Home of the Arts (HOTA) recently announced the appointment of international music legend Graham Ashton of Footstomp Music who will lead a live music resurgence at the Gold Coast’s leading art and culture precinct.
He comes with an extremely impressive rap sheet having worked alongside the likes of Mumford and Sons, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Paul Kelly. So we’re in for a treat.
We sat down for a chat with Graham about signing big name artists and his advice for anyone looking to break into the music industry.
How long have you called the Gold Coast home?
We moved here seven years ago. Prior to that everywhere I lived felt like a step to somewhere else but now I don’t plan on going anywhere.
What do you love most about our city?
I love the contrast between the beautiful nature and the urban grit. Palm Beach and Tugun are my favourite spots.
What do you hope to bring to HOTA?
The Footstomp team took on booking The Triffid in Brisbane over four years ago and it has won the QLD Venue of the Year at the National Live Music awards every year since. We will use all of our experience and contacts to ensure that HOTA becomes a consistent and loved spot on the live music-touring schedule for great artists for a very long time.
You’ve had an incredible career in the music industry, how did it come about?
I left school and home at an early age to sing in a punk rock band and I love music just as much now as then.
Can you share a few highlights…
Signing Mumford and Sons to Dew Process Records and watching them connect deeply with so many people so quickly. Watching Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at Stubbs in Austin, Texas was my favourite gig of all time. Watching my former Footstomp staff go on to great things in their lives and careers. Our current management roster of Busby Marou, Tia Gostelow, Eden Mullholland and Colin Lillie fills my heart with pride.
You’ve worked with big name international acts like Robbie Williams, whose been your favourite to date?
Paul Kelly is probably my favourite artist I’ve worked closely with. He continues to astound me.
Any advice to people looking to break into the music industry?
Music contributes to society in an incredibly positive way. If you believe that in your heart and have an incredible work ethic that’s a good place to start. It’s much more about experience than money and social status. I watch lots of people come and go but the lifers are easy to identify.