Reckless photobook creator David Forcier: “There’s a whole world of possibility in front of us.”

Image: David’s passport photo; handmade collage by B.

Underground photographer David Forcier has a knack for capturing compelling images. Forcier’s snapshots express the intensity and integrity of live music, documenting a vibrant, vital scene and evoke a myriad of feelings for the viewer. In the latest edition of his photobook project, Reckless, you’ll find an interesting and dynamic collection, mostly from the Australian underground punk scene between June 2016 and April 2019. Gimmie caught up with David recently to chat about the project, as well as the new record from his band, Civic, that’s in the works.

Firstly, how are you doing?

DAVID FORCIER: Yeah, I’m alright, some days are more difficult than others but things could most definitely be worse.

Currently, you’ve found yourself back in Quebec, Canada after spending the past five years living in Melbourne; how does it feel to be back in Canada? I know that having to leave Australia was very overwhelming for you: losing your partner, home, job, dog, support network, creative outlets, identity and sense of security. These are huge things. We really feel for you!

DF: Well to start off I’m living in the country about an hour-ish from Montreal and about a 20-minute drive to the nearest town. When you think of the stereotype of what living in Canada would be like that’s pretty much where I’m at with it all. It’s pretty wholesome mostly and because I’m unable to work and have been in varying stages of lockdown since October I don’t really see anyone and spend most of my days alone working on music or other creative endeavours to keep my mind busy. If I’m honest I’ve barely done anything “normal” since I’ve been back so it’s hard how to say I feel about anything, I haven’t most of my friends and everyone is still in the collective lockdown mess.

Can you tell us a little bit about where you live in Canada? What interesting things did you discover about your neighbourhood since moving back?

DF: So, the little township I’m in at the moment is called Mayo, Quebec. There’s about 600 people that live in the area and its farm land and not much else. So, to call it a neighbourhood would be a stretch but I think I’ve really learned to appreciate being in nature more than I ever thought I would. It’s the middle of winter at the moment so it’s a struggle to get outside much these days but honestly being able to just walk through a field or the forest without a soul around you can be pretty healing especially with the anxiety surrounding the unknown of what’s next in my life.

All photos by David Forcier.

Initially, what drew you to living in Australia?

DF: It’s not especially exciting but it was honestly the idea of not having to deal with winter anymore. I don’t do well in the cold and it’s so unavoidable here. I had sort of found myself at the end of what felt like a chapter in my life and had lived in Europe in my early twenties already so I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and just do something to figure myself out a bit more. I had never intended on staying for as long as I had but honestly just could never bring myself to leave and it really just felt like my home.

How did you become interested in photography? I understand that you started taking photos while living in Europe in your early 20s.

DF: Looking back at that point in time in my life it was a pretty lonely weird existence and I think I just needed something to be creative with to keep my mind busy. I ended up picking up a few cameras and just started taking photos of everything I could which eventually led to music since that was a pretty big part of my life already. It’s strange to think about but I remember being in my mid-teens seeing live music and seeing some of the photographers that were fairly prominent in the music community around me and think “I’d be good at that” but never really had the courage to do it. I think sometimes leaving the places you spend so much time in can really allow you to explore the things that you might be too anxious to do otherwise. When you move somewhere new you don’t know anyone and as someone who has pretty severe social anxiety being a bit anonymous can be a huge breath of fresh air and luckily, I’ve embraced that in the times I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone.

You’re getting set to release the second issue of your live music photobook, Reckless, which compiles live photographs taken in the Australian underground punk scene between June 2016 and April 2019; how did you initially come up with the idea to make a photobook?

DF: I most definitely used my camera as a crutch for my anxiety when I first moved to Melbourne which meant I ended up with a lot of photos. It’s a bit embarrassing to think but at times when you are going to events that are meant to be pretty social and you don’t know anyone having something to do can be the only that will make you actually go. After a couple years I needed some way to get them out in the world so I could keep moving forward and, in a sense, move on from the things that had happened. Leading up to the release of the second book I’ve found myself thinking about the passage of time a lot and how it’s important to not get stuck in the “what was” of everything. I suppose this is more evident than ever with everything that has changed in 2020 but I’d like to think I’m moving forward and compiling the last several years of photos was a pretty good way to bookend that part of my life and know that everything is in forward motion. 

