Melbourne via Perth’s multi-insturmentalist sensation Owen Rabbit has been making quite a name for himself lately. With his latest realise Holy Holy Owen has been pricking the ears of listeners across the nation with his distinctive soundscapes of deep moody synths and slightly left of centre production feels. Heading off on tour with Safia on their massive national tour Owen gave us some time to ask him “What’s up dock?”
You started playing as a DJ at Bush Doofs what’s the weirdest/most remote location you’ve played a gig?
I played at a bunch of little parties where I grew up in Perth. I feel really blessed to have been a part of such a small scene. It all felt like family and the people I met out in the bush in the middle of the night are still some of my closest friends. I went to a rave once in an indoor play centre. There was a ball pit and it was super debaucherous. I gave a big bikie a head massage and I think his drugged state had given him a kinder demeanour and a higher tolerance for male affection. Raving brings the best out of the worst people.
Your newest track is very chopped up kind of jagged, is that reflective of the way you created the song? Or was it more fluid when you were producing?
I like finding sounds by accident. Holy Holy took a long time to write and a very short time to mix. Writing music is a magic beast.
Are you a perfectionist?
No. I have a short attention span and I’m anxious. I like being creative though I’m too impatient. Hating everything you do is a great motivator to get better though.
Has moving to Melbourne changed the way / influenced your sound?
Moving to Melbourne freed up a lot of time. I feel like I’d done a lot of thinking about how I wanted to make music in Perth and less doing. Also meeting and playing with Melbourne artists like Dear Plastic, Kalacoma and Mayfair Kytes gave me some more confidence to use hardware and try new things. Those 3 bands are incredible.
Who made the artwork for Holy Holy?
I did. It’s a picture I took in a cemetery in New Orleans. That’s probably pretty disrespectful now I think about it. Sorry dead peoples.
If you were told you could only play one venue ever again for the rest of your life where would you want to play?
The William St Bird in Perth. It’s just the best. I love it. The sound guy Chris is in Methyl Ethyl and is a total lord. It’s a huge system in a tiny room and everything about it is the best. I love the Bird.
When you’re a multi-instrumentalist like yourself how do you decide which instruments you’re going to play live on tour?
Mostly what fits in my case. I had to strip down a lot because it was too hard to carry. I’ve got a big bass synth that’s real cool. I’ve got heaps of $2 shop instruments and jingly things too.
What are you most excited about with the upcoming tour with Safia?
Playing at The Corner Hotel 4 nights in a row. That’s bananas.
How will you cope with being on the road for so long?
Multi-vitamins. Salads. No booze. No ciggies. I am a zen master. Not really. I dunno. Adrenaline and coffee and pain.
Do you have a favourite piece of studio gear?
My Korg SV-1. It’s got really simple one button functions and it has a valve in it. Hot sizzle. Also Moog Minitaur has all the fuzzy goodness.
What’s your go to party trick/conversation starter?
I like winding people up. I’m a compulsive liar. I am contrarian and I say lots of stuff I don’t believe in. Life is boring. I like to have a secret. Nobody knows I stole a teaspoon from the cafe and it’s in my sock kinda thing.
Can you sum up yourself in an emoji/meme?
If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing?
Watching sad people gamble their lives away in an outer suburban pokies pub while I die a slow death of inhaled stale schnitzels, seniors special deserts and Bond St durries, occasionally having a trip to Coles to buy self adhesive key hooks and home brand cheese. Music is the only way.
Saturday nights what would we usually find you doing?
Listening to music. Shouting at my friends and telling them they’re wrong about things that don’t matter. If I’m really lucky, maybe dancing.