Thursday, July 29, 2010

INTERVIEW: Dirt River Radio

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Dirt River Radio. Those are three words that spell out debauchery, beer and lots of rowdy music that’ll make you want to make love to your significant other right then and there – regardless of whether you met them five minutes ago at the bar while downing a whiskey on the rocks. These Melburnian lads roll up roots, blues and country into a delicious, wantonly alcohol-infused ball of rock fury. So lock up your daughters - Dirt River Radio’s debut album Beer Bottle Poetry will be unleashed upon the general public on August 3, and their tour bus will be seeing lots of tarmac when they embark on their Devils on the Road tour over the next two months.

Paper-Deer snuck in a quick chat with lead guitarist and vocalist Alex Raunjak in between drinks.

According to your press release, Dirt River Radio started with a “beer-fuelled song writing collaboration” and your upcoming album is called Beer Bottle Poetry. Does beer play a large role in Dirt River Radio?
Hah. We definitely like a few jars but there is more to us than that… We drink Jack Daniels too.

Was there a lot of beer involved with Beer Bottle Poetry?
A lot of the songs on the record are heart breakers, and during the time of writing I was definitely drinking to forget so I suppose yes.

Why should people listen to the record?
I’m proud of this record because I feel it’s the truth. We didn't want to be contrived. We just let it evolve naturally. It’s a moment in time, a postcard if you like.

What does living in a semi-demolished apartment in Richmond do for your song writing?
It definitely affected me at the time. I was flat broke, just got home from a year in Texas and just couldn't afford to move. I had to beg the landlord, it helped give the songs a feeling of desperation.

You’ve supported C.W. Stoneking and played at Apollo Bay Festival, as well as Triple J airplay, getting into the Triple J Unearthed charts and being one of Beat’s singles of the year. What’s the Dirt River Radio secret to success?
Honestly, I think it’s writing from the heart and not trying to be a certain sound or fashion. We’re never going to have long fringes or have our tops off for MTV. We’re just singing about what’s real for us.

Is there a difference between listening to a Dirt River Radio record and seeing you guys stomp around live?
Energy! There’s definitely a huge difference between recorded and live. I think every musician can relate to the difficulty in trying to capture the energy of a live show on record. We also play a lot of rowdier songs and just treat it like a house party.

What does each member of Dirt River Radio bring to the band in terms of personality, alcohol and bad jokes?
Heath is the country in the band. His dad was a hardcore bull rider in the sixties and seventies, and grew up in the bush with his family listening to country, wearing cowboy boots and getting into fist fights. Cam "Darkside" Adams is nicknamed Darkside because there'll be a point in the night where we've partied too hard and he'll just turn “darkside”. No one is safe. I once had to hold him back from fighting a six foot five Russian guy when he knocked on our door at five in the morning and asked us to stop playing piano and drunkenly singing because he lived next door. Blind Mike is the quiet guy of the band. He’s the dependable, solid guy that would do anything for anyone. And Casey is the funny guy, always making us laugh which is very necessary on the road. He can also grow a magnificent beard.

What’s the most awkward thing that’s ever happened to Dirt River Radio?
I once did an interview with Melbourne street press, and was asked, “What song do you hate?” At the time there was a Shannon Noll song about a black car on the radio which I really didn’t like so I said that… Gave it a bit of stick if I remember. The next week, we drove to Adelaide for a show, and at our band room there was a photo stuck to the door of him wearing a Dirt River Radio shirt and smiling for the camera. Now Shannon I’ve heard can be a bit of a brawler, and a good one at that, so we were like “WHAT THE FUCK! SHANNON NOLL IS COMING TO GET US!” We never found out how it got there or by who!!!

  • August 1: The Retreat
  • September 18: Apollo Bay Hotel, Apollo Bay

Monday, July 26, 2010

INTERVIEW: East Brunswick All Girls Choir

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If you live in Melbourne, and are a guitar-driven live music enthusiast, we're sure that you already know all about East Brunswick All Girls Choir. If you are but you don't know them, they please weep horrible tears of ignorance, or at least read this interview so you can sound really with it the next time you're trying to impress your fellow gig-going friends at The Workers Club or wherever it is you hang out.

The reason why they're one of Melbourne's best unsigned gems is their music. Here are a bunch of shoegaze, noise kids who don't do pretentious or self-indulgent. They released an EP called Dead Air some time back which left a trail of dropped jaws in their wake (here's what the Mess+Noise crowd had to say), and you should definitely start saving up for round two of jaw surgery because we heard it from a small bird that there'll be a new record in a few months.

The caption for this on their MySpace is "Gullfuck".

