This Saturday evening, at Sydney’s Lansdowne Hotel, a group of local bands will be throwing possibly the greatest Halloween party to ever strike this great city of ours. With a lineup that includes The Dandelion, Los Tones, Mesa Cosa, The Jim Mitchells, and Rosa Maria, this party will be goddamn cataclysmic. Needless to say, we’re pretty bloody excited.
So we caught up with one of the event’s organisers – Rosa Maria’s Bobby Diamond – to chat the significance of Halloween and the resurrection of Sydney garage-rock music.
“If there was ever a time to resurrect rock n’ roll zombies and destroy pop music, it’s Halloween“: Rosa Maria chat the significance of Halloween and the resurrection of Sydney garage.
HAPPY: What inspired the Freakbeat Halloween Ball?
BOBBY: Earlier this year, our frontman Broc and I went to the screening of a documentary called Garage Rockin’ Craze that looked at the Tokyo garage scene and the DIY ethic that keeps it thriving. The film featured footage from Japan’s Back From The Grave shows, and the impact that the annual Back From The Grave Halloween Ball has had on the scene over there. I’d heard about the Ball through Los Tones, and Mesa Cosa who played at it, and they said it was bloody wild. Apart from Gizzfest, there hasn’t really been an event in Sydney that celebrates our particular flavour of garage, so Halloween seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it.
HAPPY: Halloween and garage-rock appear to go hand in hand, why do you think that is?
BOBBY: A lot of rock n’ roll from the 50s and 60s was influenced by B-grade horror and sci-fi films, and that trend has definitely continued. The Cramps, Dead Moon and Black Lips are all great examples. Garage-rock is meant to be wild and primitive, so I think the theme of Halloween lends itself well to that.
It’s worth mentioning that the Back From The Grave events in Japan are inspired by the 1960’s garage compilation series of the same name. The series was infamous for its liner notes and cover art that depicted rock ‘n’ roll zombies crawling out of graves and attacking manifestations of commercial music. Funnily enough, in Irish mythology, Halloween is the time of year that the souls of the dead come into our world through doorways to the Otherworld – If there was ever a time to resurrect rock n’ roll zombies and destroy pop music, it’s Halloween.
HAPPY: Do you think there’s a need for rock ‘n’ roll to be resurrected?
BOBBY: From an industry perspective, I understand that rock ‘n’ roll is not the most popular, or profitable genre of music, but I don’t think that means other genres are more “alive.” Personally, I think a lot of commercially successful music is devoid of any kind of soul despite its popularity.
I recently watched an interview with Lux Interior of The Cramps, and he said, “Good rock n’ roll only seems to last a couple of years and then it fades away. A few years later it rears its ugly head again.” I tend to agree with that. The best music is always made by freaks who have nothing to lose, and have absolutely no intention of becoming successful and consequently, they don’t really give a shit about exposure. As much as they might not be looking for the exposure, they deserve it, and more importantly there are people out there who deserve to know that these bands exist, and that they don’t need to go to shitty clubs and listen to crap music if they don’t want to. There’s always cool things happening if you can be bothered to look.
HAPPY: What can people expect from the event this weekend?
BOBBY: We have a monstrous line-up of bands including The Dandelion, Los Tones, Mesa Cosa, The Jim Mitchells and Rosa Maria, two ghoulish Go-Go dancers named Bridie Doll and Bella Louche, and the almighty King O.P.P of Straight Arrows fame, who will be causing an apocalyptic dancefloor meltdown.
Costumes are encouraged at the event, with the legends from Young Henrys offering a 12 person private guided brewery/distillery tour with free tastings valued at $550 to the winner of our costume contest. Young Henrys will also be offering free tinnies for the first 50 punters through the door.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
If you want to get yourself in the Halloween spirit before Saturday, wrap your ears around this new Halloween playlist from Straight Arrows’ King O.P.P: