Show Review: Ronny Chieng 21.05.15

Published in The Music (WA) and on theMusic.com.au, May 2015

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RONNY CHIENG: YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT

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Regal Theatre (finished)

Touring with the likes of Bill Burr and Dave Chappelle and having a stint on prime time triple j radio all within a year speaks volumes to the comedic talent of Melbourne’s Ronny Chieng, and this new show takes things to the next level.

His hour-long special breaks down first-world technological problems in a funny and thought-provoking manner, while drawing back with self-deprecating humour.

Older jokes have been reworked during his extensive touring schedule, adding new layers that render their outcome better. Chieng is a naturally funny guy, but comparing his Perth Comedy Festival set to past efforts, it’s clear he’s been analysing his work and revising it to perfection behind the scenes.

He isn’t claiming to know what he’s talking about, rather reasoning with those who have polarising opinions in a clever and ultimately funny way. The depth and scope of Chieng’s stand-up continues to grow.

Daniel Cribb

4 Stars

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Show Review: Matt Okine 02.05.15

Published in The Music (WA) and on theMusic.com.au, May 2015

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MATT OKINE: THE OTHER GUY

PCF

His Majesty’s Theatre (finished)

It’s one thing to get on stage and unleash jokes at an audience waiting to laugh, but a completely different endeavour to stand in front of thousands of people and make an honest and layered connection.

You might know Matt Okine as the easygoing gentleman on triple j whose voice wakes you up or keeps you company on your way to work, all the while making you laugh with quick observational jabs; and the start of his new show begins in a similar fashion, discussing his rise to the spotlight and radio work, but then takes things to the next level.

On top of the usual gags, he also gave an unexpected insight into his personal life and what exactly his passion for comedy has cost him, which made for a far more engaging and thought-provoking show, tackling racism, self-worth and more. Whenever things sunk a little too dark, he pulled it back with quick one-liners, often at his own expense.

Matt Okine took a risk with his new show, and it’s paying off; The Other Guy is perfectly balanced and sees the comic carve his own path.

Daniel Cribb

5 Stars

INTERVIEW: Joyce Manor

Published on theMusic.com.au, June 2015

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FAMOUS FRIENDS

Creative processes have shifted for Joyce Manor since their inception in 2008, but Barry Johnson tells Daniel Cribb there’s no shortage of punk rock hits in the bag.

A musician should never need to apologise for a sudden burst of creativity or inspiration, but, being the affable frontman that he is, Joyce Manor’s Barry Johnson begins our conversation in such a way. “I did an interview before this and when I got the call, I was freaking out because I didn’t have time to record [the idea] I just had. While I was doing the interview I was just kind of going over the song in my head. Between then and the time I got on the phone with you I just recorded a demo of it, so that’s probably the third song we have,” Johnson says on the band’s next record.

Creativity isn’t as spontaneous as it once was for the vocalist, but when they get together and start jamming, there’s no shortage of quality, as evident with last year’s Never Hungover Again record. “I wish that happened more,” he laughs. “It used to happen to me all the time; I would be at work or something, and I’d just have a melody or something, and I’d be like, ‘Oh my god, I have to record that.’ This is pre-smartphone, so I’d have to call my parents’ house and leave a message on their voicemail and hope they didn’t check it before I got home.”

Never Hungover Again is a record that pushed them further into the spotlight. Having experienced fame themselves, it was an interesting time touring Australia with their close friends in The Smith Street Band back in 2013 as they began blowing up. “It was cool, but I don’t feel like all the members of [The Smith Street Band] were super comfortable with it. I feel like it was a bit overwhelming for some of them.

“Everything’s kind of like a double-edged sword and it’s good to try to focus on the positive aspects of what’s going on, but I could definitely see some uncertainty or just strange feelings attached to it for them, and understanding that having been in a band that’s gotten popular quickly – it kind of put it into perspective for me.”

