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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Lady Slug play Mullum

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Coming out of Lismore, Lady Slug are headed up by Kodi Twiner, and feature Ben Jackson, Luke Rosten and Lachlan Dwyer.

Playing a genre called nu-jazz, this dynamic and edgy little ensemble have that certain mystique that could see them destined for greatness. Definitely on the watch list. Kodi spoke with The Echo from Bali. In August the band played Gig on the Green at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

You have been labelled ‘multi-dimensional freaks’. What does that mean exactly?

No-one knows. We got called that by the editor of Beat magazine when we played in Melbourne for the first time. We’re taking it as a compliment.

What attracts you to this genre; what is the freedom in jazz and soul that you love most?

It’s been a challenge to give our music a genre. I’d say Ladyslug is nu-jazz. We didn’t have a genre in mind when we first started writing; it’s progressive and is taking form as we mature as an ensemble. Neo-soul has been mentioned, and we dig that style, but all these other flavours come out when we write.

Kodi, what’s your background in music?

I’m a vocalist. Right now I’m studying Honours in Indonesia focusing on composition, arranging, electronic beats and songwriting.

I studied Contemporary Music at Southern Cross Uni where I met Ben, Luke and Lachy (Ladyslug). Before that I was in a local band called Hunter and Smoke. I grew up in regional QLD doing musical theatre. We did Beauty and the Beast and I got cast as a napkin/‘Gaston’s silly girl #3’.

My wig fell off onstage in a performance. Good times.

Tell me a little about your thesis on gender in the music industry.

My thesis project is a response to the under-representation of women in music, and creative response to the Anthropocene. 

The marginalisation of women in music is a symptom of the the wider, systemic oppression of women. Australia is full of diversity; that should be reflected on our stages! There are stories we need to be hearing, and as a community we need to support and make room for the tellers of those stories.

I’m exploring ecofeminism, and its intersectionality, through my music practice. My thesis contextualises the multidisciplinary performance I’ve written, NAGA BUAH coming in 2018.

How are women treated differently in the music industry, do you think?

There’s no one answer to this question but we can start by addressing the obvious. The play gap. There are invisible biases symptomatic of wider social conditioning of gender roles. These invisible biases become tangible when you look at the data.

Splendour 2016 had 74 per cent all-dude lineup. Groovin the Moo 79 per cent dudes. Falls fest 68 per cent dudes.

No major record label in Australia is owned by a woman. The board of the ARIAs is all male. Only one in five APRA members is female. Why? I know heaps of women making top-quality shit that should be right up there.

Mullum Music Fest has 50/50 gender parity on the bill this year. Solid! Go, Mullum!  If you’re a booker or journalist or radio host you have an amazing opportunity to support diversity, influence culture and create community.

What is the essence of a Ladyslug gig?

Behind the scenes: Effortless awkwardness. Onstage: Some of our songs are like beasts. Or huge monstrous slugs. Is that an essence?

What should we be expecting for your performance at Mullum Music Festival?

Multidimensional freakishness. I think. Still not sure what that means exactly but just come to our show.

If you are in a band and you’d like to perform at Mullum Music Festival’s 10th anniversary then get writing and enter the annual Play Mullum Songwriting Competition.

Fittingly, the theme for this year’s competition is ‘Celebration’ as Mullum Music Festival celebrates 10 years of creating musical magic this year. Entries will be shortlisted by the Mullum Music Festival team and a winner will be selected by esteemed music supervisor and publisher Norman Parkhill.

Get writing and recording (a simple video recorded on a mobile phone will do) or send your already themed song in to the Play Mullum ‘Celebration’ Songwriting Competition for your chance to win a 30-minute performance at the festival on Sunday 19 November and two festival passes.

Entries close Friday 27 October. Bands and individuals can apply. Head to mullummusicfestival.com for full details and application forms. Play Mullum ‘Celebration’ Songwriting Competition applications now open. Closing date Friday 27 October.

Tickets for the festival, lineup and competition details can all be found at mullummusicfestival.com.

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