City of Cool

Dirty rock in the moment at the moment that the moment is.

  • Saturday 27 February: Jon busks on Brunswick st as part of the Yarra Council Buskers festival
  • Monday 22 February - 1st rehearsal for the year - new album of songs written and begun.
  • December (and January) - Jon records solo album with band called 'Heavy Meditation': Andy Papadopoulos- bass, Jeremy Gronow - guitar, Mark McCartney - guitar, Idge - drums, engineering, mixing. Rehearsed and Recorded @ SoundPark studios.
  • Sunday 20 December: Gig @ Brunswick Hotel - launching the latest solo acoustic release 'Playing the Acoustic Guitar is like riding a bike' with supports The Church of Hysteria and Nick Larkins and the Bones
  • Fri 11 September: Gig @ Tago Mago - Gig cancelled by the venue on the morning of the show. Closed for the weekend. Something to do with licensing issues.
  • Sat 22 August: Gig @ Musicman megastore, Bendigo - set list: Between - Cannibal - CCTV - Vacant Brain - Bended Knee - Control - Excess - Forget the hype
  • Tue 11 August: Rehearsal @ Soundpark
  • Sat 11 July: Album launch @ The Tote (Plastic Knife #14 Zine Launch with The Church of Hysteria and The Girl Fridas) "Post Fugazi meltdown with incredible energy - drumming that takes off into the stratosphere and vocals/guitar that say yes! this is FUN!" (Former booking agent for FugaziSet list: Cholera Outbreak - Finite - Heavy Meditation - Cannibal - CCTV - Vacant Brain - Bended Knee - Control - Excess - David Lynch - Between - Forget the Hype
  • Monday 6 July: Channel 31 interview with Elly and Bridget on '1700': - 5pm
  • Saturday 4 July: Mike Smith plays 'David Lynch' on his show 'Let your freak flag fly'. 
  • Wednesday 1 July: (Jon Solo) Clifton Hill Hotel - 10pm Set list: Finite - Poor Ned - Cholera Outbreak - Forget the Hype - David Lynch - Between - Bended Knee - Ideology - Needle n the Damage Done - Bluegrass - 
  • Saturday 27 June: Live-to-air 3CR 855AM with Mike Smith - Let your freak flag fly "The opening of the song Cannibal reminds me of the Beastie Boys." Set list: Finite - Heavy Meditation - Cannibal - CCTV - Vacant Brain - Bended Knee - Control - Excess - David Lynch - Between - Forget the Hype
  • Sunday 21 June: Live-to-air Southern FM 88.3 - 3pm Set list: Cannibal - CCTV - Vacant Brain - Bended Knee - Control - Excess - David Lynch - Between - Forget the Hype
  • Tuesday 2 June: Jon plays 'Cannibal' and 'David Lynch' live on Ken Eavel's PBS 106.7fm show 'Go for broke', plus Ken spins 'Control' and 'Bended Knee'.
  • Sunday 24 May: Mick Griffin plays 'Vacant Brain' on his show
  • Thursday 30 April: Stanislav Zabic plays 'Meltdown' on his show The Little Lighthouse.
  • Tuesday 28 April: Ken Eavel plays 'Meltdown' and 'Between' on his show. "A really cool collection of tracks. Got a bit of a different feel about it. A unique kind of a sound. I'm a big fan of these guys." Ken Eavel - Go for Broke - PBSfm 106.7
  • Sunday 26 April: Mick Griffin plays 'Vacant Brain' by City  of Cool on his show.
  • Saturday 25 April: Henry Rollins replies to email
What’s My Scene caught up with Jon S Williams of City of Cool, an internationally unknown primitive rock band based in Melbourne.

Who is in your band?
City of Cool is Jon S Williams: Vocals/Guitar and David Craven: Drums

Tell us about your new album?

In March 2008, whilst living in Barcelona, Jon saw NYC Hardcore band ‘Girls Against Boys’ in a small club. The idea for City of Cool was born. When Jon returned to Melbourne he called David and City of Cool began September 2008. Delays were experienced while David lived in London 2011/12 and Auckland 2014. This debut album is a result of all the writing and playing that went on in these years. A particularly coherent and focused body of work has resulted.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
City of Cool is a home cooked meal or a slow cooked meal at a local restaurant where City of Cool walked or rode a bike. All ingredients are sourced from local markets and/or grown in the backyard garden. “The globalisation of agricultural systems over recent decades is likely to have been one of the most important causes of overall increases in greenhouse gas emissions” (Steven Shrybman) City of Cool inherently rejects the dominant paradigm of globalised mass consumerism and fast food.

Which song resonates most strongly and why? 
All songs on this debut album relate to one another, that is why it is an album. However, the lead track ‘CCTV’ is 20 seconds long and resulted from a rehearsal jam just after David returned from London, so that song has a particular resonance.

Any on the road anecdotes?

Jon joined David twice in Auckland in 2014. One solid weekend spent in pre-production/rehearsal and then another weekend spent rehearsing/recording/mixing. However, during 2014 another evening was spent in Sydney rehearsing @ Zen studios. Anyone who has been there will know it is right next to the airport. City of Cool did not know that. When Jon and David were walking to the studio from the train station they thought their world had come to an end when a plane flew overhead so low you could read the writing on its underbelly. A massive and sonic earthquake rehearsal resulted.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Currently on the City of Cool turntable are the following albums: Shellac (Dude Incredible), Bob Mould (Beauty and Ruin), Swans (To be kind), Fugazi (Repeater), OFF! (Wasted Years), Girls Against Boys (You can’t fight what you can’t see), The Dacios (Monkey’s Blood), Thurston Moore (The Best Day). Recent gigs attended: Jon – Golden Plains, The Meanies @ Northcote Social Club, Midnight Woolf @ Bar Open, Riff Fist @ Brunswick Hotel. David: 10 local punk bands @ Whammy Bar (Auckland). Recent movies watched: Whiplash, The Big Lebowski, Inherent Vice, Eraserhead, Only lovers left alive. Books read: Jon and David – How Music Works by David Byrne.

