His third album Blackbird has impressed its rocking sound indefinitely on the Australian scene and Melbourne’s own Dan Sultan is in the midst of a mammoth tour with the riff-goddesses Stonefield and the enigma that is Way Of The Eagle. The songs from his latest batch are nothing short of well-crafted.
“We had quite a few songs to choose from,” reveals Sultan about entering the studio. “But Jacquire King [producer] had some great ideas and was able to cull some songs. It’s nice to have someone who’s not emotionally attached to make those decisions.”
With the singles Under Your Skin and Same Man pumping over multiple airwaves, and the former of the two sporting a visceral video that would make any sane person blush (it features dancers from Bangarra Dance Theatre provocatively licking and touching Sultan), he says of the experience: “We were comfortable with each other and we’ve worked together in the past… But it was a little bit [weird]”.
Sultan is flying the flag of rock ‘n’ roll loud and proud and with becoming ambassador for AMRAP and Record Store Day, as well as campaigning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, he’s managed to interlink his many passions.
“There’s my music and there’s my profile,” he says simply. “With a profile comes a certain level of responsibility and I’ve always been brought up to have a bit of a social conscious so it’s a bit of a no-brainer.”
From spending time as a child in his hometown and in the centre of Australia, Sultan’s exposure to music came from the easy-going nature of Australian culture.
“There was a band called The Crocs that used to play in Fitzroy out the front of a restaurant. They were a rock band and sort of family friends so it was always a treat when they were playing, there’d be kids running around. I always remember thinking that it would be good to do something like that.”
And thus his passion for music grew. Though there was a significant gap between his latest album and its predecessor Get Out While You Can, Sultan explains it was nothing to worry about.
“I just found I had to make a couple of changes to get inspired again, which really just involved me growing up a bit I guess,” Dan says of the process. “Taking more control over my career also helped me because I found the songs just started to flow.” (CD)
Jul 11, Metro Theatre, 624 George St, Sydney, $49+bf, metrotheatre.com.au.
Blackbird is out now via Liberation Music.