El helps to bring Melbourne Music Week to life and recently started up her own music label. We talk to El about her goals for the future and her fascination with World War II.
28/Female/in your dreams
What do you do for a crust?
I produce Melbourne Music Week. 2015 was my fifth year working on the festival. I’ve moved through a couple of roles over the years but my official title is now ‘Senior Event Coordinator’. Senior, baby.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
All the people I get to work with and the amazing places we manage to pull off shows. We’ll host a party somewhere that no one has used before, and we’ll work with different artists, promoters and labels to pull it off.
What's the craziest party you've had?
We’ve used a bunch of amazing spaces before – the old Argus Building, last year the basement of the former Royal Women’s Hospital, the NGV and the old gaol. The craziest one was probably the party we held at Flagstaff Train Station a few years ago. The station doesn’t run on the weekend so we had it all to ourselves. We worked with the label I Oh You and they have a pretty young following. It was really cool, but I don’t know what the deal was that night - the kids went fucking nuts. Trying to climb on stuff, a bunch of kids spewed everywhere. It all just escalated at one point. But I think everybody left thinking it was one of the best nights of their lives.
Tell us about why you decided to start your own label.
I mainly started it because I was bored and needed a project. I created the brand ‘Peep’ years ago originally for a magazine I never ended up making, and thought I may as well turn it into something. My friend actually designed the logo for me back in 2007 or 08. The name Peep actually comes from an amazing rabbit we had for a while. He just jumped through the window of my old share house one day and none of us knew where he came from or who he belonged to. He ended up living with us for about half a year until one day his real owners saw him hanging out with us in our front yard and we had to give him back. Hopefully when I get more time I can use the label to help mates promote their bands and book them shows.
What’s on your to do list for the next year?
I want to go to Spain. I’d love to get to some festivals (Sonar, Mutek, Moogfest) but mostly I want to go on a proper holiday.
Has your Saturn return thrown you any curve balls?
I’ve got a very short-term vision of my life right now. I have no idea what I’ll be doing in the future. As far as my career goes I can’t even think what my dream job would be. But reading books like Lean In makes me super aware that we are getting older, and that hopefully one day I’ll have a fancy job in a leadership or management role. Starting to think about that has been the main change for me this year. There are skills that I don’t have yet, that I’ll need if I want to build a career. Rather than thinking of which industry I want to work in or what job I want to do, I’m starting to focus on what skills I need and how I can get them. As for my personal life and what adulthood holds? I have a nephew now which is the most amazing thing and I imagine Dan and I probably have a lot of stuff to look forward to still too. So, perhaps my Saturn hasn’t quite returned yet but is on its way and I’m starting to get ready.
What’s your favourite place?
Any park in summer. Nothing beats riding to a park, reading a book, having a beer and hanging out with mates in the sunshine. My favourite place I used to visit all the time is this one particular spot in Kings Park (Perth), where we threw my Grandpa’s ashes. It has an incredible view of the river and is super peaceful.
What are you most curious about?
War and serial killers. But mostly war. I’ve read heaps of books on WWII, the Korean War, the Russian Civil War etcetera and I’ve watched approximately a million documentaries about Hitler. No matter how much you read, war is just so incomprehensible. Same with serial killers. Both are an obvious example of how incredibly fucked up humans can be.
What do you congratulate your past self for?
Making bold and spontaneous decisions. Moving to Melbourne. I came here on a holiday, was offered a job and moved in two weeks. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Also congrats to past-El for surrounding herself with amazing people who constantly help me make both good and enjoyably bad decisions.
Photography by Julia Petricevic & Simone Ruggiero
Words by El Chantry
Pictures taken in Carlton, Melbourne