Music Interview Interview

In recent years Australia has proved its worth as a hotspot for nascent musical talent. From Tame Impala to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and The Murlocs, there’s something brewing down under.

Finding himself caught up in Sydney’s next musical wave – with his trusty point-and-shoot film camera in-hand – photographer Jake Ollett has been documenting the emerging bands taking the scene by storm, culminating in his visual project No Idea. Inspired by DIY punk fanzines, the zine acts as an engaging lookbook filled with intimate photos of Aus’ most exciting young musicians, as well as a “getting to know the band” section.

Through his busy university schedule, Ollet hopes to release to the public a new issue every month. Here we preview Ollett’s debut issue, featuring talents such as Crocodylus, Cody Munro Moore and Jack T Wotton, and find out the plan for issue two.  

Hailey Johnson: What drove you to create No Idea?
Jake Ollett: 70s punk fanzines like Slash and Punk were pretty big motivators, as well as all the photos that I took on film – with the initial intention to only to ever use them for digital purposes. It was originally meant to be a yearly 2016 retrospective of Sydney, but then I ended up shooting like 110 bands that year. However, I can’t afford to print more than one copy of something that big, so if you want to see my archive of 2016, it’s available for free on google drive. Don’t steal the photos though, please.

Hailey: Could you tell us a little about the bands you’ve got highlighted in the zine?
Jake: In the first issue, all of them were either based in Sydney or Wollongong. In the new one, the bands are varied, I guess; they’re from a few different circles of Sydney. Some of the bands featured include: the coastal cowboy Luke Spook, the industrial-ish experimental-ish techno-ish WDK, and others. I guess there’s a ton of post-punk (felix lush, solid effort, buzz kull) and garage (the pinheads, crocodylus). Along with pictures of the bands, there’s also a survey with the amazing Greta Now. It was really groundbreaking; Greta is going to be the next biggest pop star.

Hailey: What is the scene like over there?
Jake: There are definitely lots of overlapping scenes and cliques; there’s a bunch of shows sponsored by some alcohol company. Too many bros, save us.

Hailey: Is it tight? 
Jake: It pretty much fits like a glove, and we all live in the same house that spans from Bondi to Penrith [laughs], not really, the people in the inner-city are too good for the West, so they won’t even go to Parramatta.

Hailey: Although your second issue is only now in the works, can you tell us what else is in it?
Jake: There are more bands and words, although I’ve never written about music before. There’s also a photo shoot or two. BodyType’s Sophie Mccomish made me a wordsearch of band names but I might’ve lost it, sorry Sophie. This issue spans 2-3 months as opposed to the last issue that was 2-3 weeks. I probably can’t afford to print this one because it’ll be too big, so please sponsor me.

Hailey: Do you make No Idea on your own?
Jake: Sure do, I take all the photos, throw it all together and then print it on the cheap university printers. The next issue might have to be in black and white so I can afford more than ten copies. I hope people will contribute one day, too. If you’re interested, send me an email or a message on Instagram and I’ll publish your stuff. 

Hailey: What’s the DIY independent publishing scene like near you?
Jake: The independent publishing scene is quite active from what I can tell. I’m still very new to it, but there are a fair amount of stores that are more than happy to stock your zine. I’ve also seen a lot of fairs and swaps happen recently. I’ve yet to attend one because I’ve sold all my zines in person at gigs or dropped them off in stores. The other night I was contacted by a band because they wanted to run a zine stall at their single launch, so I think interest in it all is growing.

Follow No Idea here and Jake’s personal work here.