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Damien Leith

Irish Australian singer, songwriter, author and playwright


Damien Leith

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To celebrate Fathers Day in the US and northern hemisphere I am thrilled to welcome well known Irish / Australian singer Damien Leith to the show. Damien is a multi-talented artist that has made his mark in Australia as a singer/ songwriter, producer, author, playwright and tv/radio host personality and he is a dad of 3 children.

Damien grew up in Ireland surroudned my music, but didnt get into singing until he was 17. He started a family band with his brother and 2 sisters and toured around Ireland. He came to Australia in 2003 after meeting his soon to be wife Eileen in Ireland, on the first leg of a round the world trip, and has never left!

The talented family man first captured the attention and affection of Australians when he contested the 2006 edition of Australian Idol – a series he went on to win. Since then, his career skyrocketed, but he has remained charming, grounded and modest – securing him a place as a popular and well-loved Australian personality.

Over the past 17 years Damien has enjoyed platinum-selling albums selling over 750,000 albums and won many prestigious awards including Arias, a Golden Guitar, Songwriter of the Year and many more. His Aria wins include number 1 chart awards for the albums WHERE WE LAND and THE WINNER'S JOURNEY, highest selling album, and highest selling single and number 1 chart award for the track, NIGHT OF MY LIFE. His music has been chosen to appear in commercials, movies and television shows.

Damien was a celebrity contestant and finalist on the 2011 series of DANCING WITH THE STARS. Damien also loves creative writing, publishing two novels ONE MORE TIME (2007) and REMEMBER JUNE (2009). He also shares his expertise as a singer/songwriter and has created online courses to help artists improve their voice and songwriters to write, record and release their own music through his DAMIEN LEITH ACADEMY.

When Damien is not touring and performing, he spends his time in his recording studio where he is a highly sought-after songwriter (published through Embassy Publishing) and producer. Writing for many artists, he won 2016 APRA/ASA songwriter of the year and 2017 APRA/AMCOS GOLDEN GUITAR winner for song of the year.

This episode contains mentions of OCD

Damien- website / shows

Podcast - instagram / website

If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here

Music used with permission from Damien.

When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.

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Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast

I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!


Thank you!


Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.


Welcome to the Art of Being a mum podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their work has been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also stray into territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the shownotes along with a link to the music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online. I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison Newman dotnet slash podcast. The art of being a mom we'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on has been the Bondic people in the barren region. I'm working on land that was never ceded. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the podcast today to celebrate Father's Day in the US and other countries around the world. I'm thrilled to welcome well known Irish Australian singer Damien Leith to the show. Damian is a multi talented artists that has made his mark in Australia as a singer and songwriter, a producer, author, playwright and TV and radio host and he's also the dad of three children. Damien grew up in Ireland surrounded by music, but didn't seriously get into singing until he was 17. He started a family band with his brother and two sisters and toured around Ireland. In 2003. After meeting his soon to be Wi Fi lane, he set out on the first leg of around the world trip and arrived in Australia, and he has never left. This talented family man first captured the attention and affections of Australians when he contested the 2006 edition of Australian Idol, a series that he went on to win. Since then his career has skyrocketed. But he's remained charming, grounded and modest, securing him a place as a popular and well loved Australian personality. Over the past 17 years, Damien has enjoyed platinum selling albums, and won many prestigious awards, including Arias, a golden guitar Songwriter of the Year and many more. His music has been chosen to appear in commercials, movies and TV shows. Damien was also a celebrity contestant and finalist on the 2011 series of Dancing with the Stars. He also loves Creative Writing, Publishing two novels in 2007 and 2009. He also shares his expertise as a singer songwriter, and has created online courses to help artists improve their voice and songwriters to write, record and release their own music through the Damien Leith Academy. When Damian is not touring and performing, he spends his time in his studio, where he's a highly sought after songwriter, and producer. Today's episode contains mentions of OCD. Throughout today's episode, you'll hear snippets of Damian's music, which is used with permission from my APA and cost money online license. Thanks so much for tuning in. I appreciate your ongoing support due to changing work commitments, my nine to 5am I unable to keep doing the podcast every week. So over the next few weeks, please enjoy some written articles, which will be released every Friday. And you can find them on my website. Alison

I got

you, I got

you thank you so much for coming on. Damian. It's such a pleasure to meet you. Likewise, absolute pleasure. Yeah, it's really great to have you on. I've been a really big fan of yours for a very long time. So I'm saying to go silly now.

Well, that's nice. There's nothing wrong with that.

I've actually seen you perform at the Irish festival. I've been croit the few years ago.

I love that festival every time I've played there quite a few times now. Maybe five times and I love it. It's such a great vibe. Here. Little town as well. So, yeah. Oh, it was a real treat get down there.

Yeah, yeah. Have you got it on your plans to come back anytime soon?

