Gig Review: P!nk opens 2013 Australian tour in Perth with a blast

Review of the amazing P!nk opening her 2013 Truth About Love tour in Perth.

Original review found here –

P!nk’s Australian tour smashed open with an energetic, explosive and highly entertaining show which has set a new standard for performers going (literally) above and beyond, writes Jessica Boccamazzo.

Amid explosions and fireworks, P!nk burst through the stage floor and into the air, strapped to a trapeze, to party starter “Raise Your Glass”. The arena came alive with electricity, making a huge impression on the crowd.

From there, P!nk didn’t slow down. A slew of songs came through fast with a good mixture of new and old including “Walk of Shame”, “Just Like A Pill”, “U + Ur Hand” and “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”, upon which she encouraged the crowd to dance as badly as possible. Even though she didn’t stop moving throughout the majority of songs, Pink’s vocals were energetic and strong, which shows just why this girl can sell out a 46 show tour.

An amazing solo trapeze performance accompanied “Try” before P!nk’s buff dance partner helped her down and joined her for the second part of the song to recreate one of the most talked about dance routines of recent times.

An unexpected song in the list was a hauntingly beautiful version of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. As the mist rolled across the stage, Pink’s vocals were smooth, doing the song justice and tying in nicely with the theme of the tour. Dropping out of sight at the close of the song, P!nk reappeared for “Just Give Me A Reason” with fun. frontman Nate Ruess onscreen for his parts. You can see the sweat and love that P!nk puts into this and every song she sings, giving one of the most heartfelt performances of the night.

Downtime in the set started with P!nk on the piano, holding a beautiful solo performance of “Great Escape” that she held with grace. Followed by an acoustic section, Pink and her lead guitarist Justin came close in for a passionate stripped back version of “Who Knew”. Cindy Lauper’s hit “Time After Time” got a good work through, flowing beautifully even though P!nk admittedly didn’t know the words and humbly read them from paper.

Reaching to the crowd often throughout the concert, shaking hands and getting close with stage front punters, P!nk accepted gifts from fans and like a kid at Christmas cheekily ran them to the back of stage, warning off her dancers. At one point, reading a home-made sign in the front row requesting a hug, P!nk obliged and leaned down to the elated fan.

A quick video montage of photos from P!nk’s childhood flashed on screen, rolling into a medley of “Most Girls / There You Go / You Make Me Sick” , recalling the swagger of the P!nk we first met back in 2000.

Ending the show with “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” was a no brainer as the crowd stayed in the zone the whole time and greeted the song with gusto. All the dancers were so colourful and eye popping, making P!nk look like the superstar she is. Leaving the stage quickly there was of course going to be an encore, but what came next was the show stopper that blew everyone away…

The smash hit “So What” is the finale and, attached to a harness and flying through the air, P!nk delivers in a remarkable finish. Punching out the vocals, she soared up in the air and around the arena, managing to give the punters in the back rows a close up performance. A truly spectacular way to finish the show, proving she knows exactly what the crowd wants and how to entertain them.

Gig Review: Big Day Out 2013

Original review found here

Once again, the festival circus that is the Big Day Out hit Claremont Showgrounds with a huge line-up, some interesting distractions and the never-ending debate over noise restrictions, writes Jessica Boccamazzo.

With an attendance this year of around 35,000 people, BDO proves to still be a popular and comfortable festival enjoyed by all ages.

Hitting the track in the afternoon heat, Grinspoon got the punters fired up. Always a crowd favourite, frontman Phil Jamieson has got it back after a few years off fire and packed a punch into their set, getting old hits like “Champion” and “DCX3” out for a kick in the sun. It was great to see that mosh pit jumping – they picked a good day to fire up.

In between sets and other amusements, there had to be a stop at the always-entertaining Lilypad. With a range of weird yet wonderful goings on, including burlesque dancers, nakedness and general shenanigans, the Lilypad provides a much-needed breather in a full day like this. A sight to see was the Lucha VaVOOM troupe at the El Jimador Mexican Wrestling Bar, with four wrestlers throwing each other around the ring.

