Lucky Polo

by the partae

I’m originally from Sydney, Australia but moved to Irvine California so I could be closer to LA and pursue my hopes of working in a studio there with other great musicians I admire.

When I was 8 years old I began training in classical saxophone  through the school’s band program then coming into high school naturally I picked up guitar, bass, drums and keys etc. to fit into the music I was listening to such as The Moody Blues and Frank Zappa.

Recently it’s been an absolute whirlwind essentially picking up half my life and plonking it 15,000 kilometres away. I’ve been having a great time trying to set up new connections in California both within the scene and at university and trying to find new inspiration for writing. I finished a few singles a few months ago at Golden Retriever Studios in Marrickville so it’s exciting to be able to start releasing them. I’ve also started working on a longer length, more cohesive project also.

It’s only within the last couple of years that I’ve begun to explore electronic and sample based music such as Blank Banshee, Skrillex’s old EPs and J Dilla so I’ve been slowly harnessing my beat making skills. One thing that does stand out in Minimum Wage Dreamer is the use of that dirty spaghetti western style twangy guitar found in a lot of Ennio Morricone compositions. That sound is super untapped within mainstream music in my opinion and it really cuts through and contrasts nicely with the synths and 808 style drums. Honestly I’d just been watching a bunch of old westerns with my dad when I thought to myself that it could be a really great addition to the song.

Minimum Wage Dreamer was actually a joint effort between myself and childhood friend Heno. He’s a fantastic writer studying to become an English Teacher and wrote a great poem that he wanted me to use. I immediately got to work finding a melody I liked then from there built harmony and finally a catchy beat as foundation. Honestly it’s one of the quickest beats I’ve written because I just felt good that day.

I worked mostly with Antonia Gauci (from the band Gauci) at Golden Retriever Studios in Marrickville for engineering with up and coming artist Chloe Dadd as assistant engineer. It was then mastered by Simon Berckelman also at Golden Retriever. For the bass recordings on the record I had Charles Wilkinson and Dylan Catterall on drums in the outro who are both old friends of mine that I’ve known for years now.

The production was a lot of fun, and Antonia was great at suggesting new ways to push sounds further and make the record sound overall way more huge than I ever could have on my own. The synths, bass and 808s were relatively dry in terms of production, which made a lot of space especially for the vocals and double tracked guitars. The vocals had a bit of grit applied as well as some simple reverb and compression, most of the work was done with Antonia’s amazing Neumann microphone and preamp. The guitars had a fair bit done, they were double tracked through an old Fender Twin Reverb with the preamp cranked panned left and right, then we used a huge vintage spring reverb box to get that ‘drippy’ sound. We then had the signal compressed with a small amount of delay. The drums in the outro had a bunch of EQing and panning done to them just to help them sit better in the mix with the guitars.

This track truly means a lot to me. Firstly, it’s the first time I’ve had my vocals on a recording which was super exciting. It’s the first time I’d more or less written the majority of the song also. It was great to work with Heno and give his lyrics a medium to be heard. The song’s message itself however also resonates deeply with me. It’s about how we become so caught up in and pacified by social media, hype culture and consumerism that we forget to stop and smell the roses. We become so obsessed with an image of what we want to be, that when we return to reality we can’t seem to fully accept our own lives in comparison to someone we admire such as a rapper etc. and I want to question the legitimacy of that lifestyle.

Honestly I’ve felt a little bored lately with my music listening habits, so have been turning back to metal which I used to listen to in highschool as well as in my opinion the electronic equivalent that is dubstep. Bands such as Meshuggah have been great for helping me to reconsider the rhythmic choices I make within my own music and it would be incredibly interesting to see if that could be somewhat reflected in a more mainstream genre.

Away from music I love to skateboard, in a way it’s another form of self expression and a great way to stay fit. I also love fashion, reading and learning Japanese so there’s definitely a good mix of things to do. For the remainder of 2022, I’m hoping to finalise artwork and dates for my next two releases which should be the main focus of the first part of 2023. For 2023 specifically I’m looking to really start putting my head down and grinding to make contacts and meet as many people as possible within the industry. I’d also like to travel to other musical hotspots within the US such as New York, Chicago, Nashville etc.

I’ve got a pretty big sweet tooth to be honest, so a good pavlova is always welcome for me. Especially with extra meringue. As for favourite places to hang out, it has to be the cafeteria at my university. Not only are there heaps of skate spots close by, heaps of variety with the menu but there’s always a few of my buddies there to kick it and study with.

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