Ever wondered what it sounded like when an artist could hug and challenge your soul with their sonic wiles? Look no further than beguiling Sydney artist East Denistone (aka Marcus Hoon) who has been weaving his textural wiles into woozy indie pop rock.
While his otherworldly tones mixed with catchy hooks grasp at retro hints, there's a formidable modernity that seeps into East Denistone's tracks, seen most recently with his latest single 'Amongst Taller Trees' released yesterday. And fresh off unveiling the new track, The Soundcheck grabbed the man behind East Denistone to chat sentimental songs, soothing sounds and a secret that may or may not be a thinly veiled dig at his drummer's shoes. Interview below.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE SOUND IN THE WHOLE WORLD?
As cliche as it is; the sound of gentle, moving water. There’s something inherently calming and poetic about its movement. I’d never put it in a song though...it’s a bit overdone and when it’s playing it through speakers or headphones you tend to lose some part of its effectiveness.
WHAT'S THE FIRST ALBUM/SINGLE YOU EVER BOUGHT YOURSELF?
The boring answer here is either Frogstomp by Silverchair, or The Bends by Radiohead which would’ve probably been in my mid-teens, spending my hard earned money from my first job at McDonalds. I think the first CD I ever owned (paid for by mum and dad) for myself was the soundtrack to Pokemon: The First Movie, which was 1998. And I’m pretty sure I only played “Don’t Say You Love Me” on repeat - I just listened to it then and it’s still an absolute cracker of a tune.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE RELEASE SO FAR FOR 2019? (OR IF IT'S TOO EARLY TO CALL IT, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE RELEASE OF 2018?)
Yeah haven’t really had any albums released this year that grabbed me. I guess I’ll be hanging out for Julia Jacklin’s though. Last year I really loved Noonday Dream by Ben Howard - it was beautifully slow and meditative but I’m not sure everybody liked it because of how much of a departure it was from his old material. Will have to throw honorable mentions out to Phantastic Ferniture, First Aid Kit and Kimbra.
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM GEAR SET-UP? ARE YOU LUSTING AFTER ANY PARTICULAR INSTRUMENTS/EQUIPMENT?
I would love a Gretsch White Falcon - if you want to check them out in action you can probably look to John Frusciante and Dave Le’aupepe. I will confess that I’m still pretty rubbish at guitar, so at this point in time it doesn’t really what I’m using - but they look really extra and I’m all about that.
I’d be down to also bring a Steinway piano on tour but I’d be in debt for the next three lifetimes. I was lucky enough to play one in school and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever played before.
Lastly, I’d be keen to start having a cello and a cello player for shows. Although when we start referring to people as ‘equipment’ we’re getting into historically contentious terminology. Really wonderful instrument nonetheless.
WHO'S YOUR FAVOURITE AUSSIE BAND OR ARTIST RIGHT NOW AND WHY?
Easiest question I’ll get! Gang of Youths. Seen them a few times now and have never been disappointed. They also just seem incredibly down to earth, I’m glad they’re picking up steam around the world.
WHAT'S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WISH YOU WERE GIVEN WHEN YOU WERE FIRST STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?
That you don’t have to do it all yourself. I think on my EP released last year, I tried to do too much without deferring and it ended up hurting the overall quality of it. I think I felt I’d lose some of my identity if I let too many people in, but those kinds of fears are sometimes more prohibitive than helpful.
WHAT'S ONE SECRET ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU'RE WILLING TO DIVULGE?
I have an on and off obsession with footwear. At the moment I think I’m in a good space because my shoe rack at home is pretty full - but I’m always about 5 minutes away from a relapse, especially during sales periods. Unfortunately this can also manifest itself in unhealthy ways, like all the stick I dish out to my bassist everytime he wears his ugly black runners. If this sounds like a passive aggressive dig at him...well it is.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR EAST DENISTONE?
The big plan for 2019 is to release two more singles, making sure they have as much reach as possible, and hopefully use those to leverage some decent gigs. Segmenting the year up into those little chunks between songs helps me focus on the one thing at any given time, while also building towards the bigger picture.
FOR MORE EAST DENISTONE INFO, HEAD HERE
BY TIANA SPETER