Australian musician and composer
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To mark Father's Day here in the Southern Hemisphere I share 3 special episodes where I chat to 3 creative dads to get their take on things, how they continue to make music while being hands on dads.
In this first episode I chat to singer, songwriter, producer and multi instrumentalist John Anderson. John is from Mt Gambier Sth Australia and is a father of one. We chat about balancing creating music with working full time and parenting, where he finds the time to record these days and how dads experience guilt.
Listen to Johns various music incarnations - First Thrown, Trev and Alemjo
Connect with the podcast here - https://www.instagram.com/artofbeingamum_podcast/
John's music used with permission
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 my guests' inaccuracies.
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!
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, the podcast where we hear from artists and creative mothers sharing their joys and issues around trying to be a mum and continue to make art. My name is Alison Newman. I'm a singer, songwriter and mother of two boys from regional South Australia. I have a passion for mental wellness and a background in early childhood education.
Thank you for joining me. Today I released three special episodes to mark Father's Day here in the southern hemisphere. I chat to three dads to get their take on things and how they continue to create well being hands on debt. In this first episode, I chat to singer songwriter, producer and multi instrumentalist John Anderson. John is from Mount Gambier South Australia and is a father of one. We chat about balancing creating music with working full time. And being a dad, where he finds the time to record these days, and how dads experience guilt. I hope you enjoy. Welcome to the podcast. John, it's great to have you on this special episode.
Thanks very much, Al.
So I've got to tell you, everyone, first up Johnny's my brother in law. So some things we might say, might go over people's heads with that. So why don't you tell us about your music, how long you've been playing? How you got into it, all the different instruments that you play and that sort of stuff?
Right? Well, I guess I started playing probably. I think back when I was maybe in year, seven or eight possibly. I had my oldest brother's acoustic guitar, I believe that he had left home when he moved out. And I was just basically playing sort of one string just intending thing. And just yeah, just moving my fingers along the fretboard and finding notes. I thought, oh, yeah, I could probably get into this. So yeah, I was mucking around with that. And he had a bass guitar, too, I believe, which I sort of tried to play as well, which was basically just a bigger version of a guitar. So I had a bit of a muck around with that. But yeah, that's, I suppose the very first music thing I ever really played was probably the guitar and up to this time still playing it, obviously. But yeah, and then I guess it was probably after that would have been a drum machine I think I got which was some kind of small little Yamaha thing that I'll look at did the job. But yeah, I was just just had like little electronic pads that I just had the drumsticks and I'll just be hitting on there and making little beats. So yeah, I guess that's my first introduction to drums. As the years went on, I think it was about year 10 I saved up and got my first electric guitar. And just basically self taught myself and which was very basic stuff at the time. Some of it still is to this day. Yeah, so I think get from there. It just grew and yeah, that's pretty much where it all began for me, I guess. Yeah.
Yep. So you've never had any formal lessons and you never know. So and this would have been before the days of YouTube where you could actually watch someone teach us so you truly are self taught?
Yes, yes. Yes. Now is probably as I got older and into the teens, I guess you'd have you know much over at a friend's house or something. And the thing at that period of time was obviously Nirvana tunes and but the thing I remember most would have been Smoke on the Water by deep purple which I think most I know a lot of rock or metal heads would know how to play that so so that was but that but back then that was what it was, it was just you either see music videos and sort of watch that evening you can't really see what they were if you got a really keen oil good or you could see what they're playing on the guitar but it was more more or less you know if you could read music you'd you'd be reading notes and whatnot, but for me it was just sitting around with friends and playing his horn you going on What have you done then I'll give that a go and they smoke on the water. High School
in the 90s for you. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, what were the other things that you were listening to? influenced you back then.
Back then I was a rap head and a metal head. So I more I think from recollection. Well, going back in time a bit, I suppose the first a lot of music was from my oldest brother who was into a lot of various stuff, it was off the top of my head, it was like violent femmes the cramps. I can't even remember some of the other bands, but there was just all lucky like midnight oil and just a real big range. And then my, my other brother, he was quite strong into rap music, so they'd be public enemy and NWA. Or there might have been a bit of Run DMC in there too, I believe. So there was a lot of rap music. So I had a lot of interesting sort of, I guess was like independent. I don't know what you'd call a lot of that stuff independent sort of rock, pop rock or you just really experimental stuff, but then there was the hip hop. So I was into that. And then probably early teens, I think one of my friends got me into sort of heavy metal so it was a pain Tierra I'm sure nothing other pains now pain tear. And I as it was funny because as a as a joke, there's there's a band Napalm Death, which are still alive to this day. But one of my friends actually had a tape of which one of his friends gave him it was. I mean, for people that don't know Napalm Death, there were like a grindcore band that back in the early days just played crazy, fast music that might even last five to 10 seconds. That's how long the songs were so. So we listen to that as more or less a joke within you'll listen to this crazy stuff. So But over time, I sort of started actually think this is pretty cool. Actually, he was going against the grain. It's not normal, a normal strong structure. And then I had some other friends that really got into it. And so that was interesting. But it was a more or less more pan tear and sort of those heavy bands back then. But also Yeah, the grunge scene. So say obviously Nirvana and Pearl Jam Soundgarden. All the good ones. Yeah, so it was there was a bit of a mixture there. But yeah, now the year, I was definitely part of the grunge listening crew so.
So with your music, I know that you've done quite a lot of different genres, for you to get into these different sort of styles of music, because it just, you're influenced by what other people listening to what you heard, you never really had any sort of idea that you were going to play a particular kind of music, you would just open to any sort of influence, I suppose.
Yeah, it was, I think, yeah, just whatever struck a chord. And I guess for the majority of my stuff, probably lies in the realm of sort of extreme or hardcore or something like that, which I've just always been drawn to that sort of abrasive style, I guess. And it's, yeah, I'm sort of, I guess there's an expansion lot. There's different elements to a lot of that music. But yeah, it's just, it's just what sort of grabbed me so you know, from playing sort of heavy, heavy rock. You know, it's, it's just got a, notice a certain feel to it, that I've that I've always been, I've always felt sort of connected to so I'll play that. And then yeah, obviously, there's more extreme stuff, like you might be death metal, or black metal or grindcore, and all that sort of that sort of stuff. And, and that's just, it's just this sort of slight sort of therapy in a way, I guess. But it's just something that I just found that I could see myself doing and then sort of went down that avenue and and then yeah, like obviously, as times gone along, there's been other sort of genres, as we call them. That might be a bit more sort of a bit more lighter, you know, not quite as heavy and like, for the last, maybe the last five to 10 years has been like I've got into a lot of instrumental rock metal bands and stuff that have a lot of layering which, probably to this day, I don't think I can create a song without lowering, lowering to hell. So but you In a lot of that's just like this sort of wall of sound that, that I'm drawn to with just sometimes it's probably a bit too busy but, but just hear like so many different instruments coming together as one and it just max this out and it just makes this terrific sound that just pricks the ears up and you get right into
you're dead. Tell us about your little person,
a little person. She's Ruby, she's turning five soon. And she at the moment is singing the house down. And from what my, my wife Emma, your sister said she's. And I think you've said this too, that she's got a very mature, powerful voice and I know it's powerful, that's for sure. Yeah, wow. Really, but, but even this morning, I think we were just chilling out lying on the bed and just had an hour, she just built it out this chain and just, you know, my ears almost exploded. But it was good. It was good. But yeah, she's just just so enthusiastic with singing and obviously being around Emma. And an M is teaching her you know, not I guess not forcing it, but just sort of giving a little hints along the way of how to project it and all that sort of stuff. And yeah, she's, she's, she loves so much that loss of musical for a really it's just everything could be just create everything could be broken down into a song really so. So she's now she loves singing and yes, she's just Just a happy little girl that goes around singing and loves loves being a kid, I suppose.
So I know personally, Ruby's had access to instruments and like the keyboard and things like that, from a young age was that important for you that you wanted to share that love and that experience of music with her?
