Thank you for taking time out to talk with us here at Silver Tiger Media. the new album ‘Weight_Falls’ will be unleashed onto the masses on the 25th of this month. How are you finding the response so far?
You’re totally welcome : ) So far its been quite amazing! In the past I’ve only ever really tossed the music out into the world and then kept doing gigs. Its wonderful this time to have the support of Warner Music and all my other labels and be planning the release as we are. There is so many different kinds of publicity that are all super fun and creative in different ways. I really like variety and am quite blown away by the support from people for what I’m doing. I think I always will be though.
You recently unveiled the official video clip for your latest single Second Hand Car, are you able to give us an idea about shooting that video?
The director, Jeff Johnston, came to us with the idea of quite literally bringing the lyrics to life through different scenes in this surreal house. Millions of tea cups on every flat surface in the kitchen, or hallways lined with old suitcases. I loved trippy stuff like that and was totally on board. He helped bring a whole new dimension to that song. We filmed it over one chilly night in an old house in St Kilda. I had a blast doing it and was particularly impressed with all the wacky lighting. Made for a beautiful setting.
What does the album’s title reveal, if anything, about the album’s impact and themes? (The Underscore?)
The underscore is a quite specific reference to my inclusion of a more digital approach to the song writing. I used an iPad and garage band for the first time and oddly it really inspired me in new ways. I wanted to make the title seem like an audio file in a folder on someone’s laptop. The words themselves are about me canning an entire album and then starting from scratch to write this current one in one frenetic, enlightened week. After so much work on that other material – to finally put it down and stop lying to myself about it being right felt like an enormous weight falling away. I could finally see clearly the songs I needed to write. It was a beautiful time.
What kind of ‘sound’, production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
I wanted to honour my ‘one-man band’ kinda sound but still expand. I had the idea of having two drummers onstage either side of me who also sung harmonies. I went in with that in mind and layered lots of rather simplistic but bold beats and loads of harmonies all around my acoustic guitar and voice. I also had a bit of thing for Portishead and went for a tiny element of that ‘Bristol Beats’ vibe.
Was there a clear purpose in the way the album is structured?
Not particularly. I often agonise over the track listing and flow of the album. This time it all just nicely fell into place. There are some wonderful transitional moments that happened quite spontaneously and from there on, all the other parts of the album fell into place quite easily. All in all, it happened with a beautiful sense of levity and ease. It’s nice when that happens.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
I think I’d include the 18 months I spent on the album that I canned. Mainly because it was through that learning experience I was able to write the music I then did. In which case I’d say around two and a half years.
This album saw Award winning Ian Pritchett sitting in the producer’s chair, what kind of input did he have during the process?
He has quite the cult following in the industry and sits quietly in his tiny garage studio in western Sydney, creating some of the best music out there today. He doesn’t ask for attention and is incredibly humble. This was exactly what I needed. We just became close friends and he used his amazing talents to bring my vision to life. On top of that he added his own touches and ideas which kind of sent into another realm entirely. He knew when to let my vision be and when to bring in his vibes and that was so refreshing. I love him!
Did the you use any experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Yeah! Because I wrote this new album in my bedroom over the course of a week and had begun to use garage band for the first time; I found myself doing very quiet percussion arrangements with whatever I had lying around. I bashed on my desk or tapped a cup of tea or as mug. I slid coins across the table to make snare sounds and all kinds of odd stuff. I went for a very symmetrical vibe with it and layered all the different sounds around my guitar and voice. I wanted it to sound a little like a Wes Anderson film.
I am wondering if you could tell us a bit about the following tracks? (lyrical, meaning etc)
I wrote that song whilst touring in Quebec, Canada, in the Fall. We were racing from town to town on this quite hectic tour and every day we’d drive through these incredible tunnels of maple trees that were every colour you can imagine. I had been pretty stressed on the road and the beauty of these drives helped me find calm within all the craziness.
A week before my grandmother passed away, a man in the opposite room saw her and fell in love with her. He passed within a week also and we think he was kind of losing it. But this beautiful malfunction of his mind was met with gratitude and care from my grandmother and they spent a lot of time together in that last week. I wrote Rosemary from the perspective of that old man.
What I’m Missing ?
Part of that beautiful moment of clarity I had after canning the other album. I had been working so hard on it and pushing myself to such extremes. I realised what I wanted was nowhere near as hard as that to get and, if anything all my frenetic work was strangling my dreams and stopping them from coming to life. I calmed down, tried a little less, and it all began to flow.
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
Big dreamy acoustic pop songs with some pretty solid beats and a lot of energy.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Bon Iver, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, Jose Gonzales, Alt – J, Ben Howard and Coldplay. Oh, and Villagers, that guy has done more for my music than anyone will ever know.
What is something you really enjoy listening to at the moment that others might be surprised at?
I really like a lot of hip hop that coming out at the moment. J Vole and John Wayne in particular. I think it’s a brilliant time for hip hop. The genre is really flourishing. I think Kendrick had a lot to do with that. I’ve loved him since the get go.
You have a national tour coming up starting next week in Newcastle, how do you prepare for a road trip like that?
Not too much really. I get a bunch of Berocca, start staying up late and having a few drinks so my body doesn’t freak out with the lifestyle change. Surf heaps because I know I’ll miss it lots. And practice a lot.
Thank you again for taking the time to answer and we hope to see you on the road real soon!
No worries : )
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