Dr Shinha’s Jazz Lobotomy is shaking up Melbourne’s improvisational jazz and groove scene with their singles Grown Man and Invisible Kids. Kate Sears speaks to two members of the seven-piece collective, Frankston residents Jared Hatton and Chinmay Sinha.
How long have you been playing the drums?
Jared: It’s coming up to 15 years now since I had my first proper drum lesson. It was in Grade 5, when I had a great music teacher and an encouraging music program. Drums were just fun from the get-go.
How would you describe your sound?
Jared: We’re always working to find how sounds blend together and what that does for us and an audience. So, on any given day, I’d say whatever is inspiring us at the time tends to come through and mould our playing and sound. It’s perhaps a blend of the newer jazz/hip-hop style infused into pop music. We just approach playing the songs and performing with a certain soul and vigour.
What do you enjoy most about live gigs?
Chinmay: Offering something special, vulnerable and honest with a group of strangers who’ve trusted us to provide them with something special. And, of course, the energy of it all.
Invisible Kids is inspired by Dr Sinha's work with at-risk children. Can you tell us more?
Chinmay: I actively provide a music program to kids who have experienced trauma and neglect, so much so that the state deems them ‘at-risk’. The kids I teach show resilience and courage in so many ways that I learn from them as much as they might learn from me. Aspects of our life that we consider ‘normal’ are often a privilege for many kids in our community. I think music provides a platform to develop positive identity. Through my own personal experience, as well as through my work as a music teacher, I know music can help to heal trauma. The goal in some sense from this track is to make the listener aware that ‘at-risk’ kids are a part of our community and perhaps the system we have in place is not serving them that well. The proceeds we received from our single launch have been donated to White Lion who work with at-risk youth, and I urge others to donate and/or get involved in the community in some way.
What do you love about Frankston?
Jared: As I get older it has become more and more about the location and environment. I love that after a five-minute drive west of my house, you can be on the sandy beaches by calm waters. Another five the other way and you’re in the middle of a bushland trail. When I was a kid, it was the access to things — a quality skate park, the cinemas, sporting clubs, Bayside shops, all that stuff. Now more so I find having the open ocean and the many extensions of Melbourne within reach on any given day a real luxury. Grounding too, I think. I’ve grown up here and so in many ways Frankston and its surroundings feels like an extension of my backyard.
Follow the band on Facebook at @jazzlobotomy