I don't have the not for the next two years at least. Yeah. Because I observed the last time was it last year, I think, last year or the year before? Yeah. So. So we normally have a little bit of a gap. So but and it's also it's based around an invite as well. So he kind of wants to get an invite as well by the organizers. But I'll definitely be back. I love it. It is just a gorgeous vibe. And like, it feels like being back in Ireland, it's kind of a little Irish town. So there's something about that little town that just works.

It's funny, because the rest of the year, it's basically just this little town that exists, and no one knows about it. And then for this one weekend of the year just explodes. And it's just, it's awesome. We just love it. So much fun. And I did enjoy the version you played last time you were there of black is the color that you sang with, I think it was a local girl that sang with you. And that, that that federal part in the middle, and then it changes. I don't know what the chords are. But it changes back from the Federal part to the like, the regular verse. And then it's one bit where it just changes. And every time I hear I just get goosebumps. It's like it just lifts and I can't describe it really. But it's it's pretty, pretty amazing. So

Oh, well. That's great. That part actually, that was that was originally played by Sharon core from the course. Oh, are you kidding? Yeah. Which which was an incredible experience. I I recorded an Irish album. And the whole idea was to try and make it as authentic as possible. So I recorded it in Ireland. And and while we were there, we managed to get two major major guests. One was Sharon core. And the other one was Sharon Shannon. And Sharon Shannon has I think she played Corona as well. Incredible accordion player, but they haven't haven't Sharon core on there was a real real treat. You know, I'd been a fan of the course when I was a kid. So I happen a core actually play and so she sings on it as well.

Oh, okay. Yeah, so that's pretty cool. Very

cool. Very cool. Great violinist.

Yeah, they're actually they're coming to Australia. Soon I think that's fine.

Pretty much everyone would know you from your dates on the Australian Idol. But what did you do before then? Like, when did you come to Australia? And when did you get into singing? Was it always something that you did growing up in Ireland?

Yeah, singing singles was a major part of my life. From the age of about 1617 onwards. Prior to that the only thing I ever wanted to do was be an actor. I loved acting. Yes. For years and years. And I've never sung a note until I was about, I think I will say 17. But I think it was about 16. I auditioned for a school musical. That's, that's really what got me into music, music. But music has always been in the family. My mother is a great singer. And she her whole family are all singers. So there's a long, long history of singers in the family and dad plays guitar. So music was a major part of our lives growing up. But from the age of about 17 onwards, I became obsessed with music. Absolutely, you know, totally over the top of our music, I started learning how to play the piano on the guitar and I started writing my own songs. And I convinced the rest of my family to create a family band with me. So it was my two brothers, my sister and myself. And we went from just this little band that played out in the back garden in the in the shed to a band that actually gig all over Ireland. Yeah, yeah, we absolutely loved it. So, so I was doing that. But I also studied to become a chemist. So So in the end, I actually became a chemist. And, and prior to arriving in Australia, I was a full time chemists or works as an industrial chemist. Yeah, from 995 as a chemist, and at the weekends as a musician, and it was great. Yeah, right.

Just on that what's what's the difference between a compounding chemist in an industrial chemist?

Well, from what you actually studied at uni, it they they kind of started the same path but one definitely branches off so I would have gone more into the to the actual lab style chemistry where an actual compound chemists or somebody who actually run runs a store works in the store. They specialize in, in knowing and understanding what medicine should be prescribed to certain person and on all the different side effects and you know, everything that is required for someone to be able to actually deal with a patient might come in off the street where I was definitely more from the research side. And I did load research. I researched for years I did. I did all sorts of different drug research trials. I did, you know, analysis on new drugs that were coming out so I did a lot of that sort of stuff. Yeah,

that sounds pretty interesting

sometimes you

was it your chemist work deployed to Australia or your music that brought you out here?

It was love that brought me out of here it was. It had nothing to do with the other two. Nothing whatsoever. My wife is Australian. I met her in Ireland. And from the moment we met, it was kind of a love at first sight. We were married within three years. Yeah, it was, you know, a whirlwind, but absolutely amazing. So I met her in Ireland. She was visiting her grandmother, so her dad's Irish, her mother's tongue. And she was obviously born in Australia. So she was over there visiting her grandmother, I happen to be working in the same place that she was working. And one thing led to another and yet Three years later, we were married and decided to go around the world on a honeymoon. So we had around the world ticket one the SLUBs happened to be in Sydney. And once we arrived in Sydney, we never left.

Oh, there you go save still got that rest of that holiday to go at some point.

Expired I think unfortunately,

that's really the sun go down on Galway. Just stay here again, the ripple of the trout stream. Where man in the meadow is making desired a turf RM Nakaba.

17 is sort of older to come into music. So I can sort of understand how you sort of described it as being like you've really got into it all of a sudden, because it's almost like you were sort of cramming in, like 17 years worth of, of music catching up, you know, that sort of thing. Does that is that sort of how it felt like you were just sucking in everything you could and sort of soaking it all up.

