The St Kilda Fest Files – An interview with band, Destrends

I spoke to Melbourne-based trio, Destrends at this year’s St Kilda Fest to discuss their upcoming Ep, Lousy Lover and eccentric costume choices.

Brothers Matt (Vocals/Bass) and Nathan Savage (Drums) grew up in Deniliquin, NSW – the country music capital of Australia. Their post-punk sound with a 80s vibe is a far cry from the music their hometown is best known for. “We all went the absolute polar opposite on purpose.” Nathan joked, “I don’t think we could get further away from like a country band!”

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An Interview with Damien Leith

MI0003406690 Singer-songwriter, Damien Leith is about to hit the road with his huge 25-date Roy – A Tribute to Roy Orbison – The Hall of Fame Tour. With two albums in the works; I caught up with Damien to talk about Roy, Elvis and how he’s making an impact in the country music world.

Your six ROY – a Tribute to Roy Orbison shows sold-out in 2016. What’s the reason for bringing it back in 2017?

Last year [was] an isolated run. We did six shows to see, well, first of all, we were celebrating the 80th birthday but also to get it out there, see how people respond to it and see what the vibe is. Those six shows got a fantastic response so we decided straight after that we should head out to more regional areas and take it further even than we did the first time around. Also just because I love Roy Orbison’s music – always have done – and it’s great to perform.

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An Interview with Casey Barnes

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I spoke to Australian singer-songwriter, Casey Barnes back in October following the release of his ARIA top 10 album, Live As One. We recently caught up again to discuss the new single Just Like Magic, dancing and all things Christmas.

You’ve been labelled a country singer in the industry, but the new single Just Like Magic has received a lot of commercial radio play. When you were recording it, or even when considering releasing it, did you consciously think it had potential to crossover to a more main stream audience?

Yes, I did! I was keen to team up with the guys from MSquared, in Melbourne, Michael Paynter and another writer, Michael Delorenzis. These guys, majority of the time, they write commercial music for the artists that are signed to the major labels like Sony, Universal and some of the guys that are on The Voice, so they’re used to writing that mainstream commercial sort-of pop sound. They were keen to work with me to see if we could come up with something that was a crossover song that would get played on country radio, community radio and mainstream radio.

Somebody said to me the other day, which I thought was spot on, the song’s like Keith Urban meets Bryan Adams with a modern pop twist to it – which is a pretty good description. It’s time country music in Australia caught up with the times and embraced a more diverse sound. There’s that traditional old school country sound, which is still great, but I think it’s time to embrace a more modern country sound as well. There’s a time and place for all different types of country music.

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An Interview with Keavy Lynch from B*Witched

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Irish all-girl group, B*Witched started the worldwide craze of bubble gum pop, dance moves and double denim in the mid 90s. Coming off the success of the television series, The Big Reunion, which saw the band reunite after twelve years apart; B*Witched are set to return Australia, for the first time in 18 years, in February for a national tour, alongside Atomic Kitten, S Club 3, East 17 and Liberty X.

Last time B*Witched were here was in the late 90s on a promotional tour, but you never officially toured Australia. What are you most looking forward to seeing while you’re here?

I’m probably going to disappoint you with my answer because it’s a typical answer; I can’t wait to see Sydney Harbour, the Opera House, see a kangaroo [and] I want to hopefully hold a koala bear. We did do a lot of that last time we were here and had such an amazing time – but I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be back for almost 20 years, so I’m not sure I took it in like I want to take it in this time. I really want to be much more engaged with my trip all around this time. We’re absolutely delighted to finally come back and tour for you guys, so we’re very excited about doing the show!

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The Cruisin’ Country Files – An Interview with Drew McAlister

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Drew McAlister, formally one-half of the country duo, McAlister Kemp, released his second solo album, Black Sky, last year. And personally speaking, he’s one of the nicest (and tallest) guys in the Australian country music industry. I recently spoke to Drew, fresh off Cruisin’ Country No.6 to talk all things cruisin’, the importance of songwriting and that most wonderful time of the year.

What was your personal highlight from Cruisin’ Country No.6?

[I’d played in the theatre] before as McAlister Kemp [but] getting to play in the theatre on my own and to 800 people for two sittings – that was a big thing for me! [Also] getting to hang out with my [wife and two daughters] and meeting lots of cool people [too].

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The Cruisin’ Country Files – An Interview with Jasmine Rae

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I spoke to multi-ARIA-nominated Australian singer and songwriter, Jasmine Rae fresh off the cruise to talk all things cruisin’, videos, acting and upcoming plans.

You recently performed on board the Legend of the Seas as part of Cruisin’ Country No.6, which you confessed was your first time on a boat and a cruise. How would you sum up your experience?

I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never been, obviously. I didn’t know if I had to pack my floaties or kickboard, which is what I normally pack when I’m near water, but I loved it! I was really relaxed. I didn’t get sick. When I came back on to dry land, I was still bopping around; it felt like I [still] wanted to be on the water for a few days. I am still so much heavier – my body got used to the bacon and all I want to do is eat bacon (laughs). [But] I want to be a part of it more and more. I’m hooked now.

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