Yeah, I think so. Because it's, it's a part of me and Emma's life, I guess it's so he's been pretty strong with this. So I thought, you know, without pushing it too much, but that, you know, rubes you know, would have you know, say like, I've got a like a little Yamaha keyboard that just gets around the house. And she's she's played that and you know, even like a little ukulele and but yeah, like without saying you know, you've just have a go at this play this just just sort of have it in front and see what happens. And yeah, like, over the years, he's played some tunes even one that I actually recorded think she's I could almost use that and like an intro for a song or something. But yeah, now she's, I think I think it's good. Even if parents aren't into music as much, I think if they can give kids that option to just try it. Because it's just such a awesome thing in my eyes anyway. To have music in your life, so yeah, and if kids get into it, they get into if they don't, they don't, but IRIB seems to be she seems to enjoy it. Definitely the singing part. So yeah, I think it's I think it's pretty important. Yeah,
yeah, for sure. So you've done a lot of writing and recording yourself over the years, has it been something that you've gone into? It's like, you find that you said it's so important in your life, it's something that you go to, to, you know, work through, you know, challenging times in your life, it's sort of the therapy like you, you use that word. So it's been there for you
all reckon yet, I think it's always regardless if it's been a therapy, or just, you know, jumping in the room and recording something that's just, you know, for a vibe or a feeling you've got I think it's it's definitely a form of therapy and yeah, so sometimes it might be just jumping in there, and, and just seeing what I can do and other times, like, you know, really, you know, feel in some of the day and you just think, you know, sort of out and I'd like if it's if you haven't, you know, a bit of a bit of an ordinary day or something like that it's sometimes it's good just to just go in the room and and see what syrup pours out. And yeah, and if it works out, just hit record and see how it goes. And so, yeah, I'd say that some, not maybe probably maybe half and half a lot of it's got more out there, what would you call it more? There was more emotion probably put into it. And whereas others are just more of a sort of a creative work, but yeah, for sure. I think it's definitely a therapy. Which, definitely, sometimes with a heavy music, I think not that it's has to be evil or anything like that. But I think as aggression goes and letting out frustration that I think sometimes that can be good, especially if you've got yourself a drum kit doesn't have to be great. But jumping on the drumkit and thrashing the living heck out of it can be quite, quite good. Yeah, soothing, you know, you can just lash out and then just say, Ah, that's better. So,
you know, the better if you've recorded it, yes. How do you go these days when, as a father, you work full time? How do you find the time to actually get in there? And like you said, if you just want to get something down, or you have an idea, like, how do you manage that you sort of in your day to day, I guess
was you know, it's very tough. I think before before rubes came along, it was you know, you could you just basically had the freedom to at night. You like for instance, or remember, I could be in my recording room. And it could be a as you might be aware of this, it could be hours have passed, and Emma might knock on the door and come in and say Do you realize what the time is, and I'd be looking at my phone or something going on. So time just goes and it's to me, it's good. Because when you're being creative, I think you need that. You need that space and time. Even if you're even if you're not doing anything, which in some people's eyes might be just you're just bludgeoned to sing, you know, you know, just playing a tune on a guitar, but you're, you're constantly thinking and, you know, thinking of stuff, whereas now, since Ruby has come along, it's sort of almost like scheduled time, which don't get me wrong, you can still be creative, but it's it's like you've got this vise on. It's sort of like this, you've got this timeframe like, right, you know, I've got maybe an hour tonight to, to work on something. And you know, you could spend 55 minutes of that trying to work it out. And then you've got it. Ah, well, look, time's up. But yeah, I guess it's definitely, time has been a lot more restricted. But, but you can still make it work. It's just, it's just a bit bit harder to sort of relax and have that vast freedom that you used to have, but
it's like, you can't just get there when the moment takes you. You can't just go oh, I'm gonna go do that. Yeah, well, there has to wait till seven o'clock tonight. Yeah,
yeah. Hold that thought after bedtime. Yeah, she just like, how do you go
then in the house now with rubes to like the sound like the noise out? How do you manage that? Like, is that hot?
Well, I guess the majority of my recording that I do now is pretty much at night time. So really, when she's asleep? That's probably when I do the majority of it occasionally. I might do some in the say in the daytime afternoon, or whatever. And I'd have I'd have the door shut behind me and if I'm playing guitar or something, I'm constantly looking over my shoulder and I'll hear a knock or something and I'm thinking I've got five more seconds please just wait wait but then you know if I get interrupted you know, that's just life but it can be hard but do I think now know that I'm probably strictly a night recorder now so so yeah, things just have to wait. I mean, I can still play guitar or you can think of things during the day and you might you've got like a little recorder next to you can think of something not that I'm a singer but I'll try to sing something and have an idea and then I might put it to you to use later on, but yeah, it's just, it's definitely a nighttime thing for me now. So So we've seen obviously, with going back to the time restrictions, you're sort of, you know, if you're working what not, you can't be up all hours, like when you're in your younger days and things you can bounce back in the morning. So it's you still got to get your beauty sleep. So. So yeah, that takes takes a little bit of the hours out of the day, but you just got to work with what you got. So yeah,
that's it, isn't it? It's all about negotiation. And when your time is not your own,
it's like the end.
Gotta get in there somewhere. So do you do collaborations with anyone at the moment?
Yes, I've got an old friend though. I went to school with Steve, we've got a little music project called early LIDAR. It was a it was originally a three piece we had a our other friend Edie who he was missing in action for a lot of years. And he was a hard man to track down but but only the last three, I think last three years, we have been sort of messaging each other over messenger or text and saying we want to get back into it and, and interesting, like with COVID. And sort of traveling and whatnot. We worked out a a little system that he could record guitar parts and his vocals and he sends them to me through Dropbox. And then I put them onto my recording desk, and I programmed drums to order and mix it. And I haven't mastered it yet, but I'll get there one day, but mix it all up. And yeah, and we've made two albums since 2018. I think it was and you're in the process of doing a third one. So you were pretty pumped with that. So yeah, that's been a little bit of a project. But well, I suppose also there's a lamb Joe which you'd be familiar with.
Other people about Allison and John LM Joe meditation, music and music relaxation and it's fantastic you did just everything and then Emma and I just rocked up and did some lady
does over the nine it was a team effort team effort.
So what instruments did you play on that just for the familiar that was
only did guitar and keyboard for a couple of the songs I believe and I think that was was about it? I think there might have been some drum program now I can't really remember do not have layering in all layering is no reverb. Oh, I'm a junkie for reverb. I'm trying to cut back on my reverb these days actually. Yeah, you can't you'll be in trouble. But yeah, it was so that's that's what I did and then you ladies put your your lovely vocals to it and a bit of a flourish with the maybe the tambourine a little bit of percussion singing bowls to a blouse Yeah.
That was a fantastic project which is about to turn six
yes yes wow crazy
Steve that you do your you collab with your album? Is a dad as well. Yes, yes. Yes. So he's facing those same challenges when when he's gonna get back to you and get it down. And
he's so really apart from yourself and Emma when she's, you know, when she's got small times to do music. I don't know too many other people, personally that, you know, fathers others that doing music that Steve? Yeah, he's, he's a sort of a, I guess a fairly new dad too. But yeah, he's, he's definitely he's a, he's a boss. And he's so he works a lot of hours every week and just to find the time from working in family life, and then you went, he's got a moment, he'll jot something down and, you know, send it to me. And then you are not happy with that. I'll send you something maybe tomorrow night, depending on how the night goes. And that's what I normally say the interest will say to him, you know, the call, I'm gonna try to work on that tonight. But fingers crossed if we have a good night or a bad night. So we've rubes if she wants to go to bed or doesn't want to go to bed or something or, or something. crops up, but yeah, that's, that's, that's how he works too. And just finding the time and the heads just can be can be tricky. But you can do, you can just get the time in somewhere and make it happen. And sure might be you'd be more drawn out. But if you, you keep the fires going or you work, you'll get your end product somewhere down the lawn. So
that's the thing, you've always got an intention that you want to you want to do what you're getting back to it, it's just that slotting anywhere so when you're doing that work for a living, how do you sort of come up with those songs?
Pretty much improv. It's sort of, I guess, it's playing something quite mellow for a start. And it just, I guess, finding a train that's I guess, sort of resonates with relaxation, and all this, all those wonderful things that come with it, and then you're just finding the guitar on top of that, that fits in, I guess, with the most was what we call the root note, whatever you want to call it. And yeah, just I guess just saying what fits with what and then as you be aware of the songs, they almost seem like they're sort of two halves put together. So the first first is normally that you know, the same sort of change and then second half the songs completely might go completely somewhere different but but yeah, it's just all I guess, improv feel. And just see what comes out. And don't get me wrong. There's been a lot of scrap papers I'll be playing now. But now I'll get something that I think so not too bad and and record it picks it up and so you guys
just keep keep building on it and seeing what what happens so you touched on the in John, that there's not too many other musicians in your circle that are parents. So have you sort of found it hard then to, I guess, have a role model or some sort of guide of how you're supposed to do this? How you fit this into your life and keep creating more you're such a hands on parent.
Yeah, it's yeah, it's I suppose it's a tricky one because I can't I can't really Yeah, I haven't really rolled off anyone you know, apart from you might see some YouTube clips of say, Dave Grohl or something with his kids. And not that I'm comparing myself to grow here but but, you know, all these big musicians and you can watch a clip of them in the studio when their kids are coming in saying, Hey, I thought we're gonna go swimming or something. Daddy just got to do this guitar beat and then I'll be right there and like, now I can't really you haven't really got any anything to really base it on part from just my own experiences and just over time realizing what works for me and yeah, and then just just going with that and then obviously, as time goes on, and rose gets older, it'd be probably a bit easier because she's been more independent. And you know, it's, you might be on whatever more time to then expand on recording, but just the whole process, but for now, it's just chipping away at night time. On st.
So I want to touch on the topic of identity. Obviously, I've been speaking to a lot of moms about this, but I wanted to delve into the debt side of things. You see, when I talk to moms, it's easy because they fail Oh, yeah, straightaway. Because it's like, a massive big deal today to be who you are doing whatever you like in the world. And then all of a sudden, you're a mom, it's like, you only exist for this child, like you physically exist for the child. But I guess, for a dad, who, I'm not being rude, you're being offensive and all that might take the second role now overloads
for mothers of their mothers different, definitely different for the mothers and the fathers. Even the father does a lot. It's just, I suppose, you know, organically and physically and all that stuff. It's so much different for the mother. It's just just the way it is. But we my eyes anyway. But yeah, I think, yeah, I think for fathers, it does change, but nowhere near as much. As a mother, I don't think going through all that sort of identity, like of, you know, keeping your sort of individual identity. And sort of just trying to separate sort of that. motherhood, fatherhood to your individual, I think it's, it's, it can get lost in the waters can get a bit murky, but, but it's definitely very important to have those two separate, because, I mean, you just, you, you think you just run yourself silly and you end you lose that individual identity. And then I don't know, maybe a lot of the passion that you might have for music could sort of wither away a little bit. Because you just feel like that you've you've got to put family as a priority. And then this is so exhausting. And draining that you might, you might lose that identity a bit. And it's easy to just go there. One day, I'll get there. But I think if you can find the time to even if it's a little bit just to separate them and to keep that individuality is very cool.
