Isn’t it funny how we like our musicians?? We don’t want straight-laced guys/girls that just make good music and go on about their days. No, we want lovable assholes, not the kind that treat people poorly, but the kind that wreck hotel rooms, a bit sardonic and take only the music seriously. Pretty much the opposite of everything Axl Rose. That’s where Jack Ladder comes in, the Australian musician with a biting sense of humor that let’s no mistake go unpunished (Notice the last question). The kind that wants to know what you think of the music and won’t spell it out for you. I like that and I think you will too.
Matt De Mello – For those uninitiated out there what is the essence of Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders?
Jack Ladder – We’re just flesh and blood like everyone else. Maybe with a bit of reverb.
MD – What is your songwriting process like?
JL -Whatever the song sounds like is normally what it was like to write – but the opposite. So, if it sounds like an uplifting type of song then it was quite often very painful to create. Likewise my most miserable sounding songs often make me feel really good.
MD – What is more important to you, great lyrics or great music? If you had to choose just one.
JL – Great stories are all that’s important to me. And great story tellers. Morrissey couldn’t sing Drop it Like It’s Hotjust like Snoop Dogg/Lion probably couldn’t tackle Big Mouth Strikes Again. Doesn’t change that they’re both great songs. It’s the way a voice moves in the music. There are a lot of great lyricists that should be writing books because they just don’t know how to make it enjoyable to listen to. The music is the most important aspect of any song and the lyric is just another part of the music. Sorry, I can’t choose. There is no choice.
MD – When you were a boy what did you want to be when you grew up?
JL – A female impersonator. No joke. When I was 10 I put together a Marilyn Monroe routine singing Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend. My aunty helped with the moves and we borrowed a platinum blonde wig from an old lady down the street. I performed at the local talent quest but didn’t win. I was shattered and didn’t sing for another 10 years. Now look at me, all growed up.
MD – What was the last book you read? What did you think of it?
JL – Tearing Down The Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector by Mick Brown. It’s a real juicy slice of rock history. Ultimately it’s a sad tale of money, power and corruption and I wish I didn’t read it because it makes it hard to listen to his music now. The things that guy pulled were simply ludicrous.
MD – What’s your guilty road pleasure?
JL – Sleeping in the afternoon seems acceptable on tour for some reason.
MD – What is the best album, beside your own, that you’ve heard this year?
MD – Australia has a mixed musical heritage, everything from Silverchair and Men at Work to Jet and INXS where does Jack Ladder’s band fall in that range?
JL – Well, you’re really only scraping the Gulf of Capentaria with those bands. Australia has produced so much amazing music. My favourite music from anywhere in the world actually. There was a bit of golden age in the early to mid 80’s with The Triffids, Crime & The City Solution, The Go-Betweens and The Church. This one by The Reels is a favourite.
MD – How would you describe your sound?
JL – That’s not really my job.
MD – Where does Jack Ladder and the Dreamladders go from here? Where do you want to end up?
JL – I like how you wrote Dreamladders. I’ve never thought of that… One day it would be nice to have our own theme park where we would perform a daily show. That way we wouldn’t have to tour and people could just come to us on their own terms. It just sounds so much more practical than touring 6 people around the world. Obviously we’d have ridiculous rollercoasters and the world’s greatest Tunnel of Love.
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