MICHAEL DAY Plane speaking

Perth hills born singer-songwriter, Michael Day, is an acoustic folk artist with a raw, authentic sound. Using his background in classical guitar, Day creates folk pieces rich in character and full of introspection. He is set to release his latest single Guildford digitally on May 30. ANTHONY JACKSON spoke to Day to find out the unusual inspiration behind the breezy new track.

Congratulations on the release of your new single Guildford. Can you tell us what the song is about and what influenced the lyrics?

So, I had some friends who lived in Guildford, a really beautiful suburb in Perth, and I remember being in their backyard. The flight path, for the airport, was literally right over their house and was the lowest point in Perth.

It scared the crap outta me when I heard a plane fly over for the first time. I was like, to my mate, “how do you live here?” And he said they were totally used to it and don’t notice it. The planes shake the whole house but they were so used to it, they never noticed it.

So as I was writing the lyrics, I tried to use this image of living in Guildford and not noticing this very obvious plane landing, as a metaphor to reflect on our own lives and how we often overlook or miss the big things in our life because we’re busy or focused on work or whatever it is.

How did you record the track? Can you tell me about the process from first writing the track to its recording?

I recorded the track with a good mate, Sam Wylde, at Fable Productions in Osborne Park in Perth. He’s a great dude and really easy to work with!

Yeah, so I watched a clip about Herbie Hancock writing Watermelon Man and he discussed how he tried to capture the sounds he heard and use the music to represent those sounds. I really liked this idea of trying to capture life around you and recreate them with specific musical parts. So, with Guildford, I tried to capture the sound of a plane descending and reflect that in the music. So, you’ll hear descending lines in different instruments; the electric or the acoustic guitar for example.

It took me a while from first writing the song to it being finished. Once I had written it, I tried it with my bandmates and played around with different aspects of the track at home. I tried to add in different voices and spent two days in Sam’s studio getting it right.

My mate Ben is my guitarist, he’s really talented and we workshopped a few little riffs to get it just right. It’s also in a weird time signature so it was great playing that through with my drummer Dave Rajendram as he’s a jazz guy. It really pulled the piece together.

What music and other artists do you feel have influenced your work? I’m hearing a uniquely Australian sound happening, is this something that has come organically?

So, I have a wide listening range. Originally, I started as a classical student and so enjoy the odd symphony. Then, I like really enjoy hip hop music and the rhythmic creativity and storytelling through that medium. I enjoyed it so much at one point I was considering some rap (laughs) but have ended up really enjoying indie folk music. Hilltop Hoods have had a big influence on me and they’re pretty Aussie so I guess that’s a thing.

A band called the Oh Hellos have really influenced my approach to create music, as they have really intricate ways of developing music creatively.

I currently listen to a bunch of Australian artists specifically Perth artists like Riley Pearce, Joan and The Giants, Ghost Care, Jacob Wylde, Lucas Jones, Kat Wilson and Jordy Maxwell. Man there are so many excellent Perth artists that have definitely had an influence on me. I don’t think it has been intentional, I’ve just discovered Aussie artists have the goods!

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