Q&A Scene: A HITCH TO THE STICKS Special: Rhyece O’Neil & The Narodniks

Rhyece O’Neil  is on the line-up for the inaugural A HITCH TO THE STICKS bus trip with The Narodniks. He answers a few questions for us before the festival hits the road:

What does this mean to you?

I’ve known Dallas since my teens. I grew up in Wangaratta where we are both from. I used to see her band old band Trevor’s House. She was one of the only people doing rock n roll in Wang and was a bit older than me so naturally I thought she was really cool. I’m stoked to be playing at A Hitch to the Sticks; it’s a very cool idea.

At what point of the bus trip are you performing?

Mohyu Pub, Sunday March 18th 11am – 5pm

What can we expect from your performance?

A bunch of punks playing the blues.

What excites you about appearing at this event?

Looking forward to catching up with Dallas and getting out of the city. I’m going to take my swag and sleep by the fire

A bit about you:

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

We just released a new single from our fourthcoming album Death of a Gringo out June on Beast Records (FR) We are heading over there in July to play the Binic festival on the west coast of France and we are touring Spain, Germany and UK. 

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

I have written a new album about 16 songs that I plan to record in Europe. My creative mind is focused on that at the moment. But I’m also enjoying playing live with our new band members Liam (keys) and Mark (drums)

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

On the way to a gig in Nimbin once we picked up a hitchhiker and he knew our band which is strange because at that point we had only been playing for 6 months and didn’t have much of a following. He ended up coming to the gig and we had a great time with him. I can’t remember his name though… 

What, or who, inspires you?

Karli Jade, Lucy E. Kemp, Wim Wenders, Camus, Auden, Pierre Bonnard.

What’s next for you?

I’d like to get my novel published.

What’s your scene?

The desert.


Together with Karli Jade on vocals/tambo/art direction in the past two years O’Neill has played pubs and bars in the outback and cities all over the country. Together they started the annual Pop Crimes Festival at The Billinudgel Pub, Byron Bay in 2016.

Since moving to Melbourne they formed the Narodniks with Rick Studentt (Me-Graines/Kim Volkman/X). Joining them on drums is Mark Sibson (Seedy Jesus), Liam Justin Wilkerson on keys/harmonica.

Their debut album Übermensch Blues is a vicious, dark & searing lament partly written by O’Neill in the desert while working in construction as a labourer and Union delegate for a huge Government Solar Farm project. It was recorded in a couple of weeks in an old community hall in the hills between Byron Bay and Lismore over the New Year period of 2015/16. It is being re-released on Beast Records (France) in May.

Their second album Death of a Gringo was recorded live to tape at Soundpark studio Melbourne in April 17′ and is out on Beast Records in June before they head to Europe to play the Binic Festival and tour in July/August.

Written the night Trump was elected, Death of a Gringo is a love letter to Mexico.

Steeped in the blues, rock & roll, punk and country O’Neill’s influences range from Iggy Pop, Rowland S Howard, Einstürzende Neubauten, the Bad Seeds, Stanford Clarke, W.H. Auden, Rimbaud, PJ Harvey, Sylvia Plath, Patti Smith, Henry Miller, Townes Van Zandt, Dostoyevsky, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker & Dylan.

He grew up in Wangaratta & Yarrawonga and is honoured to play with dear old mate Dallas at Hitch to The Sticks.


  • Don’t miss Rhyece O’Neil & The Narodniks at Moyhu Hotel – Sunday March 18th

    “If you find yourself at the same party as Dallas, make sure you’re match fit.” Sarah McLeod, The Superjesus 

     Ever wanted to hitch a ride onboard your favourite band’s tour bus? Fantasised about starring in the next Almost Famous film? Well, listen up, because Dallas Frasca is about to give you precisely that chance with what is guaranteed to be one of the musical highlights of the year.
    The powerhouse Aussie frontwoman and rock and roll icon is throwing a world-first music festival set to take punters on the road this March. Taking place over three days, A Hitch To The Sticks Music Festival is a unique band-tour-meets-VIP-experience that gives audiences a glimpse at a touring musician’s lifestyle in a three day regional bus tour of hand-curated music events, gigs and festivals. With Frasca as your guide, passengers will navigate some of North-East Victoria’s hidden musical gems and undiscovered live music venues and events all from the comfort of your own rowdy, airconditioned tour bus.
    For 50 lucky ticket holders, the adventure begins in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday 16 March where the Hitch To The Sticks bus will commence boarding. From there the tour heads North to six secret locations and four public events across Violet Town, Lima, Myrrhee, Tatong, Thoona, Wangaratta and Moyhu until the musical safari touches back down in concrete town on Sunday 18 March.
    Transporting passengers direct to the cream of the crop of Regional Victorian music and culture, Dallas has packed a massive lineup of local gigs, events, festivals and experiences into the three day tour, to shine an unforgettable light on the immense musical talent hidden in the quiet corners of our land. Some of the exclusive experiences along the way will include a hedge maze “artist hunt” where punters must follow the music to discover live local artists playing throughout the maze; a rock & roll slumber party in cabin style accommodation (limited VIP upgrades available); celebrity hitchhikers and an intimate live performance by a very special international guest.
  • “There is something special, indescribable, about experiencing live music in regional Victoria. A travelling music festival on wheels? Sign me up! Music Victoria loves regional live music.” Nick Cooper, Operations / Program Manager Music Victoria.
    For those who can’t make it onboard the tour, there are plenty of opportunities to join the disembarking passengers and meet the legendary bus at four public events throughout the tour. This includes the sixth annual Wangaratta Down By The River Festival – a free event offering a kaleidoscope of flavour, music, activity and culture curated by Frasca herself, as well as a bunch of local ticketed events across the weekend.
  • With the full lineup dropping soon, Dallas and the Hitch To The Sticks team are excited to reveal the first couple of performers eager and ready to board the festival bus – conductor of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra and all-round reggae luminary Nicky Bomba and Beechworth-born singer songwriter Liv Cartledge.
  • At just 21 years old Liv’s oaky tones and disarming lyrics have captivated audiences around Australia and beyond, with her debut EP Timber an incredible first glimpse of a destined rising talent. Relentless traveller and performer Nicky Bomba is an absolute staple of the local reggae/funk/jazz scene and has contributed to just about as many musical endeavours as he has footprints on the earth. Liv’s regional Victorian roots and local knowledge together with Nicky’s worldly prowess and love of community are sure to make the inaugural A Hitch To The Sticks Music Festival one heck of a kumbaya.
  • So get ready to sit tight, buckle up and play corners with some new friends when the wheels on the Hitch To The Sticks bus go round and round this March.

  • 3 days |10 music events | 30 acts | 710km | 1 bus
  • Hitch To The Sticks Festival 2018
    Friday 16 March – Sunday 18 March
    North-East Victoria
  • Tickets on sale now via www.ahitchtothesticks.com
    Limited to only 50 tickets.
    Accommodation, travel and some food and drinks provided.

About Mary Boukouvalas 788 Articles
Mary is a music photographer and reviewer.

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