- Fri, 2011-06-17 12:52
We sent some questions across to Sydney based artist Guineafowl to find out more about his debut EP Hello Anxiety, recording in a noisy room above an antique shop, growing into a live band and the tools he uses to create his blend of quirky pop.
"I Like Music because...I was never very good at painting." Guineafowl
ILM: What can we expect from Hello Anxiety?
Guineafowl: It’s an EP, so really it is an introduction to the music I make. All of the songs contain demo recordings I made in my bedroom, as well as more properly captured studio stuff. In terms of content, I guess you can expect stories, five little stories.
ILM: How did Guineafowl come to be? When did the project begin to take shape?
Guineafowl: I had been in bands since finishing school but never really wrote on my own. My last band broke up at the end of 2009 and I just started writing and recording. By early 2010 I had all these weird demos and wanted to find a way to perform them. After playing a couple of shows by myself, I soon realised I needed a band, and the rest happened naturally.
ILM: How would you describe your music making process - from initial idea to finished track?
Guineafowl: I tend to write and record demos at the same time. So the initial idea may be a guitar riff, or a melody line, and I will just add and add to it. Sometimes it all happens very quickly, an entire song will pour out in a day, other times, it takes weeks, even months to finish the demo properly.
ILM: From what we've read, you've been creating your music in an interesting studio space! Can you tell us a little more...
Guineafowl: If by interesting you mean noisy, then yes it was very “interesting”. My house was above an antique furniture store in Sydney and all day everyday the people downstairs would move furniture around. At first it was very frustrating, but eventually…. It stayed frustrating. In addition to that there was a main road with a busy bus route right outside. It was quite rich in background noise really.
ILM: What's your equipment set up? What do you use to make you music?
Guineafowl: I use Apple’s Logic to record. It is a pretty versatile program with lots of natural sounding soft instruments as well as good synths and drum machines. I try and keep the artificial instruments to a minimum however and use hardwear I borrow/own. I am starting to collect vintage synthesizers but they are quite expensive so my collection is currently at one.
ILM: How would you describe the themes and emotions in your music?
Guineafowl: I wouldn’t! I would let you do that. Whatever I say is just my interpretation and I tend to think music means different things to different people.
ILM: You expanded your work to include a band, what were the reasons behind this? How did it affect the sound / interpretation of the tracks?
Guineafowl: As I said, I tried to play live solo a few times, once actually in someone’s kitchen. I was using loop pedals to try and create all the layers and lines that I had written, but to be honest, the solo performances did not sound too great. So I put a band together.
ILM: What can we expect if we come to see you live?
Guineafowl: I have a big band that make quite a bit of sound, so you can expect to feel a whole heap of music all through your body, which will hopefully make you dance a bit.
ILM: What's your earliest musical memory, when did you realise music could have such an effect on you?
Guineafowl: My Sister took me to a Gypsy Kings concert when I was really young. I remember not understanding a word that was said, but I danced the entire concert with my sister.
ILM: What's been your most recent musical discovery?
Guineafowl: Adding artificial reverb to kick drums. If you gate the drum and then add reverb after you have recorded it, you can get some epic drum sounds. I know it is simple as, but I am a bit obsessed with doing it at the moment.
ILM: Who / what inspires you to make music?
Guineafowl: I tend to try and tell stories in my songs, so I draw inspiration from lots of things, ranging from my direct experiences to those of my friends, to those of complete strangers I walk past late at night. Yeah...that sounds a bit creepy.
ILM: What have you been listening to recently?
Guineafowl: Architecture in Helsinki’s new album, and I have just been getting into The National, so High Violet has been on repeat.
ILM: What's the music scene like where you're from?
Guineafowl: Diverse. There are lots of bands in Sydney, all sharing a handful of decent venues. On a Friday or Saturday Night there will be quite a few acts playing about town, so it can get pretty competitive. That being said, inter band relations are typically very friendly and supportive.
ILM: What are your future plans?
Guineafowl: Writing, Recording, Touring, Writing, Recording, Touring, Touring, Touring.