Music by VICE

What Is "Cool" and "Trending"? Let's Ask People at a Music Festival

DMT? Unplanned pregnancies? WTF is wrong with you guys?

by Issy Beech and Isabelle Hellyer
Aug 31 2016, 6:20am

Jaric, you trippy little fuck.

In 2016, things change so goddamn fast that it's practically impossible to keep up. Close your eyes for a micro-moment and open them to find a different world—new memes, new slang (shout out to The Shins), new ways to be a complete fucking loser. What hope is there? None, to be sure.

But the quest for answers continues never the less. At this year's second instalment of Sydney's Oxford Square showcase festival Volumes, we witnessed hot bed of cool stuff. Bands, parties, hot people left and right. We thought to ourselves, while drunk as hell and enjoying the flurry of nonsense, what better place to find out what was "trending," what was "cool"—because we obviously have no goddamned idea.

Scouring the throbbing streets of Sydney in the warm night air, we asked strangers the ultimate question: "What the fuck is cool?" We gleaned a few things: babies are in, being a jerk is out, and approaching people who are clearly on loads of MDMA will end in a 45 minute lecture about the intangible nature of life on Earth.

TARA and HANNAH

What is cool?
I live in Bondi, and babies are cool right now.

Is Bondi cool?
No. Not if you live in the Inner West.

Is Surry Hills cool?
It’s kinda cool.

If I was going to quote you on one thing, one thing you thought was cool, what would you say?
Unplanned pregnancies.

CALLUM and CONNOR

Can we ask you a question?
Connor: Hit me.

What’s cool?
Connor: Whitehouse.

What’s that?
Connor: Chris Merry, Posh Isolation, Blackest Ever Black.

Oh, I see what’s going on here. That’s a list. That’s what we want.
Connor: Chain of Flowers—
Callum: —Real bands, real record labels, and real shit.
Connor: Vacant life, Mummy, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Dawn of Humans, Institute, Glue, Lotion.

You’re like the rainman of cool.
Connor: P.A.M. Maiden Noir. Engineered Garments.

I think you have a cool haircut.
Connor: Cain Ireland cut it—
Callum: —Yeah, Cain Ireland.
Connor: At Black Woolloomooloo. Black is spelled B-L-A-E-C.

Why did they have to spell it like that?
Callum:
It’s cool to spell it however you wanna spell it.
Connor: Muscle Memory, Burning Rose Records, Death Bells. Maurice Santiago is cool. Marcus Thaine is cool.

Is eating ass cool?
Conner: I like it.

To eat or be eaten?
Connor: Both.

Great answer.

Ed's note: It should be mentioned that later in the evening, Connor bought us a round of drinks as bribery to not publish this interview. We're sorry, Connor. Thanks for the drinks. You're hot.

JARRAH

What is cool?
Cigarettes are cool.

Smoking is cool?
No. It’s really not, is it?

No. Is quitting smoking cool?
No.

What is cool?
The Growlers are cool.

Anything else?
Individuality is cool.

That’s the quote.

GUS

What is cool?
Noodle Kimsat.

What is that?
It’s a man.

Who else is cool? Who’s a dead person that’s cool?
I don’t know, Connor, who’s a cool dead person?

CONNOR

This is a lot of pressure.

It is.
I don’t know! There’s lots, I don’t know!

Cleopatra, cool or uncool?
Uh, cool I guess.

Romeo and Juliet?
Um… I really don’t like being the centre of attention.

Okay, Connor. It's alright. Gus, back to you.

GUS

Is Adidas cool?
[Shrugs]

What clothing brands are cool?
I don’t know. I reckon Kappa. I know somebody who bought a jacket, it looks like a normal jacket, but it has big zips down the arms and when you unzip it, it reveals the Kappa logo.

That is actually so fucking cool.
Yeah.

OK, what is the coolest band in Australia?
Megasex.

JOSE and MARTY

What is cool?
Jose: Oh, fuck.

What’s trending?
Jose: Doing whatever the fuck you want.

That’s true.
Jose: Just being who you want to be.

Are you cool or uncool?
Jose: I think I’m always cool because I’m just doing what I wanna do.

