Oliver Tank is a 23 year old producer out of Sydney who caused quite a stir with his debut EP Dreams in 2011 which was recognised for his maturity and orginal sound. He first started turnng heads after his track “Last Night I Heard Everything In Slow Motion Compared” (a song he made originally for a uni assignement) began causing waves online. Compared to the likes of Bon Iver and James Blake, Tank was named one of Triple J’s next crop artists in 2011 and went on to support Lana Del Ray on her first trip to Australia in 2012.
Now, after a year of spending some time underground working on new music, Tank is back with a string of national tour dates previewing his upcoming tracks. In between shows in Sydney and Melbourne, Tank took the time to talk to Orgnl.TV about what he’s been working on, the Sydney sound and what originality means to him.
“… anyone can work on getting a certain sound, but I feel like when you sing, that voice only really belongs to you…”
"I feel like a year ago, if people would ask me to play an hour set, I’d have like half an hour of really solid stuff and half an hour of kind of tracks that weren’t quite as strong as some of the other ones."
I feel like a year ago, if people would ask me to play an hour set, I’d have like half an hour of really solid stuff and half an hour of kind of tracks that weren’t quite as strong as some of the other ones. Now I feel like with this new material I tried to put a bit more effort into making it work well live, I’m trying to make the set flow a bit more and mix into each other . I feel like it’s more fluid now and everything is working out a bit better and these new songs, they seem to being received pretty well. I think when people get to know them a bit better, then it will be even better.
Yeah I think so. I mean FBi was really supportive when I was first getting started and I think it’s a really good starting point for a lot of artists just because it’s really accessible. You can go in and drop of your stuff and you know it’s going to get listened to. And if you’re confident in the tracks and think they’ll work well for radio then I think you’ll have a really good chance of getting it on there. Once you start to get on a bit of rotation it might get picked up by Triple J. That’s what I kind of found happened with me and obviously Triple J has a huge following so that can really launch your career. But definitely FBi, I attribute a lot of my success to their support and that competition as well, it’s completely changed my life.
I feel like my new tracks are quite different from the old ones. I mean Iceland was amazing. I kind of worked on Dreams a little bit over there but I did most of it in Sydney. I was working on tracks all of last year that I wasn’t really happy with and eventually I had a really solid idea for like an EP and finally got it all together and it finally just clicked. That’s what it felt like for Dreams also.
Yeah I mean I was having a lot of trouble writing music. I was writing a lot but I just wasn’t really happy with it and I’d write it, finish it, listen to it for a couple of weeks and then just be like “Oh I don’t really know if I’m feeling this.” I think it’s important not to spend too much time working on tracks, but I am really happy with these new tracks I have for the EP. There was certainly a period of time last year where I just felt like I couldn’t get anything done. I don’t know I’m kind of new to the whole producing game. I mean I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now. I only really learnt half way through uni so I still think I have a lot to learn in the production side of things, and I think that kind of held me back a lot. But yeah I think it was a little bit of writers block, but I’m back on top of it now.
Yeah I guess it’s called Slow Motion Music and I think it really suits that title. It’s got kind of a slow motion theme throughout. It throws back to a couple of tracks from Dreams; I’ve got the strings popping again and piano. I’m trying to get a bit better at writing beats, I felt like that was a bit of weak point on dreams. I just try and put a lot of heart into my tracks and I think it’s developed a lot more then Dreams was but certainly has the same sort of charm about it.
I think originality means having your own sound, being unique. Doing something that no one else is really doing. I kind of feel like with my live show I was trying to make it really live and I saw a lot of other artists using laptops so I tried to stay away from that. I feel like on the production side of things, anyone can work on getting a certain sound, but I feel like when you sing, that voice only really belongs to you, so I think that really adds a unique element to music that people really connect to that no one can really copy off you or emulate. I think that really defines a unique artist.
Oliver Tank will be playing at new Adelaide warehouse festival ‘Knots’ on the 25th of August alongside Kaytranada, Ryan Hemsworth, Polographia, Cosmo's Midnight, Fishing, Collarbones, Oisima, Brokers and How Green.
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Article by Stoli Australia