Australian Singer-Songwriter, MARCUS BLACKE Discusses His Debut Album, Working With Malcom Burn, His Biggest Inspirations and More!
Posted On 02 Jun 2016
Based in Australia, Blacke possesses the wit of Bob Dylan, the dejection of Tom Waits and the emotions of Elliot Smith. He personifies the often-unrealized emotions buried deep inside all of us. Legendary producer Malcolm Burn has masterfully balanced Blacke’s raw talent as well as his unique guitar style, often filled with distinct tweaking and tunings, to create an overwhelmingly sophisticated and atmospheric album.
Learn more about Marcus in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How’s 2016 been treating you so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?
No worries, thanks for having me. 2016 has been a nice one thus far, I’m almost 30 so it has been a little weird as well, I’m pretty sure if you haven’t peaked by 30 you’re supposed to change industries! (Laughter)
2015’s highlight was working with Malcolm Burn for sure. He’s a guru. I guess hanging out in NY was really great as well, upstate was really nice. I went to Folk Alliance which was inspiring, hanging out with The Grahams is always fun.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I’m not sure, I think when you’re really young, aspirations change every ten minutes. Music was always something I enjoyed, some of the best memories I have were jamming with my friends in high school on the weekends.
Next month, you will release your debut self-titled album. What does that feel like?
Really cool. I’m really humbled that I got the opportunity to work with Malcolm and received a leg up from Three Sirens to be able to release something like this. It’s nice to have a few people in my corner for a change.
It was a learning curve. I enjoyed it a great deal he’s really a down to earth nice guy. I tried to learn as much as I could from him about creating art. The biggest thing I took away was learning to let go which was probably the best thing I have ever experienced, just saying wham there’s the song now it’s all yours. It was really great working with someone who simplified everything by being so good at their job.
How long did you work on it? What was the recording process like for you?
I think we spent about 3 to 4 weeks. I love recording it was nice to be able to track everything live. Hanging out in Malcolm’s studio was pretty much heaven on earth.
Where does the inspiration for your music come from exactly? Is that constantly changing?
I really don’t know specifically where from. Whenever I write something I like and wish to pursue it’s from perhaps what one might call a meditative state. I know it ceases to exist when I spend too much time on the internet and in front of screens. Or if I am too busy to get in the zone to do it.
Who are some of your favorite artists? What musicians continue to inspire you year after year? Who would you love to work with in the future?
I definitely have a staple listening diet of Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, Cat Power, The Dirty Three, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Radiohead and Townes Van Zandt. I should add Kurt Vile to that list as well and the Drones are pretty much the best thing to ever happen in the Australian music industry. I would love to work with Malcolm again if he would have me.
Do you plan on touring a lot this year to promote your album?
I’ll do my best. It’s pretty hard on a tight budget. We should be on the road by mid June playing mainly smaller listening rooms as a two piece. Starting at Rockwood Music Hall on the twentieth of June.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I just hope it helps them, I just wanted it to be as real as it could be. What more can you hope for?