Yeah, it was like that. It was also such a new experience. Because once I got a taste for music, I really found that I enjoyed it in a major way. I mean, I love the feeling of singing. It was one of those sort of things I used to go into the living room back home in Ireland, we lived in a little country town called Milltown out surrounded by farm fields. So there wasn't a whole bunch of houses all around around us where, you know, if I was singing at the top of my lungs, people would be given out. But I just loved the feeling. I loved going into room and I loved challenging myself to try and sing high notes or to try and sing like Frank Sinatra or nakin core. Interestingly, when I started singing, I did not sing a lot of the songs that traditional, you know, traditionally people would start off singing and I didn't go through that, that whole you know, going through scales and all that sort of stuff because I never had lessons or was just CDs that are logged in. And like I said Nat King Cole was probably one of my major artists that I saw long term which is very strange, because that can cause quite a low singer. And I ended up with quite a high range. But I just love the emotion and the likes of Nat King Cole and and all the all crooners just to put into songs. I love that feeling of being able to tell a story.

Hmm, yeah. And I guess that that sort of ties in with like, the Irish heritage of like a lot of the songs that that stories really in song format, they there's a lot like that.

Yeah, oh, absolutely. All those old Irish stories, they're all the stories about losing someone or some sort of conflict or something that was really that had a major impact on someone's life. And, and the only way you can sing those songs is by putting, putting a lot of feeling into them. So I think for me starting off, being interested in all of that style of music really helped me out

on that, but I've been a singer for last since I can remember. But it wasn't until I went to the Irish festival in Croydon and actually was around people singing like the crowds of people singing and realized how many like, I don't want to get political or anything, but like the passion and the struggles that, like people from Ireland had faced throughout the years like and it just, it was really overpowering at one point, I sort of found myself sort of, I don't know, in this moment where I just had this realization of what it all meant, like, it's not just a duty and a little happy tune about whatever like, it's like, the real background in some of those songs is really quite powerful.

Yeah. Oh, they are. Absolutely. And it's interesting that a lot of those old Irish songs, the message is very, very strong. They, a lot of them were written, inspired by actual events that really, really moved people that influenced their entire lives. But those stories still still carry on, even now, many years later. And even though they don't always link necessarily to the political side of stuff, the sentiment is so strong that if you've got something in your own life, that means a lot to you. Like, a real common thing for anyone living in Australia from Ireland is homesickness. The the melody and melancholy of a lot of those songs, helps you sometimes with your homesickness, and there's something in the in the music that by singing it, or by listening to it, you don't know you get a kind of a way of dealing with missing home or being homesick. Yeah. hard to describe. But this is the songs are just so beautifully written that they allow you to express your emotions.

Yeah, no, I can I can understand that. And yeah, like, oh, come in process saying I was there was one in particular, I thought the first time I ever heard it saying around me. That one about the Freebirds fly. What's that? Yeah, I didn't realize like, Oh, my God, this is full on like, this is people, you know, as Australians, and like most of us have never had to fight for our country or fight for our identity. And it was like, wow, this is unreal. Like, and that my friend Helen. She's from Northern Ireland. So yeah, she's got a different perspective on it, too. But yeah, interesting. I just wanted to mention that without, you know, going into things.

No, no, I told you that my dad's from Belfast. So, you know, so I traveled up and down to Northern Ireland when I was a kid. And I saw different stages of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. And I mean, Arlen really was a country at war. That is something that sometimes when people refer Carlon, the kind of the make light of that, but actually, it was really serious situation really, really, truly was and, and affects so many people that see

it. And I think from like, I mean, I tend to think of myself as a worldly sort of person. Like, I listened to the news, I watch things, whatever. But until I'd met someone, that it was from there and understood it, I had no concept, no concept at all, you know, like you just you just hear words like, you know, about Shin Fane and things like that. And the IRA, but you don't really get it. So yeah. Yeah.

The pie, supine, soft call. From Glen to the mountains. This summer's gone.

So you said before you've never had singing lessons. So were you just self taught like your falsetto. And in your range? You just worked that all out on your own? Yeah, I did.

It was It's

the voice that I have my the sound that I have, is a very familiar sound in amongst my mom's family. So there's definitely a history there. The sound of the voice, it's definitely traveled from through the generations, there's no question about that. So what I discovered that I could sing, I was actually very blessed, to have a voice already had a lot of the things that I would need to actually perform. Now, none of it was developed, I still had the scene and sing and sing and sing, to try and get to improve and to find my own style and find my own way around it. But yeah, but you know, I think with a voice, you're either born with a certain sound, or you work on it, it's one or the other. The voice can always be improved beyond that. But I was definitely in that category of someone who just had a voice to begin with.

Yeah, like I've I've had, I can relate to that. Like, I've had a lot of coaching later in life with my singing. And it sort of comes down to literally what sort of voice box you've got, like the length of your, whatever those things are called in your throat and how thick they are, you know, you can't you can't change your genetics, but you can definitely work with what you've got to get the best out of it.

