BIGSOUND continues to cement its place on Australia’s cultural calendar as the place where future stars are uncovered, and the shape of future business is forged.
BIGSOUND Festival runs four nights across Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, showcasing the next big thing to fans, industry, and international tastemakers alike. Its massive artist line-up has been instrumental in uncovering names like Flume, Rufus, Courtney Barnett, Megan Washington, The Temper Trap, A.B. Original, Remi, Gang of Youths and more. More info here
I usually get multiple requests to interview bands that are playing at Big Sound. To do something different I thought I would ask some random questions to a few bands at once. This is how it ended up.
Hi, thanks for being part of this interview, can you please introduce yourself so our readers know who you are.
Hayden Calnin, Electronic/Folk, Melbourne
Hey! My names Dominic and I play bass and sing in a Brisbane band called The Comfort. We play what we pride ourselves on calling a very honest brand of alternative rock. Howdy! Jack ‘Muzak’ Venables here, frontman for Osaka Punch. Greetings! We are Deadlights from the heart of Brisbane. We play our own flavour of post hardcore.
Has Bigsound been a bucket list tick for you that is about to come true?
This is actually my third time coming up to Bigsound to perform. The first was back when I started the project in 2012 performing solo on the Triple J Unearthed stage, and the 2nd was in 2014 with the full band. Bigsound has helped me network and build a team around my music and I’m very thankful I get the opportunity again this year to bring the live show to the stage.
This is actually the first time we’ve ever applied for Bigsound! We have seen it come and go each year and sometimes attended a show or two, but for one reason or another we never applied to play. Lucky for us, to play this year means we are surrounded by friends we’ve made all over the country!
It’s been on our bucket list for years now, and we can finally put a big, fat, sharpie shaped tick on it! Last year we made a vision board in our rehearsal room of all the goals we wish to achieve as a band. A Bigsound poster was prominently featured between a picture of 2 minute noodles, and Peter Andre’s oiled up pecs. We’ve now achieved 2 out of 3 of those particular goals. HAHAHAHA!
I (Dylan) have been to Bigsound as a punter the last 2 years. The vibe is glorious and the music is always insane. Being a part of it has us tickled pink.
What is it about Bigsound that you are so keen to perform in this celebration of great music?
It’s an essential time of year for any independent musician to network, showcase and socialise with the wider music community.
I think the thing that attracted us to Bigsound is the fact that it’s a collection of the most respected musicians, bands and industry professionals all in the one place. We couldn’t think of a better place to show everyone what we’re about and get to play with some amazing acts in the meantime.
Bigsound is always such a vibing festival, full of serious music lovers and the industry’s movers and shakers. Hailing from Brisbane, we’ve seen our city come alive every year, and finally we get to be one of the reasons for all those smiling faces.
You can find so much talent around the traps. Something is happening everywhere you go and I love the freedom of being able to genre-hop so easily. Having a mixed bill means a mixed crowd. Winning people over who would have never otherwise seen you is what Bigsound is all about for us.
Name 5 other Bigsound bands that you know and tell us how you know them.
I’ve been producing and recording some tracks for artists, Didirri and nyck over the last year. So I’m stoked to see them both on the bill. And Braille Face is one of my closest friends, and also my housemate. It’s going to be like I never left Melbourne.
Deadlights – The Deadlights boys have been around Brisbane for quite some time and Brisbane, being a small place, we’ve run into them at so many gigs, played shows with them and partied with them on many occasions. Belle Haven – We first ran into Belle Haven about a year ago when we toured our ‘Love’ EP, they headlined our Melbourne 18+ show and having heard their name and music around the country we were excited to see what they’d offer. They blew us away! The Beautiful Monument – Now this one is a weird one because I have never actually met them! Our guitarist played a show or two with them while playing for another band, we’ve seen them play with all of our friends bands and we actually share the same producer (Sonny Truelove of STL Studios). Very much looking forward to checking them out! Polaris – Another strange one as I’ve never met them in person, only through the wonderful internet!
sleepmakeswaves have been friends of ours for nearly a decade. We remember playing gigs with those lads way back in the day, and they’re still killing it. I’ve been a massive fan of Kylie Auldist for years, since I first heard her wailing with The Bamboos. I don’t know The Teskey Brothers yet, but I’m going to try my darndest to meet them at Bigsound!
Belle Haven. Tight friends and label brothers of ours, we have shared many a stage with them and they have this intense dynamic in their sound that is truly captivating. We froth hard. Polaris. More legendary humans with wicked skill. We have played with those boys before and are going around the country in October with them. Their music is huge. Riff city! Osaka Punch. We saw these guys without ever having heard them at a 12 Foot Ninja show and they really knocked us out. So refreshingly entertaining. The Comfort. We love The Comfort, friends from way back. ‘Love’ is full of bangers. I’m hoping they play new stuff. Dom’s hot. Clowns. None of us have caught them live but we spun their latest record ‘Lucid Again’ heaps of times in the van on our last tour. Great album to keep you awake on the road. Can’t wait to see it live.
Please tell us the funniest story that you can about how something went wrong on tour or the filming of a music video for example.
Back when the project started in 2012, and there was zero budget for anything ‘cause I was a young, very broke uni student, a friend and I decided to film a music video for my first single ‘For My Help’. We drove out to Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula, out near the cliffs thinking it’d be piss easy to film something cool with a DSLR. Turns out, we suck, and it was really hilly, and all the running we decided to do got to us, and we got super dehydrated and ended up throwing up in some paddock from utter exhaustion. We then ran out of daylight really quickly, and had no lighting rig, so proceeded to film the rest of the video under torch light. Oh how things have developed.
