You started playing and writing music from a young age (12 - 14), why so young? What motivated you to do it?

Music wasn't something I was always into, some friends started a band in High school and I wasn't keen but my Mum encouraged me, saying that if I didn't do it I might regret it and I could always quit, and that was it from then on.

What would be the motivations for starting a band at Primary school?

The reasons would be different at that age, but the core was the same, it made us feel good and we enjoyed it. For the first time in my life I felt like I was good at something without trying too hard

What are your songs about? Themes, ideals, concepts?

Whatever is happening in my life, general life experiences expressed in a more interesting way. Sometimes books I'm reading, picking up on imagery and metaphors within them and interpreting them in my own way.

What are you reading at the moment?

I'm trying to plough through a Fatal shore by Robert Hughes, which is a History of Australia, it's really long and I just keep dipping into it, jumping in and out. I find History really inspiring, I get a lot of my imagery and metaphor from History books, more than any other places. I was reading a lot of books about 18th Century whaling earlier in the year and that's informed a few of the new songs.

A grant helped your career up a few notches, are grants essential things for some Australian musicians to get ahead? Should the process be easier?

I recorded a few demos as a solo artist and applied for a $2000 grant, I was successful and it allowed me to put out an EP, it really helped get my music out and push my career along, actually having a physical product. It was a very easy process, just write down your ideas and a business plan and send it in. I've been very lucky with grants (I got another one to record my first album) and they're very important for musicians here, usually most are working in several jobs to buy instruments. I can't complain about the existing systems as I've benefit greatly from it, but there could always be more, some have had bad experiences, but I never have.

What happened to the rest of 'An Empty Flight '/ 'Night Hour'

'Night hour' was my early solo name, 'An empty flight' was the band, we're all good friends the rest of the band just didn't pursue music and went into studying or pursuing jobs.

Do you have a regular backing band now? Do you prefer solo or band shows?

I do both, but generally I take the backing band now for festivals and large gigs.

You're taking part in Big Day out; who are you looking forward to seeing?

Arcade Fire is one of my favourite bands and I get to see them six times in a row.

Published in Arcady