Q&A - Gordi
Q: Australia has become somewhat famous for it's output of psych music in recent years. Do you feel that there is a huge amount of untapped potential within Australia and New Zealand has a whole, especially within the alternative world?
A: There is definitely a lot of potential in ANZ alternative music but I feel like we really are developing a huge presence around the world. Australia’s main alternative radio station, Triple J, gives local artists a fantastic platform from which to launch a career and it’s created a really strong cohort of musicians.
Q: Your music has been described as pop. Do you feel that the term has become more respectful again within the last decade or so?
A: I think everyone is thinking about pop music differently than they were 10 or even 5 years ago. For the alternative scene it wasn’t really considered a good thing for your music to be tarnished with the pop brush but I think that has totally changed. Pop music doesn’t have to mean autotuned artists on commercial radio anymore. I think the Nordic music scene has had a big influence on this as there are a lot of artists coming out of there that are writing pop music but producing it in an interesting way, and that has really changed the landscape for the better.
Q: Do you feel that the presence of multiple songwriters within an industrial pop song can cause a song to lose it's soul ? If so do you feel credit given to artists such as Taylor Swift is undeserved?
A: I think Taylor Swift deserves all the credit she gets! I guess it depends what is important to the individual artist. For the commercial pop industry, it has never really been about the soul of the song like it might be in folk music. The commercial world has this shiny aesthetic in contrast to alternative music where the brutality and rawness of honest songwriting is prioritized, which I guess is where its ‘soul’ comes from. As for multiple songwriters, I know lots of musicians who have co-written songs and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Q: You come from a small farming community. How much of this has affected your musical style and output and how much do you owe to your move to Sydney?
A: I think the most significant impact my growing up in Canowindra had on my music was the freedom and space it allowed me during my childhood. The room in my parents’ house where I write looks out over their garden and down to the river so there’s a lot of inspiration for imagination and the landscape is really beautiful. It’s very conducive to writing music. The move to Sydney meant that performance opportunities were a lot more available to me, so without it my songs probably would’ve remained demos on my iPhone.
Q: Your up and coming EP is due to be released on infamous indie label, Jagjaguwar. Is staying independent an important part of your ethos?
A: Yes it is but it’s not the only reason I signed with Jagjaguwar. I have enormous respect for the label, their artists and the entire staff there. What is most important to me is finding a team of people whose vision aligns with mine, and who will support and challenge my music in order to help it reach its potential.
Q: What did you grow up listening to ? Was your upbringing particularly musical or was music something you found later ?
A: My upbringing was filled with music. My Mum is a piano teacher so there was always music in the house. We loved Billy Joel, Carol King and James Taylor who all influenced the way I write lyrics – they’re great storytellers.
Q: As a former medical student there must be an element within your character to care ? Do you hope to heal people through music as you would have done as a doctor?
I would hope there’s a caring element to my character! I think there’s a nice link between the two and it probably does come through the connection you develop with strangers. What interests me most about medicine (I’m still studying at the moment) is peoples’ stories and working out what the underlying problem is. Song writing is kind of the same – you start out with a story you’re trying to communicate but overall the song needs to be communicating some sort of key message.
Q: Having recently been on tour with Of Monsters and Men, do you feel that your sound is better suited to small intimate settings or much larger audiences ? Did you intentionally make your music in mind of a specific audience ?
A: I hope it translates in both settings. I love playing small intimate gigs because it lets you have a different kind of connection with the audience. But we recently played an Australian festival as well as the Of Monsters and Men shows, which were in front of 4,000 people, and it seemed to really work in those spaces. I don’t write with a specific audience in mind but when we’re working out how to play the songs live it’s definitely something I consider.
Q: Which Australian bands past and present do you like?
Gang of Youths, Courtney Barnett, Meg Mac, Tame Impala, Methyl Ethyl, Little May