Strangers lead singer Ben Britton & I met at the world’s largest music, film and interactive conference, South By South West (SXSW) back in 2013 when his kick-ass Australian heavy rock band Strangers were selected to play the conference and was I immediately blown away by their explosive live set in the basement at The Aussie BBQ Australian showcase event in Austin (Texas).
The Aussie BBQ SXSW boasted an A-grade line-up of the likes Vance Joy, Hiatus Kaiyote, Flume, Emma Louse, Seth Sentry, 360, Dune Rats, Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Alpine, Jackson Firebird, San Cisco, The Rubens, Jack Carty, Gold Fields, The Beards, The Falls & shit-tons more… 37 amazing Australian bands and artists playing 3 stages in one venue across 13 hours in Texas!!!! Blew my mind!
And for those who haven’t been before, the most wonderful thing about touring the USA with Sounds Australia and all the Aussie bands performing every year at SXSW is that you spend time with your music industry peeps that you know from back home whom you haven’t seen for ages, make a whole swag of new music biz friends and soak up the most beautiful and generous sense of community that Austin and SXSW have on offer. Benny and I kept bumping into each other at different bars and live music showcases around Austin, became buddies that week and I was quite struck by what a friendly, chatty and genuine dude he is.
Flash forward 4 years and I am super excited to feature Strangers launch of their 2nd album ‘Mirrorland’ on Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! Benny and I catch-up to discuss just what it’s like for Australian artists/bands looking to take on SXSW, the differences between the Melbourne and Sydney music scenes, He generously shares his experiences battling anxiety and mental health, which have come to be a massive learning experience and part of the ‘Mirrorland’ album and yep, I’ll even give you an exclusive sneak peek of 3 tracks from the new album by just simply downloading the podcast.
Over the next 2 weeks this Sydney born, Melbourne based 4-piece are carving out their next steps with 2 explosive ‘Mirrorland’ album launch shows in Melbourne (Saturday Just 1st – The Evelyn Hotel) and Sydney (Friday July 14th – The Chippo Hotel).
Last time I saw them play in Texas, Benny was on some dude’s shoulders in the crowd singing mid-set, the guitarist brought his axe out into the crowd too and then I think Mr. Britton capped it all off by stage-diving back ONTO the stage and tackling the drummer and drum-kit in one fell swoop… Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!
Download this shit and come see the show with me in Sydney! #GetSome #RocknRoll 🤘🏼✨🎸
PODCAST – #71 Troy Conrad – creator of The Setlist TV Show (Comedy) – Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet
It’s been a super intense 3.5 weeks since I landed in USA!
2 weeks in Texas exploring Dallas, a night in Houston for Rodeo Houston where I experienced a newborn calf take its first steps, small children riding shaggy sheep in front of a stadium packed with 70,000 people, ate gator for the first time and some of the fattiest food known to man and then 8 nights at the world’s largest music conference, SXSW, where I shot photos of Michelle Obama’s inspiring keynote speech with Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot and more, recorded 4.5 podcasts, shot 15-20 live music shows (incl. Wolfmother, P.O.D.) and partied the house down in Austin!
Since landing in LA last week, I’ve taken time out chillin’ in Burbank at the home of a friend on mine, Troy Conrad, the creator and co-producer of the improvised stand-up show, ‘Set List: Stand-Up Without A Net’, a TV series on Sky Atlantic in the UK, and on ABC2 in Australia.
For those not familiar with California, Burbank is a beautiful part of Los Angeles at the base of the mountains about 30 minutes from downtown Hollywood and the home to most of the major American movie-making studios. It’s been a lovely recharge with long daily hikes through Brand Park and Wildwood Canyon trails after the madness of packing up my life in Australia, writing and shooting a TV pilot in the 2-3 weeks before I left, pitching for brand partnerships, quitting my full-time job and this first few weeks of 90 days in the USA.
Super inspiring chats with a highly intelligent and inspiring guy who is quite literally living the dream!
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