Q&A with Jordie Lane

Melbourne beloved, Jordie Lane has been a fixture of the local live circuit for a long time and is a world class act. He bids us fair well at the East Brunswick Club (which incidentally closes it’s doors as a live music venue in Feb) on the 10th of February as he heads of to partake in SXSW in Austin Texas with a host of Australia’s top notch musicians and industry types. From their he takes his newly produced record to Tom Biller (Kanye West, Karen O, Beck) for a bit of a mix and will be touring California before heading to Europe in the mid-year.

1. You grew up in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. You would have seen a lot of change in the landscape and demographic of the area. As a musician, what do these changes mean to you?

Yeah it has been amazing to watch Northcote and Thornbury change so much. I would walk down High Street, and slowly shops would come and go, newspaper would go up on the windows and then ripped down for something new to be born. It’s still ever changing, but I’ve certainly seen it go from run-down bad cafes which are hiding the drug dealing, to great cafes, galleries and music venues which are seeming to last longer now. These changes have always been an influence on my music, and the local art scene has helped me get out there in the live circuit in the early days.

The only danger for the artists is the inevitable downfalls that come with popularity or success. High Street in particular could be an example of this, in that after all the artists established themselves, then came the businesses, then came the punters, and of course then came the richer class property investors, and then comes council noise restrictions, and rent prices become too much for the artists.

So I anticipate that one day Whittlesea will be the rocking place to be, ha ha.

2. Describe the moment when you realised that you had to be a musician.

It was firstly the day I jammed with my mate from school when we were 10. We learnt a Beatles song, and he said “I’m gonna be a rock n roll star”.

I said “what’s that?”. He said:

“the best thing in the world”.

So I thought it might be worth a shot.

3. What do you make of the evolving state of music as it moves away from physical and into territories such as iCloud?

I don’t think about it much. I hope that I can keep up with it though, and not become one of those old jaded people who are scared to embrace the ‘new.’

4. Describe some of the writing and recording processes you went through to record your latest record “Blood Thinner”.

It was a mixed bag of surprises and very much a make shift approach, as it wasn’t a pre-meditated plan as such.

Firstly the writing began after I booked in to stay at a motel room in the desert, Room 8 at the Joshua Tree Inn, California. I had bought a guitar to burn in the desert as a tribute to the late Gram Parsons, but when I stepped in the room, I sat down and played it, and wrote the opening track Diamond Ring. It just fell out of me.

Recording started on an old Tascam 4 track tape machine which I acquired in strange circumstances. I then moved to a Basement in downtown LA where I had to board up all the windows so the landlord wouldn’t know I was there. Writing and recording was happening all at the same time, mostly over a 3 week period in October of 2010.

Finally we got to polish the record off in Producer, Tom Biller’s studio in Eagle Rock. I used anything I could find in the rooms I was in, to emulate the sound of band instrumentation. And most of the recording all happened between midnight and dawn, my favourite time. It was the most fun I have ever had in making an album.

5. Who are some of the artists local and beyond who have influenced you in “Blood Thinner”?

Well obviously Gram Parsons, was the beginning of my inspiration to make this record. Gene Clark also, and Townes Van Zandt. Also Liz Stringer from Australia, who made a record with a similar idea, on a tape machine, playing all the instruments herself.

6. Was the record a collaborative process or a solo mission?

It was initially very much a process in solitude. But halfway through, it became an intense partnership between myself and Tom Biller. I instantly felt comfortable to trust him, and feel totally at ease in his presence.

This is often very hard, to find that person in the recording phase.

7. One of my favourite Triple J’s Like A Version was the MGMT cover you did with Jen Cloher. Tell us about that experience.

That was such a trip. Jen and I were rehearsing for the tour and we had discussed the idea of doing a few out there covers that were far removed from our own styles. We recorded a real loose version of ‘Electric Feel’ in my lounge room on the iphone and sent it to triple j, and they came back offering us the spot to do LAV.

8. What kind of arrangement do you have with Vitamin Records? What is that like vs. being indie?

Vitamin are a fantastic support for me, and we have such a good working relationship that you don’t find often. I would say its the best of both worlds, as I still feel totally ‘indie’ so to speak.

9. What happens from here for Jordie Lane?

Well I have a real big few months. Saying Farewell to Melbourne and Australia with a bunch of shows. At The East Brunswick Club on Feb 10 with my band and special guests. Also the Caravan Music Club on 11 Feb, and a whole bunch more. We are headed to SXSW in Austin and also Canadian Music Week. and then I will be doing more recording and maybe a tour of UK/EUR mid year too. Everything feels like there is much change in the air, so its exciting.

10. Fave drink in fave bar?

Espresso Martini at Willow , High St, Northcote

11. Three Fave Melb Bands?

Eagle & The Worm

Perch Creek Family Jug Band(just moved here?)

Silver City Highway

12. Three Fave Melb Venues?

Northcote Social Club

Pure Pop Records

The Palais, St Kilda


Victoria Tour Dates

FEB 10 – East Brunswick Club (Band)
Farewell Tour show with Ben Salter (The Gin Club) & Luke Legs

FEB 11 – Caravan Music Club (Band)
Farewell Tour show with Sweet Jean & Luke Brennan

FEB 24 – Baha Taco Joint (Band), Rye

FEB 25 – Between the Bays Festival, Mornington Peninsula

FEB 29 – The Famous Spiegeltent (Band)