I’M SUCH A BIG FAN OF PODCASTING THAT, WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM DAN BEAZLEY, WE STARTED THE NEWCASTLE PODCAST NETWORK THIS YEAR. IT WAS ABOUT THE SAME TIME WE WERE DISCUSSING THE PROCESS LAST YEAR THAT I GOT A MESSAGE FROM WILLIAM AT INDIE COLLECTIVE, VERY POLITELY ASKING IF IT WAS OK IF HE CAME AND RECORDED THE BANDS AT ONE OF OUR FIRST CURATED THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE EVENTS WITH LOVE + RENT AT THE CAMBRIDGE HOTEL. NOT LONG AFTER THAT, WILLIAM SENT US A MESSAGE SAYING HE WAS MOVING TO DIGITAL RADIO AND I GOT TO THINKING…
It was about brunch time when William Gleeson wandered into Suspension Espresso (apparently one of our favourite Mirage meeting spots) while I waited for a latte (yes, Ryan, some of us buy drinks) and we had a quick chat about his radio program, what moving to digital really means, and general thoughts about the state of local music.
I guess the first thing is – what is Indie Collective?
William: Indie Collective is a radio program, produced to give the community wellbeing for the young bands of Newcastle and the Hunter Region in particular. So our goal is to promote and give a little leverage to those young bands that are trying to make it. Give them another platform to get exposed on. Get their music out into the community.
Radio program? There has been a bit of a change for 2017, am I right?
Yeah, it’s all happening at the moment. We’ve just moved to online streaming. It was a bit of a gamble; I was really unsure about it because I wasn’t sure if it would work. The truth was I didn’t really think anyone was listening at the other station where I was, because it’s really hard to get it in Newcastle. So I decided to make a home studio and, yeah, just go from there. Had our first show the other week – didn’t get THAT many listeners, but I’m hoping to build on from there.
What does the move to digital mean?
The only thing that has changed, really, is that it has moved to Wednesday night. Still eight o’clock, just Wednesday night. Logistically, we do have a few stats we can look at. Most kids these days don’t even know what an FM radio is. I definitely think it’s a step in the right direction.
Where did it all start? Is this a love for radio?
Definitely. I listened to radio for years and years; started probably in Year 11 and 12. I just really got into Triple J, new music, all types of music, really. It took me a long time; I always knew I wanted a career in radio, but I was always a bit scared. I came from a family – I don’t know how you would describe them, but they’re all engineers and draftsmen. [Radio] wasn’t really a correct career move. I started an apprenticeship and that was an absolute disaster. From that, I went and enrolled in uni, Open Foundation, then a year later, Bachelor of Communications. The passion has just been driving it ever since.
Have you had any feedback in regards to the move?
Not one person has said that is a terrible idea; most people support it. People are asking where to listen.
How do you find the state of the Newcastle music scene is now?
At the moment, it has gotten a lot better than what it was. Still got a long way to go.
What do you mean by that? Where was it?
Back in 2009-2010, it seemed a bit slow to me. Not with the bands – I think the bands have always put in 100% and made the effort; it’s more getting people to go to gigs, that’s the hard part. More people are going – I’m certainly noticing it.
Where do you like to hang out?
It wouldn’t depend on the venue, it would depend on the artist. I think the Thursday Night Lives are terrific [Mirage curates one a month at the Cambridge]. I think they’re going great; just a few more people at it would be top notch.
When you aren’t going out to see live music where do you like to go out?
I don’t go out that much these days (I’ve gotten old, unfortunately) with the exception of Jim’s Milkshakes.
If you could teach Novocastrians anything, what would it be?
Any band, any musician, any artist has poured their life into their creation; the least you can do is go pay $10 to see them – it really isn’t that much. Look at it from that perspective.
If you want to check out Indie Collective, it’s on at 8pm Wednesday nights via mixlr.com/indie-collective or look them up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you can’t tune in at the time, the show is also currently hosted via SoundCloud and rumoured to be on the Newcastle Podcast Network soon.