Sound engineer, musician, booking agent, radio host... is there anything Adelaidean Matt Vecchio hasn't done?
Give us a quick rundown of what you're involved in the Adelaide music scene.
I am Sound Engineer and Booking Agent in Adelaide. I put on a lot of art related events. Currently I mix bands at Adelaide Unibar and The Crown and Sceptre. I am the main booking agent at the Crown and Sceptre. Also put on a weekly show at Metro called Acoustic Club Tuesday and recently known for putting on pop cultured based Trivia Nights, Like a Seinfeld Trivia Night or Harry Potter...
My niche in the Adelaide music landscape is that I am often people's first booking agent and book a lot of band's first shows.
You have your fingers in many musical pies, what would you say is your favourite to work on?
This year is a much more music focused year. I am enjoying playing in my band ( Pink Noise Generator ) and producing and recording other people's projects at the moment I am working on recordings for Funk Latin Union, The Fyoogs, Iridescent, The Tangled Bank and The Nation... I just want to be a good player, strong song writer and great entertainer.
Doing the quirkier sides of entertainment I used to do a lot of video game related events, which I really loved but now i'm into trying to create new art and experiences using pop culture. I have an idea about using the popular 90s video game Doom to try to experiment with audience interaction which I hope to do mid year. It's basically twitch plays Pokemon meets Doom but with a live audience... If that makes sense.
There are a few events at Crown and Sceptre I am looking forward to; Neko Nation is happening on June 6th which is a J-pop culture night and everyone dresses up as cats. We just did a great gig for Fringe Opening with some bands I really admire which was great.
Adelaide’s festive time was just upon us, what were you working on during this time?
I didn't work too hard this Fringe and was trying to not get too distracted so I loose my job or fail my study (Last year I decided to study computer programming, as I believe that currently software is the most dominant art form to communicate to a mass audience).
For Fringe I have produced a Children's Theatre show called Remember Doctor Bubble. Which was very successful and is now going to Edinburgh Fringe. Whether I go with it is another story! (Might want to just stay in Adelaide and work on other things!)
Also for Fringe have made a sequel to my 2013 Fringe Show 'Matt Vecchio's Battletoad's Challege' - 'The Battletoad's Two Player Challenge' which is basically a show based on the NES video game Battletoads (one of the hardest video games ever made) AU REVIEW reviewed the show and did a great job at explaining the show far better than I could here is the link... http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/battletoads-two-player-challenge-the-jade-25-02-15
Are there any shows you were super keen on checking out from the Fringe Program?
The only show I was super geared to see was Travis Cook's show 'How to Become Travis Cook' as I love the concept of the show. Basically it was self help power point lecture. But the expectation wasn't as good as the reality, sadly. I still enjoyed the experiene.
I tend not to see many outside of friend's shows. The show I liked best was actually Arj Barker . Just the way he handles the mic, speech rhythms and how he addresses the audience is really inspiring. Technically he's great and he was pretty funny too. I left with a real high after it!
I also saw a good burlesque show called 'Touched By Fire', which was the best burlesque show I have ever seen and all local talent too!
How did you first get involved in radio?
Over the years I have done radio interviews for various reasons and the presenters have always said I was quite good at talking. Last year when I was a little lost in what I wanted to do with my life I thought i'll do a training program at Radio Adelaide to see if that was something I liked. I don't think I’m 100 percent right for radio. I'm not super passionate about it and I like to be more on the ground and active doing things rather than talking about things, but I enjoy the show I work on (The Range on Thursdays 4 – 5:30pm on Radio Adelaide 101.5fm). I get to support lots of artists in Adelaide and help people which I am super passionate about so it kind of works for me!
In terms of local radio, how would you suggest keen individuals get involved?
Three D radio does an intake about once a year but its very hard to be part of it due to so many people wanting to do something there.
Radio Adelaide does a course every 3 months which costs around 400 dollars or so and can lead to a certificate III in media. This is a lot easier.
