Welcome to The Hen House

The Hen House is Perth, Western Australia's sexxxiest and most inspiring rehearsal studio. Situated in Osborne Park, we have 14 spacious and vibing rehearsal rooms. Its the perfect place to jam, shoot hoops, play streetfighter and hangout. Book a room now 0407 442 726 - Hope to see you here soon. Rob

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What's happening at the house

Simple Tips To Get Your Band Playing More Shows

 

Gyroscope Live @ The Thank God Its Over Festival

One of the most common questions I get down at The Hen House is “How does our band get more shows?”

Its a great question to ask because playing more shows is the single most important thing a band can do, if they want to give themselves every chance of being successful. Playing live improves band chemistry, helps fans discover the band and provides every musician with the chance to express themselves and have fun doing what they love.

Playing live is also every bands single biggest source of revenue. If you’re going to be a success in this industry you’re going to need to be a great live act. So you may as well start working hard on it now.

But how do you go about getting shows if you’re new to the music industry?

The first thing you need to do is actively involve yourself in the Perth music scene. Simply start by going to lots of shows and help support the scene that will soon be supporting you. Make a list of say 7 local bands that are doing good things right now and get along to their shows. Get to know these people. Say hello after the show. Drink a beer with them. Flick them a CD. Send them a message via Facebook. The great thing about the Perth music scene is it is relatively small and easy to get to know everyone quite quickly. Personal contacts will always be your number 1 gateway to getting shows. Don’t rely on simply using social media. Actually get out there and shake some hands and meet people.

Along time before he was the singer for one of Australia’s most successful hardcore bands Nick Horsnell (Miles Away, Vocalist) was at every local Gyroscope show and just about every single punk show week in and week out. By the time he started his own band Miles Away he had the contacts and friends to help his band get those first shows and then kick on to becoming a national band and international band.

Another way to ingrain yourself into the perth music scene would be to get involved with contributing to the scene. Become a reviewer for spaceshipnews.com.au or a photographer over at fasterlouder.com.au and help review local shows. Its a great way to get your name out there and to also get to know the bands you’re reviewing.

Take the plunge and book your own show. The trick here is to pick a few bands that have maybe helped you out with shows in the past but then to also pick a few bands you admire but don’t yet know and offer them a show. This will once again increase your circle of contacts. If you want to take this little move to the next level then pick bands from a different genre to yours. Being able to play with bands from different genres will be the difference between being able to play 30 shows a year to 90 shows a year.

When you do play shows. Always stick around to the very end and support the other bands on the bill. There is nothing worse than seeing the opening bands leaving after they play their set. This sort of effort and support goes along way in helping solidify friendships in the music industry.

Finally, share the love. Donate to a band you admire trying to fund their new E.P on Pozible. Share a link on FB when they upload a new song, leave them a review on JJJ unearthed and take the time to get your fellow muso’s. Not only will it open you up to more shows but you may just make some really great long lasting friendships as a result of the effort.

Rob Nassif – robnassif@gmail.com

The Hen House Rehearsal Studios

www.thehenhouse.com.au

3 Tips To Help Your Band Get On Triple J

 

Did you see the Age’s article on Triple J last week? The basic premise of the story was that Triple Js playlist is leading to a homogenisation of australian music. The theory being that bands are writing a particular style of song to fit in with JJJs format and ignoring pure self-expression in favour of manufacturing a sound to get played on the popular station.

As a musician that has been really fortunate to get a lot of JJJ airplay with Gyroscope, I can obviously see just how valuable JJJ airplay can be. With out their support I doubt I would have ever become a full time musician. Heck, who knows if I would have been able to create The Hen House Rehearsal Studios.

This whole debate got me thinking about Gyroscope, and how we eventually got our first song; Doctor, Doctor onto Triple J High Rotation. It was the 3rd time we had serviced the Js with a CD. The song itself was 2 minutes and 42 seconds of screaming, shouting and raw aggressive production. The song went on to do phenomenally well and we still play it live 10 years later. This reinforces a few ideas I have that will hopefully help your band land a coveted track on the Js.

Simply write tunes you absolutely love

I remember that we wrote Doctor Doctor in about 30 minutes and when we walked out the rehearsal room we were so pumped about this new song we had written. We were all laughing and high fiveing each other in amazement about how quick the song had come together. I honestly felt so lucky to be playing in a band that wrote songs I loved listening too and playing. When you’re passionate about your band it feeds into the music you create. It allows you to put 110% into your live show and it makes all the rehearsing and hard work a breeze, because you create music you love.