Another topic that I talked to the mums a lot on this show is about mum guilt, and I do it in the air quality is hashtag Mom, do you find as a dev that you've experienced anything like that? doing the things you want to do with to keep your because it is so important to you to keep doing it? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, I'd have to say there is there is some some guilt sometimes like, say, for instance, if you know, I've talked to me about you know, like, spinning when allocating some time, in an afternoon or something, just to work on some music of something, and everything's perfectly fine. And that but, you know, being in the room, you know, I've got my headphones on playing guitar, I do I have that thing in the back of my head that's burning a bit saying or maybe I really should be out, there's, you know, it's the daytime, it should be with my family, what am I, you know, being a bit selfish being here. But then, you know, if you've got people around you that are, you know, being honest with you, and insane, you know, that's, that's, it's fine, what you're doing, you know, and I think you've got to realistically look at yourself outside of yourself and think, yeah, it's actually this isn't too bad. Like, um, you know, obviously, if you lock yourself away from everyone, you know, it might be a different story. But if you, you know, if you're only spending a bit of time here and there, and trying to you know, just keep that creative spark going, like, I think that's a good thing. You know, all parties have said it, go ahead and do it. And so, yeah, there is one live inside there isn't there is a little bit of guilt. But yeah, it's I think that's just a human human response, really. So. You'd have to be maybe crazy to think yeah, you're not. Yeah, you know, being guilt free, but yeah, just it's just a tribe and we'll we'll see
We're talking before about when you're creating when you're in the room creating and you get the little knock on the door. Ruby's quite aware of what Dad's doing in there with his music.
Big Daddy. Oh, so let's drop everything attenuate needs.
But she's quiet. She knows what you're doing. Does she try and get involved with music? Do
you I think I'll probably, I don't think we'll have actually been recording anything she has bought, there's been some lovely little moments where I think I've got a couple of videos of where I'll be playing guitar or even not even playing guitar and Ruby will say, habit daddy ever you play guitar and I'll dance or sing like, okay, so I'll put the guitar into the app and just strike out anything and she just be dancing around like a free spirit. And yeah, that's that's quite nice to know. Which is, which is a good thing to go back to kids with music. If, if kids love music come in. It's even if it's just a an improv thing, whatever, just to play some music together. Doesn't matter if there's mistakes or whatever you're playing. If you're playing in tune or not. I think it's it's a really great thing to just just have a little thing where you're just playing music and dancing and singing and carrying on and it's just such a warm vibe you get from it. That that's really important. But yeah, there's been a couple of instances where she might say, you know, Daddy, you should record me doing this or doing that today. We could do that. Walk around, but I don't think there's been any recording as of yet. Anyway. I think the day will come and the day will be coming. So I'm looking forward to that. Because yeah, it'd be it'd be really great to have a as a part of something I'll create down the track on it. Awesome. Awesome. So good.
Yeah. And she's actually influenced your work as well. Is there's a song that you made when just after she was born?
Yeah, actually, yeah. The the day she was born, actually. I think I recorded a little number on my electric acoustic. And I think I snuck in before midnight on the day. So yeah, I think we're just because Emma was in hospital, and I went home for the night and go back this occasion. So I think I just think of just whatever come to my covenant, my fingers and my ears and the ability to tune in it's, I think I've called it welcome my daughter, I believe so. Yeah. And I guess yeah, she's, I suppose, probably with the music. I don't know if it's, she's or father would change the way I've done music, but definitely thinking of topics or issues. If I do write lyrics for a song or something, I guess that's probably where it might have changed because of a father would no say just genuinely getting older and your views might change and definitely your thoughts changing the way you look at the world changes as you get older. So yes, she's probably changing in that aspect of thinking about the world.
So is there anything in particular you're working on at the moment, John?
I think just, I think the cogs are still in motion. It's just, I think the stuff I'm doing with Steve early later, I think we're still working on a few songs of that here and there when we got the time. But apart from that, it's just when I've got the times to jump into the studio as a call and see if I can be a bit creative, but it's just a it's just a matter of keeping the machine greased and kick the kick the ball rolling and say what the future has in store.
Thank you so much, John. It's been a pleasure chatting with you on this special episode. All the best with the music and I'm sure I'll see you soon. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. Welcome along late. Thanks so much for being part of this special episode.
No worries. Thanks for having me, Allison, of how to listen to a couple of the podcasts so far. And it's sounding really good. So yeah, it's great to be a part of this. Oh, great.
Thank you. All right. So for those people who aren't familiar with your music, and what you've been up to Jordan, give us a rundown of how you got into music, what the, the style is, and what you what you're up to at the moment as well. Yeah, for
sure. So I got into electronic music, been a DJ. And I also studied audio engineering at SAE in, in Melbourne. So I was, you know, recording bands and stuff like that in Melbourne. And then also DJing on the side. And, and when I sort of, at the end of my finishing up doing DJing, I just wanted to sort of make music and, and at that sort of stage, I sort of got into the electronic music field. And, and yeah, started sort of producing tracks and making music and just my own sort of own sort of style sort of thing. So yeah, that's how it all sort of started out. I was I started out as a punk DJ, like I was at nightclubs in Melbourne, playing, playing punk rock music, and, and, yeah, I used to record bands and stuff and do sound engineering for a fair few bands on the circuit as well. So when I do, you know, between their sets, I used to DJ at the clubs, and then they come on afterwards another mix them while up on stage playing. And that's, you know, that's my early roots has always been punk rock. So, you know, I grew up listening to that, you know, no effects and, and all those sort of punk punk bands, you leave sort of Green Day stuff and living and and all that. And that was the scene I grew up in. And, yeah, that's sort of sort of how my music career sort of started out really, it was, like come from, I've never been really musical as such, but I've always had a fairly good ear for music. So it was more to do with audio engineering and stuff like that. So yeah, but when I first started out as an audio engineer, it was a long time ago. And we were, you know, Pro Tools just sort of started the, the digital era was just coming out. Well, I was I was back when it was, we were recording off of like tape and stuff like that will cut and bits and pieces. So it was a long time ago. And then it was just sort of for me into that digital era. So yeah, it was a it was good time. And that's Yeah, so my early, early parts are all punk rock. That's, you know, that's where I sort of started the whole music sort of thing with me.
So when you say, pre electronic sort of equipment, does that mean you were DJing? With proper records and that kind of stuff? Back in the day?
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, for sure. That's, that's how, you know, we, as DJs when I started, like with the punk rock stuff, it was all on CD and stuff, it had nothing really to do with with mixing as such, you would just drop any music after the song had finished. So you just had to have a really good ear to what would come on after that track it was so it was really just whatever you wanted to play. But then when I that's what sort of got me into electronic music was that it all had to do with like BPM and actually mixing the song and actually making songs really mash together really well without sort of, you know, missing a beat. That's what you couldn't do that with punk rock music, you know, you're just playing songs after songs and just trying to keep the crowd entertained. As much as you want to do that with electronic music, you've got to be a good mixer. And starting off, too, with turntables, like I had a, like a reasonable time on turntables. But I wouldn't say that my main DJing was with turntables that was sort of like, turned over onto that the CD sort of format, and we were sort of mixing off of CDs and CD decks, the early early CD decks and stuff like that, but we were, you know, you had to be a but you had to be a good DJ, to, to be able to get by back then these days. You don't have to do anything, you can just push a button and it'll sync everything up for you. And, you know, the kids love it. So that's a lot. It's, it's a lot different. It's a lot different these days. So, yeah,
yeah, for sure. I think a lot of people now just press play and especially the young kids doing it now they don't seem to be actually mixing live as they're going, Oh,
it's 100% I you know, my club times in in Adelaide. You know, I sort of that's where I sort of finished my my DJing career is was I had a a like a residency at the casino where we go and play there. Uh, you know, every every Wednesday night, and it was it was really good vibe and everything like that, but we used to go out a lot. And afterwards and that and to other clubs and you go there and you just go up and have a look and see what they're doing. And you would see people push and play on, like a mix on on, you know, like a Spotify mix or something like that. And that was what they were doing. And I'm like, what, like, what are you doing? Are you actually doing anything up here or, you know, and a lot of did it lost its vibe, because the people, they actually, they don't really know how to mix at all, they just have got a sink on their on their mixer. And, and it pretty much well, you know, everything comes together and you get you can't get by if you go to a club, and you sit back and you listen to music. And you either know if it's a shit DJ, or a really good DJ. And that's, that's these days, you can go out and you put it to work and you'll you'll know straight away if it's good, it's good.
It's a real skill then to as a DJ to raise your audience to get those people back on the dance floor. You've got to know your stuff.
