A Chat With…Justin Doncevic

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Singer-songwriter Justin Doncevic has been working on his debut EP for sometime now, and on December 18th he’ll release it out into the world. We threw some questions to Justin to find out more.

In a matter of weeks you release your debut EP Get Real. You wrote, recorded and produced the EP yourself. Can you talk us through some challenges you faced doing this all on your own? The first challenge was time, too much time and then not enough, while it was good recording in my home studio by myself as it gave me freedom it also provided me with the luxury to procrastinate and leave things for another time. Despite the EP taking longer than first hoped I’m glad it did, as by the end I was adding in heaps that I wouldn’t have at the start.

But the biggest challenge was definitely the mastering. This was such a hard thing to try and get right. After countless attempts to even begin I almost gave up on the whole EP as it was just draining focusing on the one thing for so long. Next time it might be wise to get some other input for that stage. But eventually I pushed past that roadblock and ending up with being really happy with the whole EP.

And on that note, do you think it’s important independent musicians have the flexibiliy to record on their own? (i.e even if it’s just demos) Yeah I would say it is important, even if it is just some demos roughly recorded. I found that recording on my own gave me time to come back and change things that weren’t working and then add parts at a later stage to flesh out the track and give new dynamics. And even if someone wasn’t wanting to record a proper release themself at least having some basic demos down gives a starting point when your ready to go into a studio with a producer.

Get Real will also get a vinyl pressing. Did you ever think you’d release vinyl? Up until starting the EP it never came across my mind, but the whole EP was designed around getting it onto Vinyl. A friend Angus’ band, Speech Patterns from Tasmania, had put out a 7” EP and that really gave me inspiration to do it myself. I was blown away that an independent act could do that themselves. It was awesome to get it pressed locally in Melbourne too and be able to see and be involved in the whole process. It was exciting listening to the test pressings and then actually seeing and hearing the finished Vinyl with the cover and all.

You’ve also delved into the world of composing film score. How have you found that experience? Doing the film scoring was good fun. It’s great to see music up with the visuals and see how they both compliment and help to express parts from the other medium. It would be fun to do a bit more in this field of sound in the future.

We’re starting to compile our Best Of list. What Melbourne releases (albums/EPs) have been on rotation for you this year? I’ve really been digging The Bamboo’s Album with Tim Rogers “The Rules Of Attraction”. Courtney Barnett’s debut album “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit” and Harts’ EP “Breakthrough”.

When it comes to gigs do you predominately play solo, or do you have a band? I mainly play solo with a guitar, loop pedal and bass drum. But I love playing with others too, When the time is right I’ll get a band together, but for the moment I like the freedom of just relying on one person, myself (who isn’t always the most reliable with coming to band practice, and completing EP’s)

Can you tell us about your favourite Melbourne acts? Harts, his riffs are off the charts and his presence live is huge. Reika are a real fun band with catchy tunes and a great live presence. The Bean Project, they have a great dynamic with the French horn and intricate song structures. They are also a super hard working group and are some good friends of mine.

And Melbourne venues? I can’t go past my local venue – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave. In fact this has been the only venue I have played this year, as I didn’t want to seek out gigs while focusing on the EP, but I couldn’t resist playing at Sooki a few times. Other than that The Wesley Anne is such a great space.

What’s in store for 2016? I start 2016 travelling the US and a few Countries in Europe. While on the road I’m keen to get a bunch of recording done. Then once back in Melbourne I will start to work on a new EP/ multiple EP’s to get in 2016. Now that I have managed to complete my Debut I am keen to get more out and at a quicker rate. I also want to focus again on gigs, now that I have a release to show people I feel more comfortable going out and playing.

Thanks for your time! Thanks for chatting with me.