Written by Hell Average
I grew up around music. Mum and Dad played me their favourite bands from the 80’s. They would buy me new CD’s; The Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, So Fresh, but the one that changed everything was, The Secret Life of … The Veronicas. I would listen to it on repeat, to learn every word. Then when they came to Perth to play a show I begged mum and dad to take me. Dad bought tickets and we went along. It was amazing but what changed my life wasn’t The Veronicas it was their support act, Short Stack. My first taste of a live pop punk show. I didn’t know who they were at the time but a friend introduced me to them again when I was 12. I spent from then until I was about 14 obsessed with them; slowly moving toward other pop punk bands such as All Time Low and Paramore. I learnt guitar because I wanted to be them, not be like them. I wanted to be them. Playing shows, writing songs, I wanted to be in a band so badly then eventually I met Aidan, Amy and Joe, and we formed Hell Average.
I remember being around 13 years old when I had only just picked up drums and I just listened to whatever was on the radio music wise. One day one of my mates showed me “Bodies” by Drowning Pool and I was like “wow, this is pretty edgy”. For whatever reason I was told it was by Disturbed, so I ended up listening to a bunch of their songs where I came across Down With The Sickness. That drum intro pretty much got me into alternative music. Not long after, I ended up listening to “City of Evil” by Avenged Sevenfold, which really shaped my drumming influence with special thanks to The Reverend who is still my favourite drummer 8 years later.
Playing music for real always seemed like a dream to me as a child. I grew up learning only the clarinet in high school until i was in year 10, when I decided I needed to play something where I could move on stage and have more fun. When Paramore toured Australia for their self titled album, I made sure I was near the front for their Perth concert. It so happened that their (ex) bass player was on the stage in front of me for the show. He was an amazing performer, unlike most bass players who don’t move and genuinely have a good time. Paramore were my favourite band growing up and are still one of my favourites, and one of my biggest influences to this day. I remember this concert just having the most magical feeling, being able to see my favourite band perform my favourite songs and just fall in love with music and performance and being able to chant and sing along with Hayley Williams just felt unreal as I look up to this band so much. That moment for me, while singing “Brick By Boring Brick” was the moment I decided that I had to become a musician in the real world and inspire & change lives just as Paramore, among many musicians, inspire me and shaped my life.
My introduction to the Perth music scene was 6 years ago. My friend and I were in gym class, trying to do as little exercise as possible while listening to music. She was super into hardcore and metalcore music whilst I listened exclusively to Blink-182 and Green Day. We were scrolling through her music until she stopped at a track by some local band called To Catch A Fox. I thought they were hectic and I’d never heard anything quite like it before. I had to know who these guys were. She told me they were a local band from Perth and were playing that weekend.
The thought of going to a gig whilst being under 18 had never occurred to me before. The only show I’d ever been to was Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown tour. So I asked my dad to take me and my best friend along. I had no idea what to expect. We paid our $5, got our stamps, had a look at the merch table before having our heads blown off by the screeching feedback of guitars and drum cymbals. It hurt but I loved the feeling, it was an absolute high.The music was edgy and the vocals were brutal. The flood lights flashed during beatdowns; it introduced me to “moshing” which looked scary and dangerous but also enticing.This was my introduction to the whole Perth music scene, I couldn’t get enough of it, every couple weeks I’d go back to get my fix and make as many friends as possible – no matter when I went, amazing bands were on and the rooms were full.