Hailing from Sydney, Australia and now based in Hollywood, Andy Clockwise has proving himself to be one of the more compelling artists in independent music. 2014’s EP Dancing World propelled him to a new level of success in the United States with Nylon Guys calling the music “downright infectious.” Clockwise records, performs, produces, and mixes all his records.
His live shows are unforgettable raucous affairs – think LCD Soundsystem meets Nick Cave – and as a result Clockwise has fostered a loyal fan base on both coasts of the US where he consistently plays to packed rooms. Andy has toured with The Black Keys, Julian Casablancas and Warpaint.
Andy Clockwise is happy to share his new single “I’ve Arrived (The Good Book Pt.1)”. Andy has had steady momentum for the past year and has more in store. For the past few weeks, Andy has been the special guest on a bunch of sold out shows across north america with Dance Yourself Clean, plus special one off side dates in the USA’s favorite venues and an invitation to this year’s SXSW Music Conference 2016. All in the lead up to a new EP, The Good Book.
The Good Book will be released April 8th, and this is the second song and video we have seen from Clockwise that previews the new EP. Numerous and diverse guests such as John Hawkes (Award winning character actor) Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint, Kurt Vile) John JT Thomas (Captain Beefheart, Sparks) & Holly Valance on the bonus track are all appearing on the upcoming release.
In late 2015 Andy also released “Open Relationship.” Both the track and the video feature Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa. Interview Magazine premiered the video calling it “intriguing,” going on to say “sonically, the song sounds like LCD Soundsystem-meets-’80s disco and funk, but lyrically, it enters a more modern era through the omnipresent idea of open relationships.” When premiering the single, The WILD Magazine said “Open Relationship” has the duo tapping into “the louche swagger of Suede and Roxy Music as their voices playfully duel over a ripping bassline.”
Irish singer-songwriter ANDY WHITE carries a 12 string guitar under his arm and wears his particular brand of Irish magic and charm on his sleeve. With the political edge of the young Bob Dylan, the romance of David Gray and the Celtic influences and lyricism of the Waterboys, an Andy White concert is a special experience.
Belfast-born Andy has ten internationally released solo albums, two compilations and a book of poetry to his name. He has worked and played with some great musicians and writers Peter Gabriel, Sinead OConnor, the Finn Brothers amongst others. He won Irelands Hot Press Songwriter of the Year a few years ago, beating Bono and Christy Moore to the finishing line.
Although all of Andys albums are still available through his website, current releases include the new album SONGWRITER, his previous studio album GARAGEBAND; a live album released by WOMAD/Real World entitled SPEECHLESS which includes his best-known songs Religious Persuasion, Looking For James Joyces Grave, Street Scenes From My Heart; and a collection of rarities compiled from out-takes, B sides and live recordings – RARE.
As well as a solo performer who travels the world a couple of times a year, Andy was the A of folk supertrio ALT along with Tim Finn (T) and Liam O Maonlai (yes, L). The threesome toured the globe and released a studio album ALTITUDE and a live recording BOOTLEG. After Tim introduced Andy to Australia, he returned to write songs with Christine Anu, including Coz Im Free which became Cathy Freemans Olympic theme song. He eventually relocated to Melbourne in early 2002.
Andy’s new album, SONGWRITER, released on Floating World this September 28, was recorded live in the studio in Vancouver, Canada, with members of Po’ Girl, the Be Good Tanyas, and Neko Case’s band. It’s a new, rootsier musical direction for Andy, and reflects writing collaborations he has been working on for the past few years. The band features Andy’s long-standing tour companion, virtuoso pianist and accordion player Radoslav Lorkovic, and the Real World session was once more overseen by old friend John Leckie.
There are songs co-written with Canadians Allison Russell from Po’ Girl and Stephen Fearing from Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Australian writer Sean Sennett, and one-man Scots hit factory Stuart Crichton.
Since his very first release RAVE ON ANDY WHITE in 1986 Yer mans a genius commented Melody Maker featuring Religious Persuasion, Andy White has released a series of beautiful albums. He is a singer-songwriter of and for our times, documenting the world and its current chaos and beauty with remarkable insight.
