Interviews

City Calm Down // The harder you work, the luckier you get.

Q1: If you had the opportunity to get an inspiring message across to a large amount of people, what would your message be? 

Be curious, work hard and respect others.

Q2: How did you get started with your music? And if you weren’t a musician what would you want to be doing?

I started playing in cover bands when I was 14 years old. I was drawn to singing because it felt cathartic. I’m a practising lawyer, so when I’m not writing/recording/performing music I’m crunching out hours at a desk. I prefer to work with people on projects, though, so I dare say if I wasn’t doing music I’d be doing something like construction or perhaps working for my wife who is an architect. Working as a lawyer keeps things steady for the time being – that can be really helpful as a musician because it’s very hard to make ends meet relying solely on music.

Q3: What or who keeps you motivated and inspires you?

My parents have always been a big inspiration for me. Both of them were incredibly hard-working people but are also odd and carefree and curious about new things and they’ve always motivated me to learn new things. I think that’s why I’ve always been drawn to music – the possibilities are endless!

Q4: What are the most memorable experiences of your career so far? And what have you learnt from them?

Performing in front of 10,000 people at Splendour in The Grass in Australia in 2016. We had a blunder during that set but we kept it together and performed one of our best ever shows.

Q5: Would you go back and change anything in your career so far? And if not, why?

No. Although I’ve experienced disappointment I believe those moments have helped clarify my thinking about why I persist and remind me that you can’t take anything for granted.

Q6: In the next two years what do you aspire to achieve?

As a musician, I’d love to be able to move to the UK or Europe to build a career on this side of the world. The UK/EU has a lot more opportunities for artists than back home which is why some many Australians come over here!

Q7: How much of your life and your background has influenced you to become a songwriter and musician?

Growing up I loved listening to and playing music. I don’t know why that was. Neither of my parents were particularly musical although my Dad played in a band briefly during University. I guess the influence for wanting to become a musician was simply a love of music.

Q8: Which lyrics mean the most to you and why; ones you have written or ones you didn’t write?

The lyrics in Ripple by The Grateful Dead have always had profound effect on me. I think this is because the optimism in the lyrics is contrasted so perfectly by the subtle melancholy of the melody. The lyrics in a number of the songs on our forthcoming record were inspired by some personal difficulties I had growing up and so [at the moment] these mean the most to me. I think this is because I have been able to clearly articulate to myself how I feel about those difficult periods in my life.

Q9: If you could collaborate with anyone who would to it be and why?

David Bowie. He was a master collaborator and musician and seemed to have an amazing ability to draw people together to produce music that was far greater than the sum of its parts. The ability to collaborate well is one of the rarest of talents and I think I’d learn a lot from him about how to do this better.

Q10: Is there one most inspiring message you have heard in your life so far?

Like most people, stories of overcoming adversity strike a chord with me, as do stories of sacrifice and commitment. Each story has its own idiosyncrasies, which makes them hard to break down into a clear message.

Q11: Do you have a motto in life that do you live by?

Not one. There are many ideals I try to live my life by. Generally, they are things that counter my instincts – for example, I’m not a particularly patient person so I aspire to be more patient and appreciate of what I’ve already achieved.

Q12: Which other bands or artists are currently on your playlist?

I’ve been enjoying the War on Drugs new record [A Deeper Understanding] and I’m always revisiting The Smiths. I can’t get enough!

Q13: If you could have one song to be the soundtrack to your life, what would it be and why?

Ripple by The Grateful Dead or Perfect Day by Lou Reed. That’s two songs. I love these songs because it’s difficult for me to intellectualise why I love them – they both trigger a strong emotional response from me, which is what great music should do.

Q14: What are your biggest dreams? And your biggest fears?

I don’t take enough risks. So, I want to take more risks. In that sense, my biggest dream is that I’ll have the courage to take more risks. And my fear is that I will be hurt by taking those risks. That’s my paradox!

Q15: What are your plans for the remainder of this year and next year?

After we finish this brief tour of the UK and Paris we will return home to Australia to perform at Laneway festival and then we’ll be back here in May for the Great Escape. Everything else is still up in the air!

Q16: What would your advice be to those who want to live out their dreams? 

The harder you work, the luckier you get!

Q17: Lastly, for those who don’t know, what are the best social media methods for people to follow you and your music?

HYPERLINK “http://www.citycalmdown.com” \h http://www.citycalmdown.com

HYPERLINK “http://www.facebook.com/citycalmdownmusic” \h http://www.facebook.com/citycalmdown

HYPERLINK “http://www.twitter.com/CCDMUSIC” \h http://www.twitter.com/CCDMUSIC

HYPERLINK “http://www.instagram.com/citycalmdownmusic” http://www.instagram.com/citycalmdownmusic

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