Jagermeister Independent Music Awards
The Jagermeister Independent music awards celebrate independent music – what does it mean to you to be an independent artist?
Being on an independent label is a broad concept these days. Some 'indie' labels have healthy budgets but the majority still struggle to keep the lights on. For me, being an independent artist means having complete creative autonomy. It means workshopping ideas with a team who are passionate, innovative and radical in their thinking.
What’s the biggest challenge to being an independent artist?
Probably trying to reach your audience in a world saturated by media and then hoping they will pay money for the art you've made and not just download it. As an indie artist you are generally working with a fraction of the budget majors have to throw at the recording, mixing and promo of a new record so it has a completely different effect on the artist’s ability to survive and put out another record in the future when a listener downloads.
And the best bit?
The creativity, the relationships you build, the certainty that what you achieve, you achieved from good ideas and hard work and not from just throwing lots of money at something.
Who is your favourite Australian artist/band of all time, and why?
Hard to say decisively but The Avalanches spring to mind, then so does Paul Kelly, Renee Geyer and Regurgitator.
What new music to you find exciting at the moment?
The Weeknd (sounds like R Kelly smoking opium in a strobe lit basement), Gillian Welch (the new album is delicious), Das Racist (Hiphop for culture vultures), Opiuo (banging Australian electro) and David Bowie.
What makes Australian music special?
A lot of Australian music, like a lot of Australian culture in general struggles to find it's own identity, and there is the tall poppy syndrome to contend with, but there is an undeniable spirit and innovation that comes from Australian music, an honesty. In comparison to other parts of the world I think we also have a healthy live scene and passionate audiences.
Is this the first time you’ve been nominated by something and how does it feel?
No. TZU was nominated for a J award and an AMP award, neither of which we've won. I don't like awards or award ceremonies but it's nice to be nominated.
Who is your favourite opponent from the nominees within your category?
I have an enormous amount of respect for all the other nominees but Sietta are family. James (the producer) is a close friend and was the touring bass player for TZU for some years and Caiti and I have been friends since she lived in Melbourne. I'd say Sietta and Joelistics are the underdogs in our category but I'd love to see Sietta take home the award.
How do you plan to celebrate if you win?
Cocaine, hookers, a limo ride through Frankston with a dwarf stripper sitting on my lap singing 'happy birthday Mr president'...either that or an early night in with my girlfriend and a good book.
If you are in town for the awards, what do you plan to wear to make you stand out on the red carpet?
I haven't fully decided but I think I might wear a red carpet so that I'm actually camoflaged. I'll be like the awards ceremony predator.
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
I'm currently finishing the new TZU album which will hopefully see the light of day in February 2012. There is a re-mix record of Voyager in the works and I've started work on a futuristic folk album. Stay tuned.
Joelistics is nominated for Best Independent Hip Hop Album at the 2011 Jagermeister Independent Music Awards. The winners will be announced on October 12, 2011.