For sure, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You're, you're it's, you know, Your Your makeup is all about the style, your voice, the tone, your voice comes from, you know, the space within your mouth, your approach the the air that's passing through the larynx, all of that comes into effect. So your genetics definitely come into into play with what you're going to end up having. Obviously, you can't improve it, you can widen the range. And you can try and get resonance to sit in a different place in your mouth, and all that sort of stuff as well to improve it. But you can be very fortunate just to be born with a certain sound.

Yeah, that's something I've gotten really interested in the last few years is where you place the sound in your face, like where you can we can get that different sound and pushing it out through your nose or, you know, I don't know, like when you've been singing for a long time, I think you start to sort of experiment a bit more and think how you can change your tone. And I don't know. Yeah, I think I found that really interesting. Probably the last five years, getting a bit more into that

will interest in last year, near the end of last year, I managed to get COVID. And I got COVID While I still had loads of shows on so I had tons of shows I had this thing, I couldn't cancel the show's canceled for many reasons. But probably the main reason was COVID had arrived, you know, three years prior to that, and I lost so many shores. And I had to reschedule them so many, many times that they eventually came about, I couldn't just cancel them again, I had this thing on it. So I did a sang on them. And while I was doing that, I also had a breakfast radio show. So I was getting up early in the morning, I was doing the radio show as well. And by the end of last year, I actually I heard my voice genuinely hurt my voice. And I ended up attending an en ti and the NT, you know, examined my throat. And so what damage was thanks, thankfully, nothing long term, but enough damage that I was actually for the first time in my life in the last two months, instructed not to sing. Well, this complete rest, complete rest and also to attend a speech pathologist and a singing teacher. So for the first time ever, I've really had for a long period of time of working with a singing teacher, and I've been really looking into your voice and then where you place things and and it's extraordinary what your voice can actually do. It really is an amazing instrument. It can do things that you just wouldn't imagine that it can actually do. And it does it all from the inside. So you you know, it's not like a guitar where you can actually touch it and you can change the strings. This is all controlled by air the whole thing all controlled by air. It's a it's an amazing instrument. Yeah,

it is fascinating. When you think of it like that. Did you get nodules? Is that what happened to you? Or

no, I didn't thankfully. I was worried that I did. Yeah, because I had to push so hard. I had so many shows all that some time when I was sick. Thankfully, no, no long term damage at all. Basically, it was like I sprained my throat. Like so. I just had the rest of its back. And it's working really, really well.

That's good. Thank goodness. Can you imagine like, did you ever go through your mind? Like, what if I can't get back to my, you know, my previous power? What will I do with myself like, was your head yeah,

yeah. Oh, no, absolutely. I was I was worried sick. And like I said, thankfully, I went to the right people and the right people pointed me in the right direction. And actually, as a result of it, I think I'm coming out of it as a better singer, which is what I'm loving the most. There's there's things that I had been doing wrong because it didn't have the experience the training, there was things that I was actually I have always done wrong, that now I've fixed for going forward and I think it's already improved in the sound of my voice and it's improving my range and what I can do with the voice, which is great.

Hmm, so a little bit of a silver lining to the code.

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Okay, I had COVID this time last year, and I found it took a long time for my my power to come back that like you know, just getting the air in that that was the thing that took took a really long time. So it really messes with you. It's a horrible thing. Oh somebody's like you know?

Tell us a little bit about your family. I read on the internet that you've got three children. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about them.

Yeah, so I'm married to Ireland. Ireland. As I said, I've met in Ireland and she's originally from Australia. So when we moved to Australia was 20 years ago, we arrived in Australia. We were broke because we were doing a run the world trip. When we decided to get jobs, I got straight into the chemistry and Ireland got into the marketing and, and within a short space of time, Australia started to feel like home to us. So it was around that point that we got pregnant with Jarvis. Jarvis is our oldest. He's 17. fast forward another couple of years along him Jagger who's 15. And then along came little Kiki she's 11 and and the the three proudest things that I've done in my lifetime. I gotta be honest, people always say, Oh, well, what's the what's the best best memories? Or what are the best moments in your life and for me, it always revolves around Island jobs Jagger and Kiki the kids and Ireland. That's really it. They all have those moments of clips, anything else, you know, there's nothing that really compares to, to spending time with them. And with the kids watching them grow and become the people that they want to become. It's it's an amazing experience. It's challenging, of course, lots and lots of but it is great.

Yeah. And yeah, now that they're getting older, like you said, they're, they're developing and turning into, you know, their own real people. It's a pretty exciting time, I've got a just turned 15 year old and a seven year old and yeah, this 15 year old watching him trying to work out what to do with school and picking subjects and just thinking about the future. Now that's it's a whole new world, isn't it?

It is, and it's a strange, new, we're alive. I think. I sound like an old person here. But back in my day, it seemed a lot simpler. It, it's interesting, they have so much at their disposal now with technology and with everything else, but it seems more complicated than ever, because of all that. They're the exposure that they're dealing with and, you know, impacts on on a lot their choices and impacts about their emotions and how they feel. We're back in our day, we didn't have all that at all. So you may do with what you had. Now, I find the new generation has everything. And it's hard for them to make do with it. Because if they don't like it, they move on to something else. Yeah, that whole idea of not concentrating enough time on any particular thing. I actually think that's a real challenge for this generation coming through.

