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Byron Shire
May 30, 2024

Interviews

Interview with Sean Turnell and Ma Thida ahead of their May event for Byron Writers Festival

Sean Turnell, author of An Unlikely Prisoner, and Ma Thida, activist and author of A-Maze, join together for an intimate conversation with Mick O’Regan about their time in Myanmar’s notorious Insein Prison.

Interview with The Versace Boys

The Versace Boys were born in the back of a gold-plated Porsche parked at the Versace Palace on the Goldie. They grew up only eating with silver spoons and often crashing expensive automobiles their parents bought for them. They realised young that they weren’t only made for the world of fashion but that they could also write sick bangers.

Interview with The Space Cowboy aka Chayne Hultgren

As we gear up for ‘Enjoy the Ride’ at Otherworld in Byron Bay, we caught up with the man behind the art, The Space Cowboy, aka Chayne Hultgren. From setting 56 Guinness World Records, to captivating audiences in over 40 countries, he’s now making worldwide waves as a visual artist. Here’s what he had to say about his latest venture.

Carrying and passing the torch

With eight USA Blues Music Award nominations, career tour dates in 20 countries, and her recent induction into the Blues Victoria Hall of Fame, Fiona Boyes is a relentless and curious musical explorer.

Peter Garrett gives Bluesfest the nod

If I say the words ‘US Forces give the nod’, I can pretty much guarantee that you will hear the unmistakable voice of Peter Garrett ringing in your ears. Your head may even start to bob up and down a bit. 

Interview with Ian Moss for Bluesfest

If you love Australian music, then you know Ian Moss – with nine Cold Chisel albums and eight solo albums under his belt, Moss is one of Australia’s iconic musicians, delivering an unforgettable sound – not only as a telling soloist on guitar but especially with his silken voice, ringing with clarity and resonating with pure soul. Seven caught up with Ian at home in Sydney to talk about his latest record and Bluesfest 2024.

Interview with Ben Harper

Ben Harper is one of the premiere songwriters of his generation and there is always a feeling of that extra something special whenever he appears at Bluesfest – on its stages, he has collaborated with many of the festival’s favourites and he has captured the ears of anyone within reach.

Interview with Tijuana Cartel

Tijuana Cartel is a renowned Australian musical collective celebrated for their pioneering fusion of diverse genres. Their latest masterpiece, Alectura is an innovative album that once again showcases the band’s expertise in blending organic house and melodic house with captivating rhythms, beats, and global influences.

Interview with L.A.B ahead of Bluesfest

Following on from a year that has seen them sell-out tours in the States and Europe, L.A.B will soon return to Byron Bay Bluesfest with a new album ready to go. After winning Best Group, Best Song and Best Album two years in a row at the New Zealand Music Awards, taking out Best Record at the 2022 Rolling Stone Awards and being voted New Zealand’s Best Live Act by Radio New Zealand, L.A.B are on fire. L.A.B’s eclectic mix of reggae, blues, funk, rock and electronica creates a sound entirely their own, and one that we love. On vocals and guitar, Joel Shadbolt chatted with Seven about crossing the Tasman to play in Byron at Easter.

Interview with Lydia Lunch and Joseph Keckler

Tales of Lust & Madness is a new show from Lydia Lunch, New York’s ‘punk poet queen of extremities’ and Joseph Keckler, a singular performer once crowned the ‘best downtown performance artist’ in New York City.

Interview with Hayley Grace

Hayley Grace’s response to post-flood PTSD, was to look at life and healing in a different way, then come through the other side writing about it – her new single ‘Mary Jane’ is the result. Hayley and The Bay Collective, a raucous seven-piece big band – featuring a full horn section, guitar, bass, keys and percussion – will launch the song this week and play some shows to get it out there. Seven spoke to Hayley on the weekend to get her POV on The Bay Collective and recovery.

Interview with Tim Finn

Regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, New Zealand native Tim Finn continues to embrace the true definition of a renaissance man while fuelling an all-inclusive, creative fire that constantly drives him onwards and upwards. Having established himself in the early 1970s as a founding member of art-pop-rock pioneers Split Enz and later as a member of the internationally successful band Crowded House (alongside brother Neil), Finn has penned some of the most treasured songs in contemporary music.

Interview with Dr Stephen Bright on psychedelic-assisted therapy

A discussion will be held at the Byron Theatre next Tuesday where a panel of experts will talk about the future of psychedelic-assisted therapy in Australia

Interview with Roshani Priddis

What is striking about Bluesfest is the amount of incredible talent in one small space of time – although we all love to see them, it’s not just about wheeling out the ‘old favourites’, it’s about curating a lineup of incredibly talented an creative people.

The comedic stylings of Tom Ballard come to Mullum 

Young Tom Ballard (he’s only 34), sure has done quite a bit. 

Interview with Tommy Emmanuel

If you have never heard of Tommy Emmanuel then you haven’t been listening to music in the last 50 years – it’s not everyone who gets to sit on top of a ’ten best acoustic guitarists in the world’ list, and you can be sure he has well and truly earned that spot. Seven spoke to Tommy before he stepped onto the stage in San Francisco.

Interview with Rickie Lee Jones

When I was 20 years old, I had a song that spoke to me like very few since. Rickie Lee Jones had just released her third album, The Magazine.

Interview with Robyn Davidson, author of the international bestseller Tracks

Byron Writers Festival is thrilled to present Robyn Davidson, author of the international bestseller Tracks, for an intimate conversation with Zacharey Jane about her memoir Unfinished Woman.

