The first chocolate from the yearly advent calendar is often the sweetest. It is with this kind of anticipation that we await the arrival 2016s ‘the xmas musicalendar’. Produced by local musician Duke, from Newcastle band The Main Guy & the Other Guys, ‘the xmas musicalendar’ comprises work from a swag of artists Duke has met on his travels around Australia, counting down to the 25th of December.
We had a chat to Duke about Christmas experiences, asked about any changes from last year, and if we can top last year’s sax solo.
NL: Surely last year was a massive challenge, what would possessed you to do it all again?
Hahahahaha! This is the best question ever…and you are right – although most of the artists I approached in October 2015 were immediately keen and signed up straight away…a few of them fell over (for all different reasons) just as December approached and thus I was in need of finding backups as the calendar was already in motion. You know, a bit like the ol’ “lying the tracks out as the train comes up behind you” feeling…but that said, it was A LOT of fun, and A LOT of great artists offered up amazing music and videos to fans…so it was well worth it.
And the response from people to last years calendar both online and around town was amazing!
Another thing is that this year I have not actually been involved in making any of the clips, which has taken a big weight off my shoulders.
And finally – I truly think this thing has great potential to become a “thing” – something more and more people can look forward to – maybe we can add a fundraising campaign to it or raise awareness of unspoken topics…so I’m in for the long haul now.
NL: There were certainly some really memorable performances last year (Sax Solo Drone Shots, singing angels, Christmas in Carmichael St) how are you going to top it?
Let’s be honest – nothing will top that Saxophone Drone shot…unless I get OK GO on board or similar – hehe!
Like last year, all the acts were offered to do their clips in any style they wanted as long as they were happy with it. Not everyone has professional recording or video skills or equipment and I think if that was what I asked for this would not be happening…but some go for more professional shoots – whilst many utilise the camera they carry in their pocket every day.
All that said, there are some equally incredible performances in this year’s batch! AND we have multiple original songs that have both comical and/or emotional messages around the Christmas theme to offer.
The main thing I love tho is that there are all kinds of musical styles and all kinds of interesting approaches to some classic carols which means there truly is something for everyone to enjoy!
NL: What have you changed since last year?
Firstly there is a new animated intro. It is based on the original one from last year, and the song is the same, but yeah…trying to mix it up a bit! (Big shout out to my partner Lisa for drawing it all and to my mate Sam Cupitt – creator of the Short Film Battle – for building the animation!! Legends!)
Secondly I tried to spread the calendar more geographically.
Last year it was heavily based in Newcastle as I obviously know more bands and artists here, and there are definitely many Newcastle acts in this year’s calendar too, BUT there are also more national…and even international…things to come.
Thirdly…the end of the calendar will be spectacular!
NL: Besides spreading Christmas Joy, why are you doing this?
Spreading Christmas Joy as well as to boost my own excitement for Christmas. Trust me; if you grew up in Norway like I did, it is incredibly difficult to get in the spirit with 35 degrees heat, cricket and some shrimps on the barbie…
The other reason is that this truly is an awesome way for artists to showcase themselves to 23 other artists’ audience + anyone else whom follows the page. I like that idea…
And thirdly, of the many bizarre and weird ideas and projects my brain has concocted over the years…well, I am proud to say I think this is one of the better ones.
NL: Tell us about the most bizarre Advent calendar you’ve ever seen…
I’m not sure as most calendars are just cute and sweet…but probably the one Sam and I tried to make a few years back called “Duke & Sam Butcher the Carols” …we only made it to December 9th before we got over it…and it was all crap! …it’s still on YouTube I think…haha
NL: How will you be spending Christmas this year?
My little family is still working that out actually…hopefully somewhere in the Bahamas sipping tequilas…but more likely in Newcastle just eating ham.\\
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