Melbourne-born Jordie Lane is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter who is widely regarded as a leading light of the Australia’s folk and alt-country music scenes. A dynamic live performer, Jordie’s stage show centres around his story-telling and crowd interaction. His performances shift from a comedy show, to folk concert, to rock n roll gig in the space of two songs. He has been a prolific recording artist over the last decade and has performed throughout Australia, US, Europe and Asia. Jordie Lane returns to Australia with ‘Glassellland’, a bold and adventurous new record that sees Lane extend his musical boundaries far beyond his acclaimed folk & alt country sound. His single America, won’t you make my dreams come true has been shortlisted for the Vanda & Young songwriting competition.
Jordie Lane talks to The Street ahead of his Canberra show as part of his national tour celebrating the release of Glassellland.
DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MUSIC.
Ever evolving. Like what I imagine a good marriage to be. Always growing and learning together, but at times, drive each other up the wall.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FORM JORDIE LANE & THE SLEEPERS?
The songs that were written for this new album demanded a band sound. There was just no way around it. The tricky part was that there was only myself and Co-writer/producer Clare Reynolds in the studio. So the two of us layered ourselves up to become a five piece band of ourselves, sometimes ten. We have five people in the touring band but for this Canberra show, we’ll strip it back to its original true for of just the two of us.
YOU WERE SELECTED TO STAR IN THE STAGE SHOW OF THE BEATLES: RUBBER SOUL REVOLVER TOUR. WHAT IMPACT HAS THAT HAD ON MUSIC AND CAREER?
Influence from The Beatles on my music and my career came long before doing the tribute shows last year. In fact it was listening to their music from when I was 10 years old that is what got me started in my interest in songwriting and the idea of doing it as a career. Had my first band when I twas 11 and we played 50% Beatles covers in our sets and even tried to dress like them. That band broke up when I was 15, and that was when I started getting into folk music. But in a full circle way, and fortuitously I started getting inspired to write in a style influenced especially by Paul McCartney early last year and then I got the call to do the Beatles tour so it was perfect timing to indulge even more in it.
FROM AUSTRALIA TO THE USA TO EUROPE AND BACK AGAIN, WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE MUSIC SCENE THAT CONTINUES TO MOTIVATE YOU.
An ever restless spirit keeps me always searching for something new. Be it new lands and people and culture to see and learn about, or looking for new stories and ways to tell them! If I don’t do it I feel completely unfulfilled and miserable
YOU PRODUCED GLASSELLAND WITH LA BASED SONGWRITER/PRODUCER CLARE “LOLLIES” REYNOLD. TOGETHER YOU TOOK ON THE HUGE TASK OF BUILDING TEAR DOWN TRANSITORY STUDIOS IN LA, ENGINEERING AND PLAYING EVERY INSTRUMENT ON THE ALBUM FOR YOUR LABEL BLOOD THINNER RECORDS. TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES IN MAKING THIS HAPPEN?
Firstly there was the fear, that we wouldn’t be able to make it sound as good as records made in professional studios, with pro engineers, producers and musicians to play their dedicated instruments. But I forgot that I had actually undertaken something like this in my last full length, “Blood Thinner”, recording it myself and playing all instruments. But that was a deliberately Lo-fi raw acoustic sounding album. Whereas this we aimed to make it sound like a slick million dollar record with full rich textures of a whole band, strings and intricate production. And that we did, and we are so proud of it. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve ever done.
YOUR SHOW IN CANBERRA IS A DUO ACT WITH CLARE REYNOLDS WHO YOU HAVE BEEN SHARING HARMONIES AND INSTRUMENTATION ACROSS THE GLOBE INCLUDING APPEARANCES AT FOLK FESTIVALS IN THE USA, CANADA AND SCOTLAND. WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO COLLABORATION WITH OTHER ARTISTS?
Try to be as open minded and free as possible. Not tied down or too strict in your own ways. A collaboration only truly works when everyone involved fully let’s go of control and let’s their shared talents entwine. I admit that when a project is under my name I still feel a certain sense of responsibility and so I do suffer from being a bit of a control freak. What’s great with Clare is that she knows how to disarm this to a certain degree and our voices just really click together. The frequencies of our voices and the sound waves seem to go up and down together in a special way, so we’ve been blessed to share that at many of these great festivals around the world.
THE CRITICS ARE GIVING YOU THE THUMBS UP ON GLASSELLLAND AND ACCOLADES FOR YOUR NEW STORIES AND SONGS. WHY DID YOU DECIDE PUSH BOUNDARIES BEYOND FOLK AND ALT COUNTRY IN YOUR NEW ALBUM AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR FANS?
Yeah we couldn’t be happier with how the press have taken to the new record. It was important to not let genres or styles that I was associated with in the past stop me from being completely objective to write and record these new songs in an open way. I realised that my musical roots are not really roots based music. It’s 60’s pop and rock. So in a round about way I am getting back to my roots by not playing roots, ha ha!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STATE OF MUSIC LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY?
My personal opinion is that the state of the music being created locally and globally is amazing. We’ve focused on having young up and comers supporting our shows this tour. Some only 16-17 years old , and heck they’re amazing. It’s like watching the evolution of humans moving at a rapid rate. You see it in sports clearly with athletes getting stronger, faster, more refined in all ways. And I see that in young musicians. They’re gaining more and mor me clever insight, technique, and every now and then, a whole lot more wisdom and display of heart than I remember.
My personal opinion on the music industry, is probably the same as what people having been saying since the dawn of arts and entertainment. It’s f##ked! You see an industry that’s never had any set rules and regulations globally or even within small regions, that continuously takes advantage of, misleads, uses, disregards and degrades and under values itself. Artists and creatives are always being savvy and finding new ways to survive, but because technology is speeding up at crazy rate, we are at times forced to accept or compromise on some things. A lot of this is based on pressure to be heard, to be exposed. And once a few people say yes to something and everyone follows suit, you then find a monopoly system come into play. Like your Facebook, Google and YouTube, that are the dictators of this generation.
What I would like to see, and this is inspired by a talk I saw American producer, T Bone Burnett do, is for musicians and artists to come together on a mass scale and agree on a set of rates, regulations, and legislation that we could take to these big companies and government and force a deal to receive what we deserve for helping these corporations sell a huge part of their advertising revenue. Ok there’s my say on that, now let’s play some songs for the people.