When we got back from our year long adventure, we faced the gargantuan task of editing together all our footage into something watchable. One crucial element of this was gathering together a soundtrack to the show that would complement the emotional rollercoaster ride of our trip. As we’d done everything ourselves up until this point, Jag had a go at recording a few tracks on his makeshift recording studio but it was quickly clear that the sheer quantity of music required was far more than he would be able to pull together alone.
Under normal circumstances, when a production company creates a television series, they will have funding and a music budget, allowing them to buy the rights to whatever music they wanted. We were in a very different position. We had invested a year of our lives shooting BACKPACKERS on a whim. There was zero network interest at this stage and a nonexistent budget. We’d invested all our money into the trip and now we needed to find musicians who believed in our project and were happy to donate their tracks in exchange for a bit of potential publicity if the show ever saw the light of day.
It was a two pronged strategy. Firstly, we made posters explaining what we were doing and then drove all around Melbourne, putting them up in countless rehearsal rooms and recording studios, hoping that local bands would see them and be kind enough to help us out.
At home, phase two came into effect. We hopped online and scoured the internet for bands that we thought would suit the show and then we individually emailed hundreds of them, asking for any tracks they wanted to contribute. We always had it in our head that the soundtrack, just like the places we were visiting should be international, exotic and random so we emailed people from all over the world as well as locally and targeted bands of varying styles, from marching band to death metal.
We were absolutely overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of incredibly generous support we received from bands and solo musicians all over the globe. A lot of the music donations came from unsigned bands but even well known artists like THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS and THE FAUVES who had very little to gain from more exposure were kind enough to get involved because they believed in what we were doing.
Thanks to this generous support, we were able to collate an amazing international music library that perfectly suited the 26 part series. You can listen to a small selection of these tracks while you’re browsing this site by using the music player on the right but if you want to hear more, click on the links below to go to the individual websites of each of the bands who donated music to BACKPACKERS.
Unfortunately, due to the fickle nature of the music industry, a lot of the bands who donated music for the show are no longer together. This sadly includes KEMP, the band who wrote the incredible BACKPACKERS theme song, POLLUTE ME. Consequently, a lot of the links below are quite dated and lead to the last know sites for these bands (often MySpace pages).
If you like any of the artists, please support them by buying their music and getting out to see them play!
Tragically, this epic band is no longer together but we can say with no hesitation that these guys kicked arse! We went to high school with these blokes and recently had the privilege of filming their final ever live gig… Their sound matches our footage so perfectly that we made ‘Pollute me’ our theme song! The live version of the track which we shot can be found on the BACKPACKERS DVD bonus features disc!
THE GOOD CHINA
We used the track ‘No More Maps, No More Roads’ by 8 piece Indie/Pop collective THE GOOD CHINA in the montages during the DVD ads. You can download the song for free from their website.
THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS
The Beautiful Girls are a top Aussie band consisting of members Mat McHugh, Clay McDonald, Mitch Connelly and Felipe. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, have a listen… NOW!! We’ve seen them play a few times now and they’re absolute quality! Special thanks to Neal for organising for us to be able to use the awesome tracks ‘..And we’ll dance on the ashes of what’s left’ and ‘Let’s take the long way home’
The Fauves are an iconic Aussie 4 piece that have been kicking around since 88′. Eight albums in, Coxy kindly offered for us to use their album ‘Nervous Flashlights’ in the show.
Sweet sounding Power pop/Rock from this four piece out of Melbourne. We saw these guys live at the Tote before they went off to tour in the States. It was an awesome gig and we were lucky enough to get permission to use their ‘Girls in magazines’ single and their album ‘Keeping up with the Wellingtons’.
Goyouhuskies! are an unabashed pop quartet from Melbourne who are sadly no longer together. We were fortunate enough to see these guys play at the Tote before they called it quits and were blown away! They kindly gave us the tracks ‘Cubbyhouse’, ‘Waking up is hard to do’ and ‘Fear of Flying’.
Alt-Pop with a pinch of Jazz. Jess is a multi-award winning singer/songwriter from Melbourne who plays both solo and with her band ‘Jess and the Paige boys’.
Konquistador deliver unsettling-uncompromising-avant garde-evil-electro-rock and Reggie from the band has been a champion and given us three tracks to use off their album ‘Courage Riot’. If you like the band, also check out ’72 Blues’. They’re a pretty different style but they share band members Lizzy & Reggie Ray.
72 Blues deliver a stinging blend of down south and signifying honkey rawkin-blues. I spoke with Reggie (who’s also in the band KONQUISTADOR) and he generously threw five tracks our way from the album ‘Said I would’.
