Q&A with the cast of Women

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I was invited to a rehearsal of Women on May 15 by Thomas Dimmick and Jess Serio.  I’ve divided the Q&A into two parts, part 1 for cast Q&A and part 2 for Crew Q&A. I will be seeing the first show on Thursday 9th June but there are also shows in Studio 411 near the Murdoch University gym at 7pm on June 10th & 11th if Thursday doesn’t suit your schedule.

Women is written by Chiara Atik, directed by Jess Serio and produced by Black Martini Theatre. It has a nine actor cast who have been rehearsing since mid April with auditions being held on April 9th & 10th.
CAST
Jo – Shannen Precious
Meg – Cat Perez
Amy – Claire Tebbutt
Beth – Virginia Cole
Marmee – Maddy Jolly Fuentes
Laurie – Hock Edwards
Mr Brooke – Matthew Abercromby
Professor Bhaer – Will Moriarty
Mr Lawrence/Carl/Clovis – Michael Casas

Women Event & tickets

Black Martini Theatre

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How would you describe the play in a sentence or two?
Virginia : Women is a brilliant, witty comedy following four sisters through the formative times in their lives.

Cat: Women is Little Women mixed with a sprinkle of the future.
Hock: It certainly isn’t your average period drama.
Matthew : A light-hearted, fun portrayal of the life, times and hardships for young women in post-civil war Massachusetts.
Maddy: It’s a super witty and tongue in cheek take on Little Women, but still captures the general essence of the original story.
Mike: It’s a funny and witty parody based on the Little Women series that focuses on having a laugh and not taking itself too seriously.
What did you enjoy most during the rehearsal process of ‘Women’?
Shannen: I enjoy being able to experiment with such an exciting and different character, changing her voice, mannerisms and exploring her background and figuring out why she is the way she is. I also enjoy bonding and getting to know my fellow cast and crew!
Claire: What I enjoy most is probably the laughs we all get when someone nails one of their punch lines. And the satisfaction I feel when I can pull a laugh no matter how many times the crew watched me.
Cat: I enjoyed being with my fellow cast members and messing around and having fun, but also being productive and making sure we get our job done.
Maddy: I’m new to Black Martini Theatre so I’ve loved working with a brand new group of people. Our first read-through as a cast was great. Everyone gave it so much energy and found the script hilarious.
Hock: The relaxed vibe. We can, and are encouraged to, have fun while still getting everything we need done.
Matthew: I enjoyed meeting like-minded people from around Murdoch who shared my passion for drama and it has made rehearsals relaxing and fun.
Will: The people involved in this production are amazing to work with and are incredibly funny. Working with them and bringing this show to life more and more every week is what I enjoy the most. This is my first comedic show so turning up to rehearsals every week has been a real treat.

 

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What were the two main things you did to bring your character to life from the script?
Shannen: I needed to watch the film of ‘Women’ and the television series of ‘Girls’ to be able to understand how the writer wanted to combine the two characters into one. I also watched other inspirations of my character so that I could understand how other actors read her.
Cat: I get quite method with my acting sometimes so having a distinct change in the accent helps to differentiate where I stop and Meg begins! And then there’s the non- verbal elements like how she sits and walks that really bring her to life.
Claire: I’ll be quite honest I spent an inordinate amount of time observing limes. [Editor’s Note: Claire’s character, Amy, brings limes to school and gets home-schooled as result in the original book Little Women]
Virginia: For me my main challenge has been with the accent. I’ve never attempted an American accent before so it has been interesting to develop that. I also had to get well versed on different ways with expressing my character through coughing.
Will: The only main thing that I did was sitting down and watching a lot of films with actors speaking in German accents. Films such as Indiana Jones, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained are to name a few. I took a lot of inspiration from Christoph Waltz who stars in both Inglorious and Django to add to my character’s accent and personality.
Mike: Because I have three different characters one of the main things is getting them to all be different and unique. It really helps distinguish and give each character their own space. The second is probably  attempting an accent. Getting voice and posture down is a huge help in building character.

Interview: Endeavour Games at Murdoch

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METIOR will be highlighting student run clubs, programs and initiatives on campus this year. If you would like your club, group, event or whatever profiled, contact Roland.

