Interview :: Julia Wilson from Rice Is Nice

June 26th 2012


Julia Wilson owns her own record label; a record label with a name that involves a Mclusky reference. Said label, Rice Is Nice, are throwing their very own party this Sunday and apparently we should expect heaps of new material, a big surprise performance and, um… potential urination? The Flog’s Jayne Cheeseman had a quick email chat with Julia about how she cold-called her way into the music industry and was either a real go-getter or an annoying child maniac, depending on who you ask.

Jayne: You’ve worked in a huge range of places within the music industry, from The Mushroom Group to Popfrenzy. How did it all start for you? 

Julia: Well, basically I remember doing a lot of cold-calling to anyone and everyone in this Australian industry book. It is terrifying to think of doing that now, I rarely call anyone. I could tell you the specific way it happened which is kind of strange, but probably more boring to everyone else.

(And here it is in case you say tell me… a nut shell.)

I used to be a music photographer for Inpress magazine (I’m from Melbourne) and from that, BRMC’s publicist called me for my photos. She was oddly also one of the people I had originally cold-called. She bought my photos and then I hassled her for a job. It was temporary, so when I was leaving I asked her to keep an ear out for me. She was like “yeah yeah lady get outta my office”, but as she was closing the door she remembered she had just received an email about a position at Mushroom… She recommended me, they knew she was lying but the legends there still gave me a job… and so on, and so on, and so on.

The book I cold-called everyone from was actually given to me by my idol at the time Tony Mott (I miiiight have possibly rocked up at his house in Sydney with my photo folio…). He made me a tea and was a real gem. Depnding on how you look at it, I was either a real go-getter or an annoying child maniac.

Why did Rice Is Nice start in the first place?

Rice Is Nice basically started so we could put out our friends’ records under friendly and transparent deals. And that is still what’s happening, making new friends along the way. The urge to do it came from some bad experiences we heard about and witnessed. I could go on, but we ultimately thought, we could do ‘this’, being me with my PR and label experience and my best friend Ben with his design experience.

There’s lots of excitement about the upcoming Rice Is Nice party. What made you decide to throw this event?

It is good to hear you say there is excitement about the party, because I for one am terrified. But really, we wanted to put on a show for a few reasons. Mainly to have a show where our new signing could play and be announced there, rather in a press release alone. We wanted to do something a little different. We also wanted to celebrate the Laurels signing, then it slightly snowballed to included every band on the roster apart from Miniature Submarines. Oh yeah, Seja is playing but that is yet to be announced, I hope I didn’t just blow it.

I also personally see this as an “I wonder who actually cares about the label and all of it’s amazing bands who we completely cherish, idolize and admire”. I guess it is some sort of gauge / test.

At the party your first signing – the incredible SPOD – will be showing us new tunes from his upcoming 2013 release! Should we expect to see some of his video work too?

You may very well see some video elements…how insightful of you…BUT we will see. I can’t quite get my head around what his idea is, but that is because it is genius and I am not. What SPOD is doing, and what he continues to do, is something that is always completely unique and ahead of his time. The guy is a well of talent.

We hear there’s going to be a sneaky, secret set from a brand new Rice Is Nice signing. Any clues as to who it might be?

No clues! I really think it is a secret, no one seems to know. I have heard some rumors which are interesting and wrong. I think it really will be a lovely surprise for you all. We are very lucky.

Of course we’re excited to watch the whole shebang, but who in particular should we closely watch on the night? 

You really should come and watch them all. They are all completely different but equally impressive. Shady Lane have their brilliant new album out and live they all play a few instruments at once; Richard In Your Mind have new material and are song-writing wizards; Seja will have new material and cameos to coo over; The Laurels are absolutely brilliant live (sound guy don’t blow it) and have a new album to play you; Donny is the sweetest uncle and has new material and moves; SPOD’s new tracks to debut and drink to; Seekae will be DJing the night away like the legends they are; secret band will blow your balls off; Straight Arrows may piss on everyone.

The word ‘indie’ is thrown around a lot these days. As the owner of an independent record label, what does ‘indie’ or being independent mean to you?

Having no money. I’m not kidding. Oh and being your own boss, yadda yadda yadda.

Lastly… Do you have a favourite type of rice? I’m a fluffy, plain boiled rice type of girl.

The type that Mclusky make.


What: Rice Is Nice Party
Who: The Laurels, Seja, Straight Arrows, SPOD, Donny Benét, Richard In Your Mind, Shady Lane, Seekae Djs PLUS a surprise set from a secret new Rice Is Nice signing.
Where: The Annandale Hotel
When: Sunday 1 July, 4pm – 11:30pm (Doors 3pm)
How Much: $10 pre-sale from or $13 on the door



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