Monday, May 25, 2009

Patrick Carney, The Black Keys

Patrick Carney is the drummer for Ohio’s mid-fi blues rock guitar-and-drums minimalists The Black Keys.

PATRICK CARNEY: My dad, if he was more interested in playing he could be great. I think that my family ... I don’t think that there’s any natural family talent.

Ralph Carney, who plays with Marc Ribot, he’s your uncle though, right?

PC: Ralph’s my uncle. He lives in San Francisco. Every time we go there we play with him and we wanted him on the record [Attack & Release]. Marc Ribot is one of our favourite guitar players. Having him come up to the studio, get involved in the record was pretty crazy. Especially Marc Ribot because he’d never done it before. We’re such big fans.

His stuff with Tom Waits is great.

PC: Yeah, that was the first stuff because my uncle used to send home the records he was on. My dad would play me Rain Dogs and stuff. Of course I kept listening to that record, not realising how he got that sound. That was cool because he showed us how he got his guitar sound on that record. After 15 years of wondering how that worked he showed us, it was so simple.

Did your parents ever tell you to get a real job?

PC: My parents, well, no. That’s the biggest thing is when I dropped out of college, decided to try to do the band, we were getting maybe $60 a show. We had to pay to make the record ourselves. My dad was kind of sceptical. I was dropping out of school, but he told me that it was probably the best decision I ever made. I would have told my kid the same. But then again in Ohio even if you have a college degree you can’t always find a job.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ezekiel Ox, Mammal

Ezekiel Ox is the lead singer of hard rock band Mammal. It's his job to rip his clothes off and rant like Henry Rollins. He also talks very fast.

“I wish I could tell you that I had to leave home when I was 16 and make my own way, but my parents have been nothing but supportive of what I’ve done and have really wanted me to follow my own path and have been there for me during the hard times and been massively supportive of the fact that I was on the right path and that eventually it would come through for me and yeah. Much respect to John and Anne for it.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rival MC, Impossible Odds

Impossible Odds won the JB Seed Grant to fund their self-titled debut EP of conscious Aussie hip hop.

“My dad always took us to church and my mum was always singing around the house. She sings in choirs and stuff and always had us in choirs.”

When was it you first got into hip hop?

“I was about 10. My cousins that are all 40 now would listen to everything. Grandmaster Flash, N.W.A., anything and everything, Public Enemy... They’d bring it home all the time and I’d hear it pumping in their cars. I thought ‘Ah, this sounds good!’ Then, not having much money growing up, I got into beatboxing. Been 17 years now that I’ve been beatboxing and that just came out of necessity because I didn’t have money to buy a Walkman. At the time they were like the state of the art. I didn’t have that luxury so I’d replicate the beats and walk around and beatbox to myself.”

Jessica Mauboy

Jessica Mauboy was runner-up in Australian Idol 2007. As often happens, she wound up with more of a career than the actual winner.

“They love country. My first tastings of music was country, so you know like Patsy Cline. I was very American-influenced, so a lot of Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, all that kind of stuff. I grew up listening to a lot of storytelling from my grandparents and a lot of the Aboriginal side, my mum, nanna and grandad. That’s kind of been my upbringing, listening to a lot of music. But I have a 29-year-old sister who got me into the all the 2pac, ghetto gangsta stuff and then you’ve got my little sister listening to pop and the new techno stuff, so it’s a range of things that I’m listening to.”

Do your parents listen to your music?

“Oh yeah, they’re the first ones to hear my music and I always go to them first with ideas to tell me if it’s good or not, which is great because they never lie to me.”

And if they don’t like it, it must be easier to hear that from them.

“They’re very honest, so I’m used to them saying, ‘No, that sucks.’”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MC Lars

MC Lars calls himself a post-punk laptop rapper. He'll rap about anything from Edgar Allan Poe to Guitar Hero.

“Yeah, my mom kind of played piano, but my dad was always playing like loud, rock stuff when I was a kid. I remember, some of my earliest, happiest memories were that he would play that Paul Simon record Graceland so much and I loved that record because I loved how it was -- I didn’t know it then, but it was that international sound and the amazing horns and like just the instrumentation, the basslines and the lyrics. And and my dad took me to my first concert, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic when I was like 10 and basically my parents have really been supportive. I took guitar lessons for a long time and they were really supportive. I just remember being little and sitting next to the speakers at our house listening to the Graceland record and thinking this is so magical and awesome, you know?”

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic is a great first concert. Do you remember it well?

“Yeah, I do, I do. We were on the balcony looking down and I knew all the words, I was singing along and I remember, I was young, I’d never seen a mosh pit. I remember being kind of scared because I was just a kid, you know?”

Do your parents listen to your music?

“Yeah, my parents are incredibly supportive and they have gotten into more hip hop stuff. And my first tour in 2003, I went on tour in the UK and that was my first like international tour. My dad actually, we took trains and stuff, he was my tour manager. So that was really fun. I’ll always remember that.”


Pimmon makes glitchy, ambient soundscapes that fit worlds inside his laptop.

“On my father’s side they were quite musical. My grandfather and great-grandfather both played brass in the Salvation Army Band. My father never played any instruments but has a beautiful voice and I remember him singing some solos when I was younger. His brother was amazing -- he could pick up any instrument and play it! I learnt the guitar from age eight but never really excelled -- but I can bash out a tune here and there. I’ve sung in many choirs and in my workplace Christmas party rock band. Ha!”

Alfred Darlington, The Long Lost

Alfred Darlington is half of husband-wife folk duo The Long Lost. He also DJs and produces under the name Daedelus.

“Neither of us grew up in a musical family. Laura’s parents had some background, not really in the arts, but there was always art involved in her life. Her education didn’t stop in school basically. For myself, my father was an experimental psychologist '' there wasn’t any Freudian stuff or Jungian stuff in the house, really different kind of things -- and my mom is a fine artist so I’m familiar with the arts in that way, but neither of us really have people playing instruments around us when we were growing up. It was something that we were both very lucky to be in the same school district where they had a very advanced, wonderful music program where, from a very young age, we were given instruments and able to be passionate about music and have a forum for it and I know it’s a rare thing in America nowadays so we were very lucky in that regard.”

What do your parents think of your music?

“It is kinda funny. For instance, my mom comes from the '60s, she was into these experimental performance art noise bands, but when I very first played her my own music -- I remember very clearly I was playing it for her in my car and I think she was sitting in the back seat. I had just gotten my first real CD, popped it into the player, was really excited, played some moments of music and she asked me, quite earnestly, ‘Is there something wrong with these back speakers 'cause I’m hearing this terrible noise.’ And I had to inform her that actually no it was the song. Little generational misunderstanding.”

Kevin Swaby, The Heavy

Kevin Swaby is lead singer of The Heavy, who blend rock, soul, funk and hip hop. He sings like a preacherman werewolf.

“I’m one of 11. Our house was like a club. I could go in, see mum and dad playing anything from rocksteady ska to Al Green, little bits of Motown, it kind of went across the board.”

One of 11? That's a lot of kids.

“I was the last one. I don’t even think my mother knew I was there on the floor for a couple of days.”