Johnson made waves within the media last year for calling out stage divers at their shows, but as he points out, it was blown out of proportion – and with DJ Steve Aoki reportedly breaking a punters neck after stage diving at a show recently, Joyce Manor’s stance on the matter seems reasonable. “I think that there’s a totally acceptable time and place for that, and we allowed stage diving and stuff like that at our shows for a long time. At a certain point it just got so crazy that people started getting hurt very regularly, to where once we said something it was immediately way overly politicised and kind of like, ‘Joyce Manor’s mission statement is to end stage diving!’ And that’s not how I feel at all!

“I do want it to be crazy and sweaty and chaotic and exciting and exhilarating for us and the people who are coming, but there comes a point where it’s just like, ‘This is stupid.’ No one should have to leave with a broken nose or a broken neck because someone else wanted to do a front flip off a speaker.”

Joyce Manor support Against Me! around the country this May/June. For all dates and ticketing info, see theGuide or The Music App. Never Hungover Again is out now through Epitaph/Warner.

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2015/05/26/joyce-manor-barry-johnson-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Miles Away

Published in The Music (VIC, WA, QLD, NSW) and on theMusic.com.au, May 2015

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CLOSE BUT FAR

It’s been five years since Miles Away released an album, and the band is now a completely different beast. Vocalist Nick Horsnell tells Daniel Cribb why they needed to change.

Perth hardcore legends Miles Away are as tight as ever with their new record, Tides, but in the time since they dropped the Endless Roads LP and now, they’ve undergone a massive transformation in terms of dynamics and relationships. “It’s been a good five years since the last album, so we’ve all kind of been all over the place just doing our own thing,” frontman Horsnell begins, ducking out of work for a quick chat. It’s been a while between records, but spending precious lunch minutes to focus on band promo is a promising sign the vocalist still has the same passion for the band.

The past five years has seen Horsnell get married and buy a house, guitarist Adam Crowe move to Berlin, and guitarist Cam Jose get a PHD and take up lecturing at universities. “I guess our outlook on life in general has changed a little bit. We never started out to do [Miles Away] as a career or make money from it. It was always just a passion and just something we loved doing – and we still have that passion, it’s just we can’t give as much time as we used to – but when we do do it, it feels really good.

“There’s times when you’re in a band when you get a bit, not down, but you get a bit over it. Like you’re far away from home and like, ‘What am I doing here?’ To have that break and then come back, we’re really excited to play and write new music together; it’s really a refreshing feeling.”

Recorded in the hardcore capital of the world, Boston, with renowned producer Jay Maas, Tide also sees Defeater drummer Andy Reitz behind the kit, and guest spots from Zach Jordan (Bane), Jamie Hay (A Death In The Family) and more. “When we were thinking about people we wanted to contribute to the album, it wasn’t like, ‘We want this guy ‘cause he’s the coolest thing right now; he’s the most influential guy right now,’ it’s just like, we really get along with that person and we love what they do and they’re kind of on the same wavelength as us so they can bring more to this album. It’s a reflection of people we’ve met doing this band and how lucky we are to have met those people as well.”

Sonically, Tide follows on strongly from Endless Roads – with hints of the band’s earlier material. When it comes to lyrics, at 35, Horsnell has taken a step back and assessed exactly what the band means to him at this stage. “I guess we grew up in the band and we’ve learnt a lot of life lessons through Miles Away. We were growing up through our twenties and then early thirties overseas and met a lot of our friends and now partners and really changed the direction of our lives, and the course of our lives. And music was a huge part of that, and I’m very, very grateful for that.”

theMusic Sessions: Peace

Filmed and edited by Daniel Cribb.

One of the many benefits of working above a live music venue is the amount of artists you inevitably cross paths with.

With The Music’s Perth office residing above Rosemount Hotel, Peace frontman Harry Koisser took some time out before the band’s soundcheck last night to rattle off a couple of acoustic numbers for us, including the above mighty fine take on Rihanna’s Four Five Seconds.

Currently touring with Groovin The Moo, the British indie-rockers also have some headline dates lined up.