Interview - Ollie Twohill

singer songwriter

Ollie Twohill is an emerging singer/songwriter from Australia. Let's have a chat with him about his music and his latest release.

- Hi Ollie and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Boots.
Thank you, great to be here. “Boots” is my 4th single release which stemmed from an online songwriting club I was involved during the lockdown period. The theme of the task was about turning up and doing the daily grind when you don’t really feel like it. I tweaked it a little, in thinking about the periods of self-doubt that have held me back or the periods where I have had to step up and that feeling of overwhelming pressure from others’ expectations. The whole song and lyrics came within a day playing around with riffs and progressions on my guitar. Really happy how it has been received. I’ve even had someone from Canada reach out to me. She who was going through a hard time, she said it spoke to her about “having big ass boots to fill”. That made my day. If it helps people forget their worries and gives motivation to step up and get out of their comfort zone – that makes me happy. 

- How would you describe your sound?
To date my music is mostly centred on an acoustic guitar, also have distorted electric guitar elements blended into my music. I’m a little different, with a mixture of guitar based folk tinged rock pop which I’ve called “acoustic heavy”. I’m moving towards a pop punk sound in my 2022 releases.

- What do you write about?
I like to write about a range of different topics, sometimes about my life or sometimes I like to tell a story through my music that everyone can relate to no matter their age or what is going on in their life. For ‘Boots’, this was definitely the case. I wanted to write a song that could relate to people like me who are afraid to take the first steps to achieving their goals and their ambitions with life no matter what it is. I also wrote it to remind myself to get my act together in a sense, haha.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
I have an eclectic taste in music, I’ve discovered an array of new and established bands like the new “Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak” collab album An Evening with Silk Sonic, “Holding Absence” release “The Greatest Mistake of My Life”, “Between You and Me”  called “Armageddon"

- Your favourite live performance so far?
I’ve had some truly amazing gigs in my time, but my favourite gig I’ve ever played would hands down be my debut single launch for my song ‘Tapping Away’, held at the art deco beautiful Regent Cinema located in my hometown. I feel that I played my absolute best, the crowd were so enthusiastic and supportive of everything I did that night. It was so surreal!

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage.
There was this one time I played at a venue called the Hotel Brunswick on a lovely Sunday afternoon session and I was the opening act for a band who had a pretty big following. I had family and lots of friends there, the place was packed. I was in the middle of my set and I realised I didn’t have my watch on me for some reason. I didn’t know how much longer I had left in my set. So I ended up asking my Uncle who was nearby how long I had left. Unbeknown to me my question went through the PA and whole audience heard it. So in his loudest voice he shouted out you’ve got 10 min and the audience laughed and carried on. I was so embarrassed. He still reminds me of that most times I see him.  

- Your favourite albums?
Great question. It’s really hard to narrow down but rock music has always had a soft spot in my heart. 
Jet’s ‘Get Born’ would take the top spot. To me, it’s an album that is perfect front to back. It’s got all the goods any rock fans want and need for a rock n roll album to sound like. It also happens to be the album that inspired me to play music and become a musician in the first place. Get Born will always hold a special place in my heart.

Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ would take the no2 spot. It’s an album that inspires me to explore new sounds without fear of judgement. I’ve always loved the way this album is rough around the edges and quite laissez faire in nature. It’s an album of pure beauty in my eyes.

Last but certainly not least, my 3rd favourite album would be Blink 182’s ‘Enema of the State’. I really love the vibe of this album. It’s full of youthful energy with a bit of silliness to compliment it. It’s an album that’s helped me see the light in dark times.

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
. Wow, what a great question! I would absolutely love to have a drink with so many remarkable musicians, but if I had to pick one it would have to be the wizard guitar player Synyster Gates from the band Avenged Sevenfold. He’s my favourite guitarist of all time. His guitar parts are always so beautifully composed and intriguing to listen to. I’d love to pick his brains and understand his way of doing things.

- What would you ask for backstage, if you were the most important band on earth?
I’m pretty easy going and simple in a lot of respects. I’d just want to make sure my band/team and support crew are looked after catering wise, along with any friends or fans I invite backstage as well. End of the day they are the ones that support you and help you do your music.

- What are your plans for the near future?
My strategy is to release 5 singles in 2022 and depending on restrictions play as many gigs as I can. My reasoning for singles is that you can create a specific vibe with each release whilst growing a fan base.   I’ve got another 2 mastered songs up my sleeve and ready to go for 2022. “Silk Dress” and “Neverland” will be released in Feb and April respectively. I’m transitioning into more a pop punk musical style so will look to establish a rhythm section behind myself live... In the 1st quarter of 2022 I’ll be heading back to the studio to some more songs for release in the second half of 2022.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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