The Early Days:
What can I say? The words “I grew up” come to me, however the growing process still hasn’t stopped. Mum and Dad (Greg and Patsy) lived in the northern beaches of Sydney. My dad was working hard as a writer and so did my mum to help him. I was born into this house at Harboard. Shortly after I mean while I was still young they moved out west. I played footy, it was probably my dads guidance, I continued after we moved to Terrey Hills. They bought a property and I think we only lived there for a few years.
I often begged for a mini motorbike to ride around the 5 acres. I often rode my friends 50cc rattly beast in his paddock. That was my first time riding a motorbike by myself. I was a wild child. Never stayed in the house. By the time I could walk I would have experience with weed, alcohol and others. Ran away to buy hot chips at the shops every day. I was athletic, competed at school and made it to second levels and things like that. My parents abruptly divorced. I was only like 8 years old. My dad let me know just as we were dropping into maccas. (that old trick)
It seemed like I got blamed for everything, discovered the value of “weed” fairly young, the plant attracts thieves so my mums plants were ripped off and I copped a heavy fallout there. A break in at the house I also got blamed, I was the youngest boy and youngest child, probably seemed easy for them to pin it on me. So they were splitting up, I was so young I didn’t know much about anything, Mum was heading to “Byron Bay” and dad was staying in Sydney. I had a thing for world records, I had that drive inside of me, I want to be the best at something, achieve. I picked up 3 toy juggling balls from the shop with a little manual inside. Oddly enough I chose to master juggling. I practiced for a few weeks here and there and it just sort of fell together, I could juggle. Doing trips between Byron Bay and Sydney someone just said put your hat out. You know, busk. I was small and young and the juggling was actually happening it was a talent. All over the Sydney and Byron Bay id wander off with a hat and some juggling balls and just set up and busk. Manly, Sydney city, Mullumbimby, Byron Bay. People would just throw money at me. I could walk away for about 30 minutes and come back with like $40 or more. This was shocking especially for my sisters who went through all sorts of things, should I give to them like to they have an entitlement to the money and how are my parents going to manage this thing. By the time I was 10 I could earn 3 digits in an hour or so. The tricks improved, I invested in new equipment, along game the knives, the unicycle, I ended up juggling knives on the unicycle. The local paper arrived one afternoon to do a small piece. It was my first one.
School was a bit of trouble. I died my hair for the performances and was essentially a “tall poppy” often bullied but I could see they just wanted to be like me. The jealous thing. I joined the local circus group. I based myself in Byron Bay with my mum. Juggling was popular there, it goes with that fire twirling and bongos in the park. The local circus took me in but I was also in my own right and independent performer who did all the markets and other stages. Moving on a bit this thing took off. I was doing shows in Sydney to 300 people at a time, making thousands of dollars and buying absolutely anything I wanted. Legendarily enough I walked into a Honda dealer and bought a new 100cc dirt bike off the floor. I was 12. By the time I got to high school the things I was bullied for earned me admiration from many and I was up with the girls and the fellas for many years to come. Apart from the money deals like sponsorships and media attention were coming to me, local films, more articles, a documentary, a commercial, news pieces, books, magazines. Even exclusive special guest performances and I even had photos exhibited as a subject in the gallery. The list goes on.
My dad took me to America to compete in the international juggling association championship. I made it to the finals along with 4 guys and then failed to place. It was still good. My parents had to manage this within my family of course my sisters were a bit outraged and I was stopped and hindered on many levels because they didn’t want things to get over the top good for me. I wrote about this before, early on there was some sponsorship from the local hairdresser they supplied me with a t-shirt twice and mysteriously I was not allowed to wear it and it was misplaced by them. Unfortunately for me they would keep doing this to me every step of the way. However I’ve salvaged a fair bit.