For you, what are the elements that make up a great live photo?

DF: The beauty about photography and a lot of other ways people tend to express themselves, whether it be in music, painting, writing or whatever else is that it can be truly unique from person to person. I know what my strong points are and the way that I’ve developed the aesthetic around what I do but a great photo can literally be so different from person to person and I can find something to appreciate in most. From a technical standpoint you could have a photo that is really shit but could be the one that sticks out in hundreds. So, I think what makes a photo great really varies and at the end of the day when you are taking a snapshot of a moment in time when you get to look back on it there’s always something great you can find in it.

Your images are black and white; what inspired you to choose to work without colour?

DF: For years I’ve been thinking about how important it is to work with limitations within ever way you are expressing yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up in getting the perfect camera or piece of equipment but if you limit your options a bit it can really force you to be creative and work with what’s available to you. Black and white is just one of those things, it was just another thing that I didn’t have to think about and just made the whole process a bit more natural. That and I kinda got obsessed with the aesthetic of black and white after a while because it just always feels a bit more timeless which can be especially good when documenting music.

What made you choose the EXEK photo for the cover image? You used a 35mm camera for it, right? I know you didn’t you want to have someone’s face on the cover; what was the thought behind that?

DF: I think I just like the idea of things being a bit more ominous than it just being like “oh yeah that’s such and such” on the cover. There was a point where I was trying to catch really calm parts in bands sets and not have anyone’s face in the photos which ended up with a whole whack of otherwise unusable photos. Also, I kind by default kinda gave people I’m either close friends with or just really love their music a bit more attention in the book. EXEK are just always great and they are mates as well as being a pretty big constant in Melbourne punk to me so it just made sense.

What do you feel is one of the most compelling images in the book? Can you tell us the story behind it?

DF: There’s a photo of Jai Morris from EXEKs guitar that just stood out to me and was one of those attempts at getting a cover image sorted. It’s got “please kill me” written on it and just seen it so many times that it feels a bit iconic and I think at times it’s a pretty relatable thing to read.

Assembling material for the photobook, were you trying to emphasize anything about the Australian underground scene with the images you chose?

DF: I just wanted to get a good snapshot of that specific chunk in time within that specific punk scene. I spent so much time being in it and getting to know so many people that I could now call family. I touched on this a bit before but I think it’s really important to be able to look back to certain parts of your life or in time so you can know you are moving forward and becoming at peace with things that are no longer what that used to be like. Probably half the bands in the first book don’t even exist anymore and in a few years’ time it’s likely that all the bands in this issue won’t exist anymore but I like to not get caught up in thinking that’s a bad thing at all and that things just change and adapt. No one likes to be around the person who still thinks high school was the best point of their lives, there’s a whole world of possibility in front of us.

What do you enjoy about the editing process with your photos?

DF: The interesting thing is, not dissimilar to journaling, when you take photos of anything you tend to be able to remember the details of otherwise unremarkable times. I could tell you what I did before and after most of the photos in that book, who I was with, where they were taken and where just by looking at them. Maybe it all just ties into that idea of moving forward and maybe not rehashing all the same thought patterns. It also gave me something to work on after the fact and to be excited about. When you get film developed you never really know exactly what the result is going to be and getting a great photo is really rewarding.

Why is it important to you to document culture?

DF: I think now more than ever it’s evident that there is going to be a bit of a gap in most people’s lives with photos of what was in their periphery because those images are all on old iPhone 3s in some drawer, a hard drive that crashed or gone with the Facebook account you deleted. I guess culture is no different to that, I’d most definitely like to look back on the past not through the lens of the weird technology that we are still trying to work out how to make sense of and instead from the point of view of someone who actually cared enough to take the time to and had intent behind it.

How did you first get into punk?

DF: It’s pretty cliche but my older brother had this dubbed minor threat tape when I was like 11 or 12. Not to sound like Dave Grohl in a music doco but Minor Threat just really blew my mind and I had no idea that kind of music even existed which I imagine a lot of people can relate to.

Can you remember the first live show your ever went to? What details can you remember about it? What feeling did it give you?

