News March 10, 2021

Bakehouse Studios, DZ Deathrays, find two ways to give musicians a helping hand

Bakehouse Studios, DZ Deathrays, find two ways to give musicians a helping hand

Melbourne’s Bakehouse Studios and Brisbane’s DZ Deathrays have each announced initiatives to help musicians.

Bakehouse’s is through music bursaries for women and GNC (gender non-conforming) musicians, and DZ Deathrays’ is providing gear and tuition for guitarists hailing from regional Australia.

Bakehouse, the hub of many social changes including the SLAM rally, explains, “Women have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic, often as primary caregivers for children and parents, and over-represented in unstable casual and part-time work.

“In the case of music and the arts, we have seen an unprecedented attrition of women – both established and emerging – from our industry with many abandoning their craft altogether.”

The ten quick-release bursaries for rehearsal packages are to encourage and invest in greater participation of women in live performance, creation of new work, collaboration and skills development.

Each consists of three off-peak rehearsal sessions and a full backline at Bakehouse Studios in Richmond.

A percentage of these will be exclusively for First Nations artists, CALD artists and artists living with a disability.

Whilst the bursaries will be looking at merit, they will predominantly be hardship-based.

To launch the project, Bakehouse owner, Helen Marcou AM, announced the first recipient at the One of One International Women’s Day event this week.

She is Melbourne-based Bonnie Mercer, a guitarist whose style is described as “earth-shatteringly loud, transcendentally hypnotic, and experimental while grounded in rock forms”.

The remaining nine recipients will be announced in the coming weeks. Meantime, applications are open here.

DZ Deathrays haven’t forgotten that two of the three hailed from Bundaberg in regional Queensland, and their early struggles with musical gear.

To that end, they teamed up with I OH YOU, Fender and The Artist Studio to launch the Positive Rising Grant.

Three rising guitarists from regional Australia receive a Fender Squier guitar and Fender amp, along with one year’s worth of fortnightly online guitar classes from The Artist Studio.

They also get two of the band’s albums, 2019’s Positive Rising: Part 1 and the July 9-due Positive Rising: Part 2, and a limited-edition pack of DZ Deathrays guitar picks.

Guitarist Simon Ridley explained, “One of the biggest hurdles starting out in music for me as a teenager was just being able to afford quality equipment that was not only actually enjoyable to play but also capable of being used for a gig, or even just an amp loud enough for playing with a full band.

“Growing up in a regional town, the quality and range of instruments available at the time was really limited.

“To be able to help people overcome that initial barrier and give someone the ability to jump straight into it is something I’m very grateful to be a part of.”

More information and applications for the grant have opened here and close at 11 pm AEDT on March 31.

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