AUSTRALIAN MUSIC STANDING ON TWO FEET
performing & recording music in neighbourhoods since 1990.
‘I travel life at 40 k’s to keep a family life, while collaborating music to share for future generations,
hearts, stereo speakers, neighborhoods & people at live performances.
hearts, stereo speakers, neighborhoods & people at live performances.
Hello, my name is Justin Francis, a musician and founder of Corney Music, that is an Australian record label & live booking agency. I promote musicians who chose the ticket in life to record and share their original music. For thirty two years I have been collaborating with different musicians, recording, performing & presenting live music in Australia, Ireland & the U.K.
I began playing drums in bands from the age of fourteen when my brother Shane Labady and I found a way in life to express ourselves through music. We listened and jammed out to the vinyl records our parents and greater village introduced and discussed with us. This become the catalyst for my passion in developing a craft to express myself on drum kit in music.
My first original band named 'Refusal' was a two piece where Scott Kearval & I covered Rock, Indie & Metal bands to eventually write our own tunes. Think Led Zeppelin, Rat Cat & then early Metallica. We were kicked out of music in school to the tune of, "Give up you'll be no good at it". In theory ha ha ha we just wanted to play our original music as a way to express teenage energy in a positive way with good angst in the mix. We'd skateboard and express through song as Rock N Roll and Metal is what sang to us best.
At fourteen I bought my first 'Star' drum kit off Mickey Bell for $30, only to be stuck on foot half way home in the middle of the road during peak hour traffic. It was a heavy load to carry with my brother helping out with a mile or so to walk home. Like any craft it takes commitment, passion, and time by learning to make sacrifices to reach your goal. "Frogger in traffic".
At some point in music you may ask, "do I walk away or dust myself off'? This has often tested my passion to keep playing and remain in the music business with pride, integrity and a smile the size of a country mile. It has not been easy in the Bizz as an independent, however as a young fella helping the family work toward our first home, I learnt the meaning of ‘from little things big things grow’.
I was sixteen , moving out from government housing in Adelaide to a home on five acres in country Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. This was the early nineties with a soundtrack from the 60’s – 90’s in the rock n roll, Folk, Blues and Roots genre. I grew into the Alternative grunge rock surf tunes of that time watching bands perform at country parties and music venues in Adelaide.
This paved my way socially & musically, with city & country friends providing a good resilient attitude for life where the city boy had to adapt into the country tone. Life in the country was a reprieve from the crime and hassle that Gilles Plains had to offer but we were always ourselves and that's what mattered and bought trouble your way. There was always music around as a band aid along with social street theatre and good times, remembering that skate boarding is not a crime and music is positive in society.
With a new start in a broader world I could now immerse myself deeper into music while trying to remain interested in completing high school. It was the social aspect to school taking me to class. Day by day we'd arrange gigs for my then band ‘Unevolved’ for parties on the weekend. I kept myself out of trouble realising I was being provided an opportunity to earn a ticket for a life in music, which I travel today as a professional musician.
'One day you may inspire and pass on the knowledge
to teach the next generations the magic in music'.
To earn this I was out of home at eighteen in 1994, and off to Adelaide where the lure was to be with my mates travelling in cars, studying music at TAFE and playing gigs in the city & country towns. We would have a great time getting paid to play original music and then isolate for a few days to rehearse and film/record in remote places all in the name of being in a working band. I began to learn about what it takes to be a gig hustler and recording musician/performer, inspired by many people in life and the industry out on the lost highway.
"The Way Is The Aim" - Diana Morell-Kaser
This work remained consistent from 1990 in many different music outfits and acts on the agency roster until 2019 when injury struck, removing me from music for twelve months with no choice. This wasn't a shock of feedback, however you ask what it is you have left in music when forced away from your passion. The answer is passion and the ability to still play music despite injury with all the respected fans and colleagues ready to begin work again
It's the day you've earned the right to say you’ve been around the traps with a catalogue of recorded work, along with thousands of shows, people and stories to share. In 2020 I returned to work collaborating the West Coast Wayside tour of Western Australia with Scott Bassham and Chris Matthews. With Covid lockdowns in global societies this tour was the only one happening in the world in 2022. After two years long service leave, I can say I've now done it, however I'm not finished in music and feel I have much more work to do still.
I cant do it alone as music is a shared experience among musicians and people with their attitudes and responses being part of a soundtrack for their moments in life. The forging of many new & lasting friendships has weaved a global thread of people who keep music and stories alive. Over the decades I am proud to have worked with the following musicians and some who are still good friends today.
.The acts I began from inception in collaboration are as follows, Refusal 90-92 with Scott Kerval., Unevolved 92-94 with Jason Mildwaters, Justin Mildwaters & Shane Labdy,, Armidillo 94-95 with Jason Mildwaters, Geoff Byfield & Michael Deluca - Live Sound - Justin Mildwaters. . The Sunday Roast 1996-2001 with Matt Reiner & Geoff Morgan & Ill Starred Captain 2000-current With Scott Bassham who I currently jam with celebrating 21 years or so as a working band.
The following music acts I have worked with as either their drummer, booking agent or in another performing act on the same bill. "Good people and respect to your all".,
Chris Matthews, Lightning Jack, Scott Bassham, The Embers, Velvet Archers, Jeane Proude, Michael Colbung, Robert Champion, The Mergg, Kev Lymn, Philippe Four String Phil, The Seaside Drifters, Shane Labady, Stu Harcourt, Ben Evolent, Rafa Gody, Shannon Haapenen, Tania Nally drumming & co Produced her self titled E.P. in 2022 in Tuam with Ken in Eire., Smile (Eire), Mick Bennet 'Rusty Bonnet' V404, The Red Fins, The Sunday Roast @ Adelaide Big Day out 2000, Yak Spit, Krystapynch, Dead Salesmen, Lotel, The Wedded Bliss, Randal Blair, Kev Ryan, Orlagh De Bhaldraithe, Kev Lymn & The Pragmatics, Rohan Lyndsay, Rowan Daw, Lesley Gentillin, Greg Bakers Blues Party, Coloured Stone, The Waifs, Mammal, Ed Kuepper, Scott Glazbrook, Gravel Road, Mark Vincent, Van Walker, Liz Stringer, Will Thomas, Dave Mann, Smile and the Wooden Indians Max-Anne Duffet, Andrew Smith, Jay Grafton, Adrian Hoffmann, Shaun Corlson & Richard Lane, Grand Casual, Rowan Donovan, Beautiful Cartel, Noah Young, Craig Atkins, and Rohan Lindsay, Eli Iannucci, Chelsea Elway, Wade Francis and Zac Eden and Blue Wren, The Listening Tree & Sugar Seed. Just to name a few.
Corney Music and the musicians have created a network of people known as our road family from being good humans & professional entertainers. It is paramount to earning any respect in a dog eats dog game where for us its about who's real, with heartfelt songs to engage with random people and their loyal audiences in a positive way.?
At Corney Music the future is looking positive whilst hype is changing weekly as part of another scene to fit in with. We all pride ourselves on retaining the cottage in-house. It’s an exciting time to be involved with new models of business available for musicians to branch out into other ventures on a global ticket to reach new audiences and have a good time.