Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m originally from Albury but moved to Melbourne a couple of years ago- there are always going to be more opportunities in Melbourne but I do miss the close knit groups of support that exists back home. For better or worse, I know I’d be writing completely different music had I grown up in Melbourne
How did you first start playing music?
I was introduced to guitar pretty early on via Dad and picked up the saxophone at around 12 years old. I played with the local Big Band, wind ensembles and so on before getting fairly teenagey and angsty and as such decided I should be a bass guitarist for a while. I started writing songs with a group of mates in high school, most of which heavily featured Jack on piano accordion. No regrets.
Your a member The Northern Folk, what role do you play within the band?
In The Northern Folk I play tenor sax, sing some harmonies and play a little guitar when they let me. I had an egg shaker but it was taken away from me by force. My contributions mostly involve writing some horn lines here and there, some arrangement and a lot of opinions.
Please tell us about your solo music and how and why you’ve decided to write and release music as a solo artist:
I’ve been writing by myself for a long time, but I had always felt pretty self conscious and private about it all- this is the first time that I’ve felt to show other people what I do away from the band and work. As a part of a very democratic and membersome band, I guess I’m also after some personal music-related autonomy.
Who or what influences your style and songwriting?
Overall I’m mostly influenced by the people around me. I’m lucky enough to live with and know some incredible musicians and songwriters who make me want to write good songs- and I know they’ll tell me if something’s no good.
How do you go about writing music?
A lot of fiddling around with ideas. When I have a foundation I work at it for ages until I’m happy with it. I think of it like carving an ice sculpture- trying to chip away at it bit by bit until I can stand back and see if it’s turned into something worthwhile. That being said I have no ice sculpting experience so I may be way off base there.
How did you approach the recording process?
I recorded and mixed everything in my bedroom on my laptop. I started off with the crux of the song on electric guitar and then starting the process of adding layers, tweaking bits as I went. Every now and then I’d stop and think, ‘you know what, this really needs an egg shaker’. It did not need an egg shaker.
What programs/equipment did you use to record/produce?
I’ve moved away from Pro Tools and started using Studio One because the former was just too unreliable on a laptop. I recorded vocals, acoustic guitar and horns with a Rode NT1 condenser and most other things just with a Shure SM57 or a combination of the two. I mix with a pair of Presonus Eris 5″ monitors and ATH-M40X headphones. The interface is just a Scarlett 2i2. My theory is that I don’t need a lot of fancy gear, I prefer to focus on making my room sound clean, getting good mic placement and capturing a good performance. I also do a lot of trial and error searching for the tones I want.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2019 going into 2020?
Mostly looking forward to having a crack at winning the Div 2 Box Hill futsal league. It’s been a rough road of injuries and high emotions but we’ve got it this time. I can feel it.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
The Maes and Jason Isbell, Broads.
What do you like to do away from music?
I’m a purveyor of high quality outdoor goods at Macpac. It’s 40% off clothing until November 24, come on in and get your jackets!
Where and when are you playing next?
At the time of writing, tonight with The Northern Folk at the Croxton Bandroom, supporting Tijuana Cartel. For myself I’m looking at doing a group single launch with a couple of friends who happen to be releasing songs very soon after me (surely just a coincidence). Details TBC.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Bananas! And definitely the pub.