EXCLUSIVE: Here’s What Macklemore Was Working On In A Perth Studio

Published on, Aug 2016


Macklemore @ Perth Arena. Pic by Tashi Hall

With such chaotic schedules, touring musicians often piece together new tunes while on the road, which is why Seattle hip-hop maestro Macklemore spent seven hours in a Perth recording studio over the weekend.

Performing at Perth Arena on Friday night with Ryan Lewis, Macklemore setup at Northbridge studio Crank Recording the following day with his entourage and local engineer Charlie Young to put the final touches on a new, untitled single.

“It was a mostly finished song, and he put the final 20% into it, so by the end of the night it was ready to go,” Young

“It was in the same vein as his latest album, and it was awesome; I think it’s going to take off.”

The studio often attracts A-list musos, with The Game, Justin Beiber and more laying down tracks there in recent years, and while a lot of those bigger name also have inflated egos to match, Young says Macklemore was “completely cool; no ego issues or anything.”

During the session they tracked piano and vocals, including parts from Eric Nally, who features on Downtown.

“I go to do a little bit of piano, which was awesome,” Young reveals. “I was blown away that he trusted me with that.”

“He brought his piano player along, but they were all catching a flight, so once they thought they got everything, the band took off and Macklemore was just sitting here with me, going over it one final time, and discovered that a couple of chords didn’t work.”

Advertisements Here’s Why You Need To Support RTRFM This Radiothon

Published on, Aug 2016


As you cruise to and from work, week in, week out, your favourite radio station and its team become like a second family; and if your love for local music has led you to RTRFM, that sense of community is at the forefront of everything they do.

But those seamless playlists that act as a pick-me-up before your first coffee of the day and provide an eclectic soundtrack to your week take a lot of hard work to piece together – even though presenters like Rhian Todhunter (Rockin’ The Roots, Homegrown) make it seem like a piece of cake.

“As a presenter, you’ll spend hours preparing for a show, finding the perfect tracks and putting together a cohesive, meticulously-curated two or three or four hour music program,” Todhunter says, in the lead up to their annual Radiothon.

The 10-day fundraising drive – which kicks off Aug 12 – is imperative to the local music hub’s survival, with revenue raised during the period accounting for up to 30% of their annual operating income. “Radiothon quite literally is what keeps the lights on, keeps the rent paid and allows us to create radio for you,” fellow presenter and Radiothon veteran Sarah Tout adds. “At the same time, Radiothon is this special yearly celebration and reflection on what we’ve been sharing with, and creating for, the community.”

During the event, RTRFM uses that reflection to reciprocate the love through their epicRadiothon Party, happening Aug 13 across The Bird, Ezra Pound, State Theatre Centre Underground Foyer and Studio Underground, with sets from Gunns, Hyla, Mt. Mountain, and Todhunter’s band, Childsaint. “Every band I’ve ever played in has had their first airplay, interview or feature on RTRFM,” Todhunter says. “Community radio is about the only place you’re going to get exposure.

“And because RTRFM presenters only play what they want, you know that they’re picking your track because they dig it, and they want to share it with the world.”

With several staff shake-ups over the past 12 months, no one understands the importance of community radio for emerging acts more than the station’s new general manager, Eskimo Joe’s Stu MacLeod. “Hearing my band on RTRFM for the first time gave me that first moment of realisation that I could actually play music for a living,” he says. “The support and exposure RTRFM provides for WA bands is huge… as a band starting out in the industry, without stations like RTRFM, there really is no other avenue to get yourself out there, apart from the internet and word of mouth.”

Signing on to oversee operations at the station last year, MacLeod’s appreciation for RTR is constantly growing. “I didn’t realise just how enriching and vital this community is. This station celebrates its 40th anniversary next year. 40 years of people broadcasting on their own time, just because they feel so passionately about music, art, social, cultural and environmental justice.