Paper-Deer asks main vocalist, guitarist and resident-dead-panned-onstage-banter-person Marcus Hobbs some annoying questions.

Does the name “East Brunswick All Girls Choir” get confusing since there’s only one girl, you’re not really a choir and none of you have ever lived in East Brunswick?
There has been a fair amount of occasions where we have turned up to a venue and explained who we were, probably something to do with trying to get free drinks and they seem astonished that there isn’t actually a girls choir. I used to drive through East Brunswick, I’ve been everywhere.

Do you get asked that a lot?
I expected it.

Why the name change from Smokin Hot Bitch?
It’s just not appropriate really, I don’t actually mind that name as such but for the music that was rolling along with it the title didn’t really work and it was in every sense pretty stupid.

I noticed that all of your Dead Air EP covers are different. Mine has a rat on it. Did you all have to painstakingly make different covers for every copy?
Yeah we do but it’s not actually that much effort. I think for the next release I’ll be sticking with a set cover design though. We poach all the materials from our work spaces though so it turns out to be really really cheap to make CDs up... but that is countered by the fact that you have to sit there and make the CDs up.

Why was Dead Air recorded over just one sitting?

Was Thanks For the Fucking Job written in response to a particular job?
Ahhh it’s not really about a job at all but I think I had written it perhaps just after starting a new job. I was rolling home on the train and saw two transient looking fuckers drinking Woodstocks and having a blast. They seemed happier than every other dog on the train in a suit. I think the title comes from knowing that you will eventually have to work and be grateful for getting work but generally it’s all a big shit in the mouth.

How would you describe the East Brunswick All Girls Choir sound?
I think we’ve turned into a loud band, somehow. Which is fine but there’s some blues elements with noise and maybe some folk. Perhaps even a stoner rock bass line here and there. They’re just songs, just songs played by us.

There’s the three of you, and then there are a whole lot of drummers. Why the rotating percussionists?
We keep picking drummers who end up in the following months to have a million engagements. The problem is there are a fair few drummers in Melbourne but only a handful who I really want to play with. Basically, good drummers are already taken or too busy. But we want them.

Any embarrassing secrets or funny stories about East Brunswick All Girls Choir that you’d like to share with Paper-Deer?
There is too much disgrace to even get started.

  • July 31: Builders Arms
  • August 20: The Empress Hotel

Friday, July 23, 2010


We have moved! Our blog is now at

Autumn Gray is a pretty miserable name for a band. It brings to mind images of gloomy fall skies with clouds pregnant with rain, and that dry air that makes your pants embarrassingly cling to your groin with static. It's a name reminiscent of that time of year when lazily long, balmy summer days turn into crisp, cold evenings. The Melbourne band's songs even have Eeyore-esque names: The Coldest Night, Driving Makes You Tired, Ghost of a Girl and Good Morning Mr Average.

But even with their melancholic folk pop, there's something quietly lovely about this band with all the delicate layers of melodies floating through the air, and interweaving with absolutely heart-breaking vocals. Their debut EP The Diary of a Falling Man was lovingly self-recorded over two years in a run-down location in North Carlton, and it brings a certain purity to the music that just can't be bought with expensive equipment or pricey producers.

Let the Autumn Gray lads warm your winter hearts with their charming, melancholic pop tunes. Head over to The Evelyn tonight for their debut EP launch, or if you're a hermit download some free tunes from
their profile.

  • July 24: The Evelyn [EP launch]
  • August 27: The National Hotel, Geelong
  • September 7: The Wesley Anne
  • September 16: Yah Yah's
  • September 18: The Birmingham
  • September 24: The Cornish Arms
  • October 16: Gertrude's Brown Couch

Thursday, July 22, 2010


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There are lots of cool people with the name black. Sirius Black, for one. Or everyone's favourite alcoholic Bernard Black. But here's one that isn't fictional: Australian indie electro shape-makers Cosmo Black.

With their timeline starting back in 2008, Cosmo Black started out as a bit of a random experimentation between Cosmo (bass, synth, vocals) and James (drums). The productive pair quickly cooked up a storm of their very own innovative edits, remixes, demos and bootlegs but it wasn't until late last year that they started performing live with third member Nick (guitar, vocals). In less than a year, this trio have wowed audiences across Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney with their immense and intense energy, and dance-floor-filling anthems.

Paper-Deer gets electro-genius Cosmo to spin a yarn or two.

You're called Cosmo. Where did the “Black” in the band name come from?
Cosmo was the first choice of name for me by my parents. However, the acid must have worn off in time for my christening. So I reverted back to Cosmo when I started putting lo-fi electro demos on the internet. I added Black because was taken - true story. Then James started sitting next to me at my computer, then Nick joined and we became a band.

