You’re playing in the upcoming Adelaide, Winter music fest Woolly mammoth at the Ed Castle Hotel. Out of the two, day line up, which performances are you most excited to see?
Yeah, I am. I’m incredibly excited to see Dog Dirt. Zoe is the real deal, evoking so much emotional impact with lyrics so heartbreakingly vulnerable and yet still so beautifully hopeful.
On the other end of the emotional spectrum, it always makes me really really happy seeing Christian Hancock sing his catchy tunes about being a weird lonely guy with a skateboard and whiny voice. Plus having a boogie & singalong to the bands Mount Seldom, Squid Fishing and Pemberton is going to be a raucous good time.
I found your music, very unapologetic authentic, honest and captivating as I felt a lot of existential meaning in your songs. Can you describe your music making process?
Thanks. My songs generally start with wanting to capture the feeling of joy and appreciation of friends and fun times. Rather than just stating or describing the feeling, I like to try to convey it through small details and storytelling. I write down small notes and ideas constantly whenever I’m in the thick of enjoyment or I notice something noteworthy.
I really like to pace around backyards with my acoustic when no one is home, finding nice sounding chord progressions and singing nonsense lyrics over them to find catchy melodies. If the songs theme doesn’t present itself at this point, I delve into my collated notes and find lines to get the ball rolling. I write as much as I can while the songwriting process is flowing and then just scrap all the crummy parts when i come back to it later.
What/who inspired you to get into music and how did your music journey being?
My father was a sound guy when I was growing up and so I found myself spending a lot of time around musicians and gigs. I was trying to start bands with school friends before I’d ever touched an instrument. I spent a lot of time covering Blink-182 and Rise Against in early high school and had a pop punk band that was a lot of fun, but was held back by my poor singing.
Bright Eyes and Elliot Smith are who first inspired me to really focus on writing serious songs with an acoustic guitar. That got old fast with the repetitiveness of taking it all too seriously and up until a few years ago I’d stopped writing songs altogether. I began again when I saw how bands like AJJ, Jeff Rosenstock and Foley could nonchalantly craft beautifully fun songs of forthright positivity and storytelling without the stress of trying to be a great poet or songwriting genius.
Which song resonates most strongly with you and why?
“You, In weird cities” by Jeff Rosenstock comes to mind in the context of this interview and being excited to visit Adelaide for Woolly Mammoth. The song is about listening to the music that interstate friends make and wanting to hangout with them more often. The song ends with Jeff repeating “I wanna hangout with youuuuuuuuuuu”
Where is your most favourite venue or place to play?
I really like to play completely unplugged when the setting calls for it, so my favourite place to play is in backyards, living rooms and car parks. My friend Dave has put on some shows for me in his living room and it’s always such a lovely thing seeing his pup Sharon attempt to navigate her way between a tightly packed crowd of friends offering her pats while I sing.
What’s one thing that you always try to take with you on your travels?
I try to never go anywhere without one of my 35mm film cameras. I’m cursed with the conflicting traits of being both terribly forgetful and tragically nostalgic. I think the desire I have for constantly taking photos and uploading them to my tumblr, comes from the exact same place as my songwriting. Thats wanting to document, celebrate and re-live good memories in a pretty way.
How does music affect you and the world around you?
I’ve made nearly all of my friends through music and have generally found all of my living arrangements through friends. I like to travel a lot and playing music gives me a purpose to do that, plus makes it a hell of a lot more viable and possible due to music friends offering me shows, couches, airport rides and interstate company.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
Cool. Rose-Tint (glasses) Pink, i guess. I think it works, because I’m generally pretty optimistic about the present, but also overly wistful and unrealistically attracted to the past. Plus its on-brand with the pink instagram filter I’ve been using for the past year or so.