How does the experience of making music under the RINSE moniker compare to working on other projects you’ve been involved in in the past?
It’s not massively different to other projects I’ve been involved with as I’ve always spent most of my time writing music on my own. I guess the main difference is completely forming songs start to finish without any or much input from others. It can be very tedious and take a lot longer making every creative decision yourself but I find the results are a lot more rewarding and there is a more clear vision.
Can you tell us a bit about the ideas you wanted to explore in the song? And also why it felt right as your first solo release?
The lyrics are quite literal for me in a lot of ways and deal with a lot of inner turmoil and struggle in a past phase of my life. It was strange to hone in on that time and unpack a lot of things I hadn’t really dealt with yet writing it. Sonically I wanted something a bit lighter and upbeat to balance it all out.
I actually didn’t plan to release this song as the first single at all until after it was recorded and mixed. I had a few other songs previously ready that I thought I would lead with but I was so happy with how ‘Tell Me…’ sounded that I switched my plan around. Most of the other songs I’m working on have a lot more going on in terms of production and layering, so I also thought starting with something more stripped back and simple in that way would make more sense.
You worked with Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Japanese Breakfast, Wild Nothing, Sky Ferreira) and Heba Kadry (Bjork, Slowdive, Beach House, Deerhunter) on ‘Tell Me Tell Me Tell Me’. Can you tell us a bit about how that came about and what the experience working with them was like?
I’d been a really big fan of Jorge’s work for a while and really wanted to try working with someone outside of Australia and the people I knew here. He was aware of Hatchie so I just reached out and he was thankfully keen to do it! He did an amazing job and is so passionate about what he does. I went to LA earlier this year with Hatchie to do some co-writing and we got to write a few songs all together and hang out lots which was so much fun. Heba is another name attached to so many records I love so it was a no brainer to reach out and have her master the song also.
The first project under ‘RINSE’ was ‘hamster calling’. How did this happen? Were you surprised by its success?
I’m a freelance designer in my spare time so I thought I might as well have a crack at creating a filter and thought the hamster FaceTime call would be a simple funny idea to try. I put it on the RINSE page because you need an account that’s connected to facebook to upload a filter, with the intention of removing it once I had some music to release, but it blew up like crazy really quickly so I just left it up! I think it’s sitting at 350 million uses now which is insane. Joe Jonas using it has been a real highlight haha.
What musicians and other artists have influenced your approach to music? Same question for aesthetic, because you’re super visual too.
A lot of my favourite bands have a really cohesive package of music, artwork and videos, so I guess I’m naturally very influenced by that. Primal Scream, The Cure, Spiritualized & The Jesus & Mary Chain are groups that I especially admire in that way, where I love everything that surrounds the music nearly as much as the music. I was doing graphic and video design before I started playing music so that’s really come in handy to allow myself to be involved in the visual side of things also.
How has growing up, living and working in Brisbane / Australia influenced your approach to music and/or your career?
Brisbane has been a very inspiring and welcoming place to get started in music, and I’ve learnt so much from so many people here. I think there’s a real DIY effort here especially when it comes to music, and that’s definitely inspired a lot of how I work, whether it’s recording in makeshift studios yourself or running around making music videos with borrowed cameras and a $20 budget. Some of my favourite memories are visiting friends around the corner to listen to new demos everyone’s been working on each week which was also super motivating.
images by Sophie Hur @sophiehur