Australian singer songwriter Hamish Anderson has that rare talent of an outsider who pedals the wares of his adopted home just as well as any native in the landscape. His take on Americana comes in the shape of debut album Trouble, a collection of tracks that carry with them the weight of rock tradition that houses the likes of Tom Petty and Wilco. The album was produced by Jim Scott, the producer of aforementioned bands, and resonates with the same kind of smoke and strong whiskey that one should expect from a blues infused trip through rock and psychedelic folk tunes.
With critical praise being lauded on Hamish, ARTISTdirect thought it wise to catch up with the songwriter in order to discuss his current mood, the roots of his sound, and just how he’s going to capitalize on the momentum his music is building.
Where are you right now?
Currently I’m in Los Angeles, California.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
I’ve just released my debut album “Trouble” that was recorded in California at PLYRZ Studios with Producer Jim Scott. Jim has worked on a lot of my favourite Tom Petty, Wilco, Tedeschi Trucks records etc so it was an amazing experience getting to work with him. It’s a collection of 12 tracks that range from big blues rockers, slightly psychedelic vibes and then to more delicate acoustic driven songs.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
Generally either as blues or rock and roll. It’s really a mixture though, for me I feel it encompasses Blues, Soul, Folk and Rock and Roll.
Other than Hamish Anderson, what should your hometown be known for?
I’m from Melbourne, Australia and definitely in Melbourne we are known for and pride ourselves on our coffee (Melbourne is all about the coffee)
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you .
In front of me is my Martin & Co D28 acoustic guitar. I love this guitar, it’s the guitar I wrote the majority of the album on, I got it with my dad in Australia a few years back and it’s definitely one of my favorites.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
The song that made me want to play guitar was “Back In The USSR” by The Beatles. I remember when I was 12 years old sitting in my front room just blasting it on the speakers and suddenly I fell in love with the sound of the guitar. After that I begged my parents for weeks to buy me a guitar until they finally did (I also wore out that CD of The White Album).
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Basically, don’t get into music because you want to do it, but because you have to do it. So, if this is the path you choose, always be creating music, keep persevering and stay focused.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
I’d love to have been able to travel on the road with Levon Helm and the guys in The Band. The Last Waltz is one of my favorite movies and those guys knew how to really play —and how to have a good time.
What song best sums up your life right now?
“Runnin’ Down A Dream” By Tom Petty. I feel that’s a really inspiring song when you’re trying to make it and follow your dreams. I relate to it a lot.
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
When I perform live, it’s great to hear when people come by after to let me know that they’ve enjoyed my music. Along those lines, probably the best experience where that’s happened was performing at the Festival d’ete de Quebec when there was a line around the venue to get in to my late night headlining show — and after performing for ninety minutes people stayed and wanted to chat. That happened each night I performed and it was genuinely the best feeling.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
I love touring and playing live so I hope to be doing a lot more of that, being on the road and playing to crowds is always a thrill. More touring, more music and just building a solid fanbase.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
I am just about to go out on a radio promo tour to support the release of my album. After the holidays, I will keep doing live shows in the US to support the new album well into 2017. Should be a fun year traveling to new venues and meeting new people.
Visit the Hamish Anderson hub on ARTISTdirect