1. Growing Up
My dad quite often told me I was born two weeks early because he bought a huge new set of B&W speakers the day before I was born and rattled me out. My parents have an obsessive passion for music, which certainly rubbed off – The Rolling Stones, Eagles and my mum’s beloved Joan Armatrading. One of my earliest memories is of my dad not letting me move until I’d sat and listened to the whole of the Stones’ Tattoo You, both sides – and side B is the best for what it’s worth.
The Rolling Stones have always been involved. The first album I bought was Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, and like a lot of people I couldn’t quite work out how that was coming out of the speakers. That led me to trace their lineage into early blues, then onto Chess and Sun Records and some of the best pop songs ever written. Tom Waits is my late night friend and Glitter And Doom is one of the best live albums. For me, inspiration is the track you can’t stop playing. Right now that’s ‘…Like Clockwork’, the title track from QOTSA’s latest album.
3. Your Band
Boy Outside is a solo project I started in order to explore my alt-country and blues tendencies when I moved to Sydney from London. Emma Swift at FBi first played my songs, and I’ve played solo and support shows with Gossling, Beth Orton, Bahamas, Tin Sparrow and most recently City and Colour.
Between gigs, friends and spilt drinks I’m now very fortunate I have a bunch of guys to play with who share a heart full of Americana and blues, so Boy Outside is often heard as a six-piece. It’s double bass, piano, harmonies and electric guitars for days.
4. The Music You Make
Comparisons to Johnny Cash, Chris Isaak, Tom Petty and Jeff Buckley have been knocked around, which is very kind.
Working closely with producer Steeve Body, we recorded my EP live at Linear Studios, with post-production and mixing at Limestone Studios.
First single ‘River Runs To The Sea’ was released at a sold-out show in Hibernian House and I’m launching the EP with a residency at Arcadia Liquors from Thursday August 8. Expect Americana with a tug on the heartstrings, alt-country melancholy and a touch of blues.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
There are so many great artists playing in Sydney at the moment and the sense of community and help everyone gives each other is amazing. Sadly some venues have closed but that has also forced artists and promoters to become more imaginative – I’m a big fan of Sofar Sounds and The Smallest Gig.
Some of the best music I’ve seen in Sydney is at Folk Club, which is a driving force and harbour for emerging artists to sell their wares. Artists I’ve recently caught and loved include The Falls, Jordan Leser, Achoo! Bless You, Iluka and Papa Pilko And The Bin Rats.