Seven-piece The High Grade put on one hell of an energetic reggae/hip-hop fusion show. With groovy bass lines and lyrical punch, these guys will get you on your feet and onto the dance floor. We caught up with The High Grade’s Mark Slingsby (trumpet) to ask him what he thought about GC and live music and his advice to aspiring musicians.
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What do you love most about living on the GC?
What’s not to love!!! Great weather, awesome friends and fans, beaches and mostly playing music particularly The Miami Marketta. Sometimes I think the Gold Coast cops a bad wrap, but it’s usually by people who don’t know the right places to go. It’s a great fun place and we are pretty thankful to live here !!
Tell us about the best gig you’ve ever played?
This year, we were offered a support set for Katchafire at the Marketta. It was an amazing night for us, we were fortunate enough to have plenty of time to hang out with the guys and pick their brains for reggae wisdom. Jaime was super friendly and we really hope we get to perform for/with them soon! Was very inspiring to perform with a band we have listened to for so long!
In 2013 we also scored a slot at the Airlie Beach Music Festival which was also amazing. Performing for new fans up there was awesome, but we were most inspired by hearing Ian Moss playing some of the classic Aussie rock. He was a truly magnificent guitarist/singer/songwriter, and we really hope to get the chance to hear him again soon.
What are your thoughts on the GC music scene
We are feeling the verge of an uprising with more venues becoming accepting of bands performing, as opposed to just soloists. As well as the possibility of performing at new and exciting festivals such as Yellowood, Surfers Paradise Festival and Blues on Broadbeach just to mention a few
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give an aspiring musician?
When you think of a cool riff or lyric always have something on hand to record or write it. It can be really strange where and when your ideas bubble up! Or when times get frustrating just remember the reason why you perform music!
What’s the biggest challenge to up and coming Australian artists
Wow, thats a tough one, uuuummmm, probably money or competition …. We all still have REAL jobs at this stage to support our music ……and don’t really make any money from our music. Our basic philosophy is that our performance money goes straight back into writing, recording and producing new EPs. We just finished our second EP, and though we haven’t finished performing the tracks from it on a regular basis, have already got the next set of songs on the whiteboard ready to be put in wax.
We have been very fortunate to receive great support from our fans, but also the great venues and sound technicians in the industry who cater for our needs at gigs. This support is what gets us amped up to play, and makes us continue sticking it out in the hard times. Keeping a band together is particularly challenging especially with seven of us! Many differing musical opinions, even just setting up sound and getting everyone to practice at the same time is hard, not to mention the time needed to co-ordinate all the social media platforms and online music opportunities such as triple J unearthed and spotify which need constant up dating and monitoring.