The Genre Benders
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The Genre Benders

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop

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In Crazy John’s OHSRadio.com Ragazine: http://www.oshradio.com/Ragazineweb2.pdf

Preface: The Genre Benders is a community music project based in Brisbane, Australia. Led by Huge, it aims to get the best songs and the best performances from local musicians, produce and market them – returning the proceeds to their creators, not to the record label. The project released one CD in 2007, “I am leaving! I am leaving!”, with plans for many more into the future.

CRAZY JOHN: So, how did the Genre benders come about?

HUGE: The Genre Benders basically grew out of years of me attending live shows for bands that I respected that never got anywhere. I used to hang in the pubs and clubs and listen to lots of acts that were pretty mediocre in all but I’d usually walk out of there with one or two songs or performances stuck in my head and it would really bug me that this great material was just lost to the wider public. So when I realized the potential of the Internet and new technologies to break down the barriers to publishing this stuff, I figured I’d get as much of it as I could and put it out there. There’s no shortage of great material to choose from.

CRAZY JOHN: So how did you go about picking the material for the debut release? Where did you find your people?

HUGE: For the first release I ended up using a lot of stuff I wrote or co-wrote myself, mostly – but only because it’s kinda hard to get people to give you stuff if you have no track record or demos or … anything to offer, really (laughs). I had a couple of my favourite songs I’d been involved in with the guys who wrote them over the years, so I asked if I could use those and the guys were happy to let me. Sadly, Mark, who wrote “Dancing with the Stones”, died of bowel cancer before the album was recorded, so he never got to hear it, but his wife gets his royalties and is using them to build on his legacy of involvement in their local music community.

The players were just people I’d either played with over the years or respected for their chops. I played as much of it as I felt comfortable doing myself – more, actually - for the same reason but … well … I’m not a lead guitarist and I don’t want to be. Matt’s brilliant, why would I try, you know? Similarly, I’m not the world’s greatest bass player and Willy’s awesome, so I got him to play more interesting stuff on tracks that I thought could use it. Kathy and Pete just added something that I couldn’t, and Focksy … well, Focksy’s just a freak of musical nature, so I’d have been mad to not use him somehow. Again, it’s hard to get people to play for nothing for you on a promise, so kudos and love to those guys for backing my vision when I had nothing to offer besides a jam and a beer.

For the next album I hope to use more varied contributors of all kinds, but that’s a way off yet.

CRAZY JOHN: If you had no money to pay people, how did you record the album?

HUGE: It’s a problem. The whole thing was recorded in my lounge room or garage on a laptop with Pro Tools and a Digi002. Except the lead guitars. I managed to persuade the local primary (sorry, elementary) school to let me use their music room in exchange for me running sound at their end-of-year concert, so that helped. Wish I’d done the drums in that room but there you go … it was cheap.

I also persuaded a couple of sound engineer mates to help out on the same basis as the performers. That made life easier … credit to them, too.

CRAZY JOHN: How does such a variety of material come together as an identity?

HUGE: Well, the identity is pretty much mine. A friend recently called me the “king of quirk” and most of the stuff fits that personality. I’m not real good at sappy love songs or R&B attitude. But the other driving force behind the title was my despair at the way bands are marketed as one thing or the other – as though they’re like that all the time, you know? Life’s not like that, I’m not like that. I like a huge variety of music, depending on my mood and my attitude at the time and I wanted to make an album that reflects that. You know, when I found out that AC/DC’s Brian Johnson writes love songs for Celine Dion, and that one of Britney Spears’ biggest hits was written by a 40-odd-year-old man, I just lost any faith in that sort of artistic expression. I mean, it’s all marketing at that point, and I’m not interested in being “J-Lo real”, you know?

To me, life’s about ups and downs, and it’s about sex, drugs and the results of both of those in hangovers and kids (laughs), so I wanted to take people on a journey through all of life, not just the marketable bits. And life comes in many genres, you know? One day you’re rocking and the next you’re scoobin’ out in reggae land. Sometimes my life is literally like a country song. Hence the name of the project.

