Larry Heath is the founder and primary editor at Australia’s the Au Review. @yocvo had the chance to sit down and talk websites, shows music & punching yerself in the face with Larry at Canadian Music Week.
This is what he had to say….
What is the Au review?
The AU Review is an independent online publication in Australia that covers the local music and arts scenes around the country, run by a group of dedicated journalists and photographers.
Why did you feel the need to build your own voice for Australian Music?
I wanted to create, specifically, an output for emerging writers and photographer in Australia to get the chance to build their own voice and support the artists they want to. Given we all live in Australia, it’s only natural we support Australian music – from the stuff we like to the bands we’re good friends with, we spread the word on all that’s “good”.
We felt there was a move away from this supportive atmosphere where websites were popping up to focus on the negative, writing about music they hated in a snarky kind of way, while a “community/forum” environment that surrounded it supported these statements, while at the same time took focus away from the writers and photographers. This is definitely something we have achieved and continue to evolve.
If I was going to dedicate the next 15 minutes to listening to Australian music, what do I need to hear?
Well you’ve all heard the Gotye song by now, so let’s look elsewhere… firstly anything by these artists should be on your iPod, but here are 5 songs I think you shoudl listen to:
- Pluto Jonze (Sydney) – Plastic Bag in a Hurricane
- Ball Park Music (Brisbane) – It’s Nice to Be Alive
- The Jezabels (Sydney) – Endless Summer
- Emma Louise (Brisbane) – Jungle
- Cloud Control (Sydney) – There’s Nothing in the Water We Can’t Fight
Outside of local music, what’s on your iPod / iPhone?
Can’t get enough of the new record by Alabama Shakes, out of Athens, Georgia, and your own Ariane Moffatt has been getting a lot of play lately with the phenomenal “MA”.
Have you ever heard a song that makes you want to punch yourself in the face?
Pretty much everything David Guetta puts out.
Been there. You’ve done a lot of traveling around the world, is there a venue that stands out as a favorite?
Easily the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. With bars everywhere you look (meaning no queues), a massive stage giving you excellent vantage points from all points of the venue and superb sound, the venue is everything you could want and more. I had the privilege of seeing TV on the Radio with Grizzly Bear there back in 2006, before GB exploded. It still ranks as one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.
Who’s the best person you’ve ever interviewed?
Gary Numan is an idol of mine and getting to interview him was definitely one of my highlights over the years, but Warren Haynes – who is another of my idols – was not only an honour to interview, but was easily the best interview I’ve ever done. He made it all too easy.
Have you ever felt as though you totally ‘blew the interview’?
Definitely – but after hundreds of interviews over the years, it’s only been a couple of times so I feel pretty lucky as I hear so many horror stories. Events like SXSW and CMJ are pretty difficult because some days you do 15+ interviews and I’m constantly worried I’m running off the wrong facts. A couple of times I’ve come off looking a bit dumb in them – e.g. not knowing anything about the band (by the 14th you give up a little bit…) – but generally they’re bands that people in Australia don’t know anything about anyway so it works to the interview’s advantage. Or so I tell myself.
There’s only one I’ve truly blown, however, and that was with Anthrax’s Scott Ian. I had misread the e-mail and didn’t realise we were there to talk about Anthrax – he was in the country to tour with another group and I though we were there for that. Things got a little awkward.
What’s next on the horizon for you and the AU review?
We’re turning 4 this year! So in July through to September we’re throwing a series of events in Australia to celebrate. We’ll also be doing a few things in New York during CMJ so keep your eyes peeled for that…