Tell me about your role within The Dandelion?
On most of the studio recordings I’m the singer/songwriter and instrumentalist and when we play live I stick to playing guitar, flute and singing. I also somewhat manage the band and do the online social media when necessary.
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
We’re based in Sydney. I guess it depends on what music scene you’re referring to as there are shows happening all the time but Sydney is a sprawling city and there’s so many different styles of music these days. The Dandelion has generally been associated with people who have an appreciation for music from the past especially the 1960’s. That scene has always been quite small and close knit but now and again a band or artist comes along that is interesting everyone seems to be supportive.
You’re playing at Otto’s House Party on July 13 in Sydney’s Kings Cross, how did this show come about and what can we expect?
Yeah I’m really looking forward to playing this show mainly because there’s a lot of cool groups and like minded people performing. Luke Spook is doing his EP launch and the guys at Third Eye Stimuli Records asked if I wanted The Dandelion on the bill and play some records, being Friday the 13th I could not say no. With what to expect I guess we’ll see on the night and if everything’s aligned it will be a fun show for sure.
How do you prepare for each live show?
As a band we do what every other band does and rehearse what we’re going to play. Personally I just leave it up to whatever headspace I’m in at the time and my own performance will reflect that. I’ve realised after playing so many shows that it’s often out of the performers control how a show will turn out because we’re at the mercy of so many different elements in the universe, like you can walk into a venue and be excited to play and suddenly the whole vibration can change unexpectedly whether it be physical or for some strange ethereal reason. Things can get really weird.
Soon you’ll be releasing the project’s 3rd LP, where and when did you record?
I recorded it all at home and I’ve chosen about 12 songs out of about 30 that I’ve been writing and recording over the past 2 years. I’ve had to redo and tidy up quite a few songs and it’s taken so long because I’ve had so much other life stuff happening at the same time. But overall it’s sounding like a complete work which I’m so far happy with.
Does the LP have a title yet?
Yes, Old Habits & New Ways of The Dandelion.
What programs and equipment did you use to record?
I recorded it all on a Yamaha MTX-8 Multitrack cassette recorder. I only use a computer program to mix down and digitise the recordings and for that I use Ableton. I prefer to live mix in analogue and I don’t like to use any post mix effects. So what you hear is a live mix straight from the tape.
Who did you work with?
On this record just me, my cat for company and God. Not the dictator in the sky type of God either, something way beyond that.
What influenced the sound and songwriting for the LP?
My instruments always influence the sound. As I mentioned I’m not big on effects I only like to use reverb, echo and tremelo when tracking. I never have a solid plan when I record, I just listen to the song and try different sounds and instruments out which I think sound good and fit together. With songwriting I’m the same I don’t put too much conscious thought into what I’m writing it’s all subconscious thoughts and channeling. I write songs three main instruments, on acoustic guitar and electric organ I just play chords and melodies that sound nice to me then put it together in a finished song or I hop on a drum kit and just play some random beats for about 2-3mins then write a song over the drumbeat.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
The last record I listened to was The Notorious Byrd Brothers which in my opinion is the best Byrds album but that was days ago on Saturday I think. I actually haven’t been listening to much music this month at all. I’ve been watching lots of documentaries and lectures on religion and multi-dimensional thought. I really enjoy listening to lectures by psychologist Jordan Peterson who has helped me in many ways with getting my life organised and also he gives a very interesting interpretation of many biblical stories from a Jungian type of view, powerful stuff!
Could you please give us a brief history of The Dandelion and how you were sought out?
The band began on 2013 with a guy named Daniel Poulter who recorded the first and most of the second Dandelion records. I was lurking in the shadows for a while and when it was time for Danny boy to bow on out, I flew in on my broomstick and took charge. There’s been a few subtle line up changes over the years too. I’m not too sure what you mean by “sought out” but the first Dandelion show came about when Geelong band The Frowning Clouds asked The Dandelion to support them at one of their Sydney shows. Record label wise The Dandelion has fortunately had from the beginning a keen interest from European record labels and most the deals have been causally offered by labels overseas. To date I’ve negotiated record deals with Six Tonnes de Chair Records in France, Blackspin Records in Greece and Bad Afro Records in Denmark.
What do you like to do outside of music?
As I have to work full-time to support myself I don’t have much free time at the moment. I spend a lot of time at home alone but I’m going through an intense learning phase at the moment and I’ve been learning to find enjoyment in what I used to think were boring and mundane tasks, such as cooking and keeping my house in order. I’ve also been learning to repair and mend my own clothing so I’ve been practicing a bit of hand stitching which has been very useful although I’m pretty rusty!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I love making curries and dahl from family recipes and my favourite place to hang is my palace I call home.
The Dandelion are performing at Otto’s Friday 13th Spectacular at The World Bar on July 13. For more info on upcoming events, head to facebook.com/ottoshouseparty
Otto’s Friday 13th SPOOKTACULAR // Friday 13 July
The Dandelion / Rosa Maria / Luke Spook [EP Launch] / The Uplifting Bell Ends / Platonic Groupie / Natalie De Silver and King OPP [DJ set] / Absolutely Everybody DJs / Third Eye Stimuli Records DJs
Otto’s House Party // Friday 20 July
Sunscreen / Yeevs / Space Carbonara / Velvet Elevator / Hox Loci / Morning TV [DJ set]
Otto’s House Party // Friday 27 July
Party Dozen / Shady Nasty / Patstiche / Live Wire / Good Looks