Of course, not all of it will appeal to everybody. Some of it is waaay out there, sonically. But in this day and age of one-track-at-a-time downloads, I fig - http://www.oshradio.com


HUGE came all the way from Australia to check out the IMC. When he performed, he came out wearing these funky pants, that made you think he’s a little crazy, but then he starts singing and you realize how cool he is. With all the “Ooooo! and Ahhhhh! he had the crowd doing I believe everyone was amazed by Huge. You barely walked down the hall till you heard his name being yelled. He was definitely a big hit at the conference. - Pennsylvania Musician


Hugh Brown is an amazing musician. I came to know him, as "HUGE!!" Only realizing once I got his CD that his band name is "The Genre Benders". He couldn't have named his style of music a better name. He's definitely a genre bender.

I've been listening to his CD for about a month now, and it's just amazing how he changes his voice to fit into so many different genres of music. His first track on his "I Am Leaving! I Am Leaving!" CD, "Long for the Day", is more of a Pop/Rock genre of music, then you go into my personal favorite, "Dancing with the Stones". That song fits Hugh to a tee. He's such an amazing performer he can even get stones to dance! At the conference where I saw him, the first night he closed a VERY long day of networking and performances, with almost everyone in attendance up and dancing and having a great time, singing right along with all of his Oooo! Ahhhh!.

Hugh is just one of those guys, you can't resist, he can definitely get anyone up and dancing and having a great time. Then, in "Mighty Fine Day" you enter into the genre of the sappy love songs, that get you feeling all of his innermost heart feelings. Then before you know it he has you up jumping again in "12 Good Bars and True". I would describe this song's genre of more of a Honky Tonk Blues, feel. He once again just amazes me with his voice.

Finally, my 2nd favorite song is "Heart's with You". That fits right in there with any Country song over here in the States. There really aren't too many musicians that can fit into so many different genres of music, but Hugh Brown definitely fits that bill. His CD is filled with so many different instruments, all used to make his songs, sound as "thick" and beautiful as possible, but the way I saw and heard The Genre Benders for the first time was Hugh holding an acoustic guitar, wearing some funky pants that definitely catch your attention.

The raw simplicity of a one-man band, coming all the way from Australia and performing to absolute complete strangers, astounds me. He really did a fantastic performance both times I saw him, and I can guarantee he picked up a lot of fans on his trip across the big water! - The Pennsylvania Musician Magazine Harrisburg, PA, USA


Discography

Tracklist from "I am leaving! I am leaving" (2007):

1. Long for the day
2. Dancing with the Stones
3. Mighty Fine Day
4. Astral Traveler
5. Raindrops
6. Lullabye
7. Cry to Heaven
8. 12 Good Bars and True
9. Dirty
10. So Far Away
11. Heart's With You

All tracks have received some airplay in Australia via Ison Live Radio. "Dancing with the Stones" played on "Gone Fishing for Blue Skies" on Shonan Beach FM, Japan. "Dirty" and "Mighty Fine Day" played on Dr Lou's Radio Show, WNJC 1360AM, Philadelphia.

All tracks are available for streaming from www.genrebenders.com.

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Bio

"Because life is not a genre."

The Genre Benders are a collective of musicians, songwriters and artists in Brisbane, Australia. All experienced, they come together to take fans on a journey through the many-splendid aspects of life. Fronted by Huge (the king of quirk), the live show can be a solo acoustic act, a computer-backed full-sound show or completely live with 5 on-stage musicians and visual display.

" ... such an amazing performer he can even get stones to dance." - Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

Their music is influenced by everything they ever heard - there's bits of pop, rock, reggae, country, a Capella and urban influences. The elements come together in a live show that is simply riveting and a collection of songs that reflects life's ups and downs.

Regardless of the format, The Genre Benders provide humor, soul, passion and plenty of raw energy. Every show maintains a vibe that leaves listeners feeling fulfilled and wanting to experience it again.