Dan Kelly

Never Apologise To A Crowd

Eating Pretzels with Leonard Cohen backstage.

You have just been announced as one of the head line acts for this year’s Spiegel Rock, a combination of music and circus performance. Is this your first time in playing such an iconic but unusual venue?

I've played the Spiegel in Edinburgh about 8 times, once in Brisbane and 5 times in Melbourne. But never with a circus! So I'm pretty vibed in this one. It means my weird dancing and head shaking is not the focus :)

With an extensive career such as yours, you have become the musician’s musician and given that you have had the opportunity to assemble your dream band, what was your criteria in cherry picking artists to play with you?

Well as usual it was just people I liked from other bands who joined my group as a kind of holiday camp. My main criteria is they play and sing with personality. I'm not interested in session style players it always sounds too in tune and dreary for me. Saying that, the girls and guys in the band are remarkably pro action as well as being able to freak out and have a good time.We are aiming to be the last psychedelic party band at the end of the world

Meeting so many different musicians and interesting characters throughout the years, were there any words of wisdom spoken to you that really resonated with you and altered the way you approach your music?

Someone told me to never apologise to a crowd or they will smell the fear and tear you apart like a pack of wild dogs. Good advice. Though I have apologised about some of my odd fashion choices. I'm from the early 2000s where we didn't really know how to dress and no one could afford new stuff that actually fit back then

What is more rewarding on stage, playing crowd favourites that receive a guaranteed positive response or new tracks that are played live for the first time?

It's a tough choice, adoration versus confusion, and one I'm still grappling with on stage and general life. If the adoration was guaranteed is probably swing that way. But I've managed to confuse a lot of crowds with my old stuff too.

With so many tours and shows under your belt, can you recall some of your highlights or strange encounters?

Eating pretzels with Leonard Cohen backstage was good. Being taunted by ice addicts in Perth less so. Mostly I really enjoy it though, particularly now my clothes fit better

Do you find touring to be inspirational whereby it helps you write and create more material or are you so focused on the task at hand that writing and creating new material takes a back seat?

Not really, it’s like a bubble and I don't really come up with new stuff unless you're in the luxury situation of having extensive sound check time. Which never happens as my goth mixer tunes the PA system for about four hours before we get a chance to play

Are there any particular acts of the Spiegel Rock bill that you are keen to check out?


What is on the horizon for Dan Kelly and 2017?

A new album of Laneway Festival style hits that will finally take me to the top. If someone could help me with that my number is 0433270122