Interview: Davey Lane

Interview: Davey Lane Chats All Things Duo-Monophonic Explorations Volume 1


In music news this week, Jack White regrets “wasting time on Tidal” and allowing renowned Australian musician Davey Lane to “one up” his hologram projecting/inside out playing/track hiding ‘Lazaretto’ record.  He is of course referring to Davey Lane’s Duo-Monophonic Explorations Volume 1*.
*May not have actually happened

Davey Lane – you may remember him from such bands as ‘You Am I’ and ‘The Pictures’.  He has just released a double A-side single, which contains a track with ‘You Am I’ band mate Tim Rogers called ‘The First Flung One To Crash’ as well as a collaboration with Stu Mackenzie of ‘King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’ named ‘I’ll Set You Free’.  There’s a twist though – on both tracks, there are actually 3 versions of the song, in one.  If you fade to the left, you hear Lane’s solo version of the song.  If you fade to the right, you hear the featuring guest’s own, completely different version of the song and if you listen in stereo, you hear both versions together as a collaboration.  Yep, pretty crafty stuff.

We spoke to him about this ‘conceptual world first’ as well as his debut album, stage fright and terrible television.  You can also catch him on Rockwiz, which airs Saturday night at 8:30pm on SBS ONE or on MAX at either 4am or 8pm Monday 29th June.  Here’s how it went down:

Kate: Hey thanks for chatting with me today!

Obviously I want to chat with you about Davey Lane’s Duo-Monophonic Explorations Volume One.

Davey Lane: That’s a mouthful!

K: Wow, what a great idea with the 3 versions of the same song!! That’s some Jack White level creativity there!! How did you come up with this insanely innovative idea?

DL: Well it’s an idea I’ve been sitting on for a few years.  My old band which is called ‘The Pictures’ went out on tour with a friend’s band called ‘The Vanders’ and we ended up doing, I think it was a split cd/single where we covered each other’s songs but as we were finishing up recording for that I kind of thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we both covered each other’s songs but at the same time?”  Like both bands, The Pictures would be on the left channel and The Vanders would be on the right channel.  And that was nearly ten years ago now!  It’s one of those things I’ve been kind of holding on to, but then I thought either it’s too ridiculous or someone must have done it.  After a little while the idea kept coming back to me and I thought, “Well, I may as well do a little bit of research” so I just did a little bit of research and low and behold there have been records in the past where you pan it left and right to hear different things but on doing a little bit of research I found that no one had actually done something like this before.  Like you were saying, it’s in that Jack White kind of mould that someone like him would’ve already done it.  I thought well I’d better jump to it before someone else…

K:  Before Jacky Boy gets in there? (Laughs)

DL: (Laughs) Absolutely.

K: Was it hard to get the timing right on both recordings so they’d gel?

DL: Um, I think because we recorded them concurrently, like we recorded them both pretty much at the same time, I mean in terms of the recording process that was probably the hardest thing.  I mean every bar and every beat just have to match up perfectly.  I didn’t really like the idea of doing it to a ‘click track’; I thought that might have been cheating.  It took a little longer and we had to re-do a few little bits and pieces as we went along and that was probably the most time consuming part of it, just making sure that everything was perfectly synced up.

K: Well you did really well with that, it’s seamless.

DL: SWEET!! Cool!

K:  Nice yeah, I know you were waiting for my approval.

DL: I feel sufficiently gratified now. (Laughs)

K: Awesome.  You can retire happy now.  (Laughs)

I know it’s volume 1, and you said you’ve left it open ended as to whether there will be further editions, do you have anyone in mind to collaborate with next?  Maybe some of the legends from ‘The Wrights’?

DL: Yeah, I do have a couple of people in mind, people that I’ve sort of made tentative plans with but kind of don’t want to spill the beans at this point because it’s only been talked about and there’s every chance they may turn around and go eeeeehhhh I don’t know about this.  I think there are a couple of folks over seas that I’ve been talking to about maybe doing a second role in it but I sort of want to leave it open ended.  If people dig the idea and people are open to hearing more, you know, it was so much fun to do, then I’d like to keep the ball rolling.  I guess in this day and age it gets harder and harder, I mean obviously there’s so much music going around that sitting at home and writing a good song isn’t kind of good enough anymore.  I mean I guess it is in a little way a bit of a gimmick but yeah I mean it’s something I found out releasing a record last year, you can labour over songs all you want but if you haven’t put an interesting spin on it then no one is going to give a shit (laughs).  Absolutely I’d love to do a series of them and compile them as an album at some point but it’s still real early days yet.

