1. The Australian Public
I honestly don’t know what is happening anymore in our country culturally. We have completely lost our identity, we’ve lost essentially what it is that makes us so unique and have become nothing more than a parody of what we once were. Has reality television actually dumbed down the masses to the level of Morlock? It certainly seems like that nowadays. And this can be seen and felt throughout the entire Australian music industry. “Aussie Rock” is dead. There hasn’t been a decent uniquely Australian musical export out of this country for quite some time now (not for lack of trying mind you).
Some people might point to the band “Airbourne” and say “well, they have achieved international success.” Funny thing about that band though, even though they won a nationally recognised band competition, they were still relative unknown by the time they made it in the US. Which right there is why the music industry is so messed up. A quintessential Australian sounding rock band has to make it in the States first to get any recognition over here. Now let THAT one sink in.
And although this can be attributed to all of the previous points you can’t really blame anyone but the Australian public (and poker machines). For they have brought into all of this recycled crap and in full force. Then they have the nerve to complain that there are no bands like AC/DC anymore. It’s madness I tell you. Let me put it in perspective for you. Back in 01-03 I made quite the name for myself in the karaoke scene. I won several comps, got my face in RALPH magazine, nothing too spectacular but enough to create a bit of a reputation (good and bad). But the thing that used to really grind my gears was the fact that people were ALWAYS coming up to me and saying “there are no bands or good singers like you anymore, why is that? I remember bands like Chisel & AC/DC and bands like that playing shows, how come we don’t see that anymore?” The insanity of it all is quite maddening. First off, if you are one of these people who have said something stupid like this to someone, then I implore you to go back and reread everything I have just said. Then, I want you to listen to me very carefully.
Those type of live bands, the ones that you remember so fondly, the ones that defined a generation of music, those bands… are all still out there, if under different names. We have some of the greatest live acts on the planet but you wouldn’t know it, cause you are too busy putting your wage in the Pokies, or having a smoke outside, or just not even bothering & letting the execs tell you who and what Australian music is via reality television. The iconic bands that have been mentioned though this article all made it because people got off their lazy arses (asses for Americans) and took a chance on their local gig guide.
Like I said before in the intro to this article, my father brought them in from miles around (literally, we lived in the middle of nowhere, ha) and they all were willing to make the trip to have a good time listening to some good ol’ “Aussie Rock” Hey, not every band you see will be good, it’s the luck of the draw. But the only way for the next AC/DC or INXS is to be found is if the Aussie public got back some of the spunk that made us so unique in the first place. England, America, Japan, Europe. They all have countless festivals, an endless supply of venues and huge live scenes and they actually have enough pride in themselves and their country to get out and go look for the next big thing. That is why there are so many bands internationally at the moment. And it’s has nothing to do with population either, for we were once exactly the same. Do you think Michael Hutchence would’ve made a name for himself in this environment. Hell no.
As John Lennon once said, “I think music reflects the state that society is in….” Well if this is true, then what does that say about Australia?
This article was first posted on September 5, 2013