The new album by Perth band End of Fashion, entitled ‘Holiday Trip of A Lifetime’ has just been released independently.
6 months before the album launch, Style Voyeur interviewed frontman Justin Burford via 140’s blog about the, then un-released song ‘Legs Grow Long’ which featured exclusively in the 140 runway show I produced and styled as part of Perth Fashion Festival last year. The interview is still very current and now that the album is finally out, we have the back-story on EOF’s past, present and future as I discuss all things fashion as well as the new direction they have taken for this release.
End Of Fashion are a popular WA band who’s music gained fans world-wide and brought fame and accolades to its members 7 years ago for their catchy tunes and top 40 successes. They received rave reviews over those years from some of the music industry’s toughest critics and will go down in WA music history for breaking into the mainstream with songs, ‘O Yeah’ and ‘The Game’. After a long hiatus, the new album ‘Holiday Trip of a Lifetime’ turns their history upside down as they independently release one of the ‘poppiest’ records a rock band has ever made. Read the Q&A I did 6 months ago ahead of the release with friend, talented frontman and heartthrob extraordinaire, Justin Burford.
Name: Justin Burford
Band Name: End of Fashion
Band Members: Justin Burford, Rodney Aravena, Simon Fasolo
Established: Early naughties, roughly
L-R: Rodney Aravena, Justin Burford & Simon Fasolo
Style Voyeur: End of Fashion are such an established WA band, why did you agree to let us use your un-released song ‘Legs Grow Long? ahead of its release?
Justin: The band has taken a fresh direction on this upcoming record and we feel an event like the 140 PFF show is a perfect forum to showcase this new sound. It’s always really exciting for us to align ourselves with these kinds of cultural events. Perth has a rich creative atmosphere with so many talented people in a wide variety of fields, so naturally we are always enthusiastic to get involved in celebrating and participating in anything that enriches or expands the arts community. The pleasure is all ours.
Style Voyeur: When can fans expect to get their hands on the upcoming album ‘Holiday Trip of A Lifetime?’
Justin: We’ve been working hard on this record for over two years now, getting everything just how we want it. It’s our first independent release so it’s been a labour of love for us and a chance to make a statement. (The album is out now.)
Style Voyeur: What do you think is so great about the WA music industry?
Justin: It’s no secret Perth has had a flourishing arts scene for many many years. There’s been articles and books and movies all asking the same question. I think it’s just a great place to live and work. There’s a strong sense of community here and people are happy to bounce ideas off of each other all in the name of creating stuff that will stand on par nationally and even internationally while carving out our own sense of identity. The isolation works for us in that capacity. Perth people are proud of our arts heritage and because its so small and focused we have a shared passion and belief in what we do. I think it’s the unity that makes us strong.
Style Voyeur: You have played to thousands of fans at countless festivals over the years, graced the pages of multiple magazines and performed on TV shows such as Rove Live, what is it like to be loved for something you enjoy doing?
Justin: It’s the greatest thing in the world. Any artist or performer’s dream is to be recognised and acknowledged that what you’re putting out there is ok. I dont think it’s about the accolades as much as it’s about being appreciated for sharing what you love doing. We’re blessed for the experiences and opportunities we have had. That’s not to say it isnt hard work and it comes with certain sacrifices and down sides, but I wouldnt want to do anything else.
Above: Band members Rodney & Simon in the studio
Style Voyeur: What are a few of your favourite things…
Justin: I tend to love the little things. A good book. A nice meal. The company of people I love. I’ve never made it any secret that I’m an avid film fan with seriously geeky tendencies. I love performing and I love creating. I’m really enjoying the opportunity I have now to explore acting [Justin was working on the musical production in Melbourne called ‘Rock Of Ages’ when we did this interview, playing the lead – he is currently performing a solo show entitled ‘Kurt’ as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival] and that’s something I will definitely continue to pursue. I have a penchant for a good cigar every now and then. I just love life I guess.
Style Voyeur: Anyone who knows you and the band, knows you have some serious style Justin, what do you like most about fashion and how would you describe your style?
