Guess who’s back

by Madura McCormack

The newsstands lay empty and the Facebook page hasn’t been updated in months. Where has METIOR gone?

Heads up kids, we’re still here, but things have changed and we have some explaining to do.

Firstly, the METIOR Magazine you know and love no longer exists. After some hard discussion with members of The Guild, it has been decided that it is time for METIOR to make the switch to online.

In the space of that decision and now, METIOR has not been effectively communicating those changes to you, our readers, and for that I sincerely apologise.

Big things are coming

 With the confines of print removed, there is more space to float ideas and create a publication that properly addresses the interests and curiosities of the Murdoch population.

Which brings us here, to the Official METIOR Magazine website. You will notice that while it may not look very pretty yet, the tabs above illustrate what the new and revitalised METIOR aims to say.

We want to cover everything from student politics, art & culture, research, photography and more. In due time we also plan to take advantage of the possibilities of video packages, short films and sound.

But we cannot do this without your voice, your views and your ideas. The magazine strives to be the platform for Murdoch students to make their creativity and talent known. And if you want to be a part of the team that helps push METIOR to its full potential, please get in touch

Accountability

On another note, you also deserve to know who is behind METIOR, the latest developments behind the magazine and what we plan to do next. For that, head here, where I’ve explained all that.

That’s it for now folks. Tell your friends, your parents and your pet, because METIOR is back up and kicking and this time it’s not backing down. We’re back, for good.

METIOR is published by the students of Murdoch University, under the governance of the Murdoch University Guild of Students. Content should not be regarded as the opinion of the Guild unless specifically stated. The Guild accepts no responsibility of for the accuracy of any of the opinions or information contained within the magazine.

Music My Way

Kallan Phillips is seemingly just like you and I. He’s a fourth year History and Security and Counter Terrorism student at Murdoch University who’s just doing his thing. What you might not guess as he walks by on campus is that in his spare time he likes to set up shop in his bedroom studio writing and producing his own killer music with an EP in the works that is set to come out sometime later this year.

“I guess it’s always been a thing. I grew up in a really musical family” Kallan explains “I’ve played guitar and piano most of my life so I just started making music that I wanted to hear and writing stuff that I was thinking about at the time.”

When it was time for Kallan to head to uni he decided that he could either go to WAAPA, or, he could study something different that he’s passionate about and make a pact with himself to learn the ins and outs of music production in his spare time.

In particular, Kallan explains that he has drawn a lot of inspiration from rap and hip-hop music production, “listening to hip-hop was big for me because I grew up listening to a lot of blues and rock. I listened to an album called Illmatic by NAS which is like a classic rap album and it’s got this incredible production by DJ Premier and when I heard that it totally blew my mind as far as how music can be made.”

Kallan describes what he is creating as lo-fi soul, “in the early 2000’s there was a movement called the neo-soul movement so it sprang out of soul music mixing with hip-hop production. I take a lot from that but the difference between that and my music production is that neo-soul music was often produced with lots of people collaborating and lots of different musicians working on it whereas my stuff is all really solo oriented.”

The music Kallan is producing not only draws its roots from hip-hop and soul but also from the energetic music of the American south which he experienced during his exchange in the states.

“I was lucky enough to go to the USA so I got to visit cities like New Orleans, Chicago, Nashville and Memphis, all these great musical places. I spent a weekend in New Orleans in a place called Frenchman Street, they have nine or ten different jazz clubs, no cover – you just walk in there – and the music and the atmosphere is incredible,” explains Kallan.

“One of the gigs I went to there was this guy that had come out of rehab the day before and he said ‘this is my first gig in about four months, we just decided to get the and back together’ and he just walked around the bar playing the trombone while the rest of his band grooved out in this tiny little space.”

It hasn’t been an entirely easy progression; Kallan explains “it’s kind of been a long four year process. I can imagine that when I first started I’d get to a point where I thought what I was making was really good but I look back on it now and think that it’s really average.”

“The other thing was actually finding something to write about, to have a decent voice as an artist you’ve got to have something that you need to share. Travelling overseas helped me, it kind of gave me context of what my life was in Australia I suppose – you can see it from a distance and really understand who you are and what it is that you’re passionate about.”

Working entirely as a solo artist Kallan has been writing, producing and promoting his work as a musician “I think that’s probably the hardest part of it all, the self-promotion side of things, ‘cos you kind of have to go up to people and say ‘hey, you should listen to my music or come to my gig, I’m really good.’”

If you’d like to listen to Kallan’s music check him out at http://kallanphillips.bandcamp.com/ or keep an eye on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KallanPhillips for updates on the EP and live performance dates.

