This is the bio bit
Where I tell you all about me and my music. With words so exacting, insightful and glorious that you will find yourself suddenly dancing about the den, your office cubicle or the local library at the mere suggestion of the impossible aural wonder on offer.
Could this be THE BEST THING you've ever discovered? Well, it certainly sounds like it when words like that are thrown around
There. I did it again.
Ah! I see you wiping away a tear, simply beholding the power of these extravagant words and phrases to express the totality of my music; its passion, its invention, its sheer life-altering brilliance.
Judging by what's here on paper, you think, this could be the absolute vanguard of musical expression at this moment
And so you should. Just read those opening paragraphs again
Listen...just quietly. You haven't actually listened to any of this music have y...NO!
This is a great day for (i) you, and (ii) cultural discovery.
Everything you need to know is right here in my bio.
Further, plenty of things you thought you would never know are here as well (for instance, did you know that there is no whole-number square root of some prime numbers? Goodness me...I'm shaking a little. Might need a sherry)
Lastly, maybe leastly, but probably not- The End.
Um, oh dear. No. Can't stop there. We're on a roll. You're excited. I'm excited...
Perhaps I will move onto a little biographical information yes?
(Since I'm writing this myself I shouldn't use too many superlatives I suppose. That would be a bit suss. Mental note: words that are good- “good”...ummmm, maybe “great”. If called for)
Incidentally, I was just thinking- it miiiight have been better to pay someone else to do this- y'know, say nice things, draw dubious but impressive comparisons to great artists, generally concoct a lot of flim-flam for the cut-and-pasteables.
Anyway, About Me. Erm...Okay. Information!- 30, Belgium, music. And stuff
Phew! ARE YOU FEELING THIS?
A history maybe? (and I'll be [slightly] more serious for a moment here)-
A few years ago I made some music in my bedroom using mattresses and a 386. I called it an "album" (which was the style at the time), put a picture named Boardface on the front, and it went quite well. Some people even bought it on Compact Disc.
I bought a new jumper (with a bear on the front) with the proceeds and everything was quite good
Some years later I made some more music, this time using better mattresses and an Apple G4. I called this collection of songs Like Drawing Blood, because of an injury I suffered while licking an envelope. This record found more success than the one before, and then found more success even than that. Success kind of heaped on top of success, and then on top of itself, like a pyramid of genetically modified frogs. Overall, it was really all about success, this record. And lots of it (success, that is). So much success did I find, in fact, that I had to buy up some storage company's warehouses in West Oakleigh just to kind of stockpile it all.
Yep, them's were high-livin times. The success and whatnot. I bought another new jumper (this time with a wolf on it, which was the style at the time) and also a large gold tooth. I use this gold tooth to seal letters these days
And so, having found success in Australia, Oz music industry parlance dictates that I should now be poised to "conquer the world".
But that all sounds a bit tediously colonial, doesn't it. And perhaps reflective of Australia's general obsession with measuring up to the rest of the West's heightened level of self-importance
It also sounds a bit cruel. I mean, who wants to be attacked, enslaved and put to work in a rubber mill by a relatively unknown Australian alt-pop musician?
No-one, that's right. And their grandmother
Perhaps I could just "con the world". Even for a little while, that would already be pretty massive.
Lots of media savvy and conniving necessary there I'll bet.
But no, I think I'll just continue to launch random and whimsical musical nuggets into the netosphere from the comfort of my secret studio lair, inside the belly of a dormant volcano, out back of Frankston shoppo.
There's so much space junk out there these days- maybe one of my tunes will be lucky enough to find its way into the orbit of the International Space Station's Hot 30 countdown. And I will laugh maniacally while tap-tap-tapping my fingers together
P.S. I will have a new album soon. No mattresses were used in the making. It'll be really...ahhm, geez. How do I match the start of that bio...um, it'll be really good. And the sounds are, like, really...good. On it. And stuff
The slightly more serious bit (in a convenient Q&A format):
Who are you?
Gotye (pronounced as-in Jean-Paul Gaultier). Music-making mutant.
Wally (born Wouter) De Backer
What’s this new single called?
Eyes Wide Open
Tell me a story?
While on tour in the Australian outback with my rock’n’roll band The Basics a couple of years ago, I found myself in Winton, Queensland with three days to kill in between gigs. After the inevitable soft toys and teaspoons collection of the Waltzing Matilda Visitor Centre had been fully explored it seemed there was little but Weekend at Bernie's II on the motel's Austar channel to kill time until we pressed on towards Longreach.
That is, until the lady at the reception mentioned the Winton Musical Fence.
Wow- what’s that all about?
The Winton Musical Fence is a musical instrument installation designed and constructed by Graeme Leak, a percussionist and instrument builder from Melbourne.
Five massive metal strings attached to fence posts, and connected to a wooden resonant chamber. It goes “thwack” and “boinngg” in a remarkably pleasing way when struck. It’s in the middle of nowhere
What does this have to do with your new Gotye song?
Well, I'd brought a portable stereo recorder with me on tour for just such chance encounters with interesting sound sources, and so it wasn't long before I was on the outskirts of Winton in near pitch-darkness beside a vast, flat expanse with only blurry truck stop lights sleeping in the distance, marvelling at the musical instrument described above. A piece of plastic pipe conveniently left nearby was all I needed before I was bashing away on various strings, wooden beams and fixings, capturing samples that eventually became the bassline underpinning the new song Eyes Wide Open
Isn’t this the same as what you did on the last couple of Gotye records? Sampling stuff, and using those sounds to make your tracks...
The process I used on previous Gotye albums involved a lot of sampling of old records, cassettes and videos etc. There was no field recording
Is that all that’s different?
No. There is a lot more live playing on Eyes Wide Open than on any previous Gotye song.
Although I’ve been playing drums for over 15 years, I’d never recorded a live drum part for a Gotye song (it was always programming drum machines or editing samples into new drum parts).
Also, I set up a new home studio on the top floor of a big barn my dad built on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Much of Eyes Wide Open was recorded there after the initial fence samples from Winton started the song off
Did you do everything yourself?
No ma’am. I wrote the song, sang all the vocals, played drums, percussion, keyboards and produced the track.
But I also had invaluable contributions from Michael Hubbard (pedal steel guitar), Gareth Skinner (whale-like harmonic sound effects on cello), Lucas Taranto (bass guitar) and importantly, Francois Tetaz (additional production work and mixing)
I read somewhere (probably your bio) that there’s also an ambitious film clip for Eyes Wide Open?
That’s right. It’s directed and animated by Brendan Cook at PictureDrift Studios (who created the amazing visuals for the song Hearts A Mess, from my previous record) and it has time travel in it.
It also features major contributions from Darcy Prendergast at DeePee Studios who designed, constructed and painstakingly stop-time-animated some haunting clay characters that traverse the landscapes of the film clip in longboats.
This all sounds pretty good!
I hope so. I worked really hard to make it sound good (the bio, that is)