Recording booth: Kevin Hayes interviews his guests at his workplace, the Munster Arms, where he also books musicians for gigs. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Video series voices musicians’ stories

November 30, 2020 BY

STALWART of the Ballarat music scene, Kevin Hayes has started his own YouTube series to chat to local performing artists and share their experiences.

The For Sits and Gigs vodcast, released each Wednesday, was born from his lifelong passion for tunes and gigging, his contact book of creatives, and an interest in journalism, developed when he studied music business at Oxygen College.

“I sent a group message out to 10 or 12 of my music friends. I know plenty of people from different genres of the scene, and they all jumped on the idea,” he said.

“They are all wanting to tell their story about how they’ve gone over the last six to eight months, and push out what they’ve done. It was only going to cost them their time, and performing artists have suffered this year.

“I spoke to the owners at the Munster Arms and asked if I could use the venue to record while they’re closed on a Monday and Tuesday. They were more than happy, as they’ve always been encouraging of music.”

Adapting his basic home streaming set-up, Hayes began producing one interview per week, teaching himself to edit along the way.

Having released a few episodes so far, he said the experiences of local musicians have been diverse throughout the pandemic period.

“I’ve had Zara Jarvis on who’s a good friend and my vocal teacher. She opened a new studio, or planned to after the first lockdown,” he said.

“Her singing lessons moved to online, but financially and creatively, nothing stopped for her. Whereas Sam and Leo from Remain Impartial, my second guests, dropped a bomb on the recording that their band had split.

“They wanted to get back to their roots, but basically, COVID killed their band, so my first and second episodes were so different. They show the scale of what has happened for musicians.”

Using the series to champion other artists and promote his own creativity, Hayes hopes viewer support will cross-pollinate.

“This is keeping something going for me, and I also hope friends and fans of others will appreciate seeing the musicians they love.

“I want to see what I can do for others, while also producing my own content. It’s a passion project, it’s fun, and I hope musicians can take their episode to share with their fans,” he said.

“If I can nab some of those fans and keep them watching next week, that’s fantastic, but this is something for the Ballarat music community which hasn’t had anything happening this year.”

Search ‘For Sits and Gigs’ on YouTube or visit facebook.com/forsitsandgigs.