Roolette Records: Love. Music. Friendship. Community.

Handmade collage by B.

Melbourne label Roolette Records put out great music by great bands including Pinch Points, Junior Fiction, Hearts & Rockets, Zig Zag, Kosmetika, Disco Junk, LVIV, Surfbort and more! They’re definitely a label we get behind. We caught up with them recently to find out more about what they do and their passion for music and community.

On the Roolette Records site it reads: Love. Music. Friendship. Community; what is the importance of these things in how you operate?

ROOLETTE RECORDS: Hey! First of all, thank you so much for wanting to interview our label, we appreciate it. We’re super big fans of what GGGZ has been doing so we’re super stoked right now!

LMFC is our little ‘slogan’ thing that came about very organically through conversation with our friends about what makes our community so special. We decided to use it going forwards as it’s a great reminder for us to always stay focused on those positive things but it also serves as a warm, welcoming introduction to our record label.

How did you first discover music?

RR: Growing up my mum Gail (hey mum lol) played music in the house constantly, especially in the morning. She would turn the radio on full blast to try and wake me and my brother up for school, and we got super into music from a young age as a result. She has dope music taste as well so introduced us to her favourite bands growing up like The Clash, Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Carole King, and INXS (strictly their first album only!).

What one record have you listened to more than any other? As a music fan what do you appreciate about it?

RR: Although it’s still fairly new, I think ‘Friendship Music’ by Surfbort is definitely one of my favourite and most listened to albums. What connects with me the most about it is the joyful rage that permeates the entire album. It’s angry, chaotic but also somehow feels like a big warm hug. It’s also a very special album for me because we were fortunate enough to release it in 2018. If you haven’t listened to the entire album, do it!

What was the first concert you went to? What do you remember about it?

RR: I have vague memories of seeing the Wiggles and the Hooly Dooleys when I was really little. But the concert that I remember the most was Nikki Webster at an RSL back in like, 2004 maybe? It wasn’t for her first album unfortunately and it was kinda past her prime but I got a picture with her and she signed my ticket stub. Both of which I have lost now haha but she did play Strawberry Kisses and it went off!

What inspired you to start Roolette?

RR: We started Roolette as a bit of an experiment! Didn’t have a clue what we were doing and just sort of made it up as we went along. Our friend Sarah Cardamone came up with a logo for us and off we went! It all didn’t really start properly until Private Function’s ‘Rock In Roll’ tape. That was when we were like “shit, I guess we should actually do this label thing.”

Are there any labels that you look to as a guide because you like the way they do things? What is it about them?

RR: Burger Records is a huge inspiration for us. Besides being a super fun & great record label, they’re nice people that work extremely hard which is what we aspire to be too! Collaborating with them in 2019 for Pinch Points’ debut album ‘Moving Parts’ was an eye opener and we can’t thank them enough for their support.

More locally, Music In Exile, LISTEN, and Milk! Records are all super inspiring and do such amazing things! Please go and check them all out!

When starting the label is there anything you wished someone would have told you that might have be very valuable to you?

RR: You mean like specific label advice or something? Probably not. It’s one of those classic things like, if you could go back in time and do everything perfectly, would you? Those early days were just so informative, as mentioned we had no idea what we were doing at the start so every little step was a huge learning curve.

Worth noting that we had a lot of friends and family encouraging us which was very valuable.

Is there any commonalities in the artists that you choose for your label?

RR: Style-wise, not particularly. Personally we love a whole range of music so we try not to only release one certain genre. The biggest commonalties the artists have is that they’re all super amazing musicians and genuinely lovely people who have all been really great to work with. 

What do you love most about the cassette and vinyl formats you release music on?

RR: Releasing music on a physical format is one of the best parts about running a label. There is always something so magical about finally getting to hold the finished product in your hands after all the planning and hard work that goes into creating it. We also love helping bands make it a reality. Being musicians ourselves, we totally understand the joy of a physical release and it makes us really happy working with bands to create something new.

Is there a release you’ve put out that has a special significance to you?       

RR: I think it will always be the Surfbort ‘Friendship Music release I mentioned earlier. The whole experience was really magical. We collaborated on that release with Cult Records (founded and run by Julian Casablancas) which was mind blowing and it was also the label’s first time doing vinyl. We were lucky enough that Surfbort were actually coming to town so we were able to have a dope ass launch party at Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar, which was also coincidentally on my birthday. So, yeah, the whole release was super memorable and Dani, Alex, Sean and Dave from Bort as well as the team from Cult and the crew at Last Chance have the biggest spot in our hearts ❤

What releases do you have coming up?

