Betty & Oswald
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Betty & Oswald

Marrickville, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Marrickville, Australia | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Pop




"Premiere: Hear Betty & Oswald's Adventurous New Track 'Stuck In The City'"

Emerging Sydney quirk-pop quartet Betty & Oswald have today announced a short run of East Coast shows to coincide with the release of latest single "Stuck In The City", exclusively premiering via Rolling Stone.

Much like previous offering "Schmuck", "Stuck In The City" is empowered by its unpredictability, shifting from a smothering morning haze into the pulsating purpose (spoiler: it's time to get down to the beach). While the escapism theme is hardly ground-breaking, the tact is refreshingly complex, loosely structured around soothing half-pace harmonies and their attempts to cut through the tangled chaos of the cut-and-paste composition, frequently flipping focus and forgetting the correct direction entirely.

While referencing both now and nostalgia — with splashes of the jerk-and-throttle of British sixties psych-prog sitting side-by-side with the foggy immersiveness of Unknown Mortal Orchestra — Betty & Oswald's youthful spontaneity and confidence in adding in clutter to their pop sensibility remains their standout strength and why they're definitely a local band worth keeping an eye on. - Rolling Stone

"Premiere: Watch the charming new video for Betty & Oswald's latest single, Schmuck"

Sydney band Betty & Oswald made their triumphant return to the Aussie indie-rock scene a few weeks ago with new single, Schmuck. Mixed by Simon Todkill (The Griswolds/The Rubens), the track is a slinky little jam that oozes 70s charm and a grungy disco feel, with hints of psychedelia for a track that isn't afraid to switch things up throughout its three-and-a-half minute running time. And today we are quite chuffed to premiere the song's perfectly retro-infused video clip, featuring the four-piece going through the motions at what would probably pass as one of those temporary blue light discos set up down at the local RSL. There is nothing not to love about this band, and we are fully on board for whatever comes in the rest of the year. - Pilerats

"Five for Friday: Holy Balm, Cash Savage, The Byzantines, Save The Clock Tower, Betty & Oswald"

While commencing with clarity, and a purposeful summer-chasing passion, "Schmuck", the latest offering from Sydney four-piece Betty & Oswald, eventually divulges into a beautifully muddled mess, with the song's second half awash with layers of duelling vocals and a teasing lounge bar composition that's clearly dying to explode into second gear. This strange — and stoned — free-form breakout not only showcases the band's wonderfully structureless side, but also frees "Schmuck" from the formulaic indie-pop mould. - Rolling Stone

"Sydney Crew Betty & Oswald Share Sunny New Single 'Schmuck'"

Time to get excited because Inner-West Sydney crew Betty & Oswald are back on the scene with their brand new single ‘Schmuck’.

Recorded at Sydney’s Studios 301 and produced and mixed by Simon Todkill (The Griswolds / The Rubens / Matt Corby), the single is a homage to the strange and beautiful, the confidence of the loner and his no fucks attitude.

With chilled out golden guitar tones accompanied by fresh melodies and tangled vocal harmonies, ‘Schmuck’ is the perfect sunny antidote to the early onset Aussie winter blues.

Having honed their craft with performances at Newtown Festival, Canadian Music Week, and Sounds Of The Suburbs the band will be showcasing their new tunes at the Newtown Social Club’s 2nd Birthday Party on Sunday 5th June. - Tone Deaf

"Music Video of the Day: Betty & Oswald “Schmuck” (2016)"

Sydney’s Betty & Oswald have been lapping up the praise recently off the back of their latest single, “Schmuck”, and over the weekend, we’ve been keen on the music video for the tune!

The single, recorded at Studios 301 in Sydney, saw the band link up with Simon Todkill on production and mixing duties and is a gorgeous slice of guitar-showcasing, melodic music perfect for this frosty weather.

Get round the visuals for “Schmuck” today! - AU Review

"Newtown Festival 2015 Review"

Though some would have you believe Sydney’s cultural life is dead, killed by a combination of hipsterdom, gentrification and the dreaded lockout laws, the evidence simply does not support such claims. One need only look as far as Newtown Festival for proof that New South Wales’ live music scene isn’t only surviving, it’s burgeoning. Acts of every single genre were represented, with bands filling out stages across the grounds. Though the biggest drawcards of the day, The Laurels and Jinja Safari, both impressed, the greatest pleasures of the festival weren’t provided by the established names. Rather, the most stirring tunes were belted out by the bands with fewer fans; by the musicians nobody saw coming. The Persian Drugs wowed on one of the more tucked-away stages, their cover of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ hypnotising a lone five-year-old standing at the front of the small but attentive crowd. Performing a very different kind of set, but with no less gusto, True Vibenation turned the area in front of their performance space into a most public party, while the reliably impressive Steve Smyth belted out a scintillating series of tunes. Though he claimed to be hungover, no sign of booze-induced malaise infected a single note of Smyth’s playing, and his backing band similarly stunned. Even the weather seemed to be on the day’s side. When a sunshower broke out during a set by the supremely talented Gordi, the short burst of rain seemed orchestrated, fitting the musicians’ aching tunes perfectly. In fact, her performance proved to be one of the highlights of the day, with her epic yet intimate songs breathing a stunning life through the space. Yet perhaps most impressive of all were Betty & Oswald. Spinning a tangled knot of songs from their vantage point on the Newtopia Stage, they played with wit, warmth and energy, at once inspired by a swathe of genres, and yet seemingly so fresh as to be inspired by nothing at all. Indeed, in many ways, the day belonged to them. Or, at least, they summed up what makes Newtown Festival great. Despite what the cultural miserabilists would have you believe, there are bands out there like Betty & Oswald who you have never heard of, playing music with the power to alter the direction of your life. All you need to do is listen. - The Brag

"Betty & Oswald's New Single Ain't No 'Schmuck'"

Following the huge success of their national tour which was accompanied by their debut single King of Bohemia over a year ago, Sydney rockers Betty & Oswald are back with their laid-back new single Schmuck.

Breaking out from conventional indie-pop, the track perfectly blends psychedelic indie rock with Betty & Oswald’s natural charming dual vocals. If the wavy and echoing guitar riffs don’t instantly hook you, then their uniquely layered girl/guy vocals which glide through Schmuck certainly will.

