Gareth Liddiard

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Gareth Liddiard
Liddiard performing live with The Drones at A Day on the Green, Hunter Valley, March 2013
Liddiard performing live with The Drones at A Day on the Green, Hunter Valley, March 2013
Background information
Born (1975-11-20) 20 November 1975 (age 47)
Port Hedland, Western Australia, Australia[1][2]

Gareth Liddiard (born 20 November 1975) is an Australian musician, best known as a founding member of both The Drones and Tropical Fuck Storm.[4][5][6] Musically active since 1997, he has also released a solo album titled Strange Tourist in 2010.[7] In 2021, Liddiard recorded and performed live with Jim White of the Dirty Three and Chris Abrahams of The Necks as Springtime.[8]

Liddiard has often been called one of Australia's greatest songwriters[9][10][11][12] and The Drones song "Shark Fin Blues", penned by Liddiard and Rui Pereira, was voted by the band's contemporaries as the greatest Australian song of all time in 2009.[13][14][15]

Early life[edit]

Liddiard was born in Port Hedland, Western Australia and then his family lived in South West London until they returned to Western Australia where he started school in Perth. Initially his musical interest lay in jazz and he began playing the saxophone but he eventually found his way to rock and roll music and started playing in bands during his high school years in the city's northern beach suburbs, around Sorrento, at Duncraig High School. As a teenager, Liddiard listened to the music of artists such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Black Flag and John Coltrane.[16]

At the age of 18 years, Liddiard gained employment with a concert lighting firm in Perth and remained in this role for seven years, working with festivals such as the Big Day Out and bands such as Kim Salmon and the Surrealists. In regard to his development as a musician during this time, Liddiard explained in 2013: "Everything came together slowly and organically. It was only when Rui Pereira (high school friend) and I moved to Melbourne in 2000 that we thought of trying to make some money out of music. Before that I'd never considered the idea of being an entertainer."[17]


Liddiard formed The Drones with Pereira in 1997[18] and then relocated with the band to Victoria in 2000.[19] The Drones have released six studio albums since 2002 and have toured throughout the world, including music festivals.[20]

Liddiard released his debut solo album in 2010[21] and completed corresponding tours with support from artists such as Sydney, Australia musician Loene Carmen.[22] The album earned him a nomination for a 2011 ARIA Award for Best Male Artist.[23] In response to the nomination, Liddiard stated: "It's just for wankers, snorting coke and getting drunk. It's just not on my radar and I'm just not interested. The ARIAs don't really mean anything to me."[24]

Together with Pereira, who left the Drones line-up, Liddiard contributed to the production of a self-titled album by Perth band Gutterville Splendour Six. Liddiard played guitar on fourteen songs, in addition to undertaking mixing and recording duties. All of the album's songs were recorded on an ADAT eight-track machine and the album was released as a vinyl record on Spanish record label Bang! Records.[25]

Liddiard has cited Dimitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, The Stooges, North African music and Olivier Messiaen as musical influences. He has named Dylan Thomas, Flann O'Brien, W. B. Yeats, Carl Sagan and Kurt Vonnegut as influences on his lyricism.[16][26] Regarding his own lyrics, Liddiard stated in 2013: "I read but I'm not that widely read. I don't know. They're just words for songs. That's all they are. Yeah, they're sometimes funny. You've got to be funny; life's funny."[20][17]

Personal life[edit]

As of May 2019, Liddiard is a vegan and resides in the rural town of Nagambie, Victoria, Australia with Drones bassist Fiona Kitschin and two fox terriers. Prior to Nagambie, the pair lived in the rural Victorian town of Myrtleford. The Nagambie property, next to the Goulburn River, was the recording location for the 2013 Drones album I See Seaweed. Liddiard explained the location's attributes in a media interview: "It's as good as anywhere for writing, but the main thing is it's cheap, [...] There's a huge amount of room. We have a billabong, there's a swampland, a creek, we're on the river. It's nice."[20]

Liddiard was living in the same area as the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 and subsequently attained a 75 series Landcruiser Troop Carrier vehicle in the event of such an incident in the future. Liddiard explained in 2013 that "it's basically our ticket out of the next bushfire. In the last fires we had a 1990 Ford Falcon which wouldn't have been much use once a tree fell across the only road out of our valley."[16]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected details
Title Album details
Strange Tourist
Bong Odyssey: Recordings 1993-98
(with Rui Pereira)
  • Released: 2018[28]
  • Label: Bang! Records (BANG!-LP115)
  • Formats: 2x LP, digital download
(with Springtime)
  • Released: November 2021
  • Label: TFS Records/Joyful Noise
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download
Night Raver EP
(with Springtime)
  • Released: March 2022
  • Label: TFS Records/Joyful Noise
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download