Yeah, that's 100% Like, yeah, definitely, if a DJ doesn't know what he's playing, or, you know, gets up there and, and hasn't got the right tools or, or, or know how to work the decks or anything like that they can fail just so easily. So yeah, it's just it takes it takes a big skill to, to do it. And yeah, a lot, a lot of guys out there are good at it are really good at it. And you don't actually seem or I don't know that many DJs that are right into producing though, even though like most of them are just you know, they just do their weekend DJs and stuff like that. So DJ gigs, so you know, you you don't like
the music you're making now you're doing that all from your house, and you're working with people all around the world, which is really exciting.
Yeah, 100% the music I make now is basically a collection of music that I made probably around about 2016. And I'm still making music now. I just a lot of the stuff that I made, I put a lot of time and effort into it. So I seem to like go back and revisit a lot of the older stuff that I made. And just keep working on on that. Yeah, so now i i Just jump online, I've got a master over in America that I use. And he's put me in touch with a fair few people to collaborate with singers, the Charlotte law crews from the UK and n a fair few other artists that I that I just work with. And just mainly for vocals. Yeah. And it's just really fun. It's just fun to sort of have a bit of a hobby and a passion for music and still be able to, you know, put something out there at the end of the day and have a bit of fun with it. So yeah, that's my sort of main thing is just as long as you're having fun with music, that's the main thing for me.
Absolutely. You've got a young family. Tell us about your your children over there in Victoria.
So I've got a young boy named Fletcher. He is coming up to three years old. And I've got a little girl Lexie and she's around one and a half our Lexus she is so yeah, we give her we just call it Lexi. So she loves that. So, yeah.
keeping you busy at that age, the two of them run around.
Yeah, they sure they sure. Are they sure are they they they cause plenty of headaches but they both really good kids and yeah, we love them to death.
Yeah, so how do you go then finding time to to get stuck into your music and create when you've got little people? Do you sort of try and do it at night or weekends? How do you make it work?
This is basically my time now it's like minute they're the kids go to bed at sort of, you know, seven o'clock, eight o'clock. As I come up here I've got my own sort of studio up in what I call the schoolhouse, it's like an old converted schoolhouse. So it's just got like, a bed for friends to stay in. And it's just got all my computer equipment and stuff like that up here. So I just sort of come up here and do my thing. You know, it's it definitely has been challenging, I must admit, like coming from you know, just having a partner and being able to do music and that whenever you wanted to to then only doing it at night time you've got to try and really, you know focus and yeah, try and make the time that you've got, you know, make it work.
Yeah, yeah, make the most of those limited little slots liberal hours. So you also work you also run a farm I believe so. You're you're pretty much burning the candle at both ends. Really?
Yeah, yeah. So we've got a three and a half 1000 acre farm over here in Kassadin. And me and my dad work here on the farm. And we've got like, roughly set like we're in about 350 head of cattle, and so maybe closer to 400 and, and two and a half 1000 sheep here on our farm, so, so it's extremely busy here during the weekdays plus, up in New South Wales, our my brother, my older brother, he has his farm up there, which is around about 13,000 acres. So we used to split our time a lot in between the properties and work both sides of it, but now we tend to sort of stay one end and the other end of my dad sort of floats in between the property. So yeah, we're pretty flat out over here all the time. So, yeah,
absolutely. And it will be challenging then to try and, you know, with the kids, you wouldn't actually be able to sort of float between the two properties that easily when you've got your Yeah,
that's right. Yeah. 100% it's made it made a lot different. Now having that having a family and stuff like that, it just changes things a lot. You know, so but you know, that's just the part of having a family I guess you've got to make you got to make changes yourself as well.
clincher is actually in one of your music videos recently.
So I do I do a lot of my own music videos. And I've been doing video for a long time, probably just as long as I've been doing music. So that's one thing I've sort of thought about doing is like, just just do it, just make the video yourself have a bit of fun with it and make it yourself. And they they just love it. They they love being a part of anything. And then when you go back like, you know, if you put if you put TV on and YouTube or tractors on, then you know he gets really grumpy. So that so when he gets on YouTube, and then he sees himself on there, he thinks that's the best thing in the world. Like he thinks it's the funniest thing ever. And he will watch it repetitively all day. And Lexi, well, she just loves it, so she can't get enough of watching him or mommy on there. So they love it. So the I'm going to try and incorporate that the kids into as many of the music videos as I can just have a bit of fun with it. Like I was thinking about sort of getting something, you know, professionally done up and I'm just like, what, what's the hell, you know, like, just just have a bit of fun with it and do it yourself. It's always like, always think that if you have a crack at it yourself and it comes out real raw, it sometimes makes it give it a more feel to it, then then something that's over produced or anything like that, like, you know, you'll give your fuel footage to somebody else. And they'll wrap their hands all over it and, and make it glossy and everything but it doesn't seem as raw as as sometimes. stuff. So, yeah, we just had had a lot of fun making the video for DJ bitch. And yeah, we filmed it on our property. And yeah, we always had this idea to do it. But it was just really an idea. And let's let's just do it. And we had this footage. And it was it had just been sitting there and I said to laser I said we've got to finish it with like half it was shot. And I just sort of started putting it together and it just sort of slotted in really well. And yeah, before too long, I think, you know, the film clip I think was up to about 6000 views at last I looked it was it was quite a shock actually, but it's a good fun. It's a good fun video clip. So, you know, it was just a bit of fun and the kids love it. And like I said they just can't get enough of watching themselves. So it's really good.
It is a great video and yeah, I didn't realize that you made that yourself. Congratulations because that is awesome.
Yeah, now I do all the all the video on myself and then I get back to the computer here and and produce it all myself. So yeah, it's just fun.
Yeah. So you used a drone in that video is that you do that yourself?
Yeah, I got my I got my own drone. And so the drone shoots in full 1080 H HD and I use the GoPro as well to get mostly all the shots on the film clip because pretty much a GoPro these days, I just got some of the best, you know, the best pixels as well. They just come out amazing clear and you can just sort of go through and edit up your videos afterwards. So yeah, drone stuff. I've had a drone for a number of years now and yeah, I love love flying them and just yeah, really fun.
You kids obviously know that you do your music is that it's something that you you love sharing with the kids, it's important for you to involve them in, in what you're doing.
Yeah, for sure my kids really love music. We got a thing at our house that we just love to put on music, like around tea time, or Saturday mornings and stuff like that, it's always music going on at our place. And we just yeah, we just try and involve them as much as we can, you know, whether it's listening to my music or, or listening to other people's music, and they love it, they love dancing, and they just love being kids and, and as adults, mainly, so we both love it as well. So, yeah, that just we just make sure that they've got heaps of arounds, and you know, they're not too scared to have a bit of fun and dance around the living room. Here in my studio, I've actually got a toy toy room here for when so like, on a Saturday, if I'm, if I want to do music or anything like that, I bring the kids up here with me, and they've got their own toy room, and they'll, they'll play toys up here and, you know, push around the boats and the cars and stuff while I'm up here, you know, playing on the computer. So yeah, it's a really sort of fun environment for him. And we don't I definitely don't just run away from the whole family to go and do music. It's just, it's just, you know, Dad's up here, the schoolhouse, and the kids will come up here and, and, you know, they'll ride their bikes around in here and have a bit of fun as well. So yeah, definitely, they're very much included you seen
do you find now have with the kids in your life, that the way that you write your music has changed at all? Yeah, like the, like you see the world a bit differently? Maybe anything like that?
Yeah, 100%, I'd say, because my music is, you know, electronic and different. I'm just sort of really trying to create a vibe, as much for like, the, the kids and stuff, it definitely hasn't really changed my sort of style as much. Yeah, the only thing that that really has changed is that just not being able to have that flexibility time to you know, just just go and you will just have more time without having the kids and stuff like that you would just end up having a lot more time up yet up your sleeve to sit down and really concentrate on something, and you just win now doing music, you sorta have got to be in the right mindset, or else you just don't get it down. And if you not, if it just doesn't flow, it, you're wasting your time. So yeah, I will, I'll come up and play around with tracks like that. And it's just not working. It's just definitely it's not working. So you just stop and you'll come back another time, but it's it having children and music, you just got to really make time for your passion, I think. And yes, to having having children and stuff like that. It's, it's yeah, it's a great thing. And it's been awesome, but there's definitely challenges involved. And I think if I had children a lot, like, like, I'm 40 Now, if I had them when I was younger, I don't think I would have coped as well. That's one thing I don't really want. I'm glad I had children when I was older. I'm pretty, like I think I'm very selfish myself sometimes, like not now. But I was would have been when I was younger, a lot more selfish or and wanted to sort of achieve more. Now I've got that mindset that I've just don't don't really care anymore. Like I just want to have fun. So but um, but now, you know, been a bit older and stuff like that. I'm just a lot more chilled and just don't really care. And just like I said, I think for myself, if I just have music as a as a passion and a hobby, it breaks down those walls. It's just like, you know, if you achieve something, it's great, but you're not really focused on you've got it, ah, I've got to make the charts or I've got to sell music or anything like that. If people want to listen to it. That's fantastic. And it's awesome. And if you wanted to get shows, that's great. But if you really focused on that and it doesn't happen, it just breaks your heart all the time. And you just end up bearing yourself I think
Do you just want to I just want to put stuff out there that I'm really proud of. And, you know, when I released my last album, I had had a lot of messages of people saying, oh my god, that song was just amazing or that was so great. And that's what it comes down to. For me, it's like, just those moments where people say to that, so I think it's really big. Shout out to people that, you know, tell that artists that you really liked their music, it makes a difference to people like it makes people be more productive. And they want to actually, you know, they want to keep pursuing their dreams. And I think today's age too, like with artists, were were artists and musicians and everything that's gone through the whole COVID thing. You know, they need you more than ever right now. People really need to stand up and say, hey, you know what? I'm gonna buy that CD. I love that tune. Keep doing what you're doing. And you know, stay positive because it only takes one person to say, oh, you know your musics crap. And you know, you suck, all of a sudden, that person just shuts down and then they don't want to do it anymore. So you know, as long as you know, since I've been doing music, I haven't even had one person say you, you suck or your shit. It's just like, everything in the music scene, I think is so positive. But we're just going through such a shit time with COVID that no guy out there's work and the poor old industry, music is industry is suffering. The venue's are dying up, they need you more than ever, right now. People, people like myself, anyone out there who's putting music together still is they need you. So, you know, the people out there listening and buying records, you know, they're awesome. That's what we, we do it for. So, you know, yeah.
