EP Walkthru: Wildfire Manwurrk - The Next Future
The band takes us track by track through the stories, culture and inspirations behind their debut 6-track EP.
Image credit Renae Saxby
Arnhem Land rockers Wildfire Manwurrk are a family group who share their stories as men in a world of culture, chaos and change. Making their musical debut a few months ago with the release of their gritty single Lonely Bangardi, followed by Octobers the guitar-led anthem Don’t Smoke, the band have been building up to an EP release; The Next Future, a 6-track melting pot of thrashing guitars and traditional songlines from ancient times that is out today.
Passionate to share their culture to audiences around the nation “This music, it’s looking at both worlds. We’re telling our honest story using Balanda (whitefella) and Bininj (blackfella) music together. Kunborrk (ceremony songlines) with modern instruments are our double tools,” shares Wildfire Manwurrk Lead Singer, Didgeridoo (Morle) and Clapsticks-ist Victor Rostron, continuing "We have a story to tell and this is our voice, in our language, one of the oldest languages in this world. That language will help you connect to where you are standing. It will help us come together, where we learn from each other.”
Recorded at Nowave Studio in Mullumbimby over three days, with James Boundy (Dune Rats) engineering and bandmates Matt Smith and Natalie Carey co-producing, The Next Future not only showcases a collection of unique stories, but highlights the groups talents as songwriters and musicians to captivatingly convey such raw and earnest emotions and messages.
To give us a full breakdown on what went into each track on The Next Future, Victor, Lead Singer / Lead Guitarist Sires Rostron, and Lead Singer / Bassist Johnson Rostron take us on an EP walkthrough. Be sure to hit play on Wildfire Manwurrk’s debut EP, and take a read of what they had to say below.
This song is about really big danger for countrymen. It’s about addiction. People can smoke all night and all day. People smoke in the car and in the house around children. Our children have Chronic health problems like Rheumatic Heart and smoking near children is putting them in danger.
I wanted to write a powerful message to our Countrymen and everyone who is out there listening. This song is a heavy metal song that represents this serious issue in our community. I wanted this song to be a wake up call. - Sires Rostron.
I wrote Ranger Boat about when me and my friend went up the river in a 14 foot dingy, a small one, with a harpoon. We’d been harpooning crocodiles for a culling program. We were travelling at night, spotlighting, with a big headlight, looking for two red eyes. We would spot one, move closer and then harpoon the crocodile.
This song is about me. It says in the song. “I am a stone country man, but I’m holding a boat paddle, and paddling boat, looking for crocodile in the salt water.” I grew up inland the bush, but I have always been good at catching crocodiles, and collecting eggs, I have seen crocodiles in the Liverpool River get used to me, know, me. They used to give me room to come into their nest, and I would take some eggs for our Ranger program.
I am the same moiety as crocodiles. We are both Yirridjdja moiety. We respect each other. When we go and work with crocodiles we call out loud to our ancestors and say, “Old people, it’s me walking, I’m coming to collect eggs, lay down and sleep”. The ancestors help us work together because Crocodiles have big songline for Yirridjdja mob. - Victor Rostron.
Mararradj means, a love that can never die. It’s like a fire burning that will never go out. It’s not about me, that song, I wrote it about everyone. It’s about boyfriend and girlfriend going though break up, having argument, jealous talking, but then something tells you, you want to get that love back. You want to be sitting down together again. It’s because of Mararradj. It never finishes, it’s an unbreakable love. - Victor Rostron.
I wrote this song about the Country ‘calling me’. I was sitting down on the rock, and I saw a big storm coming up, it had a big lightning strike and it made me think about my homeland ‘Dumankerre’. It made me feel like crying, like I wanted to go back.
I decided to go home, back to my homeland, and when I got there everybody saw me walking, and they got up and started crying and hugging me, telling me to stay there at my homeland. It’s not just about me, its about my mum and my uncles too. It starts out slowly and reminds me of that feeling of missing home. Then it kicks into a proper rock song. - Johnson Rostron.
Lonely Bangardi is about a broken heart, feeling lonely, wandering if that love will come back. Waiting, waiting for that girlfriend to come back. Bangardi is my skin name and at that time when I was sitting down broken hearted and thinking too much about that Daluk (woman). I was Lonely Bangardi. - Sires Rostron.
It’s a song that people in our community recognise as a song of sadness, honouring people who have passed away. And it’s a song of hope and encouragement to young people to hold on and believe things will get better.
It touches peoples hearts, it feels powerful for them. It’s about Sorry Business (loss / funerals) with a message. They hear that song and sorry things come up from that song and then go away. Feeling sulky (in relationships), things can feel really strong in your heart. But they realise afterward, they can fight that pain. If they stay strong other people can too.
People recognise that song, especially Kune and Kuninjku people. It has two meanings that song. There’s an outside meaning, about a Yawurrinj (young men) and Yawk Yawk (young girls) relationship, and there’s an inside meaning. We know what that song is saying. It’s an anti-suicide song.
The main message of this song is to young boys and young girls to always be strong. - Victor Rostron.
Wildfire Manwurrk's debut Ep The Next Future is out now.