The younger crowd was mainly at the Essential Stage, with the popular B.o.B throwing out radio hits one after the other. Opening with “Arena”, the kids went crazy early on and gave B.o.B the confidence to stage dive into the crowd. With most of his songs normally featuring other artists, it was a one man show with pre-records of Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown and Rivers Cuomo belting through. Hits like “Magic”, “Both of Us” and a hint of Jessie J’s “Price Tag” steamed up the pavilion, and the lady-loving track “Nothin’ On You” gave the chick-heavy crowd something to swoon over.

360 opened with “Killer” to a packed house on the same stage. A proven hit on the festival circuit, the rapper had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand from the get go. Never one to put on a second rate show, he pulled out the goods with “Just Got Started” and as the set went on the crowd got bigger. His rhymes came out thick and fast, accompanied by enough lights to cause a fit, enough bass to shatter windows and enough potential to be a main stage act next time. This guy has an unbelievable amount of respect and love from his fans. Crowd favourite “Child” was getting a work through when it was time to exit the building and get out to the main stage but, judging by the sweaty bodies swarming closer, he was a clear frontrunner for the day.

Outside, there was mayhem to get to the main stage for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who brought out the old school funk and a taste of new for their headline act. The sound wasn’t the best at the beginning of the set, with Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar feeling slightly soft for the rest of the band, but it did get better as they charged on. Always one to give cheek, Flea stirred up the crowd and handed out bass solos on the fly. Frontman Anthony Kiedis seemed on the quiet side, letting Flea do most of the talking to the pumped up fans.

In between a slew of new songs, the boys threw in the hits that everyone wanted to hear, with “Californication”, “Scar Tissue” and “Can’t Stop” amongst the finest, along with a throwback to their old days giving the bursting crowd the high they wanted. After a guitar battle between Klinghoffer and Flea, a stirring rendition of “Under The Bridge” flew through the air, smacking punters the face with lyrics that offer a glimpse into Kiedis’ past with awe. The crowd ate it up, loudly demanding an encore with the boys giving in and putting their famous rendition of the old Stevie Wonder song “Higher Ground” into the mix, showing they’ve still got the funk.

“Soul to Squeeze” was next, followed by one of the most popular songs in their back catalogue, “Give It Away”. Never before has a crowd full of young and old been as one in jumping in for one last mosh. That’s what they want. That’s the kick BDO needed – let’s hope next year is just as big.

Gig Review: WAMi JumpClimb Showcase @ The Bakery

Got to witness some amazing local talent at the WAMi Festival JumpClimb Party Showcase, check it all out below.

Original review is here

Reviewing a local gig is intriguing because you never know what to expect. You can research all you want on the web, YouTube etc, but at the end of the day you just have to wait and see what comes out of the woodwork and onto the stage. And the creatures that came out to play at the WAMi Festival JumpClimb Party Showcase at The Bakery on Thursday night were a brimming mixture of hip hop beats, dub, disco and (of course) bags of talent.

Bastian’s Happy Flight kicked off the party, bringing their funky beats and carefree demeanour to entertain the few punters that were there early. With their pop/disco feel, these guys certainly fit the bill and had people bopping along in no time. You could imagine these guys warming up the crowd at a summer festival. Some of the songs have a cheerful beat with a strange, dark vibe that makes you pay attention.

Relationship Denial was a crowd favourite with some great vocals and a sweet smooth groove to relax into. With airplay on Triple J Unearthed digital radio station, Bastian’s Happy Flight is making groovy waves in the scene. These guys bought the easy vibe with chilled moments mixed with some driving beats to bring the sound something different. By the end of the set the punters that were there were certainly warmed up.

Sunshine Brothers were up second, bringing their well-known soulful groove to the party. These guys take you to another place. The trumpet is killer mixed with the bongo drums, who doesn’t love bongos!? Close your eyes and you can imagine yourself on a beach, far away from the cold Perth night. You’re cruising away, swinging your hips and you can’t stop moving. With most of the songs being instrumental, you can get lost in the moment but when the vocals eventually come in it adds that element which brings you back to your place. Their songs have that formula where it all just works, the trumpet harping and the drums kicking along like a well-oiled machine. This is the stuff that belongs on stage in front of a thirsty crowd – stuff that you can really move to and really enjoy it. If you ever get the chance to see the Sunshine Brother do it with your whole soul and expect nothing less than a banging set.

