What do you dislike about making music and what do you love about it?
The only thing I dislike is not having enough time! I have tonnes of ideas and motivation, but being self-managed there is a lot of work that goes into Astral Skulls on top of writing and producing music. If I could quit my day job I’d be able to finish and bring out so much more stuff.
I love everything else. I could happily spend every waking moment in my studio at home noodling about. I’m looking forward to collaborating with other people a bit next year, too – being a solo producer is great because you can work whenever you want to and as much as you want to, and you get to see things through. But that feedback loop is lost and it can be really helpful to have people to bounce ideas off and share ideas with. Kalindy, who plays live in Astral Skulls, is my go to producer when I need an opinion.
What goes on in your head when you’re on stage?
Usually wondering if I’ve got my guitar on the right delay setting or not (often it’s not), or about whether the order of the set list is working out. I’m trying to concentrate more on singing lately as that has
previously been an afterthought, but I try not to overthink anything because that’s when I’ll make a mistake.
What do you get most obsessive about when you’re making music?
Snares! I used to be a drummer, but love using drum samples and most of Astral Skulls beats are electronic. My favourite parts are the snares and I like to play around with the way they sound a bit too much, which is ridic because often I just go back to one of the first ideas.
Who’s a local talent more people should know about?
There are so many … too many people doing their own thing and producing so much cool stuff that just seems to go unheard. In Melbourne at the moment I’d have to say that Piss Factory is a band that I really wish more
people could hear. The songs are incredible and so catchy and make me want to play in a punk band again. It’s the kind of music that just draws you forward without you even thinking about it.
What’s a quote that made you do something?
“Shit or get off the pot.” I kept thinking about this when I recorded my first album – I came home every night and worked on it for hours over the course of about three months and this quote kept coming into my head. I’d always wanted to make an entire album on my own and it takes heaps of dedication, but also just the attitude of do it now or it will never get done. I don’t know the origin of this quote except that it’s in that dumb movie Clerks.
Another quote that I love is also a pop culture one: “Led Zeppelin didn’t write tunes that everyone liked. They left that to the Bee Gees.” It’s from Wayne’s World, and while it helps me remember that I can make music that I like and that’s valid whether it’s popular or not, it also just makes me chuckle.
What record do you think you’ve listened to the most times in your life?
That would have to be Sebadoh – Bakesale. I loved it the first time I heard it and it suits any mood. I’ve cried to it, partied to it, can have it on in the background or sing along to it. It’d be my favourite.
Guest playlist by Astral Skulls
Photo by Kalindy Williams