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  • wjbingley

Phase one

I like to think of my music in terms of phases rather than specific projects, and I feel like I’ve just completed the first phase of my career as a solo musician. Having released Healing Street and played my first public solo gig, I’ve proved to myself that I can write, record, and perform music by myself, which I needed to do after years of playing in bands with other people helping to prop up my confidence and boost my abilities. I can more clearly see where my strengths and weaknesses lie, and I’m looking forward to taking that knowledge with me into 2022 and beyond.

So I’ve scratched that itch, and now I’m back, baby! There are a couple of projects I’m involved in that I’m really excited about, and they are mostly collaborative. I just finished recording drums for the next Hey Geronimo album, which is actually almost finished now. I’d say it’s at 90% (with the last 10% being maybe the most important). There’s a classic album taking shape and now we just need to be self-disciplined enough to give the songs the right amount of polish so they land emphatically. It’s going to be interesting to see whether the songs resonant with people - there’s nothing light-hearted this time, just one long stare into the void.

Speaking of perennial Brisbane indie bands I’m involved with, there’s a new Papperbok album that I’m hoping we can get stuck into next year. It’s also a bit void-starey now that I think about it. When that’s finished (given our track record, in about 2032) it’ll be the end of two trilogies of albums between the bands, which is a pretty good outcome! 3 albums is enough for an arc, which is to say a career that starts, continues (or changes), and reaches some kind of conclusion. A story, if you will. I also don’t see why that story can’t keep going, but at the very least there’ll be enough there for it to feel satisfying as is.

There are also some new projects I’m involved in that I’m hyped for. I’ve been producing the first album by Ghost Mutt, Annie’s new band. It’s been awesome to watch her confidence as a songwriter grow along with her band, and I’m looking forward to more good times recording!

Being in the same city as Michael Whittred again means it was only a matter of time before I went to him with another idea for a band, and this time both our partners are involved so there’s even less chance he can get away! You can run but you can’t hide, Michael. It’s in embryonic form, but it’s called Edison Doll and the idea is to create something that is sonically and visually impressive, an experience that you see and go ‘wow’. For a while I’ve thought that dance music (particularly the moody 80s kind) and 90s alternative rock have a lot in common, and that’s the musical thread we’re pulling with this project. Let’s see where it leads!

There’s also Sky Bully, the project I’ve been chipping away at with Brendan Cox (Worriers guitarist, Papperbok producer, and mixer of various things I’ve been involved with). We’ve got some songs and we’re just trying to work out the best way to finish them off and present them. Perhaps with a third person involved?

As you can see, my horizon is full to the brim with collective musical projects. After a few years of making music by myself, it’s energising to have all these other people to bounce ideas off! This isn’t to say I’m never going to make solo music again or anything like that. I’ve got ideas for a couple of albums, certainly enough to keep me going for a while. When there’s a natural break in the chaos I just described I’ll pick up my guitar again and start recording. But phase 1 is complete, and for the next year or two, it’s going to be a lot of band stuff. Change is good!

I’ll keep you posted when the wheels have turned enough that things are rolling out into the real world. Thanks for sticking with me and listening to my music.

xx BB

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