May is here and brings with it the inaugural Meltdown Festival, ready to take the east coast by storm! The festival kicks off on Saturday 12 May at Melbourne’s Spotted Mallard, followed by The Bald Faced Stag in Sydney on Saturday 19 May, and wrapping up in Brisbane at the famous Crowbar on Saturday 26 May. The lineup is as face-melting as you’d expect from Dirthouse Agency, the crew behind this fiery fest, and you’ll catch the likes of Gay Paris, Born Lion, Child, Arteries, The Black Swamp, Sumeru, and Never on the national run. There’s also a slew of local acts for each city, so it’s a show not to be missed!
BJ Foy from Sydney band, Stormbird, gave me a moment of his time to chat about the upcoming festival and his band.
For anyone who’s never come across Stormbird before, how would you describe yourselves?
Always a tricky one! Musically, Stormbird is somewhere between heavy rock and metal, with clean vocals. There’s definitely elements of early 90s grunge in there too from a songwriting perspective. If you threw Alter Bridge, Alice in Chains, Tool, The Butterfly Effect, Stone Temple Pilots and Muse in a blender – and then added an unhealthy obsession with technology and gear – you’re in the right general ballpark. Approach-wise as a band, playing live is really where it’s at for us – you’ll always get big songs and loads of energy at a Stormbird show.
What is the number one thing you think everyone should know about you?
In totally unrelated musical news, I have played saxophone for 30+ years and did a fair amount of session work for some well-known acts back in the day. I still haven’t worked out a way to incorporate the sax into Stormbird material, but never say never! If TesseracT can make it work (and they can!), then who knows? Outside of that, I’d say, as a band, we have a particularly unhealthy obsession with gear – I mean, every musician has Obsessive Compulsive Gear Acquisition Syndrome (OCGAS) to some degree, but with Stormbird it’s a little more pronounced.
How did you come to be a part of the Meltdown Festival 2018 lineup?
We were lucky enough to meet Jason at Dirthouse Agency in 2017 through the Red Gazelle boys, who we’ve known for years, and after a sit down and a beer or three, we signed to Dirthouse early this year.
What are your thoughts on the festival being entirely Australian in its lineup?
In a word – fantastic. It’s been a tough few years in Sydney with “Casino Mike” and the lockout laws really having a big impact on venues and on artists and nightlife generally. Yet there are still so many artists out there, fighting for opportunities, doing their best to keep the scene alive – this type of festival is a testament to the hard work and never-say-die attitude of the true believers like Jason and the Dirthouse crew. Having the opportunity to share the stage with so many talented local bands is a great opportunity and we’re stoked to be on the bill!
Are there any bands on the Meltdown lineup that you are particularly looking forward to seeing?
To be honest, I’d have pretty much ALL these bands circled on my “must check them out” list for a major festival. It’s a great bill with a bit of something for everyone – the cool stoner rock of Gay Paris, Sumeru and NEVER, the retro-tinged big vocal vibe of The Lockhearts, the heavy chaos of Arteries, punk excellence of Born Lion, the sludgy goodness of The Black Swamp, the grunge fusion of The Social Norm, the youthful exuberance of The Kids – and of course the heavy rock of Red Gazelle and ourselves – what’s not to like?
Anyone you’ve not seen or heard before?
I’ve been lucky enough to see many of the bands, but I’m definitely keen to catch the ones I haven’t managed to see as yet – Sumeru, The Black Swamp, The Social Norm. Still – not playing favourites, there’s some great acts right across the lineup.
What’s the most recent thing you have released?
Our new EP ‘Scars’ will be out in the next month or two – we’re just finishing artwork and getting all wrapped up now. Musically, it’s a little heavier than our last EP ‘Broken’, which we released last year – it’ll be available in all the usual online channels fairly soon.
What does the rest of 2018 hold for you?
We have the release of our new EP and then there will be a tour to support that in the second half of 2018. Hopefully we’ll be playing some great shows with some awesome bands all over Australia – we also want to keep writing and pushing the envelope with new material so we keep shows fresh and exciting for the punters. Good times!
Catch Stormbird at Meltdown Festival, kicking off in Melbourne on May 12th! Tickets here!