“I am actually in a relationship with the lead singer, I am a DJ and she is a vocalist and basically we started working together, doing a few gigs here and there in Melbourne. It seems to be going well, we work well together and the energy on the stage was good.” They often say that you shouldn't mix business and pleasure, but old clichés are often wrong, as Collective's Jason Serini is only too aware. Though he and his girlfriend, Chloe Maggs, only stumbled upon their musical harmony unintentionally, they decided that with ball already rolling, they may at least see how far it goes before stopping. Serini continues, “We started thinking we were onto something as we were getting positive feedback. So we started thinking about adding extra live elements to what we were doing. So we added a saxophone [Jarrad Lees], guitar [David Dzanovski] and drums [Adrian Portia]. Basically we formed Collective and started gigging last June.”
“Trak is owned by Michael Gudinski from Mushroom, James Nasser and Frank Stivala. Basically they were the guys, who when we launched it all, sat in and had a listen to us. They basically asked if we wanted to be regulars, so that in itself was a big compliment coming off people like that. Just thinking that they know what sounds right.” With their metaphorical wings spreading, and a line-up that would be less strenuous upon their personal relationship, it was only a matter of moments before they did more than just land on their feet garnering a residency at Toorak's trendy Trak Lounge Bar. With the venue having only just opened when Collective landed their prestigious slot, they had the tough task of ensuring that they, as much as the venue, became the talk of the town. Thankfully, through a balance of talent and determination, they easily won over the hearts of the public and soon enough found that they were attracting regulars.
A clearly proud Serini is reveling in the unprecedented twist in his career. Though he had never really anticipated Collective would be more than a hobby, he is flattered that people enjoy the fruits of his labour. He admits, “It is great that people keep coming back each week of the year, it shows that what we do is becoming far from boring.” While modest about their success, it is obvious that he is aware that he and his band mates may have unwittingly struck gold. So is he able to put his finger upon what the secret ingredient to their success might be? He reveals, “Our group is almost like a little family. We have got a good energy with each other.”
Cautiously Serini hints towards what lays beyond the corner for Collective, “We are in the process, we can't disclose what is actually happening, but there is somebody well-known and respected in the entertainment industry that basically has an agreement with one of our artists. It will all basically be happening in the next two months. In regards to original stuff for Collective, we are working on it. We basically want to get our first track out this year. So it is all coming together.” Though keeping his cards close to his chest in reference to the future, Serini is less coy about name-dropping about their big celebrity fan. While the troupe has shared the stage with everyone from Jessica Mauboy to the Brand New Heavies, it is a certain soapstar/popstar/reality TV judge whose lavishing of love has really left an impression. When asked at what point did they realise that they may have something special, Serini doesn't hesitate in response. Beaming with pride, he reveals, “We had Dannii Minogue sitting in the audience once and she came up to our manager afterwards and said that the band and the vocalist were amazing.”
Collective [AUS] play at Strut Saturdays every weekend at Trak Live Lounge Bar.