Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’ve lived in Melbourne since 1991.
It has a huge and diverse music ( and art for that matter ) scene that brings in more revenue than sport and yet, as everywhere else, the people making the art aren’t making any of the money.
How did you first start playing music?
I started playing music when I was 15 and I persuaded my parents to get me guitar lessons after I’d saved up and procured a $14 ‘Audition’ guitar (I saw Marc Ribot playing one of these a couple of years ago!) from Kmart. I’d been inspired by a lot of the music I was hearing on the radio – T rex, Deep Purple, The Stones, basically electrified Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Your latest single is out now, what influences your sound and songwriting?
A mixture of the prior mentioned ‘electrified rock n roll’, experimenting with strange beats, unusual ways for generating sound ,weird harmonies, wordplay and stuff going on around me.
You have an Australian tour kicking off at the end of January, are there any shows that you are particularly looking forward to playing, if so why?
I’m looking forward to the Hobart, Brisbane and Beechworth shows because they’ll be just me and no band and those shows are always more rambling and story telling, going places I can’t take a band. I’m looking forward to all of the other shows because I’ll have a different combo of local musos and musos that I’m taking with me in each place.
How do you prepare for live shows?
I put together a repertoire based on what musical configuration I’m working with and what I want to present for that show. I write all he songs I might want to choose from all down over 2 spread pages of and open book – about A3 size when opened out, so that I can look down on the floor and pick any song that takes my mood. I call this ‘The Book Of Swamp’. This is what I do instead of a set list. All of the musos I work with know this and know not to expect a formalised setlist.
I then think about what I’m gonna wear. If I’m on my own it stops there but if I have a combo it depends on the people. Some people just can’t be tamed and others are good sports and want to help present a show of some sort. The challenge is to make it look like we didn’t all just meet at a bust stop…ha ha maybe that could be a look in itself.
I always go on ‘cold’, don’t meditate or do vocal exercises. Actually that’s a white lie, I have been having a shot or 2 of tequila in recent times to get into ‘the vibe’ but am getting over(or bored with) the taste of tequila.
Your book ‘Nine Parts Water, One Part Sand: Kim Salmon and the Formula for Grunge’ is out now, how did this book come about and what inspired Douglas to write it?
Doug and I hit it off straight away and he’d ask me about some aspect of my past before, after or during a lesson and that would just set me off into some ‘rock story’. I think after a while that got him interested to know if any of these stories had been compiled anywhere and of course they hadn’t. He plucked up the courage and asked me one night if he could write my biography and given the absence of such a thing, and given that I’d attempted it but never had the time, I said yes!
You worked along side your guitar student/biographer ‘Douglas Galbrath’ how did the idea/concept come about to work together?
You mean in my band? Obviously Doug is a fairly enterprising fellow. I knew he was already a drummer. He’d taken it on himself to try and be the booker at the local pub and booked some of me and my friends bands in there as well as his own. I saw he was a good drummer and even worked with him playing at his daughter’s schools bazaar, which he also booked bands for.
How did the story telling, story writing between the both of you take place and over what period?
He’d invite me to brunch start recording and do what he did at the lessons. He got me talking. Basically he prompted me with a question and off I’d go.
What did you find most rewarding and challenging through out the process?
For me the most rewarding thing has been to see the threads that I’ve given Doug, get woven into a story. It seems something quite apart from me even though I recognise it all.
The most challenging part was to know where the line between being a bit circumspect and censoring oneself was. Obviously I don’t want to fall out with people but there’s also a need for honesty. This is however just a story and not an exposé so there’s a balance to be struck.
Any advice for anyone wanting to writing a book?
Don’t know if I’m the person to give that advice yet. Maybe wait till I’ve written MY book.
Where can we buy/read ‘Nine Parts Water, One Part Sand: Kim Salmon and the Formula for Grunge’ ?
Ha Ha! In all discerning bookstores….but more importantly….and also in the highly likely event that all discerning bookstores don’t have my book in stock (because they’ve sold out ha ha),
at my upcoming shows where I’ll be selling the book and my 2 new singles and more…
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Bonzo Dog Doodah Band
It was Neil Innes’s tragic death that dragged me into yet another You Tube vortex.
What do you like to do away from music and writing?
Painting and other things
Please tell us about any new music that’s on the way:
I’m going into the studio with Tony Thewlis in 3 days to put the finishing touches on a brand new Scientists album.
What’s planned for 2020?
Touring said Scientists album in the USA
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Well right now it’s the roast that I’m about to cook and my fave place will be here when I’m eating it, because I’m HUNGRY.