Clay Western

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

I’m currently living in North Bondi.

How did you first start playing music?

I first started off playing trombone in primary school. When I was about 15 I was at a bit of a crossroads with music. I started to go to a few gigs and was really inspired to write songs. I became good friends with the Caravana Sun crew and they gave me some cool opportunities to play gigs with them while I was still at school. The rest is history, I guess.

What’s been happening recently?

2022 has been a bit all over the place for me. I moved from Fremantle to Byron Bay in June, and then I just moved to Sydney a month ago. I felt there was more opportunity for me down here, so I pulled the trigger.

I have been writing a heap through all the chaos and meeting a heap of new people. I’m pretty keen to settle into the big city life for a while and see where it takes me.

Your single ‘Nothing Lasts’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

I wrote ‘Nothing Lasts’ in the studio with Jordi and Josh, a couple of weeks before I moved from WA to Byron Bay. At the time, I was staring down the barrel of leaving all my friends, family and the life I had created at home in WA. The song talks about moving on from a relationship, and even though it’s not the easy decision, you know it’s the right decision for both of you.

Lyrically, the track is pretty melancholy, so we tried to give it a bit more of a lighter, driving feel in the production. I think the polarity between the lyrics and production find a happy medium that complement each other.

How did you approach the songwriting process?

I had a bunch of different demos and ideas when I went into the studio with Jordi and Josh. We had recorded a song the day before and were looking to record a new song. The ideas I had weren’t really working, so we decided to just start again and write something from scratch. We wrote most of the song in one morning and just finished it as we were recording it.

Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?

I recorded ‘Nothing Lasts’ with Jordi Davieson and Josh Biondillo (San Cisco) in their home studio in Fremantle. We then recorded the drums with Dan Carrol at Rada Studios then got my good mate Dylan Olivierre (The Money War) to mix it.

Please tell us about the production process:

Josh and Jordi have some amazing vintage gear in their studio. I wrote the chord progression on Josh’s Fender Rhodes and we built the song around that. and used a Yamaha DX-7 for most of the synth/bass parts. This is probably the least guitars I’ve used on a track and it feels refreshing to take my music down a different direction. We built most of the track at their home studio then recorded drums at Rada Studios with Dan Carrol. I love looking back and seeing how many different hands one song passes through. The production of a track is a journey in itself, and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside some amazing people.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to a heap of Whitney at the moment. I think there’s definitely hints of them in ‘Nothing Lasts’. I’ve also been listening to Marcus Mumford’s new album, The Strokes and Tyler, The Creator. My musical taste is a bit all over the place haha.

What do you like to do away from music?

Surfing is my main passion outside of music. It has always been a big part of my life and allows me to escape from all the chaos and keeps me sane. I find it hard to sit still. Being active is really good for my mental health. If I don’t make time to get in the ocean or do something physical I definitely feel it. Music and surfing are my meditation. They allow me to leave all my troubles at the door and let me brain reset.

What’s planned for the remainder of 2022 going into 2023?

I’m really excited to be creating heaps of music with new people. I’d like to do an east coast tour early next year and maybe even tie in a couple of shows back home as well. I’m still finding my feet in Sydney and trying to navigate life in a new city, which is pretty exciting. New people, new songs, anything is really possible.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

WA really punches above in terms of food and bars. For coffee, Ooh Coffee in North Fremantle without a doubt. For bars, Percy Flints is the favourite. One of the best beer gardens I’ve been to, food is pretty good as well. You can pretty much guarantee you’ll see your friends there on any given day of the week. I’m still finding my bearings over in Sydney. I really love The Royal in Bondi. It’s a bit grungy, the food is great and they have some sick bands playing. I saw The Beefs play there the other week, and Isabella Manfredi as well. There’s definitely a cool little scene there.

‘Nothing Lasts’ is out now.
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