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Music NT Presents: Dave Garnham

AWARD-WINNING SINGER-SONG-WRITER Dave Garnham is having a mammoth 2019. He was recently announced as a recipient of an Arts NT Fellowship, and his band, David Garnham and The Reasons to Live, is heading to Nashville to play AmericanaFest. 

Garnham took time out of his hectic schedule to have a chat to MusicNT about new music, upcoming tours, Tinder profiles and not being a jerk.

Firstly, congratulations on receiving your Arts Fellowship! What was your reaction when you found out you were successful?

The gravity of it all is still sinking in. I have so many things to get excited about. To be mentored by Kasey Chambers, to studying at Berklee [College of Music], and co-writing with Australia and the NT’s best songwriters. Being able to focus solely on writing is something that won’t be taken for granted.

Part of your fellowship dictates a Darwin showcase – any more details you can share with us?

This won’t be until later next year, but we’ll put on a show that will be made entirely of songs written over the fellowship period. It’ll be tied in around an APRA workshop which, excitingly for Top End songwriters, Kasey will be a part of.

In the meantime, you’ve released a new single. Where did you draw inspiration?

Up and Down is loosely based on the Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. I say loosely because I haven’t read it. It was heavy going for me. I should just stick to footy and music biographies. But the song ponders whether the “addicts” or the “normals” are any different, and who is living the best life.

How would you describe the music of DG & TRTL for anyone who may not have heard it yet?

Our new tagline – and my Tinder profile – says we look like truckers and sing like angels. We sing words so you understand them, and hopefully they stick with you.

Clearly they must as you’ve recently been announced on the AmericanaFest line-up. A huge gig to land – how’d it come about?

It is a huge boon. Thousands of bands around the world apply, we kept our application very authentic – you had to supply footage of your most recent gig, and ours happened to be at a rowdy Dinah Beach Yachty on race day. We might owe the old salts a beer after that one…

That’s definitely authentically NT. Speaking of, what other NT artists are you digging at the moment?

I just saw Draftday as a part of the Darwin Fringe and I loved it. So polished and so much attitude! Serina Pech also continues to blow me away every time.

If you could work with any other NT artist, who would you most like to collaborate with?

As a part of the fellowship I’ll be working with Dave Crowe in Alice Springs, Katie Oliver in Katherine and I’m hoping I’ll be able to work with Warren H Williams in Tennant Creek too, so I’m very lucky on that front. Also, without discussing it with him, I’ll declare here that I’ll be making a solo record with Broadwing (Ben Allen) one day. He’s a genius and a gent.

Lastly, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

The first step to success is not being a jerk. |

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