Can’t make it to FEMF? Check this out…

If you can’t make it to Forest Edge Music Festival (and you should really try to get there), then you can check out some amazing shows around Sydney and Canberra as artists travel out to the festival.

Noralyn Tour Dates:

March 7 – The Temperence Lounge, Sydney
March 8 – Cafe Lounge, Sydney
March 9 – The Front Cafe, Canberra
March 10 – Merchant Lane, Melbourne
March 16 – The Louis, Sydney

The Quick & The Dead Tour Dates:

March 14 – The Basement, Canberra
March 15 – Secret Garden Bar, Sydney
March 16 – The Record Crate, Sydney

Available At The Counter Tour Dates:

March 4 – MMRS, Sydney
March 9 – The Basement, Belconnen

We Are Servants Tour Dates:

March 10 – MusicMan Megastore, Bendigo

 

A one on one with Underoath’s Timothy McTague, with their upcoming Australian Rebirth tour.

So, they say “never meet your Heroes?” Well I did today, and it did not disappoint. I felt like Wayne and Gareth in Wayne’s World meeting Alice Cooper “I’m not worthy!” (Little pop culture reference there) but it was so worth it…

I got the great opportunity to have a one-on-one with the one and only Timothy McTague, the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of one of the biggest bands in the world, UNDEROATH. And man, what a down to earth, genuine, just all round awesome dude. He was so open and pumped to give us the goss on the bands arrival to our shores, Australia, for the next leg of their REBIRTH TOUR in February…

Continue reading “A one on one with Underoath’s Timothy McTague, with their upcoming Australian Rebirth tour.”

Wire Bird rejuvenated with Pokemon, pillow forts and ribs

You know them from their debut EP release ‘New World’ and irrevocably popular, party sets at Forest Edge music festival, but the Melbourne band have taken some time out to focus on new musical endeavours. 

“We found that it was hard to be creative with writing and musical direction when we were so focused on the next show,” says acoustic guitarist and supporting vocalist John Longley.

It was a “lads weekend” away that generated creativity and rejuvenated the indie pop group.

The weekend consisted of “eating ribs, checking out the main street, chasing Pokemon – and squeezing in some tracking,” says Longley.

The tracking processes proved quite the unique adventure Longley explained. “We built him (Luke Sexton – Drummer) a special mattress fort for his drums. He was a pretty happy guy in there, just drumming and sweating away.”

The deliberative hiatus allowed the boys some time make a little bit of a shift musically. It was then this trip away that provided the perfect facilitative song-writing/recording environment.

“We are still a band that creates our music as a group, so while the songs may start as bedroom acoustic songs, notes on scraps or riffs in a jam, they come together with influence from all members of Wire Bird. These new songs are taking a stronger lyrical focus, I feel our lyric is becoming increasingly honest and vulnerable.”

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Nicole Alice Photography

The boys are looking to introduce these highly anticipated new sounds to coincide with another new venture, a debut video to their hit, ‘Always.’

The video has been a collaboration with French filmmakers who featured ‘Always’ on their pilot episode on MTV France. As remuneration the filmmakers set out to create the boys a film clip.

“It has been exciting to see how they interpreted our song and where that best fit in their story and how we have interpreted their footage to complement our story for Always,” says Longley.

The boys will be playing their first headline show this year at the Workers Club October 29 to celebrate their video launch.

You can expect the boys to be “playing new material but also digging into the catalogue of songs people might have heard a few times. We’ve got a new stage look for people to check out too, a little less foliage and a bit more Beyoncé,” says Longley.

With influences including Foals and Band of Horses you can expect vibrant pop melodies, lots of energy and a whole bunch of fun times.

Check out their upcoming gig here; https://www.facebook.com/events/1272512389467282/

Wire Bird’s EP ‘New World is available on iTunes & Spotify here; https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/new-world-ep/id1063696951

ICYMI: LUKAS partner with A21, release new single ‘My Rescue’

lukas01Central Coast, HopeUC-based worship band LUKAS have partnered with anti-human trafficking group A21 to release a new single entitled ‘My Rescue’. The song delivers home a powerful message and is designed to help raise awareness of A21 and their work to help deliver people out of human trafficking situations. This isn’t just your typical single release, though – LUKAS release three versions of the track. Full band, an EDM version (remixed by Airports) and acoustic version.