Explained as a “homage to the strange and beautiful”, this irresistibly addictive tune will undoubtably leave you wanting more. It’s love at first chord strum, so if you’re needing to relax definitely give this a spin!

We’ll be keeping our eyes open for any further releases, so stay tuned for more good vibes from Betty & Oswald. - AAABackstage

"Betty & Oswald: Interview"

Pete Sotiropoulos and Claudia Schmidt are sitting in their car, chasing reception. “Can you hear us OK?” Sotiropoulos asks.
“There’s shitty signal in our house so we had to go and drive somewhere where it’s better.”

It’s a fitting way for the two halves of Betty & Oswald to begin an interview – without fanfare or pretence. After all, their unmanufactured quality has been the key to their sound since the beginning, and though the pair have never stuck to a single genre, they’ve certainly always stuck to themselves.

“We’re not worrying about what comes out [when we write],” Sotiropoulos explains of the band’s transition from gypsy folk to a newer, surf-rock-indebted sound. “We’re not trying to fit it into what we were doing before. We all found it really fun to write these different songs that we wouldn’t normally write.”

Schmidt and Sotiropoulos are only just returning to music after what feels like a lengthy absence – their upcoming gig at Newtown Social Club represents the first time they have properly taken to the stage since Newtown Festival last November. Real life got in the way for a little bit, and the duo find that their day jobs can sometimes interrupt what they really want to be doing. Schmidt works in a café, whereas Sotiropoulos is a little luckier – he teaches guitar in a self-proclaimed ‘rock school’.

“It’s nice being at work and being able to think about music,” Sotiropoulos says.

“Better than thinking about bread and coffee,” Schmidt chimes in.

Sotiropoulos laughs. “All these jobs are just kind of jobs for now,” he says. “I mean, it’s fun to have a job you don’t take too seriously. But when you do that for more than four hours, it definitely starts to drain on you.”

Nonetheless, the humdrum mundanity of daily life has provided the spark for some of the band’s recent tunes. Along with Patti Smith’s Just Kids (“A beautiful book,” Sotiropoulos says), Betty & Oswald have found inspiration in normality. “Mostly [our songs] are just about being stuck in the city,” says Sotiropoulos. “Driving ourselves a little crazy. And the absurdity of everyone working so much, and how that is what our lives revolve around these days.”

The band isn’t some diversion for Schmidt and Sotiropoulos – making music has been their fantasy for a long, long time. “For me, I’ve definitely always wanted to make music,” Schmidt says. “I think I had dreams of being Britney Spears. And they never died.”

“Bring Britney back,” Sotiropoulos laughs.

“I’d have to kill her first,” says Schmidt.

In those early, Britney-centric days, Schmidt was so confident that she performed without the threat of nerves. “I think I got nervous later,” she says. “When I first started performing I was 11 and I had no fear. It was later [when] I realised there’s a world out there watching you.”

Though stage fright has recently begun raising its ugly head, Betty & Oswald are driven more than anything else by a deep love for what they do. “Looking out at the audience, I just feel euphoric,” Schmidt says. “Just looking out and seeing people listening and enjoying it – that’s the thing I need to keep going.”

“It’s been months since we’ve played live and got that immediate response from people,” Sotiropoulos says. “You spend so much time squirrelled away writing, but then you see people getting into it and you’re like, ‘Oh good, this is great.’ In the lead-up, when you’re not [performing], you forget what that connection is. That’s why it’s so much fun. You forget how normal it is.”

Betty & Oswald play the Newtown Social Club 2nd Birthday, with Richard In Your Mind, Slumberhaze, Mario Speedwagon and The Spectacles and more, at Newtown Social Club, Sunday June 5. - The Brag

"Betty & Oswald - Schmuck"

It’s getting colder here in Sydney, but that hasn’t stopped inner west quartet Betty & Oswald from peddling their sunny, vibrant indie pop earworms. Following up on their addictive 2015 single “King Of Bohemia”, the band have revealed “Schmuck”, an affable indie pop ode to a strange loner that’s brimming with sprightly guitar lines, earthy drum arrangements and spirited vocals from frontman and woman/IRL couple Pete and Claudia.

Betty & Oswald will be knocking out new material at Newtown Social Club‘s 2nd Birthday on the 5th June. If you’re keen to witness the magic, head here for more info. - Best Before

"Saturday Sampler for June 11th"

Betty & Oswald – “Schmuck” (Sydney, Australia)

RIYL: melodic version of Foxygen, The Griswolds, HOMESHAKE

The surf-rock and jangle-pop uprising is not just limited to the US and Canada, as evidenced by the arrival of relative newcomes Betty & Oswald. A recent Triple-J Unearthed selection, the four-piece from Sydney aren’t your typical surf-rock or jangle-pop band in that there isn’t that slacker mentality that often is linked to acts within these genres. Instead, there’s a smooth and cool summertime, beach vibe that permeates in their newest single, “Schmuck”, and the approach gives the song an unexpected sultry undertone. While the song might encourage you to get close to a loved one, the storyline isn’t necessarily for such moments. It’s a song about a loner and his “I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-other-people-think” attitude, which is a philosophy we all can or should relate to. I wonder what this band will come out with if they actually wrote a love song.

Betty & Oswald are Pete, Claudia, Sammy, and Harry. - The Revue

""Schmuck" by Betty & Oswald"

How about some indie pop sass from Betty & Oswald? And learning of the title of the song, they may even be talking about me. Wait until I tell everyone at the club I'm famous (assuming the Roanoke Inn down the street is a "club" and being called "schmuck" on the airwaves is "fame"). But enough about me -- this band shows some real talent and a welcome does of attitude. - When You Motor Away

"Betty & Oswald – Schmuck"

OK, so Betty & Oswald might sound like a description of your nan and her new boyfriend she met down at the bingo hall, but this Sydney outfit are way more youthful than that. On Schmuck they depict “the confidence of the loner”, it’s got that throwback charm that’s perfectly blended with dreamy guitar and a boy-girl dynamic that’s as endearing as it is subtle. Marvellous business. - Press Play Ok


Después del éxito alcanzado en una gira por su natal Australia y el lanzamiento de su single debut “King of bohemia” hace más de un año, el dúo de Sydney Betty & Oswald nos trae “Schmuck”, su ultimo single al que definen como “un homenaje a lo extraño y hermoso” El sonido de los australianos, a medio camino entre el indie pop y la psicodelia, es similar al de bandas como Foxygen o Unknown Mortal Orchestra. - Super 45