This quality live dance music act are close friends of KEMPs. Very good stuff. These guys have been with us since the beginning and have generously offered us the use of their two albums ‘Pshycho coustic’ and ‘Sound and motion’.
Peshwari is Linden Lester’s (Bass player from Morph) side project. Click on the link to hear his handiwork on the Peshwari Myspace page.
Nothing Personal is what the boys from KEMP were doing before they formed KEMP. Exactly the same line-up minus the name change. They’re no longer together so the link re-directs to KEMP’s site.
Comprised of members of former band ‘BOB’, Cow Lazy are a bit of a family affair and include two of Lee’s cousins. Special thanks to Kylie for not only giving us their latest studio release but also the entire BOB back catalogue.
Bob is the former band for members of ‘COW LAZY’. They have kindly donated their three studio releases ‘The adventures of Bob’, ‘The freakin rain’ and ‘Fallout’ to be used in the show’ The band is unfortunately no longer together but clicking on the link will take you to the website of their new band ‘COW LAZY’.
FULL CHROME MOLLY
Full Chrome Molly are also on permanent Hiatus so the URL links to front woman Lilith Lane’s solo project.
Quality alternative rock group from Melbourne, Victoria who generously allowed us to use their three track EP.
Mark is one of the world’s most successful and respected contemporary composers of bagpipe music. He generously donated the tracks ‘Digital Breakdown’ and ‘Journey to the centre of the celts’.
Infectious Indie/Garage/Pop from Melbourne. Click on the link to hear them on MySpace.
Rock/New wave/Indie group from Melbourne. Phil kindly supplied us with a copy of their debut album ‘Travelling through time’.
Alternative experimental rock from this two piece guitar and bass instrumental outfit out of Melbourne. Paul and Justin gave us a copy of their self titled 5 track EP to use.
Glue are an unsigned Rock/Grunge/Progressive group from Melbourne. They sent us a copy of their three track EP plus their album ‘Breathe deep and laugh’ to use in the show. Cheers guys.
THE GO SET
Very unique sound combining folk elements of the bagpipes, accordion and mandolin with distorted punk guitars. They gave us seven tracks to use in the show. ’5am’, ’1788′, ‘Bombs are falling’, ‘Coming down’, ‘Davey’, ‘Raymond O’Byrne’ and ‘The old dark brown’.
Acoustic/Powerpop/Rock out of Tasmania. Jordan generously allowed us to use the track ‘Clickity Clack K Pow’.
Indie/Alternative/Folk Rock out of Tassie. Their much appreciated contribution were the three tracks ‘Wisdom tooth’, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Brief lives’
THE RYE CATCHERS
This alternative/Classic Rock five piece hail from Ballarat and they kindly gave us the tracks ‘Yeahnah’ and ‘Your authority’. If you like it, also check out the band ‘The Red Cents’. Both bands share vocalist Earl Leonard.
THE RED CENTS
Earl Leonard (Vocalist from THE RYE CATCHERS)’s other band. This Latin/Blues/Folk Rock band donated their new six track EP to use in the show.
ST MARYS DISTRICT CLUB PIPES AND DRUMS
These guys were kind enough to let us use the two tracks ‘Jazz Waltz – Bazza’s gone bonkers’ and ‘Hornpipe – The band club’ from the album ‘Something for everyone’. Their rich bagpipe sound lent perfectly to our Scottish episodes of the show. Special thanks to Paul and Mylene for all their help.
This Rock/Pop four piece out of Melbourne gave us their four track EP to use containing the songs ‘My baby says’, ‘Anxious’, ‘Silver spoon’ and ‘So come around again’.
Alithia are a psychedelic rock band from Melbourne and gave us the two tracks ‘Future past’ and ‘Space goat’.
DESTROY THE BOY
DESTROY THE BOY This Aussie Soul/Funk/Rock group digged deep and offered us eight of their tracks to use in the show.
STRIPES AND STARS
The Melbourne Rock/Experimental/Jam outfit Stripes and Stars donated the tracks ‘Love song’, ‘One in a million’, ‘No chance to change’ and ‘Push the button’ (Not a cover of the sugarbabes!)
Very distinct sounding experimental Melbourne trio. They gave us the tracks ‘Critter’ and ‘Kritta’.
Unsigned alternative metal band from Melbourne.
Star Diner is a blues rock three piece out of Melbourne fronted by Damon Smith. He’s kindly supplied us with some original tracks to use in Backpackers.
This Melbourne Metal Rock outfit donated their five track EP to our backpacking cause.
