Punk Promoter, Band Manager & DIY Designer Lauren Confos: “Punk to me means being yourself and accepting people for who they are.”
Lauren Confos is one of the hardest working people in the Brisbane, Australia punk rock community. You can find her working tirelessly behind the scenes (like recent ConversationsWithBianca.com interviewee Celene Skullz) making things happen! Her work comes together under the umbrella of her recently launched, Fuck The System DIY. Lauren manages local band The Scam and has helped work on promo for international punks touring Australia such as The Casualties, The Exploited, Guttermouth, Mad Sin and more. When not doing all that, she also works at Pushworth Group as a Tour Administrator.
What’s your story? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
LAUREN CONFOS: I’m 24 I love going to gigs, organising gigs, managing The Scam, making clothes, accessories and jewellery. I play hockey. I love my awesome husband, family, my two awesome puppies and friends. Love records, cute clothes, skulls, bows, jumping around like a mad man.
What inspires you to live a creative life?
LC: I have a lot of energy and I love to organise and create. It’s so much fun making your own stuff and doing whatever you want. It’s a wicked feeling when you get to wear something that you really love and is unique because you created it. I prefer to organise things myself or with the help of my husband or a few others because you’re in control of the situation, you know things are going to get done, I found it a lot more stressful and a longer process if you’re relying on others. It’s sick organising gigs too as we usually get to pick the line ups so usually we have wicked bills with mates or rad local bands that are just so much fun to go too.
What’s your personal motto?
LC: You only get out what you put in.
How did you first come to punk rock?
LC: I first got into Punk when I was around the age of 16. I went to some local all ages shows before that but, it was more whatever all age shows I could get into being underage. Meeting my husband Con played a big part in me being into punk, he showed me a lot of bands. When we started going out, we would go to a lot of all age Brisbane punk shows. He was from the Gold Coast and there wasn’t any all age punk shows happening down there. The band Neighbourhood Swine started up and we would book, or they would play a bunch of shows, so I got into more local bands through that. We also booked some Vicious, Zombie Ghost Train shows which introduced me to a lot of older punks.
Shed 5 opened which was an all age DIY venue which was sick because I was 17 and Con was 16. They would put on a lot of punk shows and ’Swine used to play their a lot and we started hanging down the coast more as there wasn’t really any all ages Brisbane shows happening anymore and the Shed was a rad place where anyone could go and hang out with mates and listen to rad original music.
My first real encounter with random interstate punks was when Con and I instead of going to schoolies went down to Melbourne. It blew my mind it! It had a huge scene and it was wicked, drinking in alleyways with punks. We snuck into a pub, it happened to be a good mates of ours now, Dik from No Idea’s birthday; we got to watch Bastard Squad and a bunch of other bands – it had a real welcoming atmosphere down there. Next day we went to the Tote and saw No Idea and the Knockabouts play. No Idea dedicated some songs to us as we met them the night before as I was going on about Punk Girl as that’s Con’s and my song.
After I turned 18, I started going to more gigs and hanging out with a bunch older people who really took us under their wing showed us a bunch of wicked bands, times and advice. They really help opened my eyes to a lot of things and started showing me the ways of how the punk scene is so welcoming to all who want to be part of it, the sick after parties you can have and how to always help your mates out whenever possible.
Later down the track, The Scam started and we did more shows with interstate bands, touring as much as possible; things really started to take over even more. I felt like I started to get it more, after going on tour and having people you’ve never met before welcoming 20+ people into their homes; meeting people for the first time but it feels like you’ve known them a lifetime! Or how people will go nuts and jump around like mad men but never hurt anyone on purpose and helping someone if they fall down because the music takes over them.
Punk shows to me are the best, I feel at home at a gig. I for one absolutely lose my shit and go nuts when I hear sick bands live, it’s the best release of all your energy – be it happiness, frustration, anger. You feel part of the show; you can jump up and sing along. I feel bands feed off the crowds energy. I don’t mind being the first person to jump around and try to get other people jumping. You really see how the punk scene is the greatest thing to be a part of, all I wanna do is go to sick local shows or put on rad gigs with The Scam and other sick punk bands. My husband and I have opened our house to any punks out there who wanna play shows up here (QLD) we’ll book their shows and give them a place to crash. The more you indulge yourself in it the more it takes over you and becomes your life.
What does punk mean to you?
LC: Punk to me means being yourself and accepting people for who they are. Being opening minded and up for discussion. Living life your own way but as part of a community.
What’s one of the single most important things you’ve learnt from being a part of the punk community?
LC: To be yourself and accepting people for who they are.
You’ve recently started Fuck The System DIY; what’s it all about? Why did you decide to start it?
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