Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On/Off - Totes Deaf Fundraiser

There is something in the air in Melbourne these days. Spring is here and with it the fruition of exciting seeds sewn throughout the year – incredible new bands, huge celebrations of local music and an impending Summer exploding with all your favourite touring bands. Fitting snugly into this sanguine atmosphere is the opening of the On/Off Space on Johnston Street at the very beginning of 2010. The love-child of Jade McInally and Sarah Phelan from local electronic spooks the Tantrums and Kobi Simpson of Love Connection, the space will aim to be a local creative hub for Melbourne’s artistic endeavours. This Sunday the guys have arranged an epic line-up of local acts to raise funds for the space, dubbed ‘Totes Deaf.’ They kindly agreed to answer some questions about their plans and the benefit this weekend.

So how did you manage to become lease-holders for the On/Off space? Was it something you had planned to do for awhile or an opportunity that arose?

The opportunity arose when Kobi & Jade's friend Dylan, who they grew up with and went to school with decided to pass on the space. These three couldn't pass it up! Friends taking over friends! Keepin it in the family!

You officially ‘open’ on the 1st January 2010, what are your immediate plans for the space?

The space will be opening on the 1st as a rehearsal studio, art space and live music venue amongst friends with future plans for a recording space and other adventures.
Over the next few months, the currently vacant space will be transformed into a creative hub for local bands and artists to work, rehearse and share with similarly community-driven, emerging artists and musicians.

How about long-term plans, have you had time to think about what you would like the space to become or what role you would like it to play within the Melbourne music/artistic scene?

Long term this space will be a rehearsal studio, art space and live music space, however future plans for a recording studio and other artistic endeavors are also on the cards......anything is possible with this lovechild!
We are hoping that the studio will fill a much needed niche in the music & art scene that the community of Melbourne has been asking for!

You guys have close connections with bands like the Parking Lot Experiments, Rat vs. Possum, Tic Toc Tokyo and several others, often sharing bills and sometimes members – obviously these bands will be involved in the space but do you intend to reach out to other sections of the Melbourne scene as well?

Of course! As you have mentioned we have close connections with these bands, they are our friends, roomies, bandmates, homies etc and as you can imagine they will be around quite often, however the space will be welcomed and open to all who wish to join in. We hope to reach out to many different people not only in the Melbourne music scene, but community artists and musicians all over!

Are all events going to be run by you guys or will promoters be able to book the space for independent shows?

Many of the events will be on/off shows, however promoters, bands & bookers will also be able to showcase their music and art at our studio often!

Next Sunday is the big fundraiser, ‘Totes Deaf’, tell us about that.

In celebration of not only the impending opening of ON/OFF, but also of Melbourne's consistently-evolving, consistently-inspiring music scene, nineteen bands plus DJ's will face the harsh daylight/reality of Sunday afternoon for a massive show at the Tote to raise funds. 13 clams = 19 bands, split over both the Tote's band room and upstairs' Cobra Bar. Doors at 2pm til late, on Sunday the 1st of November, including FREE BBQ (early bird gets the sausage) and compilation CD for the first 100 people through the doors. Pace yourself over the weekend, because Sunday is going to be EPIC!!!

Bands that are playing -

Bachelor Of Arts
The Emergency
Dick Diver
Rat Vs Possum
Gold Tango
Sharpie Crows (NZ)
East Brunswick All Girls Choir
Love Connection
Bon Chat Bon Rat (SYD)
Space Cactus
Lehmann B Smith Band
Sloth Comet (Great Earthquake)
Yama Boy
Milk Teddy
Off Pops
Ming the Merciless + Deformative + Children of the Wave + Talkshow Boy DJs

The line-up for Totes Deaf is something else, how difficult was it to organize? Were most bands that you approached happy to be involved?

Everyone we approached was more than happy to be involved which was really nice! We have many amazing friends who are playing and helping out on the day, so fortunately it has been relatively smooth sailing....though 19 bands is still a lot to organise! Kudos to jade on that one!

Who would you personally recommend people catch on the day?

Everyone!!! They are all so great in their own way, that's why we asked them to play, because we love every single one of them! You would be silly not too see all of this mega line up!

Finally, how excited/nervous/overwhelmed are you right now?

We are quite overwhelmed with how much we are doing and fitting into schedules with other projects also on the go, but very excited about the show on Sunday, the studio opening and the three of us living together and running amuck in a great way!

Thanks doods - you really are a fool if you're not at The Tote this Sunday, so don't be, pow!

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