Q&A Scene: James McGuffie AKA McRobin

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

Concrete feet is the new single. I’m launching it on Friday, Sept 16 at the Wesley Anne, with supports from a few of my favourite local artists; RAThammock, Didirri and Charm Of Finches.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

The title track off the upcoming EP, ‘Shallow Diver’ is probably my favourite. It’s a real slow burner and it sets up the musical and lyrical theme of the EP. It was the first song I wrote on for this new record and it sums up a weighty observation I made about myself late last year.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

It’d definitely be a vege soup (done in the slowcooker); lots of colours and textures that are satisfactory on their own but with patience, soften and combine to form a warm and hearty concoction.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

Last week St Kilda Fest put on this one off show for Live N Local at the Sacred Heart Church in St Kilda. They invited my band and Woodes to play a set each. Right before we started our set, my Aunty showed up and told me that the church we were playing in was the one my grandparents got married in, in 1947. It was pretty full on to comprehend the fact that if they didn’t stand where they stood, by the alter nearly 70 years ago, then I wouldn’t exist. It turned out to be an amazing show; one for the long-term memory bank.

What, or who, inspires you?

Besides the overwhelming catalogue of outstanding music that I’m constantly discovering, I’m really inspired and fascinated by ordinary people. I love meeting people at gigs, and I also do a bit of uber driving from time to time, both of which allow me to get a sneak peak into the lives of complete strangers. I’m constantly attempting to fill in the blanks of these brief and patchy encounters for my own amusement, and although only the odd few anecdotes make it into my songs, all of their stories inspire my creative process in some way or another.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

There’s this ridiculously great song called ‘I’m Gunna Love You ‘Til I Die’ by a guy called Jackson Phelan (who makes music under the name RAThammock). I don’t think it has been recorded yet, but I’m flawed by it everytime I hear it performed live. Besides it being a lyrical masterpiece, it’s stunning musically, and I just wish it was my song. I’ll probably cover it one day.

What’s next for you?

Well the single launch is a couple of weeks away, which is going to be a blast. After that I’ll be getting geared up to release the EP, which will hopefully involved a regional tour, some house concerts and some festival slots. I’ve also just started working on a new batch of songs, which is exciting the hell out of me at the moment. The best thing about releasing EP’s (as opposed to albums) is the relatively short turnaround time, which, due to my frustratingly short attention span, suits me just fine. I’m constantly trying to evolve and refine the ‘Mcrobin’ sound, so I don’t want to tackle the ‘album’ until I think I’m really onto something.

What’s your scene?

My scene involves a mix of solitary confinement (in my studio) and time spent trying to immerse myself in random encounters with interesting strangers.


With a voice of Jeff Buckley-level virtuosity and an instrumental flair sharpened by afternoons studying Nick Drake’s finger-picking and Bill Evans’ harmony, Mcrobin (aka James McGuffie) is the kind of musician you rarely encounter who doesn’t demand your attention; he already has it. While this brilliant musicality hooks you in at first, it’s his songwriting that truly captures. Mcrobin harvests beauty from the everyday to shape intelligent, slow-burning, alternative-folk tunes that are instantly accessible yet, grow with every listen. Mcrobin’s cinematic musical scope, electronic experimentation, and life-affirming lyrical perspective marks him as one of the most unique songwriters to surface in recent times.

After a year-long interim, Mcrobin is ready to unveil the first single, ‘Concrete Feet’, from his forthcoming, sophomore EP, ‘Shallow Diver’. The track was co-produced by McGuffie, alongside drummer/ collaborator Jim Rindfleish and enlisted Simon Moro with recording and mixing duties before being passed on to Moose Masterings’ Lachlan Carrick (Gotye, Lior). ‘Concrete Feet’ teases at the exciting possibilities of what the forthcoming ‘Shallow Diver’ EP has in store for us.

Upcoming Shows: 
16th Sept – The Wesley Anne
‘Concrete Feet’ Single Launch
w/ RATHammock, Didirri Charm Of Finches
Purchase tickets here
: https://www.trybooking.com/Embed.aspx?eid=220216

Concrete Feet will be available now www.mcrobinmusic.com  http://mcrobin.bandcamp.com

About Mary Boukouvalas 1614 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.