The sixth biannual Global Wave Conference, taking place from 10 – 14 February at Southern Cross Uni’s Gold Coast campus, is billed as ‘an international gathering of the brightest minds from the surfing, conservation and innovation communities to tackle the world’s most challenging ocean issues and promote the value of waves and their protection.’
This will be the first time the conference is being held in Australia, so it’s certainly a fillip for Gold Coast music that our very own blues-rock powerhouse, Mason Rack, and his killer band, will be performing at the festival finale, on the evening of Thursday 13 February at The Collective in Palm Beach.
Mason, who took out the prestigious ‘Live Act of the Year’ award at the 2018 GCMA’s, is one of the most charismatic performers you’ll ever witness, as well as one of the hardest working (it’s mind boggling to think that he’s played well over 2,500 shows across his career!)
Catching up with the man while he’s on the road (where else!?), we ask him what he’s been up to over the past 12 months and where the coming year will take him.
”In the land of MRB (the Mason Rack Band), we toured Europe for the seventh time in 2019 – it was epic! The coming year will see us take some time out for recording, writing and family. We’ve got a new CD coming for mid/late 2020 – and we still have a full calendar of Australian gigs!”
With the constant amount of gigs he ‘racks up’, I ask Mason if there’s ever a risk of burnout associated with keeping such a constantly busy schedule.
“I think I burn out a little bit every now and then, but the ocean helps me a lot – surfing really recharges me on a level that is unexplainable. Apart from that there’s the ongoing support of my wife and I exercise/train most days. Also, I’m 20 years free of drugs and alcohol – that helps too.”
With the ocean in his blood, I put it to Mason that he must be excited at the prospect of February’s Global Wave Conference here on the Gold Coast.
”Yes the Conference will be awesome! We’ve played several surf industry events before but not this one. I’m really looking forward to the artistic surf photography and rubbing shoulders with the surf legends that will be there. The Rack family grew up with the surfing community.”
Mason has always been an ecologically driven individual, and when talk turns to the perilous state of the planet as a result of climate change inaction, he doesn’t hold back on what he’d like to see happen to redress the balance.
“Yes I hold hope that we will snap out of the money driven, blind leading the blind, sad and fearful situation we find ourselves and more importantly, the PLANET in. If there was something I could have a large influence on, I would very quickly make changes to anything and everything that is needed to save our planet, children and wildlife. It’s funny, the corporate ‘wealth hunters’ never really seem to grasp the fact that you can’t take your stash with you when you graduate (die). I think at a global level we should all sacrifice a few years to focus on changing fossil fuels OUT and addressing ALL the issues at hand, and consulting with people like The Dalai Lama. Sometimes I believe it’s the profit system itself that drives the madness in most of us. ‘Money kills the planet’ is not the headline I want to see.”
In conclusion I put it to Mason that if there was anyone, dead or alive, that he would love to collaborate with musically, who it would be? The first part of his response, poignantly displays his love and reverence for his departed father, Billy Rack, who himself was a renowned musician.
“If there was a window that allowed me to have anyone back from ‘the other-side’ it would be my father. He suicided with not a lot of warning, so that would be first choice. My dream musical collaboration would be Tom Waits – no explanation needed, he’s just genius through and through!”
The sixth biannual Global Wave Conference is taking place from 10 – 14 February at Southern Cross Uni’s Gold Coast campus. The Mason Rack Band will be performing at the Conference finale, on Thursday 13 February at The Collective in Palm Beach.
IMAGE (c) Lamp Photography