My time as a juggler peaked when I was about 16 I did a performance in a neighbouring town with a tv crew there, I was doing a new final stunt and I called it quits after that. I just thought it wasn’t cool anymore and I wanted to do something new. I mentioned the love of motorbikes a bit along the way I crossed over into freestyle motocross after the purchase with my busking money in the year 2000 of my first bike.
I saw the birth of FMX in Australia. I jumped some of the first ramps we had. I was picked up online by the Editor of the first and only fmx magazine in Australia to write and review for them after he saw me posting passionately about the sport on the only message forums that catered for us back in the day.
In year 8 of high school I was living with my dad in Sydney for a year. I was already a solid performer and then this job happened. I was training the bikes every weekend and picking up ground. The job was dreamy, they sent me packs of DVDs to write about and I got paid for it. Didn’t event have to return the discs and I was buying them for myself anyway. I won the talent contest at the high school that year 😉 and anyone’s guesses was that I am going to make a killing one day.
My job itself progressed, I did opinion and intelligence pieces, interviews, I got to attend all the events as media and networked in the industry. I had pictures of myself in every issue. I was promoted to contributing editor before I was 17. I was offered a traineeship in journalism to work at the magazine full time. The school and my dad got involved and told me not to take it. I could ride in my own right and competed once breaking my leg in practice and never fully recovered. Eventually this would cross over into electronic music and djing. Before I was 17 I was sure I was going to take up another thing. I started smoking weed every day and it demotivated me from the physical aspect of riding motocross. It was easier to play tunes and create music. I stopped abruptly the freerider gig which was a huge shock to everyone and shortly after my boss at the time passed the magazine along as well so it was ok.
When I was young, the American style is what most people aspired to, you know, to crack the American market. I was 13, my dads friend was marrying a woman in America, it was in Fresno, I can’t remember the state. I already had experience with New York and California from the time I competed in the IJA contest. I brought a friend with me. My dad brought the whole family there.
I was already working for Freerider MX magazine, it was after a jump session my dad photographed and got some good shots of myself jumping and throwing down tricks on a professional level. I used the photos to obtain sponsorship. That was the thing for the kids at school, getting sponsored in your field. It was a clothing brand called One West Clothing who went on the sponsor some high name riders one even from the Metal Mulisha, and now are no longer producing. They had a boutique store at one of the California beach places I think it was Huntington Beach and they had product all over the place and a big warehouse where they produced everything. I just shot off emails fishing for deals and occasionally I would do business. I was also posting on a message forum which was the main and only one in our field. This was before social media. The owner would organise meet ups at events for the forum members she was a successful person, in media and the original inventor of TiVo. I contacted her as soon as I had access to a phone in our first hotel in LA. My friend was keen for us to do things, my sisters were feeling hard done by.
Why should I live below my potential to make other people feel good about them selfs. We were on the way to San Francisco, my mate was a skater, we hit some of the famous spots for him and I pencilled in to meet the owner of the message forum and website who was also in a relationship with one of the professional and known riders at the time. After San Fran we were in Santa Monica, we stayed in a hotel that night and in the morning the girl (Alex) and her boyfriend (Chuck) were at our doorstep ready to show us around. (Myself and my mate) This was huge, we went to their warehouse / home and visited all over California often stopping and shaking hands with other pro riders along the way. They gave us t-shirts, stickers and we became friends with chuck and some of the other riders.
Another stop along the way for me which I did with my dad was visit the One West factory. The owner knew I was coming and we just walked around the floor with a trolley and he loaded the product on me including banners for promotion ect. My sister came along and was given some of the girls range as well. She wanted to be a part of my thing. This was ok it was complicated so here you have someone who is seemingly trying to stop my progression all the time then wants the girls range of my sponsors clothing. It’s hard to go over with a young head. That was not all that happened, I received a phone call from a known ramp producer and father of two pro riders who also had a group similar to the metal mulisha. They wanted to go into business with me and delivered some ramp design books, I was going to sell them, t-shirts and stickers. This was like another sponsor. So the drift was I was being looked after by my contacts and having a way better time then my immediate family was. This sort of event would have its repercussions.
