Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Currently on the Central Coast but have been looking for a residence in Sydney for a while. The struggle is real finding an affordable place that I can fit a home studio with a tonne of excess gear into.
You’ve transitioned from folk to your new sound, how would you describe this new sound?
I think genre-wise it would somehow fit into the alternative pop corner of the music world with influences of 70’s disco.
Why did you decide to take your music in this new direction?
I came to a point where I felt limited with the music I was writing. I love folk music for its simplicity and rawness, but I wanted to push myself. I bought a 1982 Juno 60 synthesiser and started learning on that on how to make sounds, ended up falling in love with it and it’s been used on every track I’ve made. I think the change also just came from naturally wanting to do something different and evolve. I wanted to shake off some old connotations attached to me and my music, and really just make music for myself.
Who or what influences your music and songwriting?
I think I get a lot influences from the music I was brought up on; Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers. I also think a lot of my inspiration from the now would just be my friends. They are all making such inspiring music so I love going over to hang out and sitting down for hours listening to what they are working on / listening to. And that’s not just musicians, it’s a lot of photographers / filmmakers too that are all pushing their creative limits.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment to the record ‘Pizzazz’ by Patrice Rushen, some great 70s disc , Along with Soulwax, the new Jungle record is great, and also my favourite Japanese artist ‘Sunset Rollercoaster’.
Who have you been working with this year?
I’ve been writing for this project for about two years, so I’ve been lucky enough to work with so many incredibly talented musicians. It was all about experimentation with as many people possible, then kind of picking who I was working best with. The latest single ‘Feel It Again’ was written alongside LANK , we’ve done a few sessions here and there and he is one of my favourites to work with. An insanely talented writer and producer and I’m always blown away with how talented he is. Another has been Tobias Priddle who ended up helping me produce a cohesive sound. One of the problems I was faced after doing so many different sessions was we had so many different influences, which was great, but in the end we needed someone to bring it all together, and that guy was Tobias. We would basically take the stems into his studio in Melbourne and track live drums, re-do a heap of synth parts with the real analog synths and just refine the structure and parts. Tobias and I have also done a heap of co-writing along side Tim Ayre. It’s a great, comfortable writing group we have in Melbourne and all being such close friends it’s easy to always say what your thinking or feeling. A few other fun collaborations have been with Panama, and George Nicholas (Seekae).
What are the differences that you’ve found when recording synth music as compared to folk?
My views / methods completely changed when I started to learn production about 2 years ago. I used to only write on guitar and little piano, then would basically take a voice memo into a studio and go from there. It changed when I got into a few sessions about three years ago, I had never co-written before so it was super daunting at the start and sometimes still is actually. Then I got into production and started doing a lot of it just at home by myself and kept writing with the people I felt comfortable with. The more songs we were writing and pushing the boundaries of recording, the better the ideas were coming out. A heap of the songs have gone through so many different versions trying to find the sound I was after, but in the end it just came down to my personal preference, how I wanted to present my sound. I also think I got caught up with changing ‘one sound’ and having to stick with it when I think no one ever really finds “their sound”. Everyone’s continuously evolving and changing. Releasing that opened up many parts of myself that I didn’t know I had in me.
What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?
Playing the first KESMAR show in Sydney on the 7th of November at the Lansdowne. Super keen for this one, Been working real hard on the live show with some incredible players. Few other things here and there then into a few more shows at the start of new year along with releasing some more new music.
What do you like to do outside of music?
I used to do a fair bit of surfing, not as much now but in the warmer months just heading down to a beach with a crew or a trip up north / south, doesn’t really matter. If I have close friend with me it’s always a fun time. I also design, print and shoot all of my own merch, I love being able to have control over all aspects of this project. Always pushing different ideas around with likeminded photographers and designers. It gets my head out of the studio and into visuals which is so refreshing.
What instruments/programs do you use?
I use Logic pro x as my DAW, it’s all I really know how to use. Started on Garage Band and moved to Logic about two and a half years ago. As for gear I’ve accumulated a fair bit over time but always selling and buying. Don’t want to overload my brain with too much equipment and think ‘I need a new synth or bass to make a track better’. My no.1 synth would be my Juno 60 for sure. It’s basically made an appearance on everything. From bass lines, to pads or arpeggiators it covers everything. I also just got a 1976 Roland RS202. It’s my favourite thing at the moment, super lush 70’s disco sounding strings, it’s amazing. Some vintage Japanese guitars and bases too. Most of my gear is Japanese. They just put so much time and effort into everything they make / do and you can really see that in the gear.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I think its kinda hard to pick one place as I’m usually between Sydney, the Central Coast and Melbourne so really just anywhere with some close friends and a beer.