DF: The first thing I went to was Canadian punk band S.N.F.U when I was 13. RIP Ken Chinn. It’s interesting to look back at that being the first thing I ever saw because if you are familiar with them then singer who just recently passed away was at once the wildest most offensive person and also seemingly the most misunderstood extremely talented person and will most definitely be talked about for decades to come, at least in Canada… Seeing Chinn perform was scary and weird and often made you feel uncomfortable as a kid that was 23 years ago so it’s hard to really remember the details but I guess just gave me the feeling of what the fuck did I just watch.

What’s something important that you’ve learnt from being a part of the underground music community?

DF: I think over time have really learnt the importance of community in general. I think as humans we generally strive to fit in somewhere and often what comes with that is helping out the people around you and when it happens it can be truly beautiful. I’ve had my share of difficult times with Visa denials and ultimately getting kicked out of the place that I call my home but there was always someone around to help me through it all. I think if anything this has been highlighted with the situation, I find myself in at the moment and really feel this longing for community most days.

How has lockdown, due to the global pandemic, tested your creativity?

DF: Well for the first part of the pandemic I was in Melbourne still and managed to finish recording the Civic LP that we have coming out so that portion was actually really productive. We’d all lost our jobs so we just had infinite time to get it all done which was great. As for now it sort of comes in waves, I’ve managed to pen down a lot of rough ideas for a few different projects but am finding it a bit frustrating to have to think of every single part of what I’m working on. I’m a drummer first so I’ve had to really work on every other instrument a bit which has been a challenge, I’ve also picked up playing saxophone which has been incredibly rewarding. I guess I just really miss collaborating with other people, I guess this is where that community thing I was talking about comes into play. I’ve got pretty good at being alone but it’s definitely not sustainable.

Have you found any positives from the tough last year (spilling into this year for some) that we’ve had?

DF: I think there’s plenty. I have so much time to look inward and sort out a lot of my mental health issues and am actually pretty thankful for the pause and time for self-reflection. I guess maybe I’ve been trying to stay positive as best I can so maybe I’m sounding a bit hokey but I feel like maybe people will just be better to each other now that we’ve realised how much we need each other.? To be honest though, I’m usually a massive pessimist and feel like we collectively haven’t learnt fucking anything at all. Time will tell, I guess.

What project/s will you be working on next?

DF: There was some recordings that have been passed back n forth with Civic so maybe that will materialise into a 7-inch or something. It’s definitely not the ideal way to do anything but will see how it goes. I’ve got a few other music projects I’m slowly piecing together as well but it’s all slow moving when it’s just you. As for photography stuff the drive to do anything really ebbs and flows but I have a huge back catalogue of stuff that no one’s has ever seen dating back to the mid-2000s so maybe I’ll figure out some way to give that some attention. Thanks for the interview!

Please check out: @davidforcier. You can get a copy of RECKLESS here at MOM Publishing.

Extra RECKLESS Info: 84 pages, 107 photographs, black and white, risograph printed, 133mm x 210mm. Mix of 35mm and digital photography.

Featured Artists are: THE STEVENS, SYSTEMA EN DECADENCIA, HARAM, THE UV RACE, TOTAL CONTROL, THE FRANTICS, ROT T.V, COLD MEAT, VANILLA POPPERS, SEX DRIVE, RAPID DYE, BLOODLETTER, BB AND THE BLIPS, LOW LIFE, THE NO, L.A SUFFOCATED, KNIFER, EXEK, UBIK, RIXE, POWER, PARSNIP, CONSTANT MONGREL, OILY BOYS, STRAIGHT JACKET NATION, RED RED KROVVY, ORION, VINTAGE CROP, THE STROPPIES, HANK WOOD AND THE HAMMERHEADS, TALC, THE SNAKES, ROBBER, GELD, PUCE MARY, TOL, NUN, NOTS, TERRY, EXECUTION, VERTIGO, SPOTTING, STATIONS OF THE CROSS, RABID DOGS, SPIKE FUCK. 

Reckless photobook comes with a cassette mixtape compilation. Tracks chosen by the artists involved.

