The Best Shirts From Collarts' AusMusic T-Shirt Day

Nov 15, 2019

In the beginning, Collarts was just a small, passionate music college with big ambitions. Although we've expanded over the last 30 years with four campuses and new design courses, we'll always fight for the amazing Australian music community.

One of the easiest ways to show your support for the industry is by repping the band merch, so Collarts staff got into that music-loving spirit by wearing the coolest Aussie music shirts they could find this AusMusic T-Shirt Day, as well as donating to Support Act, a charity that helps arts workers in crisis. We spoke to four Collarts staff members who wore their best band tees and wanted to share their passion for Australian music.

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Who are you wearing and why?

Today I'm wearing AC/DC because I used to see them a lot live when they were a pub band back in the '80s. I love the raw energy they used to have with Bon Scott leading them.

Why do you love Australian music?

A lot of it's very specific to Australia. From Paul Kelly to The Angels, they used to perform around at pub circuits. What made Australian music different, back in my era at least, is they used to play pub circuits, so they would regularly play in front of live audiences who would tell you whether or not you were playing well. They became very proficient at playing live.

Do you have a significant Aussie music memory?

I first saw AC/DC in 1979 or 1980 at the Doncaster Hotel— I was living in that area — and it was just an average Friday night where they would have a random band on. I used to love listening to and seeing music, but seeing AC/DC live inspired me to start learning the drums. 

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Who are you wearing and why?

I'm wearing Braille Face because obviously I really like them as a musician but I also love the art direction they do with their projects and Spirit Level which is the label that releases awesome indie artists around Melbourne.

Why do you love Australian music?

Obviously it's relatable because we live in Australia, but there's a real soft and genuine perspective in Australian music when you compare to Americans, which can sometimes be a bit egotistic. It's down-to-earth.

Do you have a significant Aussie music memory?

Seeing female musicians play Splendour In The Grass doing everything like playing pads, playing drums — someone like Alice Ivy, you look at and go, "Wow, you are a one woman show and you are so powerful". And that inspired me to do my own music as well. 

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Who are you wearing and why?

I'm wearing Collingwood, Melbourne-based band Dal Santo, because Gaurav and Jimi in the band are really old friends of mine. When I first started playing in bands, they were the first promoters to book us at a serious venue, and I've known them for ten years now. They've just put an album out which everyone should definitely stream.

Why do you love Australian music?

It's a reflection of the culture I grew up in as well as everybody else who participates within its culture. Because of the nature of the industry, particularly in Melbourne, there's a really wide accepting community of people who are all really interested in each other's stories and all interested in telling their own stories.

Do you have a significant Aussie music memory?

I remember seeing Tim Rogers play the ARIAs to a backing track, and at the end of the song, raised his arms as the last strum was played, in protest of the fact that the ARIAs made him play to a backing track. I thought that was the coolest, most punk rock, stick-it-to-the-man moment I'd seen.

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Who are you wearing and why?

I'm wearing my INXS t-shirt, 'Stay Young', and this is from their first album. I'm wearing it because it still fits me! It's 37 years old.

Why do you love Australian music?

Why not? It's our culture, it's our identity, and we need to support Australian music more. There's so many different genres to choose from and we have world class talent in Australia.

Do you have a significant Aussie music memory?

In 1994, I was living in Los Angeles working at Virgin Records, and a friend of mine asked me to come down to the Santa Monica Pier to watch an Australian band — it was Silverchair. They were 14 year old kids and they played to a packed crowd.

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We ended up raising a whopping $1,375.62 for Support Act, with Collarts matching donations under $500 dollar-for-dollar. Wanna listen to some Aussie tunes to celebrate the community and ring in the weekend? We've compiled a playlist of staff favourites, including nostalgic bangers as well as groundbreaking up-and-comers. Listen to it below:

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