Melbourne indie musician Tim Wheatley last month released his new single and debut solo album as well as playing a string of Australian dates to celebrate. We found out a little more about his career and his inspirations in this interview.
Hi Tim and welcome to Beauty and Lace, thanks for talking to us.
Being the son of Glenn Wheatley, I am sure I don’t need to ask when you knew you wanted to be a musician but I bet you have met some talented and legendary musicians. Who has been the most inspiring person you’ve met?
You’re spot on, I have met a number of talented and legendary musicians over my years in the business. But to be honest, the ones that genuinely inspire me are the musicians, singers and writers that are touring and playing relentlessly around Australia on any given night. I’m inspired by the folks who know that there won’t be anyone at the show but show up and play anyway. I’m inspired by those who get up in spite of being unknown. I admire those that stare at the ever deteriorating live scene in Australia and say ‘f**k it, I really want to play…’.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe it as ‘honest’. My belief is that a great song can be played and translate it in its purist form. Whether that’s on a guitar, piano or whatever that may be. I endeavour to keep it simple…
Can you tell us a little about the new single Valerie?
The song ‘Valerie’ was inspired by a book I read about the Darryl Lea chocolate family. The part I found most interesting was about the fractured relationship between ‘Valerie’ the matriarch and her adopted son Shelton.
You’re an Aussie living in LA, can you tell us about the clip for Valerie? Who worked on it and how it came about?
We wanted to make a clip that told the story in the simplest way possible. Director Tahyna McManus did this beautifully with the help of Jessica McNamee who really had to carry the storyline herself. We filmed it in a small Hollywood casting studio, because we didn’t have the budget to head back to Melbourne and really recreate the story. This way we were also leaving a lot more up to interpretation. Sometimes being too literal with film clips takes away from the song and leaves nothing up to interpretation.
The debut album Cast of Yesterday releases this month, can you tell us about it?
‘Cast Of Yesterday’ is is a collection of songs about people, past and present. The album was written over a period of four years and in that time I did a lot of touring and met so many colourful folks along the way. We recorded most of it in Melbourne and finished it back in LA. It was a long and complicated process that took two years, but I’m very proud of the end result.
What inspires your songwriting?
Places and people… I’m not sure why but it seems to be the underlying theme as I look back over the work I have done. Books are also a large source of inspiration for me… Particularly the likes of Hemingway, Camus, Burroughs and Ginsberg.
Can you tell us why the move to LA?
I had toured Australia five times and wanted a change. I also wanted to get away from the familiar and branch out. It helped me write and free’d me up… It hasn’t been easy however, but well worth it.
You are currently on tour in Australia, what can audiences expect from the live show?
I don’t want to give to much away… you will just have to come down to one and listen. But its a pretty raw and honest show. I leave my band behind and just play solo, so it’s just my songs and I.
What’s next for Tim Wheatley?
Well if I only knew! haha… First I’ll be back to the US to launch the record over there, before returning to tour Australia in the summer! Very exciting times ahead…