Joshua Delaney wears many different hats. From being a songwriter, an engineer & producer and a label founder, he is also a band member in Rat & Co, SMILE and OCDANTAR. It’s a very busy life for this Melbourne musical entrepreneur. Have a read of what it’s all about…
My primary job is running a modest recording studio by name of Smooch Records in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. I engineer and produce a varied range of music from people of all walks of life. Alongside the recording studio, I run a record label by the same name with my old friends Pete Baxter and Jess Carrol. With a growing yet still modest roster, we are launching several records in the next few months. And finally there are my bands, which are the only reason I have tried to create a decent living out of music. There is Rat & Co, who are a 5 year strong post rock/lofi electronic outfit, SMILE, a 4-piece slacker rock band and OCDANTAR, my newest project with myself as the sole member.
Monday is always ‘get shit done day’. This week I’ve gotten up extra early to get through my massive to do list that only existed since getting out of the shower. First, I had to run to the record pressing plant (Zenith) to listen to SMILE’s newest test pressing. From there, I headed over to Clingan Guitar, followed by Deluxe Guitars, for various gear repairs. Next up was a quick chat with a new artist for the label, Harmony Byrne, who goes under the name Liahona. We are sorting out her cover art work and working-shopping ideas for her live show. This went for a lot longer than expected as Harmony and I always end up writing songs and jamming on her new ideas.
Then it was Smooch meeting time. Running over contracts and chatting about timelines. All the boring nitty gritty behind the scenes stuff that most people in the industry never even think about.
Time to record. First up this week I have BARO coming into the studio to finish off his forthcoming EP. We had recorded his sample cuts a couple of days before so he wanted to play around with them and see what chops we could come up with. Then we had Remi come through and do a verse on a song we co-produced together. Pretty easy and flowing day overall, BARO is a super chill dude to work with at all times, and he always have someone new coming in to check out his tracks.
Shouse mixing time! Shouse is a brand new project from Jack Madin (The Harpoons) and Ed Service (IO), who are both great song writers in there own rights but together are a unexpected power house. The track they have brought in is featuring Habbits on vocals. It’s a true 90’s house track in its entirety from start to finish. Banging hook lines, dirty Roland 909 drums and some classic rave pads synths from Ed’s Prophet 600.
Super fun day, managed to get a few of my own synths tweaks in there. Replaced the original bass tone with my Sh-101 that was patched into my Doepfer modular rig. Went for a super acid house tone and boy, did we get it. Stoked on how this one was sounding.
Today was a weird day, got hit up at the from a mate at ZERO THROUGH THIRSTY agency, he had a couple of his artists that were looking for space to do some writing and he put forward Smooch, I said yes and expected that I would be engineering a jam writing session all day. Turns out they just needed a space to write together with some speakers and microphone, so I set them up and then sat back on the studio couch and just watched them do there thing.
Really unusual day but I enjoyed myself immensely, who wouldn’t like to just sit back and watch to song writers go at it all day?
Writing session for Rat & Co today. We are working on our next albums and they are so close that I can taste them. I cant wait to hear what our finished product will be. I’m getting the overwhelming feeling that we have finally found the sound we are most comfortable with.
Once the boys left the studio, I set up my live gear for OCDANTAR as I had to practice for a gig supporting a band that I had the pleasure of producing, recording and mixing in 2015 named “Golden Girls”. Three piece electronic outfit with a huge cocktail of fantastic influences. Every time I think I understand their sound they will throw a curve ball at me.
Late start to the day, I forgot that I had to DJ at Montey’s Bar in Fitzroy which always is followed by a hangover the following day. Luckily I didn’t need to go into the studio as Jack Farley had rented it out for the weekend recording new tracks for POWER. Possibly one of the loudest bands I’ve ever heard, so I stayed right away whilst considering the sate of my brain.
4pm roles around and its time to shoot down to Boney for sound check. I’m on first which I was pretty happy about because I was really keen to just relax and watch the other bands. My set was ok, lots of things to improve on but the crowd seemed to have liked it. Up next was time for Dreams who absolutely smashed it.
The Drones turned up half way though their set, obviously they were good mates, as Gareth Lidiard jumped up on stage and proceeded to pump the entire venue with smoke and then scull a couple of beers.
Then it was the main event, I had only ever watched Golden Girls play in the studio so it was great seeing them really open up and overwhelm the crowd with subtle tones. Great night had by all.
Jack Farley was still in the studio but this time he had his own band in, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding. Legendary band of the slacker rock scene and an act that I had always hugely respected, so I was stoked to have them in the studio. I just went about the studio cleaning up around them, assisting setting up whatever I could then I got down to the dreaded admin. Nothing like spending your Sunday doing invoices and paying bills.
Too much gear broke this week. So so sick of getting things repaired.
Watching The Drones be normal people was fucking cool. Such legends. Still gushing a little bit to be honest.
Words of Wisdom
Don’t be lazy! Always try as hard as you possibly can because there is nobody but yourself to rely on in the music industry.
BE ON TIME! Don’t waste other peoples time. Everyone is in the same boat and need to squeeze every minute out of their busy lives as possible.
DON’T JUST DO ONE THING! You have to be able to do every job there is to do in the industry all at once, and all at the same time.