Monday 20 June 2016


So as part of Queensland Week I was invited to take part in this Micro-Festival before they announced the state budget the next day.. Are you thinking, Was it a conspiracy to get everyone wasted?  For those of you who couldn't afford the $15 ticket or get a copy of the program.. here is my excerpt. To see what the others like Lawrence English and Kieran Welch had to say check it here:


as CLUB SOUND WITCHES                            
(with MATT EARLE) and DJ




LJ: Can you take me back to the days before
Real Bad Music. Where you involved in
events then?

NM: Before Real Bad Music, I was really lucky
in Brisbane to have Cheryl Siecker (ex-Shooga)
and Tara Pattenden, they would organise gigs
in clubs and public spaces when I first started
playing live. When I joined Tara in Berlin, me
and my housemates put on a couple of gigs
when there were bands from overseas that noone
else wanted to put on. This always involved
hiring a club space, same in Indonesia where I
was just before Real Bad Music.

The first gig I went to on returning to Brisbane
at the end of 2011, was a house show at 116,
Matt Kennedy's (Kitchen's Floor, Bitter Defeat)
house in Paddington).

How did Real Bad begin?

Matt Earle and Melanie Jade Simpson (from
Shooga) started Real Bad Music when they saw
a spray painted sign on the side of the building
proclaiming it for lease. Downstairs was an
adult book store and Matt and Mel also took
that over too as part of the renovation process,
Real Bad started off as the Breakdance the
Dawn headquarters (Matt's cassette/CDR
Label). Once it was open people started coming
in donating stock, soon there were second
hand records, rare import CDs from Japan and
local DIY music.

The first gig I went to at Real Bad was in the
shop downstairs. Leif Gifford (Shooga) took me
there, We fit her full length keyboard in the car,
and set up..It was wild. There was music
equipment everywhere, but most of it looked
like it was broken, kinda like an 80's grotto of
vintage leftovers. All the cassettes and CDs had
intricately drawn covers and graffiti-like
designs. It really opened up my eyes to how
much DIY music could really do. At that first
jam, Melanie Jade let me use a pedal of hers.
And yeah, the music was wild AND inviting. !
There was a wonderful sense of freedom, as if
anyone could join in at anytime and it would be
impossible to make a mistake. It sounded like
equipment breaking apart in an industrial
wasteland. Who wouldn't want to be a part of

Real Bad was a really bad house. as far as
suburban houses go. But to me it had such a
beautiful decayed civility about it. kind of just
enough of what you needed to live but
nothing more. you need a roof but maybe not
too many internal walls etc... but is this too
much of a romantic view? how did it feel
living there?

The Real Bad House really is a reflection of
Matt Earle's wild living aesthetic, based on
creating lots of open space where you won't
feel bad if you drop a beer, enhancing the
creative spirit. It was inspiring to live there and
witness the freedom, often it did feel like the
wild west. Its amazing how much floor space
you can get when you're willing to actually put
the floor boards down!

How does this compare to where you are now
in Sydney - it feels similar in many ways,
living above a shop, off a busy industrial road
to the Western suburbs, hosted house gigs
and so on... how is it similar, and different?

Well, Real Bad was a mansion. An amazing
deal of space. Here in Sydney our space is a lot
smaller and we deal with Real Estate etc. Here,
you really can't cast a doubt on the upcoming
gentrification, like you could at Moorooka.. But
in both spaces there are a lot of players just
passionate about playing music together, doing
the weekly workshop/improv sessions like at
Real Bad, here in Sydney at Life Groove - gives
it that sense of oneness..People and places are
different but maybe the song is the same :-) !
What is it about the living-in-the-space-ofthe-
gigs that attracts you? are there creative
synergies and/or tensions with the living
part of it, and the gigging part?

Experimental music has its roots in community
and I think thats why living in the space is also
special. Its kinda acknowledging the sharing
and personal nature of what is going on, our
music may not be too emotional or expressive,
but we are still a great community.
And where does the decrepit house gig fit
into your wider practice - I mean, is it the
most ideal space for your own music-making,
or do you like other spaces equally as much?
what does a space need, to excite you?

The decrepit house allows us to jam all the
time, with little or no interference from
neighbours. And it allows us to use equipment
so broken/fragile that it would not survive
transport. I love playing music. Each type of
space has its benefits, I even learn stuff when
playing to hostile or no audiences. For me, I
just love to play, but will always really love
coming home to a house gig.

How do you understand and navigate the
artist-making mode and the artist-puttingon-
events mode? when do they work best
together? when is it most challenging?

Ha! Thats whats so good about the house
shows, it combines the artist-making and the
artist-putting-on. The emotional tides and
intellectual rabbit holes often trouble my artist
making but I find surrounding myself with
friends by putting on events, always puts me
back on my feet.

Who have you chosen? when did you first
come across their work (can you recall that)
and what previous gigs/events/
collaborations have you done with them? and
what interests/excites/intrigues you about
their work?

The Perfect Lovers played at my first art event,
Bloodbath at The White House ARI on George
St in the City in 2005. I'm really excited that
eleven years later they are all still around and
developing even more as musicians. Jamie
Hume has always been a great influence on
every noise/experimental musician that walked
the streets of Brisbane over the last 20 years.
We even share the same birthday. Kat Martin,
Rin Healey, Donat Tahiraj, Adam Park, Kaspar
Schnyder and Marek Rygielski accompany
Jamie to convey pure romance through the
night. Guaranteed events: surprises! smiles!

Shooga play a really important role in
experimental music, an all-girl improvised
electronic group with some of the best ladies
Brisbane has birthed. I keyed into the great
contribution Brisbane girls have to offer when
interviewing people about gender and noise for
my Musicology project in 2004. Brisbane girls
get in there and encourage others to as well.
I've played a few gigs beside Shooga and am
always entranced by their sublime, immersive
sounds and visuals. Dedicating space, time,
hearts and minds to the feminine is and should
be an important part of a holistic exploratory
music practice.

I am also stoked to be playing in Club Sound
Witches, a collaboration with Matt Earle and
this time also with special guest, DJ White
Pimpernell. Adam Sussmann's unique
concrete style is unpredictable and
uncompromising in its exploration of timbre
and technique. No Schmalz. His abstract tones
will supplement the minimal styles of Club
Sound Witches and push us to 'tune in' to new
sounds and break through the mind-sound
dimension barriers. Yes, we'll blow your top off
and you might not even notice.

Photos by Marek Rygielski

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