Awards and nominations[edit]

APRA Awards[edit]

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), "honouring composers and songwriters".[29]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2014 "A Moat You Can Stand In" by The Drones (Stephen Hesketh/ Fiona Kitchin/ Gareth Liddiard/ Dan Luscombe/ Mike Noga) Song of the Year Nominated [30]
2019 "Paradise" by Tropical Fuck Storm (Erica Dunn / Gareth Liddiard / Fiona Kitchin / Lauren Hammel) Song of the Year Shortlisted [31]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2011 Strange Tourist Best Male Artist Nominated

Australian Music Prize[edit]

The Australian Music Prize (the AMP) is an annual award of $30,000 given to an Australian band or solo artist in recognition of the merit of an album released during the year of award. The commenced in 2005.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2010[32] Strange Tourist Australian Music Prize Nominated

Music Victoria Awards[edit]

The Music Victoria Awards, are an annual awards night celebrating Victorian music. They commenced in 2005.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2018 Gareth Liddiard Best Male Musician Nominated [33][34]
2019 Gareth Liddiard Best Male Musician Nominated

National Live Music Awards[edit]

The National Live Music Awards (NLMAs) are a broad recognition of Australia's diverse live industry, celebrating the success of the Australian live scene. The awards commenced in 2016.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
National Live Music Awards of 2016[35] Gareth Liddiard Live Guitarist of the Year Won
National Live Music Awards of 2018[36][37] Gareth Liddiard Live Guitarist of the Year Won


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  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Over, Jessica, Meet Tropical Fuck Storm: The supergroup featuring members of The Drones, High Tension and Harmony, Beat Magazine
  4. ^ Krakow, Steve (6 September 2019). "Dystopian Australian scuzz-rockers Tropical Fuck Storm sharpen their slow burn on Braindrops". Chicago Reader.
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  6. ^ "Members Of The Drones & High Tension Form New Band Tropical Fuck Storm". Music Feeds. 29 May 2017.
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  10. ^ Carter, Jeremy Story (29 January 2018). "The Drones' Gareth Liddiard on why it's not the time to write political music". ABC News.
  11. ^ "Gareth Liddiard – Strange Tourist". 6 October 2010.
  12. ^ Mathieson, Craig (30 September 2010). "Not just made in a Minotaur so". Sydney Morning Herald.
  13. ^ Sadler, Denham (29 December 2014). "Shark Fin Blues by the Drones – a brutally honest account of depression" – via
  14. ^ Bodenner, Chris (25 October 2015). "Track of the Day: 'Shark Fin Blues' - The Atlantic".
  15. ^ "A Canary, Singing Through the Gas: Gareth Liddiard's Strange Tourist". Kill Your Darlings.
  16. ^ a b c Adam Fulton (22 September 2013). "How I unwind: Gareth Liddiard". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  17. ^ a b Craig Mathieson (1 March 2013). "Renaissance of the Drones". The Age. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Mushroom Publishing Gareth Liddiard Biography". Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  19. ^ MCMILLEN, ANDREW. "The Drones: "I'm not addicted to love"". The Vine. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  20. ^ a b c "Lunch with Gareth Liddiard". Sydney Morning Herald. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  21. ^ Madigan, Damien (16 March 2011), "Gareth Liddiard's solo album Strange", Blue Mountains Gazette
  22. ^ Aaron Diaz (23 November 2010). "GARETH LIDDIARD + LOENE CARMEN – OXFORD ART FACTORY (20.11.10)". AU. Heath Media & the AU review. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  23. ^ "And the ARIA nominees are ...", The Daily Mercury, 14 October 2011
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  29. ^ "APRA History". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  30. ^ "Nick Cave, Boy & Bear Lead APRA 2014 Song of the Year Shortlist". Music Feeds. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  31. ^ "2019 APRA Awards nominees announced". noise11. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  32. ^ "Winners & Shortlists". australian music prize. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  33. ^ "Previous Nominess". Music Victoria. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  34. ^ "Previous Winners". Music Victoria. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  35. ^ "Nominees 2016". NLMA. 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  36. ^ "NLMA announce 2018 nominees and Live legend". NLMA. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
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