I tried out for both Three D and Radio Adelaide and didn't make the Three D cut but I did pay my 400 dollars to Radio Adelaide and now I have a show and part of a qualification. Usually other community radio stations have some process (Fresh and Coast FM are two examples you could look up).
What local acts do you find are getting the most local radio attention?
Unfortunately there is not enough spread of local acts being played on local radio - or radio in general. Radio Adelaide mostly plays indie. If you read articles from Rip It Up Magazine, visit Tonedeaf or Faster Louder websites you'll hear these acts being played on Radio Adelaide. Horror My Friend, Timberwolf, Collarbones, Tkay Maidza, The Villenettes and more national acts are good examples. Anything on Triple J are good national examples.
ThreeD Radio has a more garage local sound. It tends to shy away from anything that's 'too polished' or 'Triple J' friendly. I think it would be very unusual to hear Bad//Dreems or Tkay Maidza on ThreeD radio! Three D Radio do charts which give some bands bragging rights. Often Ride Into The Sun, The Aves, The Molting Vultures or anything 'cool' in a not super poppy way rises to the top.
Both these stations work largely towards who is hosting the segment. So ultimately its up to the presenter's taste but both radio stations appeal to different types of people. So those presenters gravitate towards those stations. I don't really fit in at Radio Adelaide nor would I at Three D, but what can I do? Three D play more local acts because their licence is about local music. Three D even have a quota to meet demo and female local artists. Radio Adelaide have a more national approach to their music and their licence is more about education and cultural services so they focus on that more.
There are other community radio stations though! Fresh FM is a local dance/electronic music station and Coast FM does a few youth programs but I don't know heaps about either of their programming.
I find the whole thing of who is getting played and who isn't getting played very heart breaking. There is so much local music, maybe 300 active local bands in the CBD, and really only about 15% of them get played when really half of them deserve to be. Working out which band is 'popular' is a massive paradox especially in an industry that is struggling to sustain itself. Personally, I try to mix things up and try to play bands that don't get the attention. In saying that, I am privileged enough to work full time in the local music scene so I hear and see a lot more than the average disc jockey.
Any advice for bands wanting to get their music played?
Its really simple for Radio Adelaide - there is a guide! (https://radio.adelaide.edu.au/about-us/submitting-your-music-to-radio-adelaide/)
If you adhere the to guidelines you'll be fine. Three D Radio has a similar thing on their website. Here is a link: http://www.threedradio.com/for-musicians/get-played/
There are also private and government organisations which specialise in getting your music 'serviced' for radio. I forget the name of the free government service that does it and I’m really sorry for that!
Radio stations get about 30 CDs a week, so making sure your submissions stand out is important. There is so much choice and people DO judge the CD by the COVER! It also helps to know someone who works on the station and show them, as often they choose what to play and don't even look in the new releases bin.
I think just put yourself in the radio station's shoes and try to make it easy for them to want to play you.
Who are your favourite SA bands to catch live?
At the moment I like in no particular order... Raygun, The Pugs, God God Dammit Dammit, The Fyoogs, Funk Latin Union, Steven Fotineas, Headphone Piracy, The Clowns of Decadence, Young Professionals, Young Offenders, The Nation, Mr Goodnight, Dead Joe, The Informers, The Rocketeers, Bokchoy Boys, Iridescent, Just Like Clockwork, Rule of Thirds, Brokers, Southie, The Tangled Bank, Shoalin Afronaughts, Satan's Cheerleaders, Groove Jupiter (really cool!), It's a Trap, Scum Vegas, Sons of ZOKU, The Enjinears, Orelia, The Monikers, Skeleton Club, Miss Fellows, The Last Days of Kali, Black Coral, Apollo Sons, Hightime, Jake Ward
I was a big fan of TEA but they broke up! I was a big fan of 200 Motels but they broke up!
All bands are great and I am just one person its okay - and encouraged - to have your own tastes.
Any hot tips of acts to watch through 2015?
I think the real winners to watch are... Raygun, Young Offenders, Black Coral, Sons of ZOKU, Skeleton Club, Young Professionals.
But also all bands are great and I am just one person its ok and encouraged to have your own tastes.