1- Where did you grow up?
Up in the Snowy Mountains in the NSW Alps. First in Cabramurra (highest township in Australia) and then after my grandfathers death in '83 we moved down to Cooma
2- What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid?
Definitely Neil Diamond and also Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Apparently I woke my parents up each morning around 6AM with Hot August Nights, until my father unwired the plug (he was an electrician). Problem was, he shouldn't have let me watch him. Imagine their shock when, the next morning, familiar sounds wafted in from the loungeroom. I had re-wired the plug back in but I have no memory of this as I had just turned 6.
Before that was all the classical albums my Dutch grandfather Wim owned which have now been passed onto me. I think sitting with him after dinner, in their loungeroom covered in zebra and antelope skins from their farm in South Africa, this early memory would be of classical music. The smell of coffee, the sound of dutch being spoken, a feeling of safety and Mozart operas on the record player. 3- What influenced you to get into music?
Well, with being in the first lockdown here in Aus, I was at loose ends after a year of previously just hunting and camping and enjoying myself. My job and move to Montana had fallen through because of it so I was like, what the hell am I going to do now? I had started getting into Synthwave listening back in '14 or '15 after I heard Night Drive's - Drones. I had actually heard other stuff back in '11 but had no idea until there was a whole 'genre'.
Frustrated at my situation, I decided I'm going to learn how to do music production with my PC. Which I had started back in '88-'89 while working at the radio station but wouldn't let anyone but my sister Kez listen to. 4- At what age did you start playing/singing?
Around 3 or 4 years of age my parents came to pick me up from a family friend's house. I had been sitting all afternoon at their organ making recognizable tunes, not just mashing the manual like most kids to. Their advice was to get me into piano lessons as soon as possible. They failed. There was no way I was sitting still long enough for a piano teacher to impart anything.
Eventually I did get into piano and did the AMB Exams up to grade 7, my teacher Rosalind Miners started me off on Grade 3 exercises and off we went.
5- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself after finishing school?
I didn't finish school. I had a serious illness in my second but last year, recovered and went back the year after and relapsed again. I went to the Radio and Television college here in Canberra and got a job announcing at my local radio station, 2XL. So, my advice would be don't stress, study will come later, which it did for me. Enjoy this for the (almost) next 5 years because it's going to be fun. 6- What are some of your favorite songs at the moment?
Jean Rondeau playing Royers' Vertigo, Jean is just an amazing harpsichordist, I've never heard anyone play like him, he's a marvel! So that at least once a week. And Jean playing Royers' La Marche de Scythes.
A Call of the Wild (a fresh kill) by Sandor Gavin
RUNWAVE by ホテル shampoo (the whole album is fantastic) Eyes on the Horizon by Brain Sangmeister & Star Madman. Anything by Alha Chrome Yayo, Binaural Space or Armageddon Speaking is always getting airtime with me.
And whatever grabs my fancy in the morning on the drive to work, my BandCamp collection is reaching almost 800 albums/singles. There's so much really good music being released it's dizzying at times. 7- Do you listen to your own music?
Oh definitely! I couldn't listen to One Wish for about two months after I released it. But I've stopped hating it now, it's such a cheerful hopeful song. With Skyking I didn't have that experience at all.
I keep listening to my Nirmanakaya track from Solar Buddha which hasn't been released yet and imagining how I'm going to structure and imagine the music for the rest of the album. But after The Meritone Hotel EP is released, I've got some Halloween special music to write (trying to be true to Brad Fiedel's sounds in Fright Night) and then I think I'll be working on Solar Buddha, and several other things so we'll see what gets finished first. I have 5 notebooks filled with ideas and outlines for work.
8- Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
No idea. People have been reaching out and my first instinct is to jump at it. But I have a release schedule of solo stuff to do that's going to keep me busy well into next year and I'm forcing myself to be disciplined and stick to my schedule & expand my discography. So I've said ping me again in late Nov and I'll see where I'm at. I tend not to bounce from one thing to another, I'm rather methodical and once I start something I have to complete it.
9- What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career?
Definitely hearing my music streaming live on a radio station in the UK, nothing beats that first time. 10- What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get into music?
When I was learning music there were a lot of musical gatekeepers in my local town. So I felt my skills or creativity weren't enough or somehow lacking.
Seems to still be true now as it was back in the '80s.
Ignore that shit. Just start learning, start making it! Be critical and understanding of your own music at the same time. Get some people whose musical chops and opinions you trust and get them to be critical of your work and take their advice! (shoutout to Zitilites) Don't be too precious with your music.
Make what you want to listen to and what you enjoy making. Not what is expected of any nonsense genre definition.
Mobtek released his EP "The Meritone Hotel" this past September 18, 2021. Check out his profile page by clicking below.