Modcast #168: Shining Bird

We're now only two weeks away from our Melbourne Music Week shake up of The Residence.

Shimmering coastal dream pop 5-piece Shining Bird will open the proceedings, laying down critical vibe foundations for 100 Million Nights, Andras Fox, Standish/Carlyon and Club Mod DJs. The Austinmer group are part of a growing national scene embracing Australiana. Watch them in their natural habitat in the Keep Warm video, the latest single to be lifted off Leisure Coast.

We sit down with band member Russell Webster below, discussing lyrical inspiration, Keithy George and Australian cinema.

A lot of people don't know where Austinmer is. Can you tell us a little bit about your hometown?

Austinmer is a small town on the south coast of NSW. It's kinda sandwiched between the escarpment and the ocean. There's a great little community of artists, actors and musicians etc tucked away down here.

There's a lot of imagery in your lyrics, what's been some of the biggest inspirations for you as songwriters?

In short, the biggest inspiration for me with regards to lyrics was discovering Australian poets such as Les Murray and Robert Adamson. They had a profound impact on the way I see and experience this country. Also working with Jonathan Parkes ( Who wrote lyrics for about half the album) was a big inspiration. He's a true wordsmith and a top bloke.

There seems to be a new found love and acceptance for Australiana themes in music at the moment - bands like Dick Diver, Client Liaison, Mining Boom etc. It felt like it was only a few years ago that we were still embarrassed by this or trying to escape it. Why do you think the attitude has changed?

Yeah, cultural cringe in Australia is crazy. I really love all the bands you mentioned above. I feel like maybe the acceptance has something to do with how they (and Shining Bird) sort of represent an Australian version of a phenomenon/genre known as "Hauntology", which refers to music that kind of haunts the shared cultural memory of a certain generation and nationality. I pretty much stole that idea straight out of Simon Reynolds excellent book Retromania which i just finished reading. I highly recommend it!

Tell us about your relationship with Keithy George from Chopper?

So Keithy George (David Field) lives just up the road from us. We always see him fanging around on his motorized scooter or grabbing coffees at our local. We recently gave him a copy of our album and he loved it! Which was awesome because we're all massive fans of his acting and screen writing. We've kinda become better friends with him since then and Paul Ryan, who painted our cover art, met him through us and painted an awesome portrait. He's a legend!

Is it true that Dane played a Bushranger for a Chanel 7 program?

Yep. Funny story actually. David Field (before we knew him) was playing a lead role on the show and he was in a scene where Dane was in the background at a pub. Dane accidentally bumped into him on set and spilled tea all over him. Apparently it was embarrassing. The end.

You feature an excerpt from Picnic At Hanging Rock in this mix. What other Australian films you can recommend?

We all love Australian Cinema. Our bass player Nathan Stratton's grandad is the one and only David Stratton. We got a list from him with his favourite Australian movies pre-1990. Some of the highlights were:

- The Last Wave
- Sunday Too Far away
- The Man From Snowy River
- Wake In Fright

I would also highly recommend:

- Ten Canoes
- Somersault
- The Proposition
- Walkabout


Phil Cordell - Red Lady
Jonathan Wilson - Desert Raven
Lee Hazlewood - Your Sweet Love
Disco Inferno - Summer's Last Sound
Vangelis - Fading Away
Dick Diver - Water Damage
Dirty Three - Ashen Snow
Why? - Song of the Sad Assassin
The Beach Boys - Summers Gone
Neil Young - Bad Fog of Loneliness (bootleg/unreleased)
R. Stevie Moore - Don't Let Me Go To the Dogs
Dennis Wilson - Farewell My Friend

November 7, 2013 at 12:32pm in modcast



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