All posts tagged jmag

  • triple j mag story: ‘Queensland Festival Road Trip, 2010-2011’, December 2010

    A story for triple j mag about the forthcoming 2010-2011 music festival season in Queensland. Article below – click the image for a closer look, as it’ll probably make more sense to read it that way.

    Festival Road Trip: Queensland

    Local experts have given us the ultimate round-up of festivals and stuff to see in every state and territory these summer. Plan your road trip now!


    1. Island Vibe Festival

    This unique beachside musical experience at Point Lookout’s Home Beach features over 40 reggae, hip-hop, roots and soul artists. Californian reggae act Groundation and NZ hip-hop artists Ladi6 and King Kapisi headline.

    Oct 29-31, North Stradbroke Island

    2. Mud, Bulls and Music

    This four-day camping event combines bullriding, 4WD action and the likes of country stars Lee Kernaghan and John Williamson.

    Nov 4-7, Jimna

    3. Full Noise Festival

    Full Noise aims to expose Townsville to the kind of high quality, cross-genre events their southern brethren take for granted. Wolfmother and Bliss N Eso are top of the bill.

    Nov 20, Townsville

    4. Harbourlife

    From the promoters of Parklife and Summafieldayze comes Harbourlife, a new Qld festival based on its Sydney Harbour counterpart. The Temper Trap, Metronomy and Yacht Club DJs are all on board.

    Nov 28, Gold Coast

    5. Woodford Folk Festival

    Got stamina? This six-night camping festival attracts around 130,000 patrons annually, and its music program features more than 2000 local, national and international performers.

    Dec 27-Jan 1, Woodfordia

    6. Summafieldayze

    Live performances from The Rapture, Art Vs Science and English rapper Tinie Tempah mix it up with some of the world’s best DJs.

    Jan 2, Gold Coast

    7. Sunset Sounds

    The Falls Festival’s little sister features most of the bands appearing in Vic and Tas. See Interpol, Klaxons and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts close to home. Ace.

    Jan 5-6, Brisbane

    Qld Sights:


    The most popular resorts are located on Daydream, Hamilton and Hayman Islands, which all offer easy access to day cruises, diving, parasailing and helicopter rides, among other activities. Most islands permit camping; book early though.

    Whale Watching

    From June until the end of November, the coastal town of Hervey Bay becomes one of the best spots in the country to witness whales in their natural habitat: the freakin’ ocean.

    Theme Parks

    The Gold Coast is home to some of Australia’s biggest theme parks: Dreamworld, Wet ‘N’ Wild, Warner Bros. Movie World and Sea World. Go on all the rides and eat junk till you hurl.

  • triple j mag story: ‘Robert Forster interviews The John Steel Singers’, November 2010

    This is a feature story which was published in the November 2010 issue of triple j mag, but it was an unconventional one: the editor assigned me to observe Robert Forster interviewing Brisbane pop act The John Steel Singers. Forster produced their debut album, Tangalooma, so there was a nice synchronicity to it all.

    Click the below image for a closer look, or read the article text underneath. Photograph taken by the wonderful Stephen Booth.

    Under The Bridge: The John Steel Singers

    Brisbane-based six-piece The John Steel Singers release their debut album, Tangalooma, on November 5 through Dew Process. Produced by Queensland’s pop statesman, Robert Forster – co-founder of The Go-Betweens, the widely-loved pop group after whom Brisbane’s Go Between Bridge was named – Tangalooma showcases The John Steel Singers’ lively, colourful take on indie pop. We asked Robert to interview three of the band members for triple j magazine and sent Andrew McMillen along to a pub in Brisbane’s West End as the, um, go-between.

    Robert Forster: What was the ambition of the band at the start?
    Tim Morrissey (guitar/vocals): We always wanted to go overseas. Not necessarily to be ‘successful’ overseas, but to go overseas as an experience. Which we’ve since done a little bit of, but my goals at the start were just to play with certain bands and do certain shows.

    Robert: When you started the band, was playing Splendour one of the things you wanted to achieve? [The band played there this year.]
    Tim: I don’t know that Splendour was necessarily on my radar at that point, but a festival of that stature, for sure. I remember going to the early Valley Fiestas, though [Brisbane’s annual street music festival, held in Fortitude Valley], and thought it’d be really nice to play a Valley Fiesta in a good slot. Which we did, on the weekend! That felt a little bit surreal.

    Robert: The John Steel Singers: realising dreams. What are the next couple of dreams?
    Tim: A bridge!
    Robert: Okay. I know the Lord Mayor. I’ll put the word in. So between playing Valley Fiesta and the magic heights of having a bridge named after you, what are the other steps in between?
    Scott Bromiley (trumpet/keys/vocals): The healthy evolution of our music.
    Robert: Oh, that’s good.
    Scott: No radical left turns, or anything like that.

    triple j mag: Is touring overseas still a goal?
    Tim: Definitely. Go overseas, sell three albums, live in squalor for six months, then come back with egg on our faces.
    Robert: Where overseas?
    Tim: Anywhere that will have us, I guess. I’d love to go to the US, Berlin, UK…

    Robert: Thinking about the band’s sound, where can you hear that being best received at the moment?
    Scott: Ballarat.
    Tim: Geelong.
    Scott: Bendigo, perhaps. Albury. Wodonga.

    Robert: Okay. Let’s get Tame Impala out of the way. Great album. What’s the vibe about going on tour with them in October?
    Scott: We’re good friends with those guys.
    Pete Bernoth (trombone/keys): We’ve known them since Southbound 2008. We hung out backstage and stole Faker’s rider together. We were young and stupid; we’re not like that anymore.
    Robert: Are you scared that the next couple of songs you write are going to be guitar-oriented psychedelia?
    Scott: Yeah. We constantly try to avoid that.

    Robert: But playing with them, won’t that only bring it out more?
    Scott: Perhaps. But maybe they’ll take in some of our influences, and start writing keyboard-flavoured pop gems.

    Robert: You get the call to play Big Day Out. What do you say?
    Scott: “I’ll be there in a jiffy.”
    Tim: After hearing those stories about Grant [McLennan, Go-Betweens co-founder, who died in 2006] – definitely there in a jiffy. I want to play cricket with Coldplay, and stuff.

    triple j mag: What are these Grant stories?

    Robert: I got bowled by Coldplay’s drummer [Will Champion]. They are very good cricket players; they’re probably better cricket players then they are as a band. (Everyone laughs) Really! Chris Martin’s very good, and Champion bowled me on an off-cutter. Unbelievable!
    Scott: I just thought of a montage: Chris Martin training in a tracksuit, with Brian Eno holding a whistle.

