From the Archives… Eskimo Joe: Be vewwy vewwy quiet; It’s WAMI season (2002)
No song this week while a few issues get sorted out… so enjoy this blast from the past.
The Final Hoo-Ha
Kiss My WAMi 2002
By Sabian Wilde
“I guess it’d have started for us in around ’98. We kind of had this habit of releasing our CDs in late July, just before the Kiss My WAMis start, so we seemed to ride the WAMi wave each year – except we’ve blown it for the last two years,” says Temperley, laughing.
Given the success that the Joe have enjoyed in the intervening years, Temperley has a different perspective on the WAMis, one that is surprisingly positive. “I don’t know that it means as much to us as it does over east,” he said.
“You go over there and people are like, ‘Wow! You’ve won a WAMi!’ and you’re like, ‘It’s a chocolate cake, dude.’ Over here it’s like, ‘Cool, it’s the WAMis, let’s get drunk and check out some gigs.’ I think it’s good that people get excited about it, but it’s really more of a national interest type of thing, it gives them a good reason to come over and check it out,” he says.
“The fact that we’re so isolated and bands like us and Jebediah have stayed in WA, and you’ve got bands like Halogen, Cartman and The Fergusons as your really big up-and-comers, WA has created a scene that you can’t find anywhere else. No-one else has a scene – there’s no ‘New South Wales scene’, no ‘Victorian scene’.”
The strength and diversity of the ‘WA scene’ will certainly be represented in full force for the Closing Party even, where Eskimo Joe will be joined by Lash, Effigy, Sodastream, ASG, Purrvert and newcomers Josivac for a night that promised to one one hell of a musical experience — and of course, a lot of chocolate cake.
“They’re pretty hardcore chocolate cakes,” says Temperley. “You can only really eat one cake among a couple of people, so there’s always one cake that ends up going mouldy if you’re one of those lucky bands that wins more than a couple of awards. We won three one year, and my brother (Trilby Temperley, ARG) accepted the cake for us and we never even saw it. He used to be really skinny – he’s huge now.”
Many of the nominees in the categories have already been recognised by their inclusion of the Kiss My WAMi compilation, a comprehensive industry ‘sampler’ sent to radio stations across the nation, highlighting our local talent. The impact of this sampler is often underrated here in Perth, because most of the good work it does is interstate.
“That first CD on the new WAMi compilation is awesome,” says Temperley. “It’s the best WAMi CD I’ve ever heard. The Halogen song is unbelievable and the Sleepy Jackson song is really good and our song on it is…kind of crap…I joke, I joke!”
Needless to say, the sampler often acts as an introduction card for many acts who later on release their own albums and find that interstate radio stations are more than happy to pick up their work. This can easily be seen by the success of both out independents and major label acts, both recognised by the album and EP categories of the WAMi awards. Just as important is the fact that although there are major label entries in these categories, it’s by no means a guarantee to win.
“I know,” agrees Temperley. “It’s interesting, but I’d say it’s just the first time we’ve had major label releases to put in that category. I mean, Jebediah used to be the only one, but the thing is that you have people like Halogen and Cartman, who aren’t signed to a major label but are doing equally as good in terms of getting radio airplay. I would count that as being just as important, because in the end it really comes down to radio.”
So, as you can see, there are many forms of success and recognition, whether it be cake, compilation or gig – the Kiss My WAMis just make it bigger, better and more fun. Temperley couldn’t agree more, “It’ll be awesome to play the final show – a hoo-ha!”