Interview: Institut Polaire

Erik (Institut Polaire)
Interview by Leo Abbs

You have a new cd about to come out. What are your feelings now it’s ready for release?
We are definitely excited and relieved to finally have a product out there! It took a while but it happened when the time felt right and I think it’s a good way to sort of sum up the first few years of our being a band.

We do have a lot of new material, some of which we considered putting on the EP, but it kinda feels like a new chapter in the songwriting and we decided to save that for a cohesive LP release which we are starting to work on as we speak.

The disc is called ‘The Fauna and The Flora’. Why did you call it that?
Well most of the EP deals with issues of how ridiculous the current state of the world is and mixing that with themes of isolation and impermanence. It’s actually a line taken from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne. I suppose it kinda represents things blending too closely together these days, like church/state, religion/spirituality, good/evil etc.

How was the recording process?
It was definitely a learning process. With 7 people in the band we soon realised that things had to be well prepared before you step foot in the booth or you would waste a lot of time and money. It was great working with Rob Grant @ Poons Head as I think he grasped straight away what we were after and wasn’t afraid to lend helpful advice.

What is the lead track on the disc and what are the lyrics about?
The lead track numerically is Kentucky Society Drought. I’d say it’s bit of a call to arms saying “If anyone else feels the world is currently as ridiculous as I view it to be, let’s get together and let people know how we feel. Everyone take a step back and realise we are just monkeys with a few extra brain cells. No more, no less. Why should lives be sacrificed for the purpose of politics and extremism?”
I suppose it’s a bit of an non-hippy protest song.

How did Institut Polaire form and why did you go for so many members?
Dave and I formed the band with Ash Blakeney back in late 2003. So we started as a 3 piece by necessity really and we really had to pull a lot back in the early days. But the songs have always been created and envisioned with full arrangements in mind and we always intended to have the current numbers. It just took us a while to find the right people. God help us if we should ever have the cash to access full orchestras.

Are there any plans to tour after the launch?
Well we’ve done two national tours this year already (with Camera Obscura and The Clientele). And unfortunately it costs a ridiculous amount of money to get a large band from WA to over east. So whilst we’d love to get over and do some more shows to promote the EP, it might make more sense for us financially to hold off as we are relocating to Melbourne in the New Year to finish off the LP. I guess we’ll see how things go.

What are your 3 Favourite highlights of Institut Polaire?
Hmm. For me personally I suppose playing Big Day Out on a gorgeous sunny day, filming our clip in Sydney in early August (hopefully out any week), and having Camera Obscura join us on stage for a song at Becks Verandah.

What are five bands that describe Institut Polaire’s musical influences?
Well, that’s a toughy to answer for the band as we all have different tastes. But for me personally as a songwriter..

1) Velvet Underground
2) The Smiths
3) Lee Hazlewood
4) Scott Walker
5) Brian Wilson
6) Serge Gainsbourg

Sorry that’s six but two hard to narrow to five.

Launch Details:
Sunday 30 Sep (Long Weekend) at the Rosemount Hotel.
It’s a 6-10 show due to early licensing.

Lineup is…
Nat Carson (of Bank Holidays)
Faith in Plastics
New Rules For Boats
Institut Polaire (w/ special guest appearances)


News: WAMI 08 Submissions now open!


WAM, the West Australian Music Industry Association, are looking for the next crop of WA artists to take part in the 2008 WAMi Festival by performing in the live music showcases and lending their tracks to the promotional Kiss My WAMi CD/DVD compilation. In 2008, the metro WAMi Festival will run from February 15 – 24 with the regional showcase details to be announced. The WAMis are set to feature performances from over 70 acts during the showcases and WAMi special events, such as the WAMi Awards night and the Saturday Spectacular! Artist submissions are now open.

The WAMi showcases are high profile performance opportunities that offer exposure to large audiences, composed of both locals and visiting industry folk who have made the trek to WA to check out what we’ve got to offer. In 2008 the WAMi Festival showcases will take place in the metro Perth area and travel to regional WA.

The Kiss My WAMi Compilation is one of the most famous compilations in Australia. With past radio airplay across Australia on stations such as triple j, RTRFM, ABC Radio, 3RRR and Nova, 2008 will be no different. WAM want great acts of ALL styles to get applications their in.

If the WAMi Festival is something your act wants to be apart of, submissions for the Kiss My WAMi compilation and showcases, are open now! You can apply online, via the Sonicbids website or the old fashion way, downloading a form and reading the selection requirements at (.)

Western Australian artists can’t afford to miss out on this opportunity!

The WAMi Festival application deadline is Monday October 8, check out for an info kit or call 9227 7962 (regional WA 1800 007 962).

Interview: Blackmilk

Tim Sherry (Blackmilk)
Interview by Leo Abbs

You have a new cd about to come out. What are your feelings now it ready for release?
We’re all just really glad to finally be getting out to the masses, its been a while coming ya know.

The disc is called ‘The Walrus and The Wine’. Why did you call it that?

Apparently if a walrus drinks wine it becomes sexually attracted to penguins.. weird hey

How was the recording process?
Monumental, we spent a few months slowly piecing the EP together with a lad called Smokey, there are some very fond memories of time spent locked in the studio with nothing but wine, inspiration and George Harrison looking, watching over things.

Are there any plans to tour after the launch?
We have a Southwest show next weekend (15th) in Bunbury with The Howlin
Novocaines. That will be a riot, planning some eastern states shows for
early next year. Then Glastonbury naturally.

