You probably know him best as the bassist for legendary Australian rockers Powderfinger, but now John ‘JC’ Collins has a new venture in his sights – Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall. We chatted to JC about his new venue, ahead of their huge opening night event, to get the inside scoop.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us JC. Tell us about your vision for Fortitude Music Hall?
Since the demise of The Festival Hall in 2003, Scott (Hutchinson) Paul (Piticco) and I saw a need for a venue that could celebrate the next generation of music both domestically and internationally. We want to see colour and spirit in the Valley.
How did your involvement with the venue come about and what does your day to day look like now?
My involvement came about through sharing a passion for music with Scott and walking into the original site with him. He pitched the idea, and as soon as I saw what he wanted to plan I couldn’t say no. Daily I’m being the caveat for brilliant people. I am busy trying to move a lot of different projects along, without letting the realities ruin the dream.
How has your time in the music industry informed your role at Fortitude Music Hall?
I’ve been fortunate in seeing a lot of venues across the globe and seen what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve always thought that a venue should be artist-friendly, accommodating, and a great place for punters to have the best experience they can have.
Compared to performing with Powderfinger, how different is the feeling of launching a brand new music venue?
There is a different set of challenges and rewards. Having the privilege of playing a sold-out show at Riverstage for me will never be conquered. My current high is one of hope and inspiration. I can’t wait to see other artists lead their charge on the venue that we have built as a collective.
What makes the Brisbane music scene so special and unique?
All the artists here are happy to play and share experiences and the style of music doesn’t matter. There is a scene, but there isn’t a sound.
Can you foresee any challenges within Brisbane’s event space?
There are challenges to our scene, and collectively we are trying to create something amazing that can aspire. We’re trying to not focus on what can stunt us and instead focus on what can unite us.
Is there a dream artist you would love to host at Fortitude Music Hall?
Not really. This is something that is important for the city and something I hope people celebrate. My kids are 15, and they can’t wait to go to the venue and experience something that my generation got to take for granted for years.