Getting to be 100 isn’t easy. Doesn’t matter whether it’s years lived, runs scored, or, as in the case of the Music LINK WA podcast, episodes produced. So, when you get there, it’s worth celebrating and reflecting on what it took to make it.
On Friday, 23 August, Music LINK WA released their 100th podcast episode featuring tracks from some of Western Australia’s best up and coming musicians.
Starting as a small side project known as Canary Radio in November 2013, the podcast went on to produce 67 episodes before being renamed Unsigned WA. At the same time as renaming itself, Canary Radio also expanded its offerings from just being a podcast to becoming an entire online media platform, dubbed Music LINK WA, with news, reviews and multiple podcasts; and the sole purpose of supporting and promoting the WA music scene.
Since its inception the podcast has featured nearly 200 local solo artists and bands, whilst also being downloaded in around 30 countries. After being a fortnightly show for the last couple of years, Unsigned WA will move to a weekly format featuring music and interviews from local, unsigned and independent musicians.
We asked the people behind Music LINK WA, Brad Miller and Adam Wood a few questions about their experiences to date and why they’re crazy enough to spend every hour of their free time putting back into the music industry.
Who are you and what’s your connection to the music industry?
We’re just a couple of mates from high school who enjoy music. We both really started getting into seeing our favourite bands playing live. It was the mid to late ’90s and there was always something on being either a touring act or a festival. Ultimately this led us into forming our own band straight out of high school. Both of us played in various bands on and off for about 15 years in the local music scene. If we weren’t playing, we were always be out at a gig somewhere in Perth. Now days we both have our own families and day jobs but still enjoy what the local music scene has to offer.
What inspired you to start the podcast?
Not having the time to play in bands, but still staying in touch with the local scene, we wanted to give something back. Knowing how hard it was when we played to get our music heard, get gigs to play and get your name out there, we started with the idea of a local music podcast. The idea was to become a central point for people to come and hear the amazing talent the local music scene has to offer and for artist to have their music heard rather than fight the social media feeds and numerous platforms wear you can easily get lost in the mix.
The show, website and platform has grown and evolved in new directions over the past six years but the goal hasn’t changed. Play the up and coming local music and give it the support and credit it deserves.
What’s been the most challenging and satisfying thing about doing it?
Both having young families and day jobs, finding the time is our biggest challenge. Getting our own podcast heard and fighting the social media feeds is one of the others. We find artists are very supportive but staying on top of what’s new, who is doing what and getting the artists to update us with their new songs and info is often a challenge too.
For us, the most satisfying thing is to discover new bands and artists and here some amazing new songs. Getting the support and backing from artists for what we are doing and making some new friends on this journey has also been a great reward and keeps us going. Getting together for a few beers, talking shit whilst listening to good local music pretty much sums it up.
Got any funny anecdotes about making the podcast?
As happens every week, whilst recording the show, we often make up our own versions of the news and intro sound clips by making a raft of strange noises. It also goes without saying that our sound checks are often filled with the same. We probably have enough sound sample and bloopers that we’ve talked about turning those into songs.
The other one is our somewhat excessive use of the term “And ah yeah”. We have managed to pull it back quite a bit but we’ve thought that it could make an excellent drinking game.
Who would be your standout interviews and why?
Interviews is a tough one. We wouldn’t say that we have done a lot of them and each and every one we have done has been good. It’s hard to pick. We’d say the two standouts would be Hannah (prior to a line up and name change to The Psychotic Reactions) and Keshet for The Diments rock opera.
What was good about the interview with Hannah was just how well she spoke for a very young and emerging artist. We followed that up by watching their Onism EP launch and we both agreed that she was going places.
Keshet was also a great experience. It was amazing to talk to someone who had some much passion and love for what he was doing. Discovering the story behind The Diments rock opera from the creator himself was awesome, but to know just how much the Perth arts scene was behind him volunteering time and resources to bring it to life left us in awe. We were fortunate enough to see the show and meet some of the cast afterwards too.
More information on what Music LINK WA has to offer and to check out the podcast, click here.