INTERVIEW Megan Smith
Josh Pyke is a multi ARIA award winning singer/songwriter who has captured the hearts of fans with his whimsical lyrics and catchy tunes. He’s just finished touring his latest album “The Beginning and the End of Everything”, and can be seen next as one of the headliners for Conception Day 2013. He chatted with our resident fangirl, Megan Smith, about his inspiration, how to make it as a musician, and his special connection to the boys from fellow Conception Day act, Bluejuice.
I really enjoyed “The Beginning and the End of Everything” that was released back in July, what was the recording process like for this album?
It was amazing, actually. It was the most fun I’ve had doing a record, I think ever. I did half in Sydney and half in Melbourne and it was just a really good balance of being at home in my home studio. The other half was down in Melbourne with John Castle who co-produced the record in the studio and it was just a really quick and a really creative process. It felt really inspired and inspiring; we kind of laboured over a lot of stuff. It was really excellent.
What was the inspiration for the album?
I always write from personal experience so it was definitely a personal experience record. So, stuff that’s happened in my life over the past few years, coming to terms with being a Dad and also being a creative person in a rapidly changing music landscape. With everything that’s going on with technology and stuff like that, a lot of it creeps into the music.
You’ve been around the Australian music scene for a while, what kind of changes have you seen happen?
So many. Obviously when I first started, iTunes wasn’t even around. The rise of digital music and digitally distributing your music has been massive. Now with Spotify and stuff like that, it’s a brave new world for music and musicians. I think it’s the equivalent of the industrial revolution. It’s been pretty huge.
Your lyrics have always been a really charming addition to your music, how important do you think lyrics are to a song?
It depends. For me, Nirvana is not so much about the lyrics as it is about the emotion and the angst in the songs. Whereas a band like Okkervil Riveror or The National are very much about the lyrics. I think it depends, but for me personally, it’s very, very important in my music. It’s definitely been a thing that people have connected with, with my music.
What’s the process for writing your lyrics?
It’s changed a lot over the years. Basically, as weird as it sounds, I just play my guitar and mumble gibberish until I can turn it into real words. I refine those ideas and turn it into a proper song. I have been writing stream of consciousness prose and cherry-picking little phrases out of that and spring-boarding points from that. I have to find subject matter to write about as well.
You’re one of the headliners at Macquarie University’s Conception Day this year, are you looking forward to anything in particular about the festival?
It’s always good to see Bluejuice play, they’re good friends of mine and I actually went to primary school with Jake, actually a couple of them. So I love seeing those guys play, it’ll be really cool.
We’ve got a lot of young musicians here at Macquarie, what advice would you give to bands just starting out?
It’s very tough and different these days. It’s hard to give any kind of blanket advice that covers all musicians, but I would say that nobody is ever going to care more about your music than you so don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to present themselves. You’ve really got to take the bull by the horns and do everything yourself. If you want to make a record, there’s really nothing stopping you from making a record, just save up the money and go to one of the many studios in Sydney. Make your own record and see what happens. Don’t just sit around waiting for people to discover you because it’s not going to happen like that.
Thanks Josh, we’ll see you at Conception Day.
See you there.