Starting his career as a hard rock singer, Australian legend Gary “Angry” Anderson successfully added actor, media star, and tireless charity worker to a lengthy resume. First earning the nickname of “Angry Ant” due to his aggressive character, Anderson channeled his energy into the band Peace Power and Purity during 1971 and 1972. In 1973, he formed the boogie band Buster Brown and in 1976 joined Rose Tattoo. The anthemic hits “Bad Boy for Love” and “We Can’t Be Beaten” became symbols for alienated youth and Rose Tattoo earned an international reputation as one of Australia’s premier hard rock outfits. Anderson began his acting career with a small role in Bullamakanka in 1985, followed by a more substantial role in Mad Max III: Beyond Thunderdome. Rose Tattoo’s final album, Beats From a Single Drum originally began life as Angry Anderson’s debut solo album until the introduction of American producer Kevin Beamish. The album was released in 1986 and produced the ballad “Suddenly” which peaked at number one on the Australian national charts in August 1987. Blood From a Stone was then re-released as a solo Angry Anderson album in 1988. A break from recording saw Anderson appear as Vladimir Lenin in the stage production of Rasputin and join TV’s The Midday Show. Anderson then released his debut proper, Blood From Stone, in 1990. Produced by Beau Hill (ZZ Top), it yielded the singles “Heaven” and “Bound for Glory,” the latter performed at the opening ceremony to the 1990 Australian Rules Football (AFL) Grand Final. The Angry Anderson Band, consisting of Robin Riley on lead guitar, Bobby Barth on guitar, Jim Hilbun on bass, and Tim Powles on drums, then supported Aerosmith on their October 1990 Australian tour. In 1992, Anderson appeared as King Herrod in the Australian version of Andrew Loyd Webber and Tim Rice’s stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar along with a slew of Australian music stars. He appeared on the Australian number one soundtrack Jesus Christ Superstar: The Album in July 1992. Anderson worked tirelessly with charities such as the National Association for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect of Kids (NAPCAN) and the Prince of Wales Hospital. A stint with the Party Boys in 1987 and the Wild Colonial Boys punctuated tours with his solo bands Angry and Double Trouble. A tour with the reformed Rose Tattoo followed in 1993 as did a lineup change to the Angry Anderson Band, which now consisted of John Brewster on lead guitar, Steve Crofts on guitar, Alan Lancaster on bass, and Peter Heckenberg on drums.
Kia ora Koutou katoa!
Of course you know who Anika Moa is.
Yass Queen, same-sex symbol, Māori princess (literally), mum-of-three with one in the oven, humble and reluctant TV STAR, children’s entertainer, and a wondrous bloody New Zealander.
But let’s not forget that before all the above, Anika Moa was a musician, and a singer. And a beautiful, heartfelt songwriter.
One who we have all been waiting on, for an excruciatingly long time, to release another album of music (for adults).
And it’s about to happen. Anika Moa, her sixth studio album sets flight for the world on October 5th, through Universal music.
After a long hiatus, and then a sub sequential – and especially fruitful – period of songwriting, Anika Moa was pulled back to the world of recording artist. Like the millennium falcon, dragged towards the death star (to be searched for members of the rebel alliance).
‘Find somewhere and someone great to record the album, Rodney. Or you’re fired!!!’ she yelled to her manager, while sipping champagne on the set of Seven Sharp, ‘I’m a TV celeb now, and I’ll only settle for the best. Find me somewhere exotic, find a great producer who has worked with other divas before!’
‘What about New Orleans? What about Brady Blade who has worked with Brooke Fraser, Jewel, Dave Matthe- ‘
‘Yes, yes. Have it arranged!’
The journey was planned, and in May 2018 Anika travelled to New Orleans to create her long-awaited sixth studio album. The destination was Esplanade Studios, a former Presbyterian church, decommissioned after the Katrina catastrophe, but then reimagined as a recording space.
Brady Blade enlisted a super-band, with himself as drummer, Doug Pettibone (John Mayer, Lucinda Williams, Marianne Faithfull, Tracy Chapman) to play guitars and pedal steel, and Tony Hall (The Neville Brothers, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Dave Mathews) on bass. Other locals popped into guest; US/Swedish artist Anders Osborne on guitar, Joe Ashlar (Dr. John) on keys, Mike Dillon, a punk percussionist. And Texas-based, Chris Bell (Destiny’s Child, The Eagles, Erykah Badu, Don Henley) completed the team as engineer.
The result, is a 10-track collection of some of Anika’s clearest and most captivating music of her career. Her familiar melodic blueprint journeys through folk, pop and Americana. Led by acoustic guitar, peppered with lazy pedal steel and resonant piano and finessed with slick production, the record yields a sound akin to an Easy Tiger-era Ryan Adams record.
