By Shifa Mehra
‘PYJAMAS’ by Duck Egg Blue on spotify
I had a chance to have a chat with the very spontaneously witty and cheerfully insightfully band “Duck Egg Blue” as they shared their collective journey as a budding band in the industry. We talked on topics like their musical inspirations, their song writing processes and much more. Here is the PART 1 of the conversation recorded specially for you.
Angus: Hello, we are Duck Egg Blue. I’m Angus, I play guitar and do backing vocals.
Dylan: I am Dylan. I’m the lead singer and play rhythm guitars.
Dan: I’m the drummer. I am Dan.
Nick: And my name is Nick. I’m the bass player and we’re missing our keys player. Harper. She’s on the way.
Shifa: Very nice to meet you all. So the first question is what do you like the most about your life as musicians? And what do you hate the most?
Dylan: The money. The money is the greatest part.
All jokes aside, just being able to play with all my mates and be able to play in front of an audience in the atmosphere that it creates and be able to create music and show people for the first time and seeing their reactions is probably one of my greatest experiences being a musician.
Angus: Yeah, just got to do what we really love to do. I guess I don’t think many people really get the opportunity to pursue it. But we’ve given it a go. Yeah.
Dylan: Like, I think it’d be pretty good. Because unanimous consensus. I think we all really like playing as a band and playing for people. What do we hate the most? I think the business side of it. We’re not very good at it to be honest. Yeah, it takes a bit of getting used to and can be a bit of a drag sometimes when you just want to put music out. discuss the things out. Hate touching the non art part of it.
Dan: I’m getting better at it.
Nick: (says hysterically) I’m getting worse!
Shifa: I am sure many of our audience can relate, So an interesting question. What does your artist’s name mean?
Angus: It’s a colour. Yeah, this one comes off of it. It’s a very anti climatic story.
Dan: No it’s not. It’s a good story.
Angus: No one had no one came up with anything better. So it was just my friend’s mom was really obsessed with these pillows that she bought, which was Duck Egg Blue. And that’s a colour it’s just like a really pale blue. And I just thought that it sounded kind of wacky.
Shifa: That is actually a very cool name.
Nick: We will actually think so it’s pretty catchy that Oh, Duck Egg Blue. Can we get copyright of that? I don’t think so.
Dylan: Can we get sued?
Angus: …because if you paint anything that colour then we’re going to be on your neck.
Dan: That’s how we make our money.
Shifa: Nah, I’m sure you guys are gonna get great shows ahead, probably a better way to make money. So did you guys always wanted to be artists?
Angus: I think so.
Dylan: Actually no, I want to be a carpenter for a while. But no, I had found out I could sing and I kind of went like, wow, I can do this. Yeah, that’s what I think. But actually, Angus and I really started this back in grade eight, like our kind of love for music really blossomed in Grade Eight. Yeah. Which was a while ago.
Angus: Yeah, I think up until that point, I was pretty set on like, doing something in maths, like being an engineer or something. But I just, I enjoy music so much more. So yeah, that’s what we are doing.
Nick: I didn’t even start playing music until I sort of became friends with these guys in like grade 10. I started playing guitar in grade 12. So, I mean, for me, it’s been a it’s been a lot shorter build up. But, yeah, I don’t know what I was even thinking about doing back then. I didn’t know what to be doing without it now.
Dylan: Dan, you’ve been playing since we were not even born?
Dan: I started in 2006. Come on, guys! Yeah, I originally did psychology for six years. And now I’m like, Oh, I’m gonna go back to uni and study music because it’s always what I wanted to do. And I was passionate about it. But I mistakenly listened to people, you know, who weren’t in the industry, and tey were like, oh, you can’t make money off of it. It’s very hard and all that sort of stuff. And I’m at the point now, like, I’m a little bit more mature. And I know like that’s, that’s nonsense.
Shifa: It’s really cool. I mean, I always relate art with mental vulnerabilities so and it’s can be a great help to someone who knows Psychology.
Nick: I do think Dan is the person who keeps a lot of us together because he understands us all in such a different level.
Dan: I gotta use my psychology somehow.
Shifa: Yeah. And what age did you write your first song or create your first tune? And do you remember what it was about?
Nick: That’s gonna be a question for Angus.
Angus: Yeah, okay. I remember it, It was quite dark.
Shifa: as it should.
Angus: Oh, what was I saying? Yeah, my first song I think grade Nine. Did we write “Take me away”?
Dan: When was that? What year?
Angus: That was 2016.
Dan: You’re in grade 8 and I was in university.
Nick: We get it. You are old. This is wholesome. I know, it was grade 8th. Because I heard you guys playing that on like an assembly or something like that. And I remember going to like that subject, like a subject selection night and having to choose what I wanted to do. And I remember these guys playing that music. And I was like, I could do that. I want to do that.
Dylan: I was I was about four or five when I wrote my first song. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about this book, its about a bear. I can’t remember. Oh, I wrote a song about that. Song was stuck in my head. I was about four or five. And we had a nice, mini upright piano. And I just kind of just playing around I would just think about this bear. But that’s the first song I can remember that I had written. I used to play it with my mum and my dad.
Shifa: Sorry what book was that?
Dylan: The book was “We are going on a bear hunt”
Dan: Sometimes we’re hard to understand well, our brains are the same, which is like we are the same person.
