Finn McCallum is one of the next-generation of Geelong creatives carving his place in the scene
15.12.2020

Finn McCallum is one of the next-generation of Geelong creatives carving his place in the scene

Words by Keegan Bennett, Photos by Keegan Bennett

The Belmont bedroom producer goes by djhomeinvader, although that's sure to change in the future.

Brewing somewhere in Geelong’s underground is the next generation of creatives producing music, artworks, and clothes that embody their style, culture, and ideals. What we are witnessing is the birth of a scene that might just become something special, and some might argue it already has. Regardless, at the forefront of this scene are simply a bunch of young adults perfecting their craft, waiting for someone to notice it.

One such creative is Finn McCallum, a musician from Belmont, who from time to time dabbles in fashion design among other things. I sat down with him in his Belmont home to discuss music, inspirations, and what comes next.

To start, he kept me waiting outside, non-responsive to texts or door knocking, when all of a sudden I hear loud music blasting from the back of the house, I suppose he hadn’t checked the time and was in the middle of something. He apologised and let me in.

McCallum’s work ethic isn’t something to be questioned, he scrolled through folders and folders of unreleased music on his computer, including upcoming albums, collaborations with friends, and tracks that will forever be in the archives it seems.

McCallum goes by several names on the internet, and he explained to me the reasoning behind it all.

“DJhomeinvader was the first one, just one I made up randomly, just thought it was funny, well not funny, but thought it was a sick name.

“Para Delmont, that’s the other one I really want to use,” he says about it. As well as those two McCallum also went by ‘traderr’, the alias for one of his many collaborative projects.

“Do you know Kevin?” He asked me, and I didn’t off the top of my head, “Kevin Anthony”, the name rung a bell, “Well he raps”, McCallum told me as he clicked on various MP3’s around the computer, playing a song that sounds like something that could have made it onto a Brockhampton record.

McCallum’s work thus far hasn’t even tried to stick to a central theme, or genre even, having shifted across everything from post-rock, industrial hip-hop, and plunderphonics, in fact, the last time I saw him he was playing me a house track he had made that sounded exactly like Mall Grab’s recent work.

But McCallum says he isn’t trying to rip off anyone, it’s just about whatever he’s been listening to recently.

“I really only listen to a handful of songs at any given time.

“I make a new playlist at the start of every month, I get bored of songs very easily, but I’m a diehard King Krule fan.”

A scroll through his latest playlist reveals what he’s inspired by this month. Everything from New York electronic act Machine Girl to Icelandic favorites Sigur Rós.

“I really like jazz at the moment, I’d love to start learning jazz, I love breakbeat, that s**t goes hard,” certainly two genres you don’t often hear in the same sentence.

 

In the midst of showing him a track I thought he’d like, he utters out of nowhere,

“I’ve actually become someone’s producer now”, just casually.

“I met her on Instagram, I just messaged her because she popped up in my recommended to follow, I just sent her some random instrumentals I had, just lying around,” having just seen the folders on his computer I don’t doubt that he has stuff ‘lying around’.

“Within a week we had something finished, we’ve got another one, and now we are building a whole EP”.

The artist McCallum is referring to is Evie LuLu, a Melbourne based singer-songwriter. The duo created a track titled ‘Lost my Mind’ that recently got some airtime on Triple J Unearthed, understandably McCallum was incredibly proud of that. Their latest song, ‘Railway Wine’ sounds like a gloomy, melancholic combination between Massive Attack and Kali Urchis, with a big, booming drum beat and smooth vocals from LuLu herself.

McCallum very much creates whatever he feels like at any given time, in the corner of his room I spot a sewing machine, and I asked him about his now-defunct fashion ‘label’, ‘Paper Red’.

“Oh, nah that’s gone” he laughs, “I wanna make Para Delmont into clothing, I’m very motivated to start sewing, especially since Yuen is sewing heaps”, McCallum is referring to Yuen Stafford, a fellow creative who has recently started selling clothes through his Taxixo brand.

McCallum is very much an enigma, spending his days, carefree working at both a skate shop in Geelong’s CBD as well as a popular dessert bar, he doesn’t seem worried and is very much motivated to peruse a variety of interests. At the end of our conversation, I helped him recover an old hard drive, full of some of the first songs he made apparently.

He’s always learning and always trying to push his sound forward, it is this spirit of experimentation that fosters a cultural scene in an area, and with the ingenuity of McCallum and those around him, I think Geelong’s arts and culture are in safe, if not interesting hands.

Before I left, we were discussing the type of software he had been using.

“Man I haven’t used FL Studio in ages,” he said, opening up an old project file, “I only use it to mix now, Maschine sucks to mix in”, I asked why he hadn’t moved onto Ableton, the industry-standard in many regards, “it’s way too complicated” he laughs “one day, one day.”

Finn McCallum has a new EP coming out this weekend under the djhomeinvader moniker, pre-save it on Spotify here. Check out his Instagram here.