I interviewed Abbe May a while back ahead of her (then) upcoming Clam Jam shows as part of the Perth Festival. Unfortunately, I was unable to distribute it to the world back then but with her shows this week at Settlers, Jack Rabbits and her performance at the Commonwealth Games Festival on Wednesday (!), and as Johnny said, there is no time like the present so have a little peak into this honest chat we had early one summer morning.
Hello Abbe how are you going?
Good how are you? …
Okay so, what was it like growing up in a regional town?
It was awesome, it was as beautiful beach-y town and I was fairly naive kid like I didn’t really drink til I was 18 so I had a really innocent, fun childhood down in Bunbury. It was lovely.
Haha understandable, while we’re on your childhood, I read that your mother was an English Literary teacher, do you have any book recommendations? (I am both impressed and intimidated by how quickly she responded to this cheeky question I threw in)
Yes! A really good book is called A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin. Let me just pull it out of my pile here – you have a pile, I love it – Haha yeah well I read a lot of books because I find its a great way to develop your writing skills and sort of exercise your brain. A Manual for Cleaning Women is a collection of short stories written by a now deceased author and its pretty fantastic and a very cleaver curation of stories. After a while you realise these characters are all various versions of the ‘self’. This book is kind of an autobiography, through short stories and I think she is one of the most amazing writers I have ever read, another great writer is Tony Morrison and she has actually won the nobel peace prize for literature, so she is very worth reading. My mother obviously was always reading and as an english literature teacher and put an emphasis on how important the physical outlet of writing could be, and I hold that in high regard, I guess I inherited that from my mother.
I noticed as well, your lyrics are quite literary based and it seems to me personally, that rather than the music taking the lead, the lyrics seem to pave the way, what is your writing process?
I come up with a beat first, I start with a drum beat and work from there. Generally the beat comes and the vocal melody follows from there and then I develop the chord structures and so on. I take it to a producer or co writer after that who can add to my creating and writing.
I read that you are working with Matt Gio, he has such a lovely energy….
Yeah he is an amazing guy and he has become a really really close friend of mine. I met him about 3 years ago and I had wanted to work with him from reccomendations with other artist, so when we eventually started working together, we started collaborating really well straight off the bat. I like his style and I like the way he shows respect to me and I find it easy to show respect to him. He generally has a different approach to things which I think is very important for a count and a co writer. I’m really interested now to see how to move ideas into spaces that I might not know ho to approach myself, so what I found with Gio is that he is not only just a lovely bloke and talented person, ,he also has a lot of talents that I don’t have, so I really enjoyed working with him and I think that we have made my favourite album to date.
I love the title..
So you said before, Matt treats you a certain way, or rather, he respects you. I know that this topic seems like a bit of a ‘trendy’ thing to discuss but what are your thoughts on the whole, feminist wave movement that shouldn’t really be a labeled as a trend at all but rather a current evaluation of an ongoing process, do you have any commentary on women and their voices at the moment?
I think it has definitely come to the foreground of attention in the past couple of months, especially with the Harvey Weinstein revelation and I think that movements like “MeToo,” these notions are powerful in terms of showing family and friends that we have all had these experiences of sexual assault and recognition is a fundamental element of progressive change. I actually sat back and watched it (Weinstein) unfold and a couple days later it kind of just all came to me, the thing about assault and the abuse that women have had to and have to face in society, it becomes so commonplace that you forget that its not actually normal for a man to put his hand up your skirt at a bar, that it’s not normal to feel unsafe in a public space just because some man with toxic masculinity has decided that he wants to verbally, sexually harass you, it’s not normal. It’s an interesting thing that has brought to attention these things are not okay, and I think prior to these past months of movements and marches, much more public discussion between what is acceptable with regards to treatment of women was needed. Rather than it being something that highlights humanities downfalls or a fad movement, I think its really incredibly powerful and I think we are seeing a huge change and I think that it’s really fucking cool.
A m a z i n g response. Do you have any advice for young women? You know girls that are looking to create something and not really sure where to start?
I think that for anybody who wants to create, it’s really important to do it because you want to get better at your art rather than because you want to be powerful, famous or rich. It is an incredibly difficult field to make money in – music. Fame and hype are fairly short lived and I think you should focus early on developing your art and your calibre, so do it for the right reasons and everything should flow, that is my primary advice to young artists.
I also read that at one time in your past life you experienced a seizure that was related to your mental health. In my eyes mental health is so important and sometimes overlooked in the current day and age, how do you now manage this part of your life? What changed for you from then and what are some perspectives on mental health?
