This is the bio bit
Explosion of bacon!
P.S. I will have a new album soon. No mattresses were used in the making. It’ll be really…ahhm, geez. How do I match the start of that bio…um, it’ll be really good. And the sounds are, like, really…good. On it. And stuff
The slightly more serious bit (in a convenient Q&A format):
Who are you?
Gotye (pronounced “gore-ti-yeah”). Music-making mutant.
Wally (born Wouter) De Backer
What’s this new single called?
Eyes Wide Open
Tell me a story?
While on tour in the Australian outback with my rock’n’roll band The Basics a couple of years ago, I found myself in Winton, Queensland with three days to kill in between gigs. After the inevitable soft toys and teaspoons collection of the Waltzing Matilda Visitor Centre had been fully explored it seemed there was little but Weekend at Bernie’s II on the motel’s Austar channel to kill time until we pressed on towards Longreach.
That is, until the lady at the reception mentioned the Winton Musical Fence.
Wow- what’s that all about?
The Winton Musical Fence is a musical instrument installation designed and constructed by Graeme Leak, a percussionist and instrument builder from Melbourne.
Five massive metal strings attached to fence posts, and connected to a wooden resonant chamber. It goes “thwack” and “boinngg” in a remarkably pleasing way when struck. It’s in the middle of nowhere
What does this have to do with your new Gotye song?
Well, I’d brought a portable stereo recorder with me on tour for just such chance encounters with interesting sound sources, and so it wasn’t long before I was on the outskirts of Winton in near pitch-darkness beside a vast, flat expanse with only blurry truck stop lights sleeping in the distance, marvelling at the musical instrument described above. A piece of plastic pipe conveniently left nearby was all I needed before I was bashing away on various strings, wooden beams and fixings, capturing samples that eventually became the bassline underpinning the new song Eyes Wide Open
Isn’t this the same as what you did on the last couple of Gotye records? Sampling stuff, and using those sounds to make your tracks…
The process I used on previous Gotye albums involved a lot of sampling of old records, cassettes and videos etc. There was no field recording
Is that all that’s different?
No. There is a lot more live playing on Eyes Wide Open than on any previous Gotye song.
Although I’ve been playing drums for over 15 years, I’d never recorded a live drum part for a Gotye song (it was always programming drum machines or editing samples into new drum parts).
Also, I set up a new home studio on the top floor of a big barn my dad built on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Much of Eyes Wide Open was recorded there after the initial fence samples from Winton started the song off
Did you do everything yourself?
No ma’am. I wrote the song, sang all the vocals, played drums, percussion, keyboards and produced the track.
But I also had invaluable contributions from Michael Hubbard (pedal steel guitar), Gareth Skinner (whale-like harmonic sound effects on cello), Lucas Taranto (bass guitar) and importantly, Francois Tetaz (additional production work and mixing)
I read somewhere (probably your bio) that there’s also an ambitious film clip for Eyes Wide Open?
That’s right. It’s directed and animated by Brendan Cook at PictureDrift Studios (who created the amazing visuals for the song Hearts A Mess, from my previous record) and it has time travel in it.
It also features major contributions from Darcy Prendergast at DeePee Studios who designed, constructed and painstakingly stop-time-animated some haunting clay characters that traverse the landscapes of the film clip in longboats.
This all sounds pretty good!
I hope so. I worked really hard to make it sound good (the bio, that is)