What does a typical day look like for you?
Working in editorial means you are entirely dependent on the news cycle – every day is slightly different depending on what’s happening in the world. In the morning we’re generally pumping out news, leaving the afternoons more open for longer features.
Occasionally something wild will break in the middle of the day – like Flume eating ass at Burning Man or Taylor Swift randomly announcing that folklore was being released – and you’ll have to drop everything and tend to the news. The day Taylor’s ‘Reputation’ was released was wild, the office turned into Taylor Swift HQ.
Or sometimes, artists will drop by the office and steal your wine.
Tell us more about the journey and process involved in pulling together and selecting the top 200 Greatest Australian songs of all time? It really sounds like quite the challenge!
It took a long time to pull together. It started with myself and Joe Earp collating a lot of the rankings and lists we had done on the site over the years – history of Australian indie rock, pop etc – and then scouring other music sites for similar rankings.
Most other lists and rankings out there seemed to stop at the ‘90s – and we knew there was plenty of music to consider. Australian music isn’t just Cold Chisel.
Next, I hit up a lot of labels and artists to submit their shortlists – we didn’t want this list to be decided by just Joe and I sitting in Surry Hills, we wanted as much input from the community as possible. We got lists from bands like Powderfinger and Cub Sport, it was awesome.
From there Joe and I sat down and began sorting through them all, we scored them out of 50 to try tease out a draft 200. There were some arguments, there was some passionate debate. I threatened to fire Joe for disliking Icehouse – it all went down.
The top 100 came together pretty easily, except for a couple of last-minute changes. The 200 to 101 was a different beast – it’s kind of all over the place, which we really loved as it just shows the breadth of Australian music. There’s Holly Valance and John Farnham…it’s batshit.
The resulting two articles are the biggest pieces ever published on Junkee. Joe and I wrote 20,000 words – it was a staggering piece of work. We’re incredibly proud of it – we think it shows the best of Australian music, and also – humbly – some of the best Australian music writing.
From this list, is there one that’s your absolute top pick?
Well I’m definitely on board with #1 (Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’), and the rest of the top ten is flawless (Thelma Plum’s ‘Better In Blak’ deserves a shoutout).
There’s just so much good stuff in here – Killing Heidi, Tina Arena, Mo’Ju, Little Red, The Vines, PNAU. Gang of Youths’ ‘Magnolia’ has a special place in my heart too. And I always lose my shit to RUFUS’ ‘Innerbloom’.
Is there anything surprising about the Music Junkee audience that you’d like to share?
Music Junkee’s audience is an interesting hybrid – on one hand we have the old inthemix fans, on the other we have some rock loving FasterLouder fans. Then we have another contingent – the queer pop fans. We cover a lot of ground at MJ – from metal to pop – so our audience is wildly varied.
Our loyal audience is very on board with us. They love that we’re so queer and dedicated and passionate. They love that we take the piss out of artists, they love that we write longform features.
We’ve carved out a reputation as being the premier music publication in the country, which is so important to us. We’re renowned for our quality – thanks to excellent writing from Jared Richards and Joseph Earp.
What is your most memorable piece published this year and why?
The Greatest Australian Songs list was the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken, and we pulled it off. That was a massive achievement for Joe and I.
Elsewhere, we have published a series of articles on toxic stan culture, which cemented us as an authority on the phenomenon. Jared went on SBS’s The Feed to discuss it, and I went on ABC’s The Drum.
On a personal note, I wrote a long feature about the battle for the #MeToo movement in the Australian music history – an important subject to write about.
There’s a book coming out all about you, what’s it going to be titled?
For a second I thought this wasn’t a hypothetical and I was terrified.
Either, ‘Don't Want Your Jules, I Want Your Drugs’ – a collection of my thoughts on Lady Gaga, or ‘How To Hide Your Goon Sack In The Festival Ticket Line, and Other Tips and Tricks’.
Published by: Katie Brooke in News