Words by Olivia Gardner

Edition#4, 2014

The Simple Things

by Adam Semple

It took me about a week to figure out what the locals were so insistent on when they spoke of “the walking track to Meelup Beach.” I mean, I’m from the city so I have to wrestle with my ego to take seriously what a salty, tanned, and beach bound country resident has to say. I’m usually comforted by clusters of shops selling me things I don’t need, and short-to-medium waiting times at traffic lights are a pleasant reminder each morning that nothing has gone too weird or changed on me. Down here though, the feeling around town is different and my normal comforts change dramatically. So with the arrogance of someone whose job is more important than their lifestyle, I didn’t take much notice about the walking track. That was until I went looking for it. That was until I found it – paradise at my doorstep. Every day now, when I walk into the reality of this overt dream, I realise that I have been taking my home country intensely and explicitly for granted.

The elusive path is deep ochre, inlaid with the density of clay, concentrated with just the right cocktail of nutrients that our native plants have evolved to crave. The track-walls are thick and harsh, not only built by a dry and hot Australian summer but ready to fend off a salty sea-breeze, ready to suck the moisture from an unprotected leaf. The bush reaches out and into the already-narrow path, looking for more light, more growth. There is so much life down here. Kangaroos the size of rugby players will cross up ahead at a moment’s notice, blue-tongue lizards tease their taut tongues, then tear away.

Dunsborough, WA Photo: Adam Semple

Dunsborough, WA
Photo: Adam Semple

The walkway seems to follow the path of least resistance, shaved like a 12 year old boy’s head on the initial discovery of clippers, not easily predictable but a bald path nonetheless. The tall trees amongst the shrubbery have charcoaled trunks, war wounds from the natural cycle of regeneration – an inferno: out with the old and in with the new – but their leaves hang with a depth to their green, shouting out, “good try!” Occasionally you’ll see a thin vein, a track of footprints peeling off and down toward the water.

I follow one track down – the same track every time actually, as in the absence of maps I like to know where I am – and peel back the last line of shrubs to open a window into a new world. I see nothing less than church white sand, water so turquoise it looks ripped from a Paddle Pop stick, and then there are the rocks. Scrubbed in deep orange, painted in iron markings from the past, natures tattoo like prehistoric graffiti, they are resplendent. The only noise is a mixtape of Australian wilderness and the odd neglected leaf crunching under my toes.

Photo: Adam Semple

Photo: Adam Semple

It seems I have discovered this summer that a beaches without anything but yourself and your book, or your camera, or just plain old you, is bliss. How’s the serenity? It’s good. It’s serene. It appears that I may be writing this all with the enthusiasm of a shoe-in, a Perth punk just in for the summer and ready to split back to the rough and tumble of cross-walks and queues, pretentious bars. Maybe this kind of environment is completely normal, regular old soul food for anyone who has not been engulfed by city life. Maybe I am blowing it out of proportion. Sometimes it just takes loosing something, to realise how much you want it back.

Besides a degree of dream-fulfilment, Dunsborough also provides a few cafes, yoga studios, and take away Asian eateries. It’s not too small either, with two supermarkets, three gas stations, and about four fashionable clothing stores (constantly blurring the line between modern fashion and beach-appropriate nothingness). In-line with the scant nature of dress, a good percentage of the population are tanned, chiselled and healthy looking. It’s as if the whole vibe of this country town (and others like it) seems to exude a relaxed and health-conscious aura, something that is swept away when we overly wrap ourselves in the progression of career. Yes, the time and money for health can, to some extent, be a privilege in cut-throat city life, but down here it’s grounding, the salty hair and bare feet, helps the body rediscover how to feel good in the most simple of ways.

Photo: Adam Semple

Photo: Adam Semple

A lot can be learnt and enjoyed from this part of the world, and when it’s on our doorstep why not take advantage? If you are chasing the full trip southwest, you could always add-on an adventure into one of the ancient caves, inebriate your senses in a local vineyard, or just pause at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory to fill up on free samples, before departing for the Cheese Factory and doing the same.

There’s one last thing that you shouldn’t miss. The sunrises in Dunsborough seem to challenge my perception of colour every single day. Due to the North-East facing nature of Dunsborough’s coast, the purples and oranges run deeper than belief. Deeper than the sand you curl your toes in or the roots that feed the native trees.

This story originally appeared in Metior Magazine, Edition #1 2014

Cut Copy

Guitarist Tim Hoey talks about the cultural influences behind Zonoscope, the desire to create a new world of immersion for listeners and the months of touring to come.

With the anticipated release of their third album creating some not-to-be-messed-with hype amongst national media outlets and their continual war against free downloads, Cut Copy has reason enough to want a break. However this Melbourne synth-pop band will have to pack vegemite and photos of loved ones to prepare for the many months of international touring ahead.

Since the bands forming was there a significant moment in time that made you realise the success that cut copy was going to be?

I guess everybody measures success differently, our goals are always artistic ones, and every time we finish a record we are surprised by what we have come up with. We certainly don’t want to get to a point where we rest on our laurels, where we feel like we’ve made it as a successful band, and then continue to produce. I don’t think I could ever think of music in that way, or art in that way, it’s about constantly evolving and attracting a new audience every time. Certainly, the first time we went overseas as a band was quite an amazing experience, I never thought I would do that.

