Interview :: Nick Hollins :: Skydreams Festival

September 5th 2012


Dreams are curious phenomenon. Some nights they are real as life, and other nights they are so terrifying it just has to be in your mind. Some days you wake up and your mind’s mid-slumber imaginings are as clear as the day before you, and on others you haven’t the foggiest idea what went down mentally when you were catching up on Z’s. No matter what your dreams brought for you last night, is full of dream-like music and ideas, and the first Skydreams Festival which has sprouted from the website, is one such dream you won’t forget.

Nick Hollins, as co-founder and editor of Skydreams, is also one of the two organisers of the upcoming Skydreams Festival in Sydney this weekend, which features bands made known on the website. In the busy lead up to Skydreams Festival, Nick spoke to The Flog about the festival, and the dreams from where it came:

How do you describe or explain Skydreams to someone who has never heard of it?

It’s a collaborative site featuring music, live videos of bands, photography, artists, podcasts and writing that’s based in Sydney with friends and contributors in Melbourne and Brisbane. Many of the people involved are musicians or otherwise linked to the ‘alternative’ music scene. It’s a space for publishing pretty well whatever we like that’s also become a conduit for new releases and clips and gig announcements. It’s an organic project, so it will be whatever people want to create.

How and when did the idea of Skydreams start?

I started filming bands around Sydney in early 2010, posting videos on Vimeo and trying to document what was happening and we now have hundreds of clips on the site with more all the time. started early 2012 as Louis Rocketeer had broken his leg and was living south of Sydney with his folks. He was cooped up making beats and unable to move about easily, so we were chatting online every day, sharing clips and talking about music and as usual began scheming on projects. The intention was to create a space where we could publish whatever we want and invite our friends to contribute and generally celebrate what’s going on.

Are there any goals for the website, or are you seeing how things go?

The idea is to bring people together who may have a blog or their own site or who previously had zero intention to write online into a centralised place, with links back to their own pages. We’re trying to make this material easily available to people who won’t otherwise know where to find it. We don’t always know. That’s why we’re encouraging people to tell us.

Skydreams only publishes positive things. We don’t bother posting about a band if we’re going to say they’re rubbish. So everything on the site is us saying ‘check this out, maybe you’ll like this.’ We’re also seeking to collaborate with people in other cities to cover the music scene nationally. Our goals are just to encourage folks to be productive and to share what’s going on and document as much as we can.

Who writes/contributes to it?

We have quite a few contributors at this stage: Sevana Ohandjanian, Simon Unwin, Jasper Clifford-Smith, Caleb Goman, Jules Ferrari, Felix Gailey, Aemon Webb, Daniel Havas, Karina Illovska, Joshua Watson, Amy Yoshiko, Jim Shirlaw, Sarah Baiada, Liam Brammall, Sam Worrad, Laura Imbruglia, Max Skilbeck-Porter, Luke O’Farrell, Dan Hollins, Joel Burrows, Angela Bermuda, Trent Marden, Ben Tarwin and Louis Rocketeer. These are all people I’ve encouraged to contribute or who approached me with ideas. We’re all friends and it’s growing all the time.

How did the idea of the Skydreams Festival start?

Well I had been loosely thinking about putting on an event at some stage, and have seen great ones in Chris Hearn’s festivals at the Croatian Club in Newcastle, Adam Lewis’ Snow Big Deal and others from a few years ago like Goodbye Sunshine and Double Dragon. It’s been pretty amazing how quickly it’s come together. I’m organising it with Max Skilbeck-Porter and we started only five weeks from the date. All of these bands jumped straight on board and we had an amazing line-up right away. The intention was to put on something funny and really positive, hence the jumping castle, stalls for clothes, crystals and records, super colourful posters and cheap tickets. Plus it had to be a venue like Hermann’s Bar with a big outdoor area for people to relax.

What are you most excited about for the Skydreams Festival?

The people. It’s looking like we’re going to have a huge turnout and it’s going to be great to have these amazing bands playing with a big crowd and hopefully everyone having a nice time. It’ll be pretty funny to see all of these grown-up folks bouncing about on the jumping castle. Also keen to open the festival with the Ben and Nick Music Show with Daniel Corboy as our roving reporter. We’ll just be playing classic hits and having him do live vox pops about 20 metres away from us.

What do you think other people should be excited about for the festival?

Definitely the bands. We have a fair selection of the absolute best Sydney has to offer. Regular John are releasing their new LP Strange Flowers, Darren Cross has awesome new country and western style music, The Holy Soul are lords of this scene, if you haven’t seen them you’re missing out, Whipped Cream Chargers are a great Sydney rock, pop and swamp band now living in Melbourne, Broadcasting Transmitter is a mix of Dead China Doll and The Laurels, East River have just returned from two months in South and Central America, Broken Chip has really nice atmospheric beats and production, Super Electric Liquid Matrimony is a brand new outfit from Etch_music, Quaoub has a deep and macabre style, Fox is noisy pop with double drumming, Reckless Vagina are major-chord pop with pounding pianos and wall of sound guitars, B. Deep will be debuting his krautrock, trip and hip-hop set, Jules Ferrari will bring light in the afternoon with Sarah Baiada and Ash Morgan, Luke O’Farrell is opening the show with his acoustic Through The Forest Door project, plus we’ve got a range of friends and artists djing.

Check out the Skydreams Festival Mixtape for a little preview of what to expect:

Skydreams Festival

WHERE: Hermann’s Bar at USYD

WHEN: Saturday 8 September, 3pm.

HOW MUCH: $15 – $20


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