What could be better than getting together with your mates for music and madness and beers over Christmas?
Curating a festival around the idea, for one thing, and that’s exactly what Mild Manic have done. Eager to create something unique on the South Coast, where everyone from young’uns to oldies can enjoy good local music with great company, Mild Manic have juggled their commitments as a band with the organisation of a mini music festival called No Worries.
As the band’s frontman Sam Rees explains, the idea for No Worries stemmed from a one-off party in their native Moruya before taking on a life of its own. “It started at a friend of ours’ property – we’d thrown parties out there before and the gig kind of grew,” he says. “It was my 21st birthday actually [when] we threw the first big party – the amount of people that showed up, the excitement of the bands, we thought, ‘Let’s make it happen a whole lot more.’ The following year it multiplied and four years down the track, here we are.
“The crew is trying to make it more of an official thing, just because there’s nothing like this down that way – there’s ankle-biters saving all year to try and travel to access not only nationwide bands but that vibe of a festival. Being a home show, that’s something that’s been the biggest impact over the last year. “We’ve worked nine-to-five jobs [in Melbourne] over the last year to access the industry, to be part of the industry, and back home, more and more people have come to our shows and shown support for the boys who grew up there. It kind of drives us to be down there, I guess, that they support us so much.
“It’s more than the five of us, it’s the whole community,” Rees adds. “We have people call us up offering their services, to mow the lawns or whatever, even the local police come out and let us know to call them if any hassles are happening – it’s a real community thing, hey. It makes you feel a part of something.”
While their hearts remain with the musical well-being of their hometown, Mild Manic have their own release to work on – something they’ve been striving toward with an uncompromising thirst.
“We did a tour halfway through the year with Neon Queen,” says Rees. “We had our residency at the Tote, which kicked arse, which has been good as we’re trying to get our stamp in the Melbourne scene. The ball’s really rolling for us to the end of this year and now the EP is gonna kick off.
“We’re looking to release a single, ‘Little Larger’, off the new EP just before Christmas … it’s a taste of what’s to come on the EP, which will kind of warm people up to our show at No Worries.”
No Worries will mark the ultimate end to an ultimate year for Mild Manic, and its philosophy is clear. “Our aim is to support up-and-coming and unsigned bands,” says Rees. “We’re hoping it’s gonna be an unsigned band festival. I watch so many bands in Melbourne and I’m like, ‘Wow, you guys kick arse!’ They play to five people down here and they don’t get that energy of playing to the hundreds. It’s really an event to gear them up, give them hope to feel like their dream is still alive – it’s the most important message, I guess.”
Hearts of gold, these boys. Mild Manic are a band on the rise, and No Worries will give back to the community that has supported them the whole way.
“[No Worries] is also to generate fundraising for farms – we did Movember too,” says Rees. “Getting everyone together to make a difference is kind of its purpose, really.”