“It’s staggering just how important this organisation is and how much they can give to the listener…I was always aware of the importance of RTRFM to local music, but everything else has been an incredibly rewarding discovery.”

A more recent addition to their team sees long-time member and presenter Will Backler take on the highly sought after role of music coordinator last month. “I hope to bring my obsession with listening to, collecting and cataloguing music of all genres,” Backler says on the new role. “I hope that these skills will ensure the station continues to play the finest in alternative music, ranging from Ambient to Zydeco.”

With a passionate team and loyal fanbase gearing up for the main event, there are other issues the station is also trying to combat, mainly a $1.4 million cut to digital broadcasting in the Federal Budget. “It is the only funding the sector receives, with all station costs being covered through donations, subscriptions, events and sponsorship, and it really is a drop in the vast ocean of the Federal Budget that goes so far to help so many communities,” Backler says. “I believe there is a crucial risk to how you will experience your life if certain aspects of it, that you engage with everyday, are allowed to slip away because there is not the community support or the government agenda to protect them,” Tout adds.

“When government cuts spending on arts, music and community media generally, they are removing a community’s connection to something really important. We cannot take art and music for granted, they are the soundtrack to, and constant peripheral presence in, every part of your experience. Music, art and journalism show society, show you, back to yourself.”

Having spoken out on the issue earlier this year, Macleod is also passionate on the subject, because, as he explains, you can’t really get the same experience that community radio delivers anywhere else. “Community radio is presented by volunteers. No one is paid for their time, the station runs on the passion of its presenters and the wealth of knowledge they bring into the studio each day,” he tells. “There’s literally something for everyone on this station. That’s a value you just can’t quantify, and it’s infinitely more satisfying and engaging than radio based on commercial interest and algorithmic playlisting.”

Head over to the RTRFM website to subscribe and grab tickets to this weekend’s epic Radiothon party. Gyroscope’s Rob Nassif Launches New Live Music Venue

Published on, Jul 2016


With nearly 20 years experience behind the kit with favourites Gyroscope and an overview of the larger WA scene as the owner-operator of the state’s largest rehearsal studios, Rob Nassif has unveiled a new live music hub in Perth.

Named after Hen House Rehearsal Studios, the 100-capacity Hen House Live venue is part of the remodelled Badlands Barin Northbridge, accompanying its 400-capacity main room, which reopens Aug 6.

Launching Sept 2, Nassif’s new endeavour will host two shows every Friday and Saturday night, with sessions at 8pm and 10pm, focusing on new bands and acts that haven’t played their first show yet.

“We’re going to make it fun, and we’re going to make it easy, and my 700 shows with Gyroscope have taught me a thing or two about looking after bands and creating a cool environment for bands to perform in,” Nassif told

Since taking over and rebranding the Osborne Park jam rooms in 2010, Nassif has seen a lot of talent start out and move onto bigger things, with Tired Lion first rehearsing at the space four years ago and last month playing a set at Glastonbury.

“A lot of bands that rehearse at the Hen House, they’re really hungry for it; they’re playing in a band and they’re treating it as a hobby and it’s fun, but they also want to take their music somewhere,” Nassif tells.

“Because we’ve had six years of The Hen House Rehearsal Studios, we’re seeing bands that are coming through and succeeding and it’s feeding the energy and the hunger of the younger bands.”

On top of a space for new bands to break in their live show, Hen House Live will also provide full backline and pair acts with one another in an effort to create networks and new audiences.

“The music scene is super healthy and people are passionate about playing in bands and playing shows, they just need more options and venues out there to do that.”

“Hopefully we can make Hen House Live and Badlands a real music hub here in Perth where bands can be playing shows and hang out late. We want to make that the centre of the Perth music community.”

In recent months, the main room has hosted sold out shows from Karnivool, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and more, with Badlands Bar owner Mark Partridge saying Hen Hosue taking over the smaller space is a “great fit for all involved”.

