The MusicNSW team have just arrived back in the office after a great afternoon of celebration at The Basement for the 7th annual Australian Music Prize Awards (AMPs). Congratulations to The Jezabels who took out the PPCA’s $30, 000 cash prize for achieving outstanding excellence with their debut album Prisoner.
Besides the ravishing lunch, our key highlight of the award show was the humble, humorous and contemplative keynote delivered by US Rolling Stone’s senior editor David Fricke. Fricke has worked within the music industry for over 3 decades, written reviews on big name Australian acts such as INXS, Silverchair and Midnight Oil, and achieved groundbreaking interviews with artists such as Kurt Cobain, Patti Smith and Metallica.
In his keynote, Fricke talked about some of his most memorable moments working with iconic Australian acts such as Midnight Oil, Silverchair, Radio Birdman, Archie Roach and many more. He also shared his personal thoughts on the effectiveness and progression of digital distribution techniques used within the music industry (revealing that he doesn’t even own a cell phone!) and walked us through many of his intriguing and often hilarious ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ stories with rock legends such as INXS and The Ramones.
The Australian Music Prize Ltd is an organization established to encourage, reward and promote Australian music of excellence. Each year an Australian artist or group is awarded The Amp, receiving a cash prize in recognition of the outstanding creativity they exhibited based on an original album released in that year. Previous winners of The AMP have included Cloud Control, Augie March, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Drones and The Mess Hall.
The Jezabels were unable to attend the ceremony due to touring commitments overseas, but in the event they won they prepared the following acceptance speech:
To all involved in the process of awarding the Australian Music Prize, The Jezabels would like to recognise the difficulty with which you have come to your decisions this year, both in the nominations and the final judging process,” they said. “What is clear through out all the difference of opinion, regarding both the politics of the prize and musical tastes, is that The Amp is made up of people who care a great deal about Australian music and the importance of maintaining the ideals that the prize has come to represent, the encouragement of excellence and quality in Australian albums, regardless of their popularity or success, but to also recognise that those things are not mutually exclusive.
We are also aware that it an incredibly strong year for Australian albums, and the sound of those albums has resonated beyond this nation’s borders. It is with these things in mind that we realise the full extent of the privilege of being nominated for The Amp, let alone winning. This band knows as well as anyone the challenge of choosing to make your dream your career and the gambles involved. We have immense respect for any Australian artist who made an album this year, whether they made the short list or not. In holding these views we feel we hold thesame values as The Amp and we promise to fulfill the amps intentions, to use this internationally-recognised prize to further our music and to be encouraged by your faith in us in our future musical endeavours. So from the bottom of our hearts, we thank the Australian music industry, the Australian public, but of course The Australian Music Prize for this incredible honour.
Congratulations to all the other 8 nominees for producing some outstanding records in the past year. To see the shortlist head here.