Burning desire to take songs on road
WHEN his second solo album drops later this year, there will be only one thing left for Something for Kate frontman Paul Dempsey to do: burn the evidence.
The Melbourne muso said dozens of notebooks filled with song ideas and lyrics for his yetuntitled new release would soon be reduced to a pile of ashes in his backyard.
“The album is the most important thing, so when it’s finished, those notebooks just feel like baggage weighing me down,” Dempsey said.
“I can’t quite explain why, but I’m really secretive and I can’t stand the thought of all these thousands of words lying around for someone to find.”
Before he heads into the studio to record his self-confessed “long overdue” follow-up to 2009’s gold-selling solo debut Everything IsTrue, Dempsey will try out some of his new songs live at the Rosemount Hotel next month.
“I’m not too nervous because it would be silly to expect an immediate reaction on the spot; no one ever completely gets a song on first listen,” he said.
“The stuff I write rewards repeated plays; there’s usually a fair few layers going on that won’t be immediately obvious. Writing this album, and now starting to perform the songs has been about following my instincts, stumbling my way forward. Already I can tell this album is different, I can’t really say how, but it feels like something I haven’t done before.”
Dempsey said he felt incredibly fortunate to share his time between playing with Something for Kate and going off on his own every few years.
“I really like the totally solo acoustic shows because they feel more intimate, like you can just hang out with the crowd and chat,” he said.
“When you’re playing with the band you feel like you have to hurry up and play the next song because they’re waiting for you.
“I’m lucky I get to have a really noisy, loud, abrasive rock band with my best friends, and I also get to go and do these… maybe it’s not the right word, but more soulful shows. When you’re not competing with drums and elec- tric guitars, you can actually hear yourself sing. It is definitely a different mode of performing.”
For Paul Dempsey, solo work is a privilege and a big change from his other work with Something for Kate.