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DION BAYMAN: "Smoke and Mirrors"
DION BAYMAN - 'Here's a nice surprise from down under, Oz, Australia. No, it doesn't rawk like acca dacca and I'm yet to find a single kangaroo on the artwork... or rather lack of art (see the plain cover). Dion Bayman is however the multi-talanted musician with a soft spot for soft rock and hooky melodies. The independent release is a fine example of music in the vein of Richard Marx and Rick Price with just a hint of contemporary soft rock.. Find out more about the album and their influences, here's the man of the moment: Dion Bayman
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
It's been great. I've had lots of positive feedback and I've seen comments on various forums saying that people have to check out this record. It's getting an excellent response.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
I started recording this album in December 2012 and finished up in June 2013. So about six months.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to recording
I wanted a big rock sound. Big drums, guitars and lush harmonies. I've always been a big fan of harmonies, so a lot of work went into making them sound as good as possible. Of course I want the sound to be contemporary as well as being clear. I think I went pretty close to achieving that.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
I produced the album.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Very much so. The album was recorded in my home studio and I think the production sounds great. Thankfully from the feedback I've received I'm not alone in thinking so.
Did the producer (or you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
I'm always learning and educating myself on how to get a certain sound the way I like it. I've been recording music for a while now so I guess I have my own way of doing things. I usually just start with a piano guide track and build on it from there. I really enjoy adding different layers to the songs and I think that shows throughout the album.
Please inform us about your favourite songs off the album
That's very hard to answer. I'm very proud of every song on this record. In saying that though, “Over To You” has been getting a lot of attention and I love that song. “Here I Am”, “Gone”, “All That I Am”, honestly I could name them all. I think every track is great, but I am a little biased.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
As you've probably gathered my songs are mostly about love and loss. I try to capture and put into words how we can feel when we meet a person that we just can't stop thinking about, or when we've been with someone for a while and they're the only one, and then on the other hand I write about the mess some of us find ourselves in when things can go sour.
What's the story behind the title 'Smoke and Mirrors'?
When I finished recording the album it suddenly hit me that I didn't have a title. So I sent a message to a friend of mine to help me come up with one. So after a few weeks we hadn't decided on a title, and then he casually mentioned “Smoke And Mirrors”. I think it fits well with the album as quite a few of the songs are about people that aren't quite as they seem. Plus, I just think it's a cool title.
Do you feel it's (un)fair that people tend to compare your product with the 80s stuff? (considering budget, exposure, marketing, etc).
To me a good song is a good song. It doesn't matter what decade it's from. I just try to write and record good songs. There are plenty of successful bands/artists today who I'm fans of who have that melodic 80s influence, and I think their music is all the better for it.
You have the classical piano background. Did you ever consider it as your career?
No I didn't consider it as a career. As much as I appreciate classical music, and very much appreciate my classical training, it was never really an option for me. But I will say that playing classical piano for all those years obviously gave me a great understanding of music, and of course having that training allowed me to start playing in rock bands as a teenager. It also helped me greatly in constructing chord progressions and melodies in songwriting.
How would you describe the new CD to any potential new fan?
Hook-ridden songs containing multi-layered harmonies and anthemic choruses combined with lyrics from the heart. That pretty much sums it up I think.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
It was the late 80s early 90s when I really started getting into music. I was just a teenager then, and at the time the likes of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Europe and Richard Marx were all over the radio and TV. I've loved that style of well constructed, well produced, big chorus music ever since. Today there are bands like Matchbox Twenty, Nickelback, and countless others who I think are also 80s influenced with the way their songs are constructed. Recently I've been really enjoying some Harem Scarem, Treat, W.E.T. As far as singers go, one of the best singers I've heard is John Farnham. In his prime he could sing anything and his range and tone was incredible. Joey Tempest and Richard Marx are two other singers that I really admire.
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Thank you very much for the interview.