Well, I'm early childhood educator in my day job. And we actually were talking about this exact subject at a training I went to on last week, that they reckon that because of like the likes of Tik Tok, and in YouTube and Instagram, where the algorithms will throw things at you to keep you on there. So you might watch a little bit of something, and then it goes, Oh, they're about to get off. So let's give them this. So our brains are changing, and are only used to concentrating for really short amounts of time now, because of what we're exposed to, which is really scary. I think

it's very scary. I think, from a creative point of view. It's going to, I worry that it might impact the next generation come through from a creative point of view, you know, that that whole idea of sitting down and really concentrating and creating something that's, that's been taken away? Because technology is kind of sitting in there, you've got the AI now that can write stories for you who got Yeah, yeah, yeah, they're exposed to so many different things that they don't actually have to sit down, and really concentrate in and come up with something themselves, they can actually technology can do it for them. And while that's an amazing thing, and like I say, I sound like my day sort of person, but I do worry about it. I think on one level, it can be great. And on the flip side, it can take away that whole creative side and creative sides are really what matters most to me. I love the creative world. I love seeing what people can come up with using their their talents and their abilities.

It's essentially taking away what it means to be human, isn't it? It's like, you can plug this thing into a computer, and it will be will write a story or or do a painting, you know, all this? Yeah, it's just taking away what it really means to be human. I feel like it's, it's horrible.

Yeah. But what to me what may happen as a result of this is that the next generation are very creative people coming through, will have to be even more rebellious than ever before, because they'll have to stand up in the past that the creative person was was often quite, quite often the the rebellious person, the person that went against society or the person who went against the norm. They've got an even bigger challenge. They're going against the norm and they're going against simplicity. Because it's, you know, if you have a feeling about something, you could always just go oh, just chant. Type it into an AI and it'll just write it for me. So they You have to be strong willed. And they have to make that really conscious decision that says, You know what, I'm going to be an individual here entirely. So that that I create something that hasn't been created before. And I think that'll pose a lot of challenges.

It's like when we're breeding a whole new range of rebels that are gonna go against this next next level of technology, you will have to

be an individual. There's so much stopping them from doing that.

Yeah, yeah. And things always go in cycles. That's the thing I always find, like, I'm hoping that this, this AI and stuff will, will sort of ease off because people will start to go, oh, hang on, this isn't right. And it'll, you know, hopefully go against it, and take it down a notch. But we can only hope,

time will tell. But on the flip side, I will say I because I'm a real. I do like technology. Because I record in my own studio and things like that. The things that you can do with technology are incredible. So it'll be it'll be that idea of finding the right balance of knowing when to switch off and when to switch off.

Yours can be.

Want to ask you about your other creative talents that you've actually written some books as well. When did you get into writing? Is that something you always did? Or is that a sort of a new thing you discovered?

No, I always did it. I as a kid growing up, when I was very, very young, I developed OCD. Like real OCD. As opposed to a lot of people will say, Oh, I'm an OCD because I have my house clean. This is more than just the OCD that actually impacts your day, your day to day activities, on and off light switches and all this crazy stuff. But I developed that as a young age. And one of the mechanisms for dealing with it was the right to take the thoughts that I had and put them into some sort of writing. So from a very young age, I used to write plays. I love writing plays and and I wrote them in primary school and secondary school and, and that writing eventually moved into stories. And then books. So actually the first book that I got published, I'd written before I even went on Australian Idol and I wrote it while I was traveling in

the UK.

I love it. I love writing, it's one of my favorite things is to just get lost in a story. Again, that's why I'm also passionate with with artistic things and doing that. It's great for the mind as well.

So if you have you written anything like you talked about running plays, have you written anything that's been put on as a production.

I went back years ago, again, when I was writing most of the plays, I had nearly all of them put on at different points. But it was also on an amateur level, little amateur drum societies. I've asked him to put it on the do table reads and actually, I've had it luckily I've had a few of them put on. And I love that. So it was just fantastic to see see these things coming to life, and then also gave me an opportunity to act on them.

Yeah, so you got to live out that dream as well.

Yeah, exactly. But I like to say I love writing plays. And I started off with plays because I wasn't much of a reader. I didn't like reading. So I didn't have the vocab to to really describe things. So I started off with plays and then as time went on, I got into reading and developed the you know, better language and better ways of describing things and and that led to the books.

And you write fiction work?

Yeah, I suppose the the books that are released so far, both fiction, one is a guy traveling through Nepal, backdrop of the most. The poor enforcement of Nepal, we myself, my wife, Eileen, we traveled through Nepal during our honeymoon. We saw how politically it was going through an awful tough time. And that was kind of an inspiration for the for the book. And it was about a guy with OCD traveling in that sort of environment. So it had little, little elements of being in there as well. Yeah. Essentially, it was a kind of psychological thriller. Yeah. And then the second book was, again, it was a had a psychological element to it, but it was about a father and a son growing up in the troubles of Ireland. And the two of them how they cope with grief and loss and also their own relationships. So again, it's more of a psychological story. But what I love doing, give me a chance to write about it. And then reminisce.