One of my sisters had to fly home early reporting not having a very good time (the eldest) my dad had to push on and salvaged whatever he could. I stayed in contact with Alex and chuck and drake (chucks friend) and we worked together in the future I seemingly nominated both these riders into special guest slots at x games through my boss at the magazine. He trusted my opinion :). Alex sent me a legendary pack of cds right when I was getting into punk music and this spurred me to fan the band AFI and others who I eventually met and interviewed through the magazine. I also feature interviewed Drake when he was in Aus for one of the x games. He gave in depth answers and it earned him a 5 page spread some of the other riders gave short answers and had a little q+a column instead.
The Farm House:
My dad found out about a council loophole on a boarded up run down house on his property. He bought an acreage in Mullumbimby where my mum moved to. This was awesome for myself however he was hardly ever in town. He rebuilt the house and delegated myself to live there. I was only 16. Before the house was built the original farm house was already home to drunken parties, debauchery and wild fmx antics. Famously it homed a red bull tour which was advertised, covered in the magazine and even televised as stopping at “eddie brights farm” I got up on screen and gave a little spill about the event. I was often recognised from this segment. It could of been better, I was recovering from a broken leg and didn’t ride with the boys. It was still decent though.
There was hardly ever adult supervision, we would just go out there with cartons, bags of joints, movies, chicks, and ride bikes and muck around on the acreage. This is not without its downside. Mix bunches of teenage guys with large amounts of alcohol and attractive young girls and you get problems. When the second house was built I was basically instantly setup for failure. I held parties there for up to 500 people on the property.
I was a known figure from the magazine and local circus performance thing and a generally massive target for BS. I lasted about 2 years in this house in a continual downward spiral. Dropped out of school, let the wrong people in my house, full time on the weed and eventually just walked away from a train wreck. Having boys at my house 24/7 there was endless mess and petty theft and vandalism. It was really disgusting. I had the music studio there and a ps2 setup and I never had any time to myself. This was not just my fault. My parents let it happen, the house didn’t have proper security or even curtains. I was often stalked and staked out I must have been broken into once a week, ppl just drop in and suit them selfs done in the guise of checking if your home.
I couldn’t of been expected to have the life skills I have today at that age. The only good thing that happened during this time was what I picked up in the music realm. The studio in this house took up a full size bedroom, there was cords and equipment everywhere, I must have been running like 8 USB products through an adaptor, the 2 screen setup, monitors, sound card, Dj decks and broadband internet downloading and burning CDs 24/7. There was a broken office chair with pink graffiti posca paint pen with the initials E.M tagged on the back for (E-Murda) the decor in my house was posters and stickers. I was a teenager lol. If you could imagine a troubled young mans bedroom and extend it to a whole house. Lol.
This is a fairly broad topic, as it took up now half my life, seems like a worthy enough interest / dedication. EDM involves computers something I was good at. I listened to prodigy in my list of first ever CDs. I understood how everything happened in steps ect. I had a Walkman and some hip hop classics ect. At some stage I made a choice I’m going to do this music thing. I was interested in turntables and that became a part of it.
Learning to scratch and battle Dj was something I did and performed. Mixing trance tracks ect. I enrolled to study audio after I left school I did a matter of months picked up a bit and dropped out. I was too far behind on assignments due to my smoking (weed). It was a popular stream for almost everyone, half the locals were doing it. I mixed with some other producers and picked things up, exchanged knowledge, there was no YouTube tutorials back then and most of my tricks were picked up through experimentation.
I often held parties and played gigs as I had access to land and equipment. I had the latest tracks from my online trading ect. The songs would sort of childishly be protected and stolen ect. The sabotage amongst the Dj scene was rife to the point toxic and dangerous. People’s moral being degraded by drugs and petty rivalries lead to extremely indecent things happening. Sometimes things on my computer would be edited, vandalised, deleted ect.
