Q&A Scene: Gareth Koch

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
This is an unusual and (I hope) very original EP since it combines classical with contemporay sensibilities. The arrangements are all acoustic, and the songs draw inspiration from medieval music through to post modern psychedelia. Sparkling effervescent textures, trumpets, percussion, dobros, classical and 12-string guitars and even a 1966 ‘Beatle Bass’ all come together to create our soundscape.
What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
I think ‘Turn Out the Light’ has come up really well. It’s my take on a classic ballad, and I think the weaving of classical guitars through the song is successful. Of course the beautiful mix by Damien Gerard Studios and polish of King Willy Sound mastering has added incredible lustre.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Currently working on a calypso style song which is a lot of fun. Using a rubber squeeze pig, softdrink and WD 40 cans as added percussion. But halfway through a take my Great Dane got up and shook himself, and the jangly dog tags sound excellent!

What, or who, inspires you?

This is probably a bit predictable, but Beethoven must be my favourite composer. The rhythmic drive, passion and attention to detail is an inspiration. But then I’m a huge Bon Scott fan. I really inhabit two musical worlds which I hope to synthesize in my writing.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Well prepared I hope, with emphasis on combining unusual ingredients. But an overiding pervasive character, hopefully edible…..

Which song do you wish you wrote?

I’d be pretty happy if I’d penned ‘Golden Slumbers’ or ‘Something’.
What’s next for you?
Well, probably trying to write the song I wish I’d written! Yes, definitely.
What’s your scene?
The Tassie outdoor environment. It does inspire. I get a thrill from seeing a fish or eagle…..

Gareth Koch & Peter Bonner ~ Debut EP  “Dont Tempt Me”  will be released September 21st on Planet/MGM

What happens when the musical worlds of an ARIA Award winning classical guitarist and a hard-hitting rock singer collide? The answer in this case lies in an unusually refined and confident EP titled Don’t Tempt Me, to be released on Planet/MGM September 21.

It’s not easy to describe such an accomplished EP as this one. To begin with, the arrangements are all acoustic and highly sophisticated. Little wonder, since these songwriters have roughly 1000 years of music history bubbling away in their consciousness. But alongside this knowledge is a keen awareness of contemporary sensibilities. Sparkling effervescent textures, trumpets, percussion, dobros, classical and 12-string guitars and even a 1966 ‘Beatle Bass’ all combine to create a unique and original soundscape.

This Australian songwriting team of Gareth Koch and Peter Bonner draws inspiration from medieval music to post-modern psychedelia, with every imaginable influence in between. Bonner and Koch have a strong and immediately recognisable musical identity, a new sound and aesthetic that comes with a fluid movement across genres. The result is an array of catchy pop tunes, soulful ballads, blues grooves and rock songs.

GARETH KOCH + PETER BONNER – Don’t Tempt Me was expertly mixed at Damien Gerard Studios Sydney and superbly mastered by Grammy Award winning Wiliam Bowden.

“Don’t Tempt Me is a feast for the ears” – William Bowden-King Willy Sound.

Some Background About the Players:
Tell us about the moment you decided to become a singer/writer/band? What did your family/friends have to say about it?  

Gareth: I started learning piano at age 7, but I sensed I wanted to be ‘in the music’ when Eagle Rock and Maggie May hit the Sydney airwaves. I must have been 8! But it was when I lived in Andalucia Spain (age 12) that I realised my destiny lay with the guitar…

Peter: I started singing at a very early age being surrounded by a family who loved music, but I was very shy and didn’t sing to an audience until my 20’s.

Tell us a little about your writing process, how does a song come along? What gets you going creatively? 

Gareth: Much has been written about the creative process, yet somehow it remains shrouded in mystery. My PHD thesis explored the act of creation and the workings of the unconscious mind during the act of creation. I think much of the process occurs unconsciously…then the analytical process can begin.

Peter: I like to write about real experiences and my feeling about them. Most of the time I begin with an acoustic guitar and write the music before the lyrics.

What is the first record you bought and why? 

Gareth: Vinyl records were part of my childhood. Fairly wide ranging playlist including Janis Joplin, Theadorakis, Steeleye Span, Celtic Music, Vaughan Williams, Hank Snow, Pentangle….the first record I actually bought may have been Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. I’ve bought it 3 times since!

Peter: The first record was a 45 single by The Vibrants – a band from South Australia doing a cover of The Four Tops song “Something About You Baby”. I must have been about 7 years old and loved the guitar sound and vocals.


About Mary Boukouvalas 1594 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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