Getting to Know the Australian Music Week Artists: Woodlock, Amistat, Betty & Oswald and Cass Eager and The Velvet Rope!

As we edge into the first evening of showcases as part of Australian Music Week, we take a look at some more of the artists preparing to do their thing over the weekend. From country to some indie rock, the following artists represent a solid and diverse line up of bands and solo musicians lined up for AMW 2015. Check them out below…

Woodlock

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Who are you, what band do you play in and what do you do in that band?

My name is Zech and I am the second vocalist and guitarist from the band Woodlock.

How would you best describe your sound?

Think of an old beat up VW Van – the kind where the horn doesn’t work and the left indicator only works after you bash it with a thong a few times while waiting at the traffic lights. It’s full to the brim with surfboards, music gear and two changes of clothes per person. Outside the van, the scenery is changing; surf, turf, city lights to cold nights and you couldn’t be happier that you are sharing it with your best and closest friends. Campfires with stories about how you ran from the police at a party, late night conversations about love lost and to be.

We are the soundtrack to an adventure of a lifetime.

If we were to listen to one song from you/your band, what should it be?

“Sirens” from our newest EP. It captures where our lives are at now, growing up and enjoying all the changes it brings.

What has been your highlight of the year so far, as a band?

We did our largest show to date at the Max Watt’s in Melbourne. It was an amazing show, but one moment in particular sticks out. We have a song called “Fortress” that’s about battling through depression with someone you care about and right at the end we all sung it together, and it honestly felt like weights were being lifted off people. It was a really beautiful moment that I’ll remember forever.

What is the best thing about being a musician?

There are so many great things about what we do, but if I had to pick one, it would be creating something you and everyone around you can enjoy.

What’s the hardest thing about being a musician?

Lack of reliable income; you’ll have times when money rolls in, then times that are twice as long where you make nothing. It can be very difficult in that aspect.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you had been told before you started making music?

“Don’t despise small beginnings.” When we started out, it felt very demeaning at times playing four hours for a hundred bucks, but we would never be where we are without all of it.

What’s one other artist on the lineup we should all see, and what’s a song you love by that artist?

Amistat, they’re a couple of model-looking, soft German souls. I personally love their song “Age of Thrones”.

Tell us when we can see you at AMW!

We have two shows on Thursday 19th November, first one is at the Sting Bar from 6.00-630pm, then our second is at El-Sol from 10.10-10.40pm. Cant wait to see you there.

https://www.facebook.com/WoodlockMusic/

Amistat

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Who are you, what band do you play in and what do you do in that band?

We are Josef and Jan, twin brothers originally from Europe who moved to Australia to pursue their dream of living of music. We are an acoustic duo called Amistat.

How would you best describe your sound?

I’d describe our sound as new age folk/alternative folk.

If we were to listen to one song from you/your band, what should it be?

If you’d only had 3.5 minutes spare in your life and would spent them listening to our music, I’d say your best pick would be “Loner” or “Humble Hands”.

What has been your highlight of the year so far, as a band?

We toured Europe for the first time middle of this year and managed to get into a festival in the Netherlands called Madnes. It’s is an beautiful little festival located right at the beach with incredible people and cool little stores. We both feel very lucky to have been a part of it and would definitely say it was one of the best experiences we had this year, music wise.

What is the best thing about being a musician?

The best thing about being an artist is that you are your own boss. No one tells you what to do and where to be. You are living life the way you want it.

What’s the hardest thing about being a musician?

The hardest thing about being a musician, we find, is staying true to your own music and keeping inspired.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you had been told before you started making music?

That music is about everything else but music.

What’s one other artist on the lineup we should all see, and what’s a song you love by that artist?

Definitely go and check out Woodlock, they are good friends and we have been busking together for a long time. Amazing musicians and lovely guys, their song “The Garden” is incredible and one of our absolute favourites!!

Tell us when we can see you at AMW!