    Robert: Okay, this is an imagined scenario. You’re in Adelaide one afternoon. You’ve soundchecked. You come out of the building, and there’s a young three-piece band on the street. They ask, “What advice can you give us – a) musically, and b) career-wise?”
    Scott: a) Get yourself a disgruntled redhead trombone player. [referring to Pete]
    Pete: Hook your claws into some stupidly talented dude who can play everything, like Scott.
    Tim: b) If you’re in Adelaide, use the free bike paths. When you ride your bike, that’s a good time to think of songs.

    Robert: Do you find cycling conducive to songwriting?
    Tim: Damn straight. I’d say I write 70% of my melody ideas on the bike; 30% in the jam room.
    Pete: My advice is that even if you’re playing to no-one, don’t treat it as a joke. Try to take every show seriously. It’s hard, and sometimes you fail miserably, but every show’s a show. Do your best.

    Robert: Let’s say I’m from a record company called Dew Process. I’m an A&R rep, and I’m going to give The John Steel Singers $100,000 to record their next album. Spend it as you will. What are you going to do, what would I hear, where would it be done?
    Scott: Well, you’d probably hear it about five years later!
    Robert: Good! Brilliant!
    Tim: We’d definitely stay in Australia. We’d go either Darling Downs, or the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. We’d hire a house out for six months, and we’d deck it out with some nice studio gear. We’d fly Nicholas [Vernhes, the Brooklyn-based engineer who mixed Tangalooma] out, and we’d spend six months recording. That’s it.

    triple j mag: What did The John Steel Singers learn from their debut album producer?
    Robert: You can’t ask that in front of me! I’ll go to the toilet. (He leaves)
    Scott: Everything, really. There wasn’t much that we didn’t [learn]. Just what a fantastic presence he is in any given situation.
    Pete: He took our songs back to basics.
    Scott: That’s right. Robert’s got a way of distilling everything down to its purest form so that you can see what the true value of a song is, without it being hidden by production.
    Tim: And he’s a very competitive ping-pong player.

    Needless to say, this was a fun conversation to observe. Forster really got into the interviewer role, which really comes across in the article.

    Elsewhere: an extended interview with Robert Forster earlier this year for the Mess+Noise ‘Icons’ series; a review of The John Steel Singers’ debut album, Tangalooma, for The Vine.

  • triple j mag story: ‘Music Counts For Something’, September 2010

    A feature for the September 2010 issue of the recently-renamed triple j mag, which discusses what Australian musicians make from selling music as a proportion of their overall income. The full article text is underneath.

    triple j mag story, September 2010: 'Music Counts For Something' by Andrew McMillen

    Music Counts For Something

    by Andrew McMillen

    We asked some top independent artists to speak specifics on the art of selling music in the digital age – and to advise up-and-comers on how not to get rorted.

    Throughout the history of recorded music, album sales were a strong indicator as to artists’ personal wealth. The equation used to go: gold and platinum record sales + sold out tours = money in the bank. But in 2010, people are less and less likely to pay for recorded music, with the equation continuing to shift away from sales toward touring.

    The Presets

    The Presets’ Julian Hamilton is blunt when discussing musical economics, as an ambassador for APRA – the Australasian Performing Right Association – might well be. “These days, if you want to be a working musician can’t just rely on record sales to make money,” he says.

    According to Julian, music sales through publishing account for “around a third or a quarter” of The Presets’ overall income. “But it’s tricky because the way that musicians earn money is so varied, through so many different revenue streams that come in at different times. Some months, you might make no money.”

    His advice to aspiring musos: “Try to keep the creative and business sides of the bands different: don’t talk about money when you’re rehearsing, and don’t talk about lyrics when you’re in a business meeting. Set up a group account under the band’s name, where all members can see where the money’s going.”

    “If you can sort the shitty business side out, so that you don’t worry about it, that’s gonna make the fun stuff even more fun.”


    Under the pseudonym Gotye, Wally de Backer put himself $30,000 in debt to fund his ARIA Award-winning album Like Drawing Blood in 2006. That risk paid off: following mainstream interest in his independently released second LP, Wally eventually made over $100,000 in album sales and royalty payments.

    At the release of the first Gotye album, 2003’s Boardface, de Backer got the feeling that “making music wouldn’t ever be more than something I could produce and finance in my spare time from ‘real work’. Having been a full-time musician for a couple of years now, I’m amazed at how much time can be spent dealing with accounting, chasing and checking royalty statements, managing budgets, and basically financial planning so you don’t end up in a bus in middle of Eastern Europe with a maxed out credit card and the bank foreclosing on your mortgage back at home. I’d rather be on top of everything and organise my music-making time accordingly, rather than remain oblivious and potentially have tax and income issues down the track.”

    His advice for young musos: “If you can cover all or most bases and get your career off the ground yourself, then you’re in a strong position to negotiate good deals later on, rather than being at the mercy of ‘industry standards’.”

    Eddy Current Suppression Ring

    Melbourne rock band Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s third album, Rush To Relax, debuted in the ARIA top 20 earlier this year.

    Despite their popularity, the band’s guitarist (and manager) Mikey Young is frank about how he and his bandmates treat the project.

    “We all have other ways of making money. We treat this band like a hobby. Outside of shows, we get a random few grand every so often from record sales, APRA and publishing, but once it’s split between the four of us and we put a bit back towards the band, it’s really just bonus pocket money.”

    “None of us could solely live off [the band’s income]”, he continues, “But that’s our fault and not due to the state of the music industry or anything. We choose to keep our band a thing we do for fun when we feel like it, so we’ve never made that leap into having a crack and living off it.”


    Tim Levinson – better known as MC Urthboy, in addition to being a founding member of The Herd and head of Sydney independent label Elefant Traks – reveals that royalties from album sales comprised 14% of his overall income in 2009. The majority of his earnings came from touring and label-related revenue.

    “If a musician has only ever had a part time job to sustain their real passion of playing music for a living, you can understand how vulnerable they become,” says Tim. “It’s important to take this into account when understanding the significance of how much sacrifice artists make to pursue their music.”

    For all but the biggest fish in the Australian musical pond, Tim confirms: “If you’re a musician, you can never piece together anything resembling an income without including some sort of regular or fall back job. But if you’re instinctively passionate about it, you have no choice. You are compelled to do it. It’s art that is created out of just a necessity to express yourself, and that’s a great thing.”

