With the Old Mate’s Block Party hitting The Factory tomorrow, we linked up with the guys who spurred the idea of grouping together a bunch of Sydney bands (and some from interstate, too) into a reality. For those who were of the opinion that there wasn’t anything interesting happening in their local music scene (or that it was dead, for that matter), the block party is here to shift that viewpoint.
Guitarist, vocalist and proud dog owner Tim Meaco takes us through it all.
Thinking back to the music you grew up listening to and then the local music scene you emerged into as an up and coming musician, compared to the state of the scene now, what would you say has been a massive difference – both positive and negative?
I grew up listening to The Commitments soundtrack at home, and although I have often been accused of being afraid of commitments, I adopted a dog last year, so take that, ex-gfs. I walk him at least five times a week now and the exercise has been great for both of us, which I feel is definitely a positive. Now I can take him to Vic on The Park to watch bands and get a feed. Point being, despite the saddening closure of classic venues, live music and talent will flourish in the face of adversity as long as there are venues willing to support and bands willing to connect. Adopt don’t shop.
Why do you think events like the Old Mate’s Block Party are crucial for bands as well as music fans who might think they are lacking in options to be seeing live and local music?
It’s bringing the mountain to Muhammad. There’s a lot of musical talent around, this is just us putting a bunch of it together in a vibey inner west haunt, making it fun and easy for punters to get involved and discover their new favourite bands around town or at least get a new T-shirt for laundry day. That’s why I’m going, our machine’s still on the fritz since I tried to wash the dog.
It’s a Sydney event – a city whose nightlife and live music culture has been crippled in recent years – what does the enthusiasm behind the organisation of the Block Party (and it’s reception last year, too), tell you about how this city perceives all out events like this?
I think that along with many other events celebrating our city’s art and culture, it shows that nightlife is important to the community. It’s good for your soul; live music is even good for your health, according to a recent study in the journal Psychology of Music. Now I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure that means if you attend, buy a T-shirt and a record, all of your wildest dreams will come true. Hail Science.
Which band on the line up are you particularly looking forward to seeing play and why?
The Sweet Jelly Rolls. They always put the banana in my fruit basket, and I need the potassium to help with my debilitating sports cramps.
Can you tell us a bit about the type of show your band has been working on for the show and what you’re looking forward to the most about it?
You know that scene in Die Hard where the guy is on the roof? It’s like that but without the budget or direction… or any of the actors… but there’s constant reference to Bruce Willis and a Christmas-y feel, with a sense of impending doom.
In terms of the rest of 2017 – where are you hoping to take your music, and what excites you about being part of the Australian industry moving forward?
This year will see the release of our debut LP, which means a national tour and hopefully some overseas fun times as well, which we are very excited for after spending forever in the studio. Or we might just all go to the beach, or die due to some mass global extinction. The world is our oyster really. Woodie bought a new drum kit.
For punters who might be seeing you for the first time at the Old Mate’s Block Party, what should they be expecting?
Nothing. Expectations are the road to disappointment, I just try to be bitterly pessimistic and subsequently pleasantly surprised whenever something good happens. Life is all about balance.
Although there are some pretty great bands and last year was super loose, so you can probably expect a fun time with lots of friends if you want to be recklessly positive and enjoy yourself. My brother does that and he seems happy, really has his life together. Well done, Mike.
The Old Mate’s Block Party is at the Factory Theatre in Sydney on January 28th. Grab your tickets and more information here.