Interview: Zac Gunthorpe and Long Lost Love Lies

7 May 2013 0

Big Sky Wire

By Michele Lockwood

Long Lost Love Lies is the debut release by singer/songwriter/surfer Zac Gunthorpe. This five-song EP is a commendable effort by the young Sunny Coast musician; his pared-back acoustic recording has the sound of a promising career to follow. The songs reek of a thoughtful sincerity that is reminiscent of all those tender-hearted young men of times passed; guitars slung across their chests, poetry flowing from their hearts delivered in an uneffected timbre. The moodiness of the record is addictive, it takes the listener high then low, deep then out on the otherside, left wanting to hear more – a good tactic for securing an audience the second time round.

CW: Can you tell me a bit about where you grew up and where you live now?

I grew up in the Brisbane suburb of Albany Creek. Just your usual city suburb I guess. Most of my extended family lived close by so we were (and still are) very connected and did spend a lot of time together skateboarding, playing baseball and waiting for the next trip to the beach. Which was actually quite frequently, but not enough for me so when I got the chance to move closer to the Sunshine Coast I did and that’s where I’m living now.

Is this EP, Long Lost Love Lies your first release? How long have you been playing music? How would you describe these songs?

It is my first release. I picked up a guitar in my late teens and just started learning songs and playing in my room but that was as far as it went. This was good enough for me until..... I decided to start writing my own songs which I enjoyed and it motivated me to write more.

I’d describe these songs as honest. Actually a friend said that about them but I liked it so I’m going to go with that.

Your songwriting is very considered; you wear your heart on your sleeve in a lot of these songs. Can you tell us about your writing process and where do you find inspiration for your lyrics?

I was writing so often that everyday life was my inspiration for most of the songs on Long Lost Love Lies and my life was pretty bumpy at the time.... which obviously came through. In saying that, anything can inspire me to write... images, stories, music, nature, feelings, TV sometimes words just pop into my head and it just flows on from there but I guess my unconscious mind dictates what it is I notice in life and am inspired by. Or sometimes not. I can’t remember where I heard or read this... but someone said “songwriting is like fishing, you just keep casting your line in the stream and hope you get a bite”. That rings pretty true for me. Especially for the songs on the EP.

Did working with revered music man Andrew Morris on this EP ever feel daunting? What did he bring to this record and why did you choose to collaborate with him?

Nah it wasn’t daunting. I’d met Andrew a few years before I ever played any of my songs to him. So when it came to actually recording I felt quite comfortable. Andrew brought a lot to the record. His studio, his instruments and his great knowledge of songwriting. And it all happened so effortlessly. Our ideas for the sound and feel of the songs seemed to be the same, which was great as it gave us a bit of extra time for recreational activities.

I’d never recorded anything before so I knew next to nothing about the process but what I did know was that I wanted to work on it with someone that had similar ideas for its outcome as me. I guess you could say I was just biding my time waiting for the planets to align, haha and they did! It's funny how things work out sometimes.

What was your motivation in making this recording? Did the songs grow over time or was it more of sudden explosion of creativity?

These particular songs seemed to come as creative bursts but I had been trying my hand at song writing and just writing in general for a few years.

Who do you listen to? What are your favourite records as of late?

My go-to musicians who never let me down are Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Band, Paul Kelly, and Frank Sinatra... to name a few.

At the moment I’m listening to an Australian album from the 70s called My Name Means Horse by Ross Ryan. I also picked up The Silver Tongued Devil and I by Kris Krisstoferson and also an Australian band I played a great gig with last week called, The Wild Comforts.

Musically, what are you plans for the future? Do you have any projects on the horizon? Where would you like to see this record go?

I’ve never really thought about where I want the record to go... I’m just stoked I got the opportunity to record and have an EP produced. The songs really turned out how I imagined and then I got to top it all off by touring with Andrew. I mean what a great start to recording and playing live. Who could ask for more?

I hope to make another record soon though as I’ve got a few new songs I'd like to share. As for the future I intend to just keep casting my line in the stream, I guess.

Also can you tell us about the cover art- what is it of and who painted it?

The cover art on my EP is a beach in Tasmania painted by my grandfather Stuart Gunthorpe in 1953. He died before I was born but growing up we had his paintings and drawings up on the walls in our house. They are all beautiful pieces but this one just stood out for some reason. I actually decided on it before we recorded the songs but the mood of that painting really resonates with the mood of the record for me. The planets must have aligned for that too, haha.

Big Sky is the property on which Andrew Kidman and Michele Lockwood live with their two children in Northern New South Wales. Once a week they speak to writers, photographers, surfers, artists and musicians for Coastalwatch's Big Sky WireTo follow Andrew Kidman's film celebrating 40 years of Morning of The Earth, head to the Spirit of Akasha blog and to check out Michele Lockwood's blog click through here.

...and for more from Big Sky Wire click your link: Coastalwatch |Coastalwatch Plus

Tags: big sky wire , zac gunthorpe , michele lockwood , music (create Alert from these tags)

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