Talking Shop With The Taste of Indie Collective

Who am I talking to and what’s your role in The Taste of Indie Collective?
Bob Crain, I’m a long term member of the Collective. Rumour has it that I actually came up with and developed the idea for a collective of independent, original musicians in Melbourne. But that’s just an unsubstantiated rumour.
When did The Taste of Indie Collective start, and how has it developed since its beginnings?
The Collective has been going for about three years. It started as a collective of trios which was a bit limiting in scope. It has grown to include original bands through to solo artists and we have done gigs in just about every original music venue in town. We are currently focusing on songwriters and their songs, whether they are solo artists or the main songwriter in a band.
You guys present Melbourne’s best up and coming Indie artists every Tuesday in a constantly changing format. What’s on the menu for June?
We have tried to change things up at the Prince Public Bar on Tuesday Nights by presenting original songwriters and their songs in different, entertaining and interactive formats. The Nashville-style song fest format has three songwriters on stage together chatting with the audience, telling the stories behind their songs and playing songs. We have an aspiring songwriters night and duo/trio night. In what we believe will be a world first, we are going to be doing genre-non-specific original music with a house band. The first house band night is June 16and you want to be at the Prince for this first one.
What is unique and exciting about Melbourne’s ever-growing indie scene?
The most exciting part is the variety of what is being written. I don’t think that independent songwriters in Melbourne are too wrapped up in a genre specific formula. We have artists in the Collective that are influenced by everything from folk to reggae and punk to country, and when you have all these influences you get a fantastic blend of music.
Has being a part of The Taste of Indie Collective been personally fulfilling?
The most fulfilling part of this for me is the fact that we are doing it together. We are making in-roads in the local music scene as a Collective of like-minded independent original artists, not managers, promoters or bookers, and without a massive structure or promotional budget. It has just been the persistence of all involved, and the desire to present good local original music in a tough market, that proves that working together actually works. Our residency at the Prince is proof that persistence pays off.
Who are some of the most successful bands/ artists that have played with the Collective?
Bands like The Solicitors, Dear Stalker, Priestessa & Dash and Kill TV, and solo artists like Tim Hulsman, Acoustic Foxx, Brett Franke and Ali Hughes have all played Collective Gigs.
Why is it important to support and promote up and comers in Melbourne?
We have dedicated one Tuesday a month to putting the up and comers on a great stage, with excellent sound in a top venue for many reasons. They are the future of a great local original music scene and it helps to promote a community atmosphere. Offering an artist – who may be just past the open mic stage and really looking for a wider audience – that opportunity seems like a good plan and hopefully they will in return support the Collective events and become part of the community. 
The Taste of Indie Collective present songwriter sessions every Tuesday at the Prince Public Bar, St Kilda.