Jack Carty is one of my favourite Australian musos. He was in New Zealand recently for a house shows tour. I caught up with him to talk about his love for New Zealand, plans for this year and rap music at the Auckland show.


I’ve heard you talk a bit about coming to New Zealand to find yourself. Can you tell me a little more about that trip?

That was the first time I ever came, it would have been the start of 2012. I had just had a big breakup and moved out of my house and I was starting to tour but I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was just feeling a bit lost. I was in Sydney with my friend one night and he was like “oh we should go to New Zealand”. So we booked our tickets that night and left like a week later and went camper vanning around the South Island. It was just one of those incredible moments in time. It was only a week but it feels like it was a really, really important week. And in my memory it looms large.


And a friend of yours made a movie about it?

Yeah, he made a short film about it.


Which you didn’t get the part in?

Yeah, I didn’t get the part. He asked me to audition to play myself but I didn’t get the part.


You were too old or something?

Yeah, [laughs] yeah that happened. It still hasn’t been released yet, I’m not sure what’s going on there. It’s been held up.


You’ve been back a few times now, what’s your favourite thing about New Zealand?

I love the people, I think there’s just so many friendly people here and a real lack of pretense, which is beautiful. And I also just love the scenery and the natural beauty of this country.


You seem to make it to the South Island every time you come.

Yeah, I love it down there.


I feel like a lot of musos probably just play Auckland and Wellington and then leave again.

The South Island just feels like my sort of, almost spiritual home or something. I just love it down there. I always feel really calm and centered and lucky to be there.


So what’s up next? Have you been recording?

I have been recording. Well it’s a really exciting year, I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff happening. I’ll announce more of it in the coming weeks and months but basically straight after this [NZ tour] I go home for three weeks and then we head to the UK for two months to tour. And then we’re back around Australia for a couple of months after that. And then we’ll head back to the UK. So a lot of touring. And some new music too.


What other musicians are you most excited about at the moment?

Luke Thompson. I really love Luke Thompson. He’s beautiful. Mali Mali’s got a new record coming out soon and I’m really excited about that because I listen to Gather ‘round the Gooseclock all the time. I love that record. It’s absolutely beautiful. I’m a huge fan of what Ben [Tolich] does, I think he’s really special.


Do you tend to listen to music similar to your own or quite different?

I guess it’s similar in ways. I tend to listen to story driven music. I’m not super duper into listening to really poppy stuff I guess. Sometimes I’m in the mood for it but generally I listen to music that maybe takes a little concentration to get the full benefit of. I’m listening to a guy from the UK at the moment a lot, Blair Dunlop. He’s amazing. He’s kind of traditional folky, but in a modern way. It’s really really cool.


How do you feel about rap music?

I love rap music. I love good rap music. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of my favourite albums.

*banter about Kendrick’s latest drop*


What would you say are your non-musical inspirations?

My wife. Travel. Natural scenery and there’s this amazing artist called Michael Leunig and he inspired me. I think mostly just travelling and the kind of awe of how much bigger nature is than we are.


What advice would you have for young people starting out in music and songwriting?

Just stay true to what you want to create and do what you love and just try to remember why you’re doing it.


Why are you doing it?

Because I love expressing myself and meeting new people and travelling. Music allows me to do all those things which is incredible. There’s just something really nice about the way singing makes me feel that I can’t really put my finger on.


Check out Jack Carty on Facebook, BandCamp, and Spotify.