Australia has always had strong roots in the heavy metal and screamo scenes, leading to many great popular acts and just as good unknown artists. As a laid back coastal nation most would not have expected such aggressive music to sweep the airwaves. While still not a ‘pop’ accepted music style, actually still shunned by a lot of the population (mainly those born in the 80s and younger seem to have adopted the hardcore life), the traction gained by the movement is constantly growing and changing. Australia is now recognised to produce some of the leading music in the genre.
Entering The Underground
By Cameron Graczyk
I have always been intrigued in the weird and abstract aspects of life, with music being the main area of interest. So when I stumbled upon a post on Reddit claiming to show music from the ‘dark web’ I immediately had to check it out. The video shows one of the websites used by ‘Violent Tango’ where as to continue, you have to click on a dinosaurs eye, which the takes you to the next login page. Entering in your unique login details leads you to the homepage. (Check out the full video here: https://youtu.be/l2ax1BGxgZU). In the description there are some music links (I have placed more at the bottom of the page), and here it also states that the ‘holy ground’ of the genre is Newcastle, Australia.
It is truly an exciting prospect that an experimental style of music, that can only be described as vapourware and screamo’s love child, started in Newcastle or more specifically Cardiff. This lead me to contact the creator of the video and an actual member of this underground society. Knowing that I was dealing with such secretive and passionate musicians I choose my questions carefully, leaving room for a general response. I was met with friendly responses and open arms to further learning of the genre.
Interview with ‘Phoenixtasman’
Q. I know that the whole thing is secretive and I get that, so any info you can't give out just let me know. When did you first hear about the genre?
A. Yeah nah it's cool. I'll tell you what I can. It's "HACKORE" Before we found out about the GEN3 that was going on and I was on a mission to get the world to notice, We started this WIKI but we never finished gathering the info for it since... Well I got my Invite :) http://neotrash.wikia.com/wiki/Neo-Trash_Wiki
Oh and if you see that Trash symbol around on someone, guess what? they're in the club.
Q. When did you first hear about it?
A. My Brother was one of the original members of the Newcastle ring. He would attend shows at the famed "DOG HOUSE" aka EDI RAIL at cardiff aka Heritage listed rundown building at the back of the site. Gigs were actually originally held in their lunch room there because the lunch room had a stage. But Rookie Allen worked there as a security guard so as things grew they decided to move it to a place that destroying the area wouldn't actually matter. My Brother would listen to this stuff but I never knew it was neo-trash. It wasn't until I got older and got into music that I started to take notice. One day while he was away overseas I went through all his CDs. Eventually I found a box under his bed full of TRASH recordings. That's when I fell in love with The Art of Audio Graffiti.
Q.Current state of the scene?
A.The current state of the scene is bigger than ever outside of oz. The scene overseas is getting larger and larger. But here in Australia its kinda stagnant. It's been that way since 2012 when the ghost computer had their last show. They really where the soul of the scene. This killed jonbenet have never slowed down but they still only have one release that's years old. (two releases actually) More and more groups keep popping up and more rings seem to be growing every week. There's now two other sites like the one I did the video on now running that I've seen. And I've heard that there is at least 3 more. But with that said when I say it's "growing" its growing as good as a scene that stays out of the public eye can. But to put it bluntly it's bigger than the Gen1 and Gen2 ever where. But there's something about the GEN2 stuff that just can't be reproduced. Maybe it's because of the "GHOST HOUSE" recording studio and how all the bands were so close and recorded together, or maybe it was because rookie produced the most important albums (His studio after all).
Q. Do you make music, what kind?
A. Yep, I make Neo-trash. My Band is called Symbols we have a demo out ATM and I also run Neo-core Crowned Records. We pride ourselves in being the surface web connection to the scene. We release anything related to Neo-trash. So ambient noise/noise/drone. Funny thing about that stuff, Neo-trash came out of the Experimental noise scene in Newie at the time, There's some Hackore trivia.