There was this big movement in holding people back, I wasn’t the only one but I think I can fairly say I copped the most of it. I had a full set of equipment stolen, and another time broken. It turned up years later at a nye party within the community with the stickers still on the mixer and they just stood over me and said I couldn’t do anything about it. Even online hacking and damaging some of the first online platforms would happen. I learned fairly quickly basically everyone wanted to hold me back and stand in my way.
I got involved in many areas of music, recording, mixing, mastering, event production, promoting, producing, performing, turntablism, djing ect. Even just attending parties and festivals regularly. It’s my opinion that my first tracks had a sound, I was doing unique things like fusing hip hop and trance which later basically became the genre trap. Along came MySpace the first social media and MySpace music. I could already tell within the first week something’s up here. I had like 0 interactions ect. This was an opportunity to arrange me to be seemingly low after living the previous years an extraordinary high life. It was arranged locally to basically cut me out of all social circles ect. I always had a girlfriend and was a massive player and eventually people just had enough I guess and would shut me out of everything. Contradicting the local reaction if I could get my thing in front of outside crowds I got a good response and besides that I could see my own potential and knew what I was getting was just bias and personal gripes. People my age were just starting to come into effect and I was going the other way after living the life I lived.
This bio will slowly tell the story of a boycott ect, and myself being kept in the dark about activities surrounding my music. I could already see it happening locally. Clearing out dance floors, the whole booing thing. Despite my best efforts talent wise I just got all this personal shit from people. At the end of my experience in Mullum I was receiving death threats and a generally chilling vibe from everyone that I have to say effected me. There was clues here, during this time. My dad was a player in this big end of town, he had powerful friends all through the media. I was young and ready to give it a crack. I had productions, I was full of life and well, I was ready. It is what I put forward in this book they, well my dad in conjunction with some other people he knew while he was still on my side pitched my stuff to a range of sources and tried to leave me in the dark about it. Because of course my sisters and my mum and basically everyone wanted me to be down, if this guy was helping me they would come down on him too. This will all be documented.
When you get a feel already at this young age where I was coming from and the kind of person I was you could see basically no one wanted to see me get somewhere with it. When my life hit peak worst my dad and only my dad admitted me for mental health assessment. This happened twice and I can assure you it was only from and because of the strings he pulled and the way he dragged me through it. Why he would want to? It’s like his own brand of rough justice and tough love and he did it to both his daughters as well. It would end up coming in handy for him like his own personal weapon to use against me. After that if I wasn’t completely ruined from backlash before that even happened I totally was now. It’s like two people arguing and he walks over to one puts a loaded gun in their hand and says finish it.
I moved to Sydney. Two fingers to the haters. It’s a big pond, I was happy to be there. I knocked on every door and called every phone in town, I got a distribution deal for a CD. This was big news. They gave me a thick contract and all that. I went to their office and there was platinum plaques on the wall. I never received anything but I put forward in this book the statistics they gave me were false and were contractually not obliged to do anything for me except for profit. My dad was in the office at the time he came with me, he was almost more excited than I was. He revealed to me during this sit down he didn’t want me to succeed. He didn’t want me to earn money like this and said it would be dangerous for me ect and I would suicide he argued or something as bad as that. He would then go back to hiding that exact information.
2 weeks later when my CD came out things were happening my CD would appear in public with a group of girls and I would have to accept things like this as payment. Later on I would bump into people who told me they bought it and it happened more than you would think then I’d get my report and it would say I moved like 3 discs. I called the distributor and said you mean to tell me I bumped into the only 3 people that bought my disc and found out that something is definitely up with this. Combined with my dads wants and knowing everyone wanted to hold me back including my direct family I never had a chance. However they must have wanted to profit from this at the same time and cracks would eventually appear in the facade and I saw through every single one of them which I will carefully map out during this story.
