Workshops more than words

June 23, 2022 BY

BUDDING artists and songwriters had a chance to hone their craft with a regional workshop event last Wednesday.

Held at Quality Hotel Lakeside, the Regional Sessions program was presented by music rights management organisation APRA AMCOS, as part of the State Government’s $5 million On the Road Again initiative aimed at boosting the live music industry’s recovery from COVID-19.

Local songwriters had a chance to attend workshops by Ed Kuepper who co-founded punk act The Saints, Castlemaine-based musician Eliza Hull and reggae and ska veteran Nicky Bomba.

Central Victorian singer-songwriter Grim Fawkner was in attendance, and said it was refreshing to have “loungeroom level chats” with established musicians not only about song writing, but real issues in the music industry.

“It’s been incredibly informative and even something that just gives us a spark of motivation because we’ve got such established people coming to Bendigo to share their knowledge, it’s an opportunity we don’t get so often in the countryside,” he said.

“It hasn’t been this wishy-washy industry pat on the back, it’s been a really good course in realism.

“The guests we’ve had have spoken about mental struggles during lockdowns. One of the biggest takeaways I had from Ed Kuepper from The Saints was that his biggest regret was not having better legal advice early on his career.

“Real things like that that can make a significant difference to an artist’s career are really important to know, rather than just how someone came up with a great riff.”

Castlemaine-based songwriter Rebecca Jane Howell said she signed up for the session to not only hear about the experiences of more established artists, but to share “commonalities” of the music industry.

“It’s kind of reassuring when you hear people talk about imposter syndrome, writer’s block… it’s reassuring to be somewhere where everyone can identify with that,” she said.