Interview: Dan Tuffy

Songs From Dan play at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services on Friday at 7.30pm

Dan Tuffy, Lucie Thorne, Matt Walker & Michael Turner | Club Mullum: Mullumbimby Ex-Services | Friday 7.30pm | $20-25

Some of you as old as I might remember from the psychedelic folk group Wild Pumpkins at Midnight. Tuffy has always been a pioneer of unique music, and this Australian singer/songwriter and music maker, who now lives in the Netherlands, continues his creative legacy with his debut solo release last year Songs From Dan. He is currently presenting select shows around the country with two of his favourite collaborators, Lucie Thorne and Matt Walker.

‘At the Mullum show we will have just three people onstage with me and they are all excellent musicians. I just know with that kind of lineup we’d create a vibe anywhere. If I get the vibe people are engaged at an empathic level, it will always influence how we play…’ says Dan.

Songs from Dan happened when Tuffy invited Lucie and Matt to his studio to work on some songs that he wasn’t quite sure about.

‘I had another band and the songs I had were very country and weren’t really working with the group I was playing with in Holland. I knew they were cool songs, so I played them to Matt and Lucie and they loved them. So we went to my studio and played them. That session was the guts of the album. I didn’t finish that though until I had the opportunity to get into the studio with Matt and Lucie again.’

With placing Songs From Dan as one of the best releases of the year and the very critical Euro mag OOR calling it a masterpiece, it’s clear that when these three are together magic happens.

‘I love the process of making music,’ says Dan.

It’s important to just give space to the process without clouding it with the ambition; there is a time for that later when it is finished. You have to go into action to get where the music needs you to go. I am really into thinking beyond the song. I like the sound and I like texture. When I am in the process of making music I get all these ideas. I don’t act on all of them. I try not to let that get in the way of the performance. The performance is everything. You can get ahead of yourself if you think too much. One of the things I have learnt about the creative process is that you have to let it come from the place before words. It’s hard to lose grip of that by over thinking or over conceptualising.’

Dan is looking forward to coming to Australia to play with Matt and Lucie.

‘I just love playing with them both,’ says Tuffy. It’s very natural. We do all of my stuff, and they really support my material; we work together to create a sound, but we don’t rehearse.’

The fourth player on the night is past band member and songwriter for Wild Pumpkins at Midnight and local resident Michael Turner (Durga Babies). Michael hasn’t performed with Lucie, Matt and Dan before, and Dan is looking forward to the musical collaboration. Support by Jimmy Dowling.

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