CELEBRATING LOCAL MUSIC

As part of the For the Boys Fest event, a number of incredibly talented local musicians took to the stage to entertain the crowds. Get to know some of the city’s best and brightest new talents. By Rachel Vickary

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KAMIKAZE REX

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Long-time friends and bandmates, Bill, Kaz, Troy and Daz are the talents behind Kamikaze Rex.

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Ipswich Local caught up with Damien Johnson, Kamikaze Rex, Wild Eyed Wonder’s Dee Bradbury and sister/musical duo, Ally and Sarah to find out more.

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DAMIEN JOHNSON

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IL: What would you like readers to know about your act?

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DJ: DAMIEN is, at the very heart, a naïve and curious child who just wants to be seen, held and heard.

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IL: How would you describe your style of music?

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DJ: DAMIEN is what you would consider ‘darkwave’ music, and is a cross between artists like Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. The genre uses mostly electronic instruments, still has a recognisable song structure, but is usually darker and heavier than pop music.

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IL: Who are your main influences?

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DJ: Presently I’m mostly listening to Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Siiickbrain and St Vincent.

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IL: How and when did you first start performing?

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DJ: I think my first performance was as a lead character in my primary school’s rendition of ‘Oliver’. I played Bill Sykes.

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IL: What would be your dream gig (and your dream rider)?

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DJ: My dream gig would be one where I got to perform in front of a 1000+ people in a packed venue, with high end lighting and visual effects, extravagant costumes and everyone knowing the words to my songs, and going crazy for the music. As far as the rider goes, I’d settle for an array of six imperial stouts/porters that I can enjoy back stage.

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WILD EYED WONDER’S DEE BRADBURY

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IL: What would you like readers to know about your act?

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DB: I’m a home-grown, Ippy artist, who’s a bit of a dreamer and glass half- full kinda gal. I started out as a drummer when I was a kid, but then evolved into playing guitar, song writing and then becoming a music artist. Now I make a living singing for my supper. So whenever you see me around town performing, know that there’s a 12yr old version of me somewhere, just freaking out that this is what I get to do as an adult!

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IL: How/when did you first start performing?

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DB: I’ve always loved performing, even from a young age. I mean, who didn’t like making up dances with their younger cousins, and then forcing unsuspecting family members to watch their newly crafted routine? …Is that too specific? Anyway!! I’ve always known that music is something I’ve wanted to pursue, but it took me a looooong time to find my feet in that space as a solo performer. I held onto my dreams so tightly, that I didn’t want to risk the possibility of being told I was no good.

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After a while, I just got frustrated with being stuck in my own head, and wrestling my own insecurities of “what if ?”. So, I got real bold one day and posted a video of myself singing an original song and put it up on YouTube. It sounds simple, but there’s a real vulnerability in that decision – it was make or break for me… at least it felt that way!

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But I’m so grateful for the unbelievably positive and encouraging response from those who engaged in those early moments. It was like a weight had lifted off and it’s the most defining point in my career so far – the rest is history.

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IL: Who would play you in a movie of your life?

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DB: Oooh! Great question. Weirdly, I have actually already thought about this! Um, well I mean, if Emma Stone wanted to play me in a movie I wouldn’t be mad. I kinda feel like she’d be fun to meet in person. But I’m totally open for suggestions!

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IL: What would you like readers to know about your act?

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Bill: Just come watch us play, you’ll figure it out. Daz: Kamikaze Rex, for me, represents a coming together of minds on many different levels. We’ve all spent many years playing music, and I think the fact that we’ve all spent most of our time in the industry playing ORIGINAL music says something about who we are.

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Unless you’re one of the lucky few, you don’t make any money with original music – so it’s pretty evident that we do this because we love doing this, and we love the people we’re playing with. There’s a certain relaxed nature the band has that ONLY comes with many years of experience. We’re all hovering around that 50-year-old mark, we’ve all spent many years doing what we do, and none of us has anything to prove – and that comes out in our music. I think you really need to see a show to really appreciate what I’m trying to say here … Kaz: KR is a selection of band mates united from former legendary acts that hail from Southeast Queensland and Victoria’s vibrant and varied history. We play and write what makes us happy. Troy: We’re awesome.

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IL: How would you describe your style of music?

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Bill: I guess like the blurb on the social media “Imagine a Wanna-be Dimebag, Billy Sheehan, Chrissy Amphlett, Phil Rudd Super Group” Daz: Eclectic Aussie Pub Hard Rock Kaz: Heavy edged rock flavoured with elements of punk and pop with a sprinkle of prog. We each bring something very unique so the end result is a fusion of flavours and something very cool. Troy: Aussie pub rock.

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ALLY AND SARAH

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IL: How would you describe your style of music?

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A&S: We are a sister duo who play contemporary country.

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IL: Who are your main influences?

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A & S: Musically- Kasey Chambers. When she broke into the country music industry she wasn’t your “typical” country music singer and look where she is today. Also, the Dixie Chicks and Taylor Swift.

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IL: When did you start performing?

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A & S: We have both been singing since a young age but have been a duo for 16 years.

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IL: You recently appeared at the For the Boys Fest to help raise awareness for men’s mental health. Why did this cause resonate with you?

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A & S: We have lost a few friends over the years to mental health so we are big supporters of raising awareness for not only men’s mental health, but for people living with mental health issues in general.

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IL: What is your dream gig?

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A & S: Not dreaming too big here but a dream for us is to play at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

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IL: Who would play you in the movie of your life?

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A & S: Oh wow… tough one. For me (Sarah) I would be happy if Sandra Bullock played me. She can be serious but has a funny/goofy/tomboy side and for Ally- Melissa McCarthy- Has a very Funny side… but you wouldn’t want to mess with her! haha

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IL: How did you first start performing together?

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A & S: Being sisters- we’ve obviously known each other for our whole lives. But our bond is something very special. We are even living together at the moment with Ally’s Husband and her 4 children and my 3 boys…. I don’t think many siblings could do that.

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