Stoner rock in the vein of Kyuss, Fumanchu, Hendrix, Sabbath and Pink Floyd. They generously let us use their latest album ‘Atma-Nivedana’. The URL they provided us no longer works so I assume that the band is no longer together.
Ambient experimental solo outfit from Brisbane muso Arian Marsh. The URL he provided us no longer works so he’s probably now making music under a different alias.
THE TINY (Sweden)
Alternative acoustic folk trio who sing in English. Great stuff. They kindly donated the quality tracks ‘Kind of like you’, ‘Dirty frames’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Closer’.
If you know your Swedish music you’ll know it generally kicks arse and these guys are no exception. Awesome Hip Hop that’s rapped in Swedish.
Timbuktu is a hip hop artist on the JuJu record label. Sung in Swedish. Very good stuff. He’s kindly given us the songs ‘Gott folk’, ‘Det Loser sig’, ‘Ett Brev’, ‘Stirra ner’ and ‘The Botten is Nadd’.
Chords is a label mate of Timbuktu. Awesome Swedish Hip Hop sung in English. They kindly let us use the corker of a track ‘Knockin’ on my door’.
J-RO (The States)
Also signed by the Swedish label JuJu Records, J-Ro and the Alkaholiks are a Hip Hop/Rap outfit from California and they let us use their track ‘Just rockin on’.
ZORO (South Africa)
Hailing from Guguletu, South Africa, Zoro is a Reggae/Dub/Afro-beat band on the same Swedish record label as Timbuktu, Chords and J-Ro. The track ‘Azanian Memories’ was kindly donated.
PSI VOJAC (Czech)
Czech rock group who have been around for over a decade. They provided us with the track ‘Marylin Monroe’.
Unique sounding rock from some guys living in one of our favourite Czech towns, Brno. They kindly gave us a whopping seventeen songs to use in the show.
Pop punk group from Lisbon with English lyrics. They kindly let us use six tracks from their album ‘Wake up call’.
Alternative experimental outfit with Portuguese lyrics. Very unique sound. They generously allowed us to use all the tracks off their album ‘Abertura’.
The soothing sounds of ambient electronica sung in Spanish. Like an island oasis in your ears. They gave us the song ‘Distancia Del Mar’.
Punk rock from A Coruna with Spanish lyrics. Special thanks to Alberto for arranging for us to use thier latest album ‘Casi Muerto, Casi Vivo’.
AVIADOR DRO (Spain)
An electro Indie outfit with Spanish Lyrics. They gave us the track ‘Nuclear Si’ which we used several times throughout the series.
Italian rock with Italian lyrics from Rome. They generously supplied us with eleven tracks to incorporate into the show.
LUCA NESTI (Italy)
Rock/Acoustic artist who sings in Italian. He provided us with the tracks ‘Lo non mi innamoro’, ‘Il politico perfetto’, ‘Il microfono precoce’ and ‘Congiunzioni’.
ZARTES WILD (Austria)
Indie/Rock/Alternative from Graz, Austria. Lryics in Austrian. Special thanks to Vern for donating the tracks ‘Ecken & Kanten’, ‘Genau so soll es sein’, ‘Energie’ and ‘Sintfluthintermir’.
Punk/Rock/Comedy group who sing in Maltese. They kindly gave us their latest album ‘is-cd Ta’ L-ixtruppaw’ to incorporate into the show.
AKKEZDET PHIAI (Hungary)
Check this shit out! It’s absolute gold! Do it now!! Hungarian underground Hip Hop. These guys kindly offered their latest album ‘Akkezdet’ to use on the show.
Very unique experimental artist from the Netherlands who plays the jew’s harp.
DRIVE BY WIRE (Holland)
Awesome alternative rock trio from Deventer, Netherlands. Very good stuff. We were fortunate enough to get permission to use the tracks ‘Dirt’, ‘Morning may never come’ and ‘TAR’. Thanks to Alwin and Simone.
LETZTE HILFE (Germany)
Pop Punk/Powerpop with German lyrics. Very fun stuff. Special thanks to Polly for giving us the songs ‘Chappy fue die katze’, ‘Das Neue mit dem Hitrefrain’, ‘Es isst…!’, ‘Fuer Deutschland’ and ‘Sejl Awej’.
TUBUKU (New Zealand)
Grindcore/Experimental/Metal outfit out of Wellington
Belgian siren who sings in French. She kindly offered us the four tracks ‘Mes yeus rouges’, ‘La Piscine’, ‘Juste une fille’ and ‘A decouvert’.
LADY PALAVAS (France)
A very fun, Pop/Loungue/Disco house outfit with lyrics in French. They charitably donated the tracks ‘Cuisine Actuelle’ and ‘Hypocondriaque’.