K: Fair call.  About your debut album ‘Atonally Young’, how is it being received live?

DL: Well, this goes back to what I was just sort of saying, we did a couple of shows and really unless it’s getting played on radio and unless there’s sort of a little bit of momentum behind it, for independent artists like myself it gets pretty tough you know but I’m not complaining; I got to put out a record in the first place and I’m really proud of it and it’s something that I hope I’ll be able to listen to in twenty or thirty years and go, “Yeah I can hold my head high”, you know.  I mean it sort of came and went really but it was good fun and with this duo-monophonic thing aside I’m already about eight or nine songs into a new one.

K: Oh wow!

DL: Yeah I guess after this single has sort of done its thing we’re looking at getting some of those songs mixed and getting a single out in the next couple of months anyway.

K: Oh that’s quick!

DL: Yeah, yeah I don’t know, it’s almost like album cycles, the way it sort of is nowadays is at least every eighteen months to two years unless you’re a band like King Gizzard (And The Lizard Wizard) who, I guess with that band, that they are doing really well and there is enough momentum behind them that they can just be prolific if they like and just keep banging out records and people will be really digging them.  Which is a pretty cool, envious position to be in, I certainly envy them (laughs).

K: Yeah, they’re smashing it at the moment!

DL: Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

K: You’ve made limited edition vinyl copies of your duo-monophonic explorations available for purchase, why do you think vinyl has made such a comeback?

DL: I’m useless at hypothesizing on such things but I think more or less in this day and age where everything’s digital and I think more than anything it’s born as a craving for something a bit more tangible.  You know because with vinyl you’ve got a plastic platter with a label on it and a cover.  It’s just a bit more romantic a notion than putting an mp3 file on to your portable music player I guess.

K: Definitely I agree!  I thought I was the only one still buying CDs! 

DL: Well that’s the thing!  Putting out a record last year and making a bunch of CDs, it’s certainly a lot less than it used to be but people still get in there!

K: Do you still get nervous at all before performing?

DL:  Oh yeah, absolutely.  Especially in the last sort of twelve to eighteen months, I’ve developed a healthy anxiety problem.  I guess it depends what kind of gig it is.  For example I played a show last night and it was just a solo acoustic, really small show in a pub to a handful of people and I guess those shows are the most nerve-racking because I’ve got nothing to hide behind.  If I screw up I don’t have anyone behind me or next to me to pick up my slack.  I get a little nervous on a sliding scale right up to a panic attack (laughs) before a gig.

K: Oh wow!

DL: But I try and keep those at bay.

K: That sucks!

DL: It’s all good.  It’s all part and parcel.

K: It probably helps you with adrenalin and that I guess.

DL: Well that’s it.  Like I say, these things happen and once you get up there you feel fine again.  It’s that old thing; it’s like, music really is, for me, it certainly is a bit of a ‘cure all’.  It’s the power of music I guess!  A bit of a real life cliché!

K: It’s a good one though!

I’m just wondering is there anyone outside of the music industry that you seek out their opinion and you trust the most when it comes to putting forward new music or ideas?

DL: It’s hard because all of my friends and colleagues are all either massive music fans or musicians.  So I guess the only real people outside of the music world would be family.  More often than not if I’m writing a pop song then someone like my mum or dad would be a pretty good gauge for that.  Like, (says in higher voice to indicate he is loosely quoting his mum) “Oh that’s got a good beat” or “I like that chorus”.  My mum and dad are both fans of music anyway but I guess family would be my sort of go to for an outside opinion.

K: Now just for a final, sort of random question, you’re quite a respected chap in the Aussie music scene, I’m wondering if you have any embarrassing fave tv shows or movies you would or wouldn’t care to admit to? Do u keep up with the Kardashians?

DL: No, oh I guess… hmmm let me think.  I’m a big comedy nut I mean all the go to sort of great comedy shows.  I’m a massive Faulty Towers fan.  Something I would not be so proud to admit… I did watch the first season of the Real Housewives of Melbourne.  I’m either ashamed or not ashamed to admit that I quite enjoyed it.  So that’s probably it.  Oh Sunrise is another, the morning show Sunrise even though that Kochie guy drives me up the fucken wall but I really like it because I’ve got a pug and whenever the Sunrise Cash Cow comes on he goes fucken bananas.  So I just have sunrise on in the background just willing the Cash Cow to come on the screen so my dog can go nuts at the TV.

K: Well technically that’s his favourite show (laughs).

DL: (Laughs) Yep, absolutely.

K: Oh bless.  Well that’s all of my questions!  Thanks for that, you’re a champ.  Awesome!

DL: Awesome! Nah thanks for your time

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