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’.

Interview: Harlequin League

Seb Astone (Harlequin League)
Interview by Leo Abbs

Perth Sounds caught up with Seb Astone from Next Big Thing winners, Harlequin League, a few days after their victory to find out what they thought about their NBT win, the competition and what lies ahead for the band. When asked what it was like to win the NBT Final, Seb said:

‘It was kind of surprising based on the quality of the other acts that played the other night. We’re a really self-critical band. We tend to be very hard on ourselves with performances. We didn’t really like our chances at the end of the night. We weren’t even really expecting to place.’

The Next Big Thing not only provides fantastic prizes, but is also great exposure for the winning band. Seb seemed to think both were as important as each other.

‘I suppose they are as important as each other, really like the prizes are fantastic, like we’ve had an EP recorded for a couple of months now due to financial restraints, we haven’t been able to release it. So I suppose the double edge of it is, we’ve now got the financial ability to release it, we can get the CDs printed etc, but we’ve also got the ability to promote it really well because of the exposure.’

Seb believes it’s not just about winning the competition.

‘A good way to look at it really, it is a competition, but it’s a really good showcase opportunity as well.’

He mentioned that The HowlinNovocaines, The Kids, The Chemist and The Wilderness as bands that impressed him during the competition.

‘That’s the good thing about the whole competition, there’s always a band or two every year, you’ve never heard of, who come out of total obscurity.’

‘I think up until this point, and in the future too, the Next Big Thing is probably the most prominent showcase for new bands in Perth’.

When it came to the way the competition was judged, Seb believed there was one particular category which was important.

‘I think it’s good that they put an emphasis on originality. Bands know they have to do something different, or if you aren’t doing anything original, you have to do something that’s been done before really well.’

While Harlequin League has only been around since the beginning of 2007, They are far from new to the music scene.

‘I was in a band called Camden Stray for a while, which did a few gigs around the place. Our drummer, he’s never been in a band before, (keyboardist) Ben plays keys in another band, The Vice Chancellors.’

They’ve only been gigging for a short while, they’ve already had opportunities many bands don’t get, such as as triple J airplay.

‘We were lucky enough they downloaded one of our songs of the unearthed website, and that got a spin for a couple of weeks, which was pretty good. We’re not too fussed about that at the moment that’s something to aim for in the future.’

While it says on their biography that they’ve toured over east, the story is a little different to what you may expect.

‘We went over at the start of the year, but that was actually my old band Camden Stray, went over to do a few gigs. That’s actually how we (Harlequin League) had our first gig. In Melbourne (laughs). Me and James had been jamming with the drummer from Camden Stray.’

‘We were playing a set pretty similar to what we are playing now, but a band pulled out of one of the gigs, a gig at The Espy in St Kilda. They were looking for a band to jump in, so we put our hands up and we said we’d do a set.’

‘That was the first time we’d played live and the response was really really good. So we thought, alright maybe we should put a bit more effort into this to see where it goes. ‘

‘When we got back, we had another couple of rehearsals and then went in and did the recordings and we’ve had a little bit of interest from that.’

And they are set to go back for more touring soon, mainly due to the triple j unearthed airplay.

‘We had a bit of interest from industry people – I don’t want to blow it up too much. The reason why we are going over is so some people can see us play and stuff like that. Hopefully, something comes out of that.’

As for similarities between the two bands that lead vocalist, James Rogers plays in (The Fault and Harlequin League) it seems the most obvious according to Seb, is the way the songs are written.

‘James isn’t the sole songwriter in the band, so there’s going to be differences there, as there’s different people writing the songs. The Fault is more of a free-form band, they jam quite a lot, they move a lot to what they’ve done before, but we tend to structure a song, and be very focused on song structure.

‘Me and James will sit down with acoustics and write a song, and then take it to the band and put our dynamics on it. That’s what we think is the best way.’

‘We think if a song can survive in acoustic form, then it’s going to be really good.’

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