You can come watch us play Thursday – Sounds like Cafe 3pm – 3:25pm, Friday – Zinc 9:10pm – 9:40pm and Saturday – Croydon Lane 11pm – 11:30pm. Would be great to see you there and share some of our music with you!

Keep up to date with Amistat on Facebook.

Betty & Oswald

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Who are you, what band do you play in and what do you do in that band?

Claudia Schmidt, Betty & Oswald, vocals and guitar.

How would you best describe your sound?

When you’re stuck in the city and dreaming of the beach. A bit gritty, summery and alternative.

If we were to listen to one song from you/your band, what should it be?

“King Of Bohemia” – but watch this space…

What has been your highlight of the year so far, as a band?

This year has been a big whirlwind and a learning curve. We’ve had some incredible moments, though. We played at Canadian Music Week earlier this year and got to do an APRA songwriting workshop and that whole time was a bit of a crazy high for us. But even more recently, we’ve been spending a lot of time writing and had some babin’ new additions to our band. We played Newtown festival the other weekend and that was a pretty special moment for all of us being on our home turf and looking out and seeing so many familiar faces in the crowd.

What is the best thing about being a musician?

Life is never boring.

What’s the hardest thing about being a musician?

When it comes to writing, sometimes you can be your own worst enemy. Also, when your band mates smell.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you had been told before you started making music?

The devil is in the detail.

What’s one other artist on the lineup we should all see, and what’s a song you love by that artist?

Letters To Lions are bloody great and our good mates. They just released a new song called “Following”.

Tell us when we can see you at AMW!

Friday 20th November, 11:10pm at JD’s!

Keep up to date with Betty & Oswald on Facebook.

Cass Eager and The Velvet Rope

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Who are you, what band do you play in and what do you do in that band?

Cass Eager from Cass Eager and The Velvet Rope – singer songwriter, guitarist.

How would you best describe your sound?

Country funk.

If we were to listen to one song from you/your band, what should it be?

“Beautiful Day” is one of those songs that just flowed through from the muse in one sitting. It was inspired by my trips to East Timor – the first few times I travelled there to entertain the troops with the defence force, and then took myself back there several more times as I made great friends who ran an orphanage there, so I would sit with them and sing and play and laugh and just share each other’s cultures. The song is about staying positive in the midst of it all.

What has been your highlight of the year so far, as a band?

Playing with Michael Franti & Spearhead on their Bluesfest sideshow. I also sat in with Kristy Lee from Alabama on her Bluesfest sideshows with both G Love & Special Sauce and JJ Grey and Mofro. So that was a good week.

What is the best thing about being a musician?

For me, it’s feeling like I belong to something. Music is like ‘coming home’. The band are like my brothers (except for the drummer – my husband – who is definitely NOT like my brother), and my extended family are the many other lovely and talented musicians I have become great friends with over the years. We just ‘get’ each other. I’ve also been lucky enough to travel quite a bit with music, touring through the US and Canada and entertaining the troops from the Middle East to the Solomon Islands. That’s only because of music.

What’s the hardest thing about being a musician?

My bank balance.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you had been told before you started making music?

Good question. I probably did get every piece of advice under the sun, from ‘Don’t do it!’ to ‘Follow your dreams!’, so I took it all with a grain of salt. I just listen to my gut and do what makes me happy. Or it’s more that if I don’t do it, I get unhappy.

What’s one other artist on the lineup we should all see, and what’s a song you love by that artist?

I’d have to say Chase The Sun, who have been long-time touring partners and stablemates. The guitarist Jan and I used to play together and that’s how I met Jon, my husband. Now he and Ryan play in both Chase The Sun and The Velvet Rope with me as the rhythm section. Killer band.

Tell us when we can see you at AMW!

Saturday at 4.10pm, we’ll be at the Mall Stage South. It’s gonna be a Beautiful Day!

Keep up with Cass Eager and The Velvet Rope on Facebook.