Come to the dark side of the Australian electro scene with Melbourne synth maestros Forces.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
Forces is the two of us. Tom on drums, Alex on vocals and production. Its pure electronic. Dense, driving...live music for the club. We developed the sound with controlled experimentation and playing live a lot. We have a fairly clear vision we are working towards but of course there are always mutations of the core concept. The sheer amount of information accessible at this point is of course a big influence. We generate a lot of material initially then cut it back to a form we like.
What’s the Forces live show like?
Tom stands up with a small custom electronic kit, I stand and sing and occasionally tend to the electronics. Its quite direct. People dance. Smoke, lasers, inappropriate touching.
Tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Australian electronic/dance community that inspire you?
David Thrussel has inspired us musically, and helped define a path for industrial/electronic music in Australia. Along with a whole heap of other Australian artists like SPK, Severed Heads, Itch-E and Scratch-E, Single Gun Theory, The Presets, Krang, Future Sound of Melbourne, HMC, Scattered Order, Quench, The Shining Path, Third Eye....Australia has an amazing history of electronic music that is too often obscured by the towering shadow of guitar music. In terms of Aus artists we like right now... HTRK, Kangaroo Skull, Matthew Brown and Nun.
What are you guys doing when you’re not being Forces?
Tom - I DJ regularly, and I'm in the process of finishing a double major in philosophy and literature. Alex - I'm currently producing new material for some very talented new australian artists and working on the soundtrack to an Oz apocalypse feature called "These Final Hours", should be out half way through the year.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
Playing shows, promoting the EP, finishing the album and the new video clip, touring Europe, paying rent.
Australian music is…?
...due for a shake-up.View Profile Hide Interview
This guy does it all! He combines his skills as keyboardist, bass player, vocalist and drum programmer to create some joyful organic sounding pop numbers. His tracks have got catchy hooks and lyrics to make you smile.
Describe your music.
If I were to describe what I hope my music turns out to be, I'd say pop-driven tunes that still have an interesting musical production aspect to it. Although I am a bit of a muso nerd, I've learnt some valuable lessons about songwriting, very importantly that you can easily overdo anything when it comes to creativity. These days I'm trying to write things that are catchy, easy to memorise and easy to tap your foot to.
Who’s been a big musical influence for you?
Different artists influence different songs I write, seeing as I am a bit of a genre hopper. For example, 'Backflips' I think has a lot of Ben Folds in it, while 'Two Sides' and 'Different' show my respect for Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams. In terms of personal musical development and how its been influenced, way too many artists come to mind. Everything from Jeff Buckley to Mike Patton. Lately I've been listening to a lot of drum programming people like J Dilla, ?uestlove and the Platinum Pied Pipers -hence my increase in confidence with my own programming.
How do you start writing your songs? On the computer? Guitar?
Cool riffs usually just come out on guitar or on the keyboard when I'm screwing around, so I try to record them straight away before I forget them. I program a quick drum beat, loop it and record my idea in time with it and this becomes the central 'hook'. I tweak and build on that, adding new sections as I go.
Tell us about the local music community in Brisbane.
I don't know if I'm being socially ignorant, but I think the Brisbane music community is TINY! Everyone knows everyone so its easy to network and meet people. Its very easy to help your peers and help yourself get a name out there. It feels like the degrees of separation are very few and everyone seems to also be hooked up to Myspace... which is totally killer for being a whore.
What have you got planned for the future?
I'm studying at the moment (aiming for the stable future), but for the long-term I plan to hone my songwriting and production skills to the point where it can support me financially. Who knows what will hopefully come...the path of the poor musician is a hard one to follow. As hard as winning the lottery.
Australian music is…
...not to be underestimated. We have many world class artists in our locale that are sitting there undiscovered. Get out there and check out stuff you havent heard before! Is there anything Australian's aren't good at?View Profile Hide Interview
Coin Banks is a talented Perth MC with an impressive résumé of collaborations to his name. Now he's stepping up and stepping out on his own and we couldn't be more stoked.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I am a Hip Hop artist from Perth, Australia – I am a beat maker and an MC. A lot of people tell me that my sound and style is really different to what is going on in Australian hip hop at the moment, and I take it as a great compliment. I grew up listening to hip hop in Primary School so it’s always been there, and as hip hop grew, I grew with it. I think the main thing for me was to take my influences and create something original and different.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I am huge music fan. I am fan before I am an artist. So other music is probably my biggest inspiration. I want to make people feel the way the same way that a de la soul song made me feel. Other than that, life’s experiences are a big influence on me – love, girls, and philosophy. For me, Hip Hop is essentially soul music, so it’s the pains and joys in my life that inspires me to create.
What can punters expect from a Coin Banks live show?
RAPS! I am a rappers rapper, an mc’s mc. My main focus is to do my job and deliver the song as well as possible. That being said, I love crowd interaction, I love the old school house party vibe of partying with the crowd. If the crowd has a good time, then im gona have good time. My favourite shows are playing with a full band. I rarely get to play these because of budgetary constraints, but the songs really come to life when there is a 7 piece band behind me.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
Over the years, Homeboy Sandman has become a bit of a big brother to me. If I overstep the boundary, he is quick to step in and set me right. I love the dude for the guidance he has given me. He isn’t only one of the best MC’s in the world; he is also one of the most intelligent and nicest dudes I know.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Chet Faker – No Diggity (Cover)
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Ta-Ku – I miss you
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Sable – Feels So Good
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
It was a Bush Fire Fundraiser in Perth. Started with Natalie Mae and Rae doing an acoustic set together, I love these guys and their performance is always something special. Then Marksman Lloyd played, and he killed it as per usual. I had to leave just after his set finished, but was a great night with great people.
Tell us about the bands or people in the WA music community that inspire you.
Marksman Lloyd – He is my favourite MC in WA, if not all of Australia. His work ethic and originally are really inspiring – I always tell him how jealous I am of his stuff. One of my closest homies!
Mathas – I don’t really need say much about this guy, I love everything about the music he makes – he inspires me and makes me step my game up.
Ta-Ku – I’ve worked with Ta-Ku for over the years, and am happy to call him one of my best friends. He has always supported me in music and personal life, and vice versa. Dude is an inspiration for everyone in Perth.
Empty – This guy can play every instrument, rap, sing and freestyle something incredible. I’m always watching what he is up to next, and I suggest the rest of Australia do the same.
Sable – Young, talented, humble and passionate. This guy has such a bright future ahead of him, and I am super excited to be working with him on a few songs.
Childs Play, Beckon, Cole, Strangelove – These guys are all new young up and comers in the Perth scene and are already making waves. They all have a great work ethic and I am looking forward to seeing them grow as artists in the scene. They keep me on my toes.
What are your plans for Coin Banks in 2014?
Having the HEADS EP released on March 7th was a relief, but it now means I need to move on to the next page. Im going to let HEADS do its thing for a little bit, and to follow it up I have the TAILS EP featuring two singles with video clips. The Tails EP has my most favourite song of all time on it, I love everything on the HEADS EP but one of the singles on the TAILS EP is really special, and I cant wait to release it. I am currently working on my Debut solo LP with two songs already completed – one produced by Ta-Ku and another by Nottz from Detroit. As well as my solo stuff, UPNUP have been busy writing new material to take into the studio. I have also been working with Sable and Marksman on an EP. 2014 should be a great year.