The party kicked up a notch when Sam Perry got to the stage. A standout performance for the night, Perry is ahead in the industry bringing his dub/electronica looping performance to the forefront of the Perth scene. With performances at the One Movement festival, Parklife and support sets under his belt, things are on the up with his UK tour happening this month. What Perry can do with a loop station, an effects pedal and his voice is incredible. The tracks build up, with his vocals giving it all to the end, screeching for the climax but then the bass comes and slams it back down again hard, bringing a noise that explodes in your head. Bursts of rapping made some of the songs, with the loop of “my girlfriend’s a lesbian” cutting through in the background adding a nice touch. Sam put a call out for freestyle and Brian James Kruger from The Empty Cup joined him on stage. The two of them feeding off each other was brilliant. Its things like this at local gigs that make you love the close-knit scene of Perth. Perry’s performance was mesmerizing, if you’re not careful you can get lost in the trance, unless you want to of course. He definitely made a spectacle of himself and won some new fans judging by the crowd’s reaction. Remember the name Sam Perry if you ever want to see some seriously amazing shit on stage.

To wrap things up for the night was popular hip-hop/indie act The Empty Cup. With a string section included it would interesting to hear their set as this was the one act that a lot of people were there to see. They came on strong and pulled the crowd inside from the cold. After Kruger’s heartfelt speech about how much he loves what he does the band jammed through throwing out thick beats. They’ve got a tight group and they blend well together. The Front man’s over-confident swagger was strong but the band’s easy going persona carried it well. The music was easy, good beats with the strings bringing a nice change in sound. The band launched their new single Riposte for JL, which was a crowd pleaser and certainly something the band should be proud of.
Although they didn’t grab hold as intensely as the earlier acts, they did managed to smash it out towards the end of their set and that made the room move. With their debut album set to be released later this year it seems The Empty Cup has got it together and ready to storm the Perth hip-hop scene.

These acts are just a smidge of what’s out there and a good sign of what’s to come for Perth. Get out there and support the local scene, get to a random gig and discover something new. Jump on the bandwagon and see the bands in the more intimate gigs before they crack it – you’ll love it.

Gig Review: Stonefield @ The Rosemount

Got to check out these incredible chicks on their recent WA tour.

Check out the original article on FasterLouder here

There was a little bit of a rock show going on at The Rosemount on Thursday night. If you were there you would have witnessed some of the best new talent in the music world at the moment.

The night kicked off with the kids from Sugarpuss giving the surprisingly older crowd a rockin’ show with their cool 70’s psych vibe setting the level for the night. These boys were tight with their performance and quickly pleased the crowd with their smooth guitar work and rhythm. With good vocals and drum work, they left an energetic buzz in the air, perfect for the start of the evening.

Sonpsilo Circus were up next and although they did seem a little bit all over the place at the start they managed to get it together eventually to show there is very good reason this lot were on the recent line-ups for Southbound and Big Day Out. Continuing the vein of the night, the guys burst into the songs with gusto and had the crowd well happy. The lead singer did try to have a chat with the crowd at one point but it did sound like there were one too many pints of Swan in his belly. They pushed on and gave an awesome performance with strong guitar work and killer drums.

Soon enough, the crowd got bigger and was eagerly awaiting the main act. It was great to see such a diverse group of people out for the night. Older folk clearly enjoying the sounds of their day, hipsters happy to be there supporting the local success. Not only were they getting entertained to the max, they were also supporting National SLAM (Save Live Australian Music) Day, whether they knew it or not. The first ever National SLAM Day was being celebrated with local gigs in venues country wide and it’s quite possible The Rosemount was hosting one of the best ones.

And at the exact time they were due to start, the girls from Stonefield graced the stage and proceeded to blow our minds with that familiar kick drum beat coming in loud and heavy. As the girls cranked it on stage, the crowd drew in heavy and were loving it. As they moved into their second song, Foreign Lover, it was clear this crowd were long time fans of the girls. Sarah on keys got the groove in the middle and was a stand-out making a beautiful song with easy melodies, smooth guitar and piercing vocals. This is certainly an old favourite to showcase each member of the band and their respective pieces.

