That Red Guy

Loosely in Disguise's chief and creator

From when I was young, I was always interested in music. I grew up with contrasting soundtracks - a mixture of rock and country, spanning the decades from 50s to the 80s. Gold 104.3 was the radio station played in both the house and my parents' car stereos, exposing me to artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, Hall & Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Simple Minds, Blondie, Spandau Ballet, Dragon, and a slew of others.

It wasn't until high school when I began to explore music on my own, with school friends sharing the taboo lyrics of Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady". I delved deep into Eminem's repertoire, collecting every album he released and committing the songs to memory. It was around this time that one of my fondest memories occurred - my much older cousin shared some of his favourite bands, the likes of Korn, Slipknot and Limp Bizkit. It was an awakening to me, as I hadn't come across acts this heavy before, and I immediately wanted more. At the time, I had a cassette Walkman, so when my cousin loaned me some of his CDs, I spent hours recording them to tape so I could immerse myself in their sound. My parents were thankfully oblivious to the content, because they would not have approved of it in my early teens. I also managed to score a copy of South Park's 'Chef Aid' soundtrack on cassette for Christmas in 1998, which slipped through because my parents found the show irritating, so they had no interest in hearing the album. I was too young at the time to really understand it, but listening back years later, I would not have given that to 11 year old me.

I changed high schools in Year 9, reuniting with my friends from primary school and picking up bass guitar lessons. This opened me up to another world of music, predominantly because I was roped into playing in the school's jazz band, swing band, and big band. I also started a band with some friends, mostly playing covers of Finch, Trapt and TRUSTcompany, bands that the lead guitarist stumbled across through a mix of P2P file-sharing and his older sister's friends (one of whom was our drummer). I discovered bands like Nirvana, blink-182, Linkin Park, and Deftones through my schoolmates, and I went to my first live gig in the early 2000s at Doveton Pool In The Park. I was immediately taken by the energy of the live music experience, and made it my mission to see as many concerts as I could from that point on. I attended every Big Day Out festival from 2003 to 2014, with my list of "must-see" artists growing every year.

I quickly loved music festivals, attending Livid, Soundwave, Pushover, No Sleep 'Til, Pyramid Rock, Falls, Download, and others in between. I couldn't get enough of the sweaty, sunburnt, dust-and-mud-filled mosh pits, singing along to my favourite songs by bands that came from all over the world just to play for their Australian fans. The crowd was - for the most part - a unified mass, pressed shoulder-to-shoulder and singing together as we swayed. If someone fell, three others would help them up. If someone was having a bad time, they'd be hoisted overhead and crowd-surfed to the barrier, where security guards and water were awaiting their descent. I felt a kinship with the people around me. We were all there for the same reason - the love of music.