By Luke Buckler
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
The first time I met Alicia Saye she was dressed as a taco. At the time I had no idea she played in Infinite Void and Deep Heat, and had previously played in The Diamond Sea and Mass Trauma (and probably a bunch of other stuff that I’m still ignorant to) – but it was easy to recognise Alicia as someone that you’d want to be mates with.
I found out that Alicia did a lot of other cool shit with community radio station PBS, and mixed and recorded some great bands. Since I didn’t really know her that well, I had some questions that I wanted to ask her.
It’s been a pretty quiet year for Infinite Void – you put out the Arctic Flowers split but only played a handful of shows. What else have you been busying yourself with?
We also put out another 7″ with MOTH from Denmark, but yeah, generally we don’t play a whole lot. I don’t think we all really have the capacity to be playing every second week. With everyone being busy with work, Especially with both Jacquie and Scott working in the same kitchen at The Rev, it can make it a little difficult to organise time off for shows. I guess I have been busying myself with work. Working at PBS three days a week, Poison City and The Old Bar as a sound engineer.
What’s in the works for Infinite Void?
Well, after those two 7″s we’re hoping to finish a new album. We’re about halfway into it. Perhaps once we do that, head to Europe for a tour, which we’ve been talking about forever. We’ve wanted to go for a while but didn’t want to go without a new release. Contraszt! Records have offered to repress the first LP again, as well as release the next album so it’d make sense to go.
Is Deep Heat absolutely over?
I guess so. I mean, I am open to perhaps doing something down the line with it again, but I doubt it’ll be a functioning continuous band. I think Still Life is an album where we really hit our stride. I personally feel pretty proud of that album. I don’t feel like it was too soon to end, though. We had released Low Lights EP, a split 7″, the New Design EP and Still Life LP, which is a pretty good run of releases for a band. With Katie moving overseas for an undetermined amount of time it seemed like the right thing to do. No one in Deep Heat is replaceable. We started that band as friends, it wouldn’t feel right if it wasn’t the same combination of personalities.
Do you ever get the urge to start another fast band?
Heavier yes, but not so much ‘fast’. There has been a couple of false starts throughout the years. A party band with Zeph, Jacquie and Zac affectionately coined Soiled Stroller that never left the jam space or had any more than five jams. Also tried to start a new band with Mikey and Kirk, had about five songs and fell victim to the Melbourne curse of the members having so many other projects. Admittedly I bailed on Tristan’s new band Systemic due to being too busy myself.
Have you been doing much recording of other people’s bands?
Not a whole heap, but I recently recorded the new Diecut tape. Working six days a week doesn’t lend much time for recording. The previous recordings I have done were during a time where I was a student. I have probably done more mixing jobs over recording. I recorded vocals and mixed the new Nervous Trend 7″, co-recorded and mixed the Terrible Truths LP, recorded and mixed the Grey Places releases. More recentl, mastered the Concentrated Visuals tape comp, mixed and mastered the Systemic demo, and, of course, the Diecut tape.
What do you do at PBS?
I’m the Production Assistant at Peebs, working three days a week putting together the sponsorship announcements, and archiving recordings on occasion. There is a gold mine of previous live recordings on tape, DAT and mini disk. Occasionally I mix live OB (outside broadcast) to send back to be aired. Also when the timing works out mix I Studio 5 Live sets. It’s a pretty interesting combination of recording and live mixing. It’s a scenario where you really need to have the mix pretty well sorted before it goes to air as you can’t make any drastic changes while it’s airing live. Each year PBS has ‘Drive Live’, which are Studio 5 Live sessions across five days during drive time shows. Myself and Paul Maybury handle these. It’s a pretty incredible job.
Is community radio helped or hindered by the digitisation of media?
I don’t think the digitisation of media is really an issue, we’re currently digitally archiving all of our recordings, bands send in links, USBs, etc, but that might be more of a question for the music department. Digitising radio is another story, the government has been selling off the bandwidth which is forcing radio to go digital. The Liberal government has recently cut funding to community radio stations that would assist in the transfer to digital. Without that funding community radio risks being left behind, which then silences so many voices across Australia. Immediately we think about 4ZZZ, PBS, RRR, 3CR, FBI etc., but forget about the rural radio stations, stations that give more isolated communities voices. Indigenous voices. An opportunity to expose how amazingly diverse Australia is. With the current political climate, celebrating our Indigenous and cultural diversity is so incredibly important. This cut in funding potentially serves to silence us all, limit our access to underground non-commercial music across Australia.
A couple of other bands on Poison City have spoken about unsavoury characters in the audience at their shows. Is poor crowd behaviour something new, and has it ever been something that Infinite Void has had to contend with?
It has been around forever, there are always one or two people. It’s great that people are talking about it. I think talking about it is new or at least more easily discussed due to social media and access. If someone is being an arsehole and ruining everyone’s fun, then tell them they can choose to chill out or be kicked out. Like just take a moment and understand this isn’t just about you. It’s about everyone in that room, you’re there for the same reason. Don’t fuck it up for everyone else. I’ve read opinions online regarding punk and whether or not its supposed to be ‘safe’. Sure, the idea surrounding punk is that it’s unsafe, but surely we’ve also evolved to know it doesn’t have to make a whole room unsafe. It doesn’t mean you get to treat your friends like shit, it’s not a free pass to be a dickhead. It seems more like people don’t want their personal experience affected, what they personally want out of it. But again, it isn’t just about you. I feel like you can still dance without involving people who don’t want participate, you don’t need to be upfront and centre to do that either, it’s not a big ask to respect the women around you, and the rest of the people in the room. The people complaining about ‘changes’ are usually the people who have had the privileges to do as they please for so long. In my opinion, punk, which is a community outside of the mainstream is still exactly that, a community. Surely it’s feasible to look after each other, make room for everyone. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they can’t attend our shows. As a female musician I love seeing women up the front of our shows. It feels supportive. I would hate to think any experience they might have would stop them from coming to the front. But we (Infinite Void) haven’t had to deal with anything directly for quite some time, other than perhaps this one unit that tried to steal Jacquie’s drink off stage at the Deep Heat Launch, and she swiftly put him in his place. Having a microphone is a powerful tool to call out shitty behaviour. Use it, you’re talking to the whole room.
Since the nineties ended, it seems like bands have become more reluctant to use props and dress ups at their gigs. If Infinite Void were to incorporate costumes and kooky ephemera into the performance, what would they be?
I’ve been trying to convince Scott to get a roll cage forever. I guess in terms of our budget that might end up being reduced to an ill-fitting old trolley carriage or repurposed rio.
Listen to a little Infinite Void: