Header image  
what's happening in your town  

Ross Wilson Interview…Daddy Who….Daddy Cool

Hi Ross you are headed up to Cairns to play a show at Tanks Arts Centre what’s the show going to be like?

It’s a full band which is a pretty stable line up as I tour all over the place. Eric McCusker is on guitar from Mondo Rock who is pretty much there all the time. We play everything that I am know for from Daddy Cool to Mondo Rock and solo stuff including a few new tunes as well….Our mission is to get people jumping around and tapping their feet if possible- that has always been my mission.
Do you think daddy Cool and Mondo Rock are finding a new generation of fans?
My thing is because daddy Cool and Mondo Rock are so different musically and in those bands I looked completely different as well there are still a lot of people that don’t put together the fact that I was the lead guy in both those bands because they sound different and I look different. So when you get the message through that it is the same talent and I also have solo albums it starts to make sense for people, but because of Facebook and twitter and all of that stuff now it’s actually a lot easier to get that through….maybe with Facebook and the latest figures on that is the fastest demographic joining are over 60, they are all kind of waking up to what you can do in retirement.

Daddy Cool’s album 40th anniversary was celebrated last year(2011) so what was that like reflecting on those times it’s a pretty big milestone?

Of course you remember the early stuff and because it’s all fresh and new but it’s the stuff in between that is hard to remember which is funny because it all becomes a bit of a blur with touring and all that stuff. But I have good memories of those days and I think “Daddy Cool” deserves its place particularly in Australian Rock History, as you mentioned we have one song in particular which has stood the test of time and there are a couple of others that are hanging in there as well. Eagle Rock has been adopted as the unofficial theme song by the West Coast Eagles and the Manly Sea Eagles and by almost any team that has eagles in its name. The fans tend to sing the song if they win its great hearing Eagle Rock at Subiaco and its touching in a way.

You are far from a one hit wonder you have written a number of great songs so what is your song writing process?

Well the main thing with song writing is to start, usually I just pick up my guitar and start hitting it and lately after many years I have felt I have written so many songs on guitar that I have started composing again on piano because I felt I was starting to repeat myself, because I was using the same chords and voicing’s and all that so I have been sitting around on this old upright we have got and reinventing the sound a bit on the current writing schedule and its quite refreshing because I use to write a lot of songs on piano and then started writing a lot on guitar and now I am going back again to freshen things up.
It’s amazing you just need to have enough enthusiasm to just sit down and start doing it then you just let your subconscious do all the work, it helps if you have got something to say….whether it is I love you or something about the world.
On My last album which is called “I Come in Peace” it had a lot of songs about where I saw myself in position to being on this planet, it’s kind of like a window into your own mind when you finish a song…sometimes you know what you set out to say and sometimes it’s surprising when you reflect on a song and see another meaning there.

Does it get harder to write songs as you get older?

It’s not harder to write the songs its finding the time to do it. I do spend a lot of time out on the road and I find it very difficult to write songs because I am in performance mode…you know I love performing and I really enjoy it but unless we start running through a new song during sound check I am not really in that zone. So then you come home and you have family responsibilities so you have to carve out time to do it which is usually when people leave the house to go off doing something so they are not distracting me.

Now I also don’t have a schedule either, when you start making albums and it sells its like we’ve gotta make another album and the record company are like give us another one straight away, you’ve gotta start churning them out. I think that helps but I have never been one to just churn them out and that’s one of the reasons that when I was in Mondo Rock I got Eric McCusker on board because he was writing quite a few songs and I thought if I was going to refresh this band I need someone who can help deliver the songs and it was a good discussion because he came up with a whole lot of songs I still sing today “Come Said the Boy”, “ State of The Heart” so between us we were able to keep up that schedule where we would do an album a years and it’s not really that pace anymore it’s a couple of years in between albums and its quite demanding to keep the quality up there.

If you go to iTunes you won’t find much Mondo Rock because we have just got our masters back and we are remastering them and they will all go up again this year some time.

That sounds like a great project when you get these masters back and you go through them do you find tracks you have laid down that you didn’t put on the album?

Yes we do particularly live things, we found these live broadcasts that were done for FM stations and they sound really great they come on and it’s like “hey” I had forgotten about that song because Mondo Rock in particular were always rehearsing and always trying out new materials and a lot of those songs never appeared on albums and on these live tapes it’s like “listen to that it’s a fantastic song how come we never put it on an album”….around about now it’s the 30th anniversary of the Chemistry album and we got control of that album back so we are going to put out a 30th anniversary remastered version with these bonus tracks from the era. B sides and these live tracks people haven’t heard but they are really good live versions and I guess that is what you would call lost songs.

There are ten songs on the Chemistry album and there would be another 6 or 7 of these.

The other thing we have in the works…unfortunately I am so busy doing my day job of going out and touring that sometimes the master tapes get lost, you might have the two track master which is the final mix but it’s good to have the 24 track and particularly in this age of remixes but unfortunately we have lost a lot of those…but we have found “Come Said The Boy” which is the biggest hit Mondo Rock have ever had and I found this remix guy in England whose work I admire and the great thing about twitter is you can find anybody, so I contacted him by tweeting him and I said would you like to have a go at this and he had never heard of us cause he’s a young bloke in England and so I sent him over the files to him and he is in the midst of doing a remix, he has sent me some progress ones and it is really shaping up to be fantastic… so once we get chemistry re-released some of the albums will go up on iTunes with some of these really interesting remixes as well.

It sounds like a really busy and exciting time for you?

It great doing all the contemporary remixes and all that but I don’t like just looking backwards all the time I like to keep moving forward so I have a bunch of new songs but I think what I will do is to release an EP rather than release an album and that will be my next release as a songwriter hopefully by the end of the year…

You can read more about Ross and buy his albums online at http://www.rosswilson.com.au/


Ross Wilson performs live @ Tanks on saturday 23rd of June