Interview: 3 Years Of Epic Rare Finds Parties With Head Honcho, Rob Carroll
Their 3rd Birthday party hits the OAF on April 21 with a big lineup of emerging artists.
Rare Finds are a cool bunch of cats we work with quite a lot on Pilerats. And by "work with" we mean they farm us out a heap of great music from some of Australia's most exciting young artists, and help make us look cool by exposing all the great new music come out of the country at the moment. While the agency itself started in 2010, they've been running a pretty rad party series over the past few years, and they're celebrating birthday #3 on April 21 with a massive lineup at the Oxford Art Factory. To celebrate, we sent the man behind the scenes - Rob Carroll - a few questions and it's definitely worth your time, whether you're an aspiring artist looking for representation, an aspiring PR person or just someone who bloody loves new Aussie music.
So happy 3rd Birthday for your Sydney club night! For the uninitiated, just what exactly is Rare Finds, and who are you?
Rare Finds is a Sydney-based artist services and events agency that started back in 2010. We provide opportunities for outstanding emerging artists we’re passionate about. Some past and present artists we’ve worked with include Ocean Alley, Megan Washington, Yungblud, Cub Sport, Bootleg Rascal, Dune Rats, The Lulu Raes, Mookhi, The Griswolds, Deep Sea Arcade and Dappled Cities.
Our club night parties have hosted the likes of Alex Lahey, Ocean Alley, Polish Club, Winston Surfshirt, Tia Gostelow, Lime Cordiale, Good Boy, WAAX, Dear Seattle and exciting rising stars Eliott, Genesis Owusu, JEFFE, Samsaruh, Taj Ralph and Rackett.
As for me - my name is Rob Carroll and I head up Rare Finds. I’m hugely invested in the Australian indie music scene and love getting involved helping out as much as I can, thus why Rare Finds is the perfect place for me!
What have been some standout moments for Rare Finds?
From an artist management perspective, it was Dappled Cities performing at VIVID last year as part of their fifth album launch. Held at the stunning City Recital Hall, Angel Place, it was undoubtabely the largest, most intricate and beautiful production Rare Finds had ever been involved with.
We also can’t go past selling out Rare Finds’ first two birthday parties - here’s hoping for a hat trick!
What are some hard lessons you’ve learnt running Rare Finds over the years?
That some people are incredibly difficult to work with! In the early stages of setting up the Sydney club night, we had trouble finding a Sydney venue who believed in what we were doing and understood our vision. Fortunately, the team at Oxford Art Factory understood exactly what we were working towards, which helped us set up the event to what it is today and also gain momentum into setting up in new territories.
Identify those who support your vision and keep them close. Having a strong network around you is imperative to the growth and success of your business.
And any other advice you can provide for people who are thinking about getting into the world of management/PR?
Don’t, lol. Seriously though, this is a passion driven industry. If you’re completely obessesed with music, then this is likely a well-suited career path to pursue. Identify who represents the type of artists you love, then fight to get a foot in the door by interning. If you work hard enough, this can lead to a paid position (this was exactly the case with our first three employees).
Alternatively, you can always take the DIY route and try to give it a crack yourself. Reach out to other managers and publicists you look up to for advice. You’d be surprised at how many incredible industry people who are willing to sit down for a coffee or lunch to give their words of wisdom.
You’ve worked with some pretty great acts, who in the current crop are you most excited about (besides all of them, obviously)?
Get your ears around Approachable Members of Your Local Community, JANEVA, Househats, Essie Holt and Yes Yes Whatever.
The Rare Finds parties look like they’ve been a heap of fun, what was the ethos behind doing them?
TL;DR – to provide a strong live platform for cool new artists. My late-teens and early-20s were spent embracing the golden era of alternative club night parties like Purple Sneakers and Hot Damn. These type of events foster a scene and help budding acts start developing
a live following. It’s incredibly sad for artists and punters alike that these nights had fell to the wayside. Ultimately, culture shifts and times change; however, we were firm believers there was still a place for these events.
The Sydney lockout laws were the catalyst and really inspired us to stand up and take action.
We hear you’re a bit of a mad dog behind the decks, what are some essential Rare Finds DJs tracks that get a run every set?
Maybe a mad flog! Haha, I’m honestly not that good. I still have fun trying though. Here’s five classic party jams will undeniably get indie kids frothing on the d-floor:
Last Night - The Strokes
Hate To Say I Told You So - The Hives
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys
This Charming Man – The Smiths
Banquet - Bloc Party
What’s your take on the Aussie music scene in general at the moment – what’s working, what’s not?
What's working - it’s great to see so many new DIY collectives running their own events and labels, that mostly just exist to put back into their local community. I think collaborating with those who are like-minded is always a big winner and helps foster a more unified scene.
Whats not working – Sydney Lockout Laws. Evidently, these restrictions have caused a significant loss of jobs, tourism and vibrancy for Sydney’s nightlife. The NSW government needs to step up and start working with the community on developing alternative solutions, such as looking at the introduction of a night mayor, increased policing, transport and the myriad of other proven measures available.
It’s a pretty tasty lineup for your 3rd Birthday Party, who do you think is gonna surprise people on the night?
Halcyon Drive and Desert Moons; both of whom are incredible live and currently receiving strong support from worldwide tastemakers.
What’s coming up the rest of the year for Rare Finds?
At this point, our biggest goal is to keep growing and developing the club night parties in each of the three East Coast cities. We do have a handful of special projects coming up, so keep an eye out on our socials for those exciting announcements. Hope to see you all on April 21!
Follow Rare Finds: FACEBOOK