As a wee little child. Dad’s side of the family all played music; he had a bass guitar and could sing. At 4 I would plug the bass into the amp and sit in front of the TV in ad breaks and play along to the backing music. What an odd way to start actually. I couldn’t think of anything worse now. My parents then bought me a keyboard and I began teaching myself. One thing led to another… Piano lessons, the primary school band. At some point there was a trumpet thrown into the mix and I did that for a few years before we moved up to Byron Bay and my friends and I started a little band which would lead me to become a singer. I was inspired by big rock bands. The first album I bought was Appetite for destruction. I wanted a big raspy Axl Rose voice so we played a lot of Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, ACDC, Rage Against The Machine covers in late primary school. When we got into high school, we payed 600 dollars each for scalped red hot chili peppers tickets. Seeing them completely changed our world. We ended up covering a lot of their songs, and just being totally inspired by the dynamic they had on stage, the passion and drive they had… Especially in their younger years. Spent a lot of time on YouTube watching them jump up and down, and not enough time studying theory I think.
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
A lot of different artists, I’m around so many different sorts of people who are always showing me new things. It’s constantly pushing me to get more creative and push song writing Boundaries that have been easy to fall into for me. My grandma’s partner had a blues radio show, so he would always give me new albums whenever I saw him. Robbedn Ford, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy from a little guy… I loved Guns N Roses, Aerosmith and the Chili Peppers. I still listen to far too much of them. Jules showed me a lot of the experimental jazz and his major influences that he was listening to when we were in France, and I’ve now got whole discographies of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jimi Hendrix thanks to him. At the moment I’m listening to Fitz and the Tantrums loving the mowtown vibe and Want To Take You Higher by Sly And The Family Stone on repeat. Watch the live at Woodstock version; I get a smile as big as the moon when that comes on. That rhythm section is badass. I want to be able to perform like them for our next tour. More soul baby. I’m always finding new influences and it’s keeping our performance and music on its feet and hopefully moving it forward
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
Well playing publicly for the last 3 years and that’s a story in itself. I loved music and loved playing in bands but had just finished school, had split with my girlfriend and went travelling not really knowing where I wanted to focus my energy. I played my first gig at a ski bar in Canada with a few friends. It was also the first night I tried a little white powdery drug and I was flying. We played a ripping balsy version of come together and had the place rocking. It felt so exceptionally good… So I started really working on all the stuff I’d been dabbling on after that… I kind of had this feeling that that’s where my energy should be, but got a little side tracked partying through America for a few months.
Returning to Aus, and Byron Bay specifically with no money… (Byron is very seasonal in terms of employment. Great in summer but just dead in winter, with not enough cafés and bars around to employ everybody), so I went to the ski fields where my friends were, and had told me that you can get a job in a second. I walked into this hotel in Thredbo after a day of handing out resumes to ask if they had any cleaning work… The boss walked me outside and showed me the bar and the deck and said…you’re not a cleaner, what do you really do. I said I’m a musician. Turns out that that deck has 400 people on it on weekends and through the week and that they have a guy that plays guitar and sings songs out there entertain them all. She said come back tomorrow and have a trial… If we like you, you can have the job for the season. I quickly learned 45 mins of songs and came back to do a trial set. By the end I had everybody singing Hey Jude and thought this is ridiculous that people get paid to do this… So I took the job and that’s really what started the career I suppose.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
Well thanks to the job in the snow, 100 times through winter when combined with a Perisher/Jindabyne tour. So we’ll have a version of the band down there this season, and are now working on booking another 100 shows over summer in Aus as well as the U.K and E.U towards the end of the year. We did a U.K/E.U tour but only had 6 shows in 2 months over there. I need 6 a week or I feel like I’m cheating. I’d like to make sure we have at least 200 a year and tour internationally at least once a year.
Check out our tour tab on facebook.com/velshurband or our official website www.velshur.com for all the latest tour details.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
Being on stage and just being in the moment. That’s pure ecstasy…When I’m doing a harmony with Toby and those notes are just gelling, or the crowd is jumping and I’m sweating to bits like I can’t move another leg. That’s brilliant. I love it when people come up to you and say how happy the performance made them. What else do you need in life? Sharing fucking fantastic moments with hundreds/thousands of people is it for me. If I can make someone feel the way that I feel when I watch Sly and The Family Stone live at Woodstock then I’m one content human.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
Like us on Facebook. It’s the first place we put information up. You can find links to our videos, music etc. all up there. Second to that, our website velshur.com has a mailing list you can subscribe to.