Reckless Mixtape

Side One

01 David Eastman – Walking On Water /// Total Control

02 The Homosexuals – You’re Not Moving The Way You’re Supposed To /// Terry

03 Au Pairs – You /// Spotting

04 Leather Nun – No Rule /// Puce Mary

05 The Viletones – Screaming fist /// Rot T.V

06 Scrotum poles – Pick the Cat’s Eyes Out /// Constant Mongrel

07 Pagans- Boy Can I Dance Good /// The Frantics

08 The Comes – Public Circle /// Vanilla Poppers

09 Stations – Cultural Capital /// Stations

10 Japan – Quiet Life /// Bloodletter

Side Two

11 Screamers – Vertigo /// Vertigo

12 Electric Eels – Accident /// Cold Meat

13 Pink Fairies – Do It /// The Snakes

14 High Rise – Psychedelic Speed Freaks /// Geld

15 Jesus and the Gospelfuckers – Kill the Police /// Straightjacket Nation

16 Sheer Terror – Here to Stay /// Low Life

18 The Dogs – Slash Your Face /// Rabid Dogs

19 Dr Feelgood – I Can Tell /// Kniffer

20 Little Bob Story – Like Rock’n’Roll /// Rixe

21 Davy Graham and Shirley Collins – Love Is Pleasing /// The Stevens

Melbourne rock n rollers Civic’s bassist Roland Hlavka: “Sounds someone recorded seventy years ago can make you want to punch a wall or cry yourself to sleep.”

Photo: courtesy of Flightless. Handmade collage by B.

In November last year beloved Melbourne rock roll band Civic put out their first release 7” Radiant Eye on new label home Flightless Records; powerful and exciting with a muscular sound and caveman groove, flourishes of psychedelic apocalyptic guitar meltdown, cutting through fire hooks. As we eagerly await their debut full-length, slated for early this year, we caught up with bassist Roland Hlavka.

What did you get up to today?

ROLAND HLAVKA: I went to work for a few hours moving furniture. It was hot!

When Civic first started, around 2016/2017, I know your concept was to simply play good rock n roll; what embodies good rock n roll to you?

RH: I think it was more to just make music we collectively listen to and like. Which happened to be rock n roll at the time. The type of music we play, I personally think just needs to be loud, catchy and have a fairly even mix of not caring and caring too much. A lot of what we do is very thought out. But you need to balance that with some naivety, or you just end up sounding like what’s been done.

Why do you think rock n roll matters?

RH: It’s pretty obviously influenced popular culture for the last 70 years, be it in music, fashion, art etc… countless sub-cultures have come from “rock n roll”. It has changed and morphed over the years. But I think what hasn’t changed is its sentiment. Doing or making something because you think it’s good and it conjures a feeling. And doing it regardless if it’s well received or not.

What’s one of the staple records in your collection that you always keep going back to? What do you appreciate about it?

RH: This is going to be pretty obvious coming from us but The Stooges first three albums. I still listen to them heavily to this day. What always fascinates me is hundreds, if not thousands, of bands and musicians have used them as a point of reference and no-one in my opinion has even come close to making something in their era that has been so widely accepted as “cool”.

What have you been listening to lately?

RH: Over the last few months I have been enjoying a lot of compilations put together by people I like.

One to note has been Sad About The Times a 12″ compilation by Mikey Young. It features a bunch of weird outsider artists and one hit wonders. Lots of great tracks.

Outside the context of this interview… I’ve also been listening to a lot of Westside Gunn and his affiliated acts. Very talented rappers.

There’s often a bunch of sneaky references to both Australian and international bands you love in your music; what’s an Australian band you love that you feel is totally underrated? Why do they rule?

RH: I’m not sure how underrated they are but definitely The Celibate Rifles have been a big influence on us, more so in the early days. As I said early… loud, catchy and a good middle ground of self-consciousness.

In November last year you put out a new 7” and your first release on Flightless Records, Radiant Eye. We’re really digging the brass on the track; what inspired you to add it into the mix?

RH: We had played the song live a handful of times before recording it. And had said to each other it could be cool to have some horns. We are all fans of The Saints and Ed Kuepper in general. Not that this is a nod to them. But the mix between what we were doing and some brass obviously sounds great. So, we called up Stella Rennex [Parsnip/Smarts] while we were recording and got her to come up with a part. We have her playing on a few tracks from the upcoming album too.