    Philadelphia Grand Jury

    Philadelphia Grand Jury’s manager, Martin Novosel, runs us through the economics of a popular, self-released indie band. “Once a quarter, the band will see approximately $8-9,000, minus 25 per cent in distribution, minus pressing costs for the albums (if more needed to be pressed), minus any marketing costs, minus mechanical costs, and finally, minus management commission on profit. In real money terms, this equates to something in the vicinity of a couple of thousand dollars per quarter for the band members.

    “However it does go up if you are a commercial act,” he continues. “The reason for this is because bands are kept in consumers’ minds through media presence.”

    Martin acknowledges that the indie market is very live-driven; “An act needs to be playing often to keep its currency with media to get that exposure. And an act can really only tour Australia twice or three times in an album cycle before it has overplayed and needs to provide new material”.

    Compared with their income from touring, publishing and merchandise, Novosel estimates that the Philly Jays’ music sales comprise only 5-10 per cent of the band’s overall income.

    The Butterfly Effect

    The Butterfly Effect’s bassist, Glenn Esmond, suggests that about 25 per cent of the band’s yearly revenue is from album sales.

    Though he grew up idolising the glam rock model of luxury and privilege – private jets and the like – as he got older and started playing in cover bands at local pubs, Esmond realised that “it’s just enough to be able to pay your rent, and have a bit of money left over at the end of the day to buy a beer.”

    He suggests reading the book Music Business, by Shane Simpson. “You might decide to be independent or you might go with a label, but at least you’re informed about how the industry works, and how deals are recouped. I’ve read about some bands who signed deals where the label makes 85% of the band’s income while retaining the rights to the masters. It’s insane, man. How does anyone ever make any money? Sometimes people don’t, and that’s the reality.”

    With a laugh, he concludes: “You’ve gotta do it for love until you get too old, or your missus goes, ‘Sorry mate, you’ve been doing this for ten years and you’ve made no money – you need a real job!’”

  • The Vine interview: Gareth Liddiard of The Drones, April 2010

    An interview for The Vine. (The full interview appears below, since the original publication has been removed from the web.)

    Gareth Liddiard of The DronesGareth Liddiard of The Drones

    As frontman of The Drones, Gareth Liddiard has cultivated a reputation that approaches reverence among Australia’s independent music community. His band were winners of the inaugural Australian Music Prize in 2005, were awarded 2009’s ‘Best Live Act’ by Rolling Stone, and Liddiard’s song ‘Shark Fin Blues’ was voted as the ‘greatest Australian song of all time’ in jmag late last year by his peers. The band have managed to drag this local reverence overseas, garnering ciritcal praise from both sides of the Atlantic while being regular visitors to the US and Europe, most notably as a semi-regular fixture at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals.

    Between recording and touring with The Drones, Liddiard is set to release his debut solo album later this year. Ahead of a solo tour at three east coast venues in mid-April, Andrew McMillen spoke to Gareth Liddiard at length about the pros and cons of performing acoustically, playing Halo 2 while on the dole, ‘sub-par teen angst’, and reading one’s own reviews.

    Andrew: I understand this is the third or fourth time you’ve gone out on a solo tour, Gareth, ahead of a new album. What do you like about previewing these songs in acoustic form?

    Gareth: The chance to get to play them, not necessarily acoustically, but just to get to play them at all, that’s a cool thing. You do your first record where you get to play all the songs live, and then you record it, but after that it goes the other way around where you record then you play live. It’s a bit shit because the songs get better the more you play them live.

    Do you feel a bit nervous bringing them out for the first time in these kinds of circumstances?

    Yeah a little bit, especially when you play solo, you can stuff up. When you’re doing it with a band you can step on the distortion pedal. Acoustic is a bit weirder. I do a few songs I’ve been working on for this tour but it’s kind of more written for the acoustic guitar so I’m not sure if that’s going to make it harder or easier than doing something like previewing Havilah stuff.

    One thing I like about your solo shows is the emphasis it places on your lyrics. Without the external noise of a Drones show, we’re left to concentrate on your stories. Is that your intention?

    Yeah that’s a part of it, one of the reasons. I’m a mumbler anyway, so it’s hard enough with an acoustic guitar, let alone noise from the band. I like to be able to hear what people are singing when they’re singing.

    A downside of acoustic shows is that sometimes you’re not loud enough to overpower those who choose to talk while you play, and that seemed to annoy you at the Troubadour show that you played here in February last year.

    Yeah, I’m not alone on that one. You have to deal with it when it happens. Some people are always going to talk, but it can be irritating.

    I find it interesting that people do that, they pay $15-20 to come see you play and then they talk through the main act.

    A lot of people go up to The Troubadour just to drink, though. There’s nowhere else to drink unless you want to go across the road to that big joint on the corner. Not everyone is there to see the band. Some people have been dragged along by friends and they’re just looking for a beer in a place that isn’t full of women with boob tubes.

    Is there a style of performance that you find more enjoyable as a performer?

    I find if I’m doing electric a lot, I’ll yearn for a bit of acoustic action. If I do acoustic enough I’ll look forward to playing with the band. The grass is always greener. The older I get, the nicer it is to sit down and not have to scream your guts out, you know what I mean? That’s a plus.

    When is the solo album due?

    I think September, maybe. That seems like what the music industry is saying. I’m not going to put it out if it’s crap. I haven’t recorded it yet. If all goes well, I reckon September. I hope.

    Who produced it?

    I don’t know. Production – I don’t believe in that word. I think that word is kind of had its day. It’s too vague. Burke Reid, who did our last record, is going to record it. It seems like everyone how is involved in the recording process has a say. If our neighbour pops over and hears a song we’ve just done and has something to say, then we’ll listen to him. Do I give him production credit? I don’t know. I just think I believe people make records together, rather than one guy produces. It’s such a vague term these days. But, Burke will be recording it.

    I know what you mean – I get some amusement out of reading the music press that places a huge emphasis on the producer behind certain records.

    [Journalists] do that because it just gives them something to understand, that they can understand, but they don’t because it’s not anything that’s easy to understand.

    How much material from that new album are you planning to debut at the upcoming solo shows?

    It depends on what’s ready to go at that point and what I feel I’m capable of that night. I reckon about three tunes, maybe more.

    You write your set lists on the night?

    Yeah, I do them on the night. Some songs, if I was doing a really quiet song, if I hear people talking or something like that, or if it’s just not happening, then there’s no point in doing it. You kind of check the temperature of the room before you make a set list.

