Archive for May, 2013

Waking up, I decided to prepare myself for the day of rock by spinning my Lita Ford and Runaways albums on the turntable. A good start indeed and it’s always fun to revisit albums you haven’t heard for a while, especially when you know that you’re going to witness the songs live later that evening. I got myself ready and headed out to the Prince of Wales in St Kilda to meet the promoter, collecting HEAVY TV host, Nelli Scarlet, on the way. I like to get there early enough to look at the different options available to us in where to shoot the day’s episode of HEAVY TV. It was decided that the restaurant would be a nice touch. A decent amount of natural light and it was quiet enough to not have the dreaded spill of atmospheric sound from the goings on around.

We were ready to go by 2:30 and a few moments later, in walks Lita. We are introduced to one another and ready to go. She sits herself down, the microphone is attached, and the interview is under way. Lita is in a great mood, laughing and joking with our hosts and she really comes across as a genuinely wonderful human being. She’s sweet and gentle, yet rough around the edges in that take no shit, rock n roll kinda way. Immediately she has become one of my favourite people to have had on the show. Everyone clicks instantly and the interview is a solid and enjoyable piece of work. This was Nelli’s first assignment and she did quite well, especially since in the car on the way there she seemed a little nervous but I was more than confident that she would deliver a stellar interview. She, like Cassie, has a great onscreen presence that alongside Doug, our resident guitar geek, will bring yet another great episode for your viewing. Chatting with Lita was a dream come true for Doug just as it was for me when we spoke on the phone a couple months earlier.

After the interview, Lita hung with us for a while and signed items and took photos with the HEAVY crew. She was a true gem and one thing that became clear, she has a broken heart that’s still mending from the ugly divorce she went through which became the inspiration behind her latest album, Living Like A Runaway. For a few moments Lita and myself talked about the song Mother; a heartbreaking ballad she wrote for her children that she isn’t able to see due to her ex-husband. Standing there, looking at Lita, I felt her pain albeit in a roundabout way. I have no problems with my mother but my dad and I don’t speak. His concept of being a father is so far out of this world that communication is just not possible. The lost connection between parent and child is where we bonded, if only for a minute, and I could tell Lita was still cut up very much by her situation. I felt really sorry for her and we hugged, both holding back the tears that I knew were swelling up in us both. Sometimes two strangers can just connect, if only for a moment, and it will touch your heart for years to come.

Lita Ford and I after her HEAVY TV interview.

We packed up our things and headed out. I went home and just thought about everything that had happened, that I am glad of what I have achieved in my life, realising that life gave me choices and I was in control and I chose the path I wanted to go. I may not have the finances of others or a house to call my own but I have good memories and great friends and family. I’m happy and that’s all I have ever wanted to be. Sure, I made a few mistakes along the way but I don’t like to see them as mistakes but more as lessons as I choose not to regret anything.

For years people told me I would never amount to anything. When I lived in Adelaide I was told repeatedly my band sucked, I was a loser and I’d never do anything. People would talk shit about me constantly, making up lies and stories about stuff that doesn’t concern them. I just shrugged my shoulders and kept moving forward. Someone once told me that all things happen for a reason. While for the most part that is true, I don’t think bullying or talking shit about others warrants any real positive reason so why do it? Why let what someone else does with their life bother you if it has no direct effect on you? Be a better person and just move on. You have exactly one life to live the life you want to live. Act accordingly. Don’t be a fuckin’ asshole. It’s really that simple.

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!

HEAVY Magazine
HEAVY TV