Play more shows

I have a saying that 1 live show is equal to 10 rehearsals in benefit to a band. (Yes this is a weird thing for a guy who owns a rehearsal studio to say…But its true). By playing so many shows in our early days we were able to improve as a band rapidly. Yes it is hard to find shows and there are less venues than ever but you should be aiming at, at least 50 shows a year. By the time Doctor Doctor hit high rotation we had already played about 350 shows. It’s no coincidence that hard work and improved song writing go hand in hand.

Always be writing new songs

Do you notice yourself looking at your opposite number when you go and watch a band live. I do it all the time. Just the other day I was watching Jaimie from Pat Chow/Rag n’ Bone fame on the drums. Marvelling at his approach to certain drum beats and fills. Take inspiration from other bands you play with and listen too, and then funnel it into your own songwriting. Sometimes you need to write 30 songs before you eventually have that Ah-ha moment and write a songs that is a cut above the rest. Get to that 30 songs quickly by writing constantly. It’s worth noting these things can take time. Gyroscope had been a band for 7 years by the time Doctor, Doctor hit high rotation.

Doctor Doctor is a great example of how a song that sounds like nothing else on the airwaves can break through, stand out and kickstart a career.

Create music you’re passionate about. Play lots of shows and constantly write new songs. Above all else remember to have fun making music with you’re mates. That way you’ll have no regrets about your musical aspirations irrespective of Triple J air play. All the best.

Rob Nassif

The Hen House Rehearsal Studios

www.thehenhouse.com.au

 

5 Minutes With Mezzanine

Mezzanine @ The Hen House Rehearsal Studios

Mezzanine are a great example of a hard working Perth band. They’re constantly rehearsing, recording and gigging and about to embark on another National tour in support of their new album ‘Strange Paradise’ I sat down with Ollie to get the latest happenings.

1. Congratulations on the release of Strange Paradise, How was the whole recording process and how was it working with Dave Parkin?

Thank you, it’s been great. Before we went in the studio we did a lot of prep to minimise time waste and everyone had their schtick down before we walked in the door. Parko was good at keeping us enthusiastic and on task too. We all have a lot of respect for the work he’s done and him as a guy. As far as recording goes it started with the scratch tracks and then working from there to build the songs. The individual tracking can be painstaking sometimes but the whole time we were all just happy to be there and making an album.

2. In your opinion what shape is the Perth music scene in and do you have any favourite Perth bands we should keep an eye on?
When I started playing (2003) the scene was in a different phase. Indie music had just dominated the radio and everyone started to realise you could get noticed despite not playing the most mainstream songs. A lot of good local bands were playing during that time and were successful nationally. I think now it’s plateaued in a good way and people are still paying attention to local music despite the scene shifting. There’s a lot of variety in Perth and the level of talent can rival any major city. There’s a few local bands that I’m really in love with at the moment, like Lanark. Everything they do grabs my attention. Same with Sugar Army. Those guys are playing at an international level and deserve every bit of success they get.

3. What are some of the toughest challenges Mezzanine face being based in Perth?
Probably the same every band faces – lack of venues and the distance from other cities. Luckily the venues we have are great and people flock to them regardless. But shutting down the Hydey was a big kick in the guts to Perth music. If you’re a new band starting out there’s not many places to play anymore. And the cost of touring from Perth to the eastern states is a big obstacle. If you’re serious about touring you have to dedicate some hard earned time and money.

4. You guy’s really impress me with your work ethic. Your jamming at The Hen House religiously as well as touring the east coast. Does it get hard to maintain that focus and drive?
Not yet. Touring this album will probably test our resolve. We’re all sensible enough to know playing music isn’t going to make us rich, but we all have a good work ethic. As a band we just want to play and we know it takes hard work to keep that consistent. Everything else is a bonus.

5. Favourite room or rooms to Rehearse in at The Hen House?
Every room is great. We’ve all played our fair share of run down rehearsal studios with dodgy P.A’s and no toilet. Hen House is a place I look forward to playing in every time. Being able to dim the lights is possibly my favourite amenity.

6. Finish this sentence.
“In two years time I hope Mezzanine…
…will be recording their second album and have their name on the Hen House wall.”

Thanks Ollie. All the best with the tour

Rob Nassif

www.thehenhouse.com.au

Check out the tour dates and songs here;

https://www.facebook.com/mezzanineonline/

http://mezzanine.bandcamp.com/album/strange-paradise

 

The Hen House Wall Of Fame!

The Hen House Wall Of Fame just had a massive update. The wall lives over in studio 1 and serves as a reminder too all bands both new and old that hard work pays off. Any band that makes it past 50 rehearsals goes up on the wall. We also acknowledge some of the albums that have been written @ The Hen House over the years. Congratulations to all the bands and the big effort they have made! Much love. ROB

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