Get ready to have a song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Australian duo Betty & Oswald recently released their latest single, the indie-meets dream pop “Schmuck”.By the time the chorus rings in that “You are not alone”, you’ve already heard enough to know that this song has all of the components of a smash hit. The twisting, floating melody is haunting, and the melody on the hook is aggressive enough to hit alternative rock radio. With only a limited amount of music available to the general public, “Schmuck” serves its purpose; to hook you in and leave you wanting more. Get addicted to “Schmuck” for yourself below. - Breaking And Entering

"Betty & Oswald, Shining Bird, Fascinator & more for the Visions stage on the ‘King Street Crawl’ in September"

The Visions brand has grown from being a curated club night of live music in Sydney, now launching a monthly event in Melbourne and curating a stage of their own as part of Sydney’s King Street Crawl next month! The King Street Crawl has also grown in popularity and notoriety over the last few years, with over 30,000 music fans taking to Sydney venues to experience some local legends hitting the stage.

This year, Visions will be hosting the main stage at Waywards for its second year and its first artist announcement is impressive already. With more acts and a special headliner still to be announced, the Waywards stage will host the following artists this September 4th:


Entry to the venue is free, with doors opening at 12pm. Inspired by SXSW, the idea behind the King Street Crawl is to turn the street’s venues, bars, restaurants and shops into one linked up music hub for the day. Shining a light on Newtown and the diversity within the arts scene, this one helluva celebration of live music in Sydney’s inner west. - AU Review

"Behind The Scenes Of Betty & Oswald's New Video"


The cosy room where Schmuck was born.

Laying it down at 301 with Simon Todkill. Last laughs before the long haul in the studio.

In the studio with Rachela, trying not to look like the Wiggles with all our matching turtle necks.

Alex in her artist cave cooking up something delicious for the single artwork. And d-licious it was.

De Rucci working his magic behind the lens.

Magic worked.

Saturday night fever.

Shooting the Schmuck film clip with our good mate Jos.

Chandeliers and big bouncy disco balls. Our 9-bedroom Dulwich Hill mansion turned into a disco cave.

Testing out the fire alarms and freaking out the neighbours.



"The 6 greatest boy / girl combos of all time with Newtown legends Betty & Oswald"

Some of the best musical creations of all time have come from the synergy between man and woman.
Betty & Oswald know this all too well. Claudia Schmidt and Pete Sotiropoulos are the boy/girl duo that front the band, and their voices work magically together. The band’s new single Schmuck is a wonderful, buoyant piece of psych pop with the duo’s vocals sitting front and centre.
The way they play off each other is pretty awesome one minute gliding in unison before splitting off and curling around each other. Throw in some shimmering guitar work and hovering organs and you’ve got a damn good pop track. We asked Pete and Claudia to tell us about their favourite boy/girl combos of all time.

Betty & Oswald are all about playing with the amazing synergy between the sexes, so we asked them what their favourite boy/girl combos are of all time.

Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg – Je t’aime moi non plus (1969)
Eroticism in music at its finest. The title which translates to “I love you, me neither” captures the playful nature of Jane and Serge’s love affair and the sexiness of intimacy with strangers. Jane’s breathy melody finally descends into the heavy and excited breathing which you know is on its way. Oooh baby erotic AF.

Lou Reed & Nico – Femme Fatale (1967)
Love the deep voice of Nico. Especially fitting because she is singing a song that Lou Reed wrote about Edie Sedgwick. There is a kind of cultural stirfry going on with Nico’s thick German accent singing a song with a French title, along with those chants of “She’s a femme fatale” by Lou Reed and John Cale in their comical American drone.

Mara Keagle & Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre) – Anemone (1996)
This song is by Brian Jonestown Massacre, one of our favs. Tambourine always. Love the subtle interaction between Mara & Anton. There’s not much to this other than the underlying cool. This song speaks for itself, you should get into it.

Pink Floyd & Clare Torry – Great Gig In The Sky (1973)
From one of the great sonic pieces around comes this cracker of a tune featuring Clare Torry. Her vocals capture an element of surprise every time you hear it. Even with the lack of lyrical content there is a greater expression in the way she really uses her voice as an instrument, and in this way she captures the dynamic spontaneity of the whole album. The climax is incredible, but aren’t they all ;)

Air Feat. Beth Hirsch – All I Need (1998)
There’s something beautifully nostalgic and soothing about the way Beth delivers her lyrics throughout the song and the perfect production that Air always seem to create. Together they capture a mood often forgotten about.

Olivia Newton & John & John Travolta – You’re The One That I Want (1978)
Oh Oh Oh Honey. -

"CMW: Betty & Oswald Lead the Australian Invasion – Exclusive Interview"

Sorry CMW – this time the best duo is from Australia, not Toronto.

Betty & Oswald describe their sound as “Whiskey on the back of a motorcycle on a tiny island in Greece”. As some of our recent articles have stated – it feels like there is a 2015 equivalent of the British Invasion to the States – but this time it’s the Australian Invasion to Canada.

Not only are they highly talented musicians that could put many to shame – we were incredibly impressed with their intelligence and sharp wit, which can be something of a rarity in 2015.

If San Francisco, Sydney & Kingston, Jamaica combined that’ll give you a bit of an idea into the unique Betty & Oswald sound. There is a confidence in their sound that doesn’t follow the overly done hipster scene – there’s folky hippie influences, gritty reggae inspired electric guitars awash with reverb – then of course, the entire sound is drenched in Australian sun.

Toronto Paradise caught up with Claudia from Betty & Oswald to see how Toronto & Canadian Music Week is treating them so far!

See the full interview below:

1. People usually have interesting and funny stories about how they met and started a band – how did you both meet and form Betty & Oswald?

We met at a gig a few years ago, and then Pete went overseas for a few years and I finished high school (ha). Then later we met up again and started hanging out. It was pretty random how we started playing together, Pete was playing at a festival north of Sydney and I decided to tag along. Next minute I was jumping on stage and playing with him and it just kind of went from there.

2. You’ve described your sound as “Whiskey on the back of a motorcycle on a tiny island in Greece.” – Tell us a bit more about the Greek connection in your band and how it affects your sound?

