Steve Grace crosses Australia the hard way for a good cause

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If you’re unfamiliar with Steve Grace let me paint a picture for you; his debut release in 1988 was entitled Children of the Western World and was certified Gold by the ARIA  charts and was the first Australian Christian music release to come out on CD. He has a huge heart for missions and working with people in the remotest parts of Australia and the world, with countless tours and shows in small communities.

Which is why his most recent album Nullarbor to Nashville is coinciding with a tour called Crossing Australia. Steve is jumping on a bike and riding from one end of Western Australia to QLD. Across the middle of the country. 5,000 km’s of mostly desert. On a motorbike.

The first question that comes to mind for most people is “why???”. Put simply – suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44. This is even more prevalent in rural and remote communities.

The tour kicks off on August 20th in Gerarldton and continues on the 21st in Denham, Western Australia. More dates will be added as the launch date gets closer. As most of the shows on the tour are free, Steve is relying on merch sales and donations to make it to the next destination. While this isn’t the normal way of funding a tour, it’s an important mission and a great way to help support communities experiencing high rates of suicide and depression.

Check out CrossingAustralia.com to find out more about it and get updates from Steve and the team. You can support the tour by jumping on his GoFundMe page or by getting his new album Nullarbor to Nashville on iTunes.

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.

Ever seen a live duckPuppy before?

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In a world where metal and it’s associates are gaining larger and larger fanbases, and where indie bands only need to cough to get airplay on Triple J, it’s always good to hear something that straddles the boundaries and still sounds good. Hailing from Wagga Wagga, duckPuppy‘s debut EP Hunter and Hunted is a breath of fresh air. Songs such as “Napoleon” and the imaginatively titled “Soak In Your Lies, Kidney Boy!” have powerful guitar riffs which induce the occasional headbang whilst the vocals transition from screams to sung harmonies.

It’s not just the music that makes duckPuppy an exciting venture – a series of viral video clips that have surreptitiously dropped since the release of the EP have given fans something entertaining to engage with whilst exploring their musical repertoire. By setting the songs to old footage from WW2, Napoleon somehow becomes even more entertaining, while the clip for Feeding The Giant is now more epic than just the aural monolith it is already.

If you haven’t heard duckPuppy yet, do yourself a favour and check them out. This is a band that is going to become very big, very quickly.

Hunter and Hunted is out now on iTunes and Spotify.

For All Eternity announce national tour

For-All-Eternity-Tour-Poster01Sydney-based Facedown Records band, For All Eternity have announced a national tour in support of their new album Metanoia. This is their first tour in over two years, and the first one in support of Metanoia which was released in 2015.

The tour stops by Sydney on September 2nd, Brisbane on September 3rd, Melbourne on September 9th and Adelaide on September 10th. Unless you live in Adelaide, all shows are 18+ due to licensing restrictions surrounding all ages gigs.

Joining them on the tour are fellow Sydney band Of Divinity plus one other band as decided by the team in FAE after public submissions were taken via their Facebook page.

Tickets are available through Oztix and Metanoia is available now through iTunes.

Remain Festival Details for 2016

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Whoever said that the Christian festival scene in Australia was dead following the declines of Easterfest and Blackstump, clearly didn’t tell the folk at Remain Festival. With a freshly launched website, anticipation is growing around the second iteration of the event, which is being held at Belgrave Convention Centre in Melbourne.

The line-up for this year has been drip-fed to us so far, with Kings, Facades and Wolf + Willow announced so far, we can expect some more familiar faces to make an appearance as well.

With the early bird option now expired, you can now grab festival tickets for $150 via their Eventbrite page.

If you want to find out more about the three artists already announced at Remain, then jump onto our special Spotify playlist here.

Cash Hollistah’s “Jump” hits radio today

cash-hollistah-jump-1500US-based rapper Cash Hollistah‘s new single Jump hits radio today. Inspired by the host of the American Family Feud Steve Harvey’s viral motivation video, the song has a really smooth beat and rhyme to it. With the second verse of the track featuring the dulcet rhymes of Lando, it’s a song that will get stuck in your head and keep it nodding everytime you think about it.

You can check it out now on Spotify and iTunes or if you really want others to enjoy it with you, request it on your local radio station.