Q. Favorite artist from this scene?
A. Favorite artists hmmm well it's sacrilege to not love three of the Big four. 1. So that being the original THE GHOST COMPUTER!! 2. TGC's ugly offspring THIS KILLED JONBENET (some say is the greatest of all) 3. THE BUGS and 4. Piotr Kamler both of these bands came from the band DON'T BLAME ME I VOTED FOR THE PENGUIN. Who are called the founding mothers of Neo-trash. (Ghost Computer and Don't blame were the original two during the GEN1 days) But as far as a personal favorite I'm gonna say KANEDA from japan, their album YUZA is fucking amazing.
Q. Do you live in Newcastle?
A. Yes I do. Love Newie. Newcastle to the scene is holy ground. Like Norway is to black metal.
Q. What do you think think of the current state of music?
A. As an industry...dead. Real DEAD. As a passion and art form...Digitally Reborn. Think about it, could something like neo-trash exist in a world without the internet? Neo-trash had the whole digital music trade down long before iTune and Bandcamp ever came along. The bands on the Happy Leper Rec label would have their music promoted and sold on the original forum. A customer would request a URL link to download a sample of each release and then pay for the right to download the release on EFnet using mIRC.
Q. How hard was it to gain access to cliques online, allowing you access to the music?
A. Not hard at all, My brother got me in when I was 15 hahahaha. As for other people. No it's not hard. as long as you have a contact who will vouch for you at the door or who can talk to the admins to get your invite email sent to you. But you can be kicked out as quickly as you got in. I've never had much trouble with what I do since my family name is "MADE" in the community because of my brother. Who was the a merch guy and admin on the original hidden forum back in the day.
Q. Anything extra you can let me know about the online communities?
A. They consist of people of all types and creeds. The only trait not tolerated is racism and anything else that the BLKOPS style crews fight against (Pedo shit and stuff like that.) With the online community the way it is, You can travel around a lot of the world and always have a place to stay hahaha. Never speak badly of the "Fathers or Mothers" so anyone in the big four bands. Thats a real big no no. That shit will get you banned and probably worse. And that sounded a lot like a cult mentality but it's nothing like that. Its like respect for the foundation they gave us and to have what we have now...A Family.
Q.Anything else you think is good to know?
A. Don't piss them off. Some of these people can make your records disappear. I can't speak for the NEW sites that have popped up because I'm not apart of them, I'm VIOLENT TANGO, but they are very passionate about this scene they are building. There's a new group Called "THE DIRTY 99" I hear they call themselves RED ROOM CRASHERS. Now that is a dangerous world to be getting into. But what I'm scared of, And I've never said this before until now, But My fear is with these new groups that emerged outside of reflex point, that they could start wars with each other. Under the Reflex Point Banner we're are all one giant family. Brothers, Sisters, Uncles, Cousins. But these new ones they govern themselves. the only connection they have to us is the sound.
Music * The Ghost Computer: https://theghostcomputer.bandcamp.com/releases
* This Killed Jonbenet - Humanity, Human Cattle: https://thiskilledjonbenet.bandcamp.com/ * The Bugs - Hahahaha It's All A Fucking Joke: https://thebugs-aus.bandcamp.com/releases (Defiantly for FANS of THE LOCUST)
* The Angel Negative - Thou Are Virus: https://theangelnegative.bandcamp.com/releases * Piotr Kamler - Kronopolis: https://piotrkamler.bandcamp.com/releases
* Pre Re-mix + Re-mastered Version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7q-gB4_kWM * PO;JK - Fim Dos Dias: https://pojk.bandcamp.com/releases * Million Eels - émeute EP: https://millioneels.bandcamp.com/releases * Gorilla Meat - Robo Bro ep + GUNT ep: https://gorillameat.bandcamp.com/ * East Coast Pistols - 2007 Demo https://neo-corecrownedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/2007-demo-nccr-re-release * The Victor - Things You Shouldn't Search For - Part One: https://neo-corecrownedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/things-you-shouldnt-search-for-part-one * Jebediah Grim - A Cluster of Putrid Gems https://neo-corecrownedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-cluster-of-putrid-gems * Symbols - Grade B Meat (Demo) https://neo-corecrownedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/grade-b-meat-demo