It all started after the earthquake in Christchurch, I’d always had an affinity for music as a kid, but now something really started to crystallize in my consciousness, so in the gray despairing numbness that followed – I reached for my big brother’s old guitar…..
Listen to the album while reading the text.
As anyone who lived through that event will tell you, you are never quite the same again. To this day, I still remember the car alarms going off all night, as we slept outside our “munted” house. One of the most vivid memories was that of silent processions of people all walking in the same westward direction down the main road outside our yard; it was reminiscent of something from the Great Depression… I didn’t know where they were all going; they didn’t speak…….
Fast forward all the growing pains, awkwardness & getting the hang of guitar playing, I again found myself drifting musically & lacking direction, until I stumbled upon a band called The Clean. They were legends in the New Zealand post-punk scene of the early eighties. This led me to try my hand at songwriting and also opened up to me other influences, other bands from the time such as This Kind Of Punishment, and their influences, such as The Velvet Underground & David Bowie. I also found great inspiration in the dystopian sci-fi of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep & other stories by Phillip.K.Dick, also Franz Kafka’s The Trial.
After much experimentation with four-track cassette recorders and other museum pieces, I finally went digital and started getting really serious. Often I find that what I hear in my mind & what I end up recording are two different things altogether, but I guess that’s a similar experience for all musicians.
Having no other musicians to collaborate with meant I had to learn to play everything, including drums, which has been a real trial and error process, as has the production aspect, (anyone who has attempted to record drums in a bedroom knows what I’m talking about). In terms of sound, I’ve never tried to sound “old school,” and I detest the idea of marketing myself as such…..
However, that is how most would describe me, regarding songwriting, instrumentation, and production. Most of the gear I use is quite old, but even if I had access to the most modern studios and instruments, I can’t see the overall tone of my songwriting changing much. Indeed, my songs are not crafted to be catchy, parasitic, ear-worm inducing “products”. I do not deal in “melodic math” or melodic mass murder, as I call it.
The “Real” Sound
I don’t like auto-tune. Instead, I do like the sound of real instruments being played by people, and words that relate to the human experience in ways that are original, or at least strange and obscure, as life often is. I hope you can hear this in my songs. Thank you for reading this, and thanks very much to mySoundposter for the opportunity to write this.
And good luck to all of my fellow musicians, wherever they may be.
Ersatz Savant is the one-man project of Rob, an extremely difficult person to work with,even as I am writing this Rob is driving me nuts!! as he doesn’t really want or like the idea of having a biography.But suffice it to say He has one now..