Interview with Jack Johnson: A career worth having

Ahead of his Bluesfest 2024 show, last week Seven spoke to Jack Johnson from his home in Hawaii.

Interview with Harry Manx

Harry Manx has been one of the most successful international touring musicians ever to grace stages in Australia – this deeply original multi-instrumentalist has entertained audiences with more than 11 extensive tours since 2001 – Manx loves Australia, and the feeling is mutual!

Interview with Steve Banks

Once a businessman, Steve Banks has done a U-turn and returned to his previous life as a muso. Steve Banks and The Sidemen are ready for an awesome show at Lennox Head next week and Seven caught up with Steve on the weekend.

Is Jackie Venson the Goddess of Bluesfest?

I hadn't even heard of Jackie Venson until Bluesfest PR guru Gaynor Crawford insisted that I speak with her (Gaynor knows best!)

Interview with Patterson Hood from the Drive-By Truckers

University of North Alabama roomies Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley began playing music together in 1985 but it wasn’t until 1996 that they became the foundation of the Drive-By Truckers. You can catch the Drive-By Truckers on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29 at Bluesfest 2024.

Interview with Tex Perkins, The Cruel Sea

Two great things are happening at the same time – the band’s getting back together and while they’re at it, they are raising funds for a really good cause. Five-time ARIA award-winning Australian rock band The Cruel Sea will play their first show in ten years to headline Wild Aid 2023, a fundraiser for wildlife in association with Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and Bluesfest.

Music in the Valley: Interview with Emily Lubitz

The very popular Music in the Valley is back at Main Arm Upper Public School this weekend – this event is a celebration of a vibrant and family-friendly community music festival featuring a host of homegrown and Australian talent and non-stop entertainment.

Interview with The Cat Empire

The Cat Empire have unveiled a brand-new era for the band, with legacy members Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill breathing new life into the band’s DNA as they welcome a wonderful collective of musicians.

Interview with Taste of Love director, Marion Ellyard

A Taste of Love at Tyalgum Guided by some of the best presenters on sex, love and consciousness in the world, organisers of the Taste...

Ben’s Journey from Byron Bay to Berlin 

Ben Rompotis is an audio graduate from SAE Byron Bay, whose unique journey was propelled by his Greek heritage and a burning passion for cultural exploration. Utilising SAE’s extensive network of campuses worldwide, Ben made the move to SAE Berlin to complete his final project for his Bachelor of Audio, which would ultimately become a transformative step in his career as an audio engineer in Europe.

Three views of Monumental 

From the award-winning Melbourne-based company A Good Catch Circus, Spenser Inwood is the director of the latest offering from Spaghetti Circus: Monumental. Seven spoke to Spenser last week, along with co-musical director Melia Naughton and Jayson, a young member of the troupe, to find out a bit more about the show.

The Magic of the Mundane

It’s often challenging to mix art forms for the first time but in The Magic of the Mundane MT Warning manages to get the balance just right. Seven spoke to co-creator Mikey Bryant about what audiences might see in this production.

A little bit blue interview with Dune Rats’ Danny Beus

After 12 years, the Dune Rats have gone from being a bunch of guys who party way too hard and play loud music for a bit of fun and beers, to being a bunch of guys who party way too hard and play loud music for a bit of fun and even more beers.

The swooshing of Gimmy at Splendour

The Swooshing of Gimmy at Splendour Gimmy is the solo project of female artist Gemma Owens. Since the release of her debut single Away For...

Interview with Tania Frazer, Artistic Director of the Southern Cross Soloists

Southern Cross Soloists celebrating 20 years in Bangalow The Southern Cross Soloists are about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Bangalow Chamber Music Festival,...

Heather Rose Q&A – 2023 Byron Writers Festival

Heather Rose is the Australian author of eight novels, including the Stella Prize-winning The Museum of Modern Love. In this insightful Q&A, Heather discusses her memoir, Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here.

Interview about the Spaghetti Circus Scholarship Program

Spaghetti Circus is helping kids fly! Spaghetti Circus’ passion is empowering healthy, active, happy kids. Despite being a small not-for-profit organisation, Spaghetti is committed to...

Interview with Akmal Saleh

The Byron Comedy Festival is on this weekend with the event closing out with Akmal Saleh’s third show, proving that he who laughs last,...

Interview with Hiatus Kaiyote

Held on Gumbaynggirr country, Storyland is a brand spanking new, one-day music and arts festival at Park Beach Reserve in Coffs Harbour.  Melbourne-based, worldwide-beloved, twice-Grammy-nominated...

Kingscliff locals concerned over proposal to remove trees at Merve Edwards Fields for AFL

The potential of removing trees from the Merve Edwards Fields site at Kingscliff to accommodate the Kingscliff Junior AFL Club has raised concerns of locals and neighbours who say that this is not a proposal they support. 

Ballina Council to look into making tiny homes accessible 

The idea of living in a tiny home can seem like a simple solution to our housing crisis – but getting council approvals for a permanent tiny home on private land can be challenging. 

Council staff to look at limiting bulk and scale in Wategos  

A motion by Cr Sarah Ndiaye (Greens) to amend the LEP to reduce the building height limits in the Wategos residential area from 9m to 8m was unsuccessful at last Thursday’s Council meeting. 

Is this the next Bentley? New doco highlights value of Clarence River amid mining proposal

Mining plans for the region were discovered by two locals as they paddled down the Clarence River near Grafton. The question is what does it mean for the future of the Northern Rivers?