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Mistletone’s Sophie Best A’s my Q’s!

August 14, 2009

For the university street press paper, the UTimes, I am writing a small article on Mistletone’s upcoming party, Springtones. Co-founder of the independent record label, Sophie Best, was nice enough to answer a few questions to help me with my article regarding the event, and Melbourne’s independent music scene. I thought that some of you out there would like to read what she had to say!

1. What is unique to Mistletone’s seasonal parties?
My partner Ash Miles and I curate all the Mistletone parties ourselves, and we always try and put together lineups that cover loads of musical ground and bring together bands who may never have otherwise been on the same bill. It’s all very indulgent, because we love all the bands we invite, so the lineup is very much a reflection on our personal musical tastes and the bands we’re excited about at the moment.
2. What can those who have never attended any Mistletone-run event expect from Springtones?
An awesome, inspiring, surprising and fun mix of overseas and local artists, in a friendly environment surrounded by heaps of good people.

3. What does this Springtones line-up have to offer?
The overseas artists are obviously drawcards – for example, Vivian Girls from Brooklyn are our headliners and they are a kick-arse garage/girl group trio who are heaps of fun; then there’s Tiny Vipers, an amazing songwriter called Jesy Fortino from Seattle who has just released a beautiful album on Sub Pop; also Bachelorette from New Zealand, whose stunning new album My Electric Family has just come out on Mistletone and she has been touring the US with Bonnie Prince Billy and Bill Callahan; Hawnay Troof, who is a crazy and totally rad hip hop party dude from California; and Ducktails, another American who makes gorgeous, psychedelic guitar loops and creates really mindblowingly pretty music. But I think the Melbourne bands are just as fine as the internationals and it’s such a vibrant time on the Melbourne music scene that we had a plethora of amazing bands to choose from. I’m really excited about Love of Diagrams being on the bill with their new album Nowhere Forever, which is their best yet; St Helens who are always an intense and awesome live proposition; Aleks & the Ramps whose live shows are ridiculously good fun; The UV Race, who are a total riot on stage; and Rat Vs Possum, who create a really unique, participatory communal vibe with every performance. It’s all good!

4. How did these events come about, and when was the very first Mistletone party?
We organised Mistletone parties before Mistletone ever existed. We used to host an annual Xmas party (sometimes on Xmas night) called Mistletoe, and that’s how we got the idea for the Mistletone label. Basically our parties are about bringing people from all different parts of the Melbourne music scene together and creating something special.

5. Mistletone shows a great support for independent musicians, but how important is it for us, everyday punters to show their support too?
Extremely important. The music scene would not exist without punters, in fact I totally believe that it’s the punters that make the Melbourne music scene so good. For whatever reason, it is part of Melbourne’s culture that there are lots of people out there who are really into interesting music and who support local bands in the most practical and important way possible, ie by showing up and showing their support.

6. What is unique about Melbourne’s independent music scene, and how does Mistletone fit into that?
I think this is an incredible, fertile and exciting time in Melbourne’s independent music history. There are just so many good bands out there, and so many creative people contributing to the healthiness of the scene in other ways – visual artists, designers, DJs, sound engineers, bloggers, radio announcers, venue bookers, indie labels and people who organise parties and events in DIY spaces. It’s a privilege for Mistletone to be part of that scene and to be able to help facilitate all the amazing things that are going on. We are totally inspired by the people around us and the sharing of ideas and energy which helps make everything happen. It’s an awesome time to be living in Melbourne and to be part of something really special that’s happening among us, right now.

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