Where are you currently based?
I’m based in Brooklyn, NY.
How did you first start playing music?
I started strumming a guitar at the age of 13, just learning all the tunes to covers that made an impression on me like Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Everclear and so on.
You’ve started a new project ‘Shacks & Palaces’, how did this come about?
OH, dang a hard question. So there’s many ways to look at it I guess, but one way it started is because of my love for lyrics. When I heard different lyrics dropped, like the song from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Wait, they don’t love you like I love you,” the hammer dropped. I think everyone is an artist and has something to say that is beautiful and can lift you up. A lyric can dance with you, so in my belly I’ve always wanted to give that piece of myself that may make you feel something.
How do you go about juggling the your commitments with The Temper Trap with this new project?
Well, at the moment The Temper Trap has set ambitions to release more music, but the juggle lies with us all being in different parts of the world! We are all in each other’s corner with the different releases we have coming up and projects in the works.
Who else is in Shacks & Palaces and what instruments do they play?
Although this is released as solo record my lady Britni had an integral part in these songs. She is singing on the whole record and has been able to be in the development of the songs and help me to turn on the wind screen wipers, so to speak, to see what is in front of me. Oscar Dawson, an up and coming Aussie and legend, is an incredibly gifted multi-instrumentalist and we also hit this task together.
Your debut single ‘Once Upon A Hilltop’ is out now, what influenced the sound and song writing to for this track?
I’d say I dared myself to use a simple chord structure to write something imaginative. I’ve always been such a fan of the Flaming Lips and it feels like there’s a little bit of magic in everything they do, so with this song I used them as frame work and thought, what would they sound like if the wrote a folk song?
How did you go about writing Once Upon A Hilltop?
Well on the road touring you’re always riffing away and I don’t what country I was on when I came up with the riff but many years later I decided this was a song bed worth fighting for. Some songs come easy over years. This was a song I’ve been writing for years trying to understand what it should be
Where and when did you record/produce?
I recorded in Melbourne and Brooklyn…
I met up with Oscar Dawson, band member of Holy Holy and producer for a bunch of what you’re hearing on triple jjj, at the moment. We started in Melbourne, I texted him and said do you want to work on this tune and he loved it, so we started there 6 months later he met up with me in Brooklyn to finish it.
What programs/instruments did you use?
Oh, this song is a marriage between organic foot stomping and to mellotron synths.
Oscar records on Logic
What do you like to do away from music?
I’ve been keen on playing b-ball here in NYC, there’s always pick-up games here. I’m not that good, but I love it! I tell you what the games here go straight to people’s hearts and they never forget so if you’re not that good aka me sometimes it’s hard to get on the court again!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Oh well with everything going on right now I’ve gone inwards and not listening to much except a nice a DJ playing all sorts of tunes to keep you comfy at home.
How are you spending your days in this very unique time in history:
Well, Britni and I have two kids, so I’ve become a total school teacher and it’s hands-on now. Outside of that we just got Disney Plus and I’m watching Mandalorian which is pretty epic.
Any advice for aspiring professional musicians?
I’d say in a band setting, you grow together and you develop together and your ability to stay connected in your personalities is as equally, if not more important to understand and resolve if possible then the music your making. I’ve seen some awesome bands never make the light of day and I’d dare say it’s because of this.
Favourite food and place to hang out?
Ha-ha coronavirus times so my home is my hot spot for now!