That's so well said. Yeah, that's the thing. And I think big Yeah, because we can't say, the audience face to face because we can't make those, you know, personal connections, it is important for people, if, you know, if you like someone's music, send them a message. And, you know, it's just that little, that little bit of connection, it's just enough to brighten someone up and, and keep them going. And like you said, it's, it's that spark that gets them going. So,
yeah, and it's nothing is a stew it's not, I like appreciate so many different styles of music, like I listened to, you know, so much different styles. And even if it's not the general genre that you listen to, you know, just just let them know that that piece of music that that was awesome, you did an awesome job on that, you know, your vocal was fantastic on that. Just just let them know, I think it's like, that's the most positive thing I think with the with the music scene, the artists get behind other artists, even if you got a small majority of fans out there and you know, I don't consider myself having many fans at all but the small group that have that I have around me that they definitely don't shy away with saying hey, that's that tunes. Awesome, great job that's that's a sweet tune, keep getting maybe keep you know, doing that sort of style. It's a love it. So that's and that's what gives me a bit of momentum and stuff and just just to have a bit of fun with it too. So yeah, but it's definitely a struggle out there. And if you know if someone was doing this job at the moment full time and and you know looking for those gigs every weekend I really feel for those people at the moment I you know, it breaks my heart to to see how the music industry is going to recover from this because I know a lot of artists I know that the artists Charlotte lock the, the girl that featured on my album, she she ended up going back to work at a big company and I murder message not long ago and I said you know, how's how's the music going? And she was like, there's no time you know, I've got to get back to work and there's no no gigs. So and she you know, I couldn't never think this girl not seeing again because her voice is so amazing. And it just broke my heart to hear that you know this girl can't get any more gigs and she's had to go back to the office and start working again and slaving away to the man you know
you mentioned briefly before Lacey your wife She must be very supportive of of what you're doing and helping you a lot.
She's very supportive. She that she loves that she loves being involved. She's you know, probably my biggest fan I every track that I do or take part in in any small way. She's probably the first person who gets it is on that track. So I give it to her and and she'll listen and I'll say what do you think of this? And you know, what do you think of this and she'll be like, oh, yeah, I love it. I love it. I love this bit and you So that Yeah, cuz we sort of feed off each other a lot. And yeah, it's great to have somebody supportive that by your side or that, you know, is prepared to sit up all night while you're at three o'clock in the morning, you know, bouncing ideas off somebody overseas about some track that's getting mastered at you know, some ungodly hour or you know me waking up in the middle of night con I've got such a great idea for a video clip. So, she Yeah, she's really great and very supportive and yeah, yeah, I love her a lot.
Yeah, and she got got a little bit of a go in the video as well. The music video.
Yeah, she was up there dancing with flat chi and it was quite funny. She said I'll go up and dance with which I said yeah, get up there and have a dad so yeah, it was good.
Mid say I loved the little little jacket that he had on too. Yeah,
he's gonna wear that northern all the film clips we've decided he loves his he loves that jacket. He calls it his DJ check jacket so he really thinks it's really cool so yeah
what if he got on at the moment or anything coming up that you want to
share? I've got one track that I'm working on at the moment. I've just I've got another girl that's just doing some vocals for me for this track. It's, it's called creatures. It's one you've heard lately. It's like I really wanted to make something that was sort of like really on that that preset vibe that really pumped up sort of idea and just it didn't really have to mean anything. It was just sort of a like really pumped up track. Yeah, that's what I'm working on at the moment. So I just sort of had that mastered but let's come back and and why can't I just need something else to sort of give it a bit of an edge so I thought I'll try it with a female vocals. I'm just waiting for those vocals to come back and I'll put in the track and yeah, see how that turns out
let me lose a happy move. I don't know what to do. Everything about my situation is a winner loser. I know the feeling of people when they don't do any bad. I made a choice to ignore my movie Jason bash. What is exact
feeling when I listen to a couple of podcasts before? And he the people what they were saying about you know, and you know that they have music? And then that was on the backburner? Because they've got so much time, it's what happens. I think when you have a family, it's like so much gets put on the backburner though, doesn't it? It's like, it's incredible, that, you know, you've got all this, all this passion and all this art that you want to get out there and want to push out into the world. And all of a sudden, you can't because you're locked down with the, with your family and doing your doing the stuff that's, that's, that's important to them. And then all of a sudden, you can't you can't get it out. And then it's sort of built up, it really is built up, especially if they're, if they're, if it's a person that's putting out stuff constantly, and has a family and all of a sudden that sort of just kind of it's it's hard
it's just about expressing yourself, I think and as long as people can keep getting it out there. That's the main thing. And you know, I imagine for women, especially having kids, it's so important to nurture those kids and you seem to be putting everything into the children I know from seeing it firsthand, through my wife that she puts everything into our kids and, and your wonder like now I've you know, she's focused on going back to studying more at nursing and, and, and that's something that she's passionate about and she loves so we make time to fit her you know, things that she needs to do to into into her life things but it's such a thing is like you know, when you when if you don't have an outlet somewhere or a passion and you've got nowhere to you know to do it, it builds up and you know, probably can end up being the falling down of your marriage or anything like that because you just got no outlet and you feel like you're locked up with the children and just having this dull life that you you know, that just ends up crashing around around you. If it doesn't have you don't have an outlet
Thanks so much for coming on today. Like it's been great to chat and all the best with whatever you've got coming up soon. I can't wait to hear some new tracks from me.
No worries. Thanks, Alison. I really appreciate coming on the podcast and yeah, I wish you all the success for it. It's sounds fantastic so far. And yet, let's hope you keep going with it in the future and it keeps coming out and bringing positive messages with it.
Thanks for coming on today. Adam. It's a pleasure to have you join on this very special episode.
I am stoked. It's I think it's important to to open up these conversations. Absolutely.
Yeah, for sure. So can you tell us about your connection with music, how you got into playing and all the amazing things that you've done over the years?
All right, well, how long have we got? Look, I first got into music fully, I guess in in Mount Gambier when I was a student at at Grant High School. And that kind of led on to coming up to Adelaide to to study jazz and as a saxophonist, and from that point, I I kind of I don't know, I just had a setback and and let the you know, let the music guide where I was going and I've done all kinds of things in my life since then, musically from spending three and a half years on cruise ships. playing in the orchestra is on ships to you know, touring with with bands around around the country and around the world and playing in make millions of recordings and as I guess a freelance saxophonist, but also a lot of writing as well heaps of writing for small ensembles and larger ensembles. Currently, I'm I'm writing for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and have done multiple times in the last few years. I've written major works for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and orchestra Wellington as well. I've traveled the world with my multi instrumental looping, improvised show. Yeah, I didn't know like heaps, heaps and heaps and heaps of stuff. And this. This stuff happened. I mean, you know, a lot of it happened before I was a father. But there's still yeah, there's still a lot of it that still exists. Just it just it just looks a little different now.
Yeah, for sure. So you said multi instrumentalist? How many instruments can you play? Well,
I own a lot more than I can play. But I mean, I guess the woodwinds are my first go to so you know, all of the saxophones clarinet, flute. Other flutes like Native American flute and Bansuri. But then, you know, piano has always been a big part of my, my sort of creativity. And the tools for writing sort of come from the piano. I play guitar, bass, drums and percussion. Yeah, and other bits and pieces. We eat instruments from around the world. But yeah, I guess you know, I call myself a multi instrumentalist, but you know, I'm I'm a saxophone player first.
So you just you have a passion for just like trying out new things and just seeing what happens and finding new ways to do things. Yeah, I
do I do because I mean you know musics music and the, you know, the, the fundamentals of music remain no matter what instrument you play. And so like I, you know, I play drums. Like, I play the saxophone, I play, you know, the nose flute, in the same way that I was, I would play the bass, it's just, you know, it's the same music but just a different different technique and a different, a different voice that you're using, but inside it's still the same the same music
Let's go. And you went to New Zealand recently I saw on your Instagram.
I did. And that was pretty lucky. I had been working on a on a saxophone concerto that was that was written for me that I had collaborated with as well in the composition process. And yeah, so I've been working on it for a long time. And I got up to a point where it was was ready, and I was ready to go over and work with this orchestra and, you know, do the performance and recording as well. And then, you know, some, some, some COVID business was starting to drop around the place. And I luckily, I got over, you know, before anything happened. And while I was over there, the Victorian outbreak sort of happened. And I luckily changed my flights earlier to go through Auckland and Adelaide rather than Melbourne. If I'd gone through Melbourne, I would have yet I would have been stuck. But yeah, I got back a day before locked down in South Australia. So I'm very lucky, I got it done. Because I think, you know, I mean, I'm just so used to cancellations. Now the last 18 months has just been just one project lost after another. And I've got used to that kind of dynamic that it creates creatively. But if this if this show was canceled, I would have been pretty gutted.