    I want to touch briefly on the Kev Carmody tribute show you did in Brisbane in August last year. The Drones only did one song (‘River Of Tears’), and your performance was by far the loudest and most confronting. I think that’s a pretty fair thing to say that the show also exposed you to a crowd more accustomed to Missy Higgins and Bernard Fanning than The Drones. Was that an enjoyable show for you to play – all six minutes of it?

    Yeah, it was. We’ve done two of them in Sydney and for each show we do a bunch of rehearsals, so everyone was already really friendly. It was cool. It’s really fun to be around other musicians, it’s like a big barbeque or something. The day starts, Paul [Kelly] gets money off everyone and goes and gets beer and we drink that during rehearsals. Then it runs out, so Tex [Perkins] ends up doing a beer run. It’s that sort of stuff, like a big house party. Then you get to put the show together which is something you don’t usually do, like a theatre production. I really liked it. Everyone was really cool. But you’re right; it’s weird, coming from where we come from, to then be with Bernard [Fanning] and John [Butler], it’s kind of… We come from a different part of the music industry, if you can call it an industry. Like, Detroit has an industry. [laughs]

    It’s cool that you’re friendly with those people, that you can hang out with them even though sonically, you’re quite removed from pop artists.

    Oh, yeah, no one pretends. I’m not a fan of everyone’s music and vice versa. It’d be a problem if we were all 18 – none of us could talk to each other – but we’re not.

    You’re all mature adults.

    Yeah and we all like a drink, and an obnoxious joke, and stuff like that.

    I find the band’s treatment of ‘River Of Tears’ to be one of the most powerful songs in your repertoire these days.

    The good thing about the Kev Carmody gig was we only did one song, so you can kind of give it everything in one go, whereas if you’re doing a whole live show you have to pace yourself. You just run out of steam otherwise, but when we do it in a set I don’t think it’s as good as when we do it at the Kev Carmody shows.

    I see where you’re coming from, but I disagree. I’ve seen you perform it mid-set a couple of times, and it just floors me every time. It’s so powerful.

    It’s a cool song. It’s one of those songs that just works for us. It ticks all the boxes. That was Paul Kelly’s choice. He’s pretty good at curating, and farming out work to the right people. Whether it’s The Drones, if it works for us, or Glenn Richards [of Augie March]. Paul’s had so many different musicians in his band and stuff; he’s got a really good sense of who will make the most of what.

    More recently, I saw The Drones play All Tomorrow’s Parties, at Minehead (UK) in December. It was a bit bizarre to see you open the set to a pretty sparse crowd, having seen you play to full crowds here in Australia for the last couple of years. The Drones are a fixture at these ATP events – do you find them enjoyable?

    Yeah I do, they’re cool. A lot of it depends on your timeslots and shit too. Last time we played to a lot more people. That was a bummer, but the whole general experience is cool. It’s an awesome place.

    I went to the Mt. Buller event a year ago, and Butlins was the first time I’d been to the UK one. It was an awesome experience as a music fan. From what I gather, the musicians seemed to enjoy it just as much as the punters.

    Yeah, they do. Everyone loves it; a lot of the time, it’s a lot of the same bands, so the more you do it the more everyone gets friendly and it’s funny; you bump into each other there or in New York. They also have an ATP stage at a festival in Barcelona, which was a good time. It’s good socially, as well as everything else.

    Given your affiliation with the label ATP Recordings, I would have thought the Drones would have been one of the acts Barry Hogan is considering to curate the next installment of ATP Australia, whenever that happens.

    If it’s going to happen. I think Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds [who curated the first one in January 2009] were a good choice – they’re always going to pull more people than us. I think there is a bit of that, if they were considering getting us, they’d have to consider the possibility to get someone from overseas that Australians are going to tend to prefer that to their own. I don’t know. Maybe if they do it again. Either way, I was happy to go as a punter last time and not do anything.
    Returning to Australia to discuss more recent events, can you describe what you felt when covering [the GOD song] ‘My Pal’ at The Tote?

    I felt hot, and a bit drunk. [laughs] Actually it was a fun song to play. We played it at ATP with Joel [Silbersher] a few years before, too. Me and Mikey got up with Joel at an ATP at Butlins. That was a good one – we played to about 5,000 people. You should have seen that one!

    Most of them probably had no idea what that song was?

    A few people did, ex-pats and that. It’s a fun song to play. It’s just straight-up kind of three chord punk song. It kind of plays itself. No matter how much you fuck it up, it sounds good to them. But I tell you, the Tote thing was really bizarre being the last band to play there, and that was the last song. That was a strange experience, going “Wow, this is it.” We played there more than we’ve played anywhere else in the world, so it was very odd.

    I have no connection to The Tote. I had never been there, and yet reading the coverage and checking out the YouTube video of you playing, it was extremely moving that ‘My Pal’ was the last song. It obviously meant a lot to people.

    Yeah, it’s a bit of a crowd favourite down there, the favourite on the jukebox. That pub had been around since the last ’70s, early ’80’s or something? That’s where The Scientists played the bulk of their shows. It’s been around; it’s been a huge incubator for years.

    To change topics entirely, are you becoming more comfortable with your position as something of a celebrity among the Australian indie music scene?

    No, if anything I just get more uncomfortable saying I’m a celebrity. I’m the sort of guy… To be famous is good, because it means that more people are giving me money. I always felt that success was being able to do this for a living. That’s how I see it. I don’t make very much money at all. I get a little bit more than the dole, contrary to popular belief. That to me is fine, because I can just play music and make a living. So the more the merrier as far as fans go. You do get anxious about – this is Australia, sooner or later they’re going to go, “The Drones suck.”

    The backlash.

    The more people who know who you are… It’s just weird. I’m not a social animal, anyway.

    Do people you meet in the street feel like they can relate to you through your songs?

    I guess. They seem like they do. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell when you meet someone for 30 seconds.

    Does it bother you that people have an image of you that’s cultivated by what they see on stage and what you write about in your songs?

    No, because that’s the way I saw the people I liked when I grew up. I’ve had plenty of people who I’ve formed an opinion of them through whatever they’ve done musically, which is probably way off the mark. I’m not going to blame anyone for being off the mark.

    Is there a particular song among your catalogue that you’re most proud of?

    I don’t know. I have favourites on each record.

    Do you want to list them?

