Artist Profile: Pilerats (Luke Whelan)

Words by Wendy Ma

Perth collective, Pilerats, responsible for putting together some top notch launches and music events around the east coast are bringing us Giraffage this Friday night from 10pm (9th August) at Bowler Bar! Believe me, you really don't want to miss out on this...

They are also known for pouring their blood sweat and tears into a monthly interactive digital magazine packed full of music, art, lifestyle, fashion and culture that the collective themselves carefully compile, (downloadable here). You can tell it's full of the things they've discovered and genuinely love. What you get is a group of creatives working on their own terms and not just being too cool for school with a bunch of suits breathing down their necks.

I chat with Luke Whelan, director/marketer/event coordinator of the pack to find out a little more...

1. Who makes up Pilerats and how did everyone come together?
I think there's 8 of us altogether full time and a whole heap of amazing contributors. Between us there are a couple of design wizards, a video lord, advertising guru, a few legendary writers and a couple of marketing and events dudes. We all sort of worked together at nightclubs and event stuff for a few years and then came together when we got the opportunity to make a music video for Skrillex.

2. Are you mainly based in Brisbane/is everyone a local?
No we're actually based out of Perth, WA!

3. What is your role in the collective?
Um that's a tough one! I'm one of the directors but I also manage the touring / events and marketing side of things as well as contribute for the magazine. I also tend to annoy everyone near me with bad jokes and loud music.

4. What sets Pilerats apart from all the other online magazines out there?
To our knowledge we're the only magazine solely designed for use on tablets and on smart phones, rather than a print magazine converted to digital. By doing this we can really make use of the interactive elements that are only available on the digital format, such as imbedded videos, listening to songs of bands while you read an interview with them or clicking on product reviews / adverts and being able to go straight to purchase if you like something you see.

We're also 100% independent so we're not censored by some big corporation and we can write about things we're really passionate about and we don't have to worry about pissing off some large walleted suit. As a bunch of 20-something year olds ourselves, we think that we understand our audiences issues and interests alot better than anyone else.

5. Is Giraffage the first music event you’ve hosted?
No way! We did a magazine launch tour with 4 gigs in 4 nights on the East Coast with acts such as Flume and the Cairos. We also hosted the Willow Beats national tour as well as a heap of other one off events. Giraffage is our first international tour but hopefully the first of many!

6. Tell us a bit about your dream event/festival/party you’d love to host?
We've got an event coming up in 2 weeks in Perth called CIRCO that we're involved in. It's basically a boutique festival meets the circus with some of the best national and international acts (ie Chet Faker, Dune Rats, Hermitude, New York Transit Authority, Wave Racer to name a few) combined with amazing visual shows and circus acts to leave punters speechless. We're pretty fucking excited.

7. Where do you see Pilerats headed within the next 5 years?
We'd love to be a respected international voice for 18-35 year olds and the forefront of digital publishing! Being able to throw parties in cities across the globe and meet amazing artists along the way would be awesome too. Hopefully in 5 years we can have a cleaner to clean up after our office parties because that shit is getting seriously old! haha

8. What can’t you get enough of right now?

9. What keeps you motivated?
Loving my job, music and friends. If you don't like what you do, fuck that shit off and go find something you're passionate about.

10. What are you most looking forward to?
Giraffage this weekend and then future tours over in Brisvegas. Brissy is like our second home!