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Making Good Use of Public Transport Q & A: Weathered


Upile Mkoka’s solo project Weathered takes inspiration from his North Queensland lifestyle (minus the bull statues and emu parks) to produce his stunning minimalistic electro tracks, showcased in his latest EP Lunar’. We asked Mkoka about his best and worst experiences as a commuter on public transport and the story behind his latest collection of songs.

What’s the worst food a fellow passenger could be eating next to you on public transport?

Definitely anything involving banana. I can’t stand bananas and would probably end up either grabbing it and throwing it away or vomiting on them…

Ever snuck onto public transport without paying?

I haven’t actually, I think it’d be too obvious that I was hiding something and look too guilty.

Got any tips on being sneaky and avoiding a fine?

Either make a fake lanyard for the transport company so you look like an employee. Or if you get caught, speak a foreign language and start crying so they feel guilty and (hopefully) leave you alone.

What’s the best outfit you’ve ever seen on public transport?

My drummer Reece has seen someone in a leopard print mankini with high cowboy boots on. It doesn’t really get much better than that I reckon!

What’s the most dramatic incident you’ve see happen on public transport?

I saw a guy tell another passenger he shouldn’t be in our carriage with a bike, and the guy exploded saying he’d drive if he could afford a car but he just got out of jail…and then proceeded to get prepped for some fisty cuffs… Ended up with him off the train yelling at everyone as we took off to the next stop.

Have you ever left something important behind on public transport?

Kind of…

What was it, and did you ever get it back?

I nearly left a friend that fell asleep on a train as we were on the way to the airport and had to get off, decided to stay on and try and wake him up.

What would you most like to leave on public transport?

My responsibilities and bills. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!

Who in the band is most likely to complain about catching public transport?

If it was on the way to a gig, probably me…I nearly hit someone in the head with my guitar case trying to walk down the middle of a train while it was moving. But just in general? I’d say Reece (drummer), He’s a bit of a diva.

For uninitiated, how do you describe Weathered’s sound and live shows?

There’s elements of folk but it’s definitely an alternative off-shoot of that. Our live shows vary from super intimate and quiet to some really big moments as a band. Overall it’s pretty chilled!

We’re loving your latest single Light, what’s the story or inspiration behind the song?

Thanks! That song was the first song written on the EP, I had the chorus melody there for ages and one night those words kinda just dropped as I was playing it back. To me it’s about trying/striving to do things your own way rather than following what you know to be true and right… But that truth and ‘light’ is always there, and will eventually guide you back to itself. Is that a little too deep for a Q&A? Haha!

Lastly, what are three things people should know about your EP ‘Lunar’?

  1. I recorded it downstairs in my house through the hours of the night and some of the takes are from the original demos.
  2. This particular collection of songs are really personal and special for me.
  3. My good friends Mark Myers and Josiah Birrell (GOVS) contributed to some of the instrumentation on the songs. They brought their magic (I’m a sucker for trumpet and tambourine).

Read our Premiere of Weathered’s EP ‘Lunar’ HERE