“Teaming up with the Hen House gives Badlands a smaller room to support up-and-coming local bands in a cool as fuck dive-bar environment,” Partridge said.

“The guys at the Hen House love what they do and look after their bands.”

If you’re keen to play at Hen House Live, head over to their website and register your details. The Meeting Tree Leave Fans With Cliffhanger Split

Published on, Jul 2016


In what feels like a TV show being struck down in its prime with little time to provide closure, Aussie hip hop duo The Meeting Tree – the collab between Joyride and Raph Dixon – will perform their final show at Splendour In The Grass, citing “legal reasons” as a deciding factor.

Well-versed in the art of pranking, a series of tongue-in-cheek memes in regards to the split have surfaced on the band’s social media in the past week, directing attention to the company that created Auto-Tune, Antares, and loose connections to copyright.

Mainstream pop may be proof that the software can fix just about anything, but unfortunately it won’t be able to mend the broken hearts of fans around the country mourning the demise of The Meeting Tree.

Perhaps trying to untangle the “death rattle” the band have left behind will keep The Meeting Tree spirit alive in our hearts for years to come.

“It is what it is – legal reason,” Joyride told

“We just want other people who are making music now – especially on computers, which is the way to go – to keep in mind that people that make the software that we use are trying to make money just the way that we are and it’s worth being mindful of that.

“Copyright and ownership are two of the cornerstones of democracy, something that we try and celebrate here in Australia.”

The music video for It’s Alright off their final EP, I Was Born A Baby And I’ll Die A Baby EP, dropped on Friday with crawling text along the bottom delivering a message to fans and then a bunch of life-changing commentary on democracy, sunsets, radio and more appearing.

“We can’t tell you anything else about the break-up other than it has been forced upon us for legal reasons,” the post said.

Dixon is featured as a cardboard cutout in said clip, which is similar to the look he will take on during Splendour In The Grass this weekend.

“After all this, he feels like he needs to step back and is doing so in the States right now,” Joyride explained.

“He’ll be there in cardboard form, which is our version of the Tupac hologram.

“I don’t think it’ll change the set too much beyond the fact that Raph saying our band name over and over again may happen a little less, because cardboard can’t really speak.

“We’ve got a couple of special guests coming up to try fill the massive gap that Raph in his human form will be leaving, so Benson – a great DJ and producer from Melbourne – will be joining us – and Sam [Margin] from The Rubens as well.”

In the past year, The Meeting Tree have produced three EPs, circled the country twice and established themselves as a staple on the festival circuit, so its fitting that, after stints at Groovin The Moo, Falls and Secret Garden, they’ll play their final gig at the festival where they played their first.

“We’ve achieved everything that we’ve wanted to,“ Joyride explained.

“Even though we didn’t start with specific goals, it doesn’t feel like there’s more to be done, which I think is nice.

“Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened at all.”

Check out the Splendour timetable and our survival guide to ensure you don’t miss The Meeting Tree’s final performance.

The I Was Born A Baby And I’ll Die A Baby EP drops this Wednesday. EXCLUSIVE: Adelaide Live Music Venue HQ To Relocate After Demolition

Published on, Jul 2016


Following news earlier this week that iconic SA venue HQ would be demolished next year, they have revealed plans to reopen at a purposely built space on Hindley Street.

After 25 years on North Terrace, the land the building sits on was sold and will be cleared for development in January, but HQ regulars and musicians won’t have to wait long before the venue reopens in the thick of the state’s entertainment precinct, with general manager Stephen Rose telling The Music they anticipate a March opening.

“There’s going to be a total demolition of an old building and we’re developing from the ground-up and building a three-story, bar, restaurant and nightclub,” Stephen said.

“We certainly want to keep the live music aspect going. We’re up to about 52 bands a year at the moment, so we’d like to push that to a few more.”

With building approval acquired and a new liquor licence application in the works, the new space will have a 2,200 capacity.

