King Gizzard’s winning entry, ‘If Not Now, Then When?’, was one of 24 nominated songs from contemporary Australian artists. The nominee pool also included tracks by Jack River (‘We Are The Youth’),Paul Kelly (‘Sleep Australia Sleep’), Lime Cordiale (‘Addicted To The Sunshine’), L-Fresh The Lion (‘Mother’), and In Hearts Wake (‘Worldwide Suicide’).
If not now, then when?
King Gizzard are the recipients of the $20,000 AUD prize. In accepting the award, the band’s primary songwriter Stu Mackenzie said the band were humbled by the honour. He explained the origins of ‘If Not Now, Then When?’, which appears on the band’s 2021 album L.W.
“I’ve written quite a few songs about climate change, but after the Black Summer bushfires in 2019-2020, shit started to feel dire,” said Mackenzie. “It still feels dire – more dire. We need actual, real, tangible action from our leaders, otherwise what are they there for? Why are we not doing everything we humanly can to right our wrongs? When we’re literally on fire, why not now? If not now, then when?”
The nominees for the inaugural Environmental Music Prize were chosen by a panel of industry professionals, including artists Montaigne, Anna Lunoe, and Heidi Lenffer (Cloud Control), representatives of triple j, Double J, APRA AMCOS, and Nightlife Music, and campaigners from Greenpeace, WWF, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Ocean Impact Organisation, Green Music Australia and School Climate Strikers.
The winner was decided by a public vote. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s latest album, Omnium Gatherum, came out in April. In March, they released ‘Satanic Slumber Party’, a collaboration with Tropical Fuck Storm.