As TCM report, the song has already garnered attention from around Australia with lead singer Luke Munn appearing on Channel 7’s The Morning Show to help promote the single. All proceeds from the single will go to supporting the good work that A21 do in helping release people from forced human movement, unpaid labour and sex slavery.

Give it a listen below on Spotify, and if you like it – contribute to the work of A21 by picking up the single on iTunes.

Mel Crothers: From musical theatre to touring worship ministry

Mel Crothers is living her calling. She has a job many would envy, touring the country, writing and recording her own songs.

“I love being able to sing and lead people in worship,” she affirms. “That fills me, that’s my greatest calling.”

Music and performance are the only things the Perth singer-songwriter ever dreamed of doing. She knew they would be her life – but the journey to where she is now took many unexpected turns, and the destination isn’t quite what she imagined as a child.

Teenaged Mel was sure she was headed for the big time when she was accepted into the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. WAAPA, producing world-class alumni like Hugh Jackman, accepted only the cream of the crop – for Mel to enter straight out of high school, at barely 18, was a huge testament to her talent.

It also placed a lot of pressure on her. The academy was all about being judged. “With every class you go into, you’re always being critiqued,” she recalls.

Such an environment was far from a culture of grace. When Mel met Daron, a saxophonist also studying at the prestigious institution, both wore the label of “Christian” but didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Taking Jesus seriously seemed antithetical to a career in musical theatre. Realising that her convictions would severely limit the roles she could accept, Mel decided fame and fortune would no longer be her dream.

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She and Daron married shortly after her graduation and embarked on the more modest enterprise of building a music teaching business together. By day, they taught music, dance and theatre to students; by night, they played gigs with various bands in the Perth area.

It was far from the stage lights and billboards of the theatre, but it was still music.

At the same time, they took on voluntary leadership roles at their local church. Daron obeyed a call to full-time ministry, becoming worship pastor, and Mel later followed him into ministry as creative arts pastor. They were beginning to see how God was drawing them – and their musical giftings – into His mission.

 

mel-crothers-3It has now been two and a half years since Mel made the move into full-time itinerant ministry. It was a big step of faith and one that she was able to make because of unwavering support from her husband and church leadership.

Pursuing God’s heart over worldly success has given Mel a contentment that achievements in musical theatre could never have done. She now sings at churches and events all over Australia almost every week, and often also ministers by delivering a spiritual message to the congregation.

Success, for Mel, isn’t about how many followers she has on social media. “It really is about the individuals you meet along the way, and the role that you can play in their journey with God,” she affirms.

In fact, Mel is wary of the self-absorption that performance can cultivate, not only in a place like WAAPA, but even in ministry. “It can very quickly become about us, and very self-focused.”

Mel makes sure the emphasis is on Jesus, not on her. She accepts only freely given offerings for her worship and speaking engagements, and is happy to minister to groups of ten or ten thousand.

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Another important way in which Mel has sought to stay grounded and give all the glory to God is by becoming a Compassion advocate. She uses the platform that her music and her ministry give her to share about Compassion’s work and encourage her audiences to make a difference by sponsoring a child living in poverty.

Mel’s song ‘Speak’, from her second album Faithful, is a declaration of the purpose that she sees for herself and her listeners:

Be the voice of the ones
Who are lost and broken-hearted
Be the hands and the feet
Take a light into the darkness
Speak for those who cannot speak
For the weak and suffering
Speak up in the name of Jesus

For Mel, music and performance are all about speaking up – and singing up – in the name of Jesus.

Hsu-Ann Lee
www.suansita.com

One Kingdom: Mission through music

One Kingdom: Mission through music 

Nicholas Rickard’s first ever gig with One Kingdom, in a Melbourne pub, ended in prayer with a disillusioned former worship leader.

