“I guess we’ve always had this discussion of ‘There’s a lot of really good bands around here, but they’re not really getting out and doing much. People are getting stuck here’, and that’s kind of led on to the label side of things. I think in the last couple of years that’s started to change a little bit”.
Jeb Taylor is sitting at Music Farmers, the record store he manages in Wollongong when he casually chatted to us on the phone about the music scene in The Gong. The scene down the coast has seen something of a renaissance, with bands like Shining Bird, Hockey Dad and The Pinheads emerging as some of the most exciting acts in the country right now. As a band manager, organiser of the Farmer and the Owl festival and label, Taylor is one of the figures helping to fuel that fire. The Shinging Bird boys endearingly refer to him as the true mayor of the coastal city.
“For a little bit of time there it was really hard for local bands here to even get into just Sydney. I guess they needed a base to play a gig up there. A lot of bands are in that Catch 22 of not being able to play to a fan base up there, but they have a place down here but it’s hard to transport that outside of Wollongong. Obviously a lot of blogs like yourself and FBi Radio have been really good. That’s helped a lot of younger bands start to develop that base, and hopefully that rolls on to the rest of the country as well. ”
As one of the industry’s rising stars we took some time to chat to Taylor about his approach to the industry and helping to put Wollongong bands on the map. This is just a snippet, so to get the full story be sure to subscribe to the first issue of Happy Mag!