They continued to amaze and entertain – with each song came more slicing guitar riffs, heavier thumping of the drum and just pure energy emerging from the stage. To watch these girls play together is amazing, you feel the click, the heartbeat as one and you can’t help but move along with it all. Their playing precision is unbelievable. They’ve bought back the feeding off one another on stage, back in the day when band members would go right up to each other and play their hearts out almost like battle of the guitarists right on stage, you could see that in Holly (bass) and Hannah (guitar) where they would face each other and kick it out… old school style and that’s why these chicks can pull off a killer performance.

The girls smashed out about fourteen songs to an almost full house. They had the crowd in their hands from the get go proving that they have a serious following in Perth. Being their fourth time over here already, it’s clear they love us as much as we love them. One track that they’ve recently recorded for their forthcoming EP, Ruby Skies, made it to the set. A memory for the Black Saturday bushfires this is a standout song with beautiful vocals from Amy (drums). Black Water Rising came through fast and heavy, giving the crowd something to move into before they swung into the absolutely mind blowing cover of Whole Lotta Love. Quite possibly one of the best covers ever heard; it had the crowd in arms and wanting more. The girls shook the stage just as they did when they gave this cover at Glastonbury last year, complete with Holly giving an intense hair windmill just to really give the show more rock cred.

Through the Clover finished things up nicely and the girls left the stage from a crowd that had fallen hard. Two minutes later and they were back on stage to give another cover song, this time Magic Carpet Ride which was well received for the unsuspecting people that didn’t think there would be an encore.

Seeing these girls takes you on a trip back to when you parents were young and just discovering these amazing sounds and if you close your eyes you can imagine what it was like when life was simple and it was all about the music. If you want to get lost in the past then don’t miss the next chance to see music in its purest form next time Stonefield are in town.

Interview: Jake from Bluejuice

Chatting to the effervescent Jake from Bluejuice about their new album Company.

See original interview here

“We’re not Radiohead exactly, you know what I mean, but in doing the record we want to try and do it as well as we can, as well as what we can do. We tried as hard as we could to be the best version of us as we could on this record really. I hope that people put it on and enjoy the songs just as pop songs which is what they’re supposed to be. Just 2 and a half minutes of fun or a certain type of mood that you can enjoy in your day and it’s not supposed to be a big deal.”

With the release of their new album, Company Jake Stone from Bluejuice gets a (little) bit serious and sincere yet still has time to talk ironing, pashing old women and Phil Collins.

Hey Jake, how you doing?
Yeah not too bad, just ironing a shirt. I’m trying to do a good job cos I always do such a bad job of ironing.

Oh me too don’t worry, I don’t even bother these days.
Yeah it’s pretty hard to get the creases right..

I’m just like you know what it’s gonna get creased anyway so might as well just leave it
Except some people make fun of you when you turn up with an un-ironed shirt, and you’re wearing like a nice thing and they’re like oh nice job on the ironing oh you’re like “ah fuck” so that’s why I’m really trying to get this right this time.

Well good luck with that… So, this new album, Company, it’s great that you’ve managed to grow up slightly with your topics yet you’ve still kept the song so sharp and witty in that Bluejuice way
Oh well I’m glad to hear that, cos that is what we’re trying to do..

It’s fantastic because it’s refreshing, it’s still you guys but take the track The Recession for example, that it’s brilliantly upbeat despite the topic of recession. How did that one come about?
Well it’s based on Steely Dan’s Peg, which has similar kinds of chords and I really love the song, just thinking about how they write, not that different to us really, they kind of write cheesy sounding songs with really sometimes pretty dark or weird lyrics. And I had the line “now is the winter of our discotheque” I thought that was really funny, and I was like ok well I want to put that line in a song, and with everything sort of going wrong in my life and being blah and whatever.

I wanted to make a disco song about something amusing, you know make a fun song about everything being shit…and then I just thought well The Recession is a great title for something and I’ve got these kind of KC and the Sunshine Band Give It Up style chords slash Steely Dan style chords, maybe we could just make a full on cheesy 70s song about the recession, no one’s writing about it really so we thought we give it a go.

And it works, it works brilliantly, love it!
Good, I’m glad!