What inspired you to start the group?

The inspiration for the club mostly came after the drive to bring back Humans vs Zombies (HvZ). Our staff came to the decision that as a ‘gaming club’, we could organise or help out with other games that create the same sense of competition and fun that HvZ always has. That’s also where the club name came from: we’re endeavouring to get people together, having fun and competing.

For those unfamiliar, what is Humans vs Zombies?

HvZ is, more or less, tag with a theme. Two sides compete against each other to be the last team standing. One team are Humans (we call them Survivors for our advertising and such), they’re armed with Nerf blasters. All but three people start as Humans. The others are zombies. They don’t get guns, but they tag Human players to make them zombies. If they ‘turn’ all the Human players, they win. If there are humans left, humans win. It’s ridiculous and the best kind of fun, exactly what uni students need to relax.

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Innocent, unarmed zombies

We’ve had HvZ at Murdoch a few times before, what are the best aspects you hope to recapture, and what will be new this time?

I only took part in the 2014 season of HvZ unfortunately, so that’s really my only frame of reference. We only had about 60 players, compared to about 200 in 2013, and even more in 2012. I’ve been told it was run in 2011 as well but I haven’t found anyone that took part. The biggest aim for 2016 is to achieve the sense of teamwork that 2014 had. Everyone enjoyed the Us vs Them, where Them could be Us if you weren’t careful. People explored more of the campus than they would have just for classes and that made things pretty interesting too. We’re hoping to implement a few small ideas, but the biggest change this year is the Costume Competition. Come dress as a zombie or a human in the zombie apocalypse, get your photo taken for our Wanted Posters, and on Friday the 18th we have judges coming in to decide on the best. As well as two of our staff members, and a Guild representative, we have a couple of popular cosplayers (Lady Jaded and Darkforce) coming down as judges. We’re also planning a Hunt the Guild event where a few Council members will make targets of themselves. Beyond that we’re hoping to add a few extra events snd attractions for Round Two.

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Murderous, vile humans

What sort of people should sign up for HvZ?

Everyone. Everyone should sign up because its the most fun you can have on campus! In all seriousness, anyone who likes active games, role-playing, dressing up or just anyone who owns a Nerf blaster should at least give it a shot. It costs nothing and you’ll make new friends and have fun. I’d be pretty sad not to see a METIOR rep at some of the events!

Do you have any other plans or ambitions for the year?

Plans for the rest of the year are pretty much going to be guided by how popular Round One is. We’re really hoping, eventually, to run HvZ twice a semester, or at least twice a year. We’re always on the lookout for new games and events we can run as well.

What sort of support/input/help would you like and how can other students get involved?

All we’re asking for right now is for a huge show of support from the student body. The more interest HvZ gets, the more events Endeavour Games can run for students. We’re also looking for donations of unloved Nerf blasters that we can offer for sale to interested but unarmed students, with the proceeds going towards future projects, better prizes and maybe HvZ MurderU merchandise so players can show off their interest. We’ll also be opening up the club to regular members during week one, to help with planning, staffing and arranging events.

You can like Endeavour Games on Facebook or find out more about Humans vs Zombies Round 1 here.

Photos from Humans vs Zombies 2011

The Demons of Barry’s practice

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By Conrad Charles MacLean

An abridged version of my interview with local exorcist Barry May.

Father Barry May is a local Perth exorcist. He held Anglican ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2007. He worked as an army chaplain for 14 years and spent another 14 in the police force. I sat down with Barry to talk to him about his exorcism work.

“They all think the only church that can do this is the Catholic Church” Barry laughs “Well I’ve got news for them. It’s not that way, and honestly I deal with 98% Roman Catholics…Muslims do it…I’ve had Hindus. There are in various faiths exorcists, because in the major faiths there are evil.”

Barry tells me about some of his adventures. “Oh, one of my very first actually, girl was about 25, 30 years of age. She had at least a dozen nasties in her, and it took me hours and hours and hours to deliver her, and I was wearing a crucifix and all of a sudden this hand came out and grabbed it…she was a big kid, fairly heavy girl, and she just grabbed at this and tried to rip it off my throat.”

