My name is Dario Western, and I am a Brisbane based musician, artist and nudist activist.
I was born in Manchester on 27 December 1970, but moved to Australia with my family on July 27th 1982. In 1989, I became a nationalised Australian.
I have been involved in music since the age of 5 when I took up learning to play piano at school, and in high school also learned to play guitar, violin and trombone. I played violin in the Padua College Symphony Orchestra from 1984 – 1986, and then trombone in the Intermediate Concert band in 1987 and the Senior Concert Band and Big Band in 1988.
Upon leaving school, I did a couple of short courses in audio engineering and home recording at the Conservatorium of Music and School of Audio Engineerings in 1989 and 1993 respectively, and in 1995 formed the band Blackened with my then-girlfriend Julie Hepburn which mostly did Britpop covers. Since 1992, I have largely turned my attention to playing guitar (although I took up trombone for a while again playing in the Weekend Swingcats in 2003).
After Blackened split up in 1999, I helped to manage garage rock band The Busymen and co-recorded their debut single “Hostile” which was released on Wild Eagle Records in 2002. The same year, I also became friends with underground electro-pop artist d-Wizz and we formed the band d-Wizz 2.0. We played our debut gig at the legendary Orient Hotel supporting The Nudists, Molliger, Toxic Lipstick and Talkshow Boy. d-Wizz 2.0 has also gained recognition from renowned music critic and musician Everett True from our performance at the UnConvention Brisbane gig in November 2012.
In addition to d-Wizz 2.0, I am also playing guitar in a solo band under my own name which is focused on 70’s glam rock covers as well as originals written in that style with guitarist Savannah “Roxy” Noorbergen and ex-patriate New Zealand drummer Dion Brown.
Non-performing activities in the music world have also seen me working at Disc Pro selling and renting CDs, volunteering at 4ZZZ 102.1 FM radio, volunteering at Radio Rainbow, street-teaming for Emma Dean, doing photography and/or videography for bands like The Busymen, White Elephant Snow, Demoniker (now known as Demonfire), Lustration, The Veronicas, The Purple Avengers, The DangerMen, and Heroine Chic.
I have also done some video extra work, having appeared in the clip for “Oh” by The Whats, “Rappers D’light” by Bokmastaz, “Dig Deep” by The Medicine Show, and have been approached to do the upcoming video by Violent Soho.
My other interests include doing life drawing and model photography.
Photography: I mostly do photography out of self-interest these days. My interest in photography started in around 1982 when my parents bought me a Fujica 110 film camera in Singapore and I started taking photos of various family functions. In Year 10, I did work experience with Mike Hallson Photography where I learned photo processing and basic studio work. In 1994, I briefly worked with Owen Watkin’s company B&B Agency in Fortitude Valley which specialised in glamour and nude models. After he sold the company in 1995, I started doing portfolio photography for upcoming models as well as taking photos at live gigs. I mostly use Model Mayhem and Flickr for sharing my photography.
Life Drawing: I have been doing life drawing occasionally since 2007, having been both an artist and model for a life drawing group.
Nudism: I first discovered the nudist lifestyle at the age of 8 in January 1979 when I saw a documentary on BBC TV called “Let’s Go Naked” (which also became the name of a Brisbane New Wave band whose bass player is none other than Channel 9 news reporter Andrew Lofthouse!). I found this approach to life quite interesting and in April 1990 finally took the plunge to try it myself when I attended the Sunrays swim nights in The Gap until the club folded in 1993. The following year I joined the Brisbane Forum Social Club and remained a member until October 2006. At time of writing I am the Secretary of the Free Beaches Australia lobby group as well as running the Brisbane Naturists online groups on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Meetup and Google Groups. I have also been trying hard to get a band together called Laissez-Fayre, which is envisioned to be a co-ed band out to capitalise on nudism, vegetarianism/veganism and environmentalism. There have been several line-ups for this band since 2001, but not got to the stage of doing live gigs and recordings.