It's like an emotional roller coaster isn't it really is really tough.
And, you know, the deeper we get into this, you know, like I'm understanding more and more about my, my creative process and what, what I need and what keeps me buoyant. And a lot of a lot of these sorts of situations that are occurring around us are, in a lot of ways, they're kind of they're they're sort of drowning my my normally buoyant kind of attitudes and and my direction that I normally kind of take so and that's just purely because we can't, you know, we can't dream money we can dream. That's it, we can't fully turn those dreams into, into a reality without all of this uncertainty is attached to it. So it's yeah, it's very difficult.
Yeah, for sure. It's like, you want to have ideas and goals and dreams, but you're sort of like, well, what's the point? Because it's not going to happen anyway, like, you feel that it's crushed before?
Yeah, I'm trying, I'm trying not to get to that point of like, what's the point? Because, because the you know, in so many ways, the point is, it's not in the delivery, it's in the creation. And I hear, but it's hard, though, it's hard. Because, you know, you've taken, you know, you take away one fundamental part of the, of the project, which is the delivery. And it's very hard to stay focused. Without letting that that idea of, of uncertainty creep in, you know, it does definitely affect affect the creation effect ever every level of it. Really.
Yeah, absolutely. Have you been able to do much like work online with your music or you found other ways to be able to
create? Yeah, look back in the, like, you know, the first sort of wave, I guess you could call it I did a few online performances, which went really, really well. Like, I was surprised actually, that the community that that kind of, you know, opted in was super supportive. And, you know, I could I could see the comment thread just going crazy while I was performing and it was just, it was just really nice. I'm, I'm planning on doing another couple of those in the in the coming weeks as well. Just like basically for my my friends over in, you know, New South Wales and Victoria and just to give them something to consume. But aside from that, I've been really lucky that I've had some I've had some composition projects that have really kept me kept me going with with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and, and also, some other, you know, work with, with a small ensemble, the Ben Todd quartet, with Ben Todd, who's a drummer, Paul white and James Marlowe and that those two projects have really kind of kept me kept me going. Yeah, but it's hard.
So you mentioned a little bit before, before you had two kids, what did you music life look like at that stage? Where you're doing it full time?
Oh, yeah, it's there. You know, there's, there's no doubt that once you have kids, the, you know, that changes, you know, and for me, I, I kind of made a, made a decision before we had our first daughter, that my life was going to change. Okay, and so, what what I had in the past will not, I will never have that again. And that, that led to me really thinking about priorities and this at this moment in my life, like what is important, and it really like, I mean, it was, it was just so clear that the most important part of my life right now is is, is my family and creating those, those irreversibly positive relationships with my, with my children and with my partner as well. And so, yeah, everything changed. I was doing so much stuff, creatively, and I was definitely absolutely in control of my day of my week of my hour, there was a point before we had kids, where, you know, there was quite a while where I would on a Sunday night, look at my week, and I printed out these calendars with you know, from from 5am to midnight, basically. And I would, I would schedule everything that was happening in the week, and I would just sit there for an hour or so on a Sunday night and, and just put it all in including, like hangtime including breaks, including just like okay, so on Thursday, I'm doing nothing. And then and I'll just let it happen and so you know, my go to the art gallery, I might go for a swim or whatever, you know, Thursday's Friday, but then all of the other days I would like totally just go like right this is best case scenario. And then you know, I'd you know, on Monday night I would I would look at it and go see what's happening Tuesday and go like no let's call or I could change this change that so it was a very, very productive incredibly and then when you have children you like if you're if you're a committed parent if you are completely into the next few years being you know, in a state of creative upheaval, if you commit to that then you know it it changes it changes everything you know, you can't it's not possible to to have those those sorts of positive relationships without making sacrifices and you know, and I hope I'm not sounding negative here like because I I'm very positive about and I'm very happy about the choices I make because will have made and continue to make because I have had you know I've had discussions with with people who have gone the other way where they have followed the path of their career and their and their music or their art and it's it's caused the you know, the downfall of their family and that's that's that's long term. Okay, that's that's an absolute long term thing that that everybody regrets I'm sure and so so yeah, it's it's I don't know I've just gone I'm going around in so many circles here in different different directions. But you know what I'm saying like you've just got to make those sacrifices for the good of your of your of your village you know of that that beautiful thing that we call family or
let's see yeah, so you had you had a conscious think about it I suppose of what what your life was gonna look like and made a decision for yourself.
But can I if I can add to that Yeah. We also with with my partner Giorgio like we had really fantastic conversations about my career and about my art and about what I need, because I my needs are very clear like I need to be creating I need to be doing something musically and and the importance of that and so you know, the conversation just even having a conversation about the the importance of art of music and being creative in my life. actually gave me more room to to step away from that for a while. And know that when the time was right, I can, I can commit to it again, I can just go straight back into it. So and, and it was funny because in the first, in her first year of life, I wrote basically 90 minutes of orchestral music for this concert, and I have no memory of writing it. Like, I don't know how I did it, but we made it work. And there was a bunch of projects that happened in that, you know, in those first kind of couple of years, because it's like, we had these conversations, we were totally open about, what, you know, what I wanted to do, but, but most importantly, what I was capable of first, firstly, as a, as a, as a musician, as an artist, but then secondly, as a father, you know, like, so it's a constant balance between the two. And, you know, sure, it tips out of balance, sometimes, sometimes I'm way too busy. And, you know, I'm relying too much on, on family, and, you know, George's parents, and, you know, to kind of, you know, give us a bit of help, but there, but then other times, I find that man, I haven't picked up my horn in two weeks, you know, yeah, but it's just constantly constantly kind of in flux. bar out communication is key, all because, you know, like, one, kind of, you know, 30 minute conversation can make the next six months, like, so much easier, because you're, you're honest about your needs, and you're honest about about the capabilities, that you have to be able to kind of get to the finish line with these with the projects, but, but at the same time, it's like, you start that dialogue around, around how it's going to affect the family, because, because that's the big change. Now, it's not just about me, you know, like, I, you know, with my partner, we, you know, she used to love it when I went away when I did, because they said a lot of international touring a lot, a lot of touring around the place, and she'd be like, awesome, I've got some time to myself, it's fantastic. And I used to love being away as well, it's just so fun, so fantastic. And, but then all of a sudden, it's just like, it's no longer about, like me, it's like, it's like it's you, me and us all together, you know, and, and if that's the, this, the, if that's central to your to every conversation, then you actually end up getting a better result, like everyone gets a better result from from being open and, and communicative and clear with with your needs. And also being realistic. I love doing this stuff. Because, you know, we, we need to talk, we need to talk about this stuff. Like I feel every time I talk about my my parenting style and how it aligns with my, with my art, I just, I feel good, I feel really positive. And I feel you know, and at times where, you know, at the moment, there's a lot of negativity surrounding our lives. And, you know,
I think I think just just talking this stuff through reminds, reminds me that, that, you know, this too shall pass. And, and I will get to a point where I'll get a tour, you know, somewhere and I'll I will say to my four year old or their, you know, your might be six at that point, Hey, you want to come on the road with me for a couple of weeks, you know, like, I know, that's going to happen, you know, I know that's going to happen. But yeah. And that's because it's because of the sort of the choices I'm making now. And and waiting, letting letting life be be the thing that that that steers me, rather than my creativity, if you know what I mean.
It's like you're, in a way you're in a sort of a holding pattern, got all this amazing stuff, you know, you've got to look forward to because of how you've set, set your life up and set things up with your family. So it's really positive when you look forward and it's
salutely and it's a bit of a slow burn. You know, you can't expect it to happen straightaway. And I mean, sometimes I expect I expect things to happen far too soon. And you know, I've just got to kind of To try and try and sort of, you know, lose some of that disappointment, knowing that it will, and knowing that, you know, it will be easier because I mean, we've got a four year old and a one year old at the moment. And so we're, we're in it at the moment, we're in it deep. And, you know, and it's no, no word of a lie that the these last, you know, four years of our lives, it's the hardest hardest we've ever had to deal with. You know, you're just, you're just totally forced to your absolute capacity and then some and but then you get out to the other side, and just be like, Well, that was intense. That was intense. And, and then, yeah, like, it just, it's, there's nothing like, these first few years to, to really kind of remind you what it's like to be a human, or what it takes to be human.
Yeah. And also, I think it gives you a sense of how much you're actually capable of that you probably didn't realize, because I've been forced to these extremes before. That's actually like, you can discover a lot of stuff about yourself that you didn't know.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. But then on the other end of the spectrum, like I did not know, that I was capable of, of having so much love for someone else. Yeah. You know, I like the love I like I'm tearing up here. love I have for my children, is it? I don't know anything else like it? Or I actually know nothing else like it. And, you know, when when I walk in the door, you know, the half an hour ago, and I hear my one year old going? Daddy data, data, and it just like just crawling as fast as you can to get to me? Like, it's just like, far out like, what? What, what show have I ever done? That is as good as that. You know?
