Meet band members of Manic Sleeper Cell, Devon, Matt and Richard, who’ve created New England Plugs IN. This is an event aimed at putting local original bands on the national music map.
How long have you guys been performing together?
In our heads, it’s been about five minutes, but in reality about 18 months. We tend to go through patches where everything is really busy and then times when we cruise a bit and try to write material.
This, of course, doesn’t always happen, because it’s easy to get distracted – and sometimes when it feels like what we’re writing is total junk, we’ll go somewhere and hang out instead. We’re all individually involved in separate collaborations with people as well, so there’s always something going on.
Describe your repertoire …
That’s a big word. I don’t know if you could call it a repertoire; it’s more of a surreal circus or audio reflux – something along the lines of a suburban street fight where punches are thrown, but never land. It could be subterranean post Punk Rock.
How do you describe music with words?
It’s definitely colourful, energetic, intense, and contagious. Some songs are packed with melody and vocal harmony, and others are totally raucous. Some songs are humorous on the surface, but reflective about society etc. at the same time, while others are pretty much straight to the point.
We generally go for a sound that makes us want to shove people off their lounges and shake them up a bit, but we also like to write songs about things in life we appreciate and find funny. We’ve probably got political leanings. I think our songs are essentially reflective of all this, as well as our adventures in life. I think we might be musical asylum seekers.
Is it hard for local bands to get noticed?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is definitely, absolutely, totally yes, times infinity. Why? The answer is simple. There’s only one venue that will play alternative or original music in Armidale, and this is the Armidale Club. Everywhere else plays cover bands. People don’t realise how much alternative music talent there is in Armidale / NE.
Why have you decided to do New England Plugs IN?
We want to promote and raise the profile of original / alternative music based in the region. We are selecting some original, local bands to perform at the Stro on August 27. We are going to film the concert and then upload it on to a website designed by Webcessity.
We will be needing a big crowd to turn up on the night for the film – a sort of rent a crowd. We will then be asking locals to visit the NEW ENGLAND PLUGS IN WEBSITE. We were advised by a national record company that the only way to get noticed these days is to create a website with a large fan base.
How many bands do you hope to have perform at NEPI?
We hope about 10. If we can get around 10 original bands / artists based in the NE to perform, that would be a great example of what this region has to offer in terms of what’s around at present. It’s going to be crucial that these bands are well rehearsed and serious about their music. Can you imagine how great it would be to pack out the Stro and play 100% original music from bands based here? It would be a fantastic experience for the audience, and uploading the concert onto the website will be great exposure for local musicians. We can’t wait.
Who is helping you with this event?
Well, we couldn’t do this without the generosity of Andrew McCann at Webcessity. He is creating the website for us free of charge. Then Adam Hayes at the Stro is backing this by letting us use what we think is the best concert venue in town. And most importantly, Beyond Empathy are supplying a film crew. They are a non-profit community arts organisation (locally based) with the belief that arts and arts practice can improve lives and influence social change. We would also like to thank New England FOCUS who are sponsoring us with media coverage.
How can our readers help?
Firstly, they can buy tickets to the concert (when they go on sale next month). We need a huge enthusiastic crowd to appear on the DVD. The door funds from the night will be minimal, with ALL proceeds going to Beyond Empathy. Secondly, because this is a not for profit community event, we will be asking locals to text the concert date to all of their mates. We don’t have funds to advertise, so we are appealing to all music lovers to help us spread the word.
Then most importantly, once Webcessity has loaded the film, we will be asking everyone to hit on our website, as that will hopefully help the bands to gain attention from the big record companies.
Are you looking for more sponsors?
Absolutely! If anyone out there thinks they can help, please call us on 0408 286 539.
When will tickets for the concert go on sale?
We will start tickets sales July 1. Tickets will be available from Black Dot Music. Stay tuned for more info in the July issue of New England FOCUS and keep an eye out for our texts and posters, coming to you soon.