Pete’s parents are both Greek and a few years ago we went to the island where his mum was born. It’s called Chios and it’s actually pretty big but there’s not a lot of people there. There’s a really stark and beautiful contrast between the barren red island and the intense blue Mediterranean sea that surrounds it. It’s a harsh land and I think some of the people there have had pretty tough lives. We spent a few weeks just hanging out by the sea and riding scooters around the island and drinking whiskey. I think the experience really stayed with us and we’re influenced a lot by the idea of the place, the grittiness of life and that stark image of the land and the ocean.

3. Recently there’s been a lot of new artists coming out of Australia making waves in North America such as Sheppard. Melbourne has a great music scene – Is this the start of the Australian Invasion?

There’s so much music coming out of Australia, it’s great. I think bands are really trying to break away from what’s been done before and write music that’s new and interesting. And there’s just so many bands popping up that everyone’s being pushed and inspired to keep writing and improving, so it’s a great environment to be apart of right now.

4. Fitzroy, Melbourne is world renowned for fashion and is often compared to Toronto’s Queen Street West with it’s post industrial buildings and avant-garde stores. What are some of your favourite places and districts in Australia for fashion and music?

We’re from Sydney so whenever we go to Melbourne it’s actually a little overwhelming how many vintage stores there are around! But there’s a lot of cool stuff, (vintage stores, cafes and venues) going on in Newtown and Marrickville where we live.

5. We love your vintage California meets Brooklyn vibe and style. What are your must have iconic pieces? (Raybans/jean shorts/etc)

Haha that’s cool. Pete loves his Blundstones which are apparently pretty popular over here. And I’ve got this pair of yellow sunnies from the 70s which I bought from this guy in Sydney who’s got this rad little store.

6. We love the song Jaguar Paw from your EP – it has a bit of indie reggae swag – what’s your process of writing together as a band?

It’s pretty different for each song but I guess often one of us will write most of it and then bring it to the other and we’ll work on it together and add different parts.

7. Your latest single King of Bohemia has great polished but authentic sounding production – who worked on this single with you?

I’m glad that came across! We worked with Lachlan Mitchell on the track, who’s also worked with various other people including The Jezabels. He’s such a lovely dude and super chilled. He didn’t try and change it into something it wasn’t, but just helped us create something which was true to our original vision of the song.

8. Tell us about that time you guys went to Montreal for a Summer!

It was pretty random. We just decided to go on a bit of a whim because a lot of our favorite musicians are from Montreal (Patrick Watson, Half Moon Run, Mac Demarco, Leif Vollebekk..) and we just jumped on a plane and rocked up there in the middle of the night and had no idea what we were really doing there. But we ended up meeting some people there who will definitely be lifelong friends, and living in this beautiful apartment with them just off Rue Bernard. It was a kind of a paradise for us just being able to ride our bikes around everywhere and hang out in beautiful parks and be immersed in all this incredible music, art and life.

9. Top 3 Guilty Pleasures? (anything from ice cream to smoking etc)

Vegemite, cigarettes, mayo.

10. We saw your session with Balcony TV in Sydney – what’s your favourite part about playing stripped down sessions?
Being able to bring out some of the softer parts of our sound, like the harmonies, is always cool in those situations. Especially if people are really listening and you can see that the music is having an effect on them. That can be a pretty special experience.

11. What’s your favourite part about performing at Canadian Music Week? Do you feel like it’s a great chance to widen your fanbase and pool of contacts?

We’ve met some really amazing people so far and hopefully made some new fans along the way. We had a show the other night at Johnny Jackson at 1am, and considering a lot of people wouldn’t know us here, we had no idea what to expect. But a bunch of people made it out and they were a really beautiful crowd, they listened really intently the whole time and really seemed to dig it. So that was a pretty cool experience for a CMW showcase. Hopefully the rest of CMW is like that, and I think we’re just going to try and meet as many people as possible.

12. Best piece of advice an industry insider has given you?

The devil is in the detail.

13. What can we expect over the next year from you?

After CMW we’re going to hang around Montreal and Toronto for about 6 weeks.. (We don’t want to leave ha). And then we’ll head home and just take a bit of time to keep writing and working on our stuff. Then hopefully we should be putting out a new EP at the beginning of next year and then see where we go from there. But I’m pretty certain it will be hard to keep us away from Canada for too long!

14. What is Paradise for Betty & Oswald?

On an island somewhere where the land is red and the ocean is super blue and we can ride our bikes in the early morning hours and Tom Waits and Patrick Watson are serenading us on a beach, whilst we’re eating Vegemite. That sounds pretty good. - Toronto Paradise

"As Long As It's Authentic: An Interview With Betty & Oswald"

If you don't know who Betty & Oswald are, then you should. The duo are an up-and-coming Sydney band that are about to head off on a tour in support of their latest single, the wistful, bittersweet and very beautiful "King of Bohemia." I caught up with them to have a chat about the origins of their unique sound and what's next for them.

When Betty & Oswald (or Claudia and Pete as they're known to their friends, family and the Australian Electoral Commission) entered the coffee shop where we'd arranged to meet up, they were warmly greeted by the staff. It turned out to be one of their favourite hangouts. Though Pete grew up in Cronulla where he still occasionally works at his parents' café and Claudia grew up in Wombarra just north of Wollongong, they have burrowed their way into Sydney's inner west and now tell its stories with their romantic, drunken, late-night brand of music.

It was at a gig in Thirroul (also north of Wollongong) where the duo met; Claudia jokingly says that Pete was "chatting up" her mum. Now based in Marrickville, after vacating "a bit of a crazy shanty house" in Newtown, the duo's unique approach to pop is a combination of the breezy sounds of their beachside upbringings and the grittier sounds of the city.

It was while Pete was playing a gig "in this really random town" opening for blues musician Ash Grunwald that he invited Claudia to play using a kids' accordion that he happened to have on hand. That accordion defined the band's sound from the beginning, giving a certain archaic inflection to tunes influenced largely by the likes of Tom Waits, Louis Prima and Django Reinhardt. Even the band's name, taken partly from an albino pigeon that Pete had named Oswald, carries the smoky scent of the duo's bohemian leanings.

