Subjects: Australian music
WENDY HARMER: Albo, AKA Anthony Albanese would agree, and he is a senior Labor MP of course, known for his occasional DJ stints. G’day Anthony. Thanks for joining us today.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Wendy.
HARMER: Now this is a statistic that we are chewing over this morning and that we are worried about – that no Australian songs have hit number one on the ARIA charts in 2017 and I know that you are a real Aussie music fan. Are you worried about this? Have you noticed this yourself?
ALBANESE: No. I think that Aussie music is in fantastic shape.
ALBANESE: You have, I think, across the range of music from bands like Polish Club, that are a good Inner West band who play sort of pub rock, really. They are a two-piece band and a song like Come Party should be number one. And last year you had a huge hit internationally indeed from Flume, from up your way, Northern Beaches.
HARMER: Yes, that’s right.
ALBANESE: Never Be Like You was Number One on the Triple J Hottest 100 last year. I have been listening to a fantastic new album by Meg Mac that includes Grace Gold, which I think is a fantastic song. You’ve got young artists like Amy Shark …
HARMER: Yes we just played her, actually.
ALBANESE: Adore. Did you play Adore?
HARMER: I sure did. Love it. I’m glad that you do too.
ALBANESE: It is a great song. In a couple of weeks I am going to the Enmore on a Saturday night to see Polish Club, but they are the support act for the Preatures, who are a fantastic band as well with a great female lead singer. And you know they have got a new album out as well. So I think that Australian music is pretty good across the board. And a lot of hip hop – my 16-year-old son is very much into hip hop music, as his generation are and there’s bands like Bliss N Eso who I think are from the Illawarra, I think. And they are producing some pretty exciting new music as well and of course what’s old is new again with a whole lot of bands like Hoodoo Gurus and You Am I and a whole lot of bands from when I was younger retouring.
HARMER: I wonder though, would you back the idea that has been talked about this morning to increase the quotas maybe on commercial radio?
ALBANESE: Well I would hope that you didn’t need quotas. I would hope that one of the things that radio stations should do is to ensure that they have Australian content there. And certainly one of the things that has happened, I don’t want to give plug to community radio there while I am talking on 702 …
HARMER: No, go right ahead.
ALBANESE: But I mean stations like FBI and 2SER in Sydney; FBI almost exclusively, if not totally, play Australian music and it’s very important for Aussie bands and musicians to get that start. Triple J, to give a plug to your sister or brother station there at the ABC, they play primarily Australian music and are so important for giving bands that break. I look forward – every Friday morning they have Like A Version, where you have …
HARMER: Oh yes. That is always fun.
ALBANESE: Australian bands playing songs, like I have watched the video while I am exercising about 50 times of Sarah Blasko doing David Bowie’s Life on Mars.
HARMER: Well you know what else the people need, and this is where we will leave it Anthony Albanese, what music bands need in Australia is fans like you – more of them.
ALBANESE: Well, I’m just a tragic you see. If you can’t do it, watch.
HARMER: Yes. I agree with you. Thanks you so much Anthony.
ALBANESE: Good on you Wendy.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.