Fashion gurus

• End of Fashion frontman Justin Burford and the rest of the band prepare for their gig at Fremantle Prison.

DESPITE a very public spat with Triple J, numerous line-up changes and a lengthy hiatus, End of Fashion are still alive and kicking.

In fact the Perth band are enjoying a bit of a mini renaissance, hot off the back of a successful WA tour and now on the bill with the Hoodoo Gurus at Fremantle Prison on Sunday April 11.

“Ness [Thornton] rejoined mid last year and we’ve been creatively on fire ever since,” frontman Justin Burford says. 

“The new tunes are sounding really fun and fresh.

“We’re playing at least four new songs at Freo Prison among some of the classics.

“Creating and writing and recording and playing with new inspiring ideas is one of the best things about being in a band.” 

In 2014 End of Fashion took a hiatus after Burford launched a verbal howitzer at Triple J, saying they had effectively torpedoed the band by dropping them from their influential playlist “Triple J ended the career path of End of Fashion, no question,” he said at the time.

His comments prompted support from other musos and an article in the Age about whether Triple J had led to the homogenisation of Australian music.

Seven years on, how does Burford feel about all that? 

Have online platforms like YouTube given artists more control and exposure, diminishing the power of the radio stations and record companies? 

“I only wish my music got as much attention as a 7-year-old facebook status apparently still does,” quips Burford. 

“Triple J and community radio stations continue to have a huge and relevant part to play in the modern landscape. 

“However, a lot of the onus now is on the artist which is great. With all these alternative and arguably more powerful platforms, an artist has far more opportunities to find an audience. 

“I think it’s even easier to see now in retrospect just how much influence some radio stations had; they were in positions where they could literally make or break careers. 

“Some of that power has shifted back to the artist now, and that can only be a good thing.”

End of Fashion join the ranks of noughties bands like Eskimo Joe and Empire of the Sun who are entering the treacherous mid-career zone, where middle age and kids beckon. 

But Burford says he’s not ready for the pipe and slippers just yet.

“I’ve been playing in bands now for twenty years. Of course you learn and grow. Exactly how, I couldn’t say. 

“I’m not sure if I feel any more settled or secure. Covid-19 was not kind to anyone in the arts. 

“I think we’re still feeling it.

“I believe if you start feeling too secure or settled, your art has a danger of becoming stale and boring. An artist should never get complacent. 

“A little bit of insecurity makes things interesting. Keeps you on your toes.”

For more info on End of Fashion’s Freo Prison gig go to fremantleprison.com.au/whats-on/hoodoo-gurus/

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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