Pete says of the "retro" nature of the band and their music "We love Tom Waits and Louis Prima and a lot of old stuff... It's just authentic music. There's something about it that's beautiful." Old or new music, the band says it doesn't matter. They're not self-consciously aiming toward a throwback aesthetic. Claudia chimed in simply, " As long as it's authentic." "No bullshit." Pete said in agreement, explaining that when he first heard those older jazz and blues artists - how he discovered them he can't remember; possibly from a friend of his dad's - he thought "Wow. That's music. That's real."

There's definitely something homespun and truthful - certainly something authentic - about "King of Bohemia." The song was inspired in part by a homeless man often seen around Newtown, who is "wrapped up in his world, but then it's so real to him and he's kind of living there on the edge and that's his beautiful world." The song delves into the man's delusions, in particular one about having slept with Marilyn Monroe, for whom he still waits. At the same time his delusions are balanced out with the harsh truth; he is not really a king, but Pete asks "Which way is right? There doesn't have to be a right answer."

Sydney itself has been a strong source of inspiration for the duo. "The more you live around an area, the more you're encouraged and attracted by it." Pete explained, "Sydney's great because you have to dig a little bit and you find these gems." These gems seem to pop up in the dark, rough surface of the duo's songs, which are suffused with a kind of wistful sense of searching. There is a restless wanderlust in the songs, and indeed the duo have traveled a lot, but Claudia says "The more we travel, it's always nice to come home."

The duo recently returned from a trip to Canada, where they lived the dream playing warehouse parties and meeting some of their idols. "All these bands we love are from there. All this cool shit's coming out of there." Pete said and explained that, at least partially because of the low cost of rent in Montreal, "Everyone seems to be delving into these artistic adventures... It's not a luxury; it's a necessity."

While overseas, the duo honed their songwriting and played a few small shows, and now return to Australia with vigorous energy and ambition. Their upcoming tour will take them up and down Australia's east coast, starting at Darlinghurst's Brighton Up Bar on April 10. They explained that their unique style of music has been well-received by audiences, even those that might have been expecting something louder and more upbeat. Claudia said, "When we started playing, everyone was listening. Some people just embraced it straight away. It was so funny to see their reactions."

When asked what's next for them, their replies suggested they don't have any grand designs. They're just feeling things out as they come. After their Australian tour, Betty & Oswald will return to Canada "with a bit more of a plan," as they attempt to build a base over there and push on into new and exciting territory. "I think we're gonna do an EP at the end of the year... Keep momentum up, keep pushing, " Pete said with enthusiasm, and Claudia added in her soft and understated manner, "Keep doing lots of things." - Sydney Scoop


In the past, we've described Sydney's Betty & Oswald as "having their own brand of music– a swirling blend of jazz, cabaret, folk and something a little more slippery"... This year, the duo are back and bigger than ever, having just recently taken on Canadian Music Week. Now, they bring their international adventures home with them in the form of one awesome and insightful tour diary for the AU review. Click through for all the behind-the-scenes action and happy snaps...

We arrived in Toronto after 10 hours of driving, 20 hours of flying, 5 hours of waiting, one missed flight, one night in a seedy NYC hotel, and one giant burger.

We have a not-so secret love affair with Canada, so arriving back here felt pretty damn fine. This time in Toronto we stayed at an Airbnb place near Kensington Market so we spent the first few days hanging around there, checking out vintage shops and eating lots of fish tacos at this legendary little hole in the wall place called ‘Seven Lives.’

On Saturday we played our first show at Drake Underground with some sweet Canadian bands. Afterwards we dragged all our stuff across town to the Hilton where we were being put up as part of Songhubs. The Hilton was super fancy and we got free water bottles.
Here’s us hanging at the Drake before our show.

We were lucky enough to be picked by APRA and SOCAN to do this rad four-day program called Songhubs. We were one of 5 acts selected (all Australian), along with Caitlin Harnett, Demi Louise, Phebe Starr and Morgan Evans. It took place at a beautiful studio in Toronto called Noble Street Studios. Each day we worked with a different producer, wrote a completely new song, and then produced and recorded a completely finished version of it by the end of the day. It was crazy intense. We’d end up spending about 14 hours in the studio each day. Mostly writing. A little bit of party.
Everyone was pushed out of their comfort zones. On the first day Caitlin, who usually writes Americana/folk, wrote a top 40s pop song and we wrote an electronic soul tune. Throughout the four days we got to explore so many genres, work with some incredible producers and engineers, and experience some really indescribable highs.

One of the craziest moments was working with Gavin Brown on a new song, ‘Look What You’ve Done.’ We recorded the whole thing in about two hours. Gavin put down organ and drums, and the whole experience was very raw and powerful. It felt like we were all very passionate and completely immersed in the song. We were also fortunate enough to write a sweet little electronic tune called ‘Feelin Fine’ with Tawgs Salter and Mike Wise. They had this organic and seamless creative relationship and it was inspiring to be a part of.
Throughout Songhubs we all got to know each other and it became a little family, at the head of which was Glenn Dickie from Sounds Australia, who became everyone’s Songhubs dad. The whole thing was like a sleepless, mega creative epiphany.

The best spot at Noble Street Studios was the roof. This is where we’d go to hang, procrastinate, stare at the city, write lyrics, smoke, drink, have late night jams and soak the whole experience in.
This was one night, our friend and producer Nate playing some tunes into the Toronto dusk.

And this is us at some point during Songhubs, clearly lovin life.

And then we got drunk.

On the last afternoon of Songhubs we had a listening party and heard all the tracks that everyone had made during the workshop. It was pretty rad and we all had a few drinks and cried because it was all over. Well maybe I was the only one crying.
Then we left to get ready for our CMW showcase at 1AM that night at Johnny Jackson. When we got to the venue at midnight we were told the band before us had dropped out and we had to get on stage.
Since we’d told everyone we were playing at 1AM we went ahead and did the slowest set up and sound check known to man. We finally got on stage just before 1, to an audience of five unenthusiastic looking souls. Luckily the bar filled out pretty quick and it ended up being a rad, late night, rambling, drunken event. We were riding on some wave of delirious exhaustion, but everyone seemed to really love it and all in all it was a great time.

By this point we’d been on tour for about three weeks and basically hadn’t slept. So the delirium was seriously setting in. We got up to co-host a radio show at Shoelack Radio, where we talked shit on air for about two hours with Fred the host, who was hilarious. We also had chats with some other Australian bands; Tora, Caitlin Harnett, Jordan Léser and Tom West.

