Feature: The Ingredients of Wherever I Am with RINSE

Friday, March 5, 2021
Photo by James Caswell

Brisbane-based artist RINSE (the project of Joe Agius) has today shared his much-anticipated debut EP Wherever I Am. The mesmerising EP is infused with elements of post-punk, shoegaze, dream-pop, new wave, as well as Agius' own distinct flair. The release is home to a poignant and moving collection of tracks that will find a special place in your heart from the very moment that you press play. To celebrate the release of his debut EP, Agius took some time out to take us through the influences behind Wherever I am below.


I grew up in a small coastal town in northern NSW and basically didn’t see a live band besides the groups that my friends and I formed in school or Rogue Traders with my family until I was around 18. My first show, when I turned 18, were Brisbane and Sydney bands Yves Klein Blue, Cloud Control & Last Dinosaurs in Coolangatta and it just changed everything for me. I suddenly knew I wanted to not only be able to go see bands every night of the week but also start my own and be a part of a community that was more like I was and I knew that meant moving somewhere else. 

I started visiting Brisbane most weekends from then on, driving myself up to gigs and events like BIGSOUND and just sleeping in my car until I was finally able to move up. I saw so many shows, made so many friends and soaked so much up over the past years and have a lot to thank to Brisbane for the musician and person I am now. Having visited every other capital city in Australia more times than I can count, I can honestly say there is something really special about it here that just makes you want to create. 


Beginning to make music as a teenager really clicked for me after discovering and getting into bands like Slowdive, MBV, Pale Saints & Chapterhouse. I enjoyed watching and listening to a lot of music that bands around me were making, but I knew I didn’t necessarily want to do the same thing and couldn’t explain what I was wanting to create in my head. I knew I had a decent sense of melody but very limited skills in performing and recording, so I would just cover everything in effects and reverb and thought it was awesome, even though you couldn’t hear anything particularly well at all. It wasn’t great in any way or like my favourite bands at all, but it allowed my confidence and creativity to grow for a long time until I was able to slowly step out from behind that reverb wall.

Joy Division

I came across the film Control when I was around 16 not knowing a single thing about Joy Division. I never had money to buy CDs or an older sibling’s music collection to discover bands through, so gaining access to the internet around this age was quite life-altering for me. Joy Division & the film Control were two of the biggest discoveries and obsessions for me around then. So much so that my mum became extremely concerned with how often I was watching and listening to anything Joy Division. It probably didn’t help that I secretly used the food money she gave me to survive on for a month when she went away one time on an Unknown Pleasures tattoo on my arm. 

As someone with bipolar and depression, I found a lot of comfort in Ian’s lyrics and story, and sonically it made me feel things I’d never felt listening to music before. I didn’t know a single other person who listened to them and they felt like my little secret for a long time, while unknowingly to me outside of my little town and brain, they were one of the biggest and influential cult bands in the world. 

I find the music sometimes hard to listen to now because it reminds me of some very tough times, but I’ll always be very thankful for the musical journey they led me on, and still take a lot of inspiration from them.


Before being in a band I’d never travelled much at all besides camping up and down the coast and an odd trip to Fiji with the family, so the idea of being able to play shows for new people every night and see parts of the world I’ve never seen before playing in Hatchie has been a real dream come true. I think this past year has especially made me reflect on how lucky we’ve had it. We don’t usually get more than a few hours in each city we visit around shows but we try to soak up as much as we can. The boring parts of touring also do provide a lot of time to think about music, listen to demos and work on lyrics. I mapped out most of what I wanted to do in RINSE over the years staring out a window on tour.

Long Drives

Besides some awful bus lines there wasn’t too much in the way of public transport growing up on the coast, so having a license and car (or a friend with one) was a necessity as a teenager. I, unfortunately, was “the friend” so I spent a lot of time (and money on petrol) behind the wheel driving my mates around. Driving to and from Brisbane for hours especially gave me a lot of time to listen to records properly and as loud as I could. I began to really focus on what sounds and instruments things were rather than just enjoying the music on the surface level for the first time, and it basically became a time of study for me. I still really love taking long drives for the same reasons, especially now that I’m usually glued to my phone or laptop while listening to anything.

Listen to Wherever I Am by RINSE:


Watch 'Back Into Your Arms' featuring Hatchie:

Watch 'Tamaryn (Wherever I Am)':

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