“I said “you leave that alone!”

… “And she said “Jesus is my brother.””

(Barry says those last four words in a harsh gravelly voice.)

“That’s what she said, that’s what she sounded like. I said “Jesus is no brother of yours, go get the hell out of here.”

Barry has Hindu customers as well. Photo by: Madura McCormack// Ubud, Bali

Barry has Hindu customers as well.
Photo by: Madura McCormack// Ubud, Bali

“So that was that, after 10-12 (demons)-I’m guessing it was 12-she was free.” He explains.”

“I don’t charge anything” he informs me “I’ve never charged a thing…it’s not ethical, not for me. I know some do. The Catholics want to pay because they always pay their priests. I’ve never done that, never accepted that. I want them to know that this is a ministry that we don’t charge for.”

“We always have a very long interview session” he explains “because it would be arrogant to say to somebody “I can fix you up, give us ten minutes…it might take several hours to find out where their coming from, what is their faith value, what’s been happening to them, what have they been playing around with? Because once you start delving you will find almost without doubt that they have had some occult involvement, whether it be recent or whether they were perhaps teenagers…boys who play around on a full moon with a Ouija board.”

Barry told me he believes practicing witchcraft can cause a person to be possessed by demons.

“There are witches covens in Perth” he tells me “there are people who on outward appearance are respectable, might be a doctor, or a lawyer or your next door neighbour, or teacher. And they practice witch craft by night time, at a full moon and dance around in the nuddy, and (in) the next day they put on their clothes and go to work and become your GP.

It’s not common but it does happen unfortunately, and to say “oh, look, I’m really a white witch, and their OK.” Crap. Their not. White or black witches, they still pray to Satan to give them guidance. I mean, a white witch will say “I belong to Satan, for good things to happen, so I can prosper.””

Barry had this warning for amateurs thinking of taking up exorcism.

“I’d be very, very careful. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t do it (exorcism) but do a lot of study on it. And if you had for the right reasons, not for your own reasons, I don’t do it for my reasons.

“In fact it scares the pants off you because it’s pretty hairy stuff, by the time I’ve finished, and I’ve done an exorcism, I’m absolutely walloped. Honestly walloped, and people say “god you’re sweaty.”

“And I am sweaty because it just takes so much out of you. So it depends how much you’re prepared to give…if you do it for the good of the person, and for their salvation and their enlightenment and all that sort of stuff, fine, go for it.”

Scott McArdle: A rising Murdoch star

This theatre major is going places, and fast. METIOR caught up with him to steal some of his contagious passion and find out what he’s up to.

By Madura McCormack

Self-assured, he speaks in scenes, choosing words that craft a reel of images in the mind. He radiates theatre, the glint in his eyes dancing as he discusses his favourite medium. At just 22 years old, Scott McArdle is arguably Murdoch University’s fastest rising theatre star, on the verge of presenting his fifteenth show.

His passion for theatre is transfixing, this pinpoint focus probably being what has propelled him into the depth of the field so quickly. Stepping foot into Murdoch midway through 2011, by November he had founded Second Chance Theatre [SCT]. Some four short years later, McArdle has now teamed up with The Blue Room Theatre, and will set up shop at the Perth Cultural Centre.

The youngest producer to currently be working with the Perth based theatre group, McArdle’s latest play will be his longest running yet, with a three week residency at the PCC in September.

Titled ‘Between Solar Systems’, the play is a futuristic exploration of the human psyche which follows the life of Vincent, a 25 year old orphan raised alone by a computer in a spaceship after human kind rushed to leave a crippled Earth.

Set in 2050, Earth now ceases to exist after a botched United Nations plan to reverse global warming 30 years before goes awry, forcing everyone to flee the planet.

Vincent, played by Perth actor Nick Maclaine, is a perfect human, living out his routine in solitude.

“Until he sees a woman running around in the spaceship from the corner of his eye, making him question if he is alone… he starts searching for the truth, sabotaging the ship to find out what is really going on,” McArdle explains, refusing to reveal if the woman is a figment of Vincent’s imagination or if she is real.

