WA boy Drapht has come a long since he left his day job as a roof carpenter to focus on his music full time. Many triple j listeners would cite track “Jimmy Recard” from his third album, 2008’s Brothers Grimm as their first taste of Drapht’s rhymes (the song landed at number 10 in the Hottest 100) but, man, he’s really been around. Prior to 2010 he’d been nominated for and won stacks of awards – including an AIR Award for Best New Australian Independent Artist and Best Urban/Hip Hop Act at the West Australian Music Industry Awards – and toured with peers Hilltop Hoods, Downsyde, Koolism and the Resin Dogs; but 2011’s The Life Of Riley proved to be his biggest record, and paved the way for his biggest year, yet.
Debuting at the top spot on the ARIA charts – the first Australian artist to do so in 2011 – Drapht opened the ARIA Awards, was nominated for seven awards and eventually won Best Urban Album. The gong makes a nice companion piece for the Best Independent Hip Hop/Urban Album that he picked up weeks earlier at the Jagermeister Independent Music Awards (previously, the AIR Awards).
Now that the awards season is over, Drapht is ready to roll on festival season. A veteran of Homebake, Pyramid Rock and Southbound next month sees him on board the Big Day Out juggernaut and, likely, finding out his 2011 position in the Hottest 100.
What do you remember about the very first Big Day Out festival you ever went to?
It was probably 2001. I was an unemployed little hood rat at the time, and I remember sneaking a bottle of Coruba Rum in an empty water bottle with the intention of buying cans of coke throughout the day to mix it with. I went along just to see my friends Downsyde, Matty B and Hunter perform on the Lily Pad stage, and I don’t think I left the Lily Pad to see one other single act that performed that day. As many teens, I was a little wanker, caught in my own little world and oblivious to what was actually going on around me. It was probably the first big festival I had witnessed too, all I can remember was the amount of people in attendance, I had only witnessed crowds close to that at the royal show, so it was all a little overwhelming.
Which one did you miss out on that you WISH you’d been to?
I am lucky enough to have been to most BDO’s since 2001. Before that, 1994, when the Ramones, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cruel Sea and Bjork played would have been pretty insane to see. Or, ’95 witnessing Silverchair in their prime, Primal Scream and The Offspring too.
Share with us your most memorable NON-musical Big Day Out moment – either as a performer or a punter.
Watching the Hilltop Hoods in 2008, thinking I would love nothing more, and do anything to be in that position one day. It has been a huge tick off the bucket list to be a part of next year’s national line up.
Now give us your best ever Big Day Out musical moment!
It was that same year the Hoods played, in ’08. Growing up I was a massive Rage Against Machine fan, as well as every other kid around that era, so the nostalgia value was priceless. Never would have imagined the prospect of seeing them play live after they split in 2000. Energy and the atmosphere around the whole show and festival was fucking incredible, all my friends were there and De La Rocha absolutely smashed it from start to finish. Two bucket list write-off’s that year!
If you could curate your own Big Day Out who would you book to play?
If I was to put a list together in no particular order and off the top of my head it would be: The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Eminem, Prince, The Police, The Roots, Jamie Woon, N.E.R.D, Cody Chestnutt, Grave Diggers, Gotye and Kimbra, The Avalanches, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Defwish Cast, Boy & Bear, INXS, The Herd, 1200 Techniques, Eels, Frank Ocean, The Astroid Galaxy Tour, The Fugees, The Temper Trap, Band of Horses, A Tribe Called Quest, Silverchair, OutKast, Blur, Public Enemy, Hilltop Hoods and Tame Impala.
If anything was possible, and no damage lasting, where would you stage your dream Big Day Out?
You would have to keep it in Australia of course. So for something different and if the people of Broome welcomed it, it would be there.
Big Day Out has an amazing lineup this year – who are you looking forward to seeing yourself? Are there any of the artists that you’ve performed with before (and can you tell us a sneaky secret about their backstage antics??)
I’m looking forward to seeing Soundgarden, OFWGKTA, Das Racist, Frenzal Rhomb and Abbe May probably the most. Been on many of the lineup over the last year with the A.V.S boys, they seem to know how to get there outlandish party on as good as anyone. I doubt they will be equipped with their trusty fur coats around that time of year though. Really good people those ones!
When you’re Rolling Stones Big, what are you going to request on your rider: don’t be shy. We want specifics!
I would definitely be thieving their bridge access in Rio, from hotel room, over the crowd and directly on to the stage idea. Because I’m loosely classified as boy in the bubble status the outlandish rider requests are a hard one. The Prince b12 shot from a doctor is pretty ludicrous, so I’ll take one of those, and maybe an oxygen machine to go with it. My band of friends are thieving bastards when it comes to that stuff. Iggy Pop requesting broccoli because he hated it so much and liked throwing it in the bin is another good one. But, I would probably eat the broccoli though… And if the Bloodhound Gang gets a monkey, I would like a monkey too.