But it is an album that is always so obviously Anika Moa, with her emotive and intelligent lyricism, her storytelling careening between love, pain, sadness, joy, and adoration.
In a career spanning 20 years – ‘that doesn’t mean I’m old FYI, make sure you clarify that. I started early. Tell them I started when I was 12 and then it sounds like I’m only about 30’ – she has released five (now six) studio albums, two wildly successful Songs For Bubbas albums (inspired by the arrival of her twin sons) and toured her music and stories to every corner of the country.
And some corners of the world too.
With a constant drive to push out her own boundaries, Anika
accidentally transitioned from musician to one of Aotearoa’s best-loved television personalities (she won an award for it, ya know?). Starting with ‘Face to Face’ in 2015 – a frank and funny online interview segment – she was then slung her own live studio show, ‘All Talk With Anika Moa’, which hit screens on Maori TV in 2017 with a magnificent roar (to all of 12 people who watched it). Momentum gathered quickly and in 2018 she was snaffled by TVNZ and given ‘Anika Moa Unleashed’. A show that let her loose on high profile New Zealanders, visiting them in their own environments with a viewing of half a million people!
But, now the time has again come to release one of her musical creations to the adoring populous. The self-titled album will be released through Universal Music on the 5th October and the limousine is being custom fit, the champagne chilled for a run of album release shows with her band.
After a brief hiatus following her critically acclaimed sophomore album Cat & Bird, Anna Coddington returned to push in a new direction with a string of bold singles: ‘Bird In Hand’, ‘Make You Mine’ and ‘The Runner’. In 2015 she followed these with self-produced single ‘Slate’ and a NZ tour with US-based Silver Scroll winners LIPS.
October 21, 2016 will see the release of Luck / Time, her third album. The album is the culmination of five years of diligent songwriting and many hours in her home studio, combined with studio sessions at Auckland’s The Lab with some of NZ’s finest musicians. Singles ‘Release Me’ and ‘Lantern’ have set the tone and established Luck / Time as one of the most anticipated local releases of 2016.
Anna is known for her enchanting live performances and voice which “flows perfectly from soft to grunty”, and for her songwriting prowess which has seen her in the prestigious Silver Scroll songwriting award Top 20 list four times since 2010. She is a regular contributor with Fly My Pretties, has performed Aotearoa’s top music and arts festivals, and has sung her way around the country on numerous tours over the years.
Taking a different approach Antagonist A.D’s music and message could be described as ‘Modern hardcore with old school ethics‘. It’s raw metal core at its purest and sincerest. Not watered down or compromised in anyway. Antagonist A.D delivers the frantic intensity of hardcore, while utilising a heavier edge.
Lyrically the band speaks of the cancerous nature of western culture, the infectiousness of apathy, its symptoms & consequence, the exploitation of animals across the world, for pleasure, science, fashion or food. With topics ranging from social & political commentary to the brutally honest self-retrospect and analysis. Simply Antagonist A.D words are full of venom, conviction & passion.
Antagonist A.D has not only toured New Zealand consistently but also Australia, South East Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, The Philippines and Japan touring with locals and internationals to name a few. Most Precious Blood (USA), Have Heart (USA), Parkway Drive and Carpathian (AUS).
The Debut album ‘ These Cities, Our Graves ‘ (September 06) sold well throughout New Zealand and Australia (May 2008). October 2008 saw Antagonist A.D deliver the sophomore release “We Are The Dead” available both in New Zealand and Australia through ElevenfiftySeven Records (NZ) and Trial and Error (AUS). Licensing arrangements are currently underway in the USA, Japan and Europe.
Sam Crocker – Vocals
Matt Livingstone – Guitar
Luke Manson – Guitar
Josh Moffitt – Bass
Israel McDean – Drums
After signing with Dew Process / Universal Music Australia in 2017, everything has been on the rise for the transcontinental outfit. Starting off as an odd pairing of two different souls from different lands, London based Antony & Cleopatra (Alexander Burnett & Anita Blay) are the product of a pop writing session gone astray. Growing up on different sides of the same tracks, with emotional pulls in opposite hemispheres, Antony & Cleopatra are poles apart, yet, as history would show us, opposites attract.