Justin: The irony of being in a band called ‘End of Fashion’ while having something of an interest in fashion has never been lost on me. It’s kind of part of the joke so to speak. Fashion will never end because the need for people to express themselves will never end. Fashion is really just an extension of identity. There are conformists and there are radicals and sometimes they’re one and the same. I dont know if I have a particular style. I’m drawn to certain looks I guess but for me it’s more about moods then trends. It’s just something else to have fun with and explore. I know what I like and I trust my instincts, for better or worse.
Style Voyeur: We’re planning on playing your song to end our 140 fashion show (pun intended), did you ever think the song could work well for fashion runway?
Justin: Firstly I want to say it’s an honour having a song of ours being chosen to close an event like this. It’s pretty cool. Things like that always spin me out because I remember when I wrote it which was, like usual, in my bedroom. To think a tune I pen in my bedroom ends up closing a fashion event tickles me. Funnily enough, I wrote this song with the hope and intention that it would be used on a fashion runway. There’s a stoic rhythm to the song that made me think of long legs strutting and all the glitter and fanfare of a fashion show. It’s something Ive always enjoyed as subject matter. Our last record had a song called ‘Exotca’ that commented on the glitterati. It definitely gives me a quiet sense of satisfaction that ‘Legs Grow Long’ is being used for one. I can tick that box.
Above: A model struts the runway to ‘Legs Grow Long’ in one of the looks as part of the closing block of my 140 show as part of PFF11. Photo: Stefan Gosatti.
Style Voyeur: Some of the lyrics of the song include the words ‘covered in style’ – How important do you think it is to be covered in style?
Justin: Style, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s completely subjective. I think what that means is being comfortable in your own skin. It’s a means to and end. If you feel like dressing down, do it. If you feel like being kooky, do it. If you want to feel sexy or stylish, do it in a way that makes you feel like you. Too many people use fashion as a form of competition I think. Or intimidation or manipulation. It should just be about expression. Finding characters that express different sides of your personality. People are complex creatures. We shouldnt feel the pressure to conform unless thats something that feeds our identity. Do what you like. Develop your own style or follow a trend, it shouldnt matter as long as it makes you feel good. Confidence is the ultimate fashion statement.
Style Voyeur: What was the inspiration behind this song ‘Legs Grow Long’?
Justin: It’s meant to be a kind of coming of age song. I like to write from the perspective of characters a lot. Imagining a young girl finding her feet and taking her place in the world. The fashion world is competitive and can be brutal and harsh which has parallels to everyday life in a way. I just imagined this girl growing up feeling like an ugly duckling or a fish out of water and then blossoming into something beautiful and realising her full potential. Ive always felt like a bit of a misfit so a lot of my songs tend to be about overcoming those obstacles and discovering your true inner strength and beauty. I think I wrote it after seeing ‘The Black Swan’ actually. It’s not about that film per se but it had an effect on me. I empathise with these characters I create because they reflect different sides of myself and hopefully other people find something in this song, or any of my songs that they can relate too. I never write anything too literal though. Ambiguity allows other people to project their own ideas onto the songs. I just like creating little worlds and give people impressions rather then tell strict narratives. I have my stories and characters in these songs but it’s far more fun for me to imagine other people drawing their own conclusions or having their own interpretations.
Style Voyeur: Our show is titled ‘140 Hearts WA Creatives,’ why do you think it is important for WA creatives to be heralded for their efforts?
Justin: Perth is a really special place. It’s an anomaly really. We are so isolated yet there is an ever growing sophistication about the place. Its size and isolation has kind of incubated it’s own scene of creatives who are given freedom to explore ideas largely unhindered. This should be acknowledged and celebrated. Perth’s sense of identity is growing stronger and stronger every year as is the quality of product that comes out of it. I think it’s only a matter of time before Perth is recognised as the creative city that it is. Eventually, I’d like to think it can take it’s place next to the likes of Milan or Montreal or any other smaller but no less important international creative and cultural hub on the world stage. All it needs is encouragement, enthusiasm and support. There’s certainly no shortage in talent.
Justin with Radar Reegan who rated ‘Holiday Trip of a Lifetime’ as Radar Music’s Album of the week.
To download the first track ‘Superlove’ for FREE and watch Justin’s interview with Radar music about Independent vs Major Label representation and EOF’s history, CLICK RIGHT HERE YO! The new album can be purchased on itunes in Australia and Internationally as well as at record stores across the nation.