When I first heard Oliver Tank's "Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion" back in 2013 was... actually it felt exactly as I started playing it before preparing this interview. Goosebumps. I remember it was a feature which when I saw on the website I felt extremely happy about starting this adventure.
His music goes beyond description and has been soundtrack to many sleepless nights. And while I've never seen him live, these sounds feel so personal, you might end up thinking you actually know Oliver in person. Having him as a guest in our mini mix series and doing this interview mean quite a lot. I hope you guys find it as interesting as I did. Tracklist can be found at the bottom of the post.
Hi Oliver! Where do we find you at the time of this interview?
Just at home in Sydney. I live in the inner west which is not too far from the CBD.
Can you share the randomest fact about you? Something not many people know.
I have a moderate fear of birds.
Listening to your music always makes me feel like floating around. What's your relationship with water? It feels like it appears visually and conceptually a lot when it comes to the sounds you create.
Yeah I like that underwater floating sort of feeling that you can create in music through filters and EQ. I try to incorporate it in my music a bit just cause I like how it sounds and it fits the vibe I'm trying to create.
I fell in love with last year’s single “Swerve”, could you tell us about any of the themes in the song? It really “takes me away”, just a beautiful experience.
Its a song about some of the struggles I've had over the past few years. I was afraid to be myself, not confident in who I was or where i was going and that self doubt really took me over and became a burden I didn't want to carry. The song is also about escapism which I engaged in while going through these struggles. It was a great relief to finish this song and have it out in the world. Its very personal and its good to be able to share that and have people care.
I first heard your music when you opened for Lana Del Rey in Melbourne a few years ago. When will you come play in Europe? It would be so exciting to see you live again.
No plans to play in Europe just yet. Would love to make it over there soon. Maybe later this year if things go well or sometime next year.
"Last Night I Heard Everything In Slow Motion" was such a powerful addition to the James White trailer. How did you connect with these guys and are there any other interesting projects we should know about?
They hit me up wanting to use the track. People say my music is quite cinematic and that song in particular is quite heartfelt so I think it added a lot to the trailer. I haven't seen the film yet but I hear its quite a sad story.
What are your favourite Australian movies?
I haven't seen a lot of Australian films but I did really enjoy The Babadook and Animal Kingdom.
Australia's music scene is constantly delivering nothing but great artists most of which push way beyond the boundaries of the country. I feel a big driving force behind that is triple j who is not only popular is Australia but around the whole world. Do you think that's true and in general what do you think of their role in the development of the Aussie music scene?
Triple J is huge for Australian music. What they do for artists is so important. People really love the station and once you get your song played on there you can really notice the reach and difference they make. There's also a local station in Sydney called FBi radio 94.5 which was very instrumental in my early success. I feel like I owe a lot to these stations. They do so much to support artists around Australia.
Speaking of Australian musicians... who are some of your favourite local artists?
What is your favourite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?
Well its been raining for about 3 weeks straight in Sydney so I've just been spending most of my days making music. Might go and play ball at a nearby gym or hangout with my girlfriend, watch a movie and order some food.
What can we expect from Oliver Tank in the near future? What direction do you see your music going in?
My debut album OT will be out on the 21st of April. Which I'm really excited about and then I plan on putting out a bunch of other tracks before the end of the year maybe an EP or a few collaborations I've been working on.
As far as the direction of my music its better produced and the songwriting has improved a fair bit I think compared to my earlier stuff. Other than that I'm just trying to share my experiences and help other people who might be going through the same thing.
What's the hardest thing you had to sacrifice in the name of music?
I'm not sure I've had to sacrifice much because I love making music and this is what I want to do with my life but I think the life of a musician can at times be quite lonely and taxing. I'm working on a song about it at the moment which I hope to share soon.
Once you said in a 2014 interview you want to inspire people to make music (like FlyLo for example). I think you've definitely done that especially in the last few years. What else do you strive for when it comes to music?
Just to be a more successful artists and to share my music around the world. My main goal though is to inspire other artists by what I create.
Thank you for the interview and your music. It has been inspirational. Any last words?
Thanks for having me. I'll be sharing a lot of music this year on top of the album. Can't wait to show you guys.
ps. interview questions by Ivo & Petra