Project Description

Interview with

Joab Eastley


RAAVE TAPES are one of the coolest bands in the Newcastle scene right now with their dance-rock tunes and their busy touring schedule. Joab had a chat with AMNplify about their festival RAAVE TAPES Shut Down The Argyle House, the start of RAAVE TAPES and their Saddle Club inspired music video!




You recently put on a little festival, RAAVE TAPES Shut Down The Argyle House, how did that come together?

Well, I was drinking beer with a couple of my friends and I said, “Hey, how about we play a show at Argyle” and everyone laughs at me and I thought “Yeah, let’s try and do that, let’s see if we can actually try and make it happen” and we asked the people really nicely and they actually let us do it, which was really funny. Where are you from?



Oh, cool well have you heard of Argyle?


Yeah, I think I have heard of it.

It’s one of the dankest nightclubs in town, like a real notorious nightclub where you go when you’re really drunk and you just wanna dance [laughs] so they only have DJ’s, they never have bands so that’s why we called it ‘Shut Down The Argyle House’, we took it to town for the evening, basically!

It was nice, we had our manager Ben Cooper from Northern Red help us do a lot of things and we sort of went through and picked a lot of bands we really liked because we knew that we could pull a decent crowd in Newcastle but there’s a lot of bands who don’t necessarily come to Newcastle in that sort of gap between getting big Triple J play and community radio sort of things, because we don’t have a community radio. We don’t have an FBI Radio or a 4zzz or that sort of thing, a lot of bands in that gap skip Newcastle on tour, so we wanted to give them an audience in Newcastle, that was our plan of attack anyway. It was really nice just being able to pick bands we like.


Raave Tapes

Photo by Brooke Tunbridge


The lineup was so good, I wish I could’ve been there!

It was so much fun! We’ve just struggled a little bit with diversity in Newcastle, especially in terms of gender, there aren’t that many non-male bands in comparison, it’s definitely heavily skewed. So we wanted to make sure we brought in lots of non-male bands to try and do our part there.


And I read that Lindsay got into a motorcycle accident a few days before the gig!

She did! Aww, the poor girl! It was, like, literally the Saturday beforehand, a week out. She was getting doubled by one of her friends and some dickhead went straight through a stop sign and T-boned the shit out of them and she ended up in the hospital with deep tissue damage to the legs and the other guy had broken ankles so she was lucky to get out of it where she could still actually be on crutches and walk around. But she wasn’t good, she had to wear crutches on stage and she could get around a bit but she had to, like, hobble off stage with her crutches and stuff. The poor little thing, it was so stressful, we couldn’t practice at all. She was at home in bed and couldn’t go anywhere so we couldn’t practice the whole week beforehand, we were stressed and we had 3 new songs that we wanted to play. We did one massive practice the day beforehand and managed to pull through.


Is she doing better now?

Yeah, she’s ok. She’s still hobbling a little bit, she just looks like a skater girl now [laughs] because she has bruises and scabs and stuff, it looks like she’s been at the skate park for too long.


So do you think you’ll do something like that again or anytime soon?

Yeah, I help run a thing in Newcastle called No-Fi Collective – it’s me and Campbell from Vacations and Cristian who’s from Buster. We’ve got 4 bands and 4 artists on board with that and we’ve really been focusing on promotion at the moment, putting stuff on. We’ve got No-Fi Fridays, we’re just rolling them out once a month at the Cambridge, again bringing those bands in the gab to town, doing the whole indie night with DJ’s until late in the smoker’s area, that kind of fun stuff! We’re putting on a festival in Maitland, where Groovin The Moo is, next month in September and we’re headlining actually. That’s my actual hometown, we’re from Newcastle but a little bit out of Newcastle near Maitland. Yeah, so we’re putting on a licensed all-ages festival at the Maitland Art Gallery which is gonna be very fun.


That’s awesome! I’m under-18 so I wish I could’ve gone to the gig at the Argyle House.

Oh! Well, there you go! Come along, it’s gonna be heaps fun.


Raave Tapes

Photo by Lazy Bones


So, were you a musical kid growing up?

I wasn’t at all, I didn’t pick up a guitar until – depends on what you describe a kid I suppose – year, 8, year 7? I picked up the guitar, I had an old one in the shed. I would just sort of play it with friends at school, Seven Nation Army and that kind of stuff. And I never learned how to read music or anything, it was just more playing guitar for the fun of it. But then I got really, really interested with sounds and pedals, that kind of thing and I went down a deep rabbit hole [laughs]. Like, weird guitar sounds and crazy effects and weird digital effects and how they can all combine to make fun noises and I realised pretty quickly that I was never going to be the best guitarist. This guy at school was shredding crazy stuff and I can’t do that, that’s fucked but I figured I could make really dumb noises that no one else could make [laughs] so I went down that alley and now we’re here!


