Gotye! I am so thankful that I was introduced to the music of Gotye. He is yet another of Australia’s most talented and best kept secrets. Gotye’s music is truly the definition of a work of art.
Just as I first heard Missy Higgins, I discovered Gotye through the 2007 Aria Awards. His performance was, for me, the best of the night. I watched the performance then immediately Googled him. The idea of a singer/drummer intrigued me. After all, I happen to be married to one…
I found that he was much more than just another singer/drummer. Belgian/Australain musician Wouter De Backer is extremely multi-talented, and it seems, has an exceptional ability to multi-task! He is a very talented singer with a range of vocal abilities, plays the hell out of the drums, as well as various other instruments and gadgets, and writes, records, and produces his own music. He also released his first couple of albums independently. On top of that he is one third of the indie-pop band The Basics. Sigh… Gotta love an over-achiever!
I can’t even begin to describe Wally’s Gotye music. About all I know to say is that it is sample-based, infused with his own playing and singing. Make sense? Basically, he uses instruments and sounds of all types (a bit of music off an old, obscure record, conventional instruments, unusual instruments you’ve never heard of….you get the idea) to create a one of a kind, original piece of music.
Check out www.gotye.com to get a better idea. Be sure to take a peek at his blog while you’re there…You are sure to find some interesting and extremely entertaining little nuggets of joy!
Now if you’re interested in getting your hands on a CD, that may be a little difficult, if not impossible, if you live in the United States for instance. So, take my advice and buy Like Drawing Blood on US iTunes. That means YOU! Don’t you want him to tour North America like I do?! Of course you do! So, do your part to help make Gotye a house hold name. Ahem…moving on!
Not only is this man a musical prodigy, but he’s also a really nice guy! I contacted Wally via his website email and asked him a few questions, and he responded very quickly and with his usual wit and charm. Enjoy!
- How long have you been a musician?
It’s about 13 years since I started learning the drums and messing about
with writing songs
- Did you go to school for music, or teach yourself or both?
Drums and a certain amount of music theory I learned in high school, but
songwriting and production was just something I’ve played with in my own
- Who were your favorite bands/musicians growing up?
I got hooked on The KLF at a young age. And was a Depeche Mode tragic for
Hmmmmm….too many to mention. The Chap is a new favourite. They’re from
London and they’re fantastically silly
- Did anyone in particular influence you?
Everything I listened to (not just music…pedestrian crossing beeps on
- When song writing, are you inspired first by a sound or a groove you want to sample, and build the song from there, or do you usually have the idea in place and then search for sounds to realize it?
The former- that’s pretty much the way that Gotye songs begin. However I
have written a few from the piano where the lyrics and melody comes before
the production ideas
See above. It depends
- Which of your Gotye albums was your favorite to record?
Because I work track-by-track and over extended periods of time it all
washes together. I just like making music, little by little, whenever I
- What are your favorite songs to perform?
The Only Thing I Know is a good one to practice my ’80s drums licks on
- What was the inspiration for Mixed Blood?
Other musicians whose work I admired, and who expressed interested to
revamp my songs
- What is/are your favorite song(s) to cover? (By the way, I really loved your version of Always–wasn’t it Always?–by Bon Jovi, in The Basics tour videos!)
Heh heh…yep, that’s the best one. An Aussie bar in Shinjuku, Japan.
Mobile phone microphone. Somewhere I can catch butterflies and let rip
- Who would you love to collaborate with?
My computer. It’s Brian Eno’s dream but I’m borrowing it
- Just how many languages can you speak? (I’m curious!)
Some folks suggest I have my own language- an often unintelligible
collection of mumbles and awkward looks. Otherwise it’s just English and
Flemish. A basic amount of Japanese. Um…and Esperanto
- What is/are the best concert(s) you’ve been to?
Maybe it was The Quarrelmen, a Beatles tribute band, covering the Abbey
Road album in its entirety
- If you could attend any concert in the history of music, who would it be?
It would probably be one of The Beatles stadium shows. I can’t quite
fathom a stadium full of people screaming incessantly throughout the
entirety of a concert. The aura around the band was so electric it would
be an unforgettable experience
- Favorite or memorable tour experience?
Eating hommus smeared on bread with an old banana in the tour bus after a
show in Manchester
Edward Scisscorhands is one
- Any strange fan experiences?
A young lady in the US got a massive tattoo of a character from one of my
film clips on her forearm. Really massive. Freaky!
- Thoughts on winning an ARIA?
We all had a good laugh and then it got silly
- Any hobbies other than music?
I like riding bikes, swimming in the sea and eating chocolate. That is all
- Any ambitions outside of music?
See above. And world peace
- Were you a stand out student in school? (ex: grades, music, athletics, popularity)
I was a nerdy-two-shoes, yes. But didn’t get beaten up. That was nice,
- Is there a particular cause you feel strongly about/support? (ex: animal rights)
Not in particular. Although sustainable energy is something I would like
to be more involved in supporting/implementing in my own life. Solar
- Can you update me on what you’re doing currently or in the near future? (ex: touring, recording, relaxing, etc)
Trying to write new music. This involves getting excited about tweaking
virtual synths, recording drums in a big barn and…swimming in the sea.
And also preparing for the release of new music by my band The Basics
(http://www.thebasics.com.au) as well as producing songs by my girlfriend
Like Drawing Blood (2006) →Now available on US iTunes
Mixed Blood (2007)
Hearts A Mess
Thanks For Your Time
The Only Thing I Know LIVE
→An extra special thank you to Wally De Backer for helping out! Thanks Wal!!