Steph Edwards Rockus Interview

Interview by Leo Abbs

You are probably best known for your being the guitarist in heathcliffe,though you also have been involved with rockus zine for a number of years.What is rockus and why did you start rockus?

Rockus is an online magazine dedicated to promoting the Australian music scene. It’s
the only such zine of its kind in WA, so I’m pretty proud of that and also that it’s well
respected right around the country.

It’s actually a pretty boring story, the way it started. I was meant to be studying for an exam or some sort of assessment in year 11 and I got bored of doing it and decided I’d start an online zine instead. Anyway, 6 hours later and it was online.

Things were becoming a bit stale but Rockus was re-launched last Friday (3rd of December) and the site is now doing (and looking) better than ever, I’m more motivated then ever to really make it the go-to Australian zine (as are the members of the crew involved), and it has become a lot more beneficial for promoting the scene in its entirity.

How long have you been doing rockus?

Rockus has been around since March 2000, so almost five years now, which is
pretty much a quarter of my life.

Do you do much promotions with rockus?

Yeah, mostly through putting on shows presented by Rockus – the fourth such show will be
held in January next year featuring a killer lineup of local talent (Snowman, The Volcanics,
11th He Reaches London, Kill Devil Hills, Schvendes) so that’s definitely one to look out for.

I’m also looking to get shows promoted by the zine happening in other states in Australia
from next year too. Word of mouth is also a powerful, powerful thing.

Are there any ambitions on what you are going to do with rockus in the future?
Taking things one step at a time for now, just getting back into the swing of things, but maybe one day it’s popularity will be such that I can actually do this thing for a living. That’d be the ultimate I’d say.

Anything that involves music is the best job of all.

Back to the music side of things – you were as i said before a member of Heathcliffe which recently broke up. How did you come to be in heathcliffe?

As horribly cliched as this is going to sound, I rediscovered my love of playing
guitar when my first love broke my heart. Oh, how much fun are relationships!

Joni (vocalist) and I became best mates while I was suffering from extreme
sadness and I guess depression for a good 8 months back in 2001, and we’d
spend the days skipping uni, eating pasta or crap fast food (whatever didn’t cost
too much), getting stoned and writing tunes. Writing music helped fill the void.

After a couple of public acoustic performances, we decided the band thing was
the way to go and we found the other 3 guys in a pub somewhere… probably.

The rest is history.You were pretty full on with the band and then suddenly it broke up. Arethere are any regrets about it ending after only one ep?

I’m pretty happy with ending when we did. It was becoming a struggle just to
keep it together for a few shows after the launch. I’m happy that there’s an EP
to show for it, and that we didn’t just die with nothing as a record because, quite
frankly, my memory is so fucking shit that in a few years I probably wouldn’t
even remember I was in the band unless I had the CD.

Plus, it’s just a fucking good sounding recording. Bondy (Steve Bond, producer) is a genius. I’d love to work with that guy again sometime.

You also played in Ikey Mo for a while how did that come about?
The first bunch of guys who were in Ikey Mo went their seperate ways and Chris
Fuller wanted to get the band back together. I met the guy properly for the first
time at an APRA Christmas party in December last year and he basically asked
if I’d be keen on a jam, as he’d seen one or two Heathcliffe performances and dug
the guitar style.

Being an Anodyne 500 fan and digging his approach to emotive pop
rock songwriting (or high octane pop as they called it) convinced me to say ‘yes’,
although Ikey died completely in September this year, which is a shame, but hey,
least it was fun for awhile.

So post heathcliffe and ikey, what are you doing? Any new projects starting up? Are there any other aspects of the local scene you’ve been involved with?

I’ve actually had a pretty terrible year so currently just trying to get some motivation
back. I’m still keen on being involved with this whole music thing, so I’m promoting
some gigs at the moment.

It’s nice to organise shows with your favourite bands and not have to lug gear around for once… but, having said that, I feel like I need to be in a band to feel truly complete, so something will happen soon I’m sure.

I’ve been writing a bit lately… trauma always brings out the best ideas from me.

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