Shifa: That is fantastic. You know, in Hindi, we have a saying. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but it goes like “its like having different bodies but a same mind.”
All exclaim: Yeah!
Shifa: What are your biggest influences in the industry?
Dan: Elton John! I mean, I like Elton John. He definitely influences me.
Angus: But Frank Sinatra. I think I think Muse is probably the biggest, their earliest stuff. Yeah. I think Muse kind of comes out in a lot of this stuff that and Green Day. I’m not not like as into them as I used to be, but I was definitely very much into them. I think that’s a lot of my musical vocabulary. Fortunately, or unfortunately, however, you want to look at it. Yeah, Muse, Nothing but theives, Matchbook Romance.
Dan: For sure.
Angus: That is awesome. What about you Nick?
Nick: I get it so I like a lot of my bass playing is influenced by fairly heavy metal bands and shoegaze bands like “Lamb of God”, “Gojira”, I think I’m really enjoying “Loathe”. And bands like that. I don’t know, in comparison to these guys. Like I know a lot of these guys are really enjoying, I guess the softer side of music like Stevie Wonder. Stuff like that. Mac Miller. Like, whilst I understand it’s all good I like it a bit different
Shifa: That is awesome. Yeah. Thank you so much for telling us that. What’s your songwriting process?
Dan: Well, we leave Angus in a small cage for about five hours and give him a bowl of water.
Shifa: I would believe that.
Angus: Well, it’s working so far. Yeah. In reality, the cage is a little bigger than that. No, I kind of just, I don’t even know like, I’ll just mess noodle around on my guitar. I think I get inspired by like, my emotions more than anything. If I’m sitting down. I’m like, I’m really feeling a certain kind of way right now. And I’ll pick up the guitar and try to see what that sounds like, I guess. And then normally, like if I if I feel like I have enough of a song that like it feels like it’s going somewhere. Then I’d take it to the band at the next rehearsal and then we kind of flesh it out. At least that’s like the majority of the songs.
Dylan: That’s the same how we wrote “On the border”, I had written on piano. And then I brought it to the guys and we then we transcribed to guitar. And now it’s recorded back on piano, which is really funny.
Nick: But the context, I think Angus is our main songwriter and it goes like Angus, Dylan and Harper, our keys player, is not here, Where we’ve got quite a bit of influence, but I think these people get the ball rolling the most time.
Dan: Then you guys come in, you’re like, Oh, can you just like, do like (making drum sounds)?
Shifa: Can we elaborate that (making drum sounds)?
Dan: Yeah, 100%. Like the guitarist kind of goes like, Oh, can you just like, just do like a (making drum sounds) thing? And I am like what does that mean?
Nick: But then he does it.
Angus: He’s gotten to a point where he can translate anything we say and go on making a nice beat ( continues making drum sound) and thats how we do it.
Dan: And then I ask, is this the beat? Are you proud of me?
Nick: Whereas we’ll sit talking to each other. And it’s like, yes, playing this chord for this. Doing and it’s very sophisticated. And Dan goes chaotic.
Shifa: I mean yeah, Art is chaotic.
Dan: Together there is one functional human here.
Nick: And she’s on the bus on the way.
Shifa: Oh, my God,(chuckles) that sounds fantastic. Okay. Who do you think you sound like?
Nick: That’s difficult. We like to think they sound like ‘Nothing but thieves’ or…
Dan: Queens of the Stone Age? To be honest.
Angus: I feel like we honestly somewhere in between? Yeah, I don’t know. It’s a bit weird.
Nick: I’d say top three “Muse, Nothing but thieves, Queens of the Stone Age.”
Dan: We also have the influence of Matchbook romance, Stevie Wonder a little bit for vocals.
Nick: We’re not sure I think, I think because we all individually have such strong influences in different areas to really hear it in the music or you can hear everything at once but can’t really pinpoint one thing. It’s just weird.
Shifa: What would your ideal performance look like? Who would you play with and what venue would you choose?
Nick: Are we talking like in Brisbane?
Shifa: Nah, just anywhere in the world. Shoot high.
Nick: I was thinking like, O2, supported by Muse and Nothing but Thieves.
Dan: That’s like ultimate, ultimate gig.
Dylan: Like if we were to support nothing but thieves. Oh, my God, I would probably pee my pants.
Angus: I would cry and also pee your pants.
Dan: I would personally like to support “Royal Blood”.
Nick: As a gig, us being supported by “Royal Blood” and “Safety Hazards”. Yeah.
Dan: Yeah, what do we say for venue?
Dan: I don’t know. What is that?
It’s Oxygen but yeah.
Nick: It’s in the UK.
Angus: It’s just a huge stadium kind of thing. I’ve just, I mean, I’ve never been there. But I’ve just heard from all the my favourite artists that have played there. They always talk about how good it sounds.
Nick: So I think we can just count like a lot of the big British festivals. Like I’d love to play there.
Dylan: Actually, a festival gig would be really fun. I just love seeing like crowds at festival gigs, especially in the UK, where they’re so diverse and all the
Shifa: Yeah, it’s really gorgeous how they celebrate Music culture.
Dylan: Yeah, and the crowd culture as well. Like being a supporter in England is kind of unmatched. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen like soccer games, but oh my god. European crowds are insane. I love it, in a good way.
Shifa: Thank you so much for sharing that.
We will continue more in part 2 which will be up next wednesday. Stay tuned to find out more about it.