The soulful dance music that Antony & Cleopatra make is classic sounding, yet completely modern. It is graceful, yet powerful. Their take on electronica is as much inspired by late 80s US house and 70s disco as it is by the UK garage and bass heavy sounds of today. Finding inspiration in all things classic: sights, sounds, feelings, textures and motives, coupled with new technology come new sounds, new motives and new ways of doing things, thus bringing the past into the future.
Collaboration has been key to the duo’s success, first appearing in 2014 with appearances on Lancelot’s ‘Givin’ it Up’/’Make Ends Meet’, Beni‘s house jam ‘Protect’, and Nicky Night Time’s modern classic ‘Careful Baby’ the pair then put out impressive solo singles in the form of ‘Sirens’, ‘Take Me’ and ‘Love Is A Lonely Dancer’. A&C are a sought after pairing, lending soulful vocals to many collaborations and guest productions. Most recently, featuring on Motez’s latest single ’The Future’, which has over 5 million streams on Spotify.
Meanwhile, Antony & Cleopatra’s Alexander Burnett (ex-Sparkadia) has lent his songwriting craft to countless hits such as DJ Snake’s ‘Talk’, Tieks’ ‘Say A Prayer’, LDRU’s ‘To Be Free’, Alison Wonderland’s ‘U Don’t Know’ and ‘Run’, Flight Facilities’ ‘I Didn’t Believe’, Motez’s ‘Own Up’, Hayden James’ gold selling record ‘Something About You’, as well as songs with Japanese Wallpaper, George Maple, Paces and many more
Their pulsating new single ‘The Islands’ which was released April 2018, sees the duo once again utilize their hypnotic vocals and four-on-the-floor beat combo to transfixing effect – a natural progression from their vogue-worthy earlier singles, ‘Dust’ and ‘Twitch’.
Archie Roach is a beloved and admired Australian artist whose iconic song, ‘Took the Children Away’, was added to the National Film and Sound Archive’s Sounds of Australia collection in 2013. As a member of the stolen generations, he has also become a powerful voice for indigenous Australians and is one of this country’s greatest storytellers.
Archie’s career has spanned three decades. His work has been recognised locally and internationally, in mainstream and indigenous circles. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s most iconic artists, including Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, Billy Bragg, Paul Simon, Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega and Patti Smith. He has released 10 albums and in recent months – a box set, ‘Creation’, a retrospective of his first four albums.
His music speaks the stories of his people, of this land and of the human condition. His voice – uniquely Australian and undeniably universal – continues to resonate for us all.
Archie has faced his fair share of difficulties over recent years. The tragic loss of his longtime partner, collaborator and soul mate Ruby Hunter in early 2010. He then suffered a serious stroke in late 2010 followed by lung cancer surgery in 2012. Despite these challenges Archie continues to draw strength and healing from his music and is performing better than ever.
The only way a man can truly come into his own power, is to begin seeing who he truly is. Not seeing what he thinks he should be and certainly not seeing himself as he’d like to be seen by others; a good hard look within at what it is he stands for. This is the brutality and in the same breath, the blessing, of time; of experience and of the confrontation of a world that’s moving in contrast to core beliefs. This is Ash Grunwald NOW.
In 2013 during work on his last studio album, Guargantua, Ash tapped into the power of synchronistic sidekicks; how by having the right people by your side, the revealing of true self becomes accelerated. In the case of Scott and Andy from The Living End who took the rhythmic helm on that record, their sheer skills to unfalteringly gallop a song toward it’s climactic finish, allowed Ash to take lead like never before. The obstacles that had held him back from enjoying the force of a well-executed and well-placed solo evaporated and any doubts on using his powerful voice politically, vanished. Ash took his place at the coalface in the fight against CSG exploration. He climbed inside tiny planes with angry and emotional farmers, was shown first-hand the devastation of land and country. He met the distraught but not broken mother’s who were fighting for the health of children with slow nose bleeds and cancer like symptoms. He even had the resonance of gunshot to remind him that when it comes to money made in ways that remove a man from his soul, shit gets dangerous.
Since that time Ash’s voice, his disdain and his power have grown. He’s taken tools to his trademark dreads and without hesitation walked away from an aesthetic that had defined him for 20 years. There’s a fire in his eyes that says best don’t fuck with me as much as it says, oh you think you’re not going to dance? You’re going to dance my friend. Which brings us to NOW.