What do you each bring to the band?
Cosmo: beard, computer
Nick: the humour (in place of picks, leads, amps, guitars etc.)
James: a burning passion for long, descriptive emails.

What do you guys sound like live?
It’s much more fun live. Some of our tracks sound very different live as we recreate them with synth, bass, guitar, samples and live drums. We chuck in the odd remix to play live too and run it more like a DJ set with very few breaks.

You only started performing live gigs late last year, and have already supported Miami Horror and Juggernaut DJs and have worked with Matt Hills. What’s your secret to success?
Sexual favours for the most part. Beyond that we work pretty hard on the songs. From the start we also had the support from a group of kids in Adelaide and Melbourne who liked our sound and really helped us out. I think our last show was only our eleventh show.

What is it about certain songs that make you want to remix them?
Obviously liking the song is a good start, but it’s fun to try and get as original a sound as possible within set parameters. Also, the opportunity to stack layer upon layer of synths is pretty fun.

If you could have any piece of musical equipment, what would it be?
Well, a bunch of the sounds we recorded recently came from my old housemate’s Juno 6 analogue synth. Now he lives in Amsterdam and I wish I had it so I could keep writing with it.

Do you have any embarrassing or funny Cosmo Black stories that you’d like to tell Paper-Deer?
They mostly took place on a recent backpacking trip to South America. Sadly none of them are fit for the public domain. Sorry...

If you're intrigued, pop over to their Bandcamp website or their Triple J Unearthed profile to download When Night Becomes the Morn and an exclusive DCUP remix for free. These guys are all about the free love.

  • August 2: Supporting Delphic at Uni Bar, Adelaide (for all you South Australian readers)
  • August 26: Shake Some Action @ 161

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

INTERVIEW: Fare Evader

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Admit it: we have all fare evaded at some point or another. There's this thing about the Melbourne public transport system. When you're five minutes early and have all the correct change for the ticket machine, your train is late. When you're short for time and are frantically running for the platform, you manage to just make the train despite it running ahead of schedule, then you realise when you're at the Flinders Street barrier that you never actually bought a train ticket.

If you're one of those people, then you should really get to know a band called Fare Evader. They're so cool that they fare evade 24/7. Last year, they produced a whole bunch of promotional stickers that actually looked like Metcards, and apparently even the fat cats in the then-Connex offices liked them.

Their lead singer and guitarist Dean Berlingeri describes their sound as, "fun, eclectic, manic at times and a frenzied shriek that could melt a horse", but Paper-Deer prefers to think of them happy indie-pop with tropical, punk and grunge predispositions.

Paper-Deer had a bit of chat to Dean about Fare Evader's cheeky ways and their upcoming EP Sunny Revenge.

Have you ever tried sticking one of your awesome fake ticket stickers into a Metcard machine?
It would be a complete lie if we said we hadn’t. And it didn’t end well. But it did give everyone the age-old “the ticket machine wasn’t working” excuse.

How did you lovely lads meet?
It was probably our parents that made Lachy and I grow up together through our primary and secondary schooling years. Then we grew up, left the schoolyard and constantly joked about starting a band. After Lachy and I had a random jam in his folk’s garage, his brother Liam came out and started playing drums. We then proceeded to write a god awful song and the sacred band bond was formed.

What does each member of the band?
Liam brings fogged up glasses, a complete disregard for regular drum beats and a crazy spaz-out at the end of a set. Lachy brings puppy dog eyes, a natural ear for awesome bass riffs and a strict minimum of 4 beers to play a gig. I bring the gear the other two forgot, occasionally witty lyrics and a fairly lengthy pair of legs.

I love your song Robin Banks. Have you ever robbed a bank?

The Robin Banks video is also very cool. What was it like filming it in public locations around Melbourne?
There’s a shed-load of photos of us floating around people’s computers. It takes a bit of balls to run around like lunatics in the heart of the city.

Did people stare at you funny?
Yeah, but after you get in character you forget the stares and start to get crafty and hide like Wally. All the guy ever wanted was some peace and quiet.

What’s this about your new EP Sunny Revenge? Sounds a bit vengeful...
Despite how fun and loving we may seem, we are actually filled mostly with spite. Well, at least partially anyway. Well, enough to write a song and name our EP around it anyway. It’s a bit of a stab at those people that we all grew up with that had nothing better to do than bring others down with some harsh words. But they’ll get what’s coming to them. And that makes us happy! Thus, Sunny Revenge!

What was it like working with Forrester Savell?
Totally awesome. Having somebody there who actually knows stuff about music and sounds is useful when you’re recording something you really care about. He pushed us in all the right ways to get what we wanted and that’s exactly what you need in a producer.