    Okay. The first one [Here Comes The Lies] would be ‘I Walked Across The Dam’. That’s a good song. I think it’s just too long and too psychopathic for most people. I think it’s good. The band sounds good. ‘I’m Here Now’, on Gala Mill, that’s a good one. That’s just a well-written tune. It sort of plays itself; it does what it’s meant to do. Wait Long By The River, I dunno. ‘Freedom In The Loot’? I like that. It’s kind of got a really fucked up Tony Iommi-type riff, and the lyrics are completely stupid. It’s just about getting laid, but I’ve made it sort of sound really intellectual and ridiculous. [laughs] That’s got a huge guitar solo at the end, which is fun. And Havilah, what would it be on Havilah? I like ‘The Drifting Housewife’, I think that’s kind of cool. It feels good to play it. It just plays itself and it’s a really weird song about not very much at all, really, just about a guy whose got a messy divorce out of the way.

    Thank you for listing those. What did you make of the jmag award late last year?

    I can’t remember it. What was it?

    Well, your musician peers voted ‘Shark Fin Blues’ as the best Australian song ever written.

    Oh yeah yeah, I remember that. I thought that was pretty weird. We beat those fuckin’ shitty Easybeats! [laughs] I thought that was pretty funny. We beat ‘Friday on My Mind’, thank God! [mutters indecipherable expletives] You know what I make of it? I think I would say that most of the people who voted for that [poll] were probably 5-6 years younger than us, and hence more likely to hear “Shark Fin Blues” than “Friday on My Mind” or The Loved Ones doing whatever hits they had, or fuckin’ X or fuckin’ Saints. You know what I mean? They weren’t asking Paul Kelly. They weren’t asking Warren Ellis . They were asking people who were… I’d say Sarah Blasko, but she wouldn’t have voted for us.

    Are you more comfortable with praise from musician peers than from critics and journalists you’ve never met?

    I don’t know. It’s all the same. I’m sort of ambivalent about it because it’s like, “wow, this is amazing, it’s incredible that anyone would think that,” but at the same time it’s not really a good barometer of your sense of worth anyway. It’s a hard one.

    Are you comfortable with praise at all, with regard to your music? You mentioned earlier that you think particular songs are well-written, or that they’re good songs, but are you comfortable with people praising what you create?

    Yeah, because if they want to do it they can, like the way if I want to do it I can if I say to someone, “That’s amazing what you did there. That song is something else.” I’m comfortable, but I don’t take it on board that much. It’s like, “Wow, that’s nice,” but I don’t know. There are plenty of people doing all sorts of shit that impresses me, too.

    Do you ever wish you could escape your back catalogue? Do you get tired of playing ‘the hits’ in every set?

    Oh yeah. Fuck yeah. There’s one song – guess what that one is. I’m sick to fuckin’ death of it.

    ‘Shark Fin Blues’?

    Yeah. [laughs] But at the same time, it’s only because I’ve heard it too many times. I don’t think it’s shit. It’s alright. But I wouldn’t go changing the back catalogue. It’s fine. If anything, it’s a back catalogue for a 25-year old with more stamina than a 34-year old. [laughs] I wish that would change.

    For example, that jmag award has set the expectation that you’ll be playing ‘Shark Fin Blues’ at every Drones show, forever. ‘I Don’t Ever Want to Change’ and ‘The Minotaur’ seem to be fixtures among your set lists too.
    Yeah, you get them. You get those songs that are gonna stick. Everyone has that. There’s nothing you can do about that, really. I’m always saying, “Let’s fuck ‘Shark Fin’ off, we don’t have to do it!”, but it’s the band who probably want to hear it more than anyone else. I don’t know why.

    You get outvoted?

    Yeah, I guess. Vetoed!

    Democracy within The Drones.

    Yeah. It was a bad idea!

    Are there certain songs that are more enjoyable than others for you to revisit?

    Yeah, the ones you do less than others. Keep them fresh. That’s the main thing; you get sick of repetition and when you drag something out from the vault that you haven’t played for a while, then it’s great. You look forward to them in the set. It depends what that song is at that time.

    I want to ask you about ‘The City’ which appeared as the last song on The Miller’s Daughter. Have you ever played that live?

    Yeah, we used to play that all the time, back before people came to our shows.

    I think that’s a killer track.

    Yeah, it’s a good song. I forgot about that one. That’s probably on that record, that’s about the favourite on there, too. The recording is live in the studio 100%. That’s what we used to do on stage because most of The Miller’s Daughter, Wait Long and Here Come The Lies is just 100% [recorded] live.

    Is there anything among your catalogue that you’ll never play live again?

    Yeah, there are tons of songs that are just too hard. Some of them are really, really fucking hard. I’m trying to remember which ones. Actually there are not that many. ‘Are You Leaving For The Country’, that song from Gala Mill. It’s never worked live, people just go “Yeah, whatever”. We liked it, the crowd didn’t. I’d say something like ‘I Walked Across The Dam’, which I mentioned before. You’ll probably never hear that one; when we’re in the rehearsal room, me and Fi are like “Let’s play that!”. Dan and Mike – because they didn’t play on that record – they’d be like, “Fuck that!” I think that song uses every root note. That’s a record. How many are there? [counts to self] It uses all 12. That’s a record.


    Thank you!

    I’d like to refer to your comments that you made in Ampersand in 2008, that “blogging has cut the balls off music criticism”. Do you read reviews written about your music and your performances?

    Fuck yeah, of course.



    Do you seek them out?

    Yeah, like not every day, but I particularly like the bad ones. I found a good one the other night. Pretty awful.

    Who wrote it?

    I can’t remember. It was in the States or something like that. Hang on, I’ll have a look in the history. Anyway, of course I read my reviews. Everyone does. Any musician who says, “Nah, I don’t,” is just being a fuckwit. Or they’re not doing it, like an alcoholic doesn’t drink, you know what I mean. Here it is – Prefixmag.

    What did they say, that you’re a shit songwriter?

    Oh fuck yeah! [laughs] “Opaque and impenetrable listening.” This is my favourite – “sub-par teen angst. Torturously slow-paced.” [laughs] Which sounds great! If I was reading the review I’d go, “That sounds awesome. That sounds like good music!” Anyway, I dunno, I don’t really care what this guy thinks. It’s pretty funny. But yeah, everyone reads their reviews.

    As a journalist, I can tell you that most fellow writers that I know hold The Drones in high regard. It’s like writing about your songs and your music is somehow more enjoyable than nearly every artist I can think of. I think it’s something to do with the dark lyrical content, the confronting music, and also the anti-image that you guys have created over the last few years.