Continuing to evolve from where he left off with Guargantua, Ash brought in Ian Perez keyboardist for Wolfmother and Pete Wilkins, former drummer for Blue King Brown. The effortlessly gifted pair built the launch pad for Ash’s detonative sonic boom, enabling him to explore the lose-yourself-sounds of psychedelic blues using synth rather than stringed bass. Keeping it old-school, the gents jammed it out live, forming a wall of sound as abundant in clout as it is in groove. Standing behind the richness and warmth of the old Neve desk was famed American Record Producer Nick DiDia: who’s philosophy sits firmly in the power of performance and whose name is most commonly strung together in the same sentence as Springsteen’s. Having worked closely also beside Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Powderfinger and many other legends, what Nick brought to Ash, above all else, was an intense focus on the structure of a great song.
The result is an album with immense force. Strongly political, rumbling from the depths of internal rage. It is sonic thunder that wears all the suffering and the anger of the blues but does not forget for a beat that if you don’t get up sometimes and shake that shit off, if you don’t take a moment to look across the dancefloor and lose yourself in that boy meets girl moment, your heart’ll harden and you’ll lose sight of all the beauty you’re fighting for.
Without pretension, without doubt – this is the landmark album of his career to date. This is Ash Grunwald NOW.
Audego is the collaboration between Melbourne duo Paso Bionic and Big Fella.
As one of Australia’s most versatile and accomplished producers, Paso Bionic, aka Shehab Tariq has produced over 5 albums as part of Curse ov Dialect, a further four with TZU and his own solorelease. Bringing to the table many years of experience in the forefront of the music scene, he has performed alongside TZU and Curse ov Dialect on many of the country’s biggest stages including Big Day Out and Falls Festival.
Vocalist Big Fella, aka Carolyn Tariq also brings a wealth of experience and talent to Audego. With a solo album released in 2009, she has toured the USA and worked throughout Victoria and Queensland facilitating song writing workshops to disadvantaged youths. In 2013, Big Fella was shortlisted by APRA for the Professional Development Award for emerging songwriters.
Audego released their debut album Abominable Galaxy, through MGM in 2012 to critical praise including album of the week on Perth’s RTR FM. In early 2013 the duo teamed up with bass-pioneers and Silo Arts signees Friendships for a collaborative EP. Audego have played alongside fellow hip hop/beats pioneers Sietta, Hermitude and Pataphysics.
Beneath The Static And The Low is out via iTunes on Monday 16 September 2013.
Reviews from the press
“Paso Bionic and Big Fella melt together in perfect fashion. The relsult is a dirty trip-hop meets film soundtrack feeling that’s impossible to deny. It.Is.Excellent.” 4 stars. THE MERCURY
“This is a deep, sophisticated and spooky late-night album.” Andrew Drever, THE AGE
“Audego make sexy, future-thinking noir music. Their new album is called Abominable Galaxy and it sounds like the kind of stuff I can imagine Rick Deckard from Blade Runner listening to while he’s wrapped up in an awesome trench coat, walking pensively through the acid rain.”
Sam West, The Thousands
“Electronic goodness laced with beautiful melodies. Audego are a group that deserve some serious attention.” Luke Carlino, The Dwarf
“This is smudged instrumental hip hop that blurs the lines between grainy, film noir styled vinyl cracks and pops, and industrial strength productions that still evoke a vivid, fresh landscape via Big Fella’s enticingly honeyed voice.” 4 stars – The Matchstick, Scene Magazine
“Their music speaks to your inner dancer, as it unlocks a small universe of something special.” Buckley Ward, Speaker TV
“This is music for music lovers. And proof that talent and variation with Australian hiphop is alive and well.” Shane Scott, Beat Magazine
“Kind of a Portishead meets SBTRKT. An insanely cool couple who will no doubt be kicking some arse in the Australian music scene very shortly.” Kaleidescope Blog
Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter Aurelia is a star on the rise, and as it would seem, doing everything in reverse… Having scored numerous US Billboard top 10 releases, cracked the Triple J Hottest 100, multiple American Blues Music Awards nominations and a nod from the Grammy board, all before releasing a note of her own music… Aurelia has carved out a niche as a co-writing tool of force… Having worked behind the scenes with some of the biggest names in the industry and on the ground with new and upcoming artists, she has found a home connecting to, and capturing songs that reflect each individual artists voice.