There are a couple of twists at the end that are powerful and gripping, he says, describing the ending as the most beautiful part of the piece.

Between Solar Systems from David Cox on Vimeo.

Drafted on a red-eye flight

Relocating to Sydney earlier this year for a course with the National Institute of Dramatic Arts [NIDA], McArdle found himself in tumultuous times, with one thing going wrong after the next.

“I was feeling lonely and depressed, and suicidal,” he says, after the stress from private problems and the pressure of being away putting a strain on his personal relationships.

“I felt stuck in this womb…this ship, this emptiness… And I couldn’t crack it, because I wanted to come home. So I left.”

McArdle caught a midnight flight home to Perth and it was then that inspiration struck him. By the time the plane landed, he had written the first draft of Between Solar Systems.

He named his main character Vincent from the feelings of despair and isolation he felt during his time at NIDA, where the writer’s room was filled with pictures of the great Dutch artist Van Gogh.

“They are both characters who are sad and don’t know it, and it fit,” says McArdle, whose Van Gogh screensaver reminds him of why he wrote the script to begin with.

Between Solar Systems Source: Blue Room Theatre

Between Solar Systems                                                  Source: Blue Room Theatre

McArdle frequently draws inspiration from his personal battles, with one his previous plays, Bye. Gone. based around the year-long argument he had with his mother.

His gaze deviates once in a while as he collects his thoughts, only to return with a stream of words more powerful than the ones before. Music is his muse as well he says, with the tunes that fill his ears guiding him to a part of his life that ignites an idea for his shows.

“There is a scene [in Between Solar Systems] set on a beach. It’s about someone who went to the ocean. She’s talking about this ocean and how it will swallow everything… it is about accepting the inevitable, about walking into the ocean and lying in it and being at peace with it,” a part, McArdle says, that came to him after a friend sent him an instrumental piece called ‘Arctic’.

There is no permanence in theatre

Unlike film, which can be viewed over and over, theatre has a real rawness at its heart McArdle says, with sets being painted over soon after a show ends, without leaving a trace of its existence.

“A play you work really furiously on is gone in a week… you spend a year writing it, planning it, and it will be done. It’s sad but you get used to it… It’s happened 15 times now.”

But if there is something that remains fixed, it is the strong theatre presence at Murdoch University. To date, the school has three theatre companies, after McArdle moved Second Chance Theatre into the professional arena.

Black Martini, Murdoch Theatre Company currently helmed by Justin Crossley, and Modicum Theatre Perth are always improving he says, and have been strengthened by the recent renovation of Studio 411 on campus.

McArdle; deep in thought or half-asleep? Either way still inspiring Source: Supplied

McArdle; deep in thought or half-asleep? Either way still inspiring. Photo by: Kieran Peek

Be open

McArdle’s streak of achievements continues on, with the artist currently in the midst of writing his honours thesis at Murdoch. He is arguing a definition of a new theatre genre called ‘Dream-realism’.

His meteoric rise in the local theatre scene is likely due to his infectious thirst that is fed by a bottomless oasis of ideas, and supported by the air of humble sophistication that surrounds him. And his advice for other aspiring playwrights is reflective of this demeanour.

“Be open,” he says, “Be open to criticism. As much as you are praised, be open to change.”

“Be ambitious. Don’t settle, and don’t be afraid to fail tremendously.”

Between Solar Systems is playing at The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, from September 8-26 at 7pm.

Check out Second Chance Theatre’s Pozible Campaign here to give them a hand.

Tickets cost $20 for students and can be booked at blueroom.org.au.

Talented Threads

Words by Sameera Afzaal from DYNAMIQUE BLOG

A simple train ride is enough to accentuate the spectrum of fashion and the impact of the industry. Commuting to and from university excites me because in one journey I spot garments from every era of fashion worn in different ways; from vintage to current runway daywear. Intrigued by this observation, I went on a journey to scope out the talent of exuberant fashion creators at Murdoch. Like every tertiary campus, Murdoch University is a melting pot of weird dressers (let it be known that I say this in very positive light). We are all in a way a part of this mega tribe of fashion, whether we like to admit it or not. It doesn’t matter if we scope out an intense color coded wardrobe every day or resort to a good old jumper with some nice kicks. What matters is the culture that is being created; popular culture, street style, modest street style, sport luxe, the list goes on my friends.