Yeah. Oh, that's nice. You can sort of incorporate the two sort of fiction nonfiction together. Do you have any writing at the moment? Are you working on another book or anything?

I actually I have a book. I was, I wrote another book. I'm trying to walk republishing. So this one is a kids book. Oh, cool. Yeah. So we the book is finished. We're now at the second stage of editing it. So hopefully, it'll be out later this year, or maybe the start of next year.

Oh, fantastic. Are you allowed to share what it's about? Or is it a bit secretive at the moment,

I can give a little idea. Now, it's, it's more in the style of Roald Dahl. And that's probably the audience I, I always told bedtime stories to my kids. And I have hundreds of these have also recorded them. So I've still got them on my phone. Oh, cool. Yeah. But along the way, there was one story, I started to tell the kids. And it ended up being one of those continuation stories where you say, oh, you know, to find out what happens next, in your bed this time tomorrow night. And I ended up recording, you know, chapters of this whole thing I listened back to about a year or so ago. And that's, you know, that could really lend itself to a good story. So I sat down and start writing it. But ultimately, it's about two sisters who get separated when when they're very, very young. They're in the care of a horrible, horrible lady who only wants to take them on board, as foster kids purely to use them to clean up or disgusting house and to slave them around the place. But in the midst of all that, they get separated. And then it fast forward to many years later. And these these kids have got to find each other. But the horrible lady still had to get them and you know, follows that sort of

path. Oh, that sounds exciting. Oh, good luck with that, oh, we're looking for that when it comes out. That's fantastic.

worrying, because that's what the old folks to say. You can always tell the beggar from the fee. But you know, that I love that about you.

Today, to ask you a bit more about yourself as a as a father, have you found with your songwriting, since you had two kids that you've sort of changed how you write or what you write about, is it they sort of inspire you a little bit?

It always inspires me? Yeah, for me Sunland, and has always been linked to personal things in my life. So all was personally driven. And definitely once the kids came along, all the songs came, you know, all the songs that I started writing had some sort of family influence, whether it be discovering that, you know, for instance, and could like a couple examples, not just for the weekend was on one of my first albums that that song was purely about my son Jagger getting to take him home from hospital. That's really what it's about. That moment of knowing that, hey, you actually get to take him home from hospital a lot of other people couldn't, for different reasons, premature babies and all sorts of situations why they couldn't bring their gorgeous little child home from hospital. But we did. And we got got to experience a beautiful moment. So I wrote a song about that. song Beautiful. I wrote about my wife, Eileen. There's a song that I've got coming out later on the year, which is first day of school. And that's all about dropping my daughter to school for the first time. And then my thoughts about Well, I had to give her away to school on that day, and I had the lever and then a password to actually keep it away on our wedding day. Yeah. Yeah. Together. Yeah. And then there's another son called Son for Jarvis. And like, literally, it states exactly who it's for.

Yeah. Do the kids. Do they know that you're writing about them? Like, do they feel that sort of connection that this is really cool. But dad write songs for us? Oh, well,

I don't know. Actually. Yeah.

Yeah, I've never openly told him that the songs are for them. They just hear the songs and they're like them. It's funny. They're all at that stage where they've got their own interests, their own, what they like and what they what they don't like. So I never pushed music down their throats at all on any level. It's always there for them. And if they if they want to get involved, or if they want to sing or if they want to hear something. I'm there for them. But there's definitely no never any pressure for them even to listen to my songs. Yeah.

Are they do they play? Are they musical?

Yeah, they're all really musical. Yeah, they're there. They love acting. They're all in musicals as well, local musical societies. But they all play and they all sing as well. So it's great. It's seen it and it's great. Seeing that they just do it because they want to.

Yeah, that's a big thing. I think like I grew up us for 20 years I sang in this vocal group. And we got to this age, we all started having kids around the same time. And some of the girls were like, really wanted their children to follow in their footsteps and seeing them, whatever. And I was like, Ah, I don't know, I don't think my kid would stand still long enough on stage to sing. So I never put any pressure on him. And, and even when he's like, playing music, like my husband and I both play, but that's our Do you want me to teach you anything? Or show you something? No, I don't want to. And now, all of a sudden, at the age of was about 13 and a half, how do you decide you want to play the bagpipes? So it definitely didn't come from us. It was. So I think I think it's good just to let them go and see where they end up. And yeah, even when you're really you're really passionate about music yourself. It's like you don't want to, you know, push them so much that they start to resent it, because you're always on their back about playing something. So, yeah,

well, we're exactly the same. We're just like I said, it's there. If they want to learn something, if they just got a passion for something, and they want to get lessons, we try to provide that for them. But it's really over to them. They what is gorgeous to see is that they have shown interest anyway.

