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JOEL BARKER State Of The Art

Joel Barker
Joel Barker

It’s a huge local line-up for the State Of The Art festival on Monday, June 6, at Elizabeth Quay, with Jebediah, San Cisco, Ta-Ku, Koi Child and many more. Joel Barker will also take the stage…

It seems that WA, more than any other state, takes a real pride in the music and musicians who come from here. Do you agree and if so why is it?

Yeah, I definitely agree. We’ve developed a pretty strong WA identity because of our isolation. Whenever a WA artist is getting good exposure it’s a win for us all, especially within the folk(ish) scene I’m involved in.

For many years the old phrase ‘the tyranny of distance’ was applied to the ups-and-downs of being a Perth band trying to give it a crack. Is that phrase now completely a thing of the past?

Not completely a thing of the past, at least that’s the case for me. But I’m finding the music industry is certainly opening up, on a national and international level, and that certainly makes it easier to keep working on it. But I think the tyranny of distance is an important aspect of being a WA artist. For me, sense of place is a huge part of my songwriting, and I like that our remoteness as a city is reflected in so many songs. It’s a part of our identity.

What’s it mean to you that you’re playing at an event such as State Of The Art?

I think the most important thing for me is it means my music is starting to reach a wider audience, and that we’re finding a home within the Perth music community. Plus, we’re on early so hopefully we can get to the rider before the Galloping Foxleys do.

What acts are you most looking forward to seeing?

Jacob Diamond. Folk/grunge gone right!

Looking ahead, what musical plans are afoot for you?

We’re going to hit the studio to record an EP. It’s the first time I’ll be heading into recording sessions with a band rather than session musicians, so it’s going to be fantastic to share the ownership of the songs with the band and create something special together.

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