You also had a few friendly co-writers on this album, you had Alex from Sparkadia, Julian from The Presets… these are mates of yours so they were happy to help out?
Yeah yeah it happened pretty easily. Julian I don’t know as well so I was kinda trying to establish a writing relationship with him by asking that question by saying you know can we write together and stuff and he was keen on that which I was surprised about. And then with Alex it just happened, we just went and hung out at his house for two days over summer about 18 months ago and wrote Act Yr Age and Shock there and it was just easy you know.

I’ve never really co-written with anyone other than the band before and it came out really easy with him so I kind of thought well, maybe we should just extend this concept to the rest of this record, because it was fun and what we need after 10 years of doing it. It’s more fun, vary it up like a marriage, when you get bored after a while, you know?

Everyone’s gonna get a bit bored after 10 years in any relationship so we kinda needed to do something that would make us not just go “oh we’ll make another record, we’ll just go to BJB [studios] and do the same thing that we always do” and we didn’t really want to do that. You could tell by talking to the other guys that nobody really wanted to just do the same thing so that seemed to be a good solution, plus we also wanted to get more out of the band and make it sound bigger.

We wanted the record to sound like a professional pop record and not just make a kind of garage record. So then we were like “well if we’re getting other writers then we should get other players” cos we know all these fuckin jazz players who are good like Tom Rawle who is a fuckin evil, evilly good guitarist, so why don’t we get all these talented people to contribute to it because we’ve got a budget we can pay them and they’ll make it sound better, it will be better to have better people on it..

Yeah it’s refreshing for you guys, you need a new take on it sometimes, bring other people in it’s like alright let’s get it happening. As you say 10 years is a long time, you need a new spark every now and then..
Well that’s right, you know it could’ve been terrible… The songs that we were writing as well at the end of the last record, they weren’t that different to one we just made and we needed to take a break from writing the same type of songs and go away and listen to different types of music, have a think about what we want to be and do you know. And luckily that’s what happened in that process, that really did work, it definitely worked for the band to do that.

Ok, so that pash scene in the Act Yr Age clip… brilliant use of a red balloon and a mesmerising sequence all together…
The clip was really an idea who’s time had come, and it wasn’t a big deal performing the kiss. As long as it’s sincere and romantic, it’ll find it’s way to being funny on it’s own. The actress Christine was awesome, and our director Sam Bennetts was his usual disgusting self. It was fun.

The other track I wanted to ask you about was On My Own which was written with Julian from The Presets. It’s beautiful, it’s still in the Bluejuice vein but it’s yet so thoughtful..
Oh I’m glad you liked it! You’re the only person who’s actually bought that song up and I’m really glad that you liked that one. Our record label likes that song and yet I don’t think critics like it cos I think some people think it’s a bit too cheesy or something, or a bit too pop or mainstream indie sounding but I like it too. I think it’s a commercial sounding song to me as well.

I think it sounds like it’s not really a triple j kind of tune I think it’s more of maybe a commercial radio song which is why some people might be a bit like “woah don’t want to talk about that cos it’s too clean” or maybe cos it has woahs in the chorus or it might sound a bit Temper Trap-ish or something and people are like I don’t want to touch that stuff.

But I mean for me, when we were writing that, the intention was to make it sound like Steve Winwood’s Valerie and a bit like Joe Jackson and the late 70s synth white guy music, and it does do that and then also make it a bit like LCD Soundsystem’s All My Friends as well which is kind of a synth white guy dance music. It’s like a mix of the two time periods of synth white guy dance music and I think there’s something very funny about white guys making dance music and crying so that’s kind of Bluejuice-y to make something funnily sincere but it is sincere.

It is written about the end of a relationship and at the time it was a theoretical idea but what I’ve come to realise is actually I was probably writing about the end of the relationship as it was ending and projecting what it would be like after that. And I can tell you now in the process of coming out of that relationship and missing my ex a great deal, she has moved overseas. I think this song is quite good because it’s having things resonate in a way in my brain and I do actually feel like that and somehow managed to get the feeling of that back in time to before I felt like that, a bit confusing I know… But I’m glad that you feel like it’s sincere cos it is and even though it’s cheesy I mean it.