The hard rock band’s thumping set had been audible from the adjoining establishment, and the guy had caught their riffs and sensed something different about what he was hearing. Intoxicated but intrigued, he entered the pub where he later approached the One Kingdom boys and shared his story with them. They then had the opportunity to pray with him.

This is the kind of music-as-mission that vocalist Nick hopes to see more of as One Kingdom develops their sound. He never intended to make music for Christians – rather, he’s wary of being pigeonholed in the Christian music genre because his aim is to reach a wider audience.

At the same time, Christ is never far from the songs he performs. “I want to play music for a purpose, to share my faith,” he says.

With little in the way of Christian heavy bands in the Australian music scene, Nick believes One Kingdom have found a niche and now have the line-up to seize the opportunity.

Years earlier, he had been part of a few short-lived bands, but faced a number of obstacles as he chased a career in music. He was never able to fully express his faith in bands where the other members didn’t understand or share his convictions. Meanwhile, his Christian friends weren’t into the same genres.

So at 21, Nick shelved his musical aspirations, got married and started his own landscaping business.

A few years later, personal tragedy put Nick face to face with his own humanity and emotions.

He had long struggled to connect meaningfully with his emotions. Describing his Christian, nuclear family upbringing as “positive”, Nick couldn’t understand why he still experienced negative feelings.

But when his older brother took his own life, things came into relief. He had been a crucial presence in Nick’s life, and Nick owed much of his early musical education to his brother’s Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden records.

The grieving process taught Nick that “God wants us to be emotional.”

This loss liberated him to tap into both the positive and negative sides of the human condition, acknowledging and channeling them through music. Although he had taken keyboard lessons as a kid and later played drums, Nick saw a gap in the industry for hardcore singers, so he studied “screamo” techniques and developed as a vocalist.

He names Faith No More, and their frontman Mark Patton, as his greatest inspiration. The legendary band’s diverse, genre-fusing repertoire and Patton’s vocal capability are elements Nick hopes to see in One Kingdom learn from.

OneKingdom01When guitarist Troy Dixon advertised for a vocalist for the band, Nick admits the band’s musical catalogue at the time “wasn’t his cup of tea”. But he loved One Kingdom’s mission: to know Jesus and make Jesus known. It’s a commitment that each member of the band has made to invest in a deep personal relationship with Jesus, so that they can then share him with their audience.

Over time, as the band worked on new songs, the collaboration between the boys began to take One Kingdom’s music in new directions. With Troy and drummer Phil Peters nutting out riffs and licks and sending them to Nick for his lyrical input, One Kingdom were able to launch their second EP, Science of Change, in 2016. The five tracks embody the melodic sensibility of late ‘90s Nu Metal bands like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit, with its edgy and energetic instrumentation. The redemptive narrative of Nick’s lyrics add light and shade, reaching out from the depths of despair and struggle to future hope and trust in a God who is good and able.

Having welcomed a new bassist, Dom Masculo, in 2016, One Kingdom are looking to produce more tracks together, experimenting and incorporating the sound and experience that each band member brings.

One Kingdom are currently writing music for their debut LP. Their latest EP, Science of Change is available on iTunes and you can listen to it on Spotify.

 

Hsu-Ann Lee
www.suansita.com

The Quick and The Dead drop new single “The Blacksmith”

The-Quick-and-The-Dead01Wangaratta based rock band The Quick and The Dead have released the first single from their debut album 01. Entitled The Blacksmith the song transverses from a country-infused opening couple of bars to a rock-heavy chorus that can get feet tapping and hands clapping.

Made up of three brothers (two biological, one spiritual) Kai & Rhys Duursma as well as Isaac Goeby, The Quick and The Dead have just concluded an east-coast tour featuring stops in Melbourne, Canberra, and regional dates in Grenfell and Harden.

Expect this to be the first of many times we hear from The Quick and The Dead as they release more from the album which is due on September 1st.

In the interim, check out the single below and if you really like it, grab it on Bandcamp.