After packing out Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory in March this year; on August 6th solo artists Phatchance and Coptic Soldier are back by demand for another, bigger, all ages Face Paint Event. This time commandeering the Factory Theater for a night of live, alternative Australian hip-hop, where both the performers and crowd get their faces painted for the sake of the party.
Crowned both a Triple J Unearthed and Myspace.com featured artist Phatchance has gone from strength to strength since the release of his debut album Inkstains.
His stage partner Coptic Soldier has just released his debut EP The Sound of Wings and together they will be launching both albums for the first time to an all ages audience, along with a host of great support acts including fellow I Forget, Sorry! member Johnny Utah.
Phatchance & Coptic Soldier
Johnny Utah with DJ DNL
aahh: Your debut album Inkstains has had such a positive response, how are you feeling after dropping the album and getting a chance to tour around Australia?
Phatchance: I’ve been overwhelmed with all the opportunities that have come my way since dropping the album, to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect, we went into the whole thing with very little budget and the mind set that it was going to act as a platform to my sophomore, it’s definitely exceeded my expectations in that regards. The touring has probably been the most fun part of the whole process, sometimes it’s really hard to envision the fact that people you don’t directly know are listening to your music, so seeing all these new faces at shows is really exciting for me.
aahh: The launch in Sydney obviously had a few heads turning with not only your music, but also the concept of the gig being a Face Paint Event. How did you come up with this idea and what was the motivation behind it?
Phatchance: Haha, if by a few heads turning you mean it sparked all out war then I’d say you’re probably right. A lot of things motivated me in developing the concept, primarily I wanted to put on a show that was interesting for punters and that was likely to help us fill a venue larger than my popularity should have allowed, I also wanted to do something cool with the theme of Inkstains, since we couldn’t have an ‘ink’ party (for OH&S reasons) I figured a face paint party was the next best thing. For better or worse it definitely generated a lot more interest in my music across the country, I think there’s a lot of natural tension between the traditionalists in the scene and the next generation of artists and I think in a lot of ways my gig brought that to the front and got people debating.
aahh: You’ve just announced that you’re about to set off on a second national tour, which is great news. The tour will also feature a Face Paint Event in Sydney on August 6. We hear it may be the last?
Phatchance: Well, the second tour hasn’t technically been announced yet, we’re still finalizing dates, but it’s looking like it’ll run through September and October with spot shows peppering both sides, I’m very excited about the prospect and hopefully it’ll help generate some more interest in the album. The Sydney Face Paint Event probably won’t be the last one, but my assumption is this will be the last tour where we do the Face Paint shows and it’ll be the biggest of those that we do. I’m really interested in having themed gigs and parties in the future because I think they work well and are heaps of fun for punters, but since the Inkstains run is starting to wind down I’m keen to avoid becoming ‘The Face Paint guy’ and play with some new ideas.
aahh: Fellow I Forgot, Sorry! stable mate Coptic Solider will be joining you on this tour. What’s it like touring as an independant artist within Australia, do you rely on mates hooking you up with a place to stay?
Phatchance: Coptic will be joining me on all the tour dates and Johnny Utah (also of I Forget, Sorry!) will be supporting us on the bulk of the legs as well. If I had one word to describe the process it’d be messy, flights are rare (we do huge amounts of driving) and those times we do get to touch the sky it’s usually with Tiger, runs six hours late and we miss sound check. Friends couches and floors are definitely a big element, in most cases they’re actually cleaner than the dinghy back packers we stay and we pour any spare money into trying to organize and promote the best show we can. With that said I love it, there’s something so amazing about the whole experience and I’ve become addicted to the travelling, I’m really glad for all the friends I’ve made as well and you really see human generosity first hand in those situations.
aahh: Will we see any new material on the tour?
Phatchance: Definitely, we’re currently reworking a lot of the set and trying to incorporate new songs and remixes into the act. Hopefully we’ll travel with the band again to the key locations, we have some big ideas it’s just about nutting them out at this stage.
aahh: Any plans on the horizon for a follow up to Inkstains?
Phatchance: I’m currently working on an acoustic EP which contains revamped tracks off Inkstains as well as an entirely new song. I’m also about a third of the way through writing the next album and am in the middle of sourcing beats and arranging features. I want this album to feel a lot more organic and progressive and I really believe my song writing has improved in the time since I finished Inkstains, I’m itching to get back in the booth and start seeing the tracks come together. I’m also recording new albums for Johnny Utah and Coptic Soldier and have been writing feature verses wherever I can spare the time.