Boasting more then your average man both in beard and creativity, the pappa bear and front man of Melbourne's sex-voodoo-blues-a-billy outfit Brothers Grim And The Blue Murders gives out much more then he takes on the musical front. James Grim sets aside some time to chat after giving birth to one of Australia's more grounded, unwholesome, sweat-dripping and groin-thrusting movements, The Drunken Moon Spring Festival. Rubbing up against four cities with some of Australia's greatest live blues artists and with the Melbourne and Brisbane shows done and dusted, Wollongong and Sydney have been given their notice.
“We just want to punch you in the ear with our sound” Grim explains. “Every single band has something different to offer and I just find it exciting to tour that.” With a different lineup in each city, Grim aims to showcase not so much a local outfit as a local community. “I guess there's two aims of doing this. One: to celebrate this diverse [genre] that we're all a part of; Two: to have exceptionally great live bands on the bill; and three (yes there was actually three) was to I guess showcase each city to every other city. So in Melbourne, we'll have Sydney bands, in Sydney we'll have Melbourne bands, and in Brisbane we'll have both Melbourne and Sydney bands and so on…”
Grim has spent the last while checking out some explosive live bands, and he wanted to share his finds with the country. “There was a whole heap of bands that I loved but I wanted to pick the best live acts. It's one thing to be a brilliant band, but it's another thing to be a brilliant band and rip it apart on stage,” he explains. From Jackson Firebird, Gay Paris, Kira Puru And The Bruise to Brothers Grim And The Blue Murders themselves (plus many more), this is set to be a true killer of a festival – and with a humble heart, Grim concedes that a lot of his fellow lineup may even out perform himself. Being competitive is not the game for this Grim daddy. “There's absolutely no need to be competitive,” he says. “The idea of 'making it' in music in Australia is, well, if you want the bling then you’re in the wrong business, you know? It's about playing music, and playing music to people. There shouldn't be anything competitive about that. We are all here to support each other.
“I just don't want to be some guy with a bunch of dogs sniffing around my crouch. I want to be a dog too, running around chasing each others’ assholes,” he says. We both laugh, and me, quite hysterically. “We just help each other, and in doing that we're also supporting the next generation of musicians that are coming through. It’s great!”
Mostly, it's refreshing to see so many musicians, venues and press support such a supportive idea. “I am 100% behind every single one of these bands, and the venues and media are just as important to me as the bands are,” says Grim. This really is a movement, and in the right direction for Australian music. For a fraction of the price you would cough up for any of Australia's other festivals, you know that these guys are doing it purely for the love of music. “I’m not running this [festival] like a business. It’s for the people, all for the people.”
What: The Drunken Moon Spring Festival
With: Jackson Firebird, Kira Puru and the Bruise, Gay Paris and loads more
Where: Diggers Club Wollongong / Manning Bar Sydney
When: Friday October 12 / Saturday October 13