On the b-side you covered The Creation’s 1966 hit ‘Making Time’; how’d you come to choosing this song to cover?

RH: That was Lewis’ idea. We liked the idea of having a cover on the b-side. So, we started listing tracks we thought would work. Had a few run throughs at practice and it was sounding good. We recorded it, and it sounds good.

Civic’s full-length debut is coming out early 2021. We’re super excited for it! What can you tell us about it at this point?

RH: It’s twelve tracks. We’ve been working hard on it. There was an idea to make it sound more like an ‘album’ rather than slapped together songs that sound exactly how we sound live. I don’t like this phrase at all, but we wanted it to ‘feel like a journey’. I think there is a pretty diverse group of songs on the album in my opinion. Some of which we may never play live. But as I said, we worked hard. I like it. Hopefully you will like it.

How do you feel your collaborative relationship has grown since first EP New Vietnam?

RH: We’ve always had somewhat of the same format for a lot of our songs. Someone comes up with a few parts that we piece together at rehearsal. Or, someone will bring a fully finished song to the table and not much, if any tweaking needed. This upcoming album is no different. We all work well together and aren’t afraid to tell each other if something is terrible.

All your artwork thus far has had a red, black & white colour palette; was their much intention behind this? There’s also a one-eyed face both on your Radiant Eye and Those Who No releases; what’s the story with that?

RH: The intention behind the colour choice was somewhat sub-conscious. They are about as bold and contrasting as you can get. Endless bands, brands and companies have used them. Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Ferrari, Supreme… the list goes on and on. I’ve always like labels and bands that keep a similar aesthetic across their releases. Sacred Bones Records have their border and lay-out the same on every release as an example. Your colour choice becomes your brand after a while. This doesn’t work for everyone and every band… and who’s to say our next release will have any of those colours on it. But I think this far it has served us well. And narrows down the decisions on what colours things should be.

In relation to the one eye… people say when one sense is lost the others get stronger. We view this eye as an eye of judgement. Everyone more so now than ever is being watched and documented. If I say deodorant too loudly around my phone, when I open an app all of my targeted ads are for deodorant. If I use my credit card to buy something from a website. That information is stored, sold and marketed back at me. As technology advances, so does the eye watching us. We use this eye to our advantage. We have taken away the second eye and have put all the focus on the one, powerful, beautiful eye. Do you see what I mean?

What do you love most about music?

RH: That you can use something to change your mood just by listening. No pills needed. Sounds someone recorded seventy years ago can make you want to punch a wall or cry yourself to sleep.

What’s something you learnt in 2020 that you’re taking into 2021 with you?

RH: If you think something is good you should just do it. Worry about it later, because as we’re seeing now more than ever… you could become completely irrelevant very quickly.

Please check out: CIVIC on bandcamp. Radiant Eye 7″ out via Flightless Records.

Billy Gardner of Anti Fade Records: “I feel very blessed that all of my talented friends let me release their stuff.”

Billy has put out some of the Gimmie Team’s favourite Australian underground releases of the past several years on his label Anti Fade Records (you can check out some of AF’s catalogue HERE). AF is one of only a handful of independent Australian labels that avid record collector and music aficionado Henry Rollins buys anything from—“I like what they do,” Rollins’ has said. Us too! Billy plays in Ausmuteants, The Living Eyes, Cereal Killer and Smarts. We thought Billy was the perfect person to chat to, kicking off our chats with Australian artists who we think should be celebrated!

We love Anti-Fade Records, a lot of our favourite releases of 2019 have come out on your label.

BILLY: Awww sick! Thank you so much for getting in touch. I feel very blessed, I have a lot of close friends making music.

Right now we think Australia has some of the best music in the world, most diverse too, all the bands on your roster have their own thing happening.

BILLY: There’s a bunch of different things, the new Program record I’m putting out is a little different.

How did you first discover music?

BILLY: I have knowledgeable parents, they were always playing me music from a young age. Particularly my dad, he played in bands when he was my age. Both mum and dad taught me heaps about music, so I guess there.

