Recently the wonderfully talented Will Kendrew – aka Seldom Party – took some time out to answer some questions for us. He spoke about music, blogs and ummm, Ipswich Town FC.
Read what he had to say below and then afterwards, why not visit his blog where you can download some beautiful – not to mention free – music?
* Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be ‘Seldom Party’
In 2007 London got me down. When the post rock of They Don’t Sleep petered out I decided nothing really tied me to England (except family, friends and Ipswich Town FC – all of which I miss very much) and left for Australia, via Hong Kong. In HK I grew a beard and played a couple of gigs to empty rooms as Fourteen Birds, dabbling with poppier tunes.
I saw a desert-based job at Pintubi Anmatjere and Warlpiri Media. It read like the break from populated places I needed. It was, but being in the desert came with its own problems. Namely no alcohol – the fuel of my song writing for so long, and, no people to play to – a shame. That’s what brought on the blog and webcast garden gigs, so I could still ‘perform’ to people, and…
* How did you come up with the name ‘Seldom Party’?
…the name, as I seldom partied anymore.
* Who would you say have been your biggest influences in terms of your music?
As an 8-9 year old – Michael Jackson
at 10-11 years – U2
12-13 – britpop, mainly blur
14-15 – Americana to woo girls to, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Third Eye Blind, that sort of nonsense.
16-17 – Can’t remember, Radiohead, the Lemonheads probably and most of what Jools Holland introduced me to, except for world music.
18-19 – Godspeed, A Silver Mt Zion, Sigur Ros,
20-24 – more post rock and music at festivals, seeing Final Fantasy at Latitude. the Hip Hop of Aesop Rock and Atmosphere. Richard Youngs.
24-27 – The pop n RnB of Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye et al. and world music.
* How would you describe your music?
I like linking a few of the (kinder) words other people have used to describe my music. Melodramatic+Haunting Folk, for example. Seldom Party feels more natural than my previous outings, which encourages me.
* Your lyrics seem like a lot of thought has been put into them. When writing songs, do you view lyrics as equally important to melody?
I used to think if Hopelandic was good enough for Sigur Ros then Hopeglish would be good enough for me. It wasn’t.
Without melody I’d just be a shit poet though, so it still trumps lyrics in my book.
* Your blog is brilliant. The fact that you post ideas as well as full songs means that the eventual listener could potentially help shape a song. Is this a deliberate attempt at a different approach to songwriting or just something that sort of happened?
All my music friends in Central Australia are predominantly into Desert Reggae, and though I enjoy helping record desert music and managing the Bush Bands Bash, the ‘join in’ aspect of the blog is more a plea for like-minded indie depressives to collaborate with. The plea is beginning to work and I’ve received a few images, remixes and a lyrical idea.
I have also started uploading remix packages to www.pool.org.au. It’s a real pleasure hearing detached versions of your own songs, being able to listen to your song as a song, rather than searching for the mistakes in the background, the unintentional buzz of the fridge or a missed pluck of a string. Pool has also got me really interested in Creative Commons and sharing, collaborating in creativity etc etc.
If anyone reading this would like to remix me, click on that pool link above.
* People can download your tracks for free from your blog. Do you eventually plan on charging for your music?
Eventually. I hope people who like me a lot might want to buy my forthcoming catalogue, t shirts and commemorative signed umbrellas, and people who like me a little will be content with the free tracks and a pin badge.
(I’m aware I am not everybody but) I still buy the music I really want. I steal the music I’m unsure of, or the music of those that appear wealthy. A selfish modern Robin Hood.
* Is it tricky for you to perform live, given that there is only one of you, yet your songs often use many different instruments?
I’ve started writing 2 versions of songs. One that’s possible live and one that would only be possible were I not such a recluse. The live versions are stripped to guitar and vocals but I am enjoying my loop pedal and other effects. Probably a little too much. It is tricky to make all the melodies work and it doesn’t always come off as planned, but it’s enjoyable.
* Which do you prefer, playing with bands or playing solo?
Nothing solo has beaten the thrill of playing excessively loud to a packed room of dancers and drunks, so with a band. I’ll have to try to put one together again.
* Do you have any shows or record releases on the horizon?
My debut ep is on the cusp of completion, and will be released in February 2011. 3-4 polished versions of songs (who’s unpolished versions are currently at seldomparty.com) will be matched up with 3-4 songs that aren’t online, packaged in artwork by listeners (if you want to create an image please do so and email my way) and released in time for a couple of performances at the Adelaide Fringe festival, at the Wheatsheaf on Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th Feb, as part of the Long Way To The Top End tour.
* What do you hope to achieve in the future?
* What would you say is wrong/right with music today?
Wrong – That it is so hard to make money from music that you need another job, and how depressing it is not to be able to give your all to your day job when the 10% of the 110% everyone else puts into their careers goes towards your art, but you can’t stop cos if you do you get more depressed, so you quit your job, and then you have no money, you remember what it’s like to be poor and get depressed again, so you tentatively look for new jobs, play on the playstation, drink and watch cricket all day… Or maybe that’s what’s wrong with me today.
Right – that the people who want to discover new music have so many ways to discover it… and some of them discover me. Long may it continue.
And there you have it. Now if you haven’t already followed the links above you really should pop over to the Seldom Party site and grab yourself some free tunes.