Then we left to get ready for our show that night where about 100 people came and partied in an office building. Here’s a video of us at Shoeclack radio, which also has some footage of the show later that night.

Friday was our last CMW showcase which was at The Horseshoe Tavern for Sound’s Australia Aussie BBQ, along with a bunch of Australian bands including Tora, Pierce Brothers and Olivers Army. It was a pretty high energy experience. The sets were short, the changeovers were even shorter, I got my lead tangled up in every possible instrument as I tried to leave the stage. But overall it was rad gig and there was heaps of people. And Glen, aka Songhubs Dad was there to make everyone feel great and give out sausages. He also thrust us on stage at the Rivoli when Kingswood didn’t rock up in time to play their set. Now we have a joke with Fergus from Kingswood that we’re going to follow them around and steal all their gigs.

A week on into (still not-so) normal life, we are having big CMW and Songhubs withdrawals. The experiences we had were truly incredible, very sleepless and quite crazy, and we’re ready to do it all again. We met some amazing people, heard some great music, but most importantly, we ate the best fish tacos of our lives. - AU Review

"Newtown Festival Focus: Betty & Oswald"

Answered by: Claudia and Pete

Presumably you've been to the Newtown Festival before, what's your best memory? We used to live in a big shanty house on Australia St that backed onto the park, so Newtown Fest was basically in our backyard.

What's first and why — music or stalls or bars? Music, because we could always keep hydrated in our house. Reschs refreshes.

Favourite spot at the festival to chill and watch the world go by? The wall of the cemetery.

What would be your entry into the dog show? If a dalmatian and poodle had a puppy, then a labrador and a shih-tzu made a puppy, then by some crazy miracle those two puppies met and did the dirty, they would make a doodlelashihtzu.

Aside from the festival, what are your favourite Newtown locations? Camperdown park, IGA, 212 Blu, Sammy's house.

Why do you think your music is a good fit for the Newtown Festival? We try to emu- / late the sound of planes going / closely overhead. (haiku)

If you were to enter Miss Newtopia, open to any age or gender, what would be your secret to winning? Toilet paper in the bra… e'rrrrry time.

When and where are you performing on the day? 2pm at Newtopia Village Stage. - The Music

"Getting to Know the Australian Music Week Artists: Betty & Oswald"

Who are you, what band do you play in and what do you do in that band?

Claudia Schmidt, Betty & Oswald, vocals and guitar.

How would you best describe your sound?

When you’re stuck in the city and dreaming of the beach. A bit gritty, summery and alternative.

If we were to listen to one song from you/your band, what should it be?

“King Of Bohemia” – but watch this space…

What has been your highlight of the year so far, as a band?

This year has been a big whirlwind and a learning curve. We’ve had some incredible moments, though. We played at Canadian Music Week earlier this year and got to do an APRA songwriting workshop and that whole time was a bit of a crazy high for us. But even more recently, we’ve been spending a lot of time writing and had some babin’ new additions to our band. We played Newtown festival the other weekend and that was a pretty special moment for all of us being on our home turf and looking out and seeing so many familiar faces in the crowd.

What is the best thing about being a musician?

Life is never boring.

What’s the hardest thing about being a musician?

When it comes to writing, sometimes you can be your own worst enemy. Also, when your band mates smell.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you had been told before you started making music?

The devil is in the detail.

What’s one other artist on the lineup we should all see, and what’s a song you love by that artist?

Letters To Lions are bloody great and our good mates. They just released a new song called “Following”.

Tell us when we can see you at AMW!

Friday 20th November, 11:10pm at JD’s!

Keep up to date with Betty & Oswald on Facebook. - AU Review


Sydney based duo, Betty & Oswald sat down with us to chat about the turn out at Canadian Music Week and their amazing experience in the studio at Songhubs. The duo also shared with us their creative process for pushing out new music. Read on for the full interview.
Canadian Music Week was the second time that Betty and Oswald had come to Toronto and they loved the people and vibe of the events. "We've had a really good response" says Pete (Oswald), speaking about the turn out for their gigs. "When we played at 1am and there were like six people at the venue... and it was all looking a bit shambolic but then, it just filled out and I couldn't believe that many people were there to listen [to us] at 1am," Claudia (Betty) expresses joyfully.
New music in the works and the duo shared that working in the studio was an intense experience. "It allowed us to add layers we wouldn't been able to do on our own," Pete explains. "We got to explore new sounds and styles...what's going to come out of this would be very interesting," Claudia adds.
With the massive amount of travelling that these two has done, they share that as they confront different situations, they accumulate and bottle those experiences up until they find a space and way to let it out. "We got a lot of bottled up inspiration" Betty shares. Hopefully this means a lot of great new music is on its way.
As their events are simmering down, the duo has little time to party as they are scheduled to support a handful of Aussie artists including Mojo Juju. They also plan on spending the rest of this year writing and recording new songs to hopefully release a new EP by early 2016. - AU Review

"Live review - Betty & Oswald, Brighton Up Bar Nov 15, 2014."

The Brighton Up Bar is a curious venue for dancing, owing to the giant staircase that drops down in the middle of the dance floor. It doesn’t prevent it however, as it’s now nearing the end of Betty & Oswald’s single launch, and every single body in the bar is moving. They’re in the middle of a cover of Louis Prima’s “Just A Gigolo & I Ain’t Got Nobody”, vocalist and guitarist Pete Sotiropolous is bouncing on his toes, Claudia Schmidt skittering about behind her microphone.
The venue is crammed well before this time. Lily So & The Bellows delivered a pleasant but subdued support slot – Colin Jones delivered a raucous, swampy blues set. It’s a nice, earthy lead in to Betty & Oswald’s own brand of music – a swirling blend of jazz, cabaret, folk and something a little more slippery.
They cut a nice presence on stage, Claudia gripping an accordion and Pete looking the Francophile in stripes behind a chunky jazz guitar. Vocally too, their voices melting together in harmonies and ghosting each other on backing vocals. They bound through the openers: “Old Man” and “King Of The Fools” are playful and light, rockier than on record – helped by the new addition of a live drummer and bassist.
They’re also stretched, padded out with brisk double time or swaying half-time breakdowns. The songs lend themselves to being lengthened, allowing for frenetic, spinning crescendos. New single “Fragile Little Lover” is sultry, the opening riff bending low and gritty. It’s a mature evolution, and the other new tracks they premiere take a similar route – blues elements are creeping in and rounding out the sound.
By the time they get to “Just A Gigolo” it’s a sweaty crowd at Brighton Up – people have literally lost their shirts – and encore “Jaguar Paw” is a controlled and satisfying frenzy of an ending.
Betty & Oswald are touring nationally. Dates can be found on their Facebook page: - The AU Review

