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Taste Test: Daniel Merriweather

9 May 2012 | 7:00 am | Bryget Chrisfield

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THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY
It was Cooleyhighharmony by Boyz II Men. I think my dad bought a Sanyo boombox CD player at Kmart maybe a day or two before, we didn't have one before then, but we didn't have any CDs and that was the year that album came out. [The boombox] was sitting there dormant waiting for the CD of choice and my CD of choice was Boyz II Men Cooleyhighharmony. I think I was about ten and I went to JB Hi-Fi and I bought it. To me, at ten, Boys II Men were the real deal [laughs].

THE ALBUM I'M LOVING RIGHT NOW
I've been listening to A$AP Rocky's mixtape a lot actually. I like really slow hip hop at the moment. It's a free download. I think my girlfriend downloaded it for me.

MY FAVOURITE PARTY ALBUM
It's weird, I've just been getting right into really ignorant hip hop lately. I'd probably put on Self Made [Vol 1], the MMG [Maybach Music Group] album – Meek Mill and Wale and all those guys. That's probably a good party album.

MY FAVOURITE COMEDOWN ALBUM
Probably The Weeknd's first album, which I think is called Room Full Of Balloons. Is it called that? [The actual title is House Of Balloons.] I like the song Wicked Games off that album, that's like the perfect comedown song. It makes you think about all the bad things you've done the night before and it makes you feel horribly regretful about them. You've gotta own the comedown and then you'll get out of it quicker. If you own it – just own up to the guilt of it – then you won't have any lingering memories of it. You've gotta process and then release.

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THE FIRST GIG I EVER ATTENDED
I think it was Metallica on The Black Album tour. It was a great concert. I was a bit of a loner in high school and I was trying to find someone to go with me and I got my mum to buy me two tickets – haha, I sound like such a loser. So I tried, like, five people and I can't remember who I ended up going with – FUCK! That would've been such an amazing memory if I could possibly conjure it. I think I wore a Pantera T-shirt to it [laughs]. I probably should've invested in a Metallica T-shirt. I must've been so young. It was at Rod Laver in Melbourne. And I saw The Presidents Of The United States Of America as well at Festival Hall, in that same era.

THE WEIRDEST GIG EXPERIENCE I'VE HAD
The weirdest gig experience was seeing Frenzal Rhomb at EV's [Youth Centre] in Croydon and having to – I sound like such a pussy, but it was so loud and I didn't know what to do. I thought my ears were gonna start bleeding. I was right down the front. I was standing with my friend Leah Henry who introduced me to that venue and that band and I was right down the front near the speakers. And I remember she wanted to stand there and I didn't want to because it was too loud [laughs]. But I loved it. I just had to move away and have myself an ear break. I was a little concerned that I was losing my hearing, 'cause my uncle has tinnitus, but it was good to see Frenzal Rhomb back in the day.

MY BIGGEST NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES
I guess probably Jean Baudrillard. He's my favourite French philosopher. He wrote this book called The Perfect Crime and the guys who made The Matrix read that book for inspiration. That's what Jean Baudrillard put all his life's work into, is the whole idea that the digital world will slowly replace our reality so that we're not actually sure which is which. He calls it the simulacra effect. I just wrote this song called Falling Down and the whole song is about that idea. It was a direct influence on the song

THE COOLEST PERSON I'VE EVER MET
Jay-Z probably. He's rad. I actually introduced Amy Winehouse to Jay-Z years ago and Jay-Z thought that I was her manager 'cause I was kind of taking care of her because she was a little bit drunk. It was after her album came out at the Spotted Pig in New York and I walked in and she was all, '[puts on cockney accent] I fuckin' hate Jay-Z! I fuckin' hate him, I'm a Nas fan.' I was like, 'Don't say that to his face. That'd be awkward.' [Laughs.] But it was kinda funny that he thought I was this manager. I guess I must've been dressed conservatively that day. Actually the very first time I met [Jay-Z] was at Beyoncé's birthday party – I sound like fucking Page Six! I somehow wrangled my way into Beyoncé's birthday party, like, a really intimate dinner and then at this sort of party house in the Hamptons. There was probably no more than 30 people there and I got really drunk on Patrón and then Jay-Z was playing chess with his manager and I laughed at them for playing chess at four in the morning. I was like, 'What the fuck is this, guys? We've just done shots of Patrón and you're sitting down playing chess? Get into it!' Jay-Z literally looked up with no words, looked at his manager, and his manager did all the talking for him and just said, 'Daniel, you need to walk away right now' [laughs]. And then from then on – you know how sometimes there's that phenomenon of if you get into a fight with someone, or if you have an awkward moment with someone, sometimes it can actually make you closer in a way? It's an instant icebreaker. Like the guy you had a fight with in high school, there's something about the tension that happened that almost brings you closer. So me and him, from that moment on, have a really good kind of friendship in a way.

THE BIGGEST CELEBRITY CRUSH I'VE EVER HAD
Probably Natalie Imbruglia. Mind my expression that I'm about to use, but I've always wanted to throw a leg over. I've always had a thing for her. She's really hot and I met her once in England and she's really short and cute.

IF I COULD HANG OUT IN ANY TIME AND PLACE IN HISTORY
I think I'd probably go into the future, definitely, and I don't really know what I'd be doing there 'cause it hasn't happened yet. But I'd like to see what's goin' on.

IF I WASN'T MAKING MUSIC
I really don't know. I dropped outta high school. Maybe, I dunno, selling drugs? No, I'm just joking. The last job I had was working at KFC so maybe if I'd followed that through, hahaha.