Image for Independent Music Awards announced, but questions over being “indie” remain

Independent Music Awardsannounced, but questions overbeing “indie” remain

Remember when Not From There accepted the 1999 ARIA Award for Best Alternative Album by boldly declaring they weren’t alternative in the first place?

Well, it happened again last night at the Jagermeister Independent Music Awards in Melbourne, but this time it was rapper 360 who was eating humble pie. “This doesn’t feel right,” he said after winning yet another gong for his second album Falling & Flying, “but at the same time I’m honoured.”

360 (aka Melbourne emcee Matt Colwell) was of course, referring, to his association with EMI, who distributes his records in partnership with his own label, Soulmate. It once again reiterated just how blurred the line is becoming between “indie” and “major”. (It’s probably worth noting that AIR – the organisation that runs these awards – defines an independent label as a company that is 100 percent Australian, owns the master rights for recorded music and “exploits” it for commercial gain.)

Earlier in the night, a heckler yelled out “not independent” when Lanie Lane went up to accept her award for Best Independent Blues and Roots Album. Her debut album To The Horses was put out through The Ivy League, which despite being distributed through Universal, conforms to AIR’s guidelines to a tee.

The rowdy room fell silent, however, for rising Melbourne star Chet Faker, who performed a “stripped back” version of ‘I’m Into You’ from his debut release Thinking In Textures. Faker was the only multiple winner on the night taking home two awards for Best Independent Single/EP and Breakthrough Independent Artist. His first acceptance speech was unscripted and brief, while his second was more considered. “I’m an idealist,” he told the crowd. “I believe music’s not broken.”

Other winners included The Jezabels, who took home Best Independent Artist for the second year running and Brisbane’s DZ Deathrays, who won Best Independent Hard Rock or Punk Album for their debut album Bloodstreams. Reaffirming the recent success of Australian artists overseas, both bands accepted their awards via video message recorded in Europe and the US, respectively.

Sydney’s Royal Headache were surprise winners in the “hotly contested” Best Independent Album category, beating out the likes of DZ Deathrays, The Jezabels, The Temper Trap and, yes, even 360. The award was accepted by singer Shogun and Nic Warnock from the band’s label, R.I.P. Society. “Leaving all prejudice and punk idealism behind we never had a manager, never chased a show, just did our shit,” Shogun said. “I’m glad you liked it. Thanks. My mum will be stoked.” While Elefant Tracks – the Sydney-based home of Urthboy, The Herd and Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album winners Hermitude – won the inaugural Best Independent Label award.

Performers included Hermitude, Lanie Lane, the shouty House Vs Hurricane, Loon Lake and Paul Kelly, who performed ‘I’m On Your Side’ from new album Spring and Fall. The night was capped off by Tim Rogers and The Bamboos doing ‘I Got Burned’, while emcee Dylan Lewis from those great supporters of Australian independent music NOVA FM reminded us why Recovery needs to return. Stat.

2012 Jagermeister Independent Music Awards winners

Breakthrough Independent Artist – Chet Faker
Best Independent Single/EP – Chet Faker Thinking In Textures
Best Independent Album – Royal Headache Royal Headache
Best Independent Artist – The Jezabels
Best Independent Hip Hop/Urban Album – 360 Falling & Flying
Best Independent Hard Rock or Punk Album – DZ Deathrays Bloodstreams
Best Independent Label – Elefant Traks
Best Independent Dance/Electronica a Club Single – Tom Piper & Daniel Harley LGFU
Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album – Hermitude HyperParadise
Best Independent Blues And Roots Album – Lanie Lane To The Horses
Best Independent Country Album – Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors My Little River
Best Independent Jazz Album – Mike Nock Trio Plus Hear And Know

How it unfolded on Twitter

Comments arrow left

crob said on the 17th Oct, 2012

mmmm i feel like some Jagermeister...


secondclassciti said on the 17th Oct, 2012

I really fail to see how a distribution deal can make an album/artist not an independent.


gumbuoy said on the 17th Oct, 2012

so what DOES make an artist/album independent?


Nosyt said on the 17th Oct, 2012

Moving into a quirky share house with a bunch of strangers


gumbuoy said on the 17th Oct, 2012

I thought that's what made it Real (TM)?


David_Wenham said on the 17th Oct, 2012

faker still exist? next thing you know jet will win something


Braveheart81 said on the 17th Oct, 2012

Chet Faker. He has absolutely nothing to do with the band Faker.


gumbuoy said on the 17th Oct, 2012

Or so the story goes...


Braveheart81 said on the 17th Oct, 2012

Actually Faker (the band) is Chet Faker's husband.

This is what Cory Bernadi was talking about. It's a slippery slope. Once you allow same sex couples to marry, people will start marrying rock bands and everything.

Next thing you'll hear is that Robert Plant got married to a Tree.


jacegalvin said on the 17th Oct, 2012

Nice work DZ, Chet Faker, Royal Headache + others.

And I'm really impressed with 360's speech, very brave and true.


MorningAfterboy said on the 17th Oct, 2012

Unless he said "I'm the worst" 57 times before punching himself in the dick, this is untrue.


grattan said on the 18th Oct, 2012


gumbuoy said on the 23rd Oct, 2012

Nic Warnock from RIP Society is the person who shouted out at Lanie Lane, and he's written a recap of the night here:

For those of you who are tl;dr (and who could blame you, with a piece written this badly)

- He was drunk
- Ivy League doesn't meet his very specific definition of an independent label, hence he decided to shout at someone who'd just won an award, because that will fix it
- a lot of indpendent music these days doesn't meet his very specific definition of good, so people are all sheep for liking them, and it's the end of humanity.


berlinchair101 said on the 23rd Oct, 2012


Nic Warnock is a cunt.


MorningAfterboy said on the 23rd Oct, 2012

Basically "LATFH" writ large.


Andeh said on the 23rd Oct, 2012

Nic is 100% right though. Something I've been feeling a long time, Australia is just so keen to reward mediocrity. Look at the aria noms this year. Most noms go to a bogan imitating The Streets poorly, and they want you to believe that the fucking Jezabels had one of the best albums of the year.

Nothing wrong with calling shit out.


MorningAfterboy said on the 23rd Oct, 2012

Oh, waa. Who cares about the ARIAs? They're not for you. Bitch Prefect or whatever "underground" stuff you're into is never going to get nominated. It's nice to see some recognition every now and then - Frenzal getting a nod is awesome - but you just can't take it too seriously.


gumbuoy said on the 23rd Oct, 2012

That's such a narrow scope, it's surprising that anyone could be considered "independent".

"It's irrelevant to discuss whether Ivy League are independent or not, because I believe they're not, so I drunkenly heckled someone at an awards show, and then wrote a long web article defending my actions."

It's either irrelevant or it isn't, Nic. If it's irrelevant, why did you shout out/write a long piece claiming they're not?

So, why not create his own set of awards, that seek out and reward "independent" music? Or even raise it as an issue, you know, BEFORE the awards night? Oh that's right - it's easier to get drunk at an AIR function and then heckle an artist (not a label, an artist) like you're the smartest person in the room.

Yeah, not so much.

EDITED to remove the bit about starting his own record label. He's done that. :)

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 23rd Oct, 2012

Did Not From There discover the cure for gravity because I have no idea what nebula they call home these days. I think I was the only one that bought their second album.
I guess they really did want to prove that they were not alternative, so they took themselves out of the equation all together.


Stugalug said on the 24th Oct, 2012

I own a copy. I haven't listened to it for a decade. 'Scratching post, scratching post' rings a bell.