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William Crighton

From a five-person town on the Murrumbidgee River, to Nashville Tennesse, William Crighton is inspired to make music by the places he lives. We expect he’ll be overflowing with inspiration, when he visits us in the tropical north this Build Up.

You released your debut self-titled album last year. Can you tell us a little bit about the place where you wrote and recorded the album – because I hear it was somewhere pretty special. 

It was in a place called Burrinjuck, which is a dam toward the top of the Murrumbidgee River in NSW. It’s a special spot and we were living in the old village, which at the time had only five other permanent residents. There was no phone reception or TV. We were living in a fibro place that was built to house the workers and spent our days fishing, gardening and exploring. When it came time to record, some mates and I pooled our gear and set up in the house.  

How did that location inspire the album? 

Being isolated from society – and by the most part technology – gives you space to explore both the natural environment around you, and your own mind, free from distraction. It helped me to focus and unlock things within me that otherwise would have laid dormant and unexplored. This land has a very strong spirit that can inspire all sorts of things – the challenge is opening yourself to it and remaining open.  

Speaking of musically inspiring locations – you’ve spent a few years living in Nashville. Was it as amazing as we might imagine, or do we have an overly romantic notion of being a musician living in Nashville? 

I’m answering these questions sitting on my bed at my mate’s place west of Nashville in the bush. This is my favourite part of Nashville. There’s a lot of history here and a lot of it is very dark, but there’s a lot of beauty too. 

I found the city itself amazing the first time I came here – I’d never seen anything like it; music everywhere and a lot of it I really enjoyed. Some of my fondest memories took place here. I was younger then though, in my early 20s, and I don’t have the same feeling of amazement as I did then, but I have a respect for the place as so much great music has come out of here – and some of my closest mates are here. Now I like visiting from time to time.  

And how did Nashville influence your music? Have there been places that are more influential? 

Living in Nashville, I realised that a lot of great musicians who bleed to be in the industry are hamstrung by the industry itself. By that I mean they forsake what they really want to do artistically to put food on the table and be ‘successful’. That’s a choice and that’s okay, but I’d rather play the music I want to play, live in Australia and shift furniture when I’m broke. Nashville always tends to lean on me to put parameters on the music for the sake of fitting into a market, and what’s the point of that? It only leads to unhappiness. It’s definitely a love hate relationship... but there is a lot of love. 

From Nashville to Darwin – you must be excited to be visiting us this November? 

I’ve never been to Darwin before. I’ve heard so many good things though and I can’t wait to come up and play.

Sat 25 Nov | 7pm | Railway Club | darwinrailwayclub.org

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