Diesel speaks with theaussieword.com in a very exclusive interview!
What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
For me it started from home, my family of seven children, I the youngest had the influence of music all around me. My father was a sax player and various brothers and sisters played and sang around me as I was growing up. I didn’t have to think about it an awful lot. The cello is how it all started, an instrument that I still have love for, it served as a pacifier until I finally got a guitar as a Christmas gift from my brother and sister at the age of 14.
Guitars are what I gravitated towards, it was the 70’s and 80’s and there was a lot of guitar being used for everything. My favourite guitar players then were Pete Townshend (The Who), Jeff Beck, Keith Richards and of course Jimi Hendrix.
Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
Any record I hear where someone has put effort in to making a great record inspires me to do the same. It’s a “nano” world we live in where results can seemingly be achieved in seconds but it usually starts with a great song first, then if by chance the alchemy of great production has happened as well that’s a bonus. I can still hear a great song even if the way it is recorded isn’t up to scratch sometimes, ultimately that’s “the gold”.
Do you have any planned tours coming up?
I have an assortment of shows that are a continuation of the “Let It Fly” tour with a theatre tour called “Lit Up” focusing on the 30 odd singles I’ve had in the last 25 years happening later in the year.
I’ve never been one to set goals, not that there is anything wrong with that but it’s not me, my early goal was to get with a group of musicians that would be better (and older, I was 14) than me and somehow fool them into thinking I was accomplished, this didn’t really work as my bluff was called on numerous occasions but I thought I had them fooled for a minute! Ultimately I feel I have really been “making this up as I go along”. That m.o has served me fairly well but on occasion I have wished I had more of a plan. In retrospect I am humbled by some of the places music has taken me to.
Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I’m not sure I know what success is, that is to say my idea of what it is probably doesn’t match the textbook model. For me making an album with my family recently was a real highlight for me, my father and brothers providing an amazing horn section for a blues recording. It was so great to have them in “my work place”.
Which other musicians of the music industry do you find inspiring?
There are so many! As an all round artist, Neil Young, as a guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, as a singer Mavis Staples and Otis Redding. The great thing about music is there is someone to discover every day. I’m enjoying the “Blood Orange” album at the moment.
Guitar driven and eclectic.
What can you tell us about your latest album?
It’s the first studio album I’ve done in 5 years with a blues album and album of guitar influences sandwiched between it probably was influenced by those two experiences. There have been a few albums along the way where I have been the primary “noise maker” that was the case on “Let It Fly”. I do enjoy the process but at times when you are the producer, engineer, mixer not to mention the sole musician on most part, you wish for a “helping hand”. Having said that, it is rewarding.
Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
I’m looking at doing a live solo album that focuses more on the electric side of my solo performances. When people think of singer songwriters they generally think of someone with an acoustic guitar, I’m hoping to change that concept a little.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Hopefully still on stage, it is where I have worked on my craft from the start and I can’t imagine not having that realm to try new ideas and grow in public. Sadly there seems to be a decline in venues but I’m hopeful that it will come back around as I see it as a basic need, not a luxury.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
So many! I love AC/DC, those guitars were a massive influence on me. Chrissy Amphlett was an amazing artist. Her style was so unique. I was lucky growing up in Perth WA, I was able to sneak in to a few venues at the age of 14 and see bands like Rose Tattoo, Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil. Bands were red hot when they hit the stage then, the sheer amount of dates they would have been doing made sure that they were a well oiled machine.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
I feel it is an exciting time, different but exciting in the sense that there are so many ways to discover music before it becomes what people refer to as “mainstream” for instance, I remember hearing the song “Video Games” by Lana DelRay and just being stopped in my tracks, 18 months later I hear it announced on the radio as a “new song”! It seems the “underground“ has become the “above”.
Thank you for the interview! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?
Thank you for taking the time to read my mutterings! I have heard.. “music can tame the savage beast” it’s done that and a whole lot more for me. Thanks for the Listen!