SOTA FESTIVAL: WAM interviews RAG N’ BONE
Moody rock, post-punkers and recent WAM Song Of The Year winners, Rag N’ Bone officially kicked things off back in 2014, when the four musicians discovered their sound and started developing their live shows. They’ve since toured overseas including festivals in China, Singapore and Reunion Island, plus been highlights at Perth shows such as In The Pines and Falls Festival. Their just-released debut album A Handful Of Ash has been adding rave reviews to their CV, plus their frontperson took out WA’s Best Live Vocalist in the recent NLMAs.
Ahead of playing the FREE SOTA Festival this coming Monday 5 June – WA’s biggest celebration of WA music held at Elizabeth Quay as part of the WA Day Festival long weekend (times below) – WAM interviewed vocalist Kiera Owen of Rag N’ Bone about “fun, aurally assaulting and gross” track Pissy Flow, their A Handful of Ash album tour, the hurdles of getting music out of WA and more…
Your ‘A Handful Of Ash’ album tour is kicking off soon, how is it going?
It’s been in the works for a while but we had a bit of a set back in March when our bass player Sara injured her hand during our album launch show (she did this right before our set and still managed to keep playing – trooper!). Now that she’s all healed we are very ready to head over to Sydney, Melbourne & Hobart to play a bunch of shows and showcase the album tracks to new audiences. Unfortunately we aren’t going to Adelaide, which we love, but in tribute we’ll try and find Pie Floaters (South Australia’s signature dish) in every other city.
You won the WAM Punk/Hardcore Song Of The Year award for “Pissy Flow” – An interesting name to say the least – tell us the story behind it?
Yes! This was very exciting for us! “Pissy Flow” is the first track and the oldest living song on our album and came about by pretty much throwing all we had in a blender to create something fun, aurally assaulting and gross. Lyrically it explores dualistic thinking – the good parts of your mind versus the bad and the side of yourself you don’t want people to see. The side that might tell you to ram a stick up your….
Tell us why “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” is your fav song on the album?
I think it’s the song that really captures the mood and aim of the album and feels like our most thoughtful and personal. It’s also got all the things we love – sweeping vocals, copious amounts of chorus echo, intense driving bass and exponentially massive drums.
Your must see act for SOTA this year?
Usually – Gyroscope but I’m going to say Tired Lion, because it actually feels like so bloody long since I watched these hawt dawgs play.
With so many great acts coming out of WA, do you think there is ‘something in the water’ that just breeds awesome?
Who knows?! It has something to do with the love and support that Perth bands show toward each other, and the geographical nightmare that is living and trying to break out of here. – I think this contributes to an overall sincerity in our acts, both musically and personally, and gives us the spirit to go all the way.
How do you think living in WA has affected your music?
It can be hard to stand out when you live in a fairly isolated state with arguably less national opportunities available but I think this has really pushed us to challenge ourselves both sonically and in our live performance and to look for opportunities across the sea. As a sunny coastal state a lot of our music is bright and positive but I think in Rag n’ Bone’s case the isolation and conservative nature of WA has been a weighted blanket for exploring darker themes and allowing us to experience some of the issues we try to dissect in our music – such as equality, Australia’s ideologies toward our indigenous people and refugees and identity.
Do you know WAM has a time machine? What advice would you give to your younger self as you were starting out in music?
Haha. Well I’d tell myself to start learning an instrument stat but also not to let anything hold you back, just make music, and lots of it.
In WA, your fave…
WA acts that have influenced you? FOAM for their musical introspection, Shit Narnia for their energy, Childsaint for their beautiful melodies, Ben Witt for playing music straight from the soul, Last Quokka for their unapologetic nature and so so many more.
Music venue: Badlands – A true music venue full of love and nurture.
Record store: Dada’s – it’s an icon!
Gig you ever attended in WA: The Drones, Rosemount Hotel 2016
Best spot for a quiet beverage: The Bird – its cosy and there’s always a familiar face.
Something you get homesick for when tour: The weather.
Something that’s closed or gone that you miss: The Bakery!! RIP
Breakfast cure spot: Cuppa Joe’s – Kev is the best.
What’s that mysterious flying object? Aliens have come to visit… What is the first thing you take them to in Perth?
Either Cuppa Joe’s for a Haloumi burger or a local gig in Northbridge!
What’s happening for you in the near future?
Our album tour!
JUN 5 STATE OF THE ART FESTIVAL, Perth *all ages
JUN 8 MARLY BAR, Newtown
JUN 9 WOODY’S BAR, Collingwood
JUN 10 LAST CHANCE ROCK N’ ROLL BAR, North Melbourne
JUN 11 BRISBANE HOTEL, Hobart
JUN 15 PRINCE OF WALES, Bunbury
JUL 1 WHITE STAR HOTEL, Albany
– then a few more exciting things which will be revealed later this month.
SOTA Festival is proudly presented as part of the 2017 WA Day Festival, and co-presented by WAM. The sixth annual SOTA showcase will be held at Elizabeth Quay Monday 5 June, as part of the WA Day long weekend festivities with both under 18 and licensed areas. Best of all, it’s free!