Um I hadn’t really thought much about my mental health up to that point. After that I personally had tremendous difficulties with mental health. I went from being really strong and healthy and generally just quite productive to being riddled with anxiety, crushed with depression. There was a connection between the physicality and the mentality and I went from being really strong and capable to virtually being unable to leave my house for seven days, I wasn’t able to order coffee I had massive anxiety around noise and people and once I started to have the dark thoughts, I told my mum and doctor. My Dr. was amazing and found me a great psychologist and I am really lucky in that my mental health issues were able to be cured through years of therapy, good nutrition and exercise. I still have minute elements of physical anxiety but my head space is really good now. I think that some people do need to be medicated, it’s important for me to not use medication, but I think for some people it is important so I feel people should talk to their doctor about stuff if they feel something is out of whack. That said, I am glad that something did happen because I have ended up in a space where I have much more perspective about what is important, I am a much better friend, sister, daughter, Aunty … I’m a much more higher functioning human being since experiencing that, so sometimes a little breakdown a, breakthrough rather, is a good thing. I wouldn’t wish it didnt happen, as intense as it was, I got through with a little help from my family and friends and especially my doctor. It’s the same as having a broken leg, if something is wrong, you work to fix it and mental health is the same as any other ailment, it just needs to be addressed.
I just wanted to thank you for being one of the people to realise that there is more to everything than our own perspective Abbe and for being an amazing role model for young women in the music industry. So thank you.
Thank you Brooke! Look forward to seeing you out there.
We’re All Meat and We’re Gonna Get Eat.
Lets end with a difficult question, what are your Top 5 Albums of all time?
Neil Young: Harvest
PJ Harvey: Stories from the City Stories from the Sea
Police: Outlandos D’Amour
Ani Di Franco: Knuckle Down
Patti Smith: Horses
“If a possum does a shaka in the bush, but no one is there to witness it, does the bush shaka back?”
It’s that time o’ the year again! Camp Doogs is back and lusher than ever in 2016!
Taking place South West of the swan coastal plain, WA, Camp Doogs 2016 sees bloody plenty of music, heaping tonnes of food, chockablock art delights, night queens, spontaneous frivolities & sleepover cubbyhouse activities zone.
Watching live music in the open or enjoying some chill time and a stimulating chat, why can’t you have both? Get a tattoo while making your first ceramic pot while listening to a kookaburra lol, why not all three?!
What is a doog? Why do I feel so tranquil? How do you I pronounce it? Is it edible? Emotionally tax deductible? Yes, yes & yes!!
The Glen C. Doogs guarantee is to provide a licence-to-chill alternative to the hustle and bustle of traditional live music platforms in WA/AUS. By giving campers a full pallet of experience, punters can become platonic ships in the night a.k.a possum to possum to possum.
Camp Doogs is put together by artist collective Good Times Arts Inc, who put forth our finest picks of the glitter for you to enjoy. We are entirely B Y O, fully D I Y, and secretly D T F.
Low-key Doogs alumni include: Kirin J Callinan, No Zu, Tim Richmond Band, Superstar and Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, Nicholas Allbrook, Kucka, Peter Bibby Midline Line Jug Band etc.
Also boasting a critically curated Deep Doogs dance stage, frothing all night long with past headliners including DJ Nozaki and Noise In My Head in 2015.
So sign up, hop in, and enjoy the luxurious float down the river doogs while the good times last.
COLD PRESSED ACTIVITIES VITAMIN RICH LINEUP
MORE CAR PARKING
LESS BUS ANXIETY
Tickets are already on sale (yay)
PS Heres some flashbacks from last year (yay)
Well we reckon this is the next big thing in the way of apps and we think we know a thing or two about the subject.
Music.ly makes it seamlessly easy to create videos with specific audio. You can select from the millions of tracks or use music from your own device.
So pretty much you can take two routes; create lip sync videos (viable) OR realise that you have a new platform to successfully share your music with the masses.
It also has cool video effects (filters, fast + slow motion, time machine stuff we have all become accustomed to) an easy sharing platform for other social media and the ability to save vids to your camera roll.
We’re pretty excited to see what this online community brings.
Image thnx to Driely S
As you know, we like to do things differently here at Hipflask HQ, so we’ve done a 360 and interviewed the interviewee (does that make sense? I think it does).
Avenoir, a Perth local publication, is quickly gaining momentum and a reputation as a respected source of information on a whole range of topics – from society and culture to all things creative.
Behind it is the highly intellectual and beautiful (inside and out) individual, Zaerën Momand.
Do yourself a favour and get yourself acquainted.
What drove you to create your own publication?
Rebellion haha. At first I had a naive notion that I could write the way I wanted to and that I would just report whatever matters most. But after seeing how journalism rids that creativity due to their triangle paradigm of “objectivity”, I wasn’t willing to give up my way of writing. So instead of catering to the Editor’s imaginary audience expectations of my work, I decided to create my own magazine.