RR: We have a bunch of super amazing things coming up soon that we haven’t totally announced yet. But we have just had Hannah Kate and also the Vovo’s jump on board, so you can keep your eyes peeled for more news on both that bands (and more!) soon.

What’s the last thing you listened to that totally blew you away? Can you do your best to describe it please?

RR: We were listening to this sick band from Germany recently, Lassie. Their second EP ‘Just a Couple of Dudes’ really knocked our socks off. It’s a wild, fun and energetic blast to the face which has been great while in iso haha.

The new Cumgirl8 album has also been amazing to get into. They’re from New York City and the album has this sort of lo-fi 90s vibe that really compliments the vibe of the songs and lyrics. It came out on Muddguts, a really cool label you should check out!

We’re also once again/constantly playing ‘The Smile Sessions’ by The Beach Boys at Roo HQ which always blows us away and inspires us to write really wild music. Do You Like Worms, Wind Chimes… Wow.

What’s something that you see the Australian music industry lagging in? What’s something that could be done better?

RR: Diversity. It’s a never-ending problem in our industry and while our industry, specifically our cities community, has made great strides in that field in comparison to other countries/communities, there is still a very long way to go. It’s something we’re constantly working on and thinking about as should everybody! It doesn’t take much effort to be inclusive, whether you’re a band or label or even a punter. The first step is to just be a bit self-critical and ask questions. There are so many amazing resources online that cover a broad ranges of issues that can be really helpful.

Here are a couple great links to check out:

Listen Listen Listen


Attitude Is Everything

How vibrant do you feel the Australian independent music community is right now? What do you see that makes you either optimistic or pessimistic about the near-future?

RR: It’s super vibrant. What makes this community so amazing is the way it is able to navigate and operate under adversity. From the artists we’ve been speaking to, it seems like everyone is still focused on continuing to create and release music in iso which is so amazing. It is just really sad that the backbone of our industry, live music venues, are being super impacted. It is a very tumultuous time for everyone in this community at the moment and the uncertainty of if and when we will be able to return to business as usual is a very sobering reality. But like I mentioned, this community knows how to overcome challenges so I have optimism for the near future.

Check out these Roolette releases:



Please check out: ROOLETTE RECORDS. Roolette on bandcamp. Roolette on Facebook. Roolette on Instagram.

Melbourne’s Pinch Points: “Community, diversity, big riffs!”

Original photo Chelsea King. Handmade collage by B.

Pinch Points make fast-paced punk with jangly guitars and a tone so sharp it could cut diamonds. Their songs are catchy with no-frills, while writing their own book of sarcasm with lyricism expressing sardonic observations of society, done so cheekily and fun you can’t help but smile along with them—after all, we’re all in this together. Pinch Points aren’t afraid to say what we’re all thinking.  We caught up with them to talk about their new live record and music in the works.

A few days ago you released your LIVE at 3RRR digital album and limited edition cassette; can you tell us about the best and worst show Pinch Points have played?

PINCH POINTS: That RRR show was a great night and we’re so glad we recorded it. By far the most amazing show we’ve played so far has to be opening Golden Plains the other weekend. The adrenaline that comes from playing in front of 10,000+ eager punters is overwhelming. It’s surreal to think about that happening now that we’re all cooped up inside self-isolating.

Our worst show might have been at the Landsdowne in Sydney. Our original venue was shut down last minute so we switched to a graveyard slot show, playing right after another gig in the same bandroom. The band before us went on and on with a Rolling Stones cover and by the time we played we were fairly frazzled and not many people turned up that late.

What do you personally get from playing live?

ISSY: immense joy playing with my best friends! And the adrenaline rush that comes with it.

Can you remember who or what made you first think, I want to play music?

JORDAN: My first introduction to playing music was when I was 13 and super bored, sharing one room in a guest house with my parents in Fairfield. All I did up to that point in my life is play video games but we no longer had a TV. There was an old nylon string acoustic in the corner though and my Dad taught me a few chords one day and I guess that was the beginning of a lifelong obsession…

ACACIA: Like Jordan, my dad taught me basic chords when I was about nine. I was obsessed with The Ramones, Nirvana, Hole and The Runaways, so I started learning covers of “Cherry Bomb” and “Celebrity Skin”, which led to writing my own stuff. Joan Jett and Courtney Love were two big figures for me, who made me feel like I could have a place in rock music.

