands who don't really care if people like their music or not, but it's really nice for us to know that our tunes are being enjoyed, and that we're a positive part of people's lives.”

In an unexpected turn of events, it was a radio station on the west coast of America that gave the band their break.

“There's a huge market over there,” George says. “We had a guy who runs a radio show pick up our song, and we scored a spot on his playlist in Portland. He picked up 'Let Me Down Easy', and it was the first commercial radio station in the world to play us, which was a massive deal. We got to number one on their most requested track list, among some huge names like Fun and The Lumineers. We did some shows over there supporting Atlas Genius, and we sold out a 1600 capacity venue, which was a moment I'll never forget. We've done so many awesome gigs; South Africa was probably the most memorable as it was the first big festival stage we had ever played on. Our manager Michael Chugg pretty much threw us in the deep end, as it was in the middle of the wilderness, like something out of the ‘Lion King’; just this giant dust bowl.”

The band will be playing a local show at Eatons Hill Hotel in June, but it won't be a conventional Sheppard gig.

“This will be a funny one, as we're doing a semi-acoustic show,” George says. “We're going to have all the instruments, although we'll have to tone down the drum kit a bit; Dean will have to be on brushes or something. It's going to be very different from every other show we've played, that's for sure, but we try to do that with every show we do; make it a little bit different or add something new every time, so people coming back can expect something different. It's a big venue with a great reputation for live music, and we'll take it as a challenge. A lot of our songs translate well acoustically so it's going to be a groovy, chilled-out afternoon.”

As well as playing a number of hotels and bars, the young band have recently been on a tour of Australia's high schools, which has seen some new rules introduced.

“Man, the kids are amazing. I expected to have some smart-alec kids here and there booing us or whatever, but they get right into it. Now I totally understand, because I would have loved a band to come to our school, and it's an excuse for them to get out of class. We also get to do a workshop with them afterwards, and they can ask us questions about the industry, and watch us set up and soundcheck, so it's a real learning experience. We can't play 'I'm Not A Whore', and we find alternatives for a couple of swear words, but for the most part it's really relaxed. The obvious rules are no swearing and always being courteous, although we're not allowed to hug the students front-on. We do signings after the show and a lot of the students want a hug, but we're only allowed to do side hugs. We thought it was funny, but rules are rules!”

While high school shows are earning the band legions of new fans, George has an eye on bigger stages.

“If I had a choice I would have Coldplay's career. I saw their live show, and it's just such an unbelievable spectacle. To be able to put on something of that magnitude would be a dream come true for us, and that's the level I'd like to see the band get to eventually.

Personally I've always been a huge fan of big, atmospheric rock music like Kings Of Leon. I'm also into a lot of jazz, blues, and soul. Amy is more into Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones – more old-school rock. Jay has a more singer-songwriter background, so he's into Elliott Smith and those kind of artists, as well as Death Cab For Cutie. After this tour we're planning to go back to the US at some point, as there are a few stations picking up our songs over there. We've also got a festival in Bangkok, which is going to be pretty cool, so we're going to be very busy.

Sheppard Play Eatons Hill June 9

Published in Pop/ Electro
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:36

Municipal Waste: Seven Year Itch

Municipal Waste are headed back to Australia for the first time in seven years.

It’s been a long time coming but the Virginia thrash/ metal band is returning to Oz, and they’re stoked. Drummer Dave Witte is looking forward to the tour, if just for the chance to sample more of our fine beer.

“Brisbane was actually the site of our first show in Australia ever and we’re so excited; it's taken way too long. We're finally coming now and we're stoked … [last time] we got to drink a couple of cool beers and I hear there's even more there now so I'm definitely excited about that.”

The band is touring off the back of their successful fifth album, ‘The Fatal Feast’, a conceptual record that tells the story of a cannibalistic space voyage.

“The first record 'Waste 'Em All' had a song called ‘The Fatal Feast’ and it was never recorded. It was re-written [for this record] – the music and the lyrics are completely different but the topic still remains the same, it's a cannibalistic space voyage. Everybody was on board with it because everybody likes science-fiction/ space/ horror movies. It reminded me of ‘Dead Space’, I'm a big fan of that.”

As a band that’s played its fair share of live shows, Municipal Waste has built their success with their raucous onstage performances. Armed with seven years of experience and new material, it just might be one of their best tours yet.

“The best thing about playing an away show is most of the crowd, if not all, show up and want to have a good time. That's what we're all about; we want to have a good time with the crowd and we like to have some heavy interaction. We don't take ourselves too seriously and the guys crack a lot of jokes onstage … we’re bringing a lot of songs we've never played there before. Seven years is a long time, we've covered a lot of ground and written a lot of songs and we've matured as a band quite a bit. We're ready to bring our A-game and rip it up!”

Municipal Waste play the Hi Fi June 15.

Published in Rock
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 16:32

Oliver Twizt Tickets

Soapbox Artists brings you the Mixmash Records Australian Tour featuring Dutch electro house producer/ DJ Oliver Twizt and rising star of the Australian scene and new Mixmash signing, Uberjak’d.

Founded in 2004, Mixmash Records started out as a label primarily focused on label head honcho Laidback Luke‘s own releases. Under Laidback Luke’s supervision and utilising his legendary production skills and drive, Mixmash’s international label profile gained its current AAA status and reputation.

A vast array of both industry giants and talented uprisers have already found their home at Mixmash Records. Such names as: Tiesto, A-trak, Steve Aoki, Steve Angello, Afrojack, Sidney Samson, Tocadisco and Avicii are all part of Mixmash’ impressive catalog.

