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Dirty Three

Their mid-nineties albums Horse Stories and Ocean Songs will be forever emblematic of the vibrant Melbournian live scene at the time. Yet Dirty Three were unlike any of their contemporaries sharpening their trade in the bars and pubs of Brunswick Street. This lean yet powerful band features Mick Turner on guitar, Jim White on drums and Warren Ellis, who rides the band’s trademark wild crescendos on his violin. They’re embarking on yet another world girdling tour with their tenth album, Toward The Low Sun, still glowing from the furnace in which it was forged. Nick Atkinson interrupted the now Parisian violinist as he and his son were cooped up in a London hotel room watching Rambo.

Colin Stetson

He’s recently been parping his unbelievably large horn on stage with Bon Iver at the International Arts Festival in Wellington. While you could potentially use Colin Stetson’s bass sax to moor a vessel this unusual musician hauls it along to shows with acts like Arcade Fire, Tom Waits and TV On The Radio. Kirsten Johnstone talks to the woodwind player about his two solo albums to date, Modern History Of warfare 1 & 2. She finds a thoughtful musician with diverse tastes that vary between adding nuance and colour to modern pop songs, or pushing the edge of the avant-garde envelope.

Heavy Metal Ninjas

Richie Allen

Richie Allan, lead guitarist of Heavy Metal Ninjas. Photo: Nick Atkinson

Bringing an intriguing mix of reticence and gravitas into the studio Heavy Metal Ninjas lead guitarist Richie Allan sheds his oriental warrior mask and talks frankly about being a painfully shy guitarist (he waited a year to let his Kora mates in on the fact that he could play) growing up in Kawerau.