ADAM: There was a tiny bass lick somewhere on the first Jet album that I thought was unreal as a kid – and then at high school they offered bass lessons. Played bass for about five years before I bought a guitar. Never learned that bloody lick though!

ISSY: Definitely dancing around my living room to Avril Lavigne’s Sk8ter boy when I was five brought out my inner punk. My parents really wanted me to find an instrument to play so I started with keyboard, then flute, then guitar, but none of them really clicked like the drums did. My brother was learning drums at the time and unfortunately for him I shared/stole his drum kit and haven’t looked back since!

When you first started playing live did you ever get nervous or scared?

PP: For sure, and we still do. Backstage at Golden Plains when we were waiting for our cue to walk on stage, the adrenaline was hitting us all in a big way. We hold some perfectionist tendencies when it comes to executing some of our trickier songs, and definitely get nervous about stuffing them up (not that mistakes matter, they add character).

Photo by Chelsea King.

You played and recorded the RRR’s Dropout Boogie with Zara set two days after wrapping your tour with Tropical Fuck Storm; what’s something you learnt from your time with TFS and watching them play night after night?

PP: It was amazing hanging out with TFS and watching them every night. When they play it seems like they’re all working in harmony to conjure up this gigantic beast for the audience. Each member plays their own parts separate from the others as well, though. Also, they have so much power. They put all of their energy into the show but in a really unique way.

What was the first concert you ever went to? Tell us a little about it.

JORDAN: I bet Acacia has a good one. Mine was the Powderfinger and Silverchair double headline tour! You ripper!

ACACIA: Besides The Wiggles or my dad’s band, perhaps Missy Higgins and Tim Rogers. Classic Aussie pairing.

ISSY: My parents took me to see Michael Bublè when I was about 10. I used to listen to “Call Me Irresponsible” with my Mum every day on the way to school, as well as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.

ADAM: I don’t think I remember the first concert or show, but the earliest large show I remember was Herbie Hancock at the Palais. Still the best show I’ve ever seen.

Have you been writing new music? When might we see a follow up to last year’s Moving Parts LP?

PP: We have been! We’ve written more than half of a new album already and it’s sounding fierce. We had a whole bunch of plans in place for the release already but it looks like the whole pandemic situation has derailed that. All we can say is we’re doing our best to work on the album and will release it when the world is more ‘normal’.

What direction is your writing headed in?

PP: One of the most rewarding but also challenging parts of the writing process for our new record has been incorporating more collaboration. In our first two releases, Adam brought in a lot of material that was already pretty fleshed out. We’ve made a conscious effort this time to include everyone’s ideas from the beginning, which has made for a slower writing process but amounted to us having some really awesome songs that we feel represent everyone’s creativity.

Sound-wise, the new album will broaden the PP sound even more to include some softer and heavier moments, while being generally more direct and perhaps even simpler at times. We’re still figuring it out though.

Photo by Chelsea King.

We super love your guitar tone, nerdy question; how do you get your sound? Why did you decide to go clean rather than distorted?

ADAM: As well as punk, metal, rock etc., I always liked jangly bands. I’d been writing some hardcore stuff a few years ago, and couldn’t find the “tubescreamer” pedal I’d been using. Then I heard Nutrition and Uranium Club on Bandcamp and it all made sense.

We just use compressor pedals so that the lead lines jump over the chords and we don’t have to do the ‘pedal dance’ when playing. Recipe as follows:

  1. Humbuckers, bridge pickup, all guitar knobs on full;
  2. $50 compressor pedal, sustain on full and attack at zero;
  3. Fender-style valve amp, clean channel, and turn up the pedal output until it’s about to get crunchy;
  4. Bass at zero, mid and treble full, presence as high as possible without it being too harsh.

How does playing live help your songs develop?

PP: We often record at the first chance we get, so playing the songs over and over again at shows lets us get way more familiar with them. This leads to us picking up the pace of a lot of them and learning to belt them out with more energy than the recordings.

What’s something that’s really important to Pinch Points?

PP: Community, diversity, big riffs!

Please check out: PINCH POINTS. PP on Facebook. PP on Instagram. You can find PP releases on their bandcamp and via Roolette Records in Australia and Six Tonnes de Chair in Europe.