South West Victoria, VIC
New England, NSW
Dustin Tebbutt has crafted some beautiful rolling guitar pop with sublime harmonies and golden tinges of melancholy.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
Over time, more and more factors are contributing to the development of my sound. A lot of direct and indirect musical influences, contemporary folk music, film scores, living in Scandinavia and the winter in the north... also my relationship with the studio environment. For this project particularly, I spent a lot of time in my home studio, just exploring and really working on creating a layered sonic landscape. It’s those small organic nuances that you stumble across over time that have really defined the sound of this project for me.
You wrote and produced a lot of your music in Sweden. What did you find most inspiring over there?
The thing that impacted me the most about living in Sweden was the physical environment. All of it.. It’s so different from everything we have here in Australia. The dramatic seasonal shifts, the colours and textures in the trees, the light... is softer or something. The winter, it’s so extreme, and because of that it’s so beautiful. It’s a hard thing to describe, but I found it really inspiring to be immersed in those places.
What other artists/musicians do you draw inspiration from?
I haven’t been listening to much music lately, but I do have some staples that I keep going back to: Laura Veirs, Max Richter, Great Lake Swimmers, Feist, Elbow, Tucker Martine. I try to be a bit selective too when in writing/production mode. I find it can be good to limit what I listen to, just to put some boundaries in place.
You’re preparing to play shows. What’s your vision for the live show like?
I just did the first gig on Sunday evening actually! I’ve been really focusing on bringing the important sonic elements from the recordings to the stage, but still keeping a sense of play and freedom in there. It’s a fine line, but these days there’s some great technology out there to work with! At this stage, it’s just a solo show, and I’ll be building it up as I go along.
What else is coming up for you in 2013?
The rest of the year is shaping up nicely. The next single is not too far off, I’ll be putting a fair bit of work into the live set and am now just in the process of booking some shows. I’ll have the next couple of video clips to produce, and then back to writing the next lot of songs!
Australian music is…?
…Evolving. I think now is a really interesting time for us. The internet has given Australians access to culture on a global scale, but often we’re positioned more as observers than major players. Because of this, it seems like there is some really interesting and unique music being created in Australia at the moment, and it has the ability to connect on an international level. I feel like we’re no longer culturally isolated from some other key regions of the world, and that’s reflected in the music we’re currently producing... It’s pretty exciting!View Profile Hide Interview
For a pair of producers that spend their spare time tweeting about their favourite Portuguese inspired fast food chains, and television dramas about good guys having to do bad things to pay their medical bills; when it comes to their music, it's very serious business. Check out the interview for our Unearthed feature artist this week, Perth's Slumberjack.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
F: I would describe our music as sitting snugly in the middle of a spectrum with one end being pretty clubby, beats-oriented sounds and the other comprising of what you’d find if you searched for “beautiful, relaxing piano music” on Youtube.
M: To be frank, it took a while for us to discover our style. When we started we were heavily influenced by so many great artists; it was hard to think for ourselves when all we wanted was to be just like them (lol). I guess it’s like when you are in school and joining the cool kids is all that matters. I think we’ve matured past that now and learned how to channel what we love into what we really feel.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
F: Other music! We get really excited when we hear all the amazing and interesting music being created by the other musicians out there and that really drives us to get in the studio and make our own sounds.
What can punters expect from a Slumberjack live show?
We really enjoy doing DJ sets, which pays homage to where we started in the electronic music scene, but we also have huge respect for live bands. We’re fusing both the quick nature of DJing with the more organic approach of a live performance so Slumberjack’s live show is all about adaptability. We’ve set it up in such a way that we don’t have to stick to a set list which we feel can sometimes be too rigid. Everything is interchangeable in the moment so we can judge the energy of the room and choose tracks accordingly. Morgan plays the MiniNova synth and sings into a talk-box and Fletch is all about wild flailing arm movements over on the drum machine.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
F: I loved the video Emoh did for Ableton Live School and his advice which went along the lines of: whatever genre of music you’re making, use sounds and instruments which are the polar opposite of that genre. That’s why you’ll hear a lot of world music sounds and instruments coming through our beatsy and trap-esque tunes.
M: Best advice for me was from Mr. Carmack. We had the privilege of hanging out with him whilst he was in Perth. His tip = no rules. That was a real game-changer for us. Fletch and I were all about numbers, logic and precise technicality in our production work, but after seeing the man in action, we learnt to forget what we thought we knew, and just go with the flow.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Pretty much anything with Dofflin in the name. It’s almost impossible not to be happy listening to those sparkly records.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Our track, Felon. Loud.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Definitely Night Cruise’s “Say My Wat”.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
Circo is a local gig right? A very impressive one too. It was awesome to see acts like Sable, Basenji and Chiefs play out on the pretty impressive stages they had set up and getting the attention they truly deserve.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Perth music community that inspire you.
F: We’re surrounded by a wicked community in Perth with loads of acts doing their thang. DIE HIGH, a record label and collective which started around the same time that we did have been really supportive and have brought together a lot of the musicians in Perth - at times forcing us to collaborate on music by whipping us in the studio.
M: Lab Six for sure. The fam there also started around the same the as us and it’s so inspiring to see them grow and give back to the community through classes, workshops and live streams.
What are your plans for Slumberjack in 2014?
Make more music and meet more awesome people. Hopefully it will be something that we can do for as long as we can; making a comfortable living off music is the dream!View Profile Hide Interview
These Sydney synthpop upstarts have won a spot on The Plot festival lineup this Saturday in Parramatta.