"Singe Premiere - Betty & Oswald "Fragile Little Lover""

Charming two-piece Betty and Oswald are a jazzy, city blues type of band. Neither typify one genre specifically, but rather borrow, invent and combine sounds that tie-in with their own unique musical tastes. With influences ranging from Louis Prima to Tom Waits, the duo wade into an era that is now re-imagined in the music that they make. Their new single was recorded with Aria nominated producer Lachlan Mitchell. Mitchell has worked with The Vines and The Jezabels and now turns his focus to the new kids on the block. While Betty and Oswald may be new to appear in the industry spotlight, they are not newcomers to music itself. This year they have been away, touring in Montréal. For two months they played shows, while writing and jamming song material. They are becoming a more familiar name, and are likely to be remembered for their smouldering old school swinging jazz tune, Fragile Little Lover. Their debut single will be out on the 10th of November, with their single launch to follow on Saturday the 15th of November at Brighton Up Bar in Sydney. The band will then visit all capital cities, and a few regional shows thereafter. Be the first to hear it, as we happily premiere Fragile Little Lover: - Speaker TV

"Q&A Scene: Betty & Oswald"


Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
We’ve just released our new single ‘King Of Bohemia.’ It’s loosely about this homeless guy in Newtown who we see nearly everyday. It’s the delusions of a madman but also a homage to the value of a life spent moneyless. How do we measure existence and what is more fulfilling? A life of security or one spent living on the edge? Passionate and unimaginable.

We are also going on tour to promote the song in April with our band. We’ll be going to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and a few regional spots before heading to Canada in May to play Canadian Music Week and get whisked up in the magical land of Montréal and Toronto again.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
A tin of chickpeas with a twist of lemon. One time I was in Paris and I’d run out of money so I would eat tins of chickpeas with lemon on the street. I was reading Hemingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast’ and in the book he was in Paris without any money and he’d pick the chestnuts from the big parks and eat them. He talked about how the hunger he felt could be satisfied by something greater than food. I know that if I’m eating a tin of chickpeas with lemon then something incredible is probably going to happen. Sometimes it’s good to be a little hungry.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?
Anything that captures the grittiness of life.

Any on the road anecdotes?
Well our tour van is this old plumbing van which has ‘Hanna Plumbing’ written all over it and when we go on tour we sleep in it. It’s great because it’s a plumbing van so no one knows you’re in it. The number of times we’ve opened the van door in the mornings half asleep, half naked, a little undershowered to find ourselves face to face with someone. It’s been old ladies, inner city business people sipping on their lattes, and every time there’s always that second of eye-contact and the look of shock as the realisation dawns on them that some scraggly strangers have been sleeping in front of their house, or next to their cafe table. It’s just become a casual tour ritual, so don’t get a shock if you find us brushing our teeth by your front lawn. We’ve probably slept in front of your house too.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Tom Waits, Louis Prima, Patrick Watson, The War On Drugs, Father John Misty, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Half Moon Run, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte.

What’s next for you?
A tour, Canada, and probably some chickpeas and lemon.

What’s your scene?
The beach. Tea with gin at your grandparents house. They have the best stories. - What's My Scene

"The AU Interview - Betty & Oswald (Sydney)"

A day after the release of their new single, Sydney duo Betty & Oswald are sitting in a bright cafe courtyard, talking about cats. More specifically, the cat they took care of while staying in Montreal a couple of months previously. “Neither of us have had a cat, so we were completely incapable. It was also the fattest cat you’ve ever seen,” Claudia (aka Betty) explains. Pete (Oswald) laughs: “It’s name also literally meant ‘fat cat’ in French.”
Cats aside, the rest of their two-month artistic sojourn over summer in Montreal was a little more fruitful. “We wanted to go somewhere new, and so many of our favourite musicians, like Patrick Watson and Half Moon Run…so many people come from Montreal,” Claudia adds, “having that time to write and reflect... and now coming back we feel really inspired.”
Montreal may also be an appropriate choice for other reasons, as the city’s melting pot of cultures is closely reflective of Betty & Oswald, the band. Both in their early 20’s and having grown up in Wombarra and Cronulla, respectively, they occupy a space in music that’s a world away from home. Their self-titled EP last year was a beguiling, anachronistic blend of sounds, name checking jazz, gypsy, and folk. When quizzed, Claudia defers to Pete, who answers: “My parents' heritage is Greek, so my parents, and my grandparents especially, have that really angular, like bouzouki style of music, and all those dirty diminished chords.” Later, he’ll name check Tom Waits, Louis Prima and Django Reinhardt as further inspirations.
For new single “Fragile Little Lover”, they enlisted ARIA award nominated producer Lachlan Mitchell (The Jezabels, The Vines) at Jungle Studios in Annandale. “We didn’t know anything about him at first”, says Pete, “but everything he added was so thoughtful and peaceful. He wasn’t pushy at all, but he also wasn’t removing himself from the process. He was such a lovely dude.”
The resulting track is a glorious stew of sounds – walking bass lines, fuzzed out vocals, dipping and diving harmonies. As with their EP, it’s a heady dose of nostalgia, but rejigged, polished up to modernity. Derivative, but undeniably inspired.
They’ll take it out on the road from this Saturday, starting with a launch at the Brighton Up Bar in Sydney, taking in a slew of regional dates, and then heading up to Woodford to close out 2014 – doing it all in their decked out plumbing van, Hanna. The tour doesn’t daunt, quite the opposite: “I suppose the best part about it is that we get to travel and play music together,” Pete says. “It just works.” - The AU Review

"Say Hello to Betty & Oswald"

We believe there are few better things in life than cheeseburgers and live music. One fills a famished body, the other fills a famished soul. When we arrived to the B.EAST to watch rising duo, Betty & Oswald (aka Claudia Schmidt & Pete Sotiropoulos) while we chowed on some meat patties, we immediately knew it was going to be a good night.

