Tom, Ludo, Ben and Jacqui are Shed Muzak. A self-declared ‘factory of funk’,  Shed Muzak is based in Sydney and I’ve loved them ever since I stumbled on one of their amazing covers. They do fun, quirky things to pop music your ears will totally be in favour of. Once we figured out the logistics of being online simultaneously (oh time difference you jokah), I had a chat with the lovely Jacqui. They’ve got a bright future ahead of them, with an EP of original songs in the works!  Just in time to stop fans like myself continually hitting that repeat button.

The Wonder: hi Jacqui!

Jacqui: hi!

J: yay we’re online at the same time! where are you?

TW: I am actually in England, near London. It is nearly 7 in the morning on Thursday!

J: oh really!!! wow. that’s cool

J: i was just in london a few months ago

TW: no way! were you here to perform?

J: oh nono i was backpacking around europe!

TW: sounds fun! well, thanks for doing this interview! let’s get started shall we?!

J: sounds good !

TW: when did you and the guys meet and decide to make some sweet music?

J: Well we probably had our first jam around August or so last year. I had known them for a couple of years. The three of them were actually in a band a couple of years ago so they’ve been playing together for ages which is so cool. I used to watch them play in their previous band back when I was 18.

TW: oh, so this is all pretty recent! who came up with the name Shed Muzak?

J: It was sort of a play on another friend’s band so we joked around with the name “shed music” then it just became “shed muzak”. Initially we were “shed muzak and the wafflecopters” though!

TW: haha! wafflecopters, makes me hungry! what made them decide to add some Jacqui to their band?

J: Well, I can’t speak for them haha but I played music with Ben and Ludo at a Christian conference at University in 2010 and they asked me after that.

TW: and here we are just a year later! I love your covers, Kesha’s ‘Blow’ has got to be one of my faves!

J: thanks! so glad you like it!

J: yeah it’s crazy that it’s pretty much a year ago we started, but we love it more and more as we go : )

TW: what’s been your favourite cover to perform so far?

J: I think I probably enjoyed doing bounce the most. It was just so fun, and even slightly embarrassing when people walked past…which made us laugh even more!

TW: the video for that is hilarious…who directs/comes up with your video ideas?

J: I think we all have different ideas each time so I always forget who suggests what. Even right now i’m trying to remember who thought to do bounce that way.. and i’m not sure who it was! it’s very much a collaborative effort.

TW: that’s cool, it looks like you all were having a blast! your fans are loving it, I was checking out your Youtube channel and you have so many song requests!

J: the people who write to us are often SO lovely. we appreciate all the kind words and requests! it’s hard to pick which ones to do, that’s the only issue haha there’s quite a back log now of songs ..

TW: oooh, what’s on the short list?

J: hmm at the moment we have “karnivool” which we definitely have to do haha. Some old classics and whatever the winner of our latest competition picks!

J: ps. Tom’s online too, we could group chat!

[Jacqui added Tom to this chat]

J: there we go

Tom: hi!

TW: hi Tom! we were just chatting about what cover you might be doing next!

J: ooh, the one we’re doing next is actually a surprise! it’s something a bit different 😉 not sure exactly what it will look like but we’re filming it this week which we’re all excited about!

TW: I do love surprises! I’m just going to have to be patient!

T: We can say though that it’ll be an original 🙂 We’re excited to be doing a bit more of our own stuff! And hoping to do some recording in January/February.

TW: do you write your own songs together, like you arrange your covers?

T: Usually someone brings a preliminary idea to the group, and then we arrange and compose the song in its entirety together. So say for ‘Troll’, Jacqui came to one of our rehearsals with the idea for the song and we worked with the idea to Shed Muzak-ify it and make it work for us as a band.

So that involves lots of things, like developing structure, dynamics, instrumentation, etc. And we work it out by a combination of jamming and planning.

TW: Troll is a really cool track. I’m getting really amped for the new stuff if it’s more of that! are you self-taught musicians or did you study music at school?

T: A mixture. We all play a few different things… I’m trained as a pianist and trombonist, but am self-taught on bass guitar. Ludo is trained as a saxophonist and drummer, Ben as a guitarist.

J: and i am mostly self taught on the piano… I had a few lessons over the years and it never worked out

T: And Jacqui and I have also had some training in singing. But we all just love music 🙂

J: oh yeah!

TW: that’s a great range of instruments to choose from! Which bands or artists have been inspiring your music?

J: I think for all of us it’s different! I guess for all of us we’d me inspired by a mixture of bands, from specific bands like porcupine tree, mute math, general pop music, heavy metal, electro, jazz and classical. So many! Between us all, there are so many artists we listen to!

T: Sting would also be a major influence I think

TW: I love mute math! and sting is a legend…

T: sorry I have to head off, but I’ll leave you and Jacqui to chat. Nice to talk though! Bye!

TW: nice chatting with you too! bye!

TW: Jacqui, what’s been the response of people in Australia to your music? Things have blown up since you were on Perez Hilton’s blog.

J: Yeah!  In our area we have been warmly received which has been great. We were featured in a few local newspapers after being on Perez’s blog and started playing at churches around the local area, which has been really fun. It’s really encouraging when people you don’t know are like “hey, nice cover!” and you’re like “woah! that’s cool!”

TW: are you all Christians? do you play Christian music?

J: we are all christians yes! We play christian music in our churches, but not so much as a band at this point..

TW: I ask because there are some bands who put their religious beliefs in their music. Hillsong is massive in Australia and their music is also getting a huge following here!

J: Yeah, I mean we definitely aren’t ruling it out. We’re not against Christian music, we love it.. in fact it’s the first kind of music I ever listened to! I’m a big fan of the music Hillsong produces, I actually visited Hillsong in London when I was there in july!

TW: do you have any plans for the future regarding your music?

J: at the moment we just have plans to record an EP and do more gigs next year hopefully! the four of us will be full time workers in non musical fields next year so it will be interesting to see how it all goes! i have zero plans except to play music : )

TW: well who knos what could happen a year from now!

J: yeah !! let’s hope we just get to continue making music : )

J: sweet!! thanks for interviewing us!

TW: I need to get ready for work now- this time difference thing still cracks me up- thanks again!

J: haha!! catchya later 🙂

J: byee!

 

Why not stop by Shed Muzak’s Facebook page and Youtube channel?

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