interview | Marilyn Manson (1997)

Although their dark cloud didn’t float across to this side of the continent on their brief, two date Australian tour, the impact of Marilyn Manson on the popular youth psyche reaches further that the splash of blood and sweat that you may have felt at front-of-stage in Melbourne. Even the stories which arose during their two-week stay were enough to make granny’s toes curl. The young girl slashing her wrists outside one of the Australian concerts because she couldn’t get access was one instance. Then there’s Manson crawling off stage after severing an artery in his ritualistic self mutilation in Hawaii, just prior to the Australian tour. Just a couple of instances of his, erm, popular appeal.

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interview | Sandpit (1997) – Interview with vocalist/guitarist Brendan Webb

Sandpit hail from the thriving Brunswick Street live circuit of Fitzroy, Victoria, but their coy little lilting tunes are usually the stuff found bouncing between the Merge label in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and New Zealand’s Flying Nun roster. Theirs is the sound of sweet discordance, born of bedrooms and really cheap guitars which go out of tune half way through a three-minute ditty.

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interview | Shonen Knife, Interview with Naoko Yamano

“Monday I go to watch Sumo wrestling/It’s an easy day to get a good ticket” (One Week from Brand New Knife, 1996)

Their songs bounce from jangling, smiling pop all the way through bashing, smashing punk. They are Shonen Knife, three Japanese grrrls who mix topics of buying Barbie dolls, drinking beer and watching Sumo wrestling with frontal, crunching guitars. With the biggest question being ‘how the heck did these three break from the purely conservative Japanese music mould’, the answer can somewhat be found in their lyricism – it’s still cutesy Japanese youth culture, but the instruments virtually yell with the same excitable fervour of these three battling it out on the Twister board.

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Big Day Out 1997, Bassendean Oval, February 2, 1997

A compilation of reviews for a bigger coverage assembled from several writers.

For several thousand music fans, ravers and simple masochists, the first belly laughs of this final Big Day Out were to be had before reaching the ground. Note the frantic screams of the woman station guard as hundreds of kids tried to pile into the two train carriages graciously provided by Westrail. Note the bouncers pouring out the day’s liquid gold – water – at your feet. And note the impenetrable labyrinth of mazes inside the ground which stood solidly for WA’s aggressive liquor licensing laws.

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Mudslinger, Murdoch University, January 4, 1997

Several reviews which went into a bigger piece.

erm, it’s a bit brief ain’t it! maybe we should all pool resources and buy some ad space for the actual text in this thing … adm.

Following a week of face-melting temperatures, Saturday proved to be just the day to break out the long socks and general Maths teacher attire for the inaugural Mudslinger, the Murdoch Uni pitch splendid for this one day knock and mosh. With food, good vibes and Beaverloop t-shirts all the rage, the University’s new Guild building was the perfect amphitheatre for the few thousand assembled, a spectacle which will be hard to follow already in 1997.

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Tilt; Spooky, Harbourside Hotel, December 30, 1996

T’was the night before New Year’s Eve and pretty early on it seemed that the gig-going public was staying at home to do some of the more important things in life – taking down Xmas decorations, touching up gravel chips on the car duco, having a late night root canal, etc. Soldiering on, Spooky and Tilt got up at the Harbourside and played to about ten people, a number which got less and less as the night went on.

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Ammonia; Jebediah; Big Heavy Stuff, Newport, December 14, 1996

Ah, summer in Fremantle, the final destination of yet another ballbreaking national tour by some of Sony Australia’s big hitters and bright prospects. The rumour that Ammonia, Jebediah and Big Heavy Stuff were only hours away from finishing a 26 date/30 day tour was reason enough to expect a little craziness, certainly befitting the extremities of a ‘peep show’ and the Jebs actually looking tired for the first time in their lives.

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Spiderbait; Screamfeeder; Snout; The Fauves; Verona, UWA Refectory, November 30, 1996

Energised with a huge young fan base, their energy and machismo overflowing, the upper echelons of the Australian scene finally deserve a clap. Case in point: Spiderbait nestled amongst the Xmas ‘Best Of’ pap in the charts. Truly a reason to be thankful.

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Superchunk; Smudge, Planet, November 20, 1996

Sue, could you check Smudge’s bass player’s name? I think it’s Adam Yeo but I’m not too certain. Ta.

There exists, in your community, a widely unacknowledged subculture which is as delicate as a vegan, as opinionated as an anarchist and as stoic as a gothic purist. They are fanzine writers, and as the rustle of fake fur on notepad eminated about the relatively-full room you surely felt the religious gravity of the following situation – in indie label group hug.

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Fugazi, UWA Refectory, November 10, 1996

If ever there was a reason to scoff loudly and pee on a concert ticketeer’s window due to the extravagance of today’s entry prices, Fugazi provided the body-warm ammunition for any number of forthcoming events. Hailing from Washington DC, their instant accessability was guaranteed with a $15 fee, their firm grasp of independence and identification with the kids being graciously returned with an 800-strong all-ages audience.

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