Outside of music, Aurelia is a practitioner of Martial Arts at the highest international level. Her international training, and her focus and dedication to a lifetime pursuit of understanding energy, forms the basis of her skills to access the heart of a lyric, a melody, a song… With no direct musical influences, her style has developed from a sense of rhythmic flow born out of her Martial Arts practices. Her melodies are as striking as they are beautiful, and with a lyrical thematic spectrum ranging from the intimacy and quiet pain of heartbreak to the universal perspective of greater humanity, her ability to connect to where an artist is, and where they want to go, is incomparable.
Aurelia has spent the last 12 months developing her own sound, and has fiercely pursued the vision of how she sees her own music forming with unwavering determination. She has kept this process out of the social media eye so as to be able to create without compromise or influence, and she says recently that process has begun nearing its end… This has resulted in the much awaited release of Aurelia’s debut single premiered by Pilerats, and accompanying video premiered by Rolling Stone, a raw but mystical demo version of the track Are We Losing.
The best references for Aurelia’s own music is a classic mix of Florence, Stevie Nicks and Lana Del Rey, with a sonic soundscape reminiscent of Enya and unique vocal stylings that have seen her compared to the fragility and strength of Billie Holiday…
Aurelia is currently working between Melbourne and Los Angeles.
One of New Zealand’s (NZ) most accomplished singer/songwriters. AWA is a streetwise Maori musician with a voice that is draped in vulnerability and conviction. His musical prowess has contributed to 13 top ten singles, 2 x gold and 2 x platinum selling albums and he is also the only artist to win both the APRA silver scroll and APRA Maioha silver scroll award.
Native Intel was AWA’s debut EP that reached Top 40 in the album charts. A significant milestone for NZ music as it’s bilingual in Maori and English, delivering a message of culture and self-knowledge that features award winning Maori artists Maisey Rika and Maitreya. AWA also won 3 x Maori music awards for Native Intel, Best Maori Songwriter, Best Song and Best Maori male artist.
AWA rocketed into the New Zealand Top 10 album charts with Heartbeat. Jam packed with hits like the duet with Hawaiian pop sensation Anuhea “Perfect Day”, “Home” and “Back in my life” featuring reggae stars House of Shem. AWA has captured the hearts of the Pacific with his signature Native Soul. – See more at: http://www.awamusic.co.nz/who#sthash.EqWE9GV6.dpuf
The Baby Animals are all grown up, but there’s still a lot of life left in them. There’s a young energy about this classic Australian rock band, as they prepare their triumphant return to the spotlight in 2013 with a new album release, This Is Not The End.
The Baby Animals strike a familiar pose with their enigmatic singer Suze DeMarchi and her talismanic guitarist Dave Leslie returning for action. They’re joined by Dario Bortolin on bass and Mick Skelton on drums. It’s a different animal this time.
“We feel more driven than we were when we were younger,” says Suze. “We didn’t know what to expect when we were younger. Now we know what it takes and how much work you need to do and what it all means.”
DeMarchi, a peerless frontlady, opens her heart on the new set. The Perth-born singer and guitarist has penned or co-written all songs on this, their fourth studio album, some of which draw on the pain of the break-up of her marriage with guitar hero Nuno Bettencourt.
It’s been five years since their last album, Il Grande Silenzio, from 2008. And more than two decades have passed since the Baby Animals exploded on the scene with Baby Animals, a chart-topping album which collected numerous fans and awards, and set a path for the band to play arenas and stadiums around the world.
This Is Not The End is a return to classic Baby Animals form. It’s a genuine rock album, with ARIA Award-winning producer David Nicholas taking duties behind the mixing desk. It’s conclusive proof that the Baby Animals haven’t lost a step.
The album was a fast turnaround. After an intensive writing period, the band entered a two-week pre-production period. The recording stage at Sydney’s Blackfoot Studio was also relatively quick. This Is Not the End was cut in three weeks, and mixed-down in another two. The mixing sessions were split across the Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne with David Nicholas behind the desk, and at Studio 301 in Byron Bay, where Nick DiDia (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen) lent his considerable skill. The tracks were mastered by Don Bartley at Benchmark Mastering in Sydney. “We did a lot of preparation for it, so when the red light was ‘on’ everyone knew what to do,” explains Dave Leslie. “It was then just a matter of getting great performances.”
And great performances are precisely what transpired. “I’m really, really proud of this album,” enthuses Suze. “I’m so glad we got through it and that I love every track on it.”
