Shoot the Shit…
Name: Chris Navin
Shoot: Heartfelt Records/High Seas Podcast
D.I.Wireless was pretty stoked to see someone else flying the Australian punk rock podcast flag when Punktuation podcast launched in 2012. Now it’s creator Chris Navin has his hands full with a new record label Heartfelt Records ready to expose some great punk rock from one of the more intriguing scenes in Australia – our nation’s capital Canberra.
Tell us a bit about your background in music before you started podcasting?
I’ve been playing in punk and hardcore bands in Canberra since I was a kid, 14 or so, mostly playing drums though I’ve played guitar and vocals from time to time. I’m 26 now so there’s been a fair few different bands few bands over the years with varying levels of success. Aside from the bands I was always the kid at school trying to get friends into Fat Wreck stuff and putting Propaghandi lyrics up on my wall, more recently I’ve been writing for ‘Kill Your Stereo’ and the local street press ‘BMA’ as well as putting on some shows and doing more of the behind the scenes stuff.
You are based in Canberra, Australia’s capital but often the forgotten city when it comes to touring schedules and good punk music. How is the scene there these days? Plenty of support and things happening?
Yeah it gets overlooked on a lot of big tours and it has a reputation as being a kind of dull public service town but the punk scene is healthy and there’s always something on worth checking out if you know where to look, heaps of house party shows and uni events, that kind of thing. Like a lot of places the hardcore scene is strong these days and there’s some big talent there in ‘Hands Like Houses’ and ‘I Exist’ for starters. The punk stuff is doing well, we just had Wil Wagner and Austin Lucas come through and pull big crowds on a Wednesday and Sunday nights so the interest is there and there’s a lot of young bands coming up so it should remain pretty solid for the next few years.
What was the reason for you wanting to start up a podcast?
Well my old housemate was keen to do it and it seemed like a good way to help promote our friends bands and boost the scene here generally. As well as that it’s a good way to keep up with all the bands and releases worth checking out and it helps to get some extra attention to the label and the shows we put on.
Do you think podcast are likely to grow in popularity or are just a passing trend? There seems to be a huge focus on video interviews these days. Your thoughts?
That’s a good question, it seems like everything is trending towards video content so I’d say the focus might shift towards a visual element but that said there’s more and more competition for peoples attention online so if you’ve got a blog or a website it’s still an effective way to get more traffic to your site. I can’t really see podcasting dying myspace style anytime soon, but I’m no expert by any means.
One of the things I like about your shows are the fact you have guests on not just in an interview format but also to just chat about general topics. Do you think that is an important part of making podcasts interesting?
Yeah I think people often are more interested in the personality and general outlook of guests, all the straightforward info about the band they can get on the web anyways, the guests also tend to be people we know personally to some extent so part of the fun of doing the show is just hanging out and talking shit with old friends. We record a lot and then the less interesting stuff gets edited out, we had a solid half hour discussion with John Hatfield about the show Veronica Mars which sadly didn’t make the cut.
You actually run two podcasts – The High Seas and Punktuation. Are you planning to continue with both? What do you see as the difference between the two?
Well The High Seas is really just the new name for Punktuation, it’s essentially the same show just with a new name and feel, we kinda felt that the overall aesthetic of Punktuation was maybe a bit too crusty and might not appeal to anyone other than fans of The Exploited. Also I have a weird fascination with giant sea creatures and nautical stuff so it was a chance to indulge.
You have also just started your own record label – Heartfelt records. Can you tell us a bit about it and the releases you have coming up?
Yes! For the first half of this year we have a new EP from Revellers which is the new band from two of the guys from Lamexcuse, it’s getting mixed by Stephen Egerton of The Descendents and Glenno who does a lot of the Frenzal stuff is doing the artwork, that’ll be out around April, after that we have a solo EP from Pete Akhurst who does a bluesy kind of take on the acoustic/punk crossover stuff and Yoko Oh No have some plans for later in 2013 as well so it should be a busy year.
Have you had any good advice from others about starting your own label or tricks of the trade?
Nothing that hadn’t really occurred to us already, one of the major benefits of doing this kind of thing in 2013 is the wealth of information readily at hand, so if you have the time, which I think is the crucial factor, then you can really get a good plan together without having to intern at a major label or have some kind of inside industry knowledge. The way it all works is constantly changing as well so I think the main thing is just to keep on top of it all and adapt with it, I’m sure being a friendly, decent person can’t hurt as well, you hear some nasty stories about the music biz but thankfully we haven’t had any issues yet.
Any good Canberra based bands we should watch out for?
Well naturally I’m gonna be biased towards all the bands on Heartfelt, the Revellers EP should be killer and one of our acoustic guys Worthwhile Jones has some stuff that floored me the first time I heard it. Outside of our circle, though they’re mostly residing in Melbourne now, Hoodlum Shouts just seem to be going from strength to strength so it should be interesting to see how things go for them this year. There’s a new band called Hygiene who just put out a pretty amazing demo and this band from Goulburn (just outside Canberra) called Rather Be Dead who look like they have a bright future.