Plucky Gold Coast hardcore punks The Final Fall have released the video for their powerful …
As many of you know and proudly participate in, the 30th of November is Australian Music T-Shirt Day.
MORE: NOFX: Fat Mike and his Eternal Footwaer Gratitude REVIEWS: CLOWNS: ENDLESS // BLINK-182: One More Time… // POPPY: Zig // MAGNOLIA PARK: Halloween Mixtape II // LUNE: The Change Around Us & The Change In You
It’s run by Support Act, a charity helping music workers in need and with their mental health. If you ever wondered why there wasn’t a big gig commemorating the day, it also had bands’ heads scratching too.
Melbourne mini-festival Fully AMTD (pronounced Fully Amped) is the brainchild of Ocean Grove frontman Dale Tanner. Being chosen as a Aussie Music T-Shirt Day ambassador last year (alongside huge names such as Amy Shark, Budjerah, Client Liaison, and the legendary screamsman Jimmy Barnes) saw him promote the great work Support Act do to promote mental health and wellbeing for music workers; roadies, techs, publicists – everyone who works behind the scenes to make stars shine.
Fully AMTD came together after Dale spoke at a Support Act panel in January of this year.
“It was a really good panel,” Dale says, flanked by Hevenshe’s Jenna McDougall in the same Zoom frame. “We talked about a lot of topics and connected with the audience in a way that was pretty profound. Afterward, I just asked them, ‘Is there any show where people can go to celebrate this?’ They said ‘no.’ I just thought, how great would it be if there was place for everyone to actually go to and embody the day in a physical way and actually go to a live show and support Aussie musicians.
“So I said, how about I do one myself? They gave me their full blessing. So we kind of devised all the plans and everything over the months and I came up with the idea of calling it Fully AMTD, tying the whole Australian Music t-shirt day acronym and everything together.”
Dale went about it in a grassroots way. Calling up fellow bands and artists, bypassing the rigmarole of agents and bookers. It stays true to being by the community, for the community. Dale assembled scene luminaries across the gamut of genres: Jenna’s rock n’ roll singer-songwriter act Hevenshe, Indigenous folk poet Jimmy Kyle as Chasing Ghosts, pop-punks Yours Truly, as well as Young Lions, Adult Art Club, and Squid Nebula.
“I guess it’s broad, but a lot of these artists, like Squid Nebula who’s opening up… a few people may not have heard of Squid Nebula, but Bumpy has probably won more awards than all of us all put together,” Jimmy says. “She’s the front woman for Squid Nebula. She’s one of the most phenomenal vocalists there is in the country right now. And she’s going to be one of the opening acts, but they’re a headline force all of their own. She’s a proud Noongar woman from Noongar. We got to play together a tribute for Uncle Archie Roach and Uncle Jack Charles at the NGV with Fred Leone, and that’s how I met Bumpy.
“But everyone else I’d met through the alternative scene in punk bands or hardcore bands or some sort of incarnation of those two things. It’s good. I think it starts somewhere and it lets the festival go on a bit of a journey, so it’s progressively sonically getting louder throughout the evening and bigger and the energy builds. So I think it’s like, I love the way Dale’s curated the lineup and I like festival lineups. I like where things are in the same ballpark but not necessarily the exact same every single time.”
This isn’t just like any other gig, this is more than just another show. This is about raising awareness, raising money, having healthy conversation, bringing everyone together.
[DALE TANNER, OCEAN GROVE]
As for Aussie Music T-Shirt Day having its own ephemeral presence over social media and nothing concrete, it had occured to Mikalia Delgado, frontwoman for Yours Truly too: where was the gig?
“I thought that maybe someone had done something or people would have,” she says. “I’m so used to seeing people post photos. I never thought about the fact there was nothing where we could actually physically go and be present and listen to Australian music. Considering that we are championing Australian music, we never actually go somewhere to listen to said music. We wear it instead of experience it. So I think it’s a great idea and I feel very grateful that you thought of us as well,” she says to Dale. “I’m very grateful for it.”
