Guy Kachel is a self-confessed late bloomer. This Friday sees him launch his stunning new album, Innocent Screams, his first in fact, at Crabbes Creek Hall.
Can you tell me about the new album ?
This album has been in the making for about three years and is mostly a culmination of songs based on my early life growing up in Tamworth.
It wasn’t until I moved to the north coast that I was able to reflect on those times and start writing about it. There’s nothing like removing yourself from something or somewhere to give you the big picture.
What was it that you set out to achieve?
I think the main thing was to make something that I could be proud of and hope that it was well received.
What song or songs are you proudest of?
Witching Hour I think is my favourite song; it’s a kind of a country rock ballad that just keeps building. Also Green Machine is great; it was so much fun working with Lisa Hunt on this one.
What songs did you struggle with?
It’s funny, because you think you have everything worked out in the production, but sometimes you can overproduce things. Face The Music was an example of this.
It was always just a vocal acoustic guitar kind of song. In the end I think we did it justice and maintained the integrity of the song, even though we put a lot into it.
How much does an artist have to let go of their need to control outcomes and just let it happen?
I’ll let you know on the next project because I don’t think I let go of this one at all. Co-producing with Geoff Wright meant that I was always involved in the decision-making process.
I think sometimes it’s a slower process when the artist becomes involved in the production because it’s harder to step away and look at the song as a song and not listen to it as intro, verse, chorus, bridge and solo etc.
How has the music of Guy Kachel evolved and developed since you first became an artist?
Being a musician or an artist comes with the same tag as everything else. The more you put in the more you get back.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the development when you are caught up in the process but I think I’ve come a long way since the early songs I wrote.
In the early days I tried to write songs like the people I really admired. That was so frustrating because I always thought they weren’t good enough compared to those artists’.
These days I write about life and the truth and it just seems to flow.
How do you work up a song?
I would say 70 per cent of the time I start with the lyrics. They have always come pretty easily to me for as long as I can remember.
These days with my laptop and Logic Pro I just keep recording everything and then piece together the best lyric, melody and arrangement I can come up with.
Sometimes the whole thing just comes in one hit. I really like the craft of songwriting and getting things to sound as far away from cliche as I can.
Do you have an intuition for what is going to work, or do you run it by someone?
Being able to record stuff and listen back is a great guide. Sometimes you can work on a song for a whole day and record it and then come back in the morning and it sounds like shit.
Now and then I will play the incomplete song to anybody that happens to be around. You can usually get a feel, depending on their reaction.
Is it easy to take feedback?
I really like constructive criticism from people I admire and trust. However, feedback from anybody is always welcome. At least they listened to your music and felt strongly enough to comment.
The thing I try to remember is I’m not trying to win a popularity contest; I want to write music with integrity and everybody has a different point of view. That’s what makes music so great.
Describe your journey as a musician…
I was actually a pretty late starter in the music business even though I grew up in the Country Music Capital of Australia. However, once I got the bug I couldn’t stop.
Guitar playing was more on my agenda in the early days and I spent most of them trying to be Stevie Ray Vaughan. It wasn’t until some years down the track I became more interested in songwriting.
I was really influenced by some good friends who showed me how powerful a song-written story could be. These days I venture back to the electric guitar but now it’s about the fun and tone more than anything.
What should we expect for your launch?
I have put together a great band for the night. Actually most of the people that are on the album will be there.
These include Geoff Wright, Thierry Fossemalle, Pete Wilkins, Dave Sandford, James Cox, Allan Park and some of the finest singers around in Lydia Storey, Rebecca Ireland and Kathryn Jones doing harmonies for me.
We will be playing all the tracks on the album. As well, Matt Hanley and I will be doing some new songs I have recently written. In support I have The Soulshakers and an old friend of mine, Ted Tilbrook.
The launch is at the Crabbes Creek Hall on Friday. Doors open 7.30.