Avenoir has the aim to ‘challenge cultural norms of society, whilst embracing the creative art form.’ How do you do this?
I have the writers to challenge what the media or press are saying about a person, place, thing or event. The reason is because we are too quick to accept the news as fact when the story changes and things go in tangents; and details that may be found through other sources of what the mainstream media is distracting us from, i.e. Kardashian antics over the TPP.
We are having each department in collaboration with like-minded individuals/creative communities (such as Revelation Film Festival to Doctors Without Borders) who we can expand together on and hopefully be able to make a difference.
Concentrating on all things local, national and international – which region receives the most love from readers?
At the moment we are still building our audience but we are focusing on our Perth community in covering shows and festivals and things to do in Perth. We tend to focus on international and national news, but cover things local. I work with people from the East Coast and as well in America which I’m hoping to expand to later on.
How is doing what your doing in Perth different to other areas? What are the limitations/challenges you face… as well as the easy stuff.
What I noticed as an American having lived in both hemispheres is that it’s all about the hype in America; achieving the aesthetic, fulfilling the materialist needs and what is “in” at the moment. While in Perth it’s not like that. All it is for Perth is showing the people there are things to do in WA, when most believe there isn’t anything to do at all. For some reason there isn’t that strong reinforcement to keep Perth content with what it has because the people have been told countless of times that they are isolated, which in turn has been programmed within their minds to persist in that belief.
What’s up next?
We’ve got a new system in place so we’re hoping to be able to cater to our audience with a balance of social issues, music, film, fashion, the arts, and so forth. As well our collaboration with Canopy Films, who are our go-to film crew in creating visuals for our work at Avenoir, and working with hipflask on upcoming events.
What do you personally recommend we check out?
Ever since having seen the photos taken by Driely S of the Afro-Punk festival (and feeling honoured to have her work grace our first ever issue) I couldn’t help but appraise the mindset of culture. See, it’s all about appreciating the art and acknowledging where it comes from, but most importantly to understand the struggles and accomplishments of that particular group or culture. But in regards to Afro-Punk, the history of punk music that originally came from reggae had been completely white-washed by the Oi movement. So what Driely S does is project the culture that has been ridden by the movement into the forefront and in turn capturing the mindset of the people who are free in their individuality and together in their ancestry.
If people wish to be contributors, what is the best way to be a successful candidate?
Those who are able to bring an interesting perspective to their work; whether formal or satire. As long as their intentions are to open the minds of the masses, challenge cultural norms, and are familiar with the creative art form of the cult/mainstream in film, arts, music, etc, would be successful candidates in writing for Avenoir Magazine
+ final last words…
You can mock me for sounding all Sartre, but I really believe you are valued by the the meaning that you choose in life, and that in itself becomes existent and reflected to everyone around you, but only when you decide to act on it with pure intention.
Hipflask sat down with Andrew Sinclair (Sinco) the legend from Good Company who, with his partners Nik and Perri, have just launched Good Company Records to compliment their already established record store and promotion work.
We chatted about the essentials and the development of Perth’s cultural identity
I remember back in the day when I knew you as the drummer from Erasers. What was your first foray into the local music scene?
Erasers actually grew out of the first band i played in, Shock! Horror! The name says it all really. We we’re very young, very naive & way too ambitious. Like all first bands i guess. I don’t play in Erasers anymore but they are still making music and it is some of the best music right now.
Are there particular pieces of technology that you favour when it comes to making and distributing music?
When it comes to making music the ear, mind & soul are still the most essential technologies. If those things are working together in harmony then you can make magic out of anything, with anything. And when it comes to distributing music, it’s obviously very easy to push music far & wide with things like soundcloud and bandcamp, which are essential for any self promoting musician, but good word of mouth is key! If you can get good people talking about your shit, you’ve got it made.
Good Company has hosted and co-hosted some of the most enjoyable parties in Perth over the last few years. How are you guys likely to split your time between putting on gigs and producing recordings?
It’s pretty simple actually, just people power. Nik Patterson is the man responsible for making the parties what they are, alongside Jack Faulkner of The Monarchy, who we collaborate on with le Club. Perri Basile holds it down at the record store, which leaves me to focus on the label. We all contribute ideas and work to all aspects of the biz, but when you boil it down that’s how we are doing it and keeping all 3 things as good as they can be.
What would you like to see happen in the local music industry or the music industry as a whole, to compliment the work you’re putting in?
There’s lots of little things I would like to see happen but the basic goal is to enrich the cultural identity of this city through the power of music. That means helping people be more open-minded, helping artists understand where they fit in this world, helping them develop their own musical identity, then trying as hard as you can to take their art to the rest of the world.
I also want to make sure the people here get to enjoy musical experiences rich & unique to us as a people.
Check out their Hugo Gerani, their debut artist to sign to the label.