My big hope for that song, to be honest, is that it gets on the radio and that everybody gets to hear it and it finds an audience because it’s easy to dismiss that song and I think that’s what some critics will do. I think there’s something in it. I’ve listened to it a few times since we wrote it and I remember when we wrote it I thought “I like the verses, I don’t like the chorus so much, I don’t think we’ve got the chorus exactly right” and then I went back and listened to it a number of times and I was like “you know what, I kinda think this is a fairly sincere and sweet song” and then after a while I was like “hmm it’s pretty good” and then eventually I said actually it’s one of my favourites now on the record so my feelings for it changed a lot

It closes the album beautifully
Well yeah it’s a closer, that’s exactly what it is. It was always going to be last, it had that feel. Like the whole time you listen to this band be a bit funny and a bit sort of off-hand with serious issues like taking a larrikin approach to semi-serious or serious things and then at the very end of it you get this song with the genuineness there. We’re not dense in terms of the content but there’s still that moment of emotional clarity that happens at the end where you feel something genuine has happened emotionally for you throughout.

It’s like, you know when you watch a play, and then at the end of the play they have the bit at the very end of the play where they explain everything that happened to some of the characters after the main good or bad thing happened? Well that song is sort of like that really.. you have all this action that happens throughout the record and it’s all very physically intense and exciting, so that song is like the moment of quiet to reveal what was actually going on underneath all of that the whole time…. But no one’s going to look at it like that cos nobody really cares to that extent.. [laughs]

So how about this little Phil Collins moment you had in the shower about the track Shock?
[laughs] Yeah well we all have ideas in weird ways and one of the ways I tend to get random ideas, you can get them anywhere, sometimes it’s getting them in the shower! And that song was kind of like, I dunno, I was just thinking of Phil Collins and then I got in the shower and it was cold and that lyrical hook happened.

It’s not that complicated but it sounds weird. I was thinking of the Phil Collins style of writing and what Phil Collins does. He would do this awesome piano part and I’ve got this piano part in my mind and I’m thinking “how would he do it?” and I was thinking of him just as a guy and as a concept and what he does and I like his music. I like it cos it’s daggy and classic and he does a lot of new sounds with classic feels and he writes real tight pop lyrics, no one ever really hates him…

Anyway, then I got in the shower and it was cold so I was like “fuck it’s a shock” but I have to have a shower, just jump in it will be over soon. Then I was like hmm that’s a good lyric “it’s like a shock then it’s over” then I was like well that’s a Phil Collins kind of lyric and I was like man that could be great [laughs]

There was a mention in the press release about track Can’t Keep Up as a bit of a jealous tip on rookies The Jezebels, they’re mates of yours, they went on tour with you guys. Do you feel a bit of jealousy towards new kids these days?
Well it’s cynicism because we’re old but at the same time, you know The Jezebels were always going to get noticed and they made their name in much the same way we did you know just tour the shit out of it for ages. It’s sort of a joke you know, we’re jealous of them but we’re also friends with them so it’s not a big deal really and it would be wrong to overstate it. I’m always jealous of bands that I admire. There’s nothing wrong with them and I love what they do.

I think it is easier for bands to get noticed now but it’s much much more competitive so it’s hard, in a sense, that you can get noticed but you might get noticed too soon or, what you’re getting noticed for might not be ideal. And there are the same pressures that there ever was on bands but the methods of ascending the ladder has become much more political because everyone is trying to do it and everyone thinks they can be in a band, and as soon as you find out about the band that’s when you form an opinion about them now.

It’s not like it used to be when you’d have to wait to hear a song by them or then once you heard the song and you liked it then you’d go to see them. Now it’s more like, you get them on the blog straight away, if it’s on the right blogs then you might be into it, if it’s on the wrong blogs you might not even listen to it, it could even be the same song but you might like it or dislike like it based on how it’s placed in media now, where it comes to you from and there’s so many more avenues for it to come to you that that media and marketing space has become a key component as to how bands are taken on by the youth market.