It's the best and I think,
yeah, I I hope that my kids realize that. I mean, I know they do. Yeah, I don't have to tell them that I love them so much. You know? Because I mean, I do every moment I can, but they I know they can feel it.
Yeah, your actions, your behaviors are showing that that?
Yeah, and I'm sure, I'm sure that that the the art that I'm creating at the moment is is, is is in some way guided by by that love?
Hmm, that's something I'm interested to that I'd like to chat with people about, have you found that, that change in your life, that being a parent, and that all the changes in the intensities that go with it? How does that How has that come out in your work, you find it reflected in what you're creating?
I think I've written probably the most beautiful music that I could write through thinking about my, my daughters. One of them was when my, my eldest she look, we would have been about maybe six months old, and just screaming at three o'clock in the morning, holding her just just absolutely the at the end of my, you know, of what I could give her and just sitting at the piano and just started playing these arpeggios. And she just stopped. And the you know, I thought, Oh, this is cool. And so I just kept playing and kept sort of doing this, these these, you know, very simple arpeggios and, and yeah, everything changed. And then I like I remembered it once he was asleep, and I just sat down at like, what at four o'clock in the morning, whatever it is and wrote out this piece of music and, and to this day, it's like it comes to her and it calms me and and then last year I wrote her a saxophone concerto that was it was inspired by COVID and how the COVID pandemic was was developing and then halfway through and in the second movement. I just it was when when, you know our youngest was born. And and yeah, it's I think it's the Yeah, it's up there with absolutely some of the most beautiful music I've made just because I I had her in my mind and I had her absolute kind of beauty and and it just it just came through in the notes and like music that never would have existed without without these experiences and I think I think the the beauty comes out of like The pain and suffering as well that you go through having having children and, and, and that loss of that loss of your old life because it is, you know, I miss it. I'm not gonna lie, I miss it so much.
It's like a mourning process you have to go go through the lonely
because and I mean if you if someone says no I don't miss my old life I you know, this is this is this defines me now it's just like, that's, that's crap, I don't believe that for one second for one second and you know what it's, I'm allowed to miss it. Because I miss it so much because it was so awesome. You know, but because it was so awesome that has turned me into a different person. And so it's like, well, you know, all of those experiences still exist, they exist in who I am right now. And all of those experiences still exist in in, in the stories that I'm going to tell my, my kids about, you know, the things that I used to do. And but then, you know, I don't I'm not saying that I'm going to be a hermit and just a father for the rest of my life, I know that things are going to change, things are going to get easier. And I'm going to get back on the road, I'm going to get back into doing more stuff and more full time. But at the moment, I've made that choice I've made that deal to be to be there to be present.
What does your days look like? Now? I mean, obviously, you're quite busy with a one year old. But when do you find the time to be able to do what you need to do with your music?
Well, so we've, we've found an amazing childcare center that both actually both my my kids go to now because Georgia, my partner, she went back to work three weeks ago, three days a week. So that's, that's been amazing. So the eldest goes three days a week, and the one year old, she goes twice a week. So I've effectively got two to three days of creative time now. It's excellent. And I have no idea how to use it. Like I'm telling you I'm at the moment like I'm, I've just been thrusted all of this time. And also because you know, it's a pretty, it's a pretty crazy world out there at the moment with COVID. And we were just committing to me doing some more travel, I'd meant to be playing three weeks at the Sydney Opera House in September, even though there hasn't been kind of publicly canceled. So and I was meant to be in Darwin this week for a festival. And of course, they've just coming out of lockdown. And so I've effectively got about six weeks of free time now as well, which has made our lives so much easier as parents because I wasn't going to be away for four or five weeks. Which I was really anxious about, just because of the implications of the home life, you know, and how Georgia could manage me we've got amazing supports from her, her parents. My folks still live in that Gambia so they can't, they can't help out in a physical sense. Yeah, so but but with this time that I've got, I'm in a real creative funk, hey, like, I've got all these projects that I want to, to embark on. I've been I've been constantly kind of dreaming stuff and writing stuff down. But to actually get to that next level, I'm finding it quite difficult. And I think there's a few things that are that are, like impacting my normal kind of man, one my normal direction or my normal flow. And first and foremost, it's, it's that idea of what's the point? Yeah, are they actually going to happen? Like, you know, but I have to keep reminding myself that it's not, you know, the view is worth the climb. And so it's that whole kind of like, okay, the, the actual process is what, what I get the most amount of energy out of, you know, but then also, I mean, this is this is another can of worms, social media, like I'm, I'm absolutely 100% addicted to social media. And as as we all are, you know if anyone's got Facebook or Instagram or Twitter on their phone, you're addicted immediately because those algorithms are so great. They suck you in. So and also sort of not seeking out bad news. But just like, looking at the news websites just to see what what bad things happened next, you know what I mean. And that's had a profound effect on my, on my outlook on life, like I'm, at my core, I'm an incredibly positive and optimistic person. And I'm just feeling now that, you know, the, the, the weight of the world is getting a bit too much for me. And, and so I'm actually I've made the decision this morning, I'm going to have a bit of a break from social media, just because I've just found myself in some situations online, that have been quite negative, and have sort of kept me up at night. And I don't need that.
So I think if I can, you've got a one year old to keep you up at night. You don't need anything else came. Yeah.
I know. And so, yeah, it's, it's a great, it's a great time to be having this discussion. Because, you know, the, the fact of the matter is that, you know, I've got all this time, and I'm being super creative. But actually, the reality is, like, I've got all this time, and I have no freaking idea how to use it. And that's the reality. And that's, that's something that we need to all kind of embrace. I think.
You can't be super creative all the time. Like, this might be like a healing time that you just need for yourself, you know, to, I mean, a lot of people I think some people like hate lock downs and hate whatever it is, but I know some people I've spoken to that are enjoying being locked away, because the world is so proud. And just being with the people they love and with the family that they need around them. I know that it's putting a spin on a negative, but, you know, cocooning time for you, and then you know, the butterfly will come out, you know, sometimes,
Oh, absolutely. And I do track that I was forced into a, you know, physical and creative locked down last year was pretty, like, the timing was pretty amazing. Because, because we were about to have a kid, our second kid, and it was like, Okay, we're home. So what else are we going to do? We are going to, we're going to be here as a quartet. Like, who can go and deep was it was, it was fantastic. And I think, for me, it's yeah, I'm still having trouble getting out of that zone. Because I loved it. Like, I, I loved the fact that we were together so much. And that I'd made that choice four years ago, when we know when we had our first that it's like, this is this is a moment in time that I cannot get back. And any opportunity I can take to connect is going to bear fruit in the future. Yeah, and I mean, I've got some, there's some role models in my life that have that have been guiding me as well, like really strong, strong men and strong fathers that have really helped me through making these decisions as well. You know, and, yeah, and so the deeper you get into that mode of deep connection, and parenting, the harder it is to get out of it as well. And I think that's a part of it, as well, like i Yes, I've been incredibly creative in this time, and these last four years. But I have no idea how I think, I think, yeah, necessity, I think deadlines are the only things that have actually kept me focused. I didn't have a deadline. I wouldn't be doing anything.
I actually did write the other day. So I'm on Instagram, someone said that deadlines are really good for musicians, because they make you get off your acid. diester
Absolutely, absolutely. And I feel like, I feel like I need to get back into that kind of idea. Because I mean, for me, you know, so many of my bands that I would start were like, basically, we would just be hanging out, you know, mates hanging out talking about music, had this idea for a band, and then all of a sudden we book a gig and get a t shirt designed. And before we've even written a note so it's like you know, like that's yeah, let's Let's book the gig. Let's get the vibe. This is what it's gonna be like and like, bam, here it is. And yeah, then go. Okay, so what is it going to be? Who's playing well? I think I need a bit more than added my life
nothing like a reduced stress to get you going. mentioned that you've had some really good role models around you positive and negative, I suppose you'd say things that you you think, Oh, actually, I don't want to do that.
there's lessons everywhere. You know, I think that where where we go so well, is through communication. And, you know, some some interactions I've had with other fathers in the past have been quite insightful just in the just in the way that they describe their relationships, you know, with their partners, you know, like, just using that, that idea of, you know, are you lucky, your missus have, you know, let you out of the house, that sort of thing. And so it's like, man, if you're gonna use that kind of language with me, I doubt you've had, you've had a really kind of, you know, deep conversation about your needs both both of their needs. And so, you know, I, I've kind of learnt from friends that have had children before me that, that communication is key to being a great parent, so communication with your other half, because sometimes it'll be, you know, it feels like weeks, we're living in the same house, but sometimes it feels like weeks that we've actually connected, like, within Georgia, it's like, full on and, you know, and that's, that's a scary, that's a scary cycle that can be, that can be created, you know, to the point where you, you feel like, you don't know each other anymore. And like, and so communication is just so important, you know, communicating when things are going well, as well. Or not just when things are going badly, you know, and when things are difficult, it's like let's, let's celebrate these these moments of, of Claire clarity and, and enjoying our life or new life together, you know? Yeah, so I've definitely, I've definitely taken that from from my friends. You know, James Brown, who's a guitarist, one of my best friends here. Yeah. Him and his partner and their family. They've they've been a big influence, as has Ross McHenry, who's another fantastic musician, incredibly prolific creator, with three kids, I don't know how he does incredible, but he's been a massive kind of beacon for me. But also John Sophos, who's a composer in New South, in New South Wales, in New Zealand, who's my, one of my favorite people in the world, and, you know, he's, he's got adult children now. And, you know, he, he came and stayed with us, you know, when our, when our eldest was about kind of one and a half ish. And we would just sort of sit up the frontman her and just chat and just spend time together. And, and he said to me, that I, that he could see himself in me in the decisions that he made when he was a young parent, to put his his career and creativity on the back burner for a while and really hook in with the kid. He's now so close with his kids that are adults, you know, and, and he said that the stuff that you do now is it's fertilizer. You know, it's, it is lifelong. It's a lifelong connection. And, and you've only got one chance to create that connection. And, and he just said, Look, I'm so happy with what you're doing. Because he's, he's reaping the benefits of it now, with these amazing relationships with these incredible human beings. I know both of his, his his Well, kids so well, as well. And they're amazing humans, you know. And so I look at him and just think, right, it might be hard now, but I know that what's happening what's to come is pretty, pretty magnificent.