Yeah, it is. It's crazy. Because you are saying to someone the other day on the on a recording that you just want your kids to experience music because it's so awesome. Like, you just, you just want them to see how amazing it isn't because you love it so much. It's like you want them to, to experience all the wonderful things about it to know what am I sort of?

Yeah, and what it can do for your life. Because music. I mean, you know, so many hospitals use now musical music as a way of, of helping people through all sorts of traumas and all sorts of treatments, because music has that ability to raise spirits, or as we said earlier on with the Irish music, to allow you to talk about things or get your emotions out. So music is such an important thing. And if anyone can discover and discover Laufer can really help them in their life,

yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I sort of said to my son, like, he's at the age now where everyone's all his mates are getting jobs. And he's not quite ready for that yet, sort of, he hasn't sort of he's still organizing his way through school. Yeah, he's not quite ready to add anything else to it. But I said like what you're doing with your SyncML you with the music, like he paid plays in the local Pipe Band. It's like you're learning all those skills about cooperation and compromise and you're listening to others and you know, you can learn so much from playing music with other people.

Yeah, absolutely. Being in a bounder being in some sort of organization is a great thing. Really is and you make great friends as well. So why not? Yeah, absolutely. Now take

you home. Not just for the weekend.

Jays days. Welcome in and I

give you

not just for this moment.

Now, I want to mention and hopefully I'm not going to go on about this too long. I'm a massive Beatles fan. And I was very excited to talk to you about your show that you're doing the songs of Lennon McCartney to have Darren COVID So who's your favorite Lennon or McCartney?

Oh, it's a controversial one, isn't it? Funnily enough when we do the show, so Darren, and I, you know, we don't it's like anything that I've done in the past. I never tried to mimic anyone. I just tried to pay homage to him. I just liked them. And I just sing their songs. That's really what it is. Yeah, I put me off when we do the show. I seem to do a lot more of the Lennon songs than I do the McCartney songs. Even though if I'm being totally honest, McCartney is my favorite.

Yeah, candy is my favorite G and also your voice to you. You've got their higher voice which is sort of like older thought you'd do more of those high harmonies that Paul does.

I do I do a lot of the when we perform together Darren and I, I'll take on the Paul McCartney harmonies a lot of the time but when we the individual songs, I seem to always end up on the Lenin songs. So just a just a wetlands. The way we do the show. We play guitar, but I also play the piano and I think you know, Lennon has some beautiful piano songs. So I think that's why I kind of landed there.

Yeah, yeah, it's, I don't know, I was listening to some stuff this morning because I've got like, got them on my USB in the car. And it always blows my mind how they created so much and so such diversity and such experimentation but there are only active for 10 years together. You just think how how can you do all of that as a band in 10 years like that just blows my mind.

It is it Amazing thing. But you know, it's an interesting thing you think of when you're in a band situation. It's so insular. It's your own little world. And if the band work really well together, I think back about when we had our family band, my two brothers, my sister myself, that was probably one of the most creative times I ever had was when I was writing nonstop, obviously not right, not writing classic like The Beatles, but the influence of being around people like that, and being around you know, other musicians who want the same thing. So when when you're driving each other to come up with great ideas. It's amazing how much actually happens. So each other and bouncing off each other and maybe competing with

each other. Yeah, yeah, that's it.

And it's an amazing thing. But they were they were incredible. The bagels, they it wasn't even just what the creators what they created so young as well as their insight on life was amazing for people that were essentially just kids.

Yeah, like, honestly, I just think of him and I just I can't fathom how they did what they did. And then to still go on, obviously, linens no longer with us. But you know, Paul, still making music now. It's just, it's amazing. But I wanted to ask you do you have a favorite album,

or I was always the White Album, where I was, and the reason being for the White Album, my brother Paul had a tape cassette of The White Album. In our little tour van. Back when we were kids gigging around Ireland. It was all stuck in there. We listened to non stop it was just so I kind of fell on that album purely because it was the only album we had in the car. I just love it and I knew every single song backwards and forwards and but I do love all the other albums rather off Sergeant Pepper's the whole the Abbey Road. They're all they're all amazing albums.

Yeah, I go like White Album and revolver are my top two. They're the two that I go back and forth between the love revolver, but then they sort of there's some stuff I just think, I don't want to say they lose me on some stuff. But I just think God, they must have been having a hell of a time when they recorded some of this stuff. There is

some random songs not everything was called. A lot of stuff. I mean, early albums, I think of Uber soul, but maybe not that one. The one of the the early albums where the do more of the pop songs. This, this is really only what two or three really good songs and some of those albums are for me anywhere.

Yeah, I know what you mean. Like, yeah, like, was it with the Beatles, or one of those? I can see the cover of it for I can't think of what it is. But yeah, some of them you just think oh, no, I don't need to listen to this. And some of them sound so similar to it's that typical, like 12 bar blues like rock and roll sort of thing. That's just a no yeah, it was a was there was still experimenting with this sound.

