For those who don’t know, I write for an Australian music magazine here in Australia called HEAVY. It’s a fantastic quarterly magazine that focuses on all sorts of guitar driven music – regardless of what the name may suggest – covering everything from rock to punk to hardcore to metal and pretty much every genre in between. Basically, if it kicks ass, we’ll cover it. One of the offshoots of HEAVY that I am involved with is an online TV show called HEAVY TV. It’s pretty self-explanatory and we feature interviews with touring bands and the like. We have awesome hosts and everyone involved has a great time putting it together.
This Sunday just gone, HEAVY TV set up at the 2013 Cherry Rock Festival which is an annual event held by the fine folks at the Cherry Bar; a dive bar tucked away down AC/DC Lane in the CBD of Melbourne. The festival was a day-long event with two stages and a truckload of great bands, showcasing the amazing talent not only here in Melbourne but around Australia and overseas.
I arrived at 11:30am and judging by the empty laneway, I was early. I walked into the Cherry Bar and into the back room where we were to be set up for the day. The room is decorated in some sweet New York Dolls and AC/DC memorabilia, some SHAG artwork, a vinyl jukebox, and some bitchin’ couches decked out in pimpin’ animal print. It is home for the day and I love it.
Our crew is small but effective. For this day we had three camera guys; Mike, Adam and Cory who also shared sound duties, Doug Steele presenting and myself looking over everything and making sure we have the bands and we don’t let the interviews run too long. Nobody wants to be editing a 30 minute interview. Trust me, it’s not fun.
First band of the day was The Surefire Midnights; a rock n roll band from Perth who really got the party started and delivered a stellar set of kick ass originals and a nice cover of The Cult’s Love Removal Machine. Once they were done, it was time to get them in front of the HEAVY cameras for a little HEAVY TV love. Doug sat down with guitarist Laura, vocalist Clair and drummer Kylie to exchange unusual yet highly amusing tour stories that will make for a most interesting viewing experience when it goes live on HEAVY’s website. Stay tuned for that!
Barbarion were a band that I had heard a lot of talk about but not actually seen live. Once I witnessed the warlord spirit combined with Manowar guitar riffs, their over the top theatrics and flames rising from the stage (to which they have admitted being burnt by numerous times), I was instantly captivated. We needed them on camera and that is exactly what happened. In they came, in their stage get-up, to exchange warrior prayers and anecdotes of fighting the world with the man of metal. These warrior henchmen, along with the stunning Jagermeister girls, dished out an amusing interview, loincloths included.
Mikey (vocalist) and Ben (guitarist) from Mammoth Mammoth came in for a chat and following on from the release of their signing to Napalm Records, they were fired up and ready for their ass kickin’ appearance at Cherry Rock. They came and delivered mammoth amounts of rough and tough riffage and rants.
Matt Sonic & The High Times are a band I have only seen a few times but today’s performance was something different as between their own originals, their set was padded out with space jams reminiscent of early Monster Magnet. A title I’m sure they are most pleased with. We wanted an interview with them but they had to take off and get Matt Sonic to the airport. Next time though.
King Parrot have been creating quite a storm across Australia and Asia with their grindcore meets punk metal noise and they were next on HEAVY TV’s schedule. Both Slats and Youngie came in for a chat and talked about all things Parrot while flicking through the magazine, offering praise. Jolly good chaps.
Truckfighters from Sweden were new to my ears but after a mind-blowing and ear deafening performance, Niklas came in and sat down with the HEAVY crew for a chat about Swedish Truckfighting and whatnot. Nice guys, great band and I am glad they came to Australia and kicked out the jams for us all.
The whole day was great and quite a successful event and I am glad that HEAVY TV were given the chance to be a part of it. When I was studying at Flinders University back in Adelaide, my major was film-making and drama. There was no work in Adelaide and I gave up on it, much to my own disappointment as anyone who knows me personally can vouch for my love of film and TV work. I made the move to Melbourne in 2007 and I was given great opportunities for which I am eternally thankful for. Whether I am directing, editing, or simply holding a boom mic, the whole creative process is something I am glad to be a part of and the HEAVY TV team are a solid bunch of people with great vision and incredible ideas. I look forward to HEAVY TV’s future and I really hope you take the time to see what it is we do.
To all the bands we spoke with, I want to extend a huge thankyou for taking the time out to chat with us. We really do appreciate it. Of course we couldn’t cover everybody and to those we did not feature, we do apologise. It was an extremely busy day but maybe next time? To all the punters who gave comments and support, thankyou. We really do appreciate it.
Special thanks to the four Jagermeister promotional girls for being good sports and conversing with myself to help break –up the conversation from the usual rock n roll topics and geek film talk to in-depth chats about studying and journalism. I forgot their names but I thank them all and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy day for them but they were real troopers with sweet personalities and maintained their cool all day long. Cheers to you!