Does your new EP sound similar to your self-titled debut EP, or has your sound evolved?
Our sound and songs have most definitely evolved in a very natural way. We never really force a song because it’s a waste of time – you wind up with something you have no connection to. So for some reason, the songs we’ve been writing lately have taken a punkier, rockier and more manic feel but still keep that mischievous fun element that we can’t seem to get rid of.

Any embarrassing secrets that you’d like to share with Paper-Deer?
Lachy has a third nipple.


Friday, July 16, 2010


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Bands love saying they have classical influences. Often it ends up as a embarrassingly awkward sampling of Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D Minor, or lots of cheesy string sounds on a synth. But one band that gets it right? Local epic rockers [Me].

Despite the sometimes-confusing moniker, the Melbourne four-piece have been making a name for themselves by mixing together everything from space rock, indie and alternative rock with the darker side of vaudeville, opera and classical music into one theatrical package. Paper-Deer was fortunate enough to watch these talented fellows at a Big Sound showcase gig last year, where they were joined by a violinist shredding up notes like there was no tomorrow to the sheer amazement of all the industry folk present.

[Me] has a new EP in the works, but they've just uploaded a free single onto their official website for those of you who just can't wait. Your Favourite Colour is just a glimpse at their upcoming EP, and if the epic guitars, spine-tingling pianos and strings, and powerful vocals on the track are any indication, then it will be a theatrical masterpiece. Just head over to the website and enter your email and location to download it for free!


Monday, July 12, 2010

GIG: Brown Paper Bag #3

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Brown paper bags have a mystical quality about them. White paper bags, pink paper bags or black paper bags just doesn't bring up the same mental images of 1. hobos drinking poorly concealed alcohol out of them, 2. Daphne on Frasier bringing groceries home, or 3. using it as the perfect way to conceal an ugly lover's face. But be prepared to start associating the humble bag with fucking excellent music.

Brown Paper Bag #3 is here, and it's cemented the night's reputation for super-awesome-excellent line-ups. This round will be held at grungy-cool city venue Ding Dong, with Sydneysider Jonathan Boulet headlining with his cheerful, folk pop. But the bands that Paper-Deer are far more excited about are the local talent on offer: experimental pop lords (well, lords with the Evelyn crowd at the very least) Rat vs Possum, East Brunswick All Girls Choir (Paper-Deer's favourite Melbourne post-punkers, who painstakingly glued pictures from vintage books on their EP packaging), the infectiously cute and catchy Parking Lot Experiments and jungle indie band Northeast Party House. The last time that Paper-Deer caught Parking Lot Experiments, they were gallivanting like school children at The Evelyn and played some film with lots of cute puppies in the background... that pretty much sums up Parking Lot Experiments. They are the most endearing, be-spectacled experimental pop band out there.

So if you like your pop experimental, your MySpace genres set to "Jungle" and your drugs psychedelic, head over to Ding Dong on Friday July 16. And hopefully they'll have the same drink specials, dished out by the bar staff in brown paper bags to have you feeling all hobo-ish. It'll do wonders for your indie-cred.

The Parking Lot Experiments... running around on mattresses

  • July 16: Ding Dong for Brown Paper Bag #3
  • July 21: Northeast Party House at Karova Lounge with Yacht Club DJs and Neon Love
  • July 24: Northeast Party Houe at The Toff in Town for City Calm Down's EP launch with White Birds & Lemons
  • July 27: Northeast Party House for I OH YOU Warehouse Party with Foals and In Tongues
  • July 29: Rat vs Possum at The Tote for Love Connection's residency
  • July 30: Jonathan Boulet at Splendour in the Grass
  • August 5/6: Rat vs Possum at the Prince Bandroom for Passion Pit and The Joy Formidable [both sold out]

Sunday, July 11, 2010

INTERVIEW: Deja Entendu

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"Deja entendu" means "already heard" in French. There just so happens to be a Melbourne electro band by that name, and if you haven't already heard them, you better run along and have a listen to their hot tunes so their name isn't false advertising.

The local three-piece comprises of the lovely Claire Rayner, Jack Arentz (formerly of MTV Kickstart winning band Skye Harbour) and Corey Schneider, and together they smush together bright melodies, pretty electric sounds and smashing party beats.

Paper-Deer had a chat to Jack about their name, their sound and their evolution.

“Deja entendu” means “already heard” in French... was there any story behind choosing that name for the band?
The band name actually comes from the album of a really great band called Brand New - they have a record called Deja Entendu. The name seemed like it would let our music speak for itself without a pre-imposed idea of what genre we are, or what sort of music we might make.

