People who say Brisbane is boring just don’t know where to look. The guys behind Brisbane’s own Psychedelic Syndicate are proving just that, with their outrageous events that are so unique and diverse, you’ll never want another typical Saturday night in the Valley again! I guess you could call their events, aptly named Psych Night, as mini festivals, with ambient atmospheres, amazing lightshows and all-round friendly folk; it’s definitely not something to miss. Did I also mention that they're all freakin' BYO?! One of the bands regularly playing these events, and heavily involved in the behind-the-scenes organising (and a personal favourite of mine) is MagentaVoyeur, a foursome that pretty much delivers a spine-tingling wall of noise every time they perform. Lead singer and guitarist, Mark Cosgrove, and his brother and bassist, Jeremy, are two of the first members of the Psychedelic Syndicate, so we had a chat with them to find out just what exactly they are up to ahead of their third event this Saturday!

1. So what IS the Psychedelic Syndicate? What are you trying to achieve when it comes to the Brisbane music and arts scene?

Mark: The Psychedelic Syndicate is…
Jeremy: A group of like-minded people
Mark: It started as Magenta Voyeur and The Unofficals, and we included more people just with the same wants and ideals in music. What we strive for is sort of… To put on events and create a scene of music that people don’t usually hear or see but should. We’re trying to put some more quality music into what’s out there.
Jeremy: It’s more than the music. It’s more than just your average gig
Mark: It’s the lighting, the art. It’s trying to connect with likeminded people who share our interests. The kind of music we play… Our music is the type that you don’t have to be up there dancing, you can just sit there and think about stuff. We wanted to set a mood to match the music.
Jeremy: Our nights are about the atmosphere as a whole, not just a band playing.

2. How did you guys start up?

Mark: I guess it started last year (2012), a few of us were living together in West End. One day I said to Davey [lead singer of the Unofficials] “how cool would it be to put on event that we would want to see. People could go along and have a good setting!” It just went from there I guess.

3. What have you been working on lately?

Mark: We’ve been getting preparations for the upcoming event, Psych Night III this Saturday. We’re also networking and we’re meeting more people.
Jeremy: broadening our horizons

4. Any big plans or goals you’d like to achieve doing this?

Mark: Making each psych night bigger and better, but still keeping it intimate. Eventually we would like to get some bigger bands, within our genres, but also promoting other local upcoming bands. Getting some international acts would be really cool too.

5. Are you trying to get different bands each time, like a sort of rotating roster for each line up?

Mark: Most of the bands we’ve got have asked us if they can play, but we do try to keep an eye out for similar bands. We want to put the spotlight on other local bands.

6. What makes the Psychedelic Syndicate and by extension the Psych Nights so different from other Brisbane collectives?

Jeremy: We emphasise on the atmosphere of the night.
Mark: We really push musicianship. If we like the bands and we like the music, that’s who we want to put on. We don’t really search for hype bands that everyone is listening to.
Jeremy: We pick bands that we think would play well together and bring something to the night.

7. Do you actively search for new bands around Brisbane?

Jeremy: We have to dig a little to find bands cause there is no real psychedelic scene in Brisbane.
Mark: A lot of the time they have contacted us and want to be involved, but if we happen to see an act we think would work well we’ll have a chat to them.

8. How do you find Brisbane in terms of accommodating psychedelic music, and events like this?

Mark: There are only a certain amount of live venues in Brisbane, so they will put on the “money makers” to bring people in.
Jeremy: That’s why we started putting on these events, because these are events that we like and we would like to go to. Since we’ve been doing this, now we’re seeing more bands similar to us, and what we put on, coming together in the one place.

9. Do you have any favourite Brisbane venues?

Mark: The Zoo.
Jeremy: The Hideaway!
Mark: Yeah that’s cool, the zoo has the best sound.
Jeremy: The Waiting Room as well
Mark: Also X&Y has a good sound.
Jeremy: A lot of places push bands earlier to get the DJ’s on sooner…

10. Are there particular venues that put on bands that could potentially be part of a Psych Night?

Mark: The littler venues outside of the main areas. The Joynt in West End is cool too. They put on some good stuff.

11. What do you think the next Psych Night is going to be like?

Mark: We have bigger budget for lighting.
Jeremy: There is a local graphic artist, Beau Deeley, to do visuals for us, and our projections. We have a space allocated for people to get creative if they’re feeling it with paint and stuff. This one will have more of a relaxed vibe then the last one hopefully. You can get up and dance if you want, or you can chill out on some cushions and just take it all in. We want to accommodate all of that.

12. What is the type of crowd you’re trying to attract?

Mark: The scene we’re trying to promote is really open, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. It’s pretty diverse. The last one – there were a few more older people than what you’d expect so that’s good to see. Everyone’s pretty friendly and keen to meet everyone. We’re all on the same level: there to have fun and enjoy the night and listen to good music.

Psych Night III is this coming Saturday, May 4th, and will feature the aforementioned Magenta Voyeur and The Unofficials, as well as other locals bands; House of Giants, The Johnny Mustards and Galapogos. Tickets are $15 and available from Oztix and on the Facebook page, it's BYO and kicks off at 8 pm!