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With the site coming up to 600 interviews, yes an amazing feat for a one man operated website. Im thankful for everybody who I have interviewed and especially the ones who have become my friends. Im truly honored to have last this long.

So the next level is The Parx-E Show, an online television show to be on YouTube and Vimeo with interviews, reviews and performances. I will be doing my first bit this weekend at a local band album launch. When I go to America I be doing interviews, chats and hanging out with some amazing people who I have gotten to know because of Parx-e. Seriously I cant wait. So its full go for Parx-e.

Thanks for reading

Chris

Heather Longstaffe

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Heather Longstaffe is my beauty of the week for the site as I think she is a extreme beautiful and talented singer songwriter. Yes she is also on my new compilation CD Parx-e Volume 4 which you can get from this site for free. I think she is so talented that will ensure she has a long and successful.  She rocks and is gonna go far.

This rad song by High Highs is so good worth cranking now and can’t wait for more

Caitlin Harnett – The River Runs North 

 

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Caitlin Harnett I reckon would be one of Australia finest singer songwriters and this album only strengthen that. It is a beautifully written album that is also well produced and really does shine. It opens up with the incredible track Saviour (I Tried) that shows off her songwriting, vocals and lyrics. Oh I Have Suffered has a alt country/ indie vibe the way vocals are performed and the  way the song is structured. Benny would be one of the picks off the album, I love the way the song is structured and the nice touches of the horn add to the song.  Her vocals are in fine form. Wandering Man lets the songwriting and vocals shine. It’s just Caitlin and guitar and its a beautifully written track. Don’t Do Me Wrong has great use of the banjo through out the track, the musicianship is first rate. Honey Are You Alright is another pick off the album for me, love the  use of the electric guitar. The vocals and the lyrics shine. Big Old Love has great musicianship and vocals. For A While Now is another winner, a bit energetic, good vocals and songwriting and the use of the harmonica and piano is a nice touch.  Bad Man is a bit more laid back with excellent use of banjo. Her vocals and songwriting shine here. Darling It’s You is another song that’s let’s Caitlin vocals and songwriting shine alongside her guitar playing. My Baby is another  winning track that is well written, great musicianship and moving. The Raven has great vocals by Caitlin and the song-writing shines. This is such a beautifully written and moving album that is one of the best of the year. Prepared to be blown away.

Tanzer (Promo)

Rad song by Tanzer that is worth listening to, brand new fresh artist too.

Tanzer is set to launch ‘That’s Why Darling‘ at The Workers Club on Friday October 24, supported by incandescent country-folk duo Miles & Simone and the magical pop stylings of Frida.

 

 

Swim Season

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Swim Season are a great Aussie band doing things. James the lead singer from the band answered my questions.

1. For someone unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe the Swim Season sound?

We all come from different musical backgrounds, so it’s pretty great when we get together to blend our individualities to form the Swim Season sound. Pretty inspiring when another member reels off something that you wouldn’t expect and it just works. Keeps our sound pretty fresh too!

2. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. A peek inside the inner workings of the band if you will.

Initially, the songs usually start with myself. I write most of the melodies and compositions, however, and probably like most other bands, when the bones of a song are taken to rehearsal, everyone adds their own unique flavour. Lately, Jon (our drummer) has been coming up with some pretty great lyrics and progressions – ‘The Throne’ was initiated by him! We’ve have been working together recently to blend our ideas before taking them to the band. We’ve known each other for years so aren’t afraid to be brutally honest when it comes to shaping the songs. It seems to work pretty well!

3. As far as breakout success is concerned, is it all about the strength of a song or does being in the right musical climate at right time make all the difference?

Bit of everything to be honest. Would love to say it is purely the strength/uniqueness of the song, but – while that is of course very important – this day and age (especially with the depth and ease of music production), I feel that marketing, planning and pushing the band’s image plays a huge part as well.

4. How important is social media to you in regards to engaging with an audience?

Massive. Without it, I suppose there wouldn’t be much interaction with any audience, besides word of mouth.

5. What inspired you to take music more seriously?

As lame as it sounds, it’s probably just in our blood. More of a ‘can’t live without it’ situation rather than seeing it as just a hobby.