So then, how did the band get together?

Well actually, me and the original bass player, we both worked at Domino’s together [laughs] and the post office was across the road so most of the guitar pedals we bought were from America with the exchange rate at the time, you buy a guitar pedal from America it’s so much cheaper and you can get freaking guitar pedals that are worth $900 for, like, $250 so we were like “oh my god, look at this!” and we would turn up each day and bring these guitar pedals in from across the road and just look at them and nerd out so hard, we bonded over that. And then we needed a drummer, we found a guy I used to play football with could play drums which was nice and it was all wholesome. We were 2 and a bit, 3 years maybe, together but the other two guys were a bit older than me and one had a mortgage and moved to Melbourne so we got the new guys in, Lindsay and Lewis who are lovely people. Yeah, it’s shit when life gets in the way, those guys loved it but things got a bit serious and they were like “oh shit, I didn’t realise I was actually gonna do this” [laughs] so we got some people on board who were ready to take this next step and the stupid things that we’re going to do in the next 6 or so months.


I was going to ask! What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Um, drink beers with friends in different states [laughs] and touring, we’re going on tour, Grow Up Festival is on the 16th which is the start of our tour and we all work during the week so it’s every weekend on tour until New Years Eve maybe? Or sometime, we have like 3 weekends off between now and New Years so yeah, that’s gonna be fun!


Yeah! So, you’re releasing a music video tomorrow? Could you give us a bit of a hint of what to expect?

I can give you a massive hint! We’re pretty much just doing The Saddle Club [laughs] it’s just exactly The Saddle Club except we’re gonna be in The Saddle Club and there’s a problem that arises and there’s a big thing that happens and a resolution and it’s lovely [laughs]. It’s so stupid, it’s dumb, it’s pretty much a giant meme. I can’t believe that Triple J Unearthed are giving us national platforms to do memes, it’s so wonderful.



RAAVE TAPES at Argyle House – Photo by Lazy Bones

That’s awesome! Now for a few fun questions – what’s your favourite movie?

Dirty Harry

Best gig you’ve ever been to?

Wow, that’s a big one. That’s a hard one, I think maybe when I saw The National the first Splendour I went to, I cried a lot, it was fucking wonderful. Or Julia Baker, gigs that I cry are usually the best ones.

What about the worst gig?

I went to Future Music Festival, Future Music Festival and that still existed and the sound was so bad, I went because Bloc Party were playing and I wanted to see Bloc Party but they were one of the only acts on the bill that weren’t, like, EDM and the problem was that the sound was just horrible, you could stand not far back and talk to your friends perfectly at a gig that’s dance music which is super loud and aggressive and it wasn’t very fun [laughs] and there are heaps of dickheads with their shirts off.

Ugh, god!

Yep [laughs]

What was the last song you listened to?

You’re So mean by Stella Donnelly, that was on in my car, in the little playlist just before I pulled over on my way home from work. She’s amazing.

Who do you think your favourite artists are at the moment?

Well, Stella is killing it. It’s weird, we play really upbeat, dancey stuff and I’m saying sad stuff. Bloody, I’m really loving the new Charli XCX song, Boys.

Oh, love it!

God, I love tacky pop music so much. There was something else, oh! The new song by Mini Skirt, Dying Majority, it’s huuuge, the lyrics are insane! Like it’s- have you heard of that one yet?

No, I haven’t!

They uploaded it to Unearthed last week, Mini Skirt, they’re from Byron and it’s very Bad//Dreams-y, pub rock style music, which is what I grew up on. But the lyrics are very much like progan, me and my drummer have nicknamed this new trend progan, it’s like ‘progressive bogan’ and people who have new-age mentality but they’re singing pub-rock stuff which is usually bogan-y kind of stuff and the lyrics are so good, it’s all about being at a pub and all these old guys who support the same footy team as you except they’re all giant racists and you’re sadly the minority at that pub. It’s so good, I back that song really hard.

Lastly, cats or dogs?

Dogs, heaps dogs!


Awesome, thanks for chatting with me!

Hey, thanks so much!



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Interviewer Details

  • Cath Connell