What about you?
Marty: It doesn’t phase me too much.

Jose, is Marty cool?
Jose: He’s cool.
Marty: Thanks man.

What about items that are cool? Cool clothes, cool bands. Is sushi cool? I need to know.
Jose: I think cool is just someone being authentic and honest. Like if you love sushi, and you just wanna eat it, that’s cool man. You’re digging what you’re love.

You know what I think is really cool? The KKK.
Jose: Ohhhh… I see. Because they’re being authentic, but with fucked up shit. I see what you’re doing. I think I need to reevaluate.

RHYS and JACK

What do you think is cool?
Rhys: That is a very ambiguous question.

Play with it. Go big, go small. Up to you.
Jack: I’m going to say… Shoes.

Shoes.
Jack: Shoes.

What music do you think is cool?
Jack: Skepta.

Agreed.

JESS, TONI, ROMY and JAMIE (no idea who is who)

What do you guys think is cool?
Individual style. Colors. Freckles. Standing out from the crowd.

What things are cool?
Slum Sociable are cool.

You mean hot.
Yeah.

What else?
Anybody who makes art is cool.

What’s the coolest app?
Shazaam. Especially when you’re listening to Triple J.

How about breaking the law, is that cool?
No, but it’s a necessary evil.
Security: Can I get you guys to move?

Noisey: Being told to move?
Everyone: Not cool.

ALISTAIR

What is cool?
What’s cool?

What’s trending?
Right now?

Yes.
Fuck I dunno. Volumes is cool. Jumping between venues is cool.

What music is cool?
My favorite band right now is this local band called Strange Associates. Like real local. Really disco shit. Good fun. We just saw Endless up at Lilac Studio. Very local, it’s like real synthy, it was sick fun.

I feel like the 80s are cool.
Yeah, the 80s are trendy as fuck.

80s Vs 90s?
90s. I meant the 80s was the start of the evolution, but the 90s epitomises our generation. Take a photo of this one [phone case].

JARIC

We wanna ask you a really annoying question.
Jaric’s friend: Is it ‘what do I think of feminism’?

We don’t give a shit what you think about feminism.
Jaric’s friend: I’m joking.

The question is actually: ‘What is cool’?
Jaric: What is cool? Having no ego at all.

Do you have an ego?
Jaric: To be honest, I had a huge ego, then I tried DMT and acid and had a massive ego death.

On multiple occasions?
Jaric: You gotta keep doing it, you gotta keep giving it that death, ‘cause it’s something that’s ingrained in us. You can achieve it through meditation, but psychedelics just help you get there. If every single person in the world just had a DMT hit and broke through, and fuckin’ talked to intelligent entities, and found out that we’re all one, we’d be sweet.

How many times have you done DMT?
Jaric: Five or six.

That’s too many.
Jaric: Nah, I haven’t broken through yet. I’ve been working to that. You close your eyes and it’s just pulsating geometric patterns are you’re just like: wow, this isn’t the end. I knew that after I did DMT. Science proves it: law of thermodynamics, energy is not created or destroyed, it’s only transferred. So when my soul—
Jaric’s Friend: —are you talking about feminists yet?

No?
Jaric: I’m an equalist. I’m not just for chicks, I’m for poor, whatever. Am I going to be on some cool, alternative radio station now? Are you guys from FBi?

We told you we were from VICE.
Jaric: Oh VICE, you’re so well informed and you always have such accurate articles.

Ed's note: Yo, Jaric. Hit us up if you want your own show. Let's make magic, baby.

EMILY

What is cool?
Emily: Lots of things.
Jaric [grabbing the phone]: The big electron theory! The Fibonacci Sequence! Quantum physics!

Jaric, you had your time in the sun.
Emily: Oh my god.

Carry on.
Emily: I think it’s more about knowing what’s uncool rather than what’s cool—
Jaric [now down the street, shouting]: Life is just a dream!

For fuck’s sake. Emily. What do you think is cool?
Jaric [in the distance]: Quantum physics!
Emily: Shoes. You can always tell if someone’s cool by the their shoes. Like boys in Adidas, that’s cool.

What else?
I think trying to be cool is kind of uncool.