Braithwaite back for more
WHEN Daryl Braithwaite was told Daft Punk had sampled one of his songs he was confused. “I thought they were a metal band,” Braithwaite said sheepishly. “Sorry ... I wasn’t familiar with them at all.”
While Daft Punk deliberately shied away from their trademark samples on new album Random Access Memories they broke their rule for one song.
It was We Ride Tonight by The Sherbs; the latter day incarnation of Braithwaite’s band Sherbet, sampled on Daft Punk’s epic Contact.
“Sherbet’s publisher contacted me saying they were in negotiations with Daft Punk,” Braithwaite recalled. “I was trying to remember how We Ride Tonight [ went]. I didn’t think any more of it.” Sherbet’s manager Roger Davies, who now manages Pink, got Braithwaite up to speed at one of their regular catch- ups.
“Roger said, ‘ You know the Daft Punk album is going to be the biggest record of the year?’ I had no idea.”
As news leaked, Braithwaite was interviewed by Triple J as he was camping in New South Wales. It was arguably the fi rst time his hit The Horses has been heard on Triple J. “You get these things that help you along the way, but they’re out of your control,” Braithwaite says. “You realise how fortunate you are. It’s been interesting watching the Daft Punk thing unfold.”
It’s gone full circle, as Braithwaite’s band now play Contact as the music to introduce them to the stage.
“My son Oscar, who’s 27, said to me, ‘ Yep, Dad, you’re cool with my friends now because of Daft Punk’,” Braithwaite says. “Apparently I’m on the cool side of music now.”
The good news continues for Braithwaite. Two decades after he left the company, he has re- signed with major label Sony. Braithwaite is as surprised as anyone. “I said to them, you know I’m 64? It’s interesting. It’s also exciting having one more go.
“I should apologise to the young bands for getting another go I guess.”
His return is christened with an eight- track mini album Forever the Tourist.
Breaking with tradition of “heritage” acts still on major labels, they’re all original and contemporary- sounding songs, most written with long- time musical partner Oliver Jones.
“That makes it very satisfying,” Braithwaite says.
“They’re not covers, they’re not songs I grew up with. That’s comforting in many ways. Maybe we’ll get some radio play in Dubbo or Geelong.”
One new song, Beautiful Feeling, sees Braithwaite eloquently describe his job of making people happy.
He’s painfully aware of how good he has it; still touring heavily as a solo act and this year joining mates James Reyne, Ross Wilson and Joe Camilleri on the wildly successful Time of Our Lives tour.
“A friend of mine is a criminal lawyer, he’s been to a few of my gigs,” Braithwaite says.
“He said, ‘ You know what, simply, I deal in misery and you deal in happiness’. I’ve been in to see him in court, it’s not pretty. To have done this for 42 years, it’s amazing. A lot of my friends say I’m lucky, and I am, I’ve been blessed or touched with something.”
Braithwaite is also excited about adding new songs to his live set, albeit with caution.
“I still get flashbacks to the early Sherbet days. We started doing a lot of covers in ’ 71, then we started to write and put our own songs in the set.
“I still remember ending a song and there was no applause. It’s brutal. It’s psychologically damaging when you fi nish a new song and there’s silence.
“But you have to go through that and keep at it. I still get that fear putting new songs in. People want to hear The Horses, maybe Howzat or a few Sherbet songs even though I only play one or two these days. “They want to hear One Summer or As the Days Go By. So I avoid introducing a song as a new song.
‘And anyway, there’s always this song called The Horses that, if all else fails, you just throw that in’
“It’s better to just slip into it, get in and out without saying anything. More often than not people politely clap anyway. “But I am keen to see how the new songs go down. It’s great to have your spirits raised again so late in life.
“And anyway, there’s always this song called The Horses that, if all else fails, you just throw that in.”
FOREVER THE TOURIST ( Sony) is out now