    Yeah look, I can see how that works. Things like, if we go to a mill in Tasmania [as they did when recording Gala Mill], that makes your job easier than if we don’t. It gives you an angle. I can see how that works. Clever marketing on our behalf. [laughs]

    Part of the marketing strategy.

    Yeah, totally! That one came from management.

    Have you ever considered writing a tour diary around your solo tour, like Dan [Luscombe] did for your 2007 Europe tour?

    Not really. Dan really lucked out that one because it was a fucking schmozzle. On the next European tour, he tried to do it again and the tour went reasonably well and it was the shittest, most tedious read. He just lucked out on getting the fuckin’ worst tour ever undertaken by anyone. You don’t really get horrible tours like that in Australia. It just isn’t like doing 50 or 60 shows in a row in fucking Europe. So yeah, a tour diary here wouldn’t be entertaining.

    An Australian tour for most artists seems to just involve visiting the same five or six cities, anyway.

    Yeah, well that’s it. It’s not like going to France. If you go to France five times, you play a lot of different cities. The route is different every time and sometimes you hardly ever go back to the same place twice. Whereas here, it’s just bizarre. I should have been born in America, I’d be rich.

    In preparation for this conversation I’ve revisited some of your past interviews, including one with Mess+Noise writer Andrew Ramadge in 2005. In that story you related a story where John Scott from [Adelaide hard rock band] The Mark of Cain gave some advice for young bands. Do you remember that?

    Yeah, he said that in an interview. He said “get a fucking job”.

    I believe you’re at the point now where music is your full-time pursuit, is that correct?
    Yeah it is, but that’s good advice from John. I think he said something like “get a trade,” like what he was saying is – you’re in Australia, mate. This is going to be hard going to make a living so you have to have a backup plan. Which is perfectly sensible.

    Do you know The Mark of Cain guys?

    I’ve met them, but I don’t really know them.

    I’ve read their blog a bit and from what I gather, one of them works for Australian defence security or something.

    Yeah, Kim [Scott], the bass player, work on missile guidance systems.

    Yeah, that sounds like the most interesting job for a musician to have.

    That’s why they don’t put out records every year, which is good. It’s a good way to do it, like Eddy Current or someone like that. It’s a very wise job. Looking back, if I could change anything, I’d probably get a trade. Then I wouldn’t have to do this fucking… all the time.

    You said in that same interview with Ramadge that “You’d have to be a music geek to appreciate our music.” Do you think this still holds true, given the band’s increasing popularity?

    Yeah, to a point, I guess. There’s a lot in it. We sort of somehow pack a lot in to a small amount of space. If you’ve got your music history, you’ll realise that we rip off everything.

    Have you still held true to the touring motto you told Ramadge, that “if there’s no skyscrapers, we don’t play.”

    Fuck yeah, yeah, which is another fucker because that means we can only play in five cities. Everyone else, be it The Gin Club or Grinspoon, everyone else can play in a lot more places than us. We’d have to learn fuckin’ martial arts to play in rural areas.

    This is based on personal experience, I take it – you have tried to tour regional areas.
    Yeah, everyone gives it a shot. If you want to open up more places to play, there are more places to play. But it just does not work for us. Either people don’t show or they think we’re all homosexual. It’s weird. I mean, it’s not weird at all. I can totally understand that a farmer isn’t going to get what we’re on about.

    It’s interesting the contrast between city and country mentalities then, if city people can accept you and country people can’t.

    Yeah, but that’s just what you’re exposed to. People out in the sticks aren’t exposed to much. They’re not going to know who fucking [French singer-songwriter] Serge Gainsbourg is because there’s just no-one down the pub getting into Serge Gainsbourg. That’s all it is.

    Central to your discussion with Andrew Ramadge was the notion that contemporary Australian society undervalues creative ventures like writing songs and like touring as a band. From your perspective, has this perception changed?

    No, no, and it never will. That’s us from here on in. It’s cultural cringe; it just is what it is. There’s one way to stop that, and we’re never going to do that.

    Which is?

    Boot the English out in a fuckin’ extremely nasty way. That’s where all that shit comes from. America is a colony that doesn’t have cultural cringe because it is one of the only colonies that doesn’t have cultural cringe because it’s one of the only colonies that had a very traumatic uprising against its coloniser, who happens to be England. Now America, after the fucking trauma that was, it must have been a hideous time and then once they booted the Poms out, they didn’t feel English anymore. To them, the English are now an ‘other’. We’ve never done that. We’d have to fight to become a republic. Otherwise, we don’t want to be America or England, and we don’t want to be them forever. It’s cultural cringe. Google it!

    To change topics, your comment in Ampersand that music critics should “do something useful” struck me as a bit hypocritical in light of what you’re saying about society undervaluing creativity. I mean, like songwriting and playing music, writing – whether about music or otherwise – is a creative endeavour. Is it fair to say that you value writing music in higher regard than writing about music?

    That Ampersand thing is pretty blown out of proportion. [laughs] It was meant to be a lot funnier than the way music journalists took it. The editor said, “do this, but go to town”. She wanted a full-on thing, so you know, I gave it to her. Not that music journos don’t annoy me sometimes, but I don’t write them all off. I wouldn’t take [my comments] literally, as ‘the last word’. If I said that to you in a pub, face-to-face, you wouldn’t take it on board, you know.

    I’m not taking it seriously. I’m just curious. It amused the shit out of me when I read it when it first came out. I could tell you were taking the piss, but some other people I showed it to were like, “Oh, that’s bullshit. What a hypocrite.”

    Look, in that thing as well, didn’t I say also that rock and roll is a dumb thing to do?

    Yeah, you said it’s “retarded“, actually.

    Well, there you go. It’s all retarded. Rock and roll seems like a fairly immature pursuit. And everything surrounding it, be that journalism or the business… Anyone who sort of takes it seriously seems a bit absurd. Like, fuck, there’s more than this to life.

    And yet it’s your life, Gareth; you’re living it.

    Yeah I know! [laughs] That’s why I write about it. I can totally see your point of view. I do understand that one needs the other. It’s symbiotic; it goes both ways. We both make a living from doing this.

    Are you aware of the music journalist Craig Mathieson?

    Yeah, from Mess+Noise?

    Have you seen his latest book Playlisted, which has a photo of you on the cover?
    I have, yeah.

    Did you read it?

    Yeah I did, because they sent me a copy.

