nonbinarycode: Queer Pop-Punk With a Cabaret Twist

BMA Artist Profile

Every month is Pride Month at BMA Magazine, so what better way to celebrate September and beyond than by getting to know the scintillating pop punk/rock with a tinge of cabaret 4-piece nonbinarycode a bit better, eh?

Where the journey began…

When Steve and Jolene first started playing together, we were looking for a name that meant something that represented who we are as people. With Jolene being non-binary, and Steve working in IT, we thought throwing the nonbinary at the binary code just made sense – hence nonbinarycode was born.

We formed after playing with Jazida (internationally acclaimed Canberra Burlesque artist) doing covers of The Dresden Dolls songs. When Jazida’s burlesque career took off in a big way and she could no longer be in the band, Jolene and Steve used their love of grunge, punk and stadium rock to create a new band.

We took some of the original music that we composed with Jazida, and then applied a nonbinarycode sound style to the pieces – producing what you hear today in our recorded works.

After a few years of playing and writing songs as a duo with backing tracks that The Hardman produced, this year we’ve brought on the amazing Sorrento and Racso to complete both the band and our sound.

Group members:

InkBits (Jolene) on vocals + The Hardman (Steve) on guitars + Sorrento on bass + Racso on drums.

Describe your sound:

Pop punk/rock with a tinge of cabaret.

Influences, musical or otherwise?

We grew up on a diet of punk and grunge – so Nirvana, Green Day, Blink 182, the Sex Pistols, Tool and, of course, The Dresden Dolls.

Key tracks for folk to check out?

Our first releases, Hey Let’s Play and B-side Break Free, are available now on all streaming services. Genderevolution is our latest, due for October, and there’s two more tracks coming in Nov/Dec.

Memorable experiences?

+Playing Enlighten Festival’s Pride weekend on the main stage was a huge moment. It meant a lot to be given a platform to showcase our music, in which gender diversity is celebrated and represented.

+Doing Music & Mayhem Rebellion, working with Jazida Productions to develop and perform a show, for which we received a grant from the LGBTQIA+ Affairs Office. The show highlights the LGBTQIA+ community, with queer artists, and tells a story about queer history.

Recording our songs at Pendragon Studios. It’s been great working with David Pendragon and Jack Buchanan to bring our music to life.

What do you love about the scene?

We love the amazing people that we get to play with, and that come to our shows! There is nothing quite like playing to a crowd of awesome humans.

Then when they come up after a gig and tell you how much hearing your music really meant to their existence as a queer or gender diverse person, it really makes it all worth it.

What makes you laugh?

Jolene: So many things. I am always laughing at something. Probably my own jokes a little too much hahaha.

Steve: There’s always something to laugh at when you’re in a band. Often when you play a bum note and the other band members look on at you with horror -that’s generally when I crack up.

What pisses you off?

Jolene: Homophobia/ Transphobia, hate of any kind really. Greed, cost of living, destruction of our planet.

Steve: Selfish/ narrow-minded/ bigotted people are probably top of my list.

Tell us about one of your proudest moments?

Releasing our first single! Also playing our first full gig with full band and all of our own songs!

Plans for the future?

To continue making music that speaks about the issues we face, as humans, as queer humans, and as ND humans. To make music videos and to tour the East Coast!

Anything else to add?

Support local queer artists!

Follow us on all digital media, give us a review on TripleJ Unearthed, and share our tunes!

Listen and support nonbinarycode on Spotify, Apple Music and Triple J Unearthed

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