6. What’s spinning on your playlist atm? Any guilty pleasures?

Personally, I can’t get enough of Bombay Bicycle Club, but I suppose that’s always the case with me.. I’m really loving what Ball Park Music are doing at the moment, but if I didn’t have my Spotify set to Private, everyone would know that I’m smashing some good old 90s classics at work – Ace of Base, Craig David.. you know.

7. Are you a fan of keeping the album format alive or do you think there’s more benefit to release singles or EPs with the influence of streaming platforms arguably shortening attention spans?

Totally agree with the short attention spans. It’s hard enough getting people interested, and once they are, you’d better make sure the content is short/sweet! (Unlike my answers here haha). Everyone’s a culprit, I’m the same. In saying that though, I believe albums will never die. Nothing beats being in the mood for a Fleetwood Mac fix or a Strokes marathon. Us being a new band, it is probably smart to release singles while we develop our audience & sound, but an album in the future is on the cards for sure!

8. When not consumed with all things musical, what do you do tune out or reset?

Probably listen to music. Seriously though, I struggle to think about this question. I suppose I’d go exercise or something.

9. Your single ‘The Throne’ is doing the rounds now, what does the immediate future hold?

For Swim Season, we plan on putting out another single very soon, which we almost have ready to go, and hopefully start getting around Australia a bit more. It’s great to meet new people who genuinely are excited about what you are doing. 

10. Lastly, Prince or Michael Jackson?

Hmm.. I’m going to have to go with MJ hands down.

Swim Season’s new single The Throne is out now via all good digital retailers

facebook.com/swimseasonband

Inventions

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Inventions are a rad Aussie band this is what they had to say to my questions.

  • 1. For someone unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe the Inventions sound?

    Like cookies and cream ice-cream. You have the familiar and reliable flavour of vanilla, but then the totally surprising and delicious crunchy bits! We’re a 5 piece alternative/punk rock band with a piano slammed in the middle. Our songs are generally quite dark, theatrical, and the right amount of dramatic. Super melodic vocals and unconventional, somewhat disturbing, lead guitars.

    2. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. A peek inside the inner workings of the band if you will?

    For our current set and first EP which was released in May this year, the majority of the songs were either fully or mostly written by Jake, and then the whole band workshopped them together to finish them and add the Inventions sparkle which is what makes our EP so unique. We actually have our own rehearsal and recording studio now, so recently we’ve been just setting up mics on all the gear, recording a great chorus idea or riff on guitar and then building on that- adding in drums and bass as we go. We have a pretty strong background in music production so working like this is super organic and keeps everything moving.

    3. As far as breakout success is concerned, is it all about the strength of a song or does being in the right musical climate at the right time make all the difference?

    Oh man that’s a big question!  I think it goes without saying that a successful breakout song usually has to be really strong in all aspects. From the songwriting itself, the production, and keeping it musically and lyrically relevant whilst still being slightly ahead of the trend are all things that will create interest for the listener. There’s always so many exceptions though- if your music video is exciting enough to go crazy on the web, then maybe the song doesn’t have to be as strong.

    4. How important is social media to you in regards to engaging with an audience?

    We’ve had a lot of great things come out of using social media! Specifically Facebook and Twitter (follow us! @inventionsaus) have been host to many wonderful, deep, and interesting conversations with fans. Also by being able to post updates with photos and videos of us doing almost anything is a cool little reminder  to our audience that we exist and are alive/active, which means that when we have something important to promote, people remember who we are and feel like they know us! Real life conversations at shows are still the most important and rewarding thing that we can do to keep in touch with our fans, and I don’t think that will ever change! Humans are far too social for that!

    5. What inspired you to take music more seriously?

    For all of us music has been a serious endeavour for the better part of our lives, but the big turning point for each of us was when we realised how much we love writing and performing music, and how dull the daily grind is compared to that!

    6. What’s spinning on your playlist atm? Any guilty pleasures?

    At the moment an incredible (and seriously unknown) US band called The Danger Bees have been on my playlist for a good 3 months straight. Ryan got a record player for the studio, so we’ve actually been listening to stuff on vinyl like Brand New and The Mars Volta, and William has been blasting some weird Gypsy band called Man Man.

