THEAUSSIEWORD.COM interview with Robbie Bostock.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I grew up on the Gold Coast and music was a big part of my upbringing. As a young kid, my Dad would take me and my brother to a country music club and we would watch the musicians jam and rehearse their songs for upcoming shows. I was drawn to the sound of the electric guitar immediately. Dad showed me a few chords and I was hooked. I formed a band with my siblings (The Bostocks) and we were out gigging from a very early age right into our adulthood, booking our own shows and performing anywhere from pubs, clubs, festivals, weddings and BBQ’s. It was a great way to hone our craft.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
My desire to be creative motivates me to do what I do. I’ve always been creatively minded, I remember a teacher telling me that at school. I love exploring ideas in the studio and seeing an idea take shape.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
My biggest goal is to just keep showing up everyday and getting better as a musician. I think the most important thing is to remain a student of music, there is always something new to learn or get better at.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I’ll be releasing an all guitar instrumental E.P. next month on May 12 and I’ll be performing at Blues On Broadbeach Festival (18-19th of May), can’t wait for that one! I’m also planning some shows with my full band for mid year.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
My style is very guitar driven and focused. For my new single ‘Cryptic Love’ I wanted to write a piece that incorporated a blues sounding verse but with a big uplifting chorus, with a bit of an 80’s flavor as well. Originally it was going to have vocals on it (I do sing as well) but my guitar insisted on doing the singing on this one! My sister Rachel Bostock also contributed a killer electric violin solo on it.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Normally, an idea will pop into my head, it could be a chord progression, a melody idea or a riff. I’ll record it quickly on my voice notes and when it comes time to map out an entire song I’ll go through all my voice note ideas looking for any bits of gold. I’ll then really start to workshop one idea, sometimes a few voice note ideas will match together. I have a home studio so I’ll then start laying all the foundations of the track all the while exploring alternate melodies to make sure I’ve got the best one for the song.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
No not really, but I think sometimes sub-concisely a hidden meaning will present itself in a song and you won’t even realize it until sometime later. I’ve had that happen to some of my songs with lyrics before but not for my instrumental stuff. For this particular track I just wanted a feel good groove with a contrasting/ big uplifting chorus.
Success, what is the secret to it?
For me it’s just enjoying the entire process of being a musician; working hard at your craft but being grateful at the same time.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
10 years ago my mentor and friend Phil Emmanuel asked me if I’d like to do a collaboration album with him. Now that he has since passed I really look back on that time and cherish all the memories in the studio with him and touring with him as well. Was such a thrill and honor to work with him so I would say that is my biggest highlight.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I listened to a great podcast the other day with Stevie Nicks and Matty Healy from The 1975, that was very inspiring, both such great artists. A lot of my friends and colleagues who I see doing big things in the music industry also inspires me.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
Once my new instrumental EP is released my next project will be another E.P. or album with vocals. I’ve just recently started writing more songs with vocals so I look forward to exploring that more.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?
Yes for sure, the industry is constantly changing and fast too! I see myself still writing and performing, for me being a musician is a lifetime commitment and there will always be constant change when it comes to the industry. The good news is A.I. is getting pretty good so I’m sure one day in the future our pet robots will let us know what to do! haha
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
My favorite part of the job would have to be playing live; and it’s the easiest part too! My least favorite part is the waiting around, which there can be plenty of when touring.. As Charlie Watts famously said: “worked 5 years and (spent) 20 years hanging around”.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Phil & Tommy Emmanuel, The Atlantics, Hussy Hicks, Joe Robinson, Stevie Wright, AC/DC, Jimmy Barnes
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 think the music industry is really strong at the moment, especially post-covid I see all of my colleagues back gigging and touring again which is fantastic and it seems the punters are craving live music too. I’ve been to a few concerts this year and they have all been capacity shows.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
I haven’t really tried to appeal to an international audience, I just do what I do and if people like it then great! I guess that is a positive aspect to come from social media is that you can broaden your audience internationally quite easily these days.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
Yes I love collaborations, apart from the collaboration album I did with Phil Emmanuel I did a collaboration track not that long ago with a friend of mine Aaron Schembri. Aaron plays guitar for Ross Wilson but is a great artist in his own right so it was fun working with him. The track is called ‘Rock’n Roll Georgene’. I’d also love to do a collaboration with Hank Marvin, that would be a dream!
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Follow your passion and practice!
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I do have some very loyal fans who support me and my music which means the world to me, it is nice to get such positive vibes from them.
Any last words?
My E.P. comes out May 12.
Thank you ‘The Aussie Word’ for having me, I have enjoyed answering all the questions.