Causing Hammock talk social issues in Alice Springs and the difference between city and town life. Causing Hammock are a rock band made up of Nathanael Rothwell and David Drummond hailing from Alice Springs, as well as Keith McGloin from Adelaide. The Hammock lads are Adelaide and Alice Springs locals who have been playing together since 2012. In part one of our interview with Causing Hammock we talked about social issues that have affected them and differences between city and town life.
Aware: What do you find, or have you found to be a social issue that’s affected you which you believe there needs to be more awareness about?
David: Growing up in Alice Springs as a young person the one thing that seems to flow is alcohol. It’s a funny one because we wouldn’t exactly say its an issue that’s been swept under the rug, but it’s got a stigma about it that allows it to be okay, which in the right moderation it definitely is, but you can certainly see a disruptive side to it which can affect people in a not so positive way. But there’s an Australian mentality that goes with that which says ‘yeah that’s okay, that’s what you’re meant to be doing’ and when you choose not to partake in it that sometimes you become the outsider.
Nathaniel: Peer pressure and all that, you just feel left out if you’re not doing it.
Keith: People’s attitudes about things with refugees and all that negative stuff in the news. I don’t really read or watch that much stuff on the news because I find it to be depressing. I like to know what’s going on but by the end of a news segment I just need some positive news you know? And the news in itself is a bit rank – they just portray a certain side of it and tell you whatever they want to tell you, or whatever Murdoch wants to tell you. It’s getting better but there’s still a lot of room for education. It’s funny, I sit back and hear things that people say and it’s really uneducated stuff and if you actually knew what was going on about these situations and knew some of these people – they’re humans too.
Nathaniel: With Reclaim Australia going on – I saw a picture the other day with an Aboriginal guy holding a sign saying ‘not yours to reclaim’ and that was the best thing. It’s crazy how much people can believe that a group of people are taking their land when it’s not even theirs originally.
David: We were talking just the other day about politics in an ideal world. I think there should be, at bare minimum, half of the Australian government as indigenous people because then you would actually have people that hold the views of the traditional people that can then put forward policies that would really benefit indigenous people and preserve their culture, because it’s far richer than what we can understand. So that’s massive to me definitely. Race equality but at the top notch where they can really have a voice because as far as Australian politics goes, it’s all decided in Question Time in Parliament, so to have some more voices in there would be a major start. I think that finding these indigenous leaders that are still connected to their culture and can really speak for their people and the true essence of the culture is important. That’s definitely a big thing growing up in Alice Springs.
Aware: So that stemmed from growing up here?
David: Definitely, 100%. I lived in Adelaide until I was 9 years old and before that I was really uneducated and unaware of a lot of race differences because it just wasn’t prominent in society back there. As I saw things and learned more it certainly opened my eyes to other sides of it.
Nathaniel: And that’s funny because that’s the opposite to me, growing up here and then going away to the city because it’s so hidden there. And then you come back and it’s like, ‘this is real’.
Aware: Do you think it’s exaggerated here because of the size of the community we have here as well?
David: Yeah definitely, because even in Adelaide its probably not so much. There is definitely race barriers but there’s also more social status barriers. So you’ve got the northern suburbs, Elizabeth, and that’s where the less fortunate financially usually live and that leads to a certain style of life which is very separate, then you’ve got your Golden Grove which is your really posh area then everything in between, and its very split and separated that way.
Nathaniel: To the point that people who haven’t been out to those areas talk about it like it’s another..
David: Yeah it’s like another race, like the northern suburbs are different people and there’s jokes about it and everything else that comes with that. In Alice Springs it’s so condensed and it’s everywhere. You walk down the street and you’ve got the millionaire walking next to the homeless person.
Aware: Would you say that your opinion about this in Alice Springs came from just seeing this happen or was it direct contact with this from your friends or in other ways?
David: All of the above I’d say. We like to think that we live in this equally balanced society but when you look deeper it’s not like that. And steps have been taken in the right direction but a lot of steps have been taken in the wrong direction as well.
Keith: And there’s no quick band aid solution to this but I don’t know how far we’re ever really going to get until they’re recognised in the Australian constitution. That’s 101 stuff, the Australian constitution doesn’t even recognise those people so how far are you ever going to get? Whereas the whole ‘Sorry’ thing – you can just say that, and before every ceremony or footy game say that we recognise the traditional owners of this land but that’s kind of just a token thing that we throw out there and it’s like ‘we’ve said our bit, alright cool on with business.’ What is that really doing though?
Nathaniel: There’s always excuses about it being hard to change that type of thing but it really needs to change.
Aware: What are the main themes of your music and your songwriting, and what inspires that?
Nathaniel: I guess a lot of it was really just growing up and experiencing stuff like that. There’s always a bit of love things or things about the town or about going to the city. It’s just really experiences at the moment but I’ve got to start writing stuff now as well so I’d like to see what happens with that.