The way they arranged the information and my online activity was so low it was a clue in itself. How can I walk around and bump into people who bought my CD ect and get all this feedback if they give me reports like I moved 3 discs. For that I am grateful they wanted me to think that was my level. To support me thinking that I have countless recounts as well as experience with other artists who would essentially fill me in completely. In fact it wasn’t just the stats and reports. I have been kicked off the stage more times than I have finished. The Dj’s would gather and complain or there would be a punter make a specific complaint and I would be stopped. For a guy as talented as myself I smell a rat and this would leave me to believe I’ve affected these people personally who are complaining. When this has happened in 3 countries I now have reason to believe I am internationally making myself known.
Hey that’s my song:
First and foremost I don’t want to come off as whinging, however I just want to tell the story as it happened. I was sitting in the corner of a bar, texting my girlfriend who is now my wife, it was a local spot I got cocktails sometimes. Not big on the schooners of new. I had serviced my CD to them for placement, prior to this visit.
It was about 6:00 just about to get busy, the manager came out holding my CD in his hand, I walked up to him and said hey that’s mine you should play it tonight. He said he was just testing the system and would play a track shortly. He walked into his office and straight away rush hour starts to hit. He dropped the track Experimental, I know this might not be the worlds greatest ever song but it can blend in enough to just let it cruise by. The bar had about 35-50 people in it, I was still sitting in the corner of the back room watching the crowd react.
My thoughts here we go, this is sweet, very shortly after it came on, person by person began looking at me, one then two, the quiet talking was happening. They were recognising my face as the producer of that song quite obviously. I was happy. Within 10 more seconds the songs been on for about 1:10 the guys began to get a bit loud, insulting, the girls were carrying on. You could hear their remarks, he’s listening to his song and they weren’t very happy about it. The carrying on. It’s a learned response, often rehearsed. A few people raced towards the bar, turn it off, don’t let it finish, quick someone turn it off. People were running into the managers office complaining. Within about 1:50 the song was turned off and I guess I was laughed at a bit. I am glad for the massive over reaction because it just made it obvious to me the whole thing.
What is annoying is this behaviour would happen every single time my song is being played in front of me at least 9/10 times. I went home and I told my dad what happened, they instantly tried to sweep it under the rug and just said don’t mention it. This is 100% fact and things like this would happen often. The annoying thing is it didn’t just extend to hearing my music, even if someone was being nice to me or I was getting my mood up they would get together and pull me down.
In 2009 I came back from an extended stay in Bali, I looked fairly in bad condition, however I was feeling fine, from the airport my dad dragged me to the hospital to have my foot looked at then pulled his strings and had his way with the doctors and other people and I had to stay for assessment. That’s another story, it definitely sucked not much to say about it. Boring detention and hugely degrading however without himself setting it up it would have never happened and we all know it.
I had just turned 21, I was young and wild and free, I had no equipment but my dad arranged a computer when I arrived back home. It only lasted a few months as water was thrown inside it and other parts removed damaged in a petty personal attack at my mums house. She never locked her doors and as we know I was a massive target. Anyway, I wrote a few tracks, one stood out. Something savage. Sounded good enough and was experimental with patches. I had a tv gig which was another seperate chapter, I left the fox studios and a few days later played in a community party in a known park, the track was going good, I played it in another party in Byron Bay as I was travelling back and forth as I did. This was like a huge success people tried to overshadow with harassment.
After the tv thing where I went down nicely conversating with the hosts and passing my demos around, no one knew for about 3 weeks what would air. Lol, you could imagine the suspense I was about to bypass the entire scene with a tv appearance to receive appreciation for my music. One of the hosts also worked for a Sydney radio station, she liked the work and everything was basically set to blow up. I’ll write about it again but I was convinced when the episode aired to “not watch” well my dad and his wife said you might get your head blown off and I was just grateful I mean they can tell me about it right. Well I sat it out then the bloody massive game happened, you were on it, you weren’t on it. They were riddled with the power they had over me and I never received a straight answer. However on the day I was filming I was getting in shots and in on the whole deal with some q+a they knew I wanted it and we were all enjoying the day. The only reason I was convinced not to watch it was they were worried I would see myself. This was a potentially life changing boost to my self esteem and they still deny that it was their idea to the day.
