Notable internet personality and voice of gren drum, Max Quinn spends much of his time talking about the best new Australian music – both online and on air. He’s the triple j Unearthed community producer, but also floats around triple j making shit hot content about Dave from Gang Of Youths and many other excellent artists.
In this episode, we unpack the Unearthed machine and chat about the challenges of stringing together freelance work. We also talk about being a musician and how that ties into his work and everyday life.
Important to note that we touch on depression and mental illness in our conversation. If you or someone you know needs assistance you can reach out to Beyond Blue or Lifeline (13 11 14).
Listen To The Full Chat Here:
A playlist curated by Max:
Clem Snide – Moment In The Sun
This is the first song that I really remember falling in love with as a teenager. Actually, that might be a little bit of a lie because I bought John Mayer’s album. Say what you will about what John Mayer has gone through since then, but that was a great album to come to at 12 or 13 years old and being like ‘oh what’s this guitar thing about?’ or ‘what’s blues music about?’
Clem Snide was one of the first bands that I found, that I kind of felt like I owned. You have a real sense of pride and ownership. A Jewish / Israli guy called Eve Barsali is the frontman, and he writes these bizarre indie pop kind of songs. He still does, but this one is from a record called The Ghost Of Fashion, which came out in the year 2000. It’s a heartwarming song, it was also the theme song to a show called Ed – which I think is how I found it. Ed was a sitcom on NBC which started about the year 2000, but in the second season they had legal fights with the Foo Fighters – so they had to drop them as their theme song. But then moving forward they used this song. It’s wonderful.
Ball Park Music – Happy Healthy Citizen Of The Developed World Blues
This track, I have really fond gig memories of. I think Sam is the best songwriter in the country – he’s just so good and has the smartest melodies. He was a year above me in high school, in Lennox Head. So we were always sort of floating around each other at school. Not super, super close but he’s a friend of mine. I admire his songs so much and to watch his band get picked up in, I guess 2009 and 2010, and then this record Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs came out in September of 2011. My friends Angus and Tom drove to Brisbane to see the launch show. This was the song they played last and it was pure hedonism, watching someone who is a friend, do something like this. It was just huge.
They played at The Zoo in Brisbane and Sam poured a bottle of red wine on some dude in the audience who was wearing a white shirt, as this song was fading out. It was just one of those special moments. That band, in particular, were a really important one for me in terms of realising that there are creative people all around the country who should be supported. You can be really vocal about that, and care about that.
A few years later I got to link up with Sam as an interviewer when I was writing about their second album, Museum. Having a phone conversation in a professional capacity with some dude you went to high school with…and used to play in the school stage band with… It was wonderful. They’re an important band for me. I constantly get warm fuzzies whenever I hear their songs. I remember opening up the liner notes to Museum, and I found my name in their as a thank you which was so sweet and beautiful and unexpected. They’re my favourite Australian band, I think. Such incredible stage presence and party starters as well. They know how to make a moment.
The Weakerthans – Aside
They were my favourite band for a really long time and may still be my favourite band. They’re an indie punk band from Canada, they formed in about 1998 after John the singer left Propaghandi. This was the first time that lyrics made a profound amount of sense to me. He felt like someone I felt a real sense of kinship with, as someone who slaves over words and making words work in the context of music. They’re a special band to me for a lot of reasons. But this song, you should listen to the lyrics.
Go listen to Max’s music. It is very good and will make you laugh AND feel things. Win, win.
Scope his catalogue out on BandCamp.