This month Star Observer caught up with Thunghutti man Jimmy Kyle to discuss his band Chasing Ghosts and its latest EP Homelands. As an emerging First Nations-led punk rock band, they are fast gaining notoriety for the deft way in which they engage with tough subject matter. One song from the EP, Busted Lung, speaks of the kinds of violence levelled all to commonly at our communities.
“Busted Lung was written for a close friend of mine, we used to live together. It’s about a hate crime committed against him several years back. He advocated that the two brothers who assaulted him not serve prison time. He realised they wouldn’t get better in prison because there wasn’t a Pride program in prison where they were going to walk out and have a lot more understanding and tolerance.
“He had the opportunity to want to seek vengeance. After a lifetime of copping slurs and being marginalised, here is this moment where he could get more than just justice, but that’s not what he chose.
“I was really taken back by the way he managed the outcome of things, it’s not what I would have done. I empathise with wanting to get square, and having justice and validation of the horrible thing occurring to someone. He never chose that path, instead he forgave them.. So I thought the story was interesting and his response was interesting with heaps of nuances and layers to it.”
Just like Busted Lung, each track on the bands new EP is about real people and real situations, all of them born from intense real-life stories, as Kyle explained.
“For me story telling doesn’t give statements on how you should feel, rather it reveals in the listener or the reader a feeling that occurs naturally. I don’t choose a topic to write about but a moment in time.
“Homeland is six songs dedicated to challenging stories like Busted Lung. They have all have been inspired by true stories, which have been the most challenging to write about. Again, because I want to talk to these spaces that don’t get spoken to a lot, you have to be mindful of not centring yourself in the discussion and that you are letting the story have its moment and sharing it in a respectful but honest way.”
Homelands by Chasing Ghosts is out on June 4