Sure we’ve heard about you before, but we think it’s time for Tone Deaf to get to know you a little better. Slip in to something comfortable while we put on some music, pour us a couple of drinks and turn the lights down low.
Who are you and what do you do in your act?
We are Kodo Motif, a two piece folk rock band based out of Melbourne and consisting of Mornington Peninsula locals Jet Sallmann and Brody Viney. We use harmonies, acoustic and electric guitars and organic percussion to create a unique live sound, full of dynamic changes and rich textures.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parents record collection and why?
I’ve got dad’s best of Leonard Cohen, which he can’t stop raving about, and I know Jet is keen on a bit of Nick Drake, thanks to his folks. I’ve just rediscovered Cat Stevens too, which I remember from dad playing “Sad Lisa” to me as a boy.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
I Want That You Are Always Happy by the Middle East (already among my favourite all time albums) plus a lot of the Decemberists, the National and Dan Kelly’s Dream Band. Jet doesnt have an iPod; I think he gets his inspiration from the surf.
‘Home taping is killing the music business’ was the catch-cry of the record industry in the 1970s, but it managed to survive until now. What do you think is the difference between mates taping copies of friend’s records back in the 80s and 90s and file sharing now?
File sharing is a tough issue. Music can be made so easily and distributed so quickly these days, all you need is a laptop, and I think that means that the volume of music being made is increasing, while its quality is decreasing. But people will always be writing songs which mean something and people will always want to hear those songs, so the music business can’t really die. It just might become less of an ‘business’. Local music is thriving, especially in Melbourne. That’s what is exciting to be a part of and any band that’s serious about music recognises that. The aim of the game isn’t to make money from people downloading your songs on iTunes, it’s to make good music and get people listening to it in whatever way they can.
You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What was the first gig you went to? Where was it and what was the venue?
I can’t answer for Jet but I know that the first gig I saw was my brother’s first band, a five piece emo outfit, playing a battle of the bands at the Somerville Mechanics Hall. I must have been about ten and a young Kisschasy were the closing act. It was so loud and I was stuck amongst a bunch of apparently hardcore teenagers but I was just stoked to be out of bed so late!
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
I actually don’t download music, I never have. Part of the reason is that I’ve never had high speed Internet at home, but I’m also a desperate album junkie, I hate listening to songs without the whole album, in order, around them, and the booklet in my hand. I want to understand what an artist is getting at, and I don’t think you can do that when you just download a track or two. Kodo Motif doesn’t have anything available at the moment but there will be a single available to download for free by the end of August. Details will be on our Facebook and myspace pages, check it out!
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
Hmmm…well my brother inspired me to get on the guitar, but it was the process of learning about 30 Bright Eyes songs off by heart that got me singing. His voice isn’t great but his lyrics are amazing and that is where my desire to sing comes from, that need to express myself in language. Jet is the opposite: his mind is like a big musical instrument so he speaks through his guitar. I have no doubt that his playing can be put down to one source: Hendrix.
Have you ever been arrested?
Haha, no, we’re folk-rockers, not punk-rockers.
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
We normally just sing together a little bit to get our harmonies in the right spot.
What’s been your most outrageous rider request?
We once had an $80 bar tab, the clincher being that we are a two piece and Jet doesn’t drink! That was a big night for me.
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
I once had a dream that we played a set with John Butler – pretty amazing – and I’m sure we would both leap at the chance to do that for real. He was a big inspiration, especially when we first started.
Right, let’s get really intimate. Tell us what releases you have that we can listen to with the lights down low, or even better, where we can see you play in person next.
Our only releases to date have been pretty low-fi – we made a seven track EP in Jet’s garage in 2009 and there are still some copies floating around, as well as a couple of tracks on the myspace. We’ve got a new seven track EP due out in January though, which is very exciting. As I said, there will be a single available at the end of August as a free download, so keep your ear to the ground for that. We’ve got a bunch of shows coming up in support of it, starting at 1000 Bend Gallery on Sunday the 7th and finishing up with a free single launch at the Vic Hotel on Thursday the 18th. It’s going to be a big night so everyone should come down to celebrate with us! Details are at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kodo-Motif/