“There’s a market for a super club again in Hindley Street. We think it’ll do much better being on the entertainment strip rather than being a destination.”

HQ’s North Terrace lease expires in January, with the venue announcing a final gig earlier this week.

For all upcoming HQ events, head to the theGuide. WA’s Fly By Night To Reboot With New Lease And Liquor Licence

Published on, Jun 2016


It’s been a rough couple of years for Fremantle institution, creative hub and live music space Fly By Night but the venue is looking to reboot to its former glory as it secures a five-year lease and at its new home of Victoria Hall and a liquor licence.

Fremantle’s iconic Fly By Night was forced from its original home of Military Drill Hall in 2015 after the National Trust WA opened expressions of interest for the venue to third parties.

The musicians club then relocated to Victoria Hall where executive director John Reid and the rest of the team were “treading water” as they worked tirelessly to secure the lease and a liquor licence that would allow them to operate as they used to.

“We’ve just been doing smaller shows and putting on events where a liquor licence isn’t imperative and just soldiering on until we got the lease sorted and the liquor licence sorted to actually generate revenue to pay for staffing and overheads,” Reid told

“It’s been a bit of a tricky journey, but we’ve made it. I’m actually very surprised.”

The Hall currently has a capacity of 280, with a mezzanine level being installed to bring the total to 330.

With a new PA in the space, the venue is now taking bookings, with a goal to host smaller national and international tours as well as continuing to support local bands.

“The Victoria Hall is perfect for some touring acts, local acts doing CD launches, smaller theatre productions and movie screenings.”

The City Of Fremantle has granted The Fly a five-year lease and the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor has approved a Special Facilities licence.

“The Fly By Night as a not-for-profit member-based organisation. It’s been going for 28 years, it’s an iconic, cultural entity in Fremantle and it’s here for musicians and the community to facilitate what they want to do.”

Check out theGuide for all upcoming events at Fly By Night. Proposed Perth Lockout Laws Condemned

Published on and in X-Press Magazine (WA), May 2016


Perth music body WAM has slammed recent comments from the Australian Medical Association advocating for lockout laws to be implemented in the state following a brawl in Northbridge over the weekend.

The violent scene took place in the early hours of Sunday morning on the main strip of the WA entertainment hotspot which hosts a number of live music venues like The Bird and Jimmy’s Den.

WAM CEO Mike Harris told lockout laws in the area would “decimate an entertainment district” and likely cause more problems.

“It’s quite lazy of the AMA because if they took any notice of that particular bit of footage, it’s got nothing to do with venues what so ever,” Harris said.

“That has to do with anti-social behaviour and a bunch of kids out on the streets, bored with nothing to do.

“They’re just out looking for trouble, one way or another and lockouts won’t fix that, except within six to 12 months they’ll be less people on the streets of Northbridge because venues will start to struggle and it will shutdown one of the only entertainment districts we have left.”

Speaking with 6PR radio, AMA WA president Michael Gannon said lockout laws would not have an impact on the city’s vibrancy.

“It is not draconian, wowserism or threatening in any way the vibrancy of a city to say that by 3am it might be time to consider heading for your cot,” Gannon said.

“The evidence exists that the longer the liquor venues are open, the more trouble you see.”

Meanwhile, despite reported violence in Northbridge, a report from WA Police issued in March showed the area was safer now than it was a decade ago, with Premier Colin Barnett citing events like Fringe World Festival for bringing it to life.

Key areas of crime were reportedly down since 2008, with assaults down 36 per cent, threatening behaviour down 73 per cent and property damage down 48 per cent.

“These figures are particularly encouraging considering the substantial population growth we have had since 2008,” Police Minister Liza Harvey said of the report.

Sydney’s lockout laws have caused a wealth of issues for the NSW entertainment industry – including a number of high-profile venue closures since being implemented – and see venues unable to let new patrons in after 1:30am and alcohol stop being served by 3am.