What is the lead track on the disc and what are the lyrics about?

The lead track on the e.p is called “hummingbird”.. Most of my lyrics are
fictional and rely heavily on metaphors to convey a message. If you listen
to the song its pretty easy to figure out that the general theme of the
lyrics are one of rejection… god I’m lonely.

What is your favourite part of being in a band?
sex and drugs……. playing live is pretty fun too i guess.

What are five bands that describe Blackmilk’s musical influences?

Here’s six:
The beatles, Nirvana, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Radiohead, The Flaming Lips and Stevie Wonder. Amy Winehouse is amazing too ain’t she?

Favourite bands from Perth?
Abbe May and The Rockin’ Pneumonia, Streetlight, The Panics, Harlequin League, The City Watch, The Preytells.

Launch Details:
Saturday 8th September
Amplifier Bar
Abbe may and The Rockin Pneumonia
Harlequin League
The Preytells
The Howlin’ Novocaines

$10 at the door

Live Review: Cinema Prague @ Capitol

Cinema Prague Return Show
Saturday 1st September 2007
Review By Leo Abbs

It’s been a long time since Cinema Prague last played a show. Their last show was in August 1998, a Sunday Show at Mojo’s Bar in North Fremantle. They finished our their set that night, saying ‘We’ll back soon.’

That was over nine years ago! A Funny definition of soon, but it was bloody fantastic to see them on stage tonight.

The atmosphere beforehand was like a reunion. Over the years people have talked about the days of Prague, and many local punters have described them as the best local band ever. WA music’s best kept secret? Well tonight we had a chance to see if they were good as we remember, and for those who hadn’t seen them, a chance to see what the fuss was about.

With such a big build up, it was a fairly low key beginning to their set. There was no big introduction, they just started playiing. They began with a number I didn’t recognise: ‘George’s Blues.’ It seemed an odd choice to begin with a lesser known tune. However, many people seemed to be loving it.

‘I thought they were Jazzy?’ My friend said to me during the punkish parts of the song.

Which sums up the confusion of trying to explain Prague to someone who’s never heard them before. While the vocals are punk-influenced, there’s parts of funk and jazz, with a fair dose of rock, and you can hear a Zappa influence too. A very unique band.

Then then out came the three piece horn section, to play on the track ‘Hangman’ from the Meldatype album. The three horn players returned a number of times during the set to play on various Meldatype numbers, doing a great job.

The band covered good ground tonight, playing songs from all parts of their career. After Hangman, it was time to play some songs of the Zasph EP in ‘Legoman‘ and ‘Jump For Joy’, the latter summing up what half the crowd seemed to be doing.

The most obvious factor tonight was they were without bass player Rex Horan. With Rex being such an important part of the Prague lineup, many people were skeptical in the lead up to the gig. However, Roy Martinez (from Dave Mann Collective and others) did a great job of filling in. He is an awesome bass player. In the end, you could say it was about the songs, and the crowd were having a ball hearing them, Rex or no Rex.

Prague charged through the set, with tracks such as ‘Boogie’ (featuring a mention of ‘bacon and eggs’ which is a common theme in their songs), ‘Clean Sheets’ and ‘Rose Sun Pea’. Soon they announced that their next single was to be ‘We are the Moo Moo’. This track has already been released to radio, and had been heard during the week on RTR and JJJ.

The highlights came towards the end of the set, when they played ‘Dumped Again’, with Roy nailing that wicked bass part, and ‘Finale’ off Nordensost. Only it wasn’t to be a finale just yet, because they came back for a two song encore with the horns in tow, to play ‘Say It’s The Day’ and ‘Terms’.

One of the best gigs I’ve seen in ages.

CD Review: Project Mayhem

Project Mayhem – ‘No Rest for the Wicked’
Review by Danielle Hanrahan

The latest musical offering from Perth’s Project Mayhem, ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ is one of those CDs that pull you further in to its twisted underbelly the more you listen to it. The stand out feature on this CD is the frenetic instrumentation by the band whose song writing skills have improved greatly and which are no longer, the only aspect that they are remembered for.

On the topic of their earlier material, which had a defining punk-rock element, ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ is much darker, and much more mature. The songs are catchy and contagious. The opening track of ‘Fuck Yeah’ is surprisingly good considering what the song title implies.

Each of the songs follows along these lines of what Project Mayhem have set out to do in the local Perth music scene, and that is? To tell it as honestly and brutally as they can about living in one of the most isolated cities in the world.

Benny Mayhem’s raw, husky tones hurtle the unwary listener between intelligent observations of the socially disorientating world they live in and perhaps helpful advice on life experiences lived. The guitar solos burst in between structured songs, leaving little room for wondering why you’re still sitting, with the overall texture of fast paced savagery that burns from the seams of this CD, sure to lure listeners into the underground lair of Project Mayhem’s life. The running themes within the songs themselves continue to become a staple aspect of the Project Mayhem structure, as well as a defining troupe of what Perth audiences have come to expect.

Project Mayhem have come a long way in their musical stylings to their latest release, and like a fresh, red pimple ready to burst, they have come out the better, becoming more mature and exciting to watch. If you like your music, loud, catchy, fast, and socially stirring, then take a whirl down the path of Project Mayhem’s latest release, ‘No Rest for the Wicked’.