Tijuana Cartel: GCMA Live Act Of The Year

Gold Coast electro-fusion denizens Tijuana Cartel helped us get through our no-gig, COVID-19 blues with a special live performance on the net on the night of Saturday 30 May.

Long time staples of the Gold Coast music scene, the band recently consolidated their reputation as one of this city’s most vibrant musical entities by taking out the ‘Live act of the Year’ award at the 2020 Gold Coast Music Awards (GCMAs).

In the lead up to their special live studio stream on 30 May, the band’s front man Paul George (who also moonlights under his Black Rabbit George side-project) took time out to fill us in on ill-timed bathroom breaks and streaming raves you can’t afford to miss.

Congrats on your big win at the GCMAs for Live act of the year! What was it like in the moment when you discovered you’d won? And was there any bittersweet element attached to it, in light of the current enforced scenario of no live music?

Thanks! Yes, we were very excited to hear the news. Personally, I haven’t won anything since 2006 and that was a meat tray raffle. The GCMAs is always a fun night, we usually get to hang out with a lot of our music friends and drink one or two glasses of champagne, so missing out on that was a little bittersweet. We were also set to play this year, so hopefully we can do it all again next year.

How did you find the event this year as an online awards ceremony?

I thought the GCMA crew did a fantastic job. I watched the whole thing streaming online. The only time I took a short toilet break was when we won the award! I ended up finding out from a bunch of texts on my phone and had to rewind it all.

How did the unfortunate fall-out of no live music as a result of COVID-19 directly affect your musical plans and timelines, both with the band and with your other musical endeavours?

Musically it’s actually been great, we managed to get our album finished and we’ve had plenty of time to create. We really miss the live shows though.

With no live music to fall back on for the time being, how has this time played out for the band, for you as a performer and also on a personal level? Has this enforced distancing and isolation allowed you to explore other rewarding creative outlets?

It has definitely given us space to create more. I built a very tiny studio in the back yard and have been plugging away at new material as well as working on videos and basically anything we can think of.


Projecting forwards, do you have any predictions or hopes for the state of music this time next year?

I imagine it will be epic – something like the Roaring Twenties. I think everyone will be itching to get out and party. We look forward to it, but until then this live in the studio performance will hopefully satiate some of that desire.


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