What’s your scene?
Local bands at sticky carpet venues. Vinyl. Social networking. Keeping healthy in order to play full throttle live sets. Loud rehearsals. Good people with creative ideas. PRIMITIVE ROCK.

  • Saturday 4 April: Debut album released (DIY). 
Pretty cool music man - got a bit of Sonic Youth/Mudhoney about it.
(of 'Between'): I love this song!!! Great rockin' out and yet soothing at the same time. I really enjoy your lyrics too! ...nice abstract visuals in the clip as well.
Awesome sauce Bro! Really dig CCTV. Love a short track! Vacant Brain is rocking too.
  • Thursday 2 April: Jon creates You Tube videos for Meltdown, Cannibal and David Lynch.
  • Wednesday 1 April: Jon and Dan Cachia create You Tube videos for Between, CCTV and Excess
  • Monday 30 March: Album is mastered by David Briggs (describes City of Cool as the thinking person's punk) @ The Production Workshop.
  • Tuesday 10 March: Jon resumes weekly City of Cool rehearsal/songwriting sessions @ Soundpark in preparation for David's return.
  • Sunday 8 February: Jon plays solo show @ Thornbury Local with Nick Larkins.

  • Pre listening tracks are sent out for review. 
Very raw and energy filled tracks. Great sound for a live recording! OFF! vs bob mould vibes. Great stuff. 
The Cure meets Fugazi via the UK Subs. 
  • Sunday 30 November: Album mixed by Olly Harmer @ The Lab, Auckland.
  • Saturday 29 November: Album recorded by Olly Harmer @ The Lab, Aukland.
  • Friday 28 November: Final pre production rehearsal in Auckland.
  • August: Weekend of rehearsals in Auckland.
  • July: Rehearsal @ Zen Studios, Sydney.
  • January: David moves to Auckland to live/work.
  • January: Jon plays solo show @ The Bitter End, Greenwich Village, NYC.


  • Saturday 23 November @ Tago Mago with The Loveless, Marville (Bris), The Instincts.
  • Tuesday 19 November @ 3PBS fm. Interview with Ken Eavel on 'Go For Broke' .
  • Saturday 19 October @ The Music Man Megastore, Bendigo with Lowpoint, Rabid Zulu, Kilamaine, Path of Destruction, Cold Red Mute, Chase the Ace, Incrypt, Manni. 
Review: City of Cool were a highlight. Can't wait to get them back! (Mick Griffin).
  • Saturday 14 September @ 3CR. Live to air with Mike Smith on 'Let Your Freak Flag Fly'.
  • Saturday 31 August @ The Bendigo Hotel with Swidgen, Grim Rhythm, Chain Gun, Watchtower.
  • Saturday 24 August @ Tago Mago with The Dark Ales, Watershed, Jukai Forrest, Whorls, Thunder Box, J. P. Swallow, Seedy Jeezus.
  • Tuesday 9 July @ Brunswick Hotel with No 1 Jones, The Dark Ales.
  • Wednesday 19 June @ The Espy with Stellarcaster, Damn the Maps, Marylyn Rose and the Thorns.
  • Wednesday 15 May @ The Espy  (Live recording recorded/mixed by Paulie Tipping: Download song  You Tube video directed by the Cachia bros. Goodbye Hotel, Sandgiant, Erik Park. 
Love the overdriven telecaster sound. 
Wow! Did Bob Mould give you the special ingredients of Husker Du sauce? Sounds like it! 
I had a David Byrne moment. 
There's something quite original going on here. 
You've got a huge sound there. 
Reminds me of something that I can't quite put my finger on.
  • Saturday 4 May @ Tago Mago with James McCann and the Vindictives.                                                                     
  • Saturday 20 April @ Tago Mago with Seedy Jeezus.
  • January: David returns to live/work in Melbourne.

  • Hiatus.

  • Jon records album 'energy back will bite' with Nick Larkins (Bass/organ/harmonica), Jeremy Gronow (guitar) and Idge E Crack (drums, recording, mixing) @ Sound Park Studios. Mastered by David Briggs @ The Production Workshop. Solo performance/album launch @ Wesley Anne.

  • David moves to live/work in London.

  • Shows are played at Fox Hotel (PBS battle of the bands), IDGAFF, Lithuanian Club. 6 track CD (artwork by Raja Gupta) is recorded/mixed by Idge E [email protected] Sound Park. 
"Man, I wish I was in your parts to work the bass for you!" - message received from Mike Watt (Iggy and the Stooges/Minutemen) 
Review: Like 2 mutant Roos stomping the terra.

  • September. City of Cool rehearsals begin.
  • March. Whilst living in Barcelona, Jon sees NYC Hardcore band 'Girls Against Boys' in a small club. The idea for City of Cool is born.

  • Jon (acoustic guitar/vocals) and David (drums) play together in 'New Leaves' with Andrew Shakespeare and Pete Whitehead. Pub/club and street festival shows are played. CD is recorded/mixed by Richard Robinson @ Bakehouse, Fitzroy. Mastered by Ross Cockle @ Sing Sing, Richmond.

  • Jon and David meet together for the 1st time and jam together with others once at a mutual friend's place. Jon is playing bass, David is playing saxophone.