ABC2 tunes into I ROCK

A new Australian comedy-drama about a pub band will star its writer, Josh Mapleston.

"In the music business these days there is no such thing as a big break really," says Josh Mapleston.

Mapleston stars as Nash Taylor in ABC2's new series about an aspiring Aussie rock band, I ROCK. The character of Taylor is ambitious and sometimes egotistical in his drive to make his pub band Boy Crazy Stacey famous.

"If he was rich and famous he would be allowed to behave badly whenever the hell he wanted, and would be expected to behave badly, but at a fledgling stage of his career he can't get away with that bad behaviour just yet," he says. "His own kind of social awkwardness consistently gets in the way of his musical aspirations."

I ROCK is an eight-part series set in the inner suburbs of Sydney. Mapleston is also the show's creator. Having previously been a writer for Home and Away, this will be his first serious performing role.

"The performing I've done has all been in a stand-up comedy world and I guess I'm still a bit of a hobbyist stand-up comedian. The writing is definitely my day job. But I felt there was time to move from stand-up performing to acting and I guess it will be up to the audience to tell whether that was a good idea or not," he says.

Joining him in the series are several newcomers Mark Pound, Ashley Fitzgerald, Jeremy Keast, Alison Bell, Pat Ommundson and Kate Sherman. Most will play fellow band members, flatmates, partners or a combination of all.

As a rock star looking for fame, the character of Taylor is a believer in traditional methods -- the pub gig -- rather than the shortcuts of TV talent shows or YouTube.

"There is a bit of YouTube action later in the series, but five million hits on YouTube doesn’t mean anyone is actually buying your album," he says.

"YouTube is still free unfortunately for a lot of artists so it's only one part of the music pie.

"I think every musician knows any success you attain comes one step at a time and so we don't actually have enough episodes in the first series to take a band from complete obscurity to global fame and fortune."

The show is also ABC's first dedicated drama production for ABC2 and will join the niche productions such as Good Game and the sci-fi Canadian series Sanctuary.

"I tell people if I hadn't been acting in it, I would have had to turn up on set every single day and annoy everyone into doing it how I wanted it done," says Mapleston. "So I think we all figured it would make it a lot less annoying for everyone if I just played the main character and got involved in that way."

I ROCK airs 9pm Mondays on ABC2.

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