I think that’s sad cos it always was like that, like once MTV started or even as soon as NME started as a magazine it was becoming the way that people got music, but then whether or not they liked it often was based on whether or not they liked that stuff you know or whether they liked MTV or whatever. But I think also, it is a bit sad cos for some great bands people won’t notice them…. But then again, people will eventually notice a great band cos great bands always rise to the top. You know, you can’t really keep them down and I think it’s a testament to the fact that for a little while triple j didn’t play The Jezebels, they weren’t getting that much support on radio and now they’re one of the biggest bands on that radio station so… and you know there’s people who will argue that radio is no longer a way that people get into music at all and kids aren’t listening to alternative radio and all that.

I’m just jealous cos they’re better than us and they’re bigger than us [laughs]

Interview: MC Bliss from Bliss n Eso

Had a chat to MC Bliss from Bliss n Eso about their recent album release Running on Air and their upcoming tours.

See the original post at

They’ve been busy boys but Bliss N Eso show no signs of slowing down as they continue touring new album Running on Air through the festival circuit. Heading to Canberra for Stonefest and Melbourne for the Another World Under 18 Music Festival, they’re ready to give their younger fans a show like no other.

Can I just kick things off with a huge congrats to you guys on the success of Running on Air! It’s seriously an amazing piece of art that shows all the hard work and effort you’ve put in. It’s gone nuts!
Oh wicked, thanks. That’s good to hear!

You must be pretty pleased.
Yeah, you know, we didn’t really have massive expectations or anything it was more kind of well, let’s do the best we can and put it out and we were stoked with the response so yeah for us to get the spread that it’s really pushing for and the cross over that it’s getting is awesome so we’re stoked.

You knocked Eminem off his top spot of the ARIA charts when your album was debuted back in August, you must be seriously chuffed with that! Obviously knocking Eminem off is a little bit crazy but..
Yeah look it’s crazy, like it happened to be Eminem who was debuting at number one the week before and had been for 6 weeks yeah so, I guess you want to debut, well any band wants to debut as well as they can when they put their record out because it means more exposure and all that kinda stuff so, for us…we were hoping to do well, like number one was just looking like it was just way out of reach because of who we were up against, so to actually do that, it was pretty special for us, we were pretty stoked. It could’ve been any genre that was number one and we knocked off but it happened to be pretty much the biggest single hip-hop entity in the world! [Laughs] yeah we were definitely stoked with that…

Quite fitting really, yeah! And the success of the album has been proven with your nominations for the J Award and the Channel V 2010 Oz Artist of the Year, you must be pretty happy with the recognition that it’s getting there?
Yeah definitely! I mean, it’s awesome to be nominated for some of these awards, especially, my particular favourite ones are the more fan voting or public voting ones because it really, to me it shows what the fans are really digging and I like that as opposed to you know more industry selected awards. It’s great getting nominated for either but the fan ones, the public voted ones are definitely favourites of ours.

You guys are really connected with your fans… I’m a fan on your Facebook page and it’s awesome to get updates and see where you guys are at and you thank your fans all the time, it’s so refreshing to see that and you really connect with your fans, it’s great.
Yeah I think we definitely realised pretty early in the game that… the power of the net is obviously building and has been building over the last 15 years or so and for us to kinda have that connection and utilise social networks and everything, it’s been crucial for our growth and everything, so from doing the whole grass roots bill touring years ago and doing all the tiny spots along the way and going out into the crowd and meeting the fans and talking to people, and getting that grass roots connection, that’s been instrumental to our growth, I think, you know it’s definitely been a reason why we’ve kinda built that base up from such a small level and they’re so loyal and dedicated.

There’s a pretty impressive list of guest artists on the album with Xzibit and Jehst and all that, what was it like working with these heavyweights? Was it just something that you’ve always thought about and you never thought it was possible and now suddenly everyone wants a piece?
Well you know it’s funny, you know, like I think back to me as a kid when I first came over to Australia and I was going to high school with Eso, I used to listen to Ice Cube tapes religiously, and NWA, all that kinda stuff; that was my shit. And just recently, we played a festival in Newcastle and we met Ice Cube and he watched our set and he was all stoked on it and wanted to do a track and… if you would’ve told me that when I was in me teens going to high school here it would’ve blown my mind!

