16 Aug 2022
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Unknown - Bluebird Avenue Newsletter Interview

12 May 2013 // An interview by Shade
 

Bluebird Avenue is an alternative acoustic guitar-based act from Auckland. Their influences include Elliott Smith, Jackson Browne, Jeff Beck, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, and Miles Davis. Danny answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Small Mercies is a personal favourite, being a very different kind of song to what I would or could have written when I was younger. There is a nice union between the lyrics and the mood of the music – a quiet desperation and resignation. It’s a lovely song to play live too, always taking us on a slightly different journey.

Do you have any plans for future collaborations with other musicians? Who would they be?

One of the plans for this year is to incorporate more instruments into our music, as each song requires. The next song we are working towards recording (Motel) will feature guitar, banjo, piano, violin, and close vocal harmonies. The players will be determined once we figure out what each song wants.

How would you describe Bluebird Avenue’s music in one sentence?

Lyrical, melodic, and delicious.

What has been your most memorable show to date?

Probably the first time we played at the Bunker Hill Folk Review (an all-acoustic show held in a war bunker on Devonport’s Mt. Victoria). A wonderful & slightly surreal experience. Old folk posters on the walls, a crackling fire, and a fantastic and attentive audience.

What is Bluebird Avenue’s long term goal?

To keep enjoying creating good music together and let the project develop organically (be it in terms of players, genres, instruments).

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Anywhere and everywhere. Books, different styles of music, words overheard, images, things that happen to people we know, and just plain old imagination. It’s very freeing to realise that songs can be about anything.

What can we expect to see from Bluebird Avenue over the next year?

A few more recordings hopefully (we have some killer tracks lined up to record), lots more live shows around Auckland, and maybe the odd bit of busking if we’re raising funds for recording.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

Anything you learn about music will help your musicianship, be it theory, history, aural, trying different instruments or listening to music you wouldn’t normally listen to. Be open to all of it, and it will influence both your playing and your writing. Don’t pay too much attention to what’s happening in the charts. Instead, focus on developing your own unique sound that stirs something in you when you play it. Have a family member or a friend be a sounding board for your ideas, and be open to being critiqued (it can be hard, but well worth it to get a different perspective on things).

Tell us about Bluebird Avenue’s next release.

The next track we are releasing will be our most ambitious piece yet, being a reworking of a song we recorded last year, Pin – but with the addition of a beautifully arranged string section by Ryan Youens (the outro has 18 separate instruments swirling around each other). Sounds massive!

What inspired you to start Bluebird Avenue?

Having played together since 2005 (Sam is Danny’s ex-guitar student) and having developed a strong musical rapport, we initially started up the project as a means to explore some new songs that we’d written. Rehearsing once a week, the new songs started to appear quite quickly and the bulk of them seemed to be keepers. We enjoyed the regular rehearsal sessions, and the opportunities that arose from them (getting offered places to play, meeting all sorts of cool and musical people, live radio shows, recordings etc.).

 

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