What was the first stuff that you started to discover for yourself?

BILLY: In high school I got heaps into ‘60s garage through The Frowning Clouds guys, we went to the same school as them. They were into ‘60s garage stuff and I picked up on all of this.

Your band, The Living Eyes, that’s a reference from the ‘60s garage band, The 13th Floor Elevators, right?

BILLY: Yeah, everyone thinks it’s a Radio Birdman reference but deep down it’s 13th Floor Elevators [laughs].

Artwork by Paris Richens.

I love that band.

BILLY: They’re the best!

Did you start playing drums first?

BILLY: Yeah, I started playing drums really early, I think in grade 6. I gave it up for ages and came back to it in Grade 11 or 12. I kind of picked it up again properly when Ausmuteants stared in 2011. Drums were the first instrument for me but they got neglected for a few years.

What started you off playing them again?

BILLY: Me and Jake from Ausmuteants started the band as a two-piece that we would just do in the bedroom. We’d swap between playing keyboard and guitar and the other person playing drums. Once it came to doing the live band we decided we had to pick instruments. I volunteered to play drums, because I felt Jake was writing most of the songs anyway; as it went on it just way more sense like that.

You’ve been doing Anti-Fade since 2011-2012?

BILLY: Yeah right at the end of 2011 I first started, I made plans for it, two days before Christmas I put out one cassette. In 2012 was when it really started rolling, there was actual record releases.

Why did you start the label?

BILLY: New Centre Of The Universe, I had the idea to do a compilation before I had the idea to do a label. I remember getting the idea for it one night, I spent so long thinking about it and the possibilities—I got really excited about it! I started talking about the label idea and I put out four cassettes of friends’ bands – Ausmuteants were one of them. Centre Of The Universe came out in 2012. The first eight months or so were just getting things together.

When you first starting out did you find it hard to deal with people because you were so new?

BILLY: I suppose so. I was asking a lot of people that I knew that did labels for their advice and tips. I have three handy friends that helped me out with all of that stuff at the time, which made things way easier.

What was a tip that you got that was super helpful?

BILLY: At first my idea was to press this many records but then my friend talked me down to only press 300 instead of 500 because this market isn’t as big as it might seem. That was pretty good advice, I’m glad I didn’t press 500 of the first bunch of releases.

I understand it took you months to get the latest New Centre Of The Universe track list done?

BILLY: Yeah it took ages! The whole process of the comp took at least a year. I did spend quite a while with that track list. Track lists are getting more and more important to me as I get older [laughs]. I was happy with the end result. I kept changing my mind about track two on each side.

What makes track lists more important to you now?

BILLY: I’ve just been noticing things a bit more. I think it can add a lot to a record, choosing a really good order as opposed to a bad one—it has to flow.

Artwork by Carolyn Hawkins.

I get that, I make a lot of mix tapes for friends and there’s different moods and peaks etc. to consider.

BILLY: You know how important it is then.

Yes. Now Anti-Fade is sixty-one releases in?

BILLY: Yeah, jesus! It sounds crazy when you say it. I feel like the last two years have been really good and I’m stoked with how it is going. I feel very blessed that all of my talented friends let me release their stuff. Pretty much everyone on the label is a close friend, there’s not really any strangers or people that approach me out of the blue.

That’s nice that it’s all friends.

BILLY: I’m really lucky!

Has there been a release on Anti-Fade that’s been really significant for you?

BILLY: The Parsnip album [When The Tree Bears Fruit] that has just come out is a big one! It’s something that has been in the works for a few years. I wasn’t expecting the opportunity to release it. I was over the moon when they asked me to do that. I also feel like the debut Civic record was pretty important. Both of those bands have been the two main ones revolving around the label for the last two years, both kicking goals big time.

Art by Paris Richens.

What do you have in the works that you can tell me about?

BILLY: There’s a few things next year, a lot of split releases, another label will be doing it in Europe or America and I’ll be doing it in Australia. There’s lots of good albums coming, I’ll leave it at that [laughs].

I totally trust your taste in bands, we’ve bought most of the releases on your label, except for the early stuff we missed out on.

BILLY: Nice! Thank you.

