If you listen to FBi Radio in Sydney say from around 3pm in the afternoons then chances are you’ve heard the friendly voice of Victoria aka Sweetie Zamora. If you also head out to music and art events, you’ve probably bumped into her around the traps too. Sweetie is always chill and happy going, she plays violin for awesome Sydney band ‘Lions At Your Door’ and is hands down our favourite dj at FBi Radio. We grabbed her between her busy schedule and asked her a whole lot of questions. Here’s what she had to say.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Sydney. Lived here my whole life!!
Did you find music or did music find you?
My mum enrolled me in kids percussion classes at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music when I was three and I started playing violin when I was four after my mum dragged me along to the Australian Chamber Orchestra. So I suppose it was my mum who pushed me in the direction of music.
You are our favourite dj at Sydney’s FBi Radio, you play violin in awesome Sydney band Lions at your Door and you also take photos. Give us the scoop behind this creative outpouring.
I spent a year straight out of school working for an accounting firm which was a ridiculously eye-opening experience. I thought that I wanted to be a hard-hitting business woman and after 6 months I realised I was completely wrong. After that I threw myself into as many creative things as I could. I was given a camera and took it with me to gigs & started doing gig photography and social snaps. I also answered a call out on FBi radio for new presenters and producers. I was lucky enough to be let in as a producer & after a year I fell into presenting. As for the band…I was friends with all the guys in Lions At Your Door & Marihuzka (singer) is one of my best friends. When their bass played left I joked with Marihuzka (over many glasses of wine) that I should join the band and play bass for them. I played bass for a few months & I totally sucked but they kept me around and convinced me to play violin with them.
Can you recall one of your favourite early childhood memories?
I have really fond memories of cooking with my mum when I was little. I had a small kids table set up in the kitchen & my mum would always let me help her cook. She’d also let me run a muck in the kitchen and make up horrible concoctions. One time I mixed flour, pickles, bicarb soda and coca cola. It exploded all over the kitchen.
Is there a connection between your childhood with how you turned out artistically as an adult? why?
I started playing violin when I was four. It was 100% classical training so that has been a huge influence in what I bring to the band. My music taste as a kid was pretty terrible. It was all 90s pop. I didn’t have an older sibling to point me in the right direction and my Mum only really listened to classical music. Luckily my music tastes has grown & it’s not just Smash Hits of 1998 and Spice Girls.
What made you want to join a band?
I was resigned to the fact it was all classical music & orchestras for me. I never really thought about being in a “rock n’ roll” band. I was lucky enough that the guys in Lions At Your Door thought my violin would be a good addition to their lineup. I was pretty lucky to just fall into it.
We mentioned before about you being a dj at Sydney’s FBI radio. How do you see music since getting a job at a radio station?
Working at FBi has opened up my eyes to so much Sydney & Australian music. I get demos & discover new bands every week so I feel pretty lucky about that.
Do you think Sydney music on a whole is going anywhere?
The Sydney music scene is pretty small…but there are so many strong bands who are writing amazing music and definitely going places. Bands like…Royal Headache, Step Panther, Circle Pit, The Jezabels, The Joysticks, Cameras & Guineafowl…plus the older more established Sydney bands like Cloud Control and Dappled Cities.
On a whole do you think there needs to be some other kind of avenue for independent music to really take off in Australia? or do you think it’s all going fine?
There are a whole heap of avenues for independent bands to get their music heard. Obviously FBi is one of them. Bands send in their demos all the time & they’re given a listen, added to the music library & passed around to the announcers for airplay. Plus there’s also the FBi Music Open Day which happens on the first Monday of every month.
There are also initiatives such as AirIT (run by AMRAP) which is essentially a database for community radio. New unsigned bands are added to the site each month and their tracks are then made available to community radio all across Australia.
Also…the crew from Music NSW & Indent are all about helping young artists get a leg up in the industry.
Tell us a few things you like to do in your spare time.
I hang out in my kitchen quite a bit…I really enjoy cooking. After a long day I’d still rather make food at home for dinner. I’m also quite partial to a late night baking sessions. I’ve just moved into a new apartment and we’ve got a huge balcony so afternoon hangouts with a few drinks and friends as the sun goes down happens quite often. I also love riding my bike. I’m in a bike gang with two mega babes called Three Point Turnz. We put on BBQs and picnics throughout summer….but we’re hibernating at the moment because its winter.
What inspires you to remain creative?
I’m surrounded by creatives & music peeps pretty much all the time. All of my jobs are music based and the people I work with are so full of passion and creativity that I feed off them.
What are the positives about being part of the Sydney scene?
It’s a small scene & everyone helps each other out.
It’s a small scene & all the good venues are closing. RIP Hopetoun.
Lions at your Door are a great Sydney band. You have an original sound and we think you guys are capable of big things. Do you agree?
Hahahahahaha oh dear. How do I answer that question without sounding like a dick? Ahhh…thanks.
So what’s next on your musical journey?
I have absolutely no idea. It’s a total mystery.
Do you have any advice to give to anyone out there starting out in a band?
You’ve got to work really hard & put in lots of time. It can be tough playing to 4 people in the audience but if you love the music then it doesn’t matter. Don’t think about what other bands are doing or what the new hype sound is…write songs that you love.
What’s the best thing about music right now?
THERE’S SO MUCH OF IT!!
What other tricks are up your sleeves? you’re not a black belt by any chance?
I’m definitely not a black belt. I’m pretty wussy actually…but I can opening a beer can with one hand.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline for Sweetie?
I’m pretty busy with FBi, Lions, my music publicity job and uni…but i’m always willing to give stuff a go.
Are you a movie buff or a book head? give us your current fave’s.
Both. I’ve booked in to see a bunch of films with one of my best friends for Sydney Film Festival…so many excellent films I was pretty hard to narrow it down. At the moment I’m reading Tales Of The Unexpected which is a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl. I loved his books as a child but it’s so good to read some of his darker work.
Any recent life changing moments?
Not recently. But who knows what’s around the corner.
Cremation or Burial?
I haven’t thought about death yet.
Any last words of wisdom?
Go buy the Boogie Nights soundtrack.