Where are you currently based?
Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne
How did you first start playing music?
My mum ran a Backpackers accommodation in the 90’s and all the international guests would bring the latest cassette tapes from places like London & Amsterdam. At the age of 13, I was given the responsibility of playing music for the wild parties that were happening.
How did Uone & Western form?
I started doing A&R for BEEF records in the 2000’s, Nick was one of the owners at the time. Our friendship and shared passion for music grew from there. We started producing music 4 years ago after a series of successful releases on Sol Selectas, Katermukke, Beat & Path. We decided to release a concept album that focused on combining our love of cinema (spaghetti westerns), live instruments, psychedelic culture and rolling deep tribal house.
How has Covid impacted the underground electronic scene?
It’s been pretty hard actually. Not being able to play music, and connect with humans has been challenging. But at the same time the COVID-19 outbreak opened up the opportunity to reset and reflect on where music and DJing started. It’s been a time to reflect on my early roots and a time I was young, free and completely transfixed with the art of DJing and the music it embodies.
What are you doing to support the industry and stay creative?
I run a weekly radio show called RANCH-O-RADIO, which is broadcast on 33 radio stations globally. It’s a platform to showcase local artists as well as international artists I love. I have also been doing a few live streams raining money for Multiple Sclerosis to keep my creative juices satisfied.
Your new album ‘The Lone Wranglers’ will be out on October 16, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
The biggest influence on this album is the love of cinema that Western & I share. I remember in between studio sessions we went to see Blade Runner 2049 and had a vivid conversation about the importance sound plays in creating mood and feeling. The conversation naturally flowed into the studio and we ended up writing 3 cinematic musical interludes for the album, (Let Red Go, Cotton in the Clouds, Forest Walker). The second biggest influence would have to be Quentin Tarantino and his modern day take on western cinema culture, the album naturally developed to be a modern day western dance musical tale.
Where and when did you record/produce?
Mostly produced at the Smith and Western Studios’ in Sydney over the last 2 years, but a lot of the tracks finalised at the Ranch-O-Relaxo studio. A special thanks to Jamie Stevens for helping us finalise a lot of the mix downs on this album. Jamie’s musical knowledge & studio skills are phenomenal, having a 3rd party come across and give the music a final tweak really brought extra clarity to the mix. The mastering was done by Danny Bonnici from Liquid Mixes.
What programs/plugins/equipment did you use?
We use Ableton 10, big fans of Spectrasonics’ plugin called the ‘Keyscape’. A lot of the piano, vintage keyboards & Rhodes sound come from this extraordinary plug in. We also spent a lot of time recording live guitars with different pedals, all our percussion is recorded live and then processed inside Ableton. Combining a human feel inside the digitized computer world is important. Some key synths used were the Roland Juno-106 & Nord Electro 3 Stage piano.
What can we expect from this upcoming album?
The album is a combination of some key key influences for Western & I. Quentin Tarantino films are a big one, The Doors and Pink Floyd also heavily inspired the album.
‘The Lone Wranglers’ has a super unique sound, you can definitely hear the psychedelic influences and tribal deep house sounds. The live guitars and tribal drums really make you feel like you are experiencing the album in person.
How did Covid affect the creation of this album?
Fortunately, it was completed before COVID fully set in, but we pushed back the release date because we felt like the timing wasn’t right. There’s no time like the present, onwards we go!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
New Zealand based Sanoi and Beacon Bloom have been on high rotation. Plus, diving back in the late 1990s & early 2000s sounds of Underworld, Orbital, Brian Eno, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix and Midnight Oil.
What do you like to do away from music?
Gardening! I am somewhat of a green thumb. Here at our property we have 5 acres of gardens & vegetable patches to look after. I really enjoy mowing the lawns with my John Deer. Also having recently become a father, spending time with our baby girl has been filling my heart with joy.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?
I’m taking part in Beyond Borders ‘Desert Dwellers’ live streaming event October 23, then we plan to follow up this album with an EP ‘Magician On Duty’. In December I’m super excited to be playing ‘Elements Music Festival’ in QLD – a return to live music!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
During COVID it’s been our local Goat Curry at the Himalayan & Nepalese Restaurant.