April 19th’s show was stop number 5 on the bands King of Bohemia Tour, warmly named after their recent single. The duo took the stage in an almost nervous schoolgirl manor, full of giggles and lots of energy. While it was just the two of them on stage, the depth and volume of their sound felt like a full rock concert. They connected with audience members with tales of travel and dreams that inspired each whimsical and folk-filled song they played. Schmidt has mastered the accordion, the forgotten little sister of musical instruments, and Sotiropoulos charmingly straps a tambourine to one foot and a miniature drum to the other, allowing for a full and well-tuned orchestra. The set was short, but not lacking, leaving fans in a dream like state as each song has a linger effect, an effect that keeps you humming in your head all night long.

Prior to the set we sat down with the pair to discuss themselves, how the tour has been going, what fans can expect next, and how the hell they get this sound they call “the black & white grainy era of the 20s, django Reinhardt, prohibition, surrealist paintings, wild nights in cheap bars and whiskey in winding backstreets spiraling to a kaleidoscopic yearning to be rambling & wild.” (Not kidding, that is their ‘about me’.)

Vulture Magazine: So, for starters, how did you guys meet?

Pete: We met about four years ago at a mutual friends gig. We hung out for a few weeks but then I went overseas for around 7 months, but we kept in touch even though we were doing stuff separately.
Claudia: It took us awhile for our music to come together; we never really thought to put it together.
P: We were actually a bit apprehensive to do a duo…but after doing a support together for Ash Grunwald people really liked it, so it was just like, oh maybe we should do something! ‘Betty & Oswald’ probably officially became a thing about 2 years ago.

Image: Madeleine Daily
Image: Madeleine Daily
VM: So the name Betty & Oswald, is that middle names or…?

P: (laughs) I work at my parents café, and this albino pigeon came around everyday and I named him Oswald, and when we were tossing up band names we wanted to name it something not really attached to anything so we were like “yeah, lets use the name Oswald” … and we both kind of said ‘Betty’ at the same time, so we just went with it!

VM: Did you guys always have a similar sound or did it just come together?

P: I think it just sort of came together…
C: [To Pete] I don’t even think you sounded like me…I think when we brought our own two influences it just made this sub-genre.
P: We influenced each other and went off different ideas and kind of kept going in a similar direction, which was cool, it was nice to explore that.

VM: So what’s your music writing process look like then?

P: It’s frustrating at times but it’s also really exciting! I think we’re kind of refining our sound recently and the songs kind of flow and we treat each song as a different piece and it can kind of branch off into different genres if it wants to. It’s nice to just allow it to grow the way that it’s going to.
C: Yeah, I think that’s what we’re kind of finding. That, in the first place, it’s so hard to put it into one genre, we don’t want to restrict it. When we play together I can see a progression of sound and it’s very much about how we’re feeling and what we’re influenced by, I don’t think we want to be stuck in any particular sound.

VM: So how has this tour been going?

C: It’s been awesome; every gig has been really solid.
P: The launch in Sydney was off its head, that was really fun. Then we played Wollongong, which was so much more fun than we expected. Really cool shows; we’ve really enjoyed it.

VM: Your single, ‘King of Bohemia’, has been a hit; do we have new tunes on the horizon?

P: We’ve got some stuff in the works; we’re aiming for an EP at the end of the year. We might release a vinyl! The next two months really are touring and playing, getting some ideas, and then we’ll come back and hopefully have some space and some writing time. We’re excited to pump some new stuff out.

VM: How about the big picture? Any specific goals you guys want to reach?

P: We definitely want to get on a bunch of festivals next year. This year, since you have to be organised so far in advance, I don’t think we would have been ready. We’d also like to go back to Canada after this trip with a full band and really organise some big shows. So that and a lot of festivals, that’s the kind of stuff we enjoy doing. - Vulture Magazine

"Premiere: Betty & Oswald get 'Stuck In The City' in their retro new video clip"

Premiere: Betty & Oswald get 'Stuck In The City' in their retro new video clip

The Sydney-siders continue to charm the heck out of everyone.

It was about six months ago Sydney four-piece Betty & Oswald first charmed the pants of us with their video for Schmuck, and it had such an effect on us that we simply had to premiere their latest, for single Stuck In The City. Keeping that kitschy, retro vibe flowing strong, it's another perfect visual accompaniment for the band's already unique-to-them sound. Bringing some seriously dreamy indie-rock/pop sounds, it'll wash over you like a cool summer's breeze.

You'll be able to experience that breeze in the flesh at Lost Paradise Festival over New Year's. - Pilerats


Still working on that hot first release.



BETTY & OSWALD are a band from Sydney. They play music that is a little bit groovy, a little bit gritty, and a little bit somewhere in-between. They have nice harmonies, gritty guitar lines, tasty bass and some good drums. Their songs are about being stuck in the city, living outrageously, and just trying to feel something. Their sound has been described as a strange noise, or like nothing else, and a random guy said it was the best thing ever.

Following performances at Canadian Music Week and Woodford Festival in 2015, this year has seen the band return with great momentum. In 2016 they released a song called “Schmuck,” which got played on Triple J, FBi and 4ZZZ, rotated on Rage, and talked about on Rolling Stone Australia, Pilerats, Tone Deaf, Happy, and Triple J’s music director, Richard Kingsmill, gave it a 4/5 star review. In October they released “Stuck In The City”–a song about being young and staying alive in the city–and they have since been announced on the lineups for the NYE festival Lost Paradise and the Triple J-presented Mountain Sounds Festival 2017, as well as support act for Half Moon Run at the Metro Theatre Sydney in January 2017. They are currently finishing off their EP, with the next release scheduled for early 2017.

“Just when you think this song [Schmuck] has lost its way, they tie it all back up by the end and you want to go straight back to the start.” 4⁄5 stars - Richard Kingsmill, Triple J

“[Schmuck] eventually divulges into a beautifully muddled mess...This strange–and stoned–free-form breakout not only showcases the band’s wonderfully structureless side, but also frees “Schmuck” from the formulaic indie-pop mould.” - Rolling Stone Australia

“[Schmuck] is a slinky little jam that oozes 70s charm and a grungy disco feel...There is nothing not to love about this band.” - Pilerats

“Betty & Oswald's youthful spontaneity and confidence in adding in clutter to their pop sensibility remains their standout strength.” - Rolling Stone Australia

Band Members