By Arne Sjostedt
RCJ gets to know Guyy Lilleyman from Canberra World & Folk-Rock act – Guyy & the Fox, post the release of their single: The Mountain.
How old are you?
30 (ish) years old
Please tell us about your musical icons
I grew up listening to the Pink Floyd discography in my dad’s car (with super cool 8 CD stacker). The guitar solo from David Gilmour in Time, from Dark Side (of the Moon) is what inspired me to learn the guitar at the age of 12. I’ve always loved soundtrack music as well, Hans Zimmer was certainly an influence on some of the tracks on the upcoming EP.
What about the non musical ones?
Sam Harris, author of Waking Up has been on my radar for the past 7 or so years. He has a knack for making my brain hurt, but in the best way possible. I’d also have to give my family a shout out, if I’m ever in need of inspiration (or a kick in the ass) they never fail to make me a better person.
Can you profile your fan base?
Guyy & The Fox has played dozens of Folk Festivals around Australia, so our fan base is made up of people you’d see at Woodford Folk Festival or the National. I’d say we appeal to a broad range of people, and our audiences always have a huge age range.
Use three words to describe your sound.
Intense, Dark, Soaring.
What is the story behind your latest single?
The Mountain is probably as close as we get to Indie-Pop genre, where a lot of our other new songs feature instrumentals that would work well in a soundtrack to an epic battle. I often write with a loop pedal, and wrote a much slower, instrumental version of The Mountain. The main riff, which is Amelia (the Fox) plucking her violin, popped into my head one day. The first line of the lyrics came to me out of the blue (as usual) and the rest of the words progressed from there as I visualised something waiting for me, that I was being drawn to. Amelia wrote the bridge lyrics, which was originally from a poem she wrote that worked really well.
What is your approach to song writing?
I used to have a loop setup in my jam room, I’d have a drum machine, guitars, bass and heaps of gadgets all running through it. I’ve written a bunch of songs this way, but I’d say most of my songs will randomly appear in my brain, out of nowhere – lyrics, melody, chords, everything. The battle for me is trying to get it down on paper before it fades away. I find visual stimulus can really promote this as well, like staring at a volcano for a couple of minutes, I start to hear the song that I’d like to hear for that image.
Can you tell us how you became a producer and the techniques you use to stand out from the crowd?
Before music, I studied 3D animation and had a decent full-time job in that area. Being a producer for me is like combining my love of music with my innate geekiness. Creating sound is very visual for me, and once you open the doors of production and sound design, you can really create some wonderful noises. I wanted to produce the first Guyy & the Fox EP (2016) myself and my brother happened to also want to build a studio. In the process of building the space and recording that EP – I fell in love with production, having a sound in your head that you chase around until it comes out of the speakers. As far as techniques go, I think I’m just willing to try anything – I get excited about creating sounds from several sources, and love experimenting to chase down that idea.
Where do you see yourself in now in your career? What are your priorities?
After opening a studio, my own projects were somewhat sidelined. Since lockdowns have been in place, I’ve had a lot more time to work on my own music. I’ve put every ounce of energy into Amberly Studios over the past 5 years, and I love what it’s become. The fact that I can work full time making music is truly amazing. After spending a lot of time on this release and the new EP, I’d like to shift some of that energy back to making more of my own music again.
Tell us about your favourite live show moment
We recently performed at Good Folk for the National Folk Festival. We played at the Q to a sold-out crowd, and for the first time – performed with an extended line-up of 7 additional members. I wanted to perform the new EP as it was written (with loads more that just guitar and violin). We had 4 percussionists, cello, bass and keys join us for the show. It was hugely stressful as our first gig in that arrangement – but well worth the effort!
Where can people find out about you and keep in touch with what you are up to
All the usual places, Facebook/Instagram and our mailing list!