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A chat with Skyscraper Stan

When did you first start making music and what led you there?

My cousin Oskar and I found some old rock ‘n’ roll tapes in our Grandad’s shed when we were kids. There were some Buddy Holly et al compilations, some Sam Cooke and a bit of Johnny Cash. That got us hooked on the old American stuff pretty early. We found the old blues guys and then had our Guns N’ Roses/AC/DC phase. Eventually we picked up guitars ourselves. We still make music and tour together - his guitar takes centre stage for a lot of the new single.

Tell us about your new single ‘Tarcutta Shade’. What is the story behind it?

It’s a song about being stuck in the middle somewhere. I grew up in NZ and the size of Australia has always alarmed me. I think it’s one reason I’m still here - I romanticise isolation for whatever reason. There are so many towns plonked along the highway. All these “in-between places”. I blast through them on tour, barely interacting with the people who live there except to fill my car up or buy a sanga. The song came out of imagining a day in the life of one of those people I see again and again without ever speaking to. 

How would you describe your sound and how did you come to it?

For this particular song we were trying to recreate the Hume Highway in mid Feb. Oskar’s guitar plays a major part in that – it’s a song about heat so we wanted it to simmer.The songs are quite lyrically driven so as a band we cherry pick things out of that content to put the sound together. 

Are there any particular bands or musicians that stand out as influences towards your songwriting?

I love words – I love reading them and I love writing them. There are a few working [musicians] in Australia today that I really admire. Gareth Liddiard and Blake Scott are two of my favourites. I like a good story with a character and a landscape I can really see. Those two do it incredibly well.

Skyscraper Stan’s ‘Tarcutta Shade’ is out now. The band play the Workers Club on Saturday December 15. tickets via Oztix.