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Guineafowl Interview June 2011

Catherine May


Despite the ugly bird with whom he shares his name, Guineafowl actually makes beautiful music. His new EP ‘Hello Anxiety’ is out on June 20 and he’s trekking across the globe to play in the UK soon from his native Australia. Here he tells us more about his music and uses a lot of exclamation marks to express his excitement…

MTTM: So, where does the name come from?

Guineafowl: The name Guineafowl was actually a nickname I was given by a teacher when I was really young. I had quite a long fringe when I was a kid, which covered my eyes, and so one day a teacher, quite cruelly started calling me “guinea pig”. Then for no reason at all, he evolved it to guinea fowl. The nick name stuck with me through all of school. Most people forgot my real name and just called me guinea. I actually hated the nickname but when choosing a pseudonym, I wanted something that meant something to me, so I became Guineafowl.

MTTM: Having started out in a small, noisy music studio in Bondi, you’re now playing the likes of Splendour In The Grass – a huge Australian music festival – how does it feel to have come so far?

Guineafowl: Like there is a long way to go! There is still a lot to achieve before I can move out of my noisy little studio methinks.

MTTM: You’re part of a very artistic family and you’ve said that your brother showed you that art “is about capturing stories”. Do you think you were destined to pursue a creative career?

Guineafowl: I think I was pre-disposed for one, certainly. Growing up my family was very encouraging, they always wanted to see what I had drawn or stand up cheering during school plays, so now I have that annoying desire to show people all the things that I make. Hopefully no one will ever be actually annoyed by what I have to show. Fingers crossed!

MTTM: Your creativity certainly seems to have spilled out into your music videos. Just how did you make the Little Fingers video (watch it here) and was it as fun as it looks to make?

Guineafowl: I worked with a very talented Australian Director, Kip Williams. He made me rehearse vigorously to learn the whole song backwards. Trashing the room was fun, but there was too much going around in my head for me to really revel in breaking all those things. That being said, I did really enjoy shooting the clip/inventing a backwards language.

MTTM: Where does the name of your EP, Hello Anxiety, come from?

Guineafowl: It is a lyric from In Our Circles, the first track off the EP. It sums up how I felt about my first ever release as well as beginning a career in music.

MTTM: Have you got a favourite song on the record?

Guineafowl: People say choosing a favourite song is like choosing a favourite child, but I think picking which child is best would be much easier! My Lonely Arms has always been my favourite recording on the album. We really captured something when we laid that down. A really angry energy I guess.  

MTTM: You’ve got a lot of upcoming gigs in your home country, how would you describe the music industry over there at the moment? Who are you currently listening to?

Guineafowl: The music industry is busy. There are a lot of acts, releasing a lot of music, and not as many ears as there are in the U.K to hear them, so things tend to get a bit competitive. That being said, inter band relations are always extremely friendly. I have been listening to Architecture in Helsinki’s album a lot lately.

MTTM: Are you planning on heading over to the UK to tour soon?

Guineafowl: Yes!!!!! Soon!!! This year in fact!!!

MTTM: What else is in store for Guineafowl?

Guineafowl: I am writing an album.  I would add exclamation marks but I feel I used up my quota on the last question.