Home hits right chord

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Joseph Bavich grew up in Manjimup and plays rhythm guitar in the band Amphead, which will play at the So My Fest festival.
Camera IconJoseph Bavich grew up in Manjimup and plays rhythm guitar in the band Amphead, which will play at the So My Fest festival. Credit: Bella Kitchen/Bella Kitchen

Manjimup alumni Joseph Bavich will make a triumphant homecoming this weekend, making his festival debut at So My Fest in Pemberton.

“It’s going to be really exciting to go back to Pemberton and to go back to where I left, it’s really cool,” he said.

“To be honest, I’d never thought I’d leave Manjimup and have to come back, but it’s really cool that the reason I’m coming back is to play a festival and to show the youth that there’s more to do in music if you leave Manjimup and there’s definitely no reason to give it up.”

Joseph said there was nothing better than playing live.

“We try and sound as good as we can, but I’d definitely say we’re a different band playing live than in the studio,” he said.

“We might play a little bit differently to the recording, we want to make our sound bigger.”

Joseph has been playing music since he was young, starting with the piano and credits his dad and his first music teacher for inspiring his love of music.

“My Dad was a musician, he was a drummer and I always looked up to him, admiring his playing the drums,” he said.

“My very first music teacher, that’s where I found my love for music because she showed me so much when I was playing piano and she showed me this is how you can express how you feel without having to use words.

“I don’t know what I’d do or were I’d be without music, it definitely comes with a lot of passion.”

While living in Manjimup, Joseph travelled to Bunbury to further his music, and moved to Bunbury after finishing school to pursue music.

“I did a certificate three and four through Rock and Roll High, which is the Southern College of Music and I’d catch the bus up every Thursday and I’d do Thursdays and Fridays,” he said.

Joseph joined Amphead in November 2019 and 2020 is shaping up as a big year for the group, with their first single Gasmate receiving airplay on Triple J and reaching the Unearthed charts.

“I wasn’t actually listening to the radio at the time, but I was told it got played on Triple J Unearthed and for a while we were on the Triple J unearthed charts,” he said.

“There is lots of talent on Triple J Unearthed and I was really grateful we were able to actually have our music played on Triple J Unearthed, all the way from Bunbury and for me, being all the way from Manjimup.”

The creative process for Amphead is democratic, with all group members having an input in the creation of a song.

“I feel like we all have pretty similar music tastes and where we want to go with it, but that’s not to say that we don’t want to incorporate individually our own twist, our own sound, our own style,” he said.

“I think it’s really good that all four of us work really well together, if we want to add something that’s not necessarily the sound of Amphead, we try and all find a way to come to an agreement.”

Joseph said the band was influenced by alternative rock acts like the Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters and You Me At Six, and that he hoped to inspire other young musicians from the area to keep playing music.

“Don’t give up on music,” he said. “If you are a young musician from Manjimup or Pemberton or Bridgetown, there’s no reason you can’t move to Bunbury or Perth. There’s so much out there in music for you.”

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