    7. Are you a fan of keeping the album format alive or do you think there’s more benefit to release singles or EPs with the influence of streaming platforms arguably shortening attention spans?

    Thanks for asking this, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard that an artist or band is “going to release an EP of three songs every three or four months”. I haven’t seen it happen really successfully yet though. I think this is because there are two types of music listeners- the listener who will listen to one or two singles from that artist in a massive playlist filled with other singles, and the album listener. For the former, they generally only buy the singles anyway so don’t really care whether the artists has an 15 track album or a 4 track EP. The album listener on the other hand does care, and hearing the same 4 songs over and over again gets laborious and misses out on the ups and downs of an entire album. Aside from this, it’s more costly for a band to go into the studio 4 times a year rather than just the once, for the same amount of songs. There’s definitely more to talk about on this topic but I better leave it here, but yes we are all fans of the album format!

    8. When not consumed with all things musical, what do you do tune out or reset?

    Recently we’ve actually been going out to a place called Hanging Rock (you may have heard of/seen the movie) which is a beautiful place an hour or so out of Melbourne, where we can just be away from the city and hang out with the trees a bit! It helps us come back to ourselves and just relax without distraction. More commonly though we just hang out with our friends and play video games or watch shows and movies. Pretty standard simple stuff is the nicest way to chill out.

    9. Your debut self titled EP ‘Inventions’ is doing the rounds now, what does the immediate future hold?

    More than we can fit into our calendars! We’ve got a music video release for our track Shadows coming out, which was super fun to film by the way- we hired out a massive white room and sent confetti flying everywhere with my neighbours leaf blower, it looks awesome! The petrol fumes almost did us in though! We’re launching that, and our first national tour on October 2nd at The John Curtin Hotel in Melbourne. We’ll be trialling a ‘pay what you want’ ticket system, where our fans and friends can choose how much they want to pay for entry. We want to give everyone an opportunity to come, but also give people who want to really support us the chance to do so. Then we’ll be all over Australia playing shows for the next month including Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Sydney. And this is just the beginning, these next few months will be so much fun, we can’t wait to share it with fans new and old, we really want to encourage anyone to send us a message us if you like our music, you’re coming to a show, or just want to chat!

    10. Lastly, Prince or Michael Jackson?

    MJ!

    Inventions self-titled EP out now via all good digital retailers.

    facebook.com/intoinvention

Julia Henning – Fledgling (Self Released)

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Julia Henning is an artist who can capivate live as she can on album. This album showcases her amazing vocals, lyrics and songwriting and the production. She has a depth and a unique way of drawing you in with the way the songs are structued from the way the piano is played to the way band performs behind her. Drifter opens up witha haunting beautiful song that shows off the vocals, musicianship and songwriting. Tempest is a little darker in tone with the way the song is structured and performed.  December I love how the piano is performed and how drums come into song. Tall Trees is more of personal song with the use of the accoustic guitar and gives the album a nice touch. Another Day has some great piano playing and the vocals shine. Whispers I love the use of the accoustic guitar the way it is played and performed. Vocals and lyrics are good too. Legacy is another winner of a track. Great vocals and piano playing. Cold Mountain has good use of strings to open up the song, it is a beautifully written song.  Three Words has good use of electric guitar  which works so well along Julia voice.  Fledgling finishes off the album well with a dark haunting almost energetic track. This is first rate album by an Aussie artist with so much talent that will be going so far.

 

Super Best Friends

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Super Best Friends are a good band from Canberra doing good things. I chatted to John Barrington (Singer) from the band so read on.

https://www.facebook.com/superbestfriends

 

