At I.C.E.HAUS Back2Back, assistant producer, Chris Sammut (Repressed Records) got to catch up with Felipe from Xilch for a quick Q&A. Here’s how it went down:
CS: Where are you from in Western Sydney?
FX: I grew up in Cranebrook, which is about 10min from Penrith.
CS: How did you get into making music and what were your first bands?
FX: I was probably in year 8 in high school. I was into skating, I hated school and the only thing that penetrated my brain at the time was music class where they were trying to teach us the basics of guitars. This cool kid came into to show the class how good one can get at guitar so he played us a few tunes. He was playing this whack stuff with a distortion pedal that made my eyes wide open and my ears popped. After that I whinged to my parents to get me a guitar. I still remember the day I got picked up early during class to get this crummy guitar at my Dads friend pawn shop. That’s where it all started. I was into making horrible noises with friends after that. We probably thought we were a band at the time but don’t remember what we were called. I then got a bit older and kept making horrible noises.
CS: What bands are you in now and where have played?
FX: I play guitar in Rapid Dye, bass in Orion and sing for Xilch. In previous bands I was lucky enough to play all around different states and just recently got back from a tour with Rapid Dye. We toured with an American band called Glue and we covered a lot of the capitals of the east coast from Brisbane to Hobart
CS: What do you think can be done in Western Sydney to help original artists?
FX: More venues to play at, more recording access, more people who give a shit.
CS: Do you think all-ages shows are important?
FX: It helped shape who I am today. Growing up in Penrith, I was lucky to have regular shows at places like the PCYC, channel cafe, Backdoor, Embassy Hotel and if you had the guts, catch a train to the city to go to all these shows. If I wasn’t exposed to all that at a young age, I’d probably just be another robot in a suit and tie caring about things that don’t matter. So in short YES, I definitely think all ages shows are important.
CS: What kind of support did you need/get when you were starting out?
FX: I’m not really sure. It was a different time back then. Things ran differently. There were always places to play at and a scene people would show up to. They’d either like it or not. I was too young to ever think I needed anything besides a guitar. Things that mattered were going to shows and getting the right music choices from you, Chris when I’d go into Repressed Records Penrith as a youngen’. You’d always have something for me to listen to which I liked so maybe on a personal level, those things felt like a support the fact that I had a place to discover music near home and not going into the city. Our dial up was slow. There were only so many mix tapes friends would bother to do and rage episodes to tape and re-watch over and over.
CS: Give people three bands they maybe haven’t heard they should listen to now.
Image: Xilch at I.C.E.HAUS, by Lyndal Irons.
Our next I.C.E.HAUS show is on Saturday October 5. Check it out.