Mountain Thousand co-founder Jamie took some time out with young Geelong born musician Olly Friend to talk all things music. Olly gave us an insight into the highs and lows of trying to forge a dream career in music. In particular the difficulties of beating writers block and homesickness to keep pursuing his end goal.
Hey Olly, thanks so much for taking time out to have a quick chat with us at Mountain Thousand about your life and music! First things first, tell us a bit about yourself. Thanks Jamie. I am originally a Geelong boy born and bred but now I tend to call the road home. I just turned 21 a few months ago and I haven’t really done a heap outside of music in the last 5 years, although I did sail Melbourne to Hobart on a 34 ft yacht with 2 mates which I think was a major highlight of my life outside of music.
In terms of your journey with music, what have been some of the lows and highs? And what keeps you going? Music has definitely been a massive learning curve for me so far that’s for sure. Some of the lower of lows include deteriorating writers block. It just gets into your head and makes you feel as if you are done creatively and just not good enough. Also coming off tour and trying to settle into a few months back in Geelong is always a very difficult transition.
Some of the higher points would be just spending time in the studio and playing those really intimate shows to 40 or 50 deadly silent people. Also supporting artists that you really respect (Patrick James, The Kin, Hein Cooper) always remind you of why you push through, as well as meeting some of the most incredible and genuine people along the way.
Are you just a musician or have you tried your hand at a range of areas in the music industry? I was just a musician although last year I attempted to start a management company which was a really big eye opener. I tried to handle 7 artists while touring 3 months across Australia and New Zealand which almost killed me. I think that side of the industry, even though it is a strong passion of mine, can wait until my “retirement” of playing when my looks start to fade more than they already have.
What is something that you have learnt through music that will stick with you for the rest of your life? Never take on more than you know you are capable of and treat everyone with the respect (especially your sound tech, they are some of the more talented people in our industry in my opinion).
We recently saw you dropped an awesome new track ‘Kaikoura’ which has been a long time coming! Was there a reason for the extended break between your last offering and this fresh one? Naivety, time, the chance to tour relentlessly and writers block were probably the main reasons. Now I understand new music needs to keep coming all the time so I have a bit backed up now.
Is there any particular meaning behind Kaikoura? Are any of the other tracks you are planning on releasing going to be similar or will you try and mix it up? I have had a lot of fun writing the last 3 months. Kaikoura is all about how homesick I became, how uncomfortable the touring schedule was and just knowing I had to power through. The other tracks are a lot more what I want to be releasing. They have a lot more depth and diversity musically and I have really challenged myself throughout this process and am really excited to hear what everyone has to say about it all.
We also noticed you are filming an accompanying video clip for Kaikoura. When can we expect that to drop? Has it been a fun process creating something visual to accompany your lyrics? Yes! I originally was going to skip shooting a music video for Kaikoura but one day I just felt like a trip down the Great Ocean road to visit a few of my favourite spots before heading off to tour again and just took down a camera and got some incredible shots. We jumped a few of the barriers and got to shoot a few spots I’m not sure many people have really ever been before. I don’t think I am going to rush the release of the video at all but if I were to have a stab in the dark I would say mid-June.
Lastly before we let you go, are there any upcoming shows we should know about? Yeah for sure, I have 4 more shows before I leave the country and then I will be back for some more touring around August/September.
April 14th • Torquay, Bar 61
April 15th • Bendigo, Basement Bar
April 19th • Perth, Indi Bar
April 21st • Perth, El Grotto (Supporting Morgan Bain)
Thanks again for taking out the time to speak to us today Olly, we wish you the best of luck with the rest of your tour dates and your travels!
To check out Olly’s latest track hit play below.