Meet The Team – Inertia Music

If you don’t know who Inertia Music is by now… you possibly shouldn’t be reading this blog.

One of the most respected distribution, services and recorded music companies in Australia, Inertia became part of the [PIAS] family earlier this year – a relationship which officially begins next month.

Inertia runs a very successful in-house record company, while also looking after independent labels including 4AD, Fat Possum, City Slang, Dead Oceans, XL Recordings and Secretly Canadian.

Read below to see what some of its star team think about working for the group…

Justin Cosby, Head of A&R

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Inertia?

I really struggle with this question. I mean. Where do I start? Some very special/unique experiences might include flying/driving to Wisconsin in the height of winter to April Base studios for a weekend to hear Justin Vernon’s 2nd opus ‘Bon Iver’.

Or, driving across the Icelandic hinterland for a full day to a remote town (population 40) to hear Asgeir and his brother Thorsteinn perform an acoustic set in their local church, then share a meal with their parents in the family home.

Returning to Reykjavik late at night to catch The Knife perform their last ever show (3 hours) in Harpa Hall. Or, maybe sitting with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis at the Sydney Opera Bar celebrating their 1st ever #1 ARIA Album chart while they each ate the smallest meat pie I’ve ever seen, slowly, with a knife & fork.

There have been a mountain of unique, unbelievable, endearing, questionable, affirming, hilarious, foggy moments.

* What does Inertia mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

Inertia means so very much to me for so many reasons. I’d like to think it is the same for many others too.

Inertia is a house, a home, filled with a collection of amazing & talented artists supported by an equally inspiring family of people who champion them and each other every day.

Inertia is the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. And each of the parts are pretty damn special.


* What do you hope to achieve at Inertia in the future?

Continue to find great music, be inspired/challenged/validated by it. In turn, help it be heard and find the audience it deserves.

[PIAS] and Inertia are so ridiculously symbiotic. The family is bigger now. Its reach is greater, its voice is louder.

Meg Williams, Head Of Promotions

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Inertia ?

I think I’ve spent too much time trying to find just one thing. In the short time I’ve been working at Inertia (at time of writing just shy of 2 years), I’ve been inundated with the best music and the most incredible experiences.

The first album I worked on at Inertia was also my first ARIA award. Later, I worked on my first No.1 record in the country; Badbadnotgood covered my favourite Beach Boys track for Triple J’s like a version; Yoko Ono tweeted an op-ed by one of my favourite artists, Ali Barter, that called for a fairer representation of women in arts history; I met Bjork and she took my breath away; and most recently I got to see Floating Points’ live show which I feel like I’ve been waiting for my whole career.

But if I had to pick one thing it was the ARIA Awards 2016. Sia was nominated for a handful of awards but, unfortunately, was unable to make it Down Under due to her first tour in five years.

As her guest and in her place, Sia asked Australian Marriage Equality representative Angie Greene to attend. Angie was so nervous; before every award we went through her speech, line-by-line so she wouldn’t forget anything. Then the big moment came, Sia won Best Female and we were rushed up on stage. Ali – wearing her Equality Now tee shirt – walked out on the stage, to a live TV audience and the toughest crowd (read: an audience full of jaded music industry execs) and the entire room erupted in a standing ovation.

The loudest applause of the night came before Angie could even introduce herself! The room stayed on their feet cheering while Angie thanked Sia for the opportunity to accept the ARIA on her behalf and called for Marriage Equality in Australia. She declared, “You have the opportunity now not just to do a great thing but do the right thing,” during which I was sobbing and hugging some stranger next to me, as was the entire room.

I love how music can be used to affect change, emotion and to start important discussions; it was SUCH an inspiring moment and also that Sia won an(other) ARIA.

* What does Inertia mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

I’ve never been more inspired about music since working at Inertia. The company is full of amazing, passionate people, inspired by such an incredible roster of music. Lunch time in the office is this incredible session of swapping music, comparing gig reports and sharing music experiences – and that passion is something that is synonymous with Inertia.

It’s what drives the business and the industry of Independent music. That and our incredible catalogue of music is why I’m so proud to be working here!

* What do you hope to achieve at Inertia in the future?

One of the other publicists Sophie and I are going to start a Japandroids cover band. We’re called Chinabots and yes, we are taking bookings.