Style and culture were the core things that led me to meet two incredible people with amazing upcoming brands. Introducing Kenza Threads and Ebony by Roe.

What is your brand?

Kenza Threads: Kenza threads. Kenza comes from an Arabic word, ‘Kenz’, meaning treasure. So we seek quality and unique pieces for our customers.

Ebony by Roe: Our brand is called EBR or Ebony by Ro. It’s based in Zambia and we incorporate African/Zambian materials and modern designs to come up with fashionable pieces.

What inspired you to begin this?

Kenza Threads: On a chilly morning, two ladies coming up with ways of styling scarves over the   kitchen counter. Furthermore as a hijabi and a fashion/colour loving person, I’m always on a lookout for colorful shawls to add to my collection in Perth. However, the pieces never seemed to match my taste in shawls. Thus after surveying around, my business partner and I decided to take a step further and get this business going!

Ebony by Roe: We thought it would be good to have pieces that have an African/Zambian flavour that you can wear every day. We also have the option to create custom-made pieces because we know that sometimes you may be looking for something different or that’s made for you specifically.

Sameera Afzaal modelling Kenza Threads. Photo by Joey Heng

Sameera Afzaal modelling Kenza Threads. Photo by Joey Heng

What is one thing you love about fashion?

Kenza Threads: I love how fashion allows me to express myself in very unique ways. It is flexible and allows the world to take a peek into my likings! For example, my shawls can turn into a sleeveless top or a turban! It all depends on how creative and bold you would like to be!

Ebony by Roe: I can’t think of one thing so I’ll say a few things. Firstly, I love that fashion is timeless and ‘comes back’. I look at some of the photos of our mother when she was younger and I wear some of the same styles today! Secondly, I love how fashion is universal and different influences from different places all come together to create a certain piece. And also that fashion is an identifier, you can say a lot about yourself (where you are from, your interests etc.) by what you wear.

If you had to describe one item from your collection; what would it be and why?

Kenza Threads: I would choose Ethnic Fusion from the Jungle Frenzy collection. This print is a fusion of ethnic prints at its borders with leopard prints in centre. I love how two different prints can be combined to create something unique and allow the user to play around with the material to showcase their favorite prints out of the two!

Ebony by Roe: I think the one piece I would describe is my favourite custom made piece so far, a white black and green t-shirt dress with a hut print. I won’t bore you with the whole story but when I went out to pick out the material, I remember seeing it and having no idea what it would become once sewn but I loved the print. When I told my sister the idea she thought it would be too plain but when it was done, the print and colours were striking enough for it to be interesting but ‘plain’ enough for it to be dressed up or down easily. The beauty of EBR pieces is that they are striking on their own because of the print and designs, but they can be transformed so easily.

Where can we find you?

Kenza Threads: http://www.kenzathreads.com/
Ebony by Roe: ebonybyro@gmail.com

Ebony by Roe

Ebony by Roe

Life of Riley – Interview with Drapht

You have said the Life of Riley is all about being your own man and answering to yourself – do you believe this can be a reality or is it just another dream along the lines of world peace?

No, totally. Of course it could be a reality. It’s like you choose your own destiny. You can’t choose world peace ‘cause that’s changing everyone else, but you can change yourself. So it’s, you know, you pave your own path and you are the teller of your own destiny for sure. It’s your life of riley it’s not everyone else’s life of riley.

The Life of Riley was released on your own label – The Ayems. What is the meaning of the word ‘ayems’ and why did you choose it for the label?

The Ayems stems from a group of friends that I’ve grown up with that I’d like to carry on to my own label. So it doesn’t actually have any meaning, it’s just a graffiti crew that I’ve grown up with and we’ve just bought it over to the music side as well. Continue reading

Thank God I’m Not Famous!

