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Bits And Pieces

20 June 2012 | 11:23 am | Michael Smith

Musician, academic, blogger, agent provocateur: Brisbane’s Edward Guglielmino still reckons he needs editing, which is why a band helps.

Scattered amongst the songs on Edward Guglielmino's second album, Sunshine State, are what might best be described as sonic scattergun soundscapes. It turns out these were Guglielmino's original preferred form of musical expression.

“I did those for years, those kind of sonic experiments,” he admits. “I did some records at home like that.” In fact Guglielmino released, in runs of 100 copies each, three EPs and an album between 2002 and 2006, before finally getting around to a proper full-length release, 2009's Late At Night. “I just did experiments and every now and again a song would come out. I felt like going back to that and I was encouraged by [Sunshine State] producer [Jamie Trevaskis] to go back to that sort of stuff as well for this record, a little bit, because he always really liked my earlier stuff so he wanted me to do it again. So I did.”

Trevaskis, a longtime friend of Guglielmino, has produced records for The Wilson Pickers, The Gin Club and Texas Teas.

“He was the old owner of [now defunct Brisbane venue] The Troubadour, and I worked there for three years, so it came from lots of discussions about how he thought my next record should sound and from there it became, 'Why don't you come in and record a couple of songs?' And we did a couple and liked them. From then it just became an album, but very slowly – it took two years, but we eventually got there. We also recorded a lot of songs that didn't make the album. I was listening to them the other day – we kind of messed around for two years and made a best-of, I guess,” he laughs.

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Another factor that slowed the progress of Sunshine State a little was losing a couple of members of the “band” he records and gigs with, The Show. The departing members were replaced by multi-instrumentalist Sam Schlenker from Skinny Jean and singer Kirsty Tickle from Little Scout.

“I collaborate a lot with Sam on this album but aside from that I just kind of like to hook up with other musicians and work on other, you know, three-way projects [most notoriously The Thin Kids with UK journalist Everett True in 2009, but also Lost Of Love with James O'Brien of The Boat People] or four-way projects, just to keep it fresh and to be a bit more anonymous as well as to whose band it is, if that makes sense.

“When I was doing those albums I had a laptop and I just messed around on that with chords and ideas. And I probably make about a hundred of those or so a year and then I edit them down, choosing what I think are the best bits. Sometimes I'll hand over a CD to a bandmate and sometimes they'll actually come back with a lot of ideas, which was the case with Sam, so he's co-written two songs on the album. It's kind of like distilling, if you like that metaphor, though it's a bit flawed, but you start with lots of stuff and then it's a process of cutting it down into smaller and smaller and more distilled bits.

“In the writing stage I don't self-censor – I just record everything I can think of, even if I think it's crap. I don't have any real gauge of how good my songs are,” he laughs, “which is annoying. I work more like a writer than a musician and I think all good writers have editors, so I always need to work with a couple of people who will edit my work for me.”