Undoubtedly one of Australia’s most iconic music success stories, Guy Sebastian has stolen more than a handful of hearts across the nation and beyond. From the shy boy with curly locks to a global superstar in a matter of years, Guy is an all-rounder. As one of the few Australians to go Platinum in the US with his hit Battle Scars (2012), Guy has made certain he remains a household name in pop. Making his way around Australia to perform a series of intimate gigs in regional parts of the country with his band, Guy is excited to play in towns that don’t receive many visits from contemporary artists.
Two years since his last tour, Guy is incredibly eager to strip back to basics and play some of his most popular songs as well as some new tracks he’s been working on over the last two months. Currently sitting up in the mountains in Byron Bay, Guy was pleasantly surprised to reignite his love for songwriting. “Playing new music on this tour wasn’t the plan. I started writing a couple of months ago and no joke, I reckon I’m pretty close to having a full album and that has never happened. I don’t know what it is. I feel really inspired and so in love with music again. I think it’s honestly just because I’m getting back to who I am at my core,” he says with a glimmer of bewilderment.
Guy’s latest album Conscious, which was released late last year, took over two and a half years to produce. With his mind focussed on the overall sound and theme of the record, Guy believes his songwriting in Conscious was a little neglected. “In the last album I got a little bit too involved in trying to create a sound. I was so obsessed on the production that I changed over to a program called Ableton and I was really nerding out, concentrating more on producing than I was on the songwriting aspect of it. I feel like I’m back to doing what I love and I’m unashamed of it. I’m just having so much fun,” he explains.
To celebrate his incredible support team, Guy wanted his Then and Now tour to be accessible to all Australians. Though he’s performed at some prodigious venues in the past, Guy is determined to engross himself in an intimate setting to truly connect with his audience. “I think when you travel to these towns that don’t get a lot of touring acts, especially in the pop world where there aren’t a lot of musicians that go to these towns, they’re just so appreciative of it. I feel that energy from the stage and it inspires me. No one show is the same,” he says. “I did a tour not long ago and I played at Rod Laver Arena. It was great, but you don’t get the same feeling in that kind of environment as you do in some of these smaller venues. It’s going to be intimate whether I like it or not so I’m really excited!”
Kick-starting the tour on June 9 in Wollongong, Guy is bracing the winter cold and venturing around the nation. Having spent a lot of time down the south coast, beginning Then and Now in this part of the country is somewhat nostalgic for the 2003 Australian Idol winner. “I have a place down in Wollongong and my family and I holiday down there a lot. Wollongong is where I do my fishing and my surfing. My kids are obsessed with going on little adventures and outings. I think it’s going to be a nice place to start and rehearse the show. I’ll start there then head to towns like Shepparton, Albury and Maryborough – all up through Queensland and regional Victoria. Really pumped to get back down Ocean Road way, such a beautiful place to drive and tour,” he says.
Though he’s amped to be going on tour, Guy is dreading the homesick blues. A family man at heart, Guy struggles being away from his two children Hudson (six) and Archer (four), as well as his wife, Jules. “I get massively homesick. It’s funny because it constantly changes. Before when there were no kids in the equation, I’d go on the road for months at a time with no dramas,” he recalls. “Jules would meet up with me at certain parts and then Hudson came and I was like ‘oh I can still do this’ because he was only a newborn. He’s at school now. I can’t tour as freely as I used to.” The shift in his priorities since becoming a father has been an emotional test for Guy, however he’s certain he was born to juggle both roles. “I know I was made to make music and I know I was made to write songs and to share my music with people, but there’s nothing I love more than being a dad,” he says. “I have a musical presence but it’s trying to achieve that balance of prioritising my purpose with what is really important in life as well. It’s a bit of a juggle, but I love it.”
His friendly nature is a token of his humility, giving fans the reassurance that his international success hasn’t clouded his ability to recognise where his journey to stardom began. Enthusiastic to share his new music, Guy is most certainly sitting on cloud nine. “The songs I’m writing now are just totally me. I’m not trying to be anyone else. I feel really, super inspired with where I’m at, at the moment,” he says.
Guy will be performing at GPAC’s Costa Hall Saturday, June 16th.
For more information, visit http://www.guysebastian.com/tour/.
Forte will see you there.
Written by Hannah Kenny
Until then, enjoy the below clip.