I just returned from two weeks driving around New Zealand’s South Island. I packed the mask and jumper, and with nothing open on Christmas Day, we found ourselves with time to kill.
It was the easiest shoot we’ve done – we didn’t have to worry about lighting, and the dish is simple (but delicious). Even more fun was shooting the dancing bits at NZ landmarks – waiting ten minutes for a quiet moment at Franz Josef Glacier, so you can slip on a pink mask and do a jig, is a surreal situation. Whenever we’re filming, Lou and my oft-quoted mantra is, “this is what normal people do.” Patently untrue, but it reassures us enough to get through.
That’s ten episodes of One Pot Punk Rock in the can now. The production has reached a level I’m satisfied with – my next goal is increasing their popularity. Marketing and promotion have always been where I’ve let myself down. Every band I’ve been in sucks at it, which is shameful, because I’ve known for years that it is at least 50% of the ‘success’ equation. A good product has never been enough. Waiting on a record deal, or for something to go viral, is to wish upon a star. I still don’t know what the answer is, but it’s time to stop dumping it in the ‘too hard’ basket.
With Christmas done and dusted, I wanted to share the videos we shot for our Babyfreeze Christmas EP.
The first was Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight). This was the only one that maintained the black and white, moody/creepy visual aesthetic we’d begun this year. Like everybody, I’d dug the Way To War video a hell of a lot, and wanted to have a crack at something similar. Adding a Christmas theme seemed a delicious subversion.
Shopping centres are desperation magnets at the best of times, and feel even sadder at Christmas. The Another Lonely Christmas video was a two hour shoot at the Canberra Centre. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be escorted out at any point, but after filming for twenty minutes undisturbed in Top Bargain, our confidence grew. People kept apologising for walking into shot, which was exactly what we’d hoped for. This video was the most fun to edit, in no small part to due Nick’s touching performance. I’m also extremely pleased with the music production on this – the others veer away from the quote-unquote Babyfreeze Sound, but this one is absolutely perfect.
Which brings us to Christmas Number One – we filmed this minutes after playing The Phoenix (the first shots were in the carpark behind the pub – I put the guitar in the car and took out the camera). Nick had the concept in his head, and roped in the extras. It’s got mad energy, likely because of the speed of the shoot. I don’t think this took more than an hour, which is how I like to do it – there’s no wasted reels, everything we shot made it into the video.
It was a tremendous challenge given the time constraints (I was headed overseas – I had to leave the videos uploading on my computer when I dashed to the airport). That said, I’m already excited about the possibilities for next year.
'Everybody In The House Come On And Let Me Hear You Say Old Saint Nick!'
It was the best I could come up with in the moment, but I swear we had the whole crowd up and going with it.
Right after the set we ran out into the alley and shot the video for Christmas No 1. By the time you read this our cockamamie scheme to make three new tracks and three new videos in ten days with a big Christmas show in the middle will be complete.
Sorry for getting you into this Luke.
This year's Corinbank festival was postponed by almost seven months due to Apocalyptic weather conditions, so there was a greater-than-average sense of anticipation leading up to the first weekend of December.
Corin offers an amazing, family-friendly setting in the forest and a host of awesome local and touring acts.
This was a bittersweet show for us, however. After almost five years of exemplary service, this was Nick 'Nick Peddle' Peddle's last gig with Big Score. The rest of the scene has finally caught on to the fact that he's one of the best drummers in the world, and he played with no less than six (!) different bands over the course of the festival. He's now forced to strip his operation back to the bands that have the most career momentum, and a sketched-out jam act like Big Score definitely doesn't fit the bill.
Nick, we set you loose into the greater world beyond, your wings still wet from the womb, your four eyes blinking from the glare of your own bright future. All the best, you Magnificent Son Of A Bitch!
Photos by A-Thom The Wonder Bomb!
I meet with the NFSA and You Are Herethis Wednesday. Since last time, I’ve pulled together a ‘first draft’. It consists of 14 tracks – the longest is three minutes, the shortest is 10 seconds. Save three ‘set pieces’, all of the music recurs or is revisited at least once over the length of the film.
Presently, it’s all there but refuses to gell. That’s partly because I recorded with whatever came to hand. Some pieces are full midi compositions, mixed in Ableton; others are sung into a dictaphone, an unplugged Fender for accompaniment Just having all the tracks played at the same quality should shore it up. I’m also debating placing it all in the same key, for consistency’s sake.
Originally, I intended the soundtrack to be entirely instrumental. Seeing Harold And Maude this week changed my mind, and I’ve written two songs I’m extremely pleased to include. At this stage, I’m happy with about 70%. I’m prepared for changes once a band becomes involved, but mapping so much out this early gives me time to tweak, substitute, and make peace with tracks before even reaching the rehearsal room.
Vorn was in town from Adelaide for a few shows so we nabbed him and threw him in the car.
As we hit summer, it’s getting too hot to film during the day. I love the vibe of the night shoots, but it means we’re only fulfilling half of our credo to “showcase Canberra musos and landmarks”. Will have to scout for places still identifiable in the dark… or just do loops around Parliament House.