Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I am based in Melbourne and the music scene is very healthy and vibrant. Any night of the week you can head out and watch quality local original music. Whenever I have reached out to other artists or met people at gigs, I have only experienced genuine positivity and a supportive community.
How did you first start playing music?
When I was six years old, my Dad taught me how to play the Blues on the Piano, I became obsessed with Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. My Pop bought me a Didgeridoo and taught me how to play. When I got to high school I didn’t think playing the Piano was very ‘cool’ until some guys in year 12 heard me playing Herbie Hancock tunes and invited me to jam with them. That was the beginning of my obsession with music.
You’ve just finished an EP, what’s the title?
The EP is called Heavy Weight named after the last track. Heavy Weight is a broad reflection on narcissism and dishonest leadership, disregard to human rights, conflicted views on environmental matters and how lack of unity in decision making can ultimately result in us carrying this ‘heavy weight’ of guilt, disappointment or dissatisfaction as a consequence.
What or who influenced the sound and songwriting?
I love the energy that Animal Collective, LCD Soundsystem and Caribou create. The complexity in production from Electronica artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never, Holly Herndon and Rob Clouth. Ambitious ideas and song arrangements from artists like D.D Dumbo and Unknown Mortal Orchestra and raw emotion of artists like Ainslie Wills and Anohni.
How did you go about writing the music for the EP?
Musical ideas usually start at the piano or on the guitar and then evolve from there. I often listen to particular sounds and instruments I like such as bass sounds or beats and try to emulate these ideas or achieve similar results.
I have really pushed myself beyond my capabilities with this music with building new skills in production and mixing, and refining my sound.
Crafting songs on your own is such a difficult and lengthy process but for the first time I am stoked that I have created music that speaks honesty about relationships and my anger towards powerful people around us who make dumb decisions for their own benefit.
Lachlan Carrick of Moose Mastering mastered the tracks, how was this experience?
Lachlan has worked with artists such as Gotye, Anatole, Ainslee Wills and many other great artists. With this new single Better Way, I played all the parts, produced and mixed it, so I was really happy to have Lachlan’s expertise and creative approach when adding the final touches on the last four songs of the EP.
Where and when did you record/produce?
The EP is the result of many sessions in different studios around Melbourne and Sydney. I was really fortunate to learn from and work with a bunch of amazing artists such as Ocdantar – who mixed the first two tracks on the EP. Working with Ocdantar inspired me to record analogue instruments as much as possible in order to help the songs breathe and come to life.
I learned how to push my beat making further when I did a session with an incredible Electronica artist and friend KCIN from Sydney, and I received some valuable song arrangement advice in a session I did with Memphis KL last year.
I also recorded a lot of the synths at MESS (Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio) where I had access to some incredible vintage gear. Most of the writing and arranging was done at home and I mixed the last four tracks at Spike Leo’s studio at the Aivary Recording studios in Abbotsford, Melbourne.
What programs/equipment do you use?
The piano, a guitar or a synth is usually the birth place of a musical idea and then I’ll build a beat around that idea using Ableton Live. All the piano and synth parts are recorded live and I re-recorded a lot of the sounds through guitar amps to add grit and variety in tone colour.
When I did sessions at MESS, I got my hands on some amazing vintage synths such as the Roland System 100 and SH-101, Steiner-Parker Synthacon and a MEAN vintage Russian synth from the 1980’s called the Polivoks. The third track, Swimming is an instrumental track where I feature a lot of these sounds and let the inner synth geek run wild.
What do you have planned for this EP?
I plan to get this music on stage as much as possible and play live more. I’d love to visit some other cities and play to new audiences, hey Brissy, Adelaide and Perth, I’m waving at you 🙂
How do you approach your live shows?
I have been working really hard on my live set as the new songs were made with the intention of having a stronger presence on stage. I have always been really inspired by artists such as Panda Bear and Baths and how they perform their music live.
The new set is packed with harder grooves to get people moving and vibe the room, as well as more involved performance elements where I perform most of the synth parts, sing live and manipulate the tracks live as opposed to triggering backing tracks and looping.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Despite releasing new music I am still writing and recording constantly so any free time is spent jamming with friends and working on other projects which I hope will also emerge from the studio this year as well.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2019?
The six track EP will be out in June. I plan to play a bunch of live shows and make more music with friends.
Any upcoming shows?
I’m planning some shows for the coming months ahead and cant wait to put this music through some nice speakers in a nice venue, hopefully some big speakers!
I’m also going to throw a mad party for all the people who I have borrowed gear from, asked a million production or mixing questions to, and family and friends that I have frustrated and ignored whilst I’ve made this music over the past 12 months!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Clever Austin’s new album is on repeat at the moment, I think Anatole’s new album Emulsion will be in my top three albums for 2019 and I am really digging an incredible artist out of Toronto, La Force. Her voice and song writing is next level. I’m eagerly awaiting Flying Lotus’ next album as well.
What do you like to do away from music?
EAT FOOD ! If I’m not trying to find the next amazing Ramen or Dumpling joint, I’m searching for awesome recipes and food docos online.
Any secrets that you care to share?
Give me a jar of peanut butter and a spoon and I’ll eat it in one sit – or often just standing in the kitchen staring into peanut butter heaven. I blame my girlfriend for this, her influence started the obsession. Oh and pistachio gelato – damn, who needs drugs when that stuff is in your life.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Start at Growers Espresso in Fitzroy north for the best coffee in town – yes it’s a big call and I’m confident, it’s the best espresso in town! Then head north to Carwyn Cellars in Thornbury where there’s an amazing selection of beer on tap, always great music playing and you can order in from a bunch of restaurants close by. You’re very welcome 🙂