Be sure to check out the Mixmash Records Australian tour when it lands at The Met this Friday May 31.

To win one of two double passes to The Met This competition has closed.
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Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 2pm Thursday 30th May at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. 
[Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. 

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
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 03:42

Scene Magazine Back Issues 2013

Scene Magazine back-issues have moved to our national site, scenestr.

You can read them all here.

Published in Flipbook

Soul singer Vika Bull may be singing Etta James’ songs and narrating her life story, but she’s quick to quash any suggestion she’s trying to imitate blues and rhythm’s most famous leading lady.

“Some people love it, and some go, 'Oh, she can't do it like Etta does'. But I’m not Etta James, for God's sake!” Bull says, laughing. “I'm just telling her story and singing her songs, you know, and it's just an enjoyable, really interesting two hours.”

With great music comes great responsibility, and Bull admits she does feel some pressure to do it justice.

“I have to kind of sing songs properly, or as true as I can to her version, so there's a lot of pressure on that. I don't have maybe the lower [register] richness or fullness, or sound like the world-weary woman that Etta was, because I didn't have the same life. I haven't had a hard life. I just learnt as much as I can, copied her as much as I can.”
If a sold-out season in Sydney and critical acclaim are anything to go by, she is doing a damn fine job. In ‘At Last, The Etta James Story’, Bull tells James’ story from birth to death, with every hit and struggle in between, complemented by 24 astounding Etta songs.

“I was a little bit scared because I knew it would be a really tough gig,” she explains. “There's no talking for me during the day. It's just sing at night, and then rest the vocal cords.”

It’s a sacrifice she can happily make if it means being able to sing crowd favourites like ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, ‘Woman’, and of course ‘At Last’ — though her personal list is topped by the lesser-known ‘Tough Lover’. “It’s really good fun. I love singing the ones that everyone loves, but my favourite ones are probably the more obscure ones.”
The show has exposed Bull to a side of James that she hadn’t previously explored.

“I was 17 when I was introduced to her music. I'd just started in the music industry. And I sort of thought, 'Ok, I really like this woman's voice, I think she's a really fantastic singer' and fell in love with her just because of her voice; I didn't know anything about her life. And it wasn't 'til later on when I started to find out bits and pieces.”
Bull says that audiences have expressed similar surprise at the sometimes sordid and unbelievable details of James’ life.

“People are fascinated by it. They just go, 'Oh, I had no idea'. Etta had her first hit when she was 15, and went on the road at 15. She kind of really loved the road, and loved the wildness of the road, and then got into drugs and became a drug addict. It was like, 'Oh, wow, there's a lot more to this woman than just a singer'.”

Despite James’ battles with addiction, her music career flourished and, says Bull, continued to do so until her death in January 2012.

“It’s good, it's a positive thing, you know. We tell her story, and it still ends on a positive note that she kept singing. She recorded and released an album three months before her death, which is amazing. Drugs didn't destroy her; they didn't kill her; she didn't overdose. She might have disappeared for a few years — she went away for about ten years, because she was a full-on junkie, and then she came back — but she could still sing, you know. Drugs hadn't destroyed her voice. That's what I've found really interesting about Etta. She was a real survivor.”

Bull is excited to take ‘At Last’ to Adelaide before bringing it to Brisbane in June, but the future of the show is unclear.

“It's the first time it's been performed in Australia or anywhere; it's the first time anyone's ever seen the show. It's never been done before. It could develop, but it's early stages.”

Vika Bull performs ‘At Last, The Etta James Story’ at Brisbane Powerhouse from June 5-9.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Friday, 24 May 2013 16:05

Dave Hughes Tickets

Non-stop laughter is set to ring out when ‘Thank God You’re Here’ and ‘The Project’ regular Dave Hughes headlines Laugh Your Pants Off Friday June 7 at Jupiters Theatre.

The Melbourne comedian, who can be found hilariously interrogating the AFL's elite on ‘Before The Game’, will be joined by fellow comedy veterans Cal Wilson, Colin Lane and Mikey Robins.

To win a double pass This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winner will be drawn at random at 1:01pm Thursday 30th May at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. 
[Winner has been drawn]
2. Winner will be notified by e-mail. 

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

Published in Competition
Friday, 24 May 2013 12:51

Ernie Watts Tickets

He’s played with everyone from Frank Zappa to The Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin. Ernie Watts is truly a living jazz treasure.

“When you play with a jazz group it's different every night. The tunes may be the same, but the performances are different and it evolves [because] you allow it to evolve and try different things.”

To win one of two doubles to the Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday June 1 as part of the Brisbane International Jazz Festival This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:
1. Winner will be drawn at random at 12:01pm Wednesday 29th May at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners have been drawn]

2. Winner will be notified by e-mail. 

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

Published in Competition
Local duo Monet write songs about relationships: the way they start, finish and sometimes even fail to happen.

Comprised of vocalist Lisa Jones and guitarist Ross Quick, the pair formed in early 2012 after both had spent time in various bands. Debut album ‘Humble Beginnings’ was recorded at Studios 301 Byron Bay, and despite its eclectic mix of styles it maintains a fairly traditional approach to songwriting.

Jones’ powerful voice and Quick’s skilful finger-picking make for a gentle, pleasant listen, while session musicians Blakely Akers (bass) and Glen Baker (drums) provide strong support.

The songs display the duo’s knack for melody: ‘Disconnected’, with its hook-laden chorus, stands out as a perfect single choice, ‘Bourbon Stain’ invokes moody jazz and blues classics and ‘Flying’ is ethereal and meditative. A self-assured, classy and sophisticated debut.
Published in Jazz/ Fusion
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