Briggs On Using Satirical Comedy To Bring Big Conversations To White Australia

“If Australian cricketers were dying at the rate that Indigenous Australians were dying, they would pour so much money into figuring out what’s going on, what’s wrong with Warnie, you know what I mean? There’d be no amount spared.”

Adam Briggs‘ latest single ‘Life Is Incredible‘ is not as celebratory as what you might think from the title alone. It’s a catchy, hooky earworm of an anthem focused around the glaring disparities of life expectancy between Indigenous Australians and white Australians.

The 32-year-old powerhouse from the Yorta Yorta nation, who live along the NSW and Victorian border, and in Adam’s case, Shepparton, got on the phone with PEDESTRIAN.TV to talk about how he subverts the narrative to bring important Indigenous issues to the conversation.

The only way he figured he could bring a subject as serious, harrowing, and upsetting as this was through comedy. Satire to be specific. Briggs is well-versed in comedy, and you’ve probably seen his work in TV shows like Black Comedy, DisenchantmentGet Krack!n, and The Weekly. Finding the balance between entertaining and informative wasn’t hard to tackle, he just had to retire onscreen.

Yeah, I’ve always had this idea [for the video] like to present an idea as complex as that in a simple kind of message.

The whole point was what if we retired early? We die early, so we should be retiring early. It’s a real logic kinda statement, it’s like yeah well if we’re going to enjoy our retirement, we should be retiring early. We should be getting our superannuation the same as everyone else too. All these things should be adjusted to what the facts are.

The result is watching Briggs, alongside AFL legend Adam Goodes, comedian Nakkiah Lui, and actress Shari Sebbens and more embrace the virtues of retirement in their 30s and 40s. It’s subversively showing that these facts, these hard-line numbers are not normal, but also not an anomaly.

It’s not normal. But because it’s not everyone’s problem, it’s not everyone’s reality, the seriousness and the focus isn’t there.

Three of my cousins died in the last 12 months, you know brothers and sisters, months apart, and they weren’t car accidents. So there’s priorities, and that’s what we’re talking about.

I asked him whether the outro – where he and Greg Holden prattle off a list of blindingly-white things as being “incredible” – was meant to bait predominantly white crowds at shows into thinking about the words coming out of their mouths, but Briggs says it was more of a game to them than anything.

It was us in the studio having fun. We did like three passes of those over there whole track with Greg and I, and we’d just yell out like “Home Improvement!” and be like “Home Improvement is incredible.“”

We’d just yell out these white buzzwords and phrases. Like “tennis!!”,” he laughs. “Grey’s Anatomy!“”

He’s bringing his disruptive tracks and huge tunes to the Sydney Opera House this weekend for the biggest Bad Apples House Party that he’s thrown to date.

With the first of its kind happening almost a year ago to the date in Canberra, Briggs tells me that he’s keen to bring a bigger, beefed up version of that party to one of the most iconic houses in Australia.

The whole point was to create something different and like to reverse-gentrify the space. To create this all-black kinda lineup mostly indigenous artists and do something that hasn’t been done before.

It’s just bigger, there are more artists, there’s more opportunity to do cool things, and it’s just another level that we do things. We always try and ascend and do things greater than we did it last time.

And what a big lineup it is. Alongside Briggs (and his friends) artists like Electric Fields, Dave Dallas from New Zealand, The Kid LaroiBirdzJesswarNookyKobie DeePhillyRebecca Hatch and JAYTEEHAZARD will light up the stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre next Thurday May 30. Cop a ticket for the house party of the year over HERE.