    He said of the Drones’ last three albums, that “there is no better sequence of albums from an Australian artist of this decade,” which is pretty damn high praise.

    Yeah, it’s great. He likes us, even when I say he’s useless in my Ampersand thing! [laughs] He’s a nice guy. He’s come to my house a few times. And he put me on the cover of his book as well, which is a very nice thing to do.

    Yes, okay before we end I have to ask you about the line in ‘The Minotaur’ [“He spends all day looking at porn or playing fuckin’ Halo 2″] Are you any good at Halo 2?

    I did have a go at it. I’m aware that it’s now hopelessly out of date. What are we, like Halo 4, 5, or 6 now?
    Three-and-a-half, or something like that.

    Is that all? That’s good, so the song’s still half-relevant. I did a work for the dole thing years ago and I came in a week after this course had started. The guy went, “Oh, fuck, you’ve come in too late, so you can’t catch up this week’s work. There’s a computer, it’s online: go and play Halo 2.” I went in a couple of times and did that all day, during office hours, and played Halo 2. I had a great time! [laughs] Then one morning I woke up and went, “I’m not fucking going in to play that game all day,” and they never kicked me off the dole. The guy was obviously understanding enough not to strike me off the list. Why – are you a fan?

    Yeah, I enjoy it, it’s a good game. I’ve been amused to watch people sing that line – and that line only – when you play the song live.

    Yeah I know, and it’s a certain age group that does it.

    It seems to resonate with overlapping communities of indie rock fans and gamers.

    Yeah, totally, though there are a lot of gamers these days. It’s crazy. I do occasionally open my eyes and look down at that point. People love it. I love the porn bit, too. But then, [the blokes] are giving themselves up, they should keep it down. There’s women in the room.

    Alright Gareth, final question; is there any music lately you’ve been enjoying that you’d like to recommend?

    Yeah. How’s this – you know The Wipers? I only heard them the other day.

    ‘Return of the Rat’.

    Yeah, a friend of mine showed me that, I was like, “Fuck, why didn’t you show me that in high school?” I’ve been enjoying them, Toumani Diabaté, the Kora player. I listen to a lot of that. There is a guy called Abdel Hadi Halo, who’s a North African singer with a huge orchestra, so it’s got these Moorish rhythm crazy scales and shit like that. It’s really mean music. I don’t know how devout they all are, but it’s interesting. It’s kind of really sexy. I don’t think that’s what they’re trying to do. What else? I can’t think of anything else, but it’s stuff like that. Stuff that’s not rock and roll, apart from The Wipers, obviously, which is very rock and roll.

    You tend to keep a distance from rock and roll when you’re not playing it?

    Yeah, because you get sick of it because you do it all the time. And I’ve heard The Stooges and I’ve heard Black Flag and I’ve heard MC5 and I’ve heard Led Zeppelin, I’ve heard Hendrix. It’s like – beat that. If you can suggest anything or if you’re a band who can do anything [better than that], I don’t know. Why should I listen to anything that’s ‘sub-par’, as they say. I can just stick Raw Power on. If someone’s like, “come and see this band!”, it’s like, “Nah, I’ve got Raw Power at home,” and very powerful speakers. Is that wrong?

    You’re obviously a bit tied to the past there, Gareth. You’re not keeping with the times.

    Yeah but – come on. Who is? Apart from someone like Deerhoof or Lightning Bolt, I haven’t heard much very ‘new-sounding’ stuff for a while.

    Well, we’ve spoken for 48 minutes. Thanks for your time, Gareth.

    Oh yeah, no worries. Thanks for talking.

    (Note: This interview was first published at The Vine, but as of 2016 much of the original site content has been deleted, so I’m publishing it here instead.)

    To my knowledge, this was the most comprehensive interview with Gareth published at the time (2010). I researched extensively in preparation, and I think that comes across in both my questioning and his responses. Moreover, because The Drones are my favourite Australian band, it was an absolute pleasure to engage with their key songwriter for most of an hour. It’s one of those occasions where I truly love what I do.

  • triple j mag story: ‘Sing, Sync, Score’, October 2009

    Here’s my first story for jmag, the monthly music magazine published by Australian youth radio station triple j. It’s 1450 words on alternate revenue streams for three Australian artists in three areas: TV commercial sync licensing, TV series sync licensing and iPhone app licensing.

    I interviewed Michael Tomlinson of Yves Klein Blue, Nick O’Donnell of 26, Karnivool manager Heath Bradbury, Robert Spencer of Staring Man Studios, Jamie Brammah of Hook, Line & Sync, and Isabel Pappani of Undercover Tracks. Click the below image to read the full-sized article; its text is included underneath.

    November 2009 jmag article: Insider Sing, Sync, Score

    Sing, Sync, Score

    Digital distribution allows artists’ music to be heard around the world on a wider range of mediums – and at a faster rate – than ever before. Musicians’ income is no longer delineated via just recorded music sales, gig attendance and merch desk turnover: in 2009, an artist can license their work to many commercial ventures. ANDREW MCMILLEN looks at three avenues.

    26: TV series sync licensing

    In April 2009, Brisbane indie rock band 26 had their song ‘A New Beginning’ placed in the season finale of the NBC TV show Life. The opportunity arose after the band licensed their music to Brisbane boutique sync agency Hook, Line & Sync, who specialise in pitching unsigned music to film and television executives across the world. What did the Life placement mean to 26?

    Guitarist and vocalist Nick O’Donnell admits: “It had a massive effect. We went from doing regular indie band sales – where people stumble across you for whatever reason – into the thousands. The particular NBC music supervisor who placed our song makes a point of featuring indie bands and pumping the music up in the mix, rather than just featuring as a background soundtrack.”

    O’Donnell believes that the opportunity – while undoubtedly assisted due to Hook, Line & Sync’s industry connections – was largely serendipitous. “It’s more a case of the music supervisor going after a specific sound, than a band saying, “We’re really great! We’d be perfect for your atmospheric, movie-like soundtrack!” It doesn’t work like that, at all. Music supervisors have a list of what they want: the tempo, lyrical themes, sound, and whether they want an indie act. For example, they might have already had ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay set in the mix, but since they can’t afford to license ‘Clocks’, they want someone who sounds similar.”

    O’Donnell remains buoyant about 26’s first sync deal. “It’s certainly given us more of a hunger to present our stuff to more things like that,” he admits. “Sync deals are something you really want to continue happening. There hasn’t been anything negative from it.”

