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Nanjing Night Net


GOTYE and his 10-piece- band are hitting Hobart this Sunday for a sold-out show in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. X-static’s ISABEL BIRD chats to the man behind Gotye – Wally De Backer.

WALLY De Backer describes himself as “someone who tinkers with things for a long period”.

This is hardly surprising.

His album Making Mirrors came five years after his previous one, Like Drawing Blood, and contains a mixture of popping sounds, drawn out floating beats, bubble noises, synth and lyrics affected by a broad musical influence that comes from sampling a lot of different sounds and records.

De Backer said he was working on his third album on and off for two years.

“I stick things together over a long period of time and refine them,” De Backer said.

“For the last six months to a year I had more focus time to be working on the record (but) that kind of free time didn’t necessarily correlate with greater creative output.

“The ideas that flowered and turned into songs still happened at fairly random times.

“Bronte is a good example. I already had a lot of the elements of the music, but I didn’t have a lyric or direction to turn those scraps of musical ideas into a song.

“It was when my family friends let go of their family dog, finally put it down after it had been old and sick for a very long time, and I felt quite arrested by their approach.

“It really resonated with me, perhaps because I lost a pet of my own in the few months beforehand.

“It takes something very strong to shake me and prompt me (to write music) as opposed to being a regular magpie just looking for something to pounce upon and turn into a song idea.”

De Backer said Making Mirrors was at times influenced by exotica artists from the 1940s to 1960s, including Les Baxter and Leo Addeo, who produce music with a tropical, Caribbean feel.

“I’m a bit of a sucker for music from the mid 20th century up to the ’80s, synthesize and novelty organ music.

“There are lots of fairly dorky references there. Stuff like Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel filter through to songs like Eyes Wide Open.”

It is not the first time De Backer has played in Tasmania, having toured with his three-piece “raw, energetic” rock and roll band The Basics, and played at MSfest as Gotye.

He received messages from The Basics fans asking him not to leave Tassie off his national Making Mirrors tour.

After talking to his managers, the Hobart concert was put on the list.

“Playing in the botanical gardens will be pretty special, at that time of night, with a really huge crowd.”

*You can catch Gotye at The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart, on Sunday.

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