Chris Daniel chats to a few of the bands who will be bringing the sound and aura of Melbourne’s diverse music scene to Bar on the Hill.
Nobody really cares if you don’t go to the party. Most of us know that feeling of being stuck at home on a Friday night, wishing to be out, but then immediately regretting stepping foot out of the door. Courtney Barnett understands, but this is not a party you want to miss.
The unique sound of Courtney Barnett has rocked the globe, completely changing what it means to be young, talented and most importantly, an Aussie. After capturing the heart and soul of crowds at both Falls and Southbound Festivals in 2015, she soon dominated the charts of the Triple J Hottest 100. Ending with a neck and neck tie with Psychedelic favorites Tame Impala with an astounding 4 tracks from her new album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’, she pushed the track count up to an astounding 54 artists.
In late January, Courtney announced her latest tour, which will travel up the East Coast of Australia in order to promote the compilation album Good For You. The album, produced by label Milk! Records is now available, and is an amazing collaborative project from all the artists within the record label. The album itself includes tracks from a stellar lineup of artists such as Jen Cloher, Fraser A. Gorman, Ouch My Face, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, The Finks and of course, Courtney Barnett.
Milk! Records, founded by Courtney Barnett in 2012, has since recruited these artists from the vast music scene in Melbourne, bringing together a variety of genres. I managed to talk to Fraser A. Gorman, Marcus Hobbs from East Brunswick All Girls Choir and Oliver Mestitz from The Finks about the upcoming tour, the cultural impact of their music and the growing music scene within Australia.
Courtney was nominated for best new artist at the Grammys, so what are your thoughts on Meghan Trainor winning the award?
Fraser: Well, to be honest I had absolutely no idea who any of the other artists were aside from James Bay, whose music I like. I guess when Meghan won, I was a little surprised with that outcome.
Not all of you were a part of MILK! since 2012, how did each of you ultimately join the label?
Marcus: “I was playing alongside [Jen] Cloher for a while beforehand, so after a while the band and I just kind of transitioned into the label.
Oliver: “I knew Courtney [Barnett] for a long time before getting signed, I played a lot of music around Melbourne with her. There was no contract, not that I can recall anyway, there probably was in Courtney’s mind, but yeah it just kind of happened.
Fraser: “I would probably be the exact same, just playing music around Melbourne and then Courtney asked me if I wanted to be on MILK! At the time, I didn’t even know what it entailed but I said yes anyway”.
What was the overall idea behind the Good For You tour?
Fraser: “I guess it was all Jen Cloher’s idea I think. We have all built MILK! up to this point, we have released a couple of compilations and there was talk about making another one. The idea of a tour to promote the new album just kind of made sense.”
Do you have any fears for the upcoming tour?
Fraser: “Not really to be honest. We have done enough touring to have it covered. I guess since we have played a lot of shows in the past, we aren’t too worried, so it should be fun.”
MILK! is all about buying directly from the artists themselves. What it is like working underneath that kind of model?
Fraser: “There really isn’t any downside to working under the model that we do, it’s a really organic way to promote music. There’s no big company giving you advances or forcing anything out of you. I guess it’s just a really fresh and organic take on the industry and it ensures maximum return to the artist. We aren’t millionaires but we are content enough to get by and enjoy what we are doing.”
Does the culture in Melbourne have a certain kind of impact on your music?
Fraser: “Yeah, maybe. There’s a lot of music in Melbourne, you can pretty much go out and see whatever you want, and the scene is really diverse. Since Melbourne is so musically heavy, everyone is Melbourne is pretty much in a band, but it doesn’t matter what you play because everyone still hangs out together. Everywhere has a different art scene and culture, but the music itself is really personal and inspired by a range of things, so yeah I think the culture in a way does have a certain impact.”
The tour is set to begin in early March, travelling up the east coast of Australia. The MILK! crew will be hitting UON’s Bar on the Hill on the 13th of March.
Limited tickets are available, but can be found here.
Feature image via MILK! records