Some people in the industry advise not watching back your material like radio interviews and things and I know the feeling it’s been released and you can’t take it back so you might not even like it. This was not their technique though. For about 3 months after that there was just all this bullshit about my life in everyone’s mouths and of course extreme harassment and bullying. Within my family, it was everywhere. I could not escape it. Works burger. Once in a blue moon a really pretty girl or two would counteract the whole thing fully aware of what’s been happening. If you could just imagine the most favourable conversating and empowering chemistry happening to try and express the other side of the coin so to speak. I knew in the broader community this opinion could not be unanimous. Given I was an all good person that would be impossible.
I endured and endured and the only way to fix it was go along with their lies. Like I was a sort of below average guy and I’ve never done much with myself. The conditioning was inhumane but now I must say nothing can ever get worse than that, only that the same treatment can happen again. I dropped 2 more albums early 2010, I did several radio pushes, promotions and other. I entered a playlist on a Melbourne radio station, I had stuff going for myself. All was swept under the rug. No one in my circle who by this stage was only my family ever mentioned these achievements and it was just the whole cold shoulder vibe the whole time.
I think it was about March 2010, Centrelink called up and said I need to find work, because of the mental health assessment they gave me access to a payment for a year or so and now it was over. I immediately knew I wanted to cook. I fucking loved bbqs. Everyone always asked me to cook for them and in fact hospitality in general everyone always said I was good at. The government was being very generous, I would just go to a job funding program and everyone was nice the whole way along. I mean I was willing to work. It was time to knuckle down. They landed me my first apprenticeship job in a small Italian place on the fine dining side.
The work was brutally hard, the chef would throw shallots at me and then ask me to clean it up. It was a learning curve. Often I didn’t want to go like had other things to do, more community radio or maybe I was hungover from a cash splash at a bar with some of my first pay. I was a good apprentice. You can expect this from the young workers anyway. I clocked 9 months and suspended my training. I was heading back overseas where I had been frequenting and this will get another chapter I was mainly interested in my girlfriend who is now my wife and we have been married for 8 years.
I got the hazing and formed a passion and understanding of the kitchen and after a year in Bali, I came back with my secret weapon and launched straight into work. I never looked back, go hard or go home. I pushed, I survived, I got promoted, we earned enough money to build a house and buy a new car amongst other things as well as travelling back at least once a year. Good going. I spent 5 years cheffing at a pub in the city, I was earning good money, I ended up leaving when the house was almost finished and then did a string of jobs for random kitchens. The money was really amazing, I always imagined what it would be like having an average salary because I was unemployed most of my young age. For some months I was averaging over $1100 in the pocket every week for months at a time. We invested basically everything.
The bullying sort of was just continuing the whole time, it couldn’t really effect me that much though because I had so much defence. I was living the dream. I worked hard, often doing 2 jobs, long hours and physical work. It sure paid off though.
Pick and Choose:
Who would I trust? After someone who I could see didn’t want to hurt me just said “it’s everywhere” I’ve heard this and that and I’m being deadly serious. What reason would they have to lie? Why would the same names keep coming up ect, the same agendas basically and type of direction to take conversation and knowing the people like my dad and my sister and everyone for that matter wanted nothing more than this sort of thing to be not true and knowing for certain they have revealed their intentions several times and then just lied about it.
Who do you think would be telling the facts? This I often had to choose. Even if I bought into the lies they would feed me about who I am or who they wanted me to be, people would bring it back. It would be impossible to make it a unanimous decision. I’ve done some research on brain washing, it’s an impossible task that people tried to do during world war 2. It is simply a constant persuasion that takes place. Once the people persuading you are removed the truth resurfaces. It’s more effective if you have a dependency and a threat like they had over me.