1. Are you happy how things have gone so far?
We’ve had a pretty good run over the last few years, for a band that hasn’t toured consistently as hard as other bands and has mostly kept everything pretty DIY. Our first studio EP Handshake got some love on triple j and community radio, which lead to our first tour outside of the eastern states with Emperors. From there we joined the Gun Fever label and released the Round & Round singe last year, with a film clip featuring some dancing politicians and Prime Ministers. Toured with Calling All Cars and supported two of our hero bands, Future of The Left and Regurgitator before disappearing into the studios to write our debut album. Out Tonight is the first taste of that, produced by Tom Larkin at Studios In The City, Melbourne and we put that song out last month. Doing well on community radio around Australia and online, so we’re happy, yeah. Excited about releasing the album next year.
2. Do you think it’s all about the songwriting or does timing and the right place at the right time has a key getting your music out there?
Round & Round was all about timing. Probably not the world’s greatest song, but it didn’t get panned for being average, despite being attached to a pretty amazing film clip. We probably wouldn’t have got access to politicians like that, had it not been election silly-season. Our previous single No Logo Is A Joke got added to rotation on triple j and wasn’t tied to any major event, so we’d like to think it was based on the merits of the song! We’ve also written lyrics that were socially-aware, but often sided with humour and satire, so they don’t become too preachy. That remains on our new album, although we’ve got a few tracks that are a lot more pointed and clear, so any irony isn’t lost and people know what we’re saying. Hoping the fact that people are more politically engaged now, they’ll relate to the lyrics and get into the songs.
3. How important to you are music blogs in helping get your music out there?
There’s a heap of blogs and bands around the place. Some bands are more important to people and the industry than others, same deal with blogs. Blogs are necessary in getting bands and their music out there. I guess for me, the blogs that make the effort to not just print what’s in the press release are the better blogs. It’s good to have them listen to the song and make up their own mind out about it, rather than just swallowing the line that bands and publicists give them. The test would be writing “this is the greatest song of all time” in a press release and seeing how many blogs it appears on verbatim. Hmmm… might try that next single!
4. What inspired you guys in the first place to give music a shot?
Can’t really speak for the other guys, Dan (bass) and Jesse (drums). For me, playing your own live music was the funnest thing to do and I came from an area that was pretty musically-devoid growing up, at least for original music. Batemans Bay is 5 hours south of Sydney on the south coast of NSW and parents and bands did try to put stuff on for teenagers every 9 months or something, but there was never really a scene for it – and once you were old enough to play in pubs, they only wanted cover bands or very average DJs. It wasn’t cool to be in bands like it is now and this is before MySpace too. I loved 90s punk and Rage Against The Machine, so playing in bands made me feel “punk”, like I was doing something different to everyone else and I enjoyed doing something that other people hated. Move to the city though and everyone’s in a band, haha, so that’s just my small town experience.
5. Having tools like Soundcloud does it make your job easier when trying to gain new listeners to your music?
I’m not a massive Soundcloud user, but it seems to be working for the Out Tonight single. That got uploaded to the Gun Fever Soundcloud like three weeks ago, and it’s already had something like 800 listens and a few likes and comments. Not bad for a band that hasn’t put anything out for a year. Good for international exposure too, it seems. We’ve found ourselves tagged by a few radio stations and podcasters in the States, who said they’ve played the track or our older stuff. I’ll have to get my act together and get a bit more social on Soundcloud.
6. Do you think releasing EP’s and singles is a good way of keep momentum going before releasing a full length or spending time out of the spotlight writing songs is better?
For me, it always felt like you had to work your way up to an album and that it shouldn’t be something you should rush. They take a lot of work and are costly, so unless you’re a musical genius, singles or EPs and demos might be the way to go until you’re ready for your first concept album about cheese. Super Best Friends has two EPs we still promote, Ready Aim Fire! (2009) and Handshake (2012). We did have an earlier EP, but we don’t play anything off it or promote it anymore, as it’s kind of a home-recorded demo by comparison to the newer stuff. It’s taken several years and a lineup change to get to writing an album. We’ll see how that goes in 2015! I feel like bands arrive with albums, even if they don’t burn up the charts, it’s like a work to say you’re an established band. Not all bands have to get famous and not all albums have to blow people’s minds. Hopefully with this one we get seen as established and get some more people to shows and into the songs and lyrics. If we blow people’s minds, then awesome, but I’m not counting on it. Smiley face.
7. How does a song happen for you?
Mucking around on guitar, sticking a lot of things together to a beat, thinking up a song subject or having some lyrics or a theme occur to me and then thrashing it out with Jesse our drummer in the jam room. Dan has only recently joined the band, so we’re yet to start writing with him. We probably should get onto new stuff, even though the album’s on the way.
8. Are there moments where you’re just not in the mood for writing music and need to do something else before you jump back into songwriting mode?
Yeah – even after our 14 song album demo in April, that Jesse recorded with good quality gear and know-how, we needed some time to sit on the songs and to work out whether we needed to re-record them in a studio with a producer and to see what Greg at Gun Fever thought about the new tunes. We decided to re-record – and working with Tom was amazing and meant for some rearrangement and new ideas on the spot. These days, bands have to worry about social media and video clips and constant publicity, so I’ve been tied up with all that recently. The internet is amazing for getting heard but it adds a lot of work that older bands didn’t have to worry about 20 years ago (besides publicity of course). I wish I could focus more on writing, but I’m a bit distracted the moment. That’s not a complaint, by the way!
9. Do you think YouTube has help save the music industry?
Not if it’s going to shake things up, so that “indie” bands have a tougher time getting exposure. We’ve had four video clips do okay on YouTube and a few fun band-banter videos. It’s probably awesome for international exposure. The fact that YouTube and Facebook are monetizing promotions now makes it a bit harder to compete with artists and labels with deeper pockets, but we got 300 000 hits on Round & Round through word of mouth and radio play. At the end of the day, the song still needs to have something about it. Unless you’re those terrible little twats 5 Seconds Of Summer and some label just promotes the crap out of you to hormonal teenage girls and their concerned parents around the world.
10. Do you think being serious with your music has helped you and is it still fun to you guys from when you were starting out?