Do you think that experience (touring internationally), changed the way you approached song writing?

Certainly, travelling has been a big part of the way the sounds evolve because we have been able to absorb other cultures, to purchase records and gear from other places. We use that as a way of absorbing new music and we always take that home with us. Travelling and absorbing helps us start to think about what the next record is going to be like.

Stand out sounds from other countries that you would say have gone into Zonoscope?

There was a period in the 70’s and 80’s of artists being really inspired by African music and culture and it came across in their art and music. If you think of when Brian Eno and Talking Heads were collaborating and bands such as Liquid Liquid or Konk or Paul Simons Graceland, they were really influenced by this heavy, percussion, tribal sound. That is certainly something that we have picked up on and we thought it was a really interesting road to take. It is an approach that we had never really used with Cut Copy, so there was an emphasis on percussion on Zonoscope and it becoming more of a tribal sound.

Does the band have equal input in the song writing process, or is there a stand out member behind a lot of the song writing?

I think we all play our part, certainly Dan (Whitford) is the ringleader, there’s a great analogy said by Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan on 36 Chambers when he says “We form like Voltron and GZA is the head.” Well if we were Voltron, Dan would be the head. Dan is the main lyric writer and vocals and without him Cut Copy wouldn’t sound like it does. Dan had Cut Copy up and running before I even knew him actually. We knew mutual friends and I lived in Byron Bay at the time, he would come up to visit and stay. When I moved to Melbourne he asked me to work on the first record with him and it just snowballed into what it is now.

Can you shed some light on the album name, Zonoscope. is there a story behind it?

This album is about creating a new world for the listeners to immerse themselves in, and if you were using a lens to view this world, Zonoscope would be the lens you would use. It’s a word that we created, the idea being that for the rest of time when people talk about Zonoscope it will only have significance to this record and nothing else so we just thought that would be a really cool concept.

There has been a lot of talk about the cover art for the album, but who was responsible for the rest of the art in the sleeve and back?

That was done by Dan and ‘Alter’ his graphic design company, they handle the visual side of Cut Copy. They do all of the single artwork and have worked on all the sleeves. They also appropriated the cover image, done by Tsunehisa Kimura, whose work we commissioned for Zonoscope. Alter are a huge part of the Cut Copy family, it’s not just us (the band), there’s always a group of people we are working with that are just as integral as we are.

How have you found the response to zonoscope so far by the public and the media?

I’m not sure, we try and really shut off from that because it can be quite detrimental to your career if you’re reading too much of what people are saying. It works in two ways, because there could be 10 reviews of your record, there could be nine good reviews and one bad, but you will fixate on the bad one and start to self analyse. It can send you into a downward spiral of self analysis and being way too critical of yourself, but on the other hand if you read all the good reviews about yourself its quite a narcissistic process. I think once we finish an album and feel we have fully expressed our ideas, we’re happy with it, and hopefully people will appreciate that. With Zonoscope, we wanted it to be an album that revealed itself over time. People have become so accustomed to downloading music and putting it into iTunes along with a million other albums and just listening to bits and pieces. For us it was about a complete picture that you had to listen to a few times before really understanding where it was coming from. We didn’t want it to be an instant ‘hit’, we really like the idea of records that take time to reveal themselves after repeat listens. That is something Cut Copy tries to do with every album, we like to work to join the tracks together. It is a traditional way of thinking that we are very attached to.

How do you feel about your upcoming months of touring? is there anything you do to prepare yourselves for such and extensive tour?

You can’t really think about it too much otherwise you might have a nervous breakdown. We are all really excited after being holed up in the studio for the better part of a year, which is a very introverted experience. When you play live it’s the most immediate connection you have with your audience, so it will be good to get out and in front of the people again. However, it takes us away from the people we’re close toandwehavetospendalotof time apart from partners, family and friends. It can get quite difficult, but we realise we are in a very unique position and I never want to take that for granted.

Is there any particular country that you’re really excited for?

We are actually going to St Petersburg, Russia and when we go to America we’re going to New Orleans! We have never been to either of those places as a band before so we’re really excited! We’re always about trying to go to as many different and new places that we can, it’s a unique way of seeing the world and we try to go everywhere that appreciates our music.

Was it always planned for the last song on the album ‘Sun God’ to be a 15 minute epic? will you be incorporating it into your live sets?

We will be playing ‘Sun God’ live; it’s definitely in the set list. When we made the record, and we finished that song it went for about four to five minutes with a little 40 second outro on the end. However after listening to it a few times it felt like it wanted to go somewhere else, so Dan stayed up over night working on this weird synth kind of jam and the next day we pulled it all together to make the finished product. The whole album is about immersing yourself in the listening experience. I know that it can sound like career suicide to put a 15 minute song on a record these days because people are so used to the very instant 3 minute songs and moving on to the next thing, but for some people hopefully it will be a rewarding listening experience.

Originally Published in Metior Issue 1, 2011

Words by Kyle Pauletto