The path tread by Baby Animals has had some incredible high points, and some slippery moments. There were the many memorable hits – which have included Early Warning, Rush You, Painless and One Word. The band’s eponymous album spent six weeks at No. 1 in Australia, converting platinum sales eight times. There were ARIA Awards, shows at Wembley in London and friendships with Van Halen, Black Crowes and Bryan Adams, and induction into the Western Australian Music Industry Association’s (WAMi) Hall of Fame. There were no darker times than when the Baby Animals’ U.S.-based label Imago Records collapsed in 1995 as the band was on the verge of greatness Stateside. A binding contract kept the band from striding to the next level.
That situation dismantled the band. The band didn’t break up as much as it was put on blocks and the wheels were taken off it,” notes Leslie.
Did the thought ever cross their minds that the Baby Animals might be no more? “Oh, yeah. All the time,” recalls Suze. “Obviously, when I moved away it was very hard to keep it all together. You really need to be in the same place just to play together. You have to play together as a band. I never lost the idea that we’d work again together. Dave and I always kept in touch and always sent ideas to each other. We kept that dream alive. I specifically moved back to Australia in 2009 so I could work again.”
The Baby Animals are now in firm control of their destiny, and will release their new album in Australia through Social Family, a Sydney-based independent music company. The Imago situation was a tough lesson learned. “You can’t follow the old paradigm anymore. We should be able to hang on to our copyright,” notes Suze. “We should be able to be involved in the way the album is marketed. We’ve left so much of that up to other people before. If you’re working with the right people, it’s the only way to go. To be honest. It just seems obvious. I want to use all the options that are open to us in the modern world.”
Those options include social networking in the digital space. Suze, Dave and the group have leapt into Twitter and Facebook. And of course, the “road” is wide open. Plans are to take the Baby Animals back to the stage to promote the album around the world.
“I love playing live,” says Suze. “Gigs are the pay off. We want to go wherever this record takes us.”
This Is Not The End is the start of a new beginning. While DeMarchi and Leslie admit there were times in the past when the band dynamics were complicated, an at-times dysfunctional unit, the line-up with Dario Bortolin and Mick Skelton is now a “happy family,” moving forward together.
For Suze, the band’s ambitions are aligned. “We want to keep making records,” she admits. “I want to keep recording and touring. I just love it. We’re so lucky to be able to do it. I’d like to have a No. 1. I’d like to have a Grammy, for god’s sake. But that’s not what drives me. We’re doing this purely because we like writing together and we get a kick out of a great riff or a chorus that works. We are an older band, sure. But we sound as strong as we ever sounded. And we have that same drive.”
Bad French is two guys speaking French… badly.
Bad French is better than not trying to speak at all.
Bad French is trying to write a bad song, and ending up liking it.
Bad French is hard to do without not-half-bad food or drink.
Bad French. Here to service your modern needs whilst taking care of your classique desires
Adelaide. There’s no time to wallow in the mire.
If you do you’re just gonna get sucked away. Sucked up north through the city’s decaying fringe, past the closed Mitsubishi plant, past Snowtown, past Port Augusta and into the dry red nothingness.
Bad//Dreems know this. That’s why they got together the summer before last, sweating out their hangovers in a warehouse next to the West End Brewery. Sure the trams stopped here in 1958 (cf. M. Easton 2013), sure venues keep closing, sure the good bands keep leaving for Melbourne and sure, you gotta keep paying the bills. But just have a bloody crack and then keep on chooglin’ (CCR 1967).
Then again, you scratch the surface here and you find another world, far removed from the leafy inner suburbs. From the port with its decaying factories and rusty Chinese tankers to the forgotten northern fringe with its salt plains and dilapidated greenhouses. The empty jail on the edge of the city. A decade long bikie war. The Family. This is the weird murder capital. The weed capital. Badlands.
It is this world, constructed or not, that Ben Marwe (vocals, guitar), Alex Cameron (guitar), James Bartold (bass) and Miles Wilson (drums) attempt to capture. It is a sound which draws from the Australian underground of the late 70s and 80s, while also taking cues from U.S. indie outsiders like The Replacements and Wipers. Mundane meets morbid; the humdrum meets the horror; nostalgia meets nightmare. Big dreams meet bad dreams.
Despite the darkness and neuroses that Bad//Dreems explores, there remains a stoic optimism. You can’t afford to wallow here. Times might be bad but there’s something better around the corner. The schooner’s still half full.