When I spoke to Harry James Angus the trumpet player and singer of The Cat Empire he was sitting outside the Harold Holt Memorial swimming pool in Melbourne. Like most of us Harry prefers the beach but according to him “in Melbourne there’s not really that much swimming to be done on the beach.”

Of course, in Victoria there is Cheviot Beach, named after the SS Cheviot which sank, resulting in the loss of thirty-five lives. It is also the infamous beach where Australia’s seventeenth Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim and never came back. If I had increased Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War – he coined the famous slogan “All the way with LBJ!” – I too might have left our shores without warning. Continue reading

Sparkadia

Interview with Alexander Burnett by Kyle Pauletto

‘The Great Impression’ was the first album that was solely written and recorded by you as a solo artist, how did you find the process differed from when you had a band to work with?

Well the first record was essentially all my songs as well. The first record was a lot different, it was a live record and we made 12 songs in 12 days with a big name producer in London and it was the first time we had been there so it was all very exciting. That was two years ago and we were I guess much more young and wide eyed then when the band left. I was left with a bunch of demos on my computer that I loved and I think it just gave me the ticket to just be free and do whatever I wanted. It was just exhilarating to have that freedom of not having a band. Of course at the same time it was daunting, because there’s no safety net, no one to rely on and fall back on.

In your opinion do you think there is anything noticeably different in the finished product because you were alone and had that freedom?

Yeah totally, I think it would have a completely different record if it was with the band that did the first record. I don’t know if it would have been better or worse, I just know it would have been different. Something about the band leaving inspired me to be more selfish and to go further in myself, to write bigger bolder pop songs as well as more honest, quiet songs.

Do you think for future albums you will recruit more band members or remain a solo artist?

I don’t know, I have a band I tour with and they are great musicians and great live and we have a lot of fun but who knows what the next record entails. I do like just doing whatever feels right at the time so if we get really good at playing on the road and decide to release some demos then great and if not then the next record might be more acoustic or it might be more ridiculously pop, it depends what happens in life. I write songs based upon what’s going on in my life and how I feel, so I don’t want to plan too much.

Whose idea was it, and what was the reason behind letting your twitter and facebook followers listen to the album before its release?

I think that it was the record labels decision. We started touring directly after the record’s release and we would be playing songs from both the old and new album. It seems to be such a different world in terms of making records even from just the first record to the second.

Is your online popularity surreal at all?

Yeah it is, its really strange to be in a situation where its up to the world to either love it or hate it, some people will hate it because other people love it and people will have songs that they think are amazing other songs they think are ridiculous and terrible. I love the concept of music in the sense of just putting it into the world, and letting the world decide, and that’s just how it is, I don’t want to control it.

In only 3 years since the first album ‘Postcards’ was released you have toured to a large percentage of the major destinations, do you think with a second album at your disposal you could go places that you wouldn’t have been able to, limited to one album?

Yeah definitely more places, it seems to be going that way, especially Europe and the UK. I was looking forward to maybe having a week off and going somewhere exotic but its back to the road. I think we’re going to Iceland this year which is going to be amazing, who would have thought? We’ll probably spend more time in America which is exciting. Sometimes with music you never really know, I mean ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Kiss of Death’ were hits in Germany so we did quite a bit of touring there and that was very surprising. In the UK ‘Too Much To Do’ was played a lot which allowed us to do a the big festivals, so who knows what will happen with this one.

Being our environmental issues, are there any environmental issues you feel particularly strong about, and have environmental problems ever been a point of inspiration for your music?

Of recent times I’ve been pretty concerned about how the world is going, with so many natural disasters, especially with the 2012 prediction. I did actually write a song recently touching on those topics, and I think that’s something I will be writing about more in the future.

Originally published in METIOR issue 2, 2011.

Sea Shepherd – Guardians of the Sea

The Sea Shepherd is setup to enforce laws and regulations that protect marine ecosystems. Although the laws have been put in place by the Federal Government, they fail to manage the oceans. All Sea Shepherd campaigns are guided by the United Nations which gives non-governmental organisations the authority to uphold international conservation laws. Sea Shepherd’s Australian director Jeff Hansen says

“In a lot of cases in the southern ocean whale sanctuary what the whaling people are doing is illegal but there is on one down there to prosecute them. Our clients are whales, dolphins, sharks turtles, that is who we represent and ultimately our goal is to protect the biodiversity of the ocean and uphold those laws.”

