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Eyre Peninsula, SA
Cat Stevens, vampire weekend, Ben Harper
Joshy Willo has won the opportunity to open our free all-ages One Night Stand concert on Saturday April 2nd in Tumby Bay, SA with Birds of Tokyo, Art vs Science, and The Jezabels!
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Interview: 28 March 2011
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
Music has always been a large part of who I am and something that I can’t see ever changing. My home town of Elliston, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula has, for as long as I can remember, had a strong “recreational” music scene. Jamming is pretty much a social outing. Due to Elliston’s isolation regular paying gigs are generally the exception, not the rule. I suppose in one sense that has made sure that I play music for the love of it but at the same time is probably the same reason I’ve never taken it seriously enough to pursue music formally or as a profession. My day jobs pay the bills and music keeps me sane.
To be completely honest I think my sound is perhaps unintentional/accidental? It’s just what comes out. Maybe more instinctual rather than me consciously “developing” a song in a certain direction. Typically I’ll have ideas/rhymes/melodies pop into my head when I’m driving a tractor or boat or when I’m having some downtime and I’ll quickly get my voice recorder out and put them down. The Eyre Peninsula has some absolutely beautiful natural environments and coastline and as all my work is outdoors, either at sea or on land, I’m constantly surrounded by it. That definitely permeates into my writing. I love acoustic instruments and mellow easy listening tunes but I also thoroughly enjoy sneaking a good reggae groove into some of my songs.
You’re the winner of our One Night Stand competition. What are you most hoping to get out of attending and playing One Night Stand?
I’m absolutely stoked with the One Night Stand competition win. It’s an amazing opportunity for my music to reach a large audience and fresh ears. Exposure. Personally, it’s a bit bloody scary but I’m really excited and looking forward to it. Pumped. Umm... afterwards I don’t really know what to expect. It has definitely opened my eyes to the possibility that perhaps I could make a living off of music, which has always been a dream, but at the same time there’s no need to get ahead of myself. My main objective is to have a great time and present my music as best I can.
What are your earliest memories of seeing and hearing Australian music around The Eyre Peninsula?
Mainly just local musicians and friends playing their original or cover music. Being so isolated not many big names have got out our way. Earliest ones I can remember would be maybe Testeagles in Port Lincoln. Eyre Peninsula residents are very used to travelling to Adelaide or further to catch their favourite bands or festivals. That is precisely why the One Night Stand is such a big deal on the Eyre Peninsula.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
“If you’re gonna do something, do it properly.” – I like that one. That’s definitely a quote from my Dad. Ha ha.
What’s coming up in 2011?
Well originally I was going to travel through the USA and Canada for the first half of the year. Drive some tractors in Canada and hopefully play some gigs and get some of my CDs out there. But I got a phone call in San Francisco for this One Night Stand show and bolted back to Oz! The plan was to start recording my second album when I got home in July/August but now I’ll get to start on that sooner and also get to play the biggest gig I’ve ever been involved in! So yeah, fair trade-off I reckon. Canada can wait.
Australian music is?
Underrated! To be honest I’ve probably been a bit naïve to this until recently too. We have some top shelf musicians locally on the Eyre Peninsula and in the past that’s generally all we get exposed to in the way of new Australian made music. I mean in Elliston we don’t have access to triple j on the radio. We listen to the Hottest 100 via internet streaming and satellite radio on Australia Day. There are a couple hills on our farm where you can juuuust get triple j on the radio in the tractor when the weather is good but that’s are patchy at best. Without brown-nosing too much I’d say triple j is doing wonders for Australian music, especially the Unearthed website. Ever since I uploaded my songs I’ve found myself regularly searching the website for Unearthed artists that I’ve heard on the radio or that mates have recommended.
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