Yeah, I think so – I’m still having fun. We have some really awesome friends in other bands around Australia – if I was to tell that to 16-year-old me, he probably wouldn’t have believed it. Bands like Born Lion, Reckless Vagina, Surprise Wasp, Doc Holliday Takes The Shotgun & Gay Paris in Sydney; The Sinking Teeth, Captives, DARTS, The Quarters, Batpiss, The Lost Day, Too Soon! & Heads of Charm in Melbourne; Emperors & The Love Junkies in Perth; Maids in Newcastle; Sincerely, Grizzly in Adelaide; Tape/Off and Release The Hounds in Brisbane; not to mention the legends in bigger bands we’ve played with like Calling All Cars, High Tension and Violent Soho, and all the bands from Canberra we love like Revellers, No Assumption, Yoko Oh No, TV Colours, Mornings, Hoodlum Shouts, Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens and The Ellis Collective. The music gets better the older you get, I can play better now and the shows are better. It’s not a struggle to get gigs or get people’s attention anymore. Not always easy to get people to the shows, because there’s so much going on all the time in the big cities, but I’m looking forward to seeing how these songs go, if people read and like and relate to the lyrics. We’ll be touring the shit out of this album next year. Playing in a sweaty small venue with painful stairs to get gear up and paid limited parking, is still more fun than any well-paid job I’ve had. I’ll be doing this for a while yet.

Flying Colors

Flying Colors - Band 27 - by Jim Arbogast

 

Photo by Jim Arbogast

Right when you have a legend of players in the music industry Mike Portnoy, Dave LaRue, Neal Morse and Steve Morse and the front man Casey McPherson of the band Alpha Rev who album was one of my favorite last year, I’m totally in and Casey answered my questions.

http://flyingcolorsmusic.com/

 

1. What inspired Second Nature?

The desire to do a second record! And, I wrote a lot about turning away from consumerism, and being comfortable with showing those around you exactly who you are without all the trappings and masks.

2. How did the song-writing process come about for each song?

We wrote together via the studio and skype. We could usually finish a song structure in a day.

3. How did each band member contribute to it?

By being incredibly opinionated!

4. How was the recording process different to each person other projects they have done in the past?

We were in the cloud! We used Google drive to store our session files in. It made it really easy to see what everyone had done and add it to the session at each studio.

5. What do you hope people will get out of the album?

I hope people hear their own story in the songs.

6. Are there plans to tour the album in Australia?

Book me a ticket!

7. What inspires you now as a musician?

Ordinary people that are extraordinary.

8. What is next for the group?

Well, we’ll get through a tour and then probably make another record!