Dear Drum: "Should I Drop Out Of Uni?"

Dear Drum: "Should I Drop Out Of Uni?"

In the mould of our contemporaries - Dolly Doctor, Agony Aunt, Where Wendy and Ask Abbie – Dear Drum is a new mailbag from triple j Unearthed’s Green Drum to give you the inside track on the Australian music industry, triple j, and a whole heap of other stuff.  If you’ve got a Q, hit us up for an A. Just like these fine folk did:


Hi Drum, Is it better to drop out of Uni to pursue music, or to try and juggle? – Callum 

Hi Callum!

Let’s look at juggling first because it is kind of difficult and it requires a whole lot of co-ordination and organisational skill. You firstly have to be able to throw the ball up in the air, and then introduce a second ball, and then catch the first ball while the second ball is up in the air. Some people eventually progress to a third ball or even a set of knives but this sounds very complicated and you might get hurt. I don’t recommend you pursue this option.

Overall I think you can still study and chase your music dreams at the same time: all that knowledge and experience you get studying is totally invaluable and will set you up to have a better understanding of how music can work for you long term. Plus, lots of great bands started out playing together at Uni – Ball Park Music is a good example. With this said, there might be some other very understandable reasons for dropping out (Do you like your course? Is this what you want to do as a career? Etc) and you should weigh these up too.

Again, definitely do not quit Uni and start juggling. It’s not a good choice. Don’t try to pursue any other weird stuff like optical illusions or frog podiatry either. Tiny slimy feet are super gross. Instead, mull your options over, and keep at it if you want to. This is one of those cool situations where you can have the best of both worlds: the freedom to be creative and smart and cool, and to feel nurtured and supported in your cool, smart creativity.




Dear Green Drum, how do get sweet cash money for gigs and not just "exposure"? Pls help - Tina

We feel Unearthed Angel Steph Hughes is best positioned to answer this one:

Ah! Sweet cash money! Firstly - it is hysterical I am going anywhere near a question about making cash money, but ‘exposure’ danglers are a very serious issue and need to be addressed!

REMEMBER! Its important to do gigs for the love of it, and mainly just as a way for you to have a hoon with your friends. Playing gigs is great, so find the ways to make it sustainable – and as enjoyable as possible for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, there will always be little termites who pop out of the woodwork and tug at the exposure strings. Mostly, this means someone wants to take advantage of you, tbqh.

Doing things for free is great and amazing – but you need to weigh these situations up. For example: my wonderful friend’s top surgery fundraiser, or our community fete, or mum’s cowgirl themed 50th  – TICK!

Yee haw,



Hi Green Drum, long time listener first time caller. If you had to recommend three songs to listen to in an attempt to get hyped, what would they be? Thnx – Tom 

Tom! Thank you so much for writing to me, I am very flattered.

Unearthed Music Director (and my dad) Dave Ruby Howe answers these kind of questions every Tuesday on triple j Breakfast with Ben and Liam. So if you like this, you should listen to him on the radio as well!

Anyway, three of the biggest hype-up tracks on Unearthed right now:

Fresh Hex - Goddess {Ft. Rosebud Leach}
I like this one because it is crisp, crunchy, and flawless, just like my skin.

Rad Island - Can't Wait
This song is the fastest song of all time by my scientific judgement.

JIA LIH - Roll Dat {Ft. Datbreddadom}
I can’t listen to this one too many times because I get too excited and then I need to have a nap.

I need to have a nap now.




Dear Drum, What Is Love?? – Gideon 

I am a two-dimensional green drum and i do not feel human emotions. This question is deeply insensitive.




Dear Drum, what's your advice for a first time uploader to triple j Unearthed to get the most out of their profile? – Dave 

Wow great question, I love it and have been researching all day.

These are the best things you can do to set yourself up for success on triple j Unearthed:


  • Firstly, upload your best tracks to the website. There are lots of ways to think about this, but keep in mind that we’d typically only play one song at a time from a new artist on Unearthed digital radio. If you’ve got two good songs, put one up, and if it gets played, you can save the next one for the next time you want to upload in a month or two!
  • Have a neat, short bio and a nice profile picture. We want to know who you are and what you’re all about! It lets us talk about you on the radio and it encourages people to click on your profile. Don’t go all Tinder on us, but definitely do tell us about yourself!
  • Share, baby! It’s amazing for us to see new artists find a fanbase on triple j Unearthed, so the more that you can be sharing your profile around to your fans and your friends, the more benefit you’ll reap in terms of plays on the site and reviews by your fans + new fans. You might even get in the Unearthed charts, which is another great way to expose your music to a new audience.


Thank! Hopefully that helps you. Always feel free to hit me up @triplejunearthd on twitter if you need any more help. 





Dear Drum is an initiative from the triple j Unearthed team. All advice is general, and you should seek further consultation before making any huge life decisions. If you’ve got questions you want answered, hit up Green Drum on , with ‘Dear Drum’ in the subject field.