Can you introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Andras. I grew up in the southeastern bayside suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
Where did your music inspiration come from when you were young?
Initially I was probably looking overseas to American and European stuff because that's what I associated with electronic music. But that speaks more to a kind of enduring Australian relationship to music and culture where we tend to look outwards rather than inwards. My inspiration probably shifted a lot when I became old enough to participate in the music scene locally, taking inspiration from the people around me.
Where does your inspiration come from now?
I think all music scenes kind of flourish from, you know, relationships between friends, lovers, family. I guess the word is community, ultimately. But yeah, I think having a working relationship with your peers is probably the most important thing.
How would you describe Australian music?
I mean, it's a really excellent question. Like how you would define conflicted historical colonial musics and the kind of cultures that sprung up in bizarre cultural places like Australia. I mean, there is no original music. It's just how people kind of modify and change preexisting forms to fit their own ideas of culture and identity.
For me, the longer answer is that, you know, through researching the history of Australian music a lot of it kind of originally borrows from Irish and English musical traditions, but it definitely becomes something very distinctly new in post-war Australia with a kind of meeting point of American popular culture and influences from other Southeast Asian countries and stuff.
I mean, I would describe Australian music’s sound in relationship to the ways that it was produced and consumed. A lot of live music in the seventies and eighties took place within venues that definitely catered towards beer drinking and rock and roll in good and bad ways. But I think the kind of ways that it was consumed in a kind of fairly low key private way without access to the same kind of cultural machinery as like, you know, America and Hollywood and big industrial record label practices meant that a lot of the at least a lot of the non-mainstream stuff was made in Australia was pretty weird and often wasn't as maybe well produced and maybe was better for it.
I think there’s two parts there, its like Australian music in the historical context and almost like an intangible quality to it.
Yeh, Australian music ultimately has to be something that speaks to Australian people's idea of what listening to music and going out and listening to music feels like. I've always found stuff from here to be a little bit faster and a little bit tinnier than stuff from America and Europe, as a general overview. And maybe that was just so it could compete with all the all the noise and chaos of the front bar of the pub.
Am I right in saying, you’re quite mindful of defining an Australian sound in your music?
Yeah, I like the idea of tracing a vague outline of what the limit of something is as a way of defining what the thing is.
I mean, Australia is such a funny concept because I feel like the shape of our country, being an island country, you know, you can kind of draw around the edges of it. And so the symbol of our nation gets used heaps on, Vegemite jars and biscuit tins and, you know, people find it burnt on pieces of toast and they find rocks and pieces of food that are shaped like Australia. So I think, conceptually that's a nice way to think about this idea of an Australian sound. It’s not necessarily the middle the matters but instead, the edges.
What do mixtapes mean to you?
Mixtapes are just like a really concise little capsule of a moment in time for me.
A moment in time or an idea of a place or an idea of a person. They've always been a very small scale form of communication, even if they're for broadcast. I try to have a day or a season or a weather event or person or some kind of very concise concept in mind. And then I just grab whatever I have at hand in order to realise that.
The classic mixtape is an act of love for me. I mean, a romantic art form, right? It's like sharing your taste with another person. I suppose that's probably the most brief I could put it. But yeah, as far as like how, I assemble a mixtape, I think it's kind of just about opening the fridge and using what you have, and that might be like sometimes a weird combo, but ultimately I think you should just use the things that you have because if you start going to the supermarket and writing your shopping list and stuff, it might be like technically more consistent, but it might also lose a bit of the mood.
And that’s because I think of music as a fairly diaristic form, it’s not like a heavily edited piece of text. It’s more like an imprint of what's been happening in the last week or month or something.
Do you have a studio? How do you record when the idea strikes?
Usually it's rare that I have a musical idea and need to set up things in order to record it. I use the setting up of things in order to get musical ideas, like, they present themselves through the recording equipment itself, wherever that might be set up and whatever that equipment might be, even if it's just a little tin whistle in the car on the way to Inner Varnika or something.
Do you ever wish you had a particular instrument? Like, a certain synth?
Yeah, yeah, I do. I do that all the time, but I feel like that's a crutch, right? Like, I might wish I had a certain polysynth to make this music that's in my head. But I mean, ultimately, you can make really great music with very, very little. Especially if you’re motivated by melody like I am.
I mean, all you really need is like a little tin whistle or a flute or a monophonic thing. Perhaps in the past I leant too heavily on polyphonic synthesisers with lush pad sounds but they can quickly overwhelm the mix.
It's like using stock cubes in your cooking or something like that. Like, stock cubes can be really fun to add and they can tie something together really quickly, but they can also reduce any nuanced direct flavour.
Yeah, makes sense, I guess you could fall into habits and lose the element of surprise if you’re always working with the same instruments?
Yeah. Yeah. I think you just like want to have that first feeling where you’re like, Oh yeah, that's a good idea. Like, it's just about creating that excitement. And that to me is a bit of a Goldilocks thing, like oscillating between options.
It’s like having a sauna and jumping out in the cold, and then running back into the sauna Like, it’s in that movement between a couple of states where I find the sound I want in my music.
How were the sessions with Oscar Key Sung?
Yeah. It's so good. Like, Yeah, I haven't really done anything like that in a decade. It was amazing that the chemistry was still there, but also just to be in like a kind of semiprofessional recording studio. It was really nice and just the context of being in regional Victoria. Like, we were down in Point Lonsdale, swimming in the water every morning. It's pretty idyllic. There was this family living in the front house and kids playing and a guy living in the bungalow and people surfing. It was so nice. It was like we were on a sitcom or something, you know, like The Secret Life Of Us.
What can we expect from your All Australian Mixtape?
I've used a lot of contemporary stuff as well as like a couple of old ones, but generally kept it within the last couple of years. A balance between dancey stuff and radio kind of stuff.