Are there any local songwriters that inspire you?

BILLY: There’s a bunch. The people that I play in bands with, Jake Robertson [Ausmuteants/School Damage/Alien Nosejob/Hierophants/Aarght Records] is one. A long term friend – who I don’t play in a band with – Zak Olsen [Orb/Traffik Island/Hierophants]. These are people that I’ve grown up with. Also, Paris Richens [Parsnip/Hierophants/ PP Rebel] always blows me away with her songs. That’s just three, there’s more out there.

I’d pick the same! As well Albert Wolski of EKEK—that new record is incredible. I also super love The Snakes. I love Hierophants, their record, Spitting Out Moonlight, is mega! And I love New War’s records.

Cover art by Eve Dadd. Layout by David Forcier.

BILLY: That’s awesome! I just made this connection, all of the people I mentioned are in Hierophants! [laughs]. There you go! They’re a meeting of the minds.

Songs on that record are so clever. I listen to the songs and I’m like, how did you even write that?!

BILLY: [Laughs] Yeah I know! So many great ones.

Another album I really love from this year is your band Ausmusteants’ …Present The World In Handcuffs.

BILLY: Oh, sweet!

A funny thing is, that when me and my husband see cops when we’re out and about, we get some of the lyrics in our head!

BILLY: [Laughs] That’s funny as!

You know like [singing]: My dad was a cop!

Billy: [Laughs] That’s hilarious!

Artwork by Per Bystrom.

It’s funny how your brain can just connect stuff to songs. I think I’m such a music nerd my mind can connect most things to song.

BILLY: I’m gonna tell Shawn [Connor] the guy that wrote the record, he’ll love it!

When he brought that concept – a concept album that explores a piss-take look on life from the perspective of a police officer – for the songs to you guys; what was your first impression?

BILLY: He came with a set of lyrics to the song “We’re Cops” which is from 2015. He wrote the lyrics and the riff to that, a year or so later he toyed with the idea of writing a part two to it. He wrote a part two and then three and then a whole new album. It took him a while, he was chipping away at that as Jake was writing other songs for the band. So it started in 2015 and we finally put it out this year.

 What’s been one of your favourite songs to come out this year?

BILLY: Holy moly! That’s a tough one…

Or something you’ve been obsessed with listening to recently?

BILLY: I discovered, New Values, by Iggy Pop. I’m having a blank here though… I can’t even think right now.

Henry Rollins often plays a lot of Anti-Fade bands on his radio show…

BILLY: Yeah he played three on his most recent one!

He really has his finger on the pulse when it comes to great new music, especially Australian stuff.

BILLY: He’s totally on to it. I have never met him but I’ve emailed with him a few times, he’s a cool guy.

He is. I’ve interviewed him several times over the years. He’s always lovely. The one thing that has always stuck with me about him is that he is the biggest fan of music!

BILLY: He came to an Ausmuteants show once actually. I was standing next to him, everyone was going up to him and hassling him but I didn’t want to do that. It was cool that he came!

You should totally talk to him next time, ‘cause he is such a fan boy of music and bands himself, he totally understands that.

BILLY: When I talked to him on email he said that too.

What’s the best live show you’ve seen lately?

BILLY: The launch for the new Parsnip record.

Man, I would have loved to have seen that! Now they’re in the US, right?

BILLY: Yeah. I found out this morning that they’re all safely there.

Do you ever get stressed when bands on your label tour overseas?

BILLY: Yeah. There’s been a couple of little scares…

Like the EXEK van rolling in Europe?!

BILLY: Yeah, that was wild. I still don’t know exactly what happen there. They’re back on the road again now, I look forward to speaking to them about it when they get back, I’ve only heard dribs and drabs about it.

Cover photo by Robyn Daly. Layout by Ying-Li Hooi.

Last question, what do you want people to know about Anti-Fade in general?

BILLY: It’s a small little thing that I run out of my bedroom, all the bands involved are my friends.

Do you have lots of stock boxes crammed in your room?

BILLY: Yeah, under my bed, beside my bed… there’s a lot! [laughs].

Find ANTI FADE RECORDS here. IG: @antifaderecords. FB: ANTI FADE records.