Melbourne artist, Local the Neighbour released his new single ‘Point Guard’ in mid-May and the track has all the vibes. The wholesome song is paired with a sensational music video captured on a vintage Super 8 camera! It’s the kind of indie/rock tune that permits that laidback, chill vibe. Coupled with the music video, shot completely by David and his girlfriend, the graphics follow an adorable narrative of sun-drenched trees, dogs, waterfalls and the ultimate beauty of nature. I was lucky enough to speak with Local the Neighbour aka jazz-drummer-turned-indie-rock connoisseur David Quested about his experience writing and all that comes with the music industry. Check out his unedited responses below!
How would you describe yourself or how do others describe you?
If we’re talking about personality, I’ve got no idea how to describe myself. I think all my friends have pretty varying thoughts on me just because I’m usually a fairly reserved person, so it takes a while for me to open up. I think this is one of the big reasons why I got into music as a kid. When I was in that environment and playing, I felt a really big sense of confidence and belonging, which served me well.
Regarding Local the Neighbour, I struggle to describe it, apart from saying it’s indie rock/pop. There have been a couple of moments where I’ve tried to pigeonhole myself and say ‘my music sounds like blah’, but then my housemates never quite see the connection haha. It’s been interesting hearing the comments from the people who listen to my music because it has almost always been something unexpected, and usually, I like it!
Is there a vivid or monumental memory behind the first time you realised you wanted to pursue music? What first got you into music?
“Feels like the interest and curiosity of playing music was always there”.
Especially as some of my early memories as a kid were hearing my dad cook dinner in the kitchen and always having his big HiFi system on. We’d talk about songs and I’d describe what they felt like emotionally as a 4-year-old. Very funny to think about now! As a 4-year-old, I remember describing Seal’s ‘Like a Rose’ song as ‘the crying music song’ haha.
Pursuing music as a career, on the other hand, had a couple of monumental moments. One was when I was about 14 and playing in the school musical. I was the youngest person in the band, and the musical ran for a week (not including the rehearsals that were often during class times too). I remember that week I’d wake up at 8 am (normally I’d have to get up earlier around 6:30 to catch the bus), pack up some drum gear and my mum would drive me to the venue in the city. I’d play a show in the morning and afternoon, and in between, we’d have a couple of hours break. Most of the other people involved were in year 10 or 11 and we’d trade music and hang out in the city.
“I remember thinking, how could anything be better than this? I figured if having a career in music was anything like that experience, the tough journey towards that would be worth it!”
Who or what was your primary inspiration for the lyrics in “Point Guard’?
My girlfriend! But in my mind, it’s also about the people you love in general, and how you’re grateful you are for the relationship.
What was the process of writing and producing the track? What emotions do you feel during this time?
Panic, stress, confusion! No, not really haha. I basically try to just let the song unfold as much as I can in a natural way. If I hear a certain thing in my head, I go for it! In many ways, I think this comes from a jazz approach when improvising, but only this time you’re recording and producing.
If I get stuck, I’ll just try a bunch of ideas and hopefully, something inspires me again to hear new ideas that feel good in the music. Doesn’t matter how stupid the idea is. Sometimes I might not like the sound of something, so to try and change it, I’ll record it out of my laptop onto my iPhone, back into my computer, pitch it up or down, and then cut it up and see what that does – basically anything to try and spark something potentially interesting. It’s a lot of trial and error!
“I really want to let my ear decide where the song is going and I try to follow that initial instinct as much as I can before having to start getting crazy. It’s a tough thing to do and can often lead to panic, stress, and confusion haha”.
I read in a Triple J article that you draw influence from musicians, Dayglow, Alex G and Hayley Williams, who would you say your all-time favourite musician is?
Justin Vernon! Even though he wasn’t on that list, I think he’s influenced me in more than just musical ways, which I think says a lot about how amazing he is. When I first started listening to his music I was at a bit of a crossroads in my university degree. I really fell in love with his music and his journey, and I don’t know if I’d be doing what I do if I hadn’t found that music.
Would you say that you want your audience to feel a sense of nostalgia when they listen to Point Guard? What is the significance behind the theme of nostalgia?
Haha, this word gets thrown around all the time with my music and it’s a funny one. I never thought of my music as having a sense of nostalgia, but I’ve lost count of how many people have used that word to describe my music. I don’t even know exactly what that means, but I’ll take it anyway!
What’s the story behind the Super 8 camera on which the official video for Point Guard is filmed on?
Since I discovered film photography, I’ve never wanted anything to do with digital cameras. In production, I love any form of saturation and film is the visual equivalent in my eyes. So when it came to shooting a music video, I just knew I wanted to do it on film if I could, and super 8 is probably the most accessible form of that. My girlfriend heard me talking about it a bunch and must have seen me scanning Facebook Marketplace for one, so come my birthday, she and some family/friends all chipped in to get me one! After that, I knew I had to make a video with it.
Have you always been fixated on the indie rock genre?
Not really. Early on I was an obsessive Blink 182 fan. Travis Barker was my favourite drummer and I loved anything in that pop-punk world – Good Charlotte, Paramore, etc. My dad loved Nirvana and therefore I really loved that 90s grunge stuff too. The indie thing only really happened later on maybe in late university. I’m not even sure what the turning point was.
What is the most rewarding thing as a musician?
“Playing music! For those who don’t do it, it’s hard to describe. For me, I get so much nourishment out of it and a real sense of being present. When the moment is right, nothing is really bothering you and you just feel good.”
It’s kind of a similar thing when producing/recording for me too. I love getting lost in a rabbit hole of experimentation. The number of times I’ve been in my studio in the evening and lost track of time and left at 5 am is ridiculous!
What do you consider your biggest achievement within the industry?
That I’m still in the industry trying to do my thing! A bit grim to say, but it’s a road that a lot of people, unfortunately, bail from because it’s very intense and has a lot of variables that are out of people’s control. I’ve got friends with large record deals and even they have struggled to find a purpose in wanting to remain in the music industry – it’s a very tricky place to navigate for many reasons!
Do you have any current goals or aspirations you are working towards?
I’d love just to be busy doing the things I love. I think the dream would be to just be working on my music full time, as well as working with artists I really love, and making/playing music together. If I could do that all day every day I’d be a pretty happy person!
What are your hobbies outside of music, and what do you enjoy doing?
My girlfriend has an awesome puppy called Barnaby (he’s a Pomapoo), so recently I’ve loved taking him to the park and having a day out with them.
I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot and love going to different countries and having friends to catch up with. I’m hoping to do a lot more of that soon. There are some friends in the US I’d love to go and collaborate with!
I’m a big coffee lover too, so I enjoy the occasional (probably too frequent) filter coffee experience. I’ve gotten a couple of my friends into filter coffee and it’s a fun thing to get into!
What’s next for you?
More music! Live shows! More Local the Neighbour all around! You can follow me on social media to get any updates! I just released my second single, Point Guard, that you can check out on streaming services and there’s a fun music video that goes along with it 🙂
You’ll wanna sing along to the bouncing-ball lyrics of the nostalgic home-movie visuals that ‘Point Guard‘, portrays. You can also view his first track ‘Cancel Me’ on Spotify. Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for Local the Neighbour who is bound to be writing and producing a whole lot more! Check out “Point Guard” by Local the Neightbour below:
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