It’s amazing how things progress and how you go forward. It was amazing working with Xzibit and RZA and Jehst, it was a real nice kind of mix of variety on there which we really dug and it wasn’t like our entire career we’d been going “let’s do a track with Xzibit, or let’s do a track with RZA” it was the opportunities that kind of, I dunno, the stars aligning in the right time in the right place and we were obviously fans of their music and it was just like wow let’s grab this opportunity, if they’re keen to do something then that would be awesome. I guess each case of working with the individual artist was different cos they’re each so different from each other but all the collabs were awesome.

And you guys have just finished the Party Monster Tour of the US with the Kottonmouth Kings. What was it, 28 shows in 5 weeks? You guys seriously must be knackered! You need some R&R after that haul!
[Laughs] Touring in the States is nothing like touring in Australia because basically all your locations are so close together, like you’ve got a major city kinda 2 hours from the next major city, if you know what I mean, and when I say major city I mean like bigger than Sydney kind of thing… so when you’ve got that much population and there’s that many places to go, it doesn’t make sense to fly so we do the whole bus thing.

In Australia obviously the distance is so great it makes sense to fly to your major cities but, in America you’re kinda on this moving circus caravan bowling through this massive continent and it’s literally you wake up every day and you’re in a different city, so it was like this whirlwind kind of tornado that just whirled around the States and it was awesome for us cos it was the first time we hit the East Coast so I showed the boys New York and even my hometown of DC and playing in Baltimore was awesome, it was like nothing else I guess. The States is just a whole different bag. And we were really stoked with the reception we got. It was amazing to see the power of the net and how the music’s really spread because we had fans coming to every show, we even had a few expats come down with their Aussie flags, it was awesome!

I read somewhere that your fan base in the States is pretty big, and it’s just getting bigger so it would’ve been great to get over there and get them some fresh tracks.
Every time you go to a new place it’s kinda opening more doors up in more places so it’s all part of the process I guess.

And now you’ve got Another World Under 18 Music Festival next Monday, kids these days know how to party so are you ready for it? Cos seriously, you know, they’ll tell you how it is, if they don’t like you then you’ll hear about it!
That’s right, you know! We did the ‘Down by the River’ tour recently and our Melbourne show, we weren’t able to do an all ages show or an underage show, it was just 18+, so a massive component of our fan base in Melbourne missed out kind of thing and we got a lot of um…I won’t say it was abuse but ah “suggestions” that we should do an all ages show in Melbourne [laughs] and I guess when we sold out 2 Festival Halls last year, they were both all ages shows, so we realised that we had a massive component and doing this festival, Another World, was just perfect for us because we thought you know what, it’s great timing and the younger generation hasn’t yet got to see the new album live on stage so we should definitely bring it. So we’re stoked and they’re so, as you say, they’re very passionate, the younger generation is wicked.

They certainly know what they like! And you’re on the bill with seriously amazing acts, The Getaway Plan, The Amity Affliction, Diafrix – you’re playing amongst some serious talent there so you’ve gotta show them what’s what!
Oh hell yeah! It’ll be an extravaganza for sure!

I wish I was under 18 again so I could attend but unfortunately it says strictly under 18’s…
So it’s literally the oldest you can be is 17? Wow, that’s nuts! We actually did one down at Docklands a few years back with Silverchair headlining and it was really cool. It was a totally different vibe than your average festival..

Have you got any other plans to chill out or you just gonna keep throwing stuff at us? You just gonna tour the crap out of this album then slow down and take a break or you gonna get straight back into something else?
Well I guess, so far it’s all been working in cycles and literally when we finish touring a record we go straight into production on the next one, so I don’t think it’s going to be much different this one coming around, if anything the momentum has just gotten, you know, it’s building, and it’s really getting to a point now where it wouldn’t be a great idea for us to just chill out and do nothing for a while [laughs].

II think keep on making music and keep on putting it out there and doing the things is the best idea, especially with all the international opportunities that are presenting themselves now. But you know it’s good fun and as you say it can be very tiring like the US tour but I guess we do have plenty rest in between and have our lives here in Sydney so that helps to balance it all out.

Have you got any plans to go over to Europe? What’s your fan base there like?
Yes definitely. We actually had a UK show on the cards for this year, later on, but that fell through but yeah definitely want to get over there. It’s amazing how strong our fan base is just in like weird places like Switzerland or even Germany or France are really good… so yeah we need to, we definitely want to go over there and do some stuff.