On the way through, yeah, but wow, they were amazing. I can't really criticize any of them. They were they were all kept with.

God forbid, like Alison sits here and criticizes the betas. No, we're not gonna take

no, we're not gonna do that. They knew what they were doing.

Yeah, that's pretty special

so one of the topics I like to talk to all my mom guest on the show, is topic of mum guilt, which we sort of say is like, you know, mums feel bad if they're not doing things for their kids or with their kids. And it's difficult to take that step away and, and do something for yourself. And I've had dads that I've chatted with on the show, it's not the same sort of thing. It's, I think, because the mother is, you know, it's ingrained in your DNA, I guess, because you, you birth for children, but I wondered if you had any thoughts on sort of yourself and I don't want to say dad guilt because I don't think it's a great term. But do you ever sort of feel that pull between wanting to be home but you know, you're doing what you love and in your career and doing whatever it? Is that something that goes on for you?

Oh, absolutely. No, no, no question. I find every day is a balancing act like every single day. So it's not even just being on the road touring or anything like that. Even on a day to day basis. There's things that I would love to be doing things that I think I should be doing. But there's a lot of things that the kids need me to do as well. There's things that I need to be there for them with and it could be simple thing six months In simple things, it could be things like homework, or it could be helping them with something, it could be just listening to them. On the flip side, it could be, you know, really spending quality time with them. And you do. I think there's a point that comes in as a parent where you those sacrifices are necessary, you have to make them that it's necessary. But it's again, trying to find the balance, trying to find some way that allows you to give them as much as you can possibly give them but still be yourself and still stay intact in who you are. Because if you start losing who you are in the process, then they're not getting the full benefits of the parent that they could have. That sounds weird, but this just

makes total sense. Because that's something that a lot of moms talk about, you'd feel like you literally lose yourself, because you've got to give so much to these other people. There's little, there's little people that can't do things for themselves, and they need so much support. And then your your identity literally sort of dissolves for a period of time. So yeah, no, that makes perfect sense. Yeah.

And sometimes your your sense of humor can disappear and things like that. And you never want that to go away. As a parent, we all fall into that role of a it's our job to guide our kids and to discipline our kids and to be the responsible person for the kids. But the kids also need that sense of humor that you have or that that childishness that you have yourself because we all still have that in us as well. Kids need that as well, then kids love that. And only we're being ourselves, do we expose the kids to those sorts of sides of our personalities? And you know, and that is, that is where the balance has to be right? You got to try and find a way to always still be you be the person that you've always been, but also been the responsible parent at the same time.

Yeah, it's just a constant juggle, isn't it?

Yeah, absolutely. And it changes nonstop. And yes, older. It's new problems, and it's new things that you got to deal with. And it doesn't get any easier. Just

yeah, it gets different that CD, isn't it? Yeah. With the that's what I'm finding with my to like, with the age gap. I feel like I'm literally in two different worlds at one time, just depending on which child I'm talking to you. It's just, you know, and I guess you'd be saying, you know, 11 and 17. There's a big, big gap of life in there, isn't there?

Absolutely different, different needs different, different things happening in their life? He very much she's just a young, she's 11. You know, and a lot of the things that she'll talk to me about, even though she seems sometimes I think she's a 20 year old, but yeah, but still, you know, she still has that useful way about her work. Job is on the flip side, just got his driving license to contend with, that's a whole new world that we're about to step into.

Yeah, it is a new world, isn't it? Yeah. I've already told my husband that I'm not having anything to do with teaching the boys how to drive that can be his job because they just I don't think I would cope very well.

No, it is nerve racking. Yeah, you know. Anyway, I'm so happy he got his license. But then on the flip side, I was only talking about earlier on this morning. The worry set in the second Oh no. Now they're driving on the road no parent around and that becomes a whole other worry.

Anyway, so it works. Yes. You've just got to hope that you've instilled in them you know, the best you can to take care of themselves and others and making those good decisions and yeah, you can't you can't keep them locked up forever. So

no, you can I mean back in the old days of 17 they were working at home

yeah, that's so true. Yeah, absolutely

no, you're

just want to get the colors you borrow something the books

got some big shows coming up. I I'm doing the orchestra shows. We just yeah, we just we just want to we did want to Melbourne last weekend and later on the air we're in Sydney and a camera so it's a fork so 35 people on stage with me so it's a massive massive show. So they're the big ones but I've lots of other shows coming up and and obviously the book and all the rest of there's a lot going on over the next while. Yeah. Hopefully people keep on coming to the shows and then join them.

Oh, that's exciting. Now Good on you.

Do you do private will you Bri The Mind if I sit here down by your graveside and rest for a while in the wound summers I've been walking no Dan, I'm nearly done. See

so much for coming on Damian has been such a pleasure to chat to you and thank you for sharing all your thoughts and all the the ups and downs and ins and outs of being a dad and being a creative that yeah, thanks again.

Not a problem. My pleasure. Thanks for having me on. Take care. Bye.

takes 20 to say

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