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Interviews : White Noise Productions – 15/12/2009

By on December 15, 2009

Power amps set to explode; Melbourne’s extreme metal scene is becoming more active than ever with new events running rampant as Gareth Sansom’s White Noise Productions sets their stage.

Sitting in a local bar, sharing a few pints over a few words. Hair down to waist, heavy leather jacket complimenting a Beherit t-shirt, Gareth Sansom founder of White Noise productions is making his name on the Local Extreme Metal Scene.

White Noise Productions is a Melbourne-based event management company, run by local musicians, for local musicians with no administrative body taking a hefty cut from events that they run while giving the opportunity for class management for individual bands and artists, both signed and unsigned within the industry. Now with 16 gigs under its belt and two more within months, White Noise Productions is known for hosting big Australian names of the local scene, such as Embodied, Urgrund, Order or Orias, Vrag, Iciclan and even international Anno Domini Mortus.

“Every gig I have played through White Noise with Adamus [Exul] has been very organised and highly professional from the promotion to the running of the actual event.” Araloth from Adamus Exul, a band managed by White Noise, said.

“White Noise has helped promote Adamus Exul and many other bands in a highly effective way and I think with the amount of poorly run management outfits in Melbourne and Australia today the metal scene could do with many more like it.”

“White Noise events are and always have been engineered to break even with running costs and event overheads, with all excess profits being divided appropriately between participating bands.” Sansom said.

Growing up with a foundation of over 3500 metal CDs and singles within his father’s music collection, extreme metal took Sansom’s eye and by 16 his inspiration took him to giving back what he has received from the extreme metal community by drafting a “vocalist seeking an extreme metal band” on online “Melband.”

After a couple of unsuccessful auditions, determination brought him to a group of guys who had a Thrash Death Metal band and hit it off instantly. “Circa” was the result. Spending weekend nights “sinking more beers and battleships than anyone should to a backing track of the newest and most extreme Metal we could find at the time” Sansom described the times as “honest years and memories”, the foundation from which his current efforts arise.

In years following his achievement of being recognised, Sansom began playing with a number of projects of varying style and status within the Melbourne scene.

“Once you’ve entered the Metal universe, there’s no turning back.”

The most widely remembered being Augur (a progressive technical Death Metal outfit) which he played in for three years ending 2008. With a three track demo called “Origins”, a long string of live performances began, including the New South Wales open air “Metalstock” festival in 2008 and a co-headline Metalfest at Rosies Tavern in Brisbane.

“What happens on tour, stays on tour” Sansom said.

“I think in all honesty 99 percent of stories and incidents with the above mentioned unmentionables would have occurred under the Augur banner, more often than not after a few dozen too many brews but both Metalstock festivals I have been involved with by far eclipse all others.”

Following a lengthy dry spell for gigs in his own city, Sansom began to take it upon himself to be a little proactive and start using bands from the short list of contacts he had acquired, over the years and booked local venues and printing fliers.

The result was “Hellraiser” June 2007, which began as a neutral 21st birthday party, grown now to an annual event.

The initial hiring of a hall and having a few bands play at his 21st fast became his first major event  following a far greater turnout than expected given the nature of the venue, says Sansom.

“Shows held outside of the Melbourne CBD area are generally very difficult to fill, as it becomes more difficult for patrons to both reach and leave the venue if travelling via public transport.”

The crowd peaked in excess of 200, a great success for the venue and acted as the catalyst for the decision to take event management in Melbourne seriously.

“After receiving such great feedback from patrons and appreciation from other bands on these bills, the penny dropped and the idea for Lifeless Entertainment came about.

“I will definitely be keeping this alive annually, with aspirations for larger domestic and with the appropriate support, international acts in years to follow.”

Sansom’s Lifeless Entertainment began in mid-2008, with Hellraiser II which he spent delicate time engineering, giving close and careful attention to line-up and genre.

“One can expect from any White Noise show a line-up of bands which complement each other either musically or conceptually. I will not host a band I have not taken the time to enjoy personally first.”

In early 2009 “Lifeless Entertainment” began a reformation and began aspirations to move into production and distribution of artist release as the business progresses. White Noise Productions was the result.

“The most noticeable improvement in [Sansom’s] work has been the prominence of the venue and line-up.” said Ben, lead guitarist for Augur, a band playing at the first Hellraiser and more recent events. “In more recent times he has brought a lot of interstate bands to Melbourne, often with guaranteed payment for the night, which is obviously a responsibility beyond just getting three mate’s bands to play at the [Arthouse]. The most recent Adamus gig at the East [Brunswick] is an example of a more prominent venue.

“Probably the difference between is trying to live off event management, and doing it for enjoyment, experience and future career, as I think Gareth does.”

“There is absolutely no pleasure greater than overseeing a night that has run smoothly and yielded both a good crowd  participation and response, and a decent profit for bands involved,” Sansom said. “It is my greatest aspiration that White Noise Productions events can be carried out with even greater regularity in Melbourne and with aspirations to increase networking with interstate promotions and events management companies, all we need to achieve this is the continued support of the Metal scene, which we are striving to uphold.”

“We are confident that we present the best of Extreme Metal from Australia and abroad at any of our shows, and that no patron will leave without their money’s worth.”

“As rich as Melbourne is for the extreme Metal scene, there are like ripples in the waters across the country, and we want to tap into this.”

White Noise Productions
Date: 15/12/2009
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Article written by Taigen Gould.