We as fans may bask in the afterglow of a rapturous set of tunes – but when the lights go down and bandmates slink off to tour busses or roadies wonder where their next gig will come from, there’s a real mental toll for those in the music industry. We think musos live glamourous lives; though Chester Bennington or Chris Cornell took their own lives despite the trappings of a supposedly “perfect” rock star life.
“With this line-up, a lot of us are good friends,” Jenna says. “These are the type of people that are going to ask, how are you really? And even if you don’t say it with such intensity, we are all the type of people that are probably going to tell the truth by asking anyway. Our hearts are pretty wide open, so we all end up in these hour long conversations. So it’s a really special community that I think is pretty epic that we’re elevating this course together. I think it’s quite synchronistic and sort of aligned that it ended up being all of us together. But of course being asked ‘how are you’ can be such a flippant question and we’re not always prepared for someone to tell us the truth or we’ve never had the example of someone actually telling the truth.
“I think for the most part, maybe in the Australian culture, western culture, we do struggle to be transparent about that. So it’s not exclusive to musicians, but because much of our lives is spent on a stage and on a screen as a performance. I think it’s easy to assume that the highlights are all the time, but just as it is for anybody, of course that’s not the case. So yeah, we hope that this conversation is improving and I think it is, but this event should be really supporting the conversation more and more.”
Unusual for any type of music show, the festival features guest speakers talking about a range of confronting topics such as mental health, healthy masculinity, and bringing different perspectives on working (and perhaps struggling) in the Aussie music scene.
“I just thought it’s jarring in a very, and confronting in a very useful way,” Dale says on having speakers at the event. “We’re so used too getting this information via an Instagram post or whatever and we’ve become so just desensitised to it. Someone actually just standing up and saying a few words of importance whilst people are just used to going to get a beer or twiddling their thumbs on their phone. It’s like, you are kind of catching me in a moment. They’re not expecting to receive a truth bomb. And that was sort of for me, I just thought, well, this isn’t just like any other gig, this is more than just another show. This is about raising awareness, raising money, having healthy conversation, bringing everyone together.”
Jimmy says that blending music and speakers is a great way to overcome “emotional fatigue.”
“Sometimes just the average individual is struggling and their voices don’t get heard and they don’t think they’re a priority. I think reminding them that they do matter is the intention of doing this with the audience. Those who are coming along for awesome evening, is for us as musicians or guest speakers to ask people how are they doing to let them know it’s okay and to try and remove some of those stigmas.”
Dale feels as if the objective around Fully AMTD has been achieved despite not one single note being played yet – the conversations are happening and awareness is spreading.
“It’s spread from our little microcosm,” he says. “Hopefully this is the beginning and this is the nucleus that will just grow and grow. It’s like I wanted to lay the foundation with the energy from all aspects, the artists, guest, speakers, sponsors and every single aspect. I was pretty meticulous in choosing because I wanted to make sure that everyone who was saying ‘yes’ was saying it from a genuine place. A place of believing in the idea on a bigger scale than what it was going to be just this year; believing in the cause beyond just this year.
“For me, I think it’s already a success even though the day hasn’t even happened yet. Because it’s united with all these artists and guest speakers and all these angles and brought together to show kind of the ethos of where it all should head moving forward. The artists, the messaging and the lyrics of the artists, the message of these guest speakers and what they’ll be talking about, what these sponsors and companies stand for, what are their kind of ethics…all of that I think very much ties into what Fully AMTD is trying to embody.”
A fundraising event for Aus Music T-Shirt Day and Support Act
ADULT ART CLUB (DJ AFTERPARTY SET)
PLUS GUEST SPEAKERS:
MICHELLE GRACE HUNDER
17th November // Inflation Nightclub, 60 King Street, Melbourne // 18+
Need to talk? Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for immediate crisis support