The artists of WA Unlocked tell us their iso wins, share their hype for the first show back
Crooked Colours, Slumberjack, Shockone and Tina Says will perform at WA Unlocked - WA's first major concert post-corona - this weekend.
Header image by Austin Friedline.
The iso (a.k.a. isolation) period has been a weird one. On one hand, people have gone on about how they've managed to save so much money or take on new hobbies and learn a new language, while others somehow managed to spend all the money they usually spend on going out on Uber Eats instead, and have done nothing but watch everything that could be moderately interesting - and that's a constantly-moving boundary - on Netflix while working from home (and we use that term really loosely as well).
Over in West Australia, however, things are looking up. Due to our hard borders and the brilliant work of Premier Mark McGowan, West Australia is on track for a near-full re-opening very soon (bar the hard border to the eastern states, which is definitely a good thing considering everything going on over there), and live music - which we all miss so, so much - is making a comeback in a matter of days.
As we announced a few weeks back, WA Unlocked looks set to be the state's first major show back. Taking over HBF Stadium this Saturday July 18, the show will welcome full-production live music back to the state with a lineup full of the state's electronic heavyweights, with Shockone, SLUMBERJACK, Crooked Colours - back home after a stint in Melbourne - and Tina Says being chosen to open the d-floor's back up and get some action happening in our live music world after a long, long time off.
To celebrate the show's soon arrival and tickets flying out the door, we got everyone on the lineup - Crooked Colours, SLUMBERJACK, Shockone and Tina Says - to chat to us about what they've been doing over iso (including some of their wins, if there were any) and how they're feeling to jump back on that live stage once again.
There are only a few tickets left for WA Unlocked, and you can grab them - along with more information - right about here.
So, how has everyone been spending their last few months in isolation?
Crooked Colours: "In isolation, isolating. It's actually been the first time in a few years we have had more than 5 weeks to bunker down and write some music. Still itching to get out on that stage, and we desperately hope the rest of Australia follows WA soon, but having a chunk of writing time was something we have never had the luxury of having. So we gotta take the wins where we can."
Shockone: "To be honest, with isolation, I haven't actually noticed much of a change to my regular daily routine. Every day I come and sit by myself in a room with no windows for 10 odd hours and make music so isolation is pretty normal for me!
"One thing I have noticed though is that I've really enjoyed this feeling that there has been a universal pause button put on the world. I often suffer from anxiety that can be triggered by thoughts around not working hard enough or being as successful as the next person, which I think is pretty common amongst all of us, these days. But lately, it's like my mind has had this wonderful sense of space since the world has slowed down to a near standstill, which has been really conducive to my creativity. So yeh I've just been writing a heap of new music... Oh and launching Dark Machine Records too, which is has been a really enjoyable learning curve for me."
SLUMBERJACK: "We’ve built a new studio space here in Perth and have been doing a lot of really cool stuff out of that space. Working on music, obviously, but also opening up to the streaming world and broadcasting a bunch of DJ Sets and music production sessions. It’s been a really fun way to connect with the community."
Tina Says: "Mostly working on music, catching up on series or I started gaming on PlayStation which was fun hahaha."
Over the isolation period, Shockone launched Dark Machine Records, with the first signing being New Zealand duo Lee Mvtthews.
What's something that you have all maybe found or learnt during isolation?
Crooked Colours: "Have learnt that zoom calls for catch ups are unsustainable and the worst idea."
Shockone: "I've been cooking a lot more, which is a pretty big deal for me, as I was NOT a cooking person before, so that's pretty rad. The main thing personal development wise for me has just been learning to slow down, and to be at peace with that. I feel the last six months has shown us all what a precarious knife-edge it is that our society exists on, and that it can all fall apart and change in a heartbeat, which at first glance is a scary thing *panic buying anyone?* It highlights how little control we have over this chaotic world we live in.
"Learning to accept this has been an interesting and positive thing for me. It's made me realise I need a lot less 'stuff' going on in my life to make me happy, and highlighted how important my family and health are, and also how lucky I am to live in a place like Perth. So yeh the ability, and continued practice to stop, breathe and practice gratitude has been huge for me."
SLUMBERJACK: "I built my first computer! I’ve always been interested in giving it a go but thought it would be too difficult and didn’t want to mess up any expensive parts. Turned out to be not too tough at all and some of the visuals you’ll see in the upcoming shows were made on it!"
Tina Says: "Actually learnt quite a bit about the low end side of production as well as mixing and sound design as I did a few courses."
In addition to their Black & Blue EP and a remix of G Flip's Killing My Time, SLUMBERJACK also have a new song - Surrender - out next week. You can pre-save it here.
What are you all looking forward to with the return of live music?
Crooked Colours: "Phwoar that connection to people! There is only so much online interaction you can have before the fatigue sets in. Bring on the live face to face reactions!"
Shockone: "Firstly, how lucky are we that we're getting to get back to live music again. I really feel for those in other parts of the country/world that are still a way off from it. I'm super hyped to play music loud again, like really loud. The other main thing I've missed a lot is just the communal energy you get from a crowd dancing to live music. We all know there is nothing quite like it and I can't wait to feel that energy again. I'm also looking forward to testing out some of the new music I've released in the last six months and the new unreleased stuff I've been writing. There are certain tunes of mine like It's All Over and Dying Light that I haven't even played to a crowd yet, so that's super exciting!
SLUMBERJACK: "All the records we’ve written throughout lockdown have never had the chance to be played on a big system. I’m very excited to hear how they sound and see what the crowd thinks!"
Tina Says: "The energy! I just can’t wait to see a pool of amazing people moving to the music and enjoying the atmosphere!"
Tina Says also dropped new music over the break, teaming up with Jeremy Beamish for her first vocal-including song Limbo.