Claire Riordan, Head Of Digital

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Inertia ?

Honestly, the whole thing is pretty cool. I get paid to listen to and evangelise some of the best music from Australia and around the world, from some of the most talented artists and the coolest labels.

Fairgrounds Festival was a real stand-out, though; seeing Rodriguez, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Angel Olsen, Julia Jacklin and more play the most idyllic spot in the south NSW coastal town of Berry in midsummer was amazing.

Made even better by the fact it’s a small festival, family-friendly, very well catered and – most importantly – no gronks. Oh, and all my lovely colleagues were there too – very good vibes.


* What does Inertia mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

Inertia is all about the music. Everyone that works here is super passionate about the amazing artists and labels we work with, and it makes me proud to be part of such a creative and hard-working team.

I was told before I started at Inertia that they were the nicest label in the biz, and I’ve definitely found that to be true.


* What do you hope to achieve at Inertia in the future?

As a massive nerd, I’m really looking forward to integrating with all the cool [PIAS] tools for delivery and analytics and using the power of ~stats~ to maximise our artists’ music on streaming services and drive discovery.

I’ve been recommending music since I was a teen – this is the grown-up, large-scale version of that!

Gab Ryan, Marketing Manager

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Inertia?

It’s so difficult to single out one moment. I work on an incredible roster with so many artists I love, and get to spend every day in an office full of legends.

The Bon Iver campaign was pretty special though. Ahead of album release we hosted a listening session next to the Bon Iver mural.

It was a beautiful experience, watching hundreds of fans crowd around a tiny cassette player, all so thrilled to be among the first in the world to hear the record. To me, that night summed up what was one of my favourite album campaigns.

* What does Inertia mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

It was always a career goal to work at Inertia some day, so I feel quite lucky to be here now.

I’m particularly proud to be surrounded by so many amazing female colleagues. Music is still quite a male dominated industry, so I’m thrilled to be a company that champions its female staff. #LadiesOfInertia

* What do you hope to achieve at Inertia in the future?

I’m excited about the opportunities presented by the [PIAS] relationship, particularly to expand Inertia’s presence internationally & help break our local artists on the global stage.

I feel very much at home at Inertia, and hope to be here for a long time to come.

Scott Bradbury, Sales Manager

* What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you at Inertia?

Cool things happen every day, the people I work with at Inertia make it an exciting reason to get out of bed and drink coffee. Every time a fellow Inertian turns me onto some new music, or tells me a story about KLF burning a million Quid, I think to myself “sweet, that’s cool!”

I will always remember the first time we put Kamasi Washington “The Epic” on our office stereo in the sales department, we all sat back in our chairs and collectively went oooooofffffff! What just happened? I went to see Kamasi play the Metro Theatre in Sydney not long after and that experience just took this music to a whole new level for me….. my mind was totally blown!

As a sales guy, landing a No.1 album is always cool. We have had our fair share of those at Inertia, thanks to all the great music, labels and artist we work with – but it’s not all about the chart, dude (don’t tell the boss I said that).

Another time, I went to see Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds play a show and Mark Lanegan took the stage for “The Weeping Song”. It was a great version, but what was better was seeing Nick give Mark a hug on stage after the song; it was a genuine gesture of appreciation and mutual respect. Those moments, to me, are priceless.

* What does Inertia mean to you and why are you proud to work there?

A person’s work does affect who they are; you spend more time with your work mates than you do your family sometimes. Inertia has become an extended family in a way.

First and foremost Inertia is an independent music company, it’s a creative and inclusive environment. The fact that we aren’t perfect, and its okay to say that because in turn we always strive to be better, is a good thing. I wouldn’t say I’m proud; I’m happy with the person I am at work, which is pretty much just me being myself. They also let us finish early on Fridays. Now THAT’S cool!

* What do you hope to achieve at Inertia in the future?

I want to serve the community. I truly believe that art and culture can change the world (it’s certainly changed my world). I’d like to help more and more people hear music in all its forms by working with our clients, artists and labels to spread the word of music!

If we can do that in a positive and humble way, I can sleep at night knowing I’ve tried my best to end the day a little better than I started it. Oh! I’d also like an office Hammock, sometimes you just need a quick lie down at work.