Special Interview: George Kalpa

theaussieword.com interview with George Kalpa.

What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?

I write and perform music and direct films. Wanting to do that has been a thing for as long as I can remember.

What had you first interested in music?

I played piano as a kid and didn’t really enjoy learning pieces, I was only interested in writing my own stuff even though I could barely play. When I heard Metallica’s ‘Unforgiven’ all I wanted to do was something like that, it scared the shit out of me. My dad bought me and my brother two CD’s that really shaped what I wrote back then: Unplugged by Alice in Chains and Frogstomp by Silverchair. There was always a piano around the house and I picked up the guitar at around 15.

Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?

Ideas and dreams, the feelings and vibes which hit you like a ton of bricks out of nowhere. Getting that feeling onto any medium is what I love.

Do you have any planned tours coming up?

We are launching my debut album MODE on the 11th of October at Revolver in Melbourne. 

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?

To be disciplined enough to stay true to the purest ideas.

What can fans expect from you in the coming months?

More music videos, live shows and hopefully some more film work. 

Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?

No idea about success. A highlight for me is any day where ideas flow. Having my films screened overseas at festivals was interesting. Being on stage and directing on set are pretty sick too.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?

The artists who don’t compromise on what they do. Bowie, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Nirvana, Joy Division, David Lynch, Phil Anselmo, Morrisey. 

How would you best describe you and your music to your fans?

A strange score to a part of my life I couldn’t go back to. 

What can you tell us about your latest album?

MODE is a collection of songs and sounds that I couldn’t leave alone. Theres a lot of variety in there musically from minimal electro, smooth jazz, heavier grooves and 80’s reverb soaked shit, a lot of the things I was listening to at the time creeped in there. The majority of tracks on the album are song songs and theres a couple of instrumental and ambient pieces in there too. Working solo, it was a very smooth recording process over 6 months and the hardest part was saying that something is finished. You can go adding and changing things for ages so it was important to meditate on it let it breathe a bit. Come back to it after a week. I had the pleasure of working with some brilliant talent such May Johnston, a regular on the Melbourne blues/jazz and soul circuits who laid vocals down for two songs and Ben Harrison, a former band leader of Cirque Du Soleil, who ripped it on the sax on two smooth numbers. I’ve also directed four music videos for the album. Again working with some brilliant people who believed in the project from the word go. 

Are there any new exciting projects in the works?

I’m working on a solo acoustic EP and an album with my band nihl. I’ve got a short film in pre-production and am writing a new script for a feature. I’m always working on music videos for other artists too.

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?

Working on new material, realising the scripts and film ideas that I am working on. Smashing out music videos.

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.

God, Buffalo, Silverchair and old INXS. Bon Scott era AC/DC for sure. I dig what Chet Faker is doing. There are some amazing underground acts in the country, Ana Nicole, Alithia, Soviet-X-Ray Record Club, too many to list…

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?

It almost feels as though the mysticism surrounding the music industry and artists has faded away, which is a good and bad thing. Good because not having to rely on someone else to pick you up is empowering and having access to an infinite number of online outlets for your art is a great thing. Bad because the industry is no longer willing to take risks on underground artists and go for the developed sure thing that they’ve already spent shitloads on. I think the DIY approach that many artists take these days is almost an extension of the old punk approach sans cassettes.

Thank you for the interview! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?

Support the underground and the publications which support it.

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