Does each member of the band have a nickname? If yes, spill them! If not, please make them up right now!
Every member of my band answers to Mike. It’s a long story which I don’t know that even I fully understand the origins of.
Have you been involved in any previous projects before this one?
I have! And I continue to be. I’ve been a member of On Diamond (fka Lisa Salvo) for the past 5 or so years, I play with my dear friend Clio Renner (aka Clio) and have recently started playing with Brian Campeau. Brian and I have also started a duo project (stay tuned) and I sometimes sing with Invenio Singers and occasionally I do BV’s for Grand Salvo. All some of my absolute favourite musicians on the planet.
All artists go through periods where they seem to lack creativity, when you’re experiencing one of these phases, what do you do to get yourself out of it?
I guess have two approaches. If I don’t have any deadlines or sense of urgency I’ll go with the “don’t force it” option. This usually involves listening to new music or old music that has inspired me in the past and/or trying to learn new techniques on the guitar. I think that getting music in your ears and new techniques under your fingers inevitably paves the way to new material, even if it’s a little further down the track. Option B is the “limitation/ restriction” option, whereby I set myself a certain limitation or restriction in the songwriting process. This could be as simple as trying to write the harmony of a song away from an instrument, or starting a song with a certain rhythmic or stylistic feel in mind. I usually find that giving myself these restrictions allows me to be more creative within those parameters (and it makes things seem less overwhelming to begin with!).
Care to give us a gear rundown?
I sure can. I have a pretty basic setup for live shows – I play an Esteve acoustic nylon string guitar which I generally either play through my AER acoustic amp or through my ToneBone PZ Pre DI. It’s kind of hard to get the sound right for nylon string guitars (I guess because they’re not as common in live contexts) so I like having some control. I also play a Maton electric (which is not actually mine but I’ve kind of stolen it) through a Vox Pathfinder 120. Those things about $200 and they are SICK. In my humble opinion. I also have my pride and joy which is a 1967 Martin “New Yorker” parlour guitar. At the moment I only use it at home and for recording because I’m too scared I’ll hurt it if I put a pickup in. It is the most beautiful sound acoustic I’ve ever heard/played and I will love it until the day I die.
How was your high school experience? Were you in a band?
I loved high school. I was super lucky to go to a school with an amazing music program and most of my lunch hours were spent hanging out with my friends and my teachers in the music block (I was the quintessential music nerd). I didn’t really play in a band at school but I sung in choirs and vocal ensembles which exposed me to lots of cool classical choral music.
Does your music have consistent lyrical themes or do they change from song to song?
Lyrically, my forthcoming album centres around relationships in all of their various forms. I wasn’t really conscious of this being the common thread when I wrote it but I think it was written during a time when I was coming to terms with the fact that no relationship (be it romantic, friendship or otherwise) is ever perfect and that people let eachother down all the time for all kinds of different reasons. I wanted to try to empathise with the reasons why and songwriting is a really helpful exercise in psychoanalysis haha.
What’s the best show you’ve been to this year?
A few months ago I saw Jacob Diamond play at The Gaso Upstairs. I think everyone who was at that gig was pretty blown away.
Where are people able to hear your songs?
All of the places! Bandcamp (digital and physical), Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, etc. And also in real life at shows.
Are you Pro or against streaming services and why?
Can I be both? I’m for and against both as an artist and as a consumer. As an artist I think it makes it easier for your music to reach audiences that it may not otherwise reach, but it also means that no-one pays for your music anymore. As a consumer it’s pretty amazing to have so much at your fingertips and I have discovered lots of great artists online but I think it has also changed the way I listen to music. I used to put a CD on in the car and listen to that same CD on repeat for months until I knew that album inside out, word for word, note for note. I haven’t done that in ages and that makes me kind of sad.
Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?
Clio – She has just released a new EP and it’s unbelievably good. The last track on the EP is called “Only One” but I call it “The Destroyer” because it destroys me every time. It’s a solo track so when she plays it live the band leaves the stage and I sit in the front row with Georgie Darvidis (who also sings in the band) and we both cry like babies. And then have to get up and sing the last song of the set with mascara running down our faces.
Jacob Diamond – As mentioned previously, definitely one to catch live. He’s an incredible guitarist and vocalist and his songs are like sonic adventures – they never take you where you expect but once you get there you kind of forget where you thought you were going in the first place?
Brian Campeau – Brian has recently moved to Melbourne from Sydney. I’ve been a big fan of his music for years and now I get to play in his band which is cool! He has an album coming out really soon so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that.
Anything Else you’d like to add?
My album is going to be out on June 8th which is pretty exciting!