    The big question, though: what did the opportunity mean to the band financially? “What we got was a fairly small licensing fee, which is the up-front money they pay you to make the placement. I’m told we got a pretty good average deal for an indie. We’ll get back-end payment as well, from royalties. Once those come in, we get royalties of it being played in 24 or so countries.”

    Having been yet to see the royalty cheque, do 26 have any idea what the number on it might read? “We have no idea,” O’Donnell admits. “That’s one thing that’s up in the air.”

    Yves Klein Blue: TV commercial sync licensing

    A young couple playfully load their car from the third story window. The soundtrack? Yves Klein Blue’s equally playful indie rock tune, ‘Polka’. You may have witnessed the 30-second Mitsubishi Lancer Hatch ad a hundred times in the last 12 months. But how did it come about? Singer/guitarist Michael Tomlinson elaborates.

    “The ad company contacted our manager, sent through the ad, and we asked how much they’d pay. And after a brief conversation about the amount, we agreed to have the song placed on the ad. It was the first time we’d agreed to an ad placement; the most important thing to us was that the ad wasn’t a bad match. It wasn’t offensive in its product or execution, so we said ‘yes’.”

    “To us, having ‘Polka’ placed in the Mitsubishi ad simply gave us a wider market reach. It doesn’t really matter how people hear our songs. So if ‘Polka’ is forever to be associated with Mitsubishi Lancers, then so be it. A lot more people heard it as a result, so I have no problems with that.”

    What did the sync deal mean for the band’s back pockets? “It was wonderful. It wasn’t totally lucrative, but at the same time it’s really helped us pay for our tours. We haven’t seen any of the money personally – we’re not swanning around in luxury cars – but it’s been a fantastic, positive experience.”

    “It’s tough to tour Australia,” Tomlinson states. “Until you can charge a decent amount for your shows and know that you’ll sell out a large room, it’s quite difficult to make a profit on touring. Being in a band is like digging a huge hole, taking all the money you’ve ever earned, throwing it into the hole, and burning it. People ask me if I have a job, and I have to reply ‘kind of’, because being in a band, it doesn’t pay money; it just takes money all the time,” he half-jokes.

    Despite their win with ‘Polka’, Tomlinson is unsure whether they’ll be able to re-bottle sync-lightning. “I have no idea about how one would go about putting their song ‘in harm’s way’, so to speak. I’m not sure how we were selected, or whether we’ll ever be selected again.”

    Some closing advice: “Sync deals are definitely worth doing, but make sure a lawyer reads everything,” Tomlinson cautions. “Their fees are high, but it’s better to pay them and be safe, rather than sign something that you can’t get out of.”

    Karnivool: iPhone app licensing

    In July 2009, West Australian gaming studio Staring Man released an iPhone application named Pools Of Blood, which allows handheld gamers to defend their tower from hordes of incoming orcs. As the player rotates their perspective to vanquish foes, a hard rock song seems to drive the pace: Perth band Karnivool licensed their single ‘Set Fire To The Hive’ for the game. Staring Man CEO Robert Spencer describes how the studio came to work with one of Australian’s most revered hard rock acts.

    “We were developed the game for a couple of months, but it seemed to be missing something. We started talking about background music; as rock fans, we agreed upon Karnivool.” Serendipity is a recurring theme among these three licensing opportunity examples. “We called their management and discovered that it was really convenient timing, because we were working on the game at the same time they were finishing up their second album, Sound Awake.”

    Karnivool’s manager Heath Bradbury confirms: “It was a targeted approach from Staring Man, which is part of the reason why we went ahead with it. It wasn’t just a random request for a game soundtrack; it was a request to work directly with the band. And in terms of running a successful gaming company from the most isolated capital city in the world, we can empathise with some of the Perth-based trials and tribulations!”

    Spencer continues: “Once we heard ‘Set Fire To The Hive’ we had to increase the gameplay pace! But our original vision was so close to that sound, so it worked out really well. Both ‘Hive’ and Pools Of Blood are departures from what both groups are known for.” In addition to the gameplay in Pools Of Blood, Staring Man built in a Karnivool portal that lists upcoming tour dates, band news and provides a link to buy their music on iTunes.

    Manager Bradbury is positive about the experience: “I think we’ll have an ongoing relationship with Staring Man. As Karnivool releases roll out in different territories, we’ll start to see how effective Pools Of Blood has been as a marketing tool. At this early stage, it’s hard to get a tangible idea of the impact that opportunities such as this have on a band’s profile.”

    “Financially, licensing is one of the few great areas of the music industry,” Bradbury laughs. “I think it’s going to be more important that managers have direct relationships with the people that run gaming companies and other licensing entities.”

    Boxout: Shelling Out

    You’ll note reluctance on the bands’ part to divulge exactly what these licensing deals meant for the bank accounts, and for good reason: how would you feel about being asked what your art is worth?

    Jamie Brammah of Brisbane-based music licensing agency Hook, Like & Sync says: “For an Australian indie band’s song to be placed on US network television, the upfront fee can range from $1,000-$5,000. It really comes down to negotiation, and how badly they want the track.”

    With regard to TV commercial sync deals, Isabel Pappani of California-based licensing agency Undercover Tracks says: “I’ve licensed Australian music to local commercials for $8,000, up to $100,000-plus for nationwide. A new push lately is ‘gratis licensing’, where companies don’t offer an upfront fee. Their justification is that the exposure results in adequate artist compensation. The licensing industry isn’t happy with this, but they argue that there’s always someone to take the deal.”

    Here’s the original pitch I sent to jmag.

    Alternative revenue streams for Australian artists, focussing on

    • iPhone applications
    • TV commercial licensing
    • TV show sync deals
    • Video game sync deals

    Premise: digital distribution allows artists’ music to be heard around the world on a wider range of mediums – and at a faster rate – than ever before. Let’s highlight some success stories in these fields, and include some ‘quick tips’ gleaned from the artists interviewed at the end of the article, for bands looking to jmag November 2009 issuemaximise their online exposure and potential to be chosen for these opportunities.

    My intended source for the video game sync deal didn’t come through in time, but the story felt complete with three bands’ experiences in sync licensing.

    I submitted the initial article on September 8. A rewrite request came through from triple j on October 1, and I sent through the final copy on October 8. The main change was the ‘shelling out’ boxout, which provides some $ figures on what these deals mean for bands.

    The story’s in the November 2009 issue of jmag [pictured right], which also features a couple of my live reviews (Metronomy and Paul Dempsey).

    Thanks to Jenny Valentish, Everett True and Nick Crocker.