This column was partially inspired by a friend wanting to know why I had chosen to move to Melbourne and study in the first place rather than at the amazing facilities that are also available in Geelong. Someone once told me that you are only as big as the fishpond that you swim in and having spent quite a bit of time thinking about it, I am in full agreement with it. You have to take the moment and opportunities that come your way. Part of my course is to write and record an EP and, whilst most of the students in my class are preparing a couple of tracks, I am making the most of the situation and am currently working on the follow up to my 2014 release, Prisoner to the Blues. If you are a regular follower to my social media and music pursuits, this will not come as a surprise to you none the less, in the words of Edward Sharpe, ‘That’s what’s up’.
One of the main differences to the new material I am recording for this EP, is the background in which things are happening. For the last one, I went into a mate’s studio and recorded everything (guitar, stompbox and vocals) within six hours and then went back the next week to mix things a bit before mastering. With all professional facilities this time around and a group of great like-minded friends, there is an added gusto or enthusiasm to when the button is hit and you go to lay down a take.
With so many students around with varying interests, influences and abilities, there is always something to really help push a song over the line. For the first time ever, I am getting a trio together featuring bass and drums and, together with the new sound, I am very excited about where it is going to finally end up. With more musical instruments at school than you could poke a stick at, the limits, as clichéd as it is to say, are really limitless. There are a few students that are going to be playing all of the instruments on their albums like contemporaries such as the late great Prince and Kevin Parker.
I don’t know whether or not this is really a bold move in the structure of songwriting and making a record, however I am not ashamed to say that on the release is going to be a few really new tracks that were written only a few days before recording. Call me crazy, yet with some help, we have definitely got them kicking and sounding fabulous. One of the main inspirations for this album has been the one and only Ray Lamontagne. I have loved Ray’s work for a long time and his way to just slide a groove over any set of lyrics is something that is incredibly inspiring. He has this knack for just being able to say things that other people can’t. Case in point is his 2010 record God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise. The first track is nearly complete, having overdubbed some banjolele and some other instruments that I will leave for a surprise till you can hear it. I’ll give you more of an insight later on as we begin to look towards the release.
Written by Tex Miller