How did the three of you meet?
I met Claire at a Syn FM radio show that she was doing with the drummer in Skye Harbour (Frank Sweet). At the time I was interested in making some of my own music and she seemed to be pretty into where my ideas were heading. I met Corey over the budget PC games bin at EB games.

What does each member of the band bring to DE in terms of energy, personality and talent?
We're all pretty upbeat people. Claire and Corey bring the fashion aesthetic. I bring the beats. We all work on the sounds. Corey is the man that knows where all the cables need to be plugged into at any given time. Claire is really great with harmonies. We all focus a lot with the arrangement together, drawing from our own musical backgrounds.

A lot of people seem to call your music “shiny”. How would you describe it?
I guess shiny is appropriate. We're all into really big kick drums and snares. When we make music we're always trying to blow people away with strong rhythms, chords and melodies. I guess for us the next natural step is to make the song sound as good as possible. It's in fashion right now for things to sound 'lo-fi'. I dig the aesthetic, but sometimes it can be annoying that current trends in Australian music are encouraging so many people to be entirely derivative of music from older genres.

How has your music evolved from your Skeleton days to your current single Fast, Hard!?
Hugely! Fast, Hard! is only the beginning of a more focused sound from us. Like most bands, we're pretty over our first EP. Obviously it had its time and place, but we're looking forward to showing people a more focused song writing direction with more interesting sounds and melodies.

What was the inspiration behind Fast, Hard!?
Actually that song came from going out a lot and hearing lots of music directed at amphetamine takers. I guess I was just fascinated with the concept of how drugs affected people and the way that they heard popular music. The song is about being involved in a culture that is so immersed in drugs that it flows into the art and aesthetics of the nightlife. We just tried to capture the vibe of this environment.

What separates you from the gazillions of electro rock bands in Melbourne?
Our dedication to melody, rhythm and arrangement. I'm not saying we're perfect, but we spend a lot of time discussing what sounds good and bad.

What was it like building a studio?
Really draining. I think that the hard work involved in setting everything up almost took the life out of our song writing. Despite this, we realised the enormous potential for our creative ideas in the studio. Most importantly, it open up doors for us to work with other artists and extend our musical influence.

Is it different recording in your own studio, as opposed to hiring out someone else’s studio?
Yes. It's very different! We can work any time that we see fit, and it gives us the opportunity to realise our mistakes and elaborate on our strengths.

Your MySpace says there’s a debut LP on the way... Any clues that you can give us?
Well, we're working pretty hard. We're focusing on one song at a time right now. We will get there eventually!!!

Any embarrassing secrets that you’d like to share with Paper-Deer?
Claire blew a goat.

Umm, okay... Anything else?
Come to our shows motherfuckers. We work really hard and are nice people. Please. We love you?

  • July 15: The Vineyard with Kristina Miltiadou
  • August 26: Shake Some Action (One Six One) with Cosmo Black

Thursday, July 8, 2010

NEWS: MySpace Music to become a money-maker?

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Even after everyone started flocking to Facebook and Twitter for their social networking needs, MySpace held on to the final frontier: band profiles. There's no denying that people still check out bands' MySpace pages long after the interest to write cute messages on their bffs' walls had passed, and musicians still heavily promote their MySpace URLs.

Or so was the case. Apparently the social networking site is considering a subscription model that would see users being charged to use MySpace Music. At the moment, MySpace covers the cost of streaming music for free with advertising, but with Google's $900 million advertising deal ending in August, MySpace is practically shitting themselves. The head of MySpace's music division, Courtney Holt, has however denied this rumour. "We're always exploring new monetization opportunities, but have no plans to change our current service which includes streaming free music." Whether or not the plans are true, there are fresh rumours cropping up all over the internet.

Somehow, Paper-Deer can't see ourselves putting down money to briefly check out an unknown band's MySpace profile for two minutes because we want to see when their next shows are, especially when Facebook and Bandcamp are two of many free ways for bands to promote themselves shamelessly.

Courtney Holt, left


Paper-Deer now on the bookface!

We have moved! Our blog is now at

Paper-Deer on Facebook!

Yes, that's right. Paper-Deer now has a page on Facebook, so you don't have to keep checking back here for updates. Just become a fan and any new interviews, band profiles or articles will pop up magically in your Facebook feed. If you're in a band yourself, we'd also love for your to shameless promote any and all of your gigs! Just post up a link to your MySpace or naked pics of yourself. Whatever works.

Not recommended for those who don't like getting awesome updates from your favourite local music scene blog, links to other cool band pages or our gig picks for each week!

Paper-Deer: A music blog in Melbourne

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