That's it, you're sowing the seeds to reap in the field.
And I truly believe in that, that idea of we only get one chance at this, you know, I've got so many chances to write a new song. I've got so many chances to, to start a new band to you know, A book a tour, whatever, you know, whatever creative thing, I've got so many chances, and if one chance disappears, then there'll be another one. But right now, this is my only chance to be to be that that kind of person that I truly want to be as a father that, that, you know, absolutely. Connected Absolutely. Kind of engaged. Kind of human around them. And, and you know, silly as well, you got to be silly. Get down on the floor got to get down on the floor with them and play. Yes, that's just so important. Yeah. And again, going back to the social media thing, I think I, I'm using it as a bit of a kind of advice, I think. And it's starting to creep into my, my relationship with my kids as well, like, I'll be talking with them, but I'll be looking at FACP. At the same time, I'm like, Whoa, what's going on? I need to stop this wall. So I don't I don't drink anymore. I stopped drinking five years ago. This is before we even started kind of talking about really having kids and while we've been talking about them, but actually, you know, trying, which I'm happy about. And so I don't have to have like alcohol to fall back on. which so many of us do, like and I can see the power of alcohol as well to have a when you just want to have a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. You know, alcohol works? Absolutely. So, so I don't have that. And so
is that why you cut it out? Because you could see your alignment team?
Yeah, absolutely. And it's hard. It's been the hardest thing to maintain. But also, I'm feeling really good about it. Yeah. Good.
Thank you. Thank you. I
mean, right now, what is it? It's it's one one o'clock in the afternoon and I'm I'm actually drinking a beer right now. It's a It's so I'm still drinking but it's just non alcoholic beer and yeah. Thanks, great. Do rejoice, and celebrate when when Georgia, you know, has a swig on the tequila bottle. It's like it's pretty cool. It's just like, oh, yeah, you needed that you needed that I did want to
ask you about your music around the children, particularly your older daughter. Do you play your instruments around her? It's like she, she's into your music.
Here's how it goes. Okay, I sit down at the piano. I play one note, Daddy, stop. I sing a note. No, Daddy, stop. Yeah, it's been.
It's going well,
yeah. But she's decided that she likes being in the same room as me when I'm practicing the saxophone. Which I get, I've usually I've had to go to I've got it. I'm lucky enough to have a studio space as well. And so I'll go to the studio to practice and just because I know if I start playing, she'll run at me and yell at me. And, and I'm cool with that, because I'm not forcing it on her. It's like, she is such a strong willed little girl. That that's just you know, it's a fight. I'm not, I'm not prepared to to embark on because it might just end up with her hating music. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't want to do that. I mean, she she'll never hate music. He loves music. She we listen to music all the time. She loves David Bowie. She loves like, she just loves music, which is fantastic. She wants to play the violin. And that's that came out of nowhere. I think just because we've been watching orchestral things and listening to orchestral things. Yeah, but so she'll sit with me when I practice. And so now, when I practice the saxophone with her. I'm purposely doing really simple stuff. I'm playing major scales. I'm playing scales in thirds. I'm doing things that aren't going to scare her away. So when she starts to play As a musical instrument, she's already going to know these sounds. And she's already going to know. Like, how to practice. Yeah, and and funnily enough, yeah, like it was, it was amazing like after, you know, a week or so she, you know, she came in with me a few times. She was just sort of sitting in the bath and singing, and she started singing this melody in thirds. She was making up like,
unicorn and the fairy was things I think the singing in theaters and I'm like, Darling, are you singing what i've what I was practicing. She's like, Yeah.
And I just thought to myself, well, there it is, like, it's, yeah, our youngest one. On the other hand, we can I can, I can pick up a spoon, and then drop it on the ground. And she will just go like, Oh, that sounds awesome. And she'll dance around. And she like, she is the absolute opposite. She like you put on any kind of music and she just explodes right there can pull up this and I, you know, and I play, you know, I play the anything and she loses it. She goes crazy. When I put the blender on in the morning. She thinks it's the greatest sound in the world. And she's just sitting there dancing to the funny.
Yep, she's just looking for any any opportunity just to bust out and move. She's just pieces hanging work?
Absolutely. Oh, look, I know that those qualities that that, you know, the oldest has are only going to be kind of her, or they are going to be her superpowers when she's older. You know, it'd be so easy for us to to destroy that part of her. You know, but we want we're embracing it. Because, you know, the world needs more powerful women and she's she's going to take on the world. And I I wish anyone luck that stands in her way because they will not win. But that's that's what I love about her as well as as challenging as it is. And as hard as it is to deal with sometimes it's actually like, pretty exciting. That she's gonna be that kind of person.
Absolutely. Thank you can't wait to see can't wait to see what she doesn't care. She changes the world.
Hope she's my manager actually, that'd be good. My manager, my bouncer. Yeah, personal security guy.
Oh, that's awesome. is important for you to maintain who you are as a person outside of your role as a parent?
Absolutely. Because, you know, as much as, as much as we say that, you know, we're the same person. It's, we're not, you know, and, and I really do believe that the identity is is incredibly important. And, you know, but but you need to know what, what that is, as well. And so, you know, what, what is my identity? And like, what, what do I identify with? And you know, what makes me me? And I've, yeah, there's a few things that make me me. One of them is, is reading, I read a lot. And I still read a lot. And I the one thing that I've kept from my, my life, pre kids is reading. And so every night I've read, it might be two pages. It might be two lines, it might be 100. I don't think I've, I mean, there might be some nights where I'm just absolutely smashed, and I just need to go to sleep. But generally, I'll read. So that's, you know, that's a big thing about my identity that I've kept. And that's and that's a silent part of my identity as well. But it's such an important part of me and a part of my life. And if I wasn't reading i i wouldn't be a very happy person. And so So yeah, that that is the one thing that I've been, I've kept control of my identity as a musician. I don't think that changes because my identity isn't just about me, my identity is actually in other people. Now that might be Come out, it's kind of strange, but you know, in the eyes of, of, of my public and the people that enjoy my music, they don't see me as a father, they see me as out of page the bearded musician. So in many ways my identity still exists. Okay, so that side of it, my public identity still exists. And if I, if I'm, if I'm trying to kind of, you know, simmer away at projects, and which I have been doing a bit, it's been more than simmering, it's been boiling sometimes, but, you know, if my output remains, then my identity in the public eye is the same. It just keeps growing, I guess. But yeah, but personally, it's quite simple. For me in it, and it's, and it's reading, it's listening to music as well. It's a big part of my journey, my kind of journey of being a better person is exploring other other music and letting the music in, rather than just leaving the music out. And, and that's something that I can do with my children as well. And I can share that. And that's, in many ways, kind of really helping our relationship as well, because they're growing through music. And,
but then, you know, you kind of have to ask yourself, you know, who am I and, I mean, who, who I was yesterday is different to who I am today. And who I'll be tomorrow, and that's just, that's totally, that's up to me, and it's up to my, my mindset at the time. Because if you think that your, your identity is fixed, then then you're missing out on so many other air like factors of your life that you don't know, existed. And so, I, that idea of identity is is kind of attached to the idea of self, you know, what is self what is, you know, it's just, I don't know, I feel like my my identity is who I am right now. And, and who I am right now, is someone that's, that's in a bit of a creative funk. And I'm okay with that. Because that's who I am right now. You can accept and, yeah, except that except that that's what it is. And if I, if I accept then if I was to be like, Uh huh, I should be this person, I should be this, you know, multi award winning bla bla bla bla bla, that's, that means nothing. Who I am right now. It's who I am right now. And so that, to me is preserving my identity because I'm accepting my identity. For it, we're going deep. Oh, I love it. I kind of hear I need these conversations as well like because, you know, I do I do talk with friends about this stuff, you know, and it always makes me feel better at the end. So it's nice that we're pressing record think the big takeaway from this for if there's any, any fathers listening even mothers as well, is like communication is just key. And, and talking about the things that you really want to do. And then finding a way together to be able to do them. You know, like, just being open. And communicating has just, yeah, it's just made it made made potentially sticky situations. really manageable. You know, and as I said, before, we've got so much help from from family that yeah, we're so lucky. We're very lucky. Very, very, very lucky. I'm eternally grateful for for the people that help us and help me actually it's mostly about me being able to realize not some of my artistic kind of, you know, dreams if you must. Yeah. So yeah, it takes it takes a village