“If it’s illegal you should get in there and shut it down, there is no compromise.”

“We realise what we are doing is putting our lives on the line to protect whales and if you aren’t prepared to do that you shouldn’t be onboard the vessel.”

Jeff believes the Australian Government hasn’t stepped in with a stern ‘no’ to whaling because the international whaling system is completely corrupt, and because they are one of Australia’s main trading partners.

“It started off with a number of nations managing whale stocks and they were generally nations interested in whaling or had whales in the past. But Japan thought that if they wanted to continue with commercial whaling they needed to get more votes so they started buying them. They went to poor countries or an island nation, injected a heap of money into their economy or built them facilities and forced them into the IWC so they would be a member and could vote for Japan to return to commercial whaling.”

“It (IWC) needs to change its focus from the international whaling commission to one that aims to protect and defend whales.”

According to Jeff, Australia is the the most supportive of the Sea Shepherd in regards to media prominence. The only support received by the Federal Government is that from Greens Leader and Senator Bob Brown, who asks questions on behalf of the Sea Shepherd in the senate.

“It’s definitely not funding, but the Greens will ask questions on our behalf in the senate and ask ‘What’s the Australian government going to do?’ The Sea Shepherd’s vessels are protecting Australian waters an up keeping their laws but why isn’t the government down there doing something about it too?”

Public support includes anything from donors who give five or ten dollars a month to ongoing supporters that turn up when ships are about to leave port with carloads of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Sea Shepherd campaigns can cost between three and four million dollars each, fuel alone for one mission is a million dollars. So how do they get by being a non-governmental, notfor-profit organisation?

“We have money coming in from the United States, we are getting more effective with online merchandise stores in the UK, Europe, Australia and America and our admin is very low. I’m the only full time employee in Australia, and I work from home. We have two part time employees in Melbourne who work in a donated office. Our crew are all volunteers. The captain and chief engineer are paid but apart from that they are really just volunteers from all over the world including Japan. We believe if you want to help the ocean and you want to help sea shepherd then you will do it (donate/volunteer) out of your own interest and out of your heart. All of our volunteers aren’t paid and they aren’t on a commission, they give up their weekends and free time to go out and talk to schools for Sea Shepherd,”

Facts

  • The whalers are everyday fishermen whose vessels are provided by a company in Japan. The costs are now subsidised by the Japanese government who are in debt of $200 million dollars for their whaling. This year they went home a month early and due to the recent tsunami it is hoped tey won’t be able to afford a return next year.
  • 80% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. If the ocean dies, we die to. It’s quite simple.
  • 98% of the world’s whale population is already wiped out.
  • There is a lunch program in some Japanese schools where whale and dolphin meat is put into the lunch in the hope it can be promoted via children. Somehow this is supposed to get the industry up and running again.
  • Both whale and dolphin meat is highly toxic (mercury) as they are further up in the food chain and our oceans are so sick and polluted. The acceptable level of mercury in dolphin meat is .04 parts per million and the dolphin meat available on shelves in Japan is 2000 parts per million.
  • There is an area of ocean off the coast of Hawaii called the Pacific Vortex. It is the size of the United States and full of plastic. Many of the world’s currents meet there and have created a plastic pool. Whales often ingest plastic bags and can no longer digest their food. Pelicans and other wildlife get caught up in fishing equipment and plastic. The smaller parts are eaten by fish!
  • Some beaches no longer have sand particles – they have plastic particles!

What you can do everyday

  • “One of the biggest things people can do is if you’re at a restaurant and they serve shark fin soup, say that you can’t eat there anymore because you serve shark fin soup and the reason is because we’ve lost 98% of the worlds sharks and if we continue to eat this dish we’ll lose our sharks and die.
  • Another thing is just clean up the beaches, get involved with beach clean ups and put your rubbish in the bin.

There are onshore and offshore volunteering opportunities with the Sea Shepherd if you are interested. For more information, go to: www.seashepherd.org

Words by Sonia Tubb

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