Lachlan Carrick (Gotye) – Q&A
Lachlan Carrick has accrued an impressive discography, in a multitude of facets in the music industry. More recently, he is the choice engineer of Melbourne based global superstar (pretty safe to say) Gotye who has recently come back from an amazing USA tour that included some of the biggest venues, festivals, and TV shows on the planet. Nonetheless Carrick maintains a cool and collected approach to his job and his passion for sound. Here is our Q&A with Lachlan, fresh off the tour bus. (Also provided are some amazing photos from the road).
1. Lachlan, you are a Melbourne based engineer and producer, can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing what you do?
Well for me, it was all about music and my father – he was a jazz piano player where i grew up in Canberra. I used to want to listen to his gigs, but as I was underaged, so I had to be hidden away in the sound booth. When the house guy asked me to hold a follow spot for a while, I caught some kind of bug I guess. I’ve been mixing since I was 15 or so. I’ve never really done anything else. I’ve played around with plenty of different scenarios and learned from all of them – recording, mixing, arranging, mastering, film scores, live gigs, even musical theatre.
2. As the live sound engineer for Gotye, how has your experience helped you with what you do with the band?
I guess all the experiences add up, but at the end of the day it’s mostly about decent taste, making good calls, and having skills to back it up. getting along with people is also essential on tour, and having worked with a great variety of personalities does help with that.
3. You have done some of the worlds biggest and most famous stages from Coachella to SNL, what is your philosophy on dealing with such big and important shows?
“Keep calm and carry on.” I think there’s no real difference between mixing at the Corner Hotel and mixing Nokia Theatre in LA. There’s just more pressure not to screw it up. So how you deal with that pressure is the main thing. You can’t think too much about the millions of people tuning in to a TV show SNL, for example. It’s best to just stay in the music, then hopefully any issues that come up can be solved with second nature. I guess that’s the thing that takes time to develop.
4. What are some of the most memorable moments from these shows?
The audience sing-alongs have been pretty wild at gigs like Coachella – the single’s done so well that everyone knows every word. And just hanging out at SNL and passing people like Tina Fey and Questlove in the corridor is surreal.
5. How do you find international touring and what are some of your tips in dealing with such schedules?
I really enjoy touring O/S. I think not over-indulging yourself with beverages etc every night, is a good idea. Gigging every night can encourage some bad habits if you’re not disciplined.
6. Before you joined the Gotye camp, you had been involved in some amazing recordings from the likes of Ned Collette, Miami Horror, Architecture In Helsinki and Lior to name a few. Is there a style and a sound that you gravitate towards?
Not really. I like working on music that has something different to offer. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some great records, but would never like to be the “folk guy” or the “jazz guy”. I’d much prefer to be the guy people call when they’re up for doing something risky.
7. Who are some of your favourite producers and engineers locally and abroad? And Why?
Tim Whitten – The Necks records.
Franc Tetaz – my biggest sonic influence, never follows the rules.
I’m also into Tchad Blake, Danger Mouse, Daniel Lanois, Neptunes, Gonzalez.. and a bunch of self-producers like Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Little Dragon, The Black Keys, Son Lux.
8. What would be some advice for aspiring engineers and producers?
Serve the music! Don’t just clone the work of others… and in the words of Michael Gudinski, “don’t be a dickhead!”
9. Name 3 records you are proud to have been involved in?
CW Stoneking – Jungle Blues – Mixed and mastered this record. CW is awesome.. heaps of fun!
Lior – Tumbling Into the Dawn – Recorded this at Jim Moginie’s studio in Sydney.. pretty happy with the sounds.
The Hello Morning – (Self Titled) – Mixed around half the songs on this record. Great bunch of guys – hope it goes well for them.
10. 3 local bands blowin’ you away at the moment?
Bertie Blackman – New record will be awesome.
The Bombay Royale – Such a joyous mash!
Ainslie Wills – Great new single. Can’t wait for the album.. deserves success.
Nokia Theatre – Los Angeles
Paradiso – Amsterdam
From behind the control deck – Eindhoven – Belgium