Australian Music Q&A

April 17, 2009

On my recent trip to Stockholm to record my album I made some friends who knew quite a bit about Australian music, so I decided to do a Q&A with them to test their knowledge. I thought it might be interesting to see which Australian bands they know most about and how they perceive Australian music. I’m afraid I’m not a very good interviewer, but here we go…

NAME: Konstantin Barkas

AGE: 32

1. What was the first Australian music you heard and where were you?
(set the scene for us)..
This one depends on how far back I go. Early 80s stuff was probably the
first aussie hits to hit my eardrums!
Later when the choice of music was actually up to me I do have memories of
the great Australian artist and musicians around Nick Cave and his various
bands. Although I do have an early memory of standing in gym class when I
was 13 with 2 class mates. One says to the other, “I saw an Icehouse vinyl
when I was at your place” and the other replied “It’s my older brothers”.
I realize now that it was kind of late since it got released in the early
80s. I guess it was featured in a movie or so, it was 88 when this happened.

2. Did you like what you heard? Do you still like it?
Yes I do. It’s a good track. I even played it when I was DJ’ing that time in
Snotty’s when you and your Australian friend came by. If I play post-punk,
new wave nights, then it’s a chance that it gets played.

3. Which Australian bands/arists do you know of?
Wohoo, that’s going to be a lot. Don’t even know if I will remember them all
to list them here! Maybe we should exclude the whole Farhman, Young,
Donovan, Kylie, Dannii, Men at work league to just narrow it down to more
serious stuff 🙂
Nick Cave and the bad seeds (Boys next door, Birthday Party)
Midnight Oil (Can that song ever just leave my brain?)
Anita Lane
Cut copy
Architecture in Helsinki
Crime and the city solution
Mick Harvey
The Saints
The Church
Crowded House
The Triffids
Yothu Yindi
Dead can dance
The Hitmen
The Lipstick Killers
The Passengers
And tonnes of other, I just can’t get the names to my brain right now! You
had and have a great scene, keep up the good work!

4. Which Australian bands/artists do you like? Why?
Most of them actually. I am a great fan of music and I have listened to a
large range of music and still like to seek new “kicks” in music.
Guess my last Australian newfound, except for the ones you recommended to
me, was your music!

5. Who is your favourite Australian band/music artist?
This has to be Nick “the boy next door celebrating his Birthday Party while
growing bad seeds in the fridge” Cave.
He and the members in the different bands and people around them have
produced the top cream of Australian music ever. From Nick to crime and by
Anita Lane.
Must have been great times and a great movement to have been a part of I
guess. There are great new Australian bands though and I guess music today
is more diverse and not centred around a few persons. But since I discovered
him and his bands in my teens then he will always have a special place in my

6. Have you seen any Australian bands play live?  Tell us about the
Nick Cave & the bad seeds live in Stockholm back in the 90s when Blixa
Bargeld was still in the band.
Seeing him singing the Kylie Minogue part in “Where the wild roses grow” was
just hilarious!
And of course him making all these crazy screams he is so famous for in
tracks like “Jangling Jack”
Nick Cave was in good mood and made fun of some guy saying he looked like
Strindberg! The whole band was standing on the corner of the stage pointing
and staring!
And yeah of course. I almost forgot! It was a non smoking venue. But still
the bad seeds chain smoked cigarettes!

7. What do you see as the characterising features of Australian music? Do
you picture a landscape?
I always picture landscapes. Music is like that to me. An endless evolving
landscape. Australia’s is often a little harsh, warm but vast and a ugly but
beautiful at the same time! You have a distinguish feel I cannot put into
words. There’s something there, a broader landscape I think!


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