Hahah, this is such a painful question to answer because it brings back so much anxiety! So, a few months ago, we were on tour with Saviour and Hindsight. We left Brisbane at about 5-5:30am hoping to arrive in time for our 5:30pm soundcheck. Thought we were making pretty good time, til we hit roadworks and typical Sydney traffic. Put us back around 2-3hours and we arrived in Sydney at about 7pm (our set was 8pm). We called ahead and let the other bands and venue know. We were playing second, so worst case scenario we thought we just have to miss the opener and load in during their set. Unfortunately it was much worse than that. We arrived as the opener started, unloaded all of our gear onto the side of the road, let our drummer and guitarist load in and we went on the very scary journey of finding a legal park in sydney traffic… Anyone who’s been to Sydney knows how difficult this is, let alone having a 12 seater van and trailer. Long story short, we drove around for a bit, gave up and parked down an alley behind the venue. I called Marcus, our guitarist, explained how screwed we were and that he would have to set our gear up. Liam and I walked into the doors of the venue, straight inside and straight onto the stage, picked up our guitars and played a full set. Easily some of the worst and most stressful hours of my life.
Oh there’s been many errors over the years, and in this band I’ve personally fractured my heel, broken a thumb, and chipped a front tooth on stage. But the worst was on our most recent tour supporting Twelve Foot Ninja. The first chorus, of the first song, at the first gig on tour I stepped up on the fold back in what I thought would be an epic rockstar manoeuvre. Unfortunately it toppled over and I fell off the front of the stage. In an effort to save my skin I grabbed at my keyboard and took it with me, stand and all. My wireless mic cut out, my keyboard, synth and arse were sprawled across the dancefloor amidst 200-odd baffled punters, who quickly helped pick up my gear and bring it back on stage… bloody legends. I had to grab my drummers mic to finish the song, while trying to re-patch all of my gear with my other hand. Fortunately I sustained no serious injuries, but my ego was more than a little bruised.
Got a weird one, in one of our music videos we hired a hypnotist to have a go with us and before the shoot we got him to come over and explain it all to us. During this he was messing with our bass player Sean who was really susceptible to it. He made him forget his name and the number 2 and all sorts of stuff. By the end of it he was simply clicking at Sean and making him fall asleep. During the shoot he was doing it to him too. A little worrying for Sean but hella funny for the rest of us.
If this was a competition I don’t know which I would pick as the best story!
Rank these bands in order of how talented you think they are (or were)
- Fall out Boy
- Miley Cyrus
- The Beatles
- Fleetwood Mac
- Iron Maiden
Fall Out Boy
Now it depends how you look at ‘talent’, doesn’t it? I’ll look at it in terms of who I think is the most creative, because I personally believe that that is far more important than how well you can actually play your instrument.
Fall Out Boy
Hmmmm talent is such a subjective term. I mean some people are incredibly gifted at sticking their tongue out of their face, while others might only be pioneers in the world of songwriting. Who’s to say which talent is more purposeful than the other? I’d have to go with my gut and say The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Iron Maiden, Fall out Boy, Miley Cyrus.
Fall out Boy – 5
Miley Cyrus – 4
The Beatles – 1
Fleetwood Mac – 2
Iron Maiden – 3
No one chose the same! Interesting. What was the last TV show you have watched. Be honest!
Ahhh, derrrr, GAME OF THRONES
Hahah, hopefully this isn’t too embarrassing but, I’ve been keeping up with Dragon Ball Super as the new episodes come out every week. So the last show I watch was either that, or Better Call Saul!
Ozark. I just binged it in 3 days. I’ve always liked Jason Bateman, but he totally killed it in this role.
Brand new Twin Peaks episode. Lynch has lost the plot. I’m okay with it.
If I was able to grant you three wishes professionally what would you wish for?
A nice, long term, steady career.
Collaboration with Taylor Swift
Some time in the studio learning the tricks of James Blake.
The ability to create art without the constraints of money; we have many ideas, but never enough money to create them how we want it!
All the gear we could ever want
To tour with Brand New
To tour with Mike Patton (any band, but mostly Faith No More or Mr Bungle)
To be the final song in the climax of a Tarantino movie
To create a dank, heavy, groove driven studio album collaborating with Timbaland.
Well the three things on our minds currently are
How are we going to get a tour in USA?
How are we going to get a tour in Europe?
How are we going to pay for recording our next album?
In 7 words, tell our readers why they should catch your show at Bigsound.
Sad, slow progressive big wall of sound
We actually don’t suck that much anymore.
Face melting entertainment at its finest!
Four dudes change your mind about screamo.
Thanks to the bands for spending their time answering my questions. All the best at Bigsound.
By day, BIGSOUND’s presents an invaluable opportunity to meet new collaborators and learn from the best from around the world. The conference program presents ideas from some of the international music industry’s most revered and forward-thinking luminaries. Delegates have heard from and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Nick Cave, Neil Finn, Kim Gordon, Simon Raymonde (Bella Union / Cocteau Twins), Billy Bragg, Amanda Palmer, Peter Garrett, Michael Gudinski (Mushroom), Ben Lee, Seymore Stein (Sire), Michael Chugg, and Steve Earle. You never know who you will meet.
Launched in 2002 by industry development organisation QMusic, BIGSOUND’s community of musical innovation and togetherness now attracts over 1,300 conference delegates and 6000+ music fans.