Last week I headed down to the Old Bar in Fitzroy to check out a friend’s band, Squid Inc. They were joined by Nonna’s Kitchen, a Melbourne Indi Pop band with a solid rock edge.
In part I of this blog series, I spoke with Malcolm Ray, front man and guitarist for Nonna’s Kitchen. Nonna’s Kitchen is Malcolm's solo project that he has been working on for a couple of years. Six months ago he formed a band with some of his close musician friends to perform live and help flesh out original songs in the studio. The current line-up consists of:
- Malcolm Ray: Lead guitar/vocals
- Corey McManus: Bass guitar
- Lachlan Harris: Drums
- Sam Ferfolja: Keys/Harmonies
- Noah Redfern: Rhythm Guitar
Malcolm’s father encouraged him to play the guitar and tried giving him lessons when he was 10-11. However, video games beckoned, and he quickly lost interest in the guitar.
“I remember fondly around the age of 16 I started listening to The Beatles (which I think is a rite of passage) and fell in love with their music so much so that I picked up my Dads 1980s Washburn and started learning ‘I saw her standing there’.”
How would you describe your music & who are your inspirations?
“I would describe my music as an outlet for me to try and formulate my thoughts and feelings, I’ve always found a great power in music and can recall many times I was moved by a record so much that it felt life changing.”
“I have many musical influences and inspirations, I grew up in a house where I was listening to the likes of Pavarotti and Dean Martin just as much as listening to Skyhooks, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the like. I’ve found such incredible music from the likes of Courtney Barnette, The Murlocs, Father John Misty and Mac DeMarco who really inspired me to start writing my own music.”
Gig Run Down
Malcolm plays either a Fender Albert Hammond Jr. signature Strat or a 2004 Fender Telecaster (MIJ). His signal chain consists of Pitchfork Octaver (first input from the guitar) into a Tube Screamer Mini then finally into a TC Electronic Mocambo overdrive before feeding into a Fender Bassbreaker. The effects pedals are placed on a wooden pedal board that he built with his Dad, or as he says “more like he built and I watched to be honest.”
If you were stranded on a deserted Island, which gear would you make sure you had with you?
“I’d probably take my Strat, Tube Screamer and mid-60s Fender Bassman”
What do you love most about gigging live?
“Gigging just feels euphoric, it’s at all times tender, exhilarating, horrifying, sickening, blissful and spiritual. There’s something I like about the nervousness of setting up and watching a crowd roll in, that walk to the microphone before I count in my band for the first song, on a gig night I feel absolutely dialed in and laser focused, ever since I was very young I had a flair for performance and it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed. I’d also say that getting on stage and entertaining people with music that I have written is like the most surreal thing in the world, you take something that started from a small idea in your brain one afternoon and evolve it into a performance where everyone is just locked in - the band is super tight, the audience is engaged, and it feels like we’re all sharing in a moment together, and that is really special. It reminds me of seeing bands that I love and that I’m inspired by and thinking ‘ok so this is definitely what I want to do with my life’.”
You can catch Nonna’s Kitchen around town and also in country Victoria. To find out more and where they’re playing, check them out at https://www.facebook.com/NonnasKitchenBand.
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