We catch Tim Hulsman as he is booking accommodation for his pending tour. It may seem a simple task to undertake on a Wednesday afternoon, but if you snuck a peek at his itinerary, chances are you would be baffled by some names. But as Hulsman explains, it’s all part of the plan.
“I went for more of the alternative places where you get a good listening crowd and they are really there to listen to the music,” he says simply.
A man with a rock ‘n’ roll past, Hulsman and his music have evolved into a mould of sweet acoustic flows with a bluesy flourish. Inside the mind of his third album Dead Man’s Garden, the vision for the finished product is blatant.
“I really wanted to make a cohesive album that would set a mood,” Hulsman says. “[I wanted it to] take you on a journey and really keep you there. [Producer Tristan Bird and I] were both very adamant that we wanted to create an old-time feeling album, so we recorded it in analogue. We wanted to get some of that graininess into it with the really raw live sound. We left little mistakes in there to keep the idea of real people playing real instruments in real time.”
The input of his frequent musical partner and wife, Nina Grant, is something that when asked about Hulsman can’t help but overflow with pride and pure love.
“She brings style, grace and this beautiful spooky talent that she has to the music,” he says. “I really miss it when she doesn’t play with me. I’m really looking forward to the day when we can sit down and write a whole album together. I think that would be really amazing.”
Their future musical exploits aside, it seems for Hulsman that their personal future together is clearly overshadowing his past darker experiences. He was ex-communicated from a strict Jehovah’s Witness family and community at the age of 18 because he wanted to pursue his love of making music, and the man we speak to today could not be further from that devastated guy disconnected from everyone he knew.
“It’s always been one of those things that I have tossed up whether or not to talk about, but I kind of got to the point where I was realised that this is my story,” he says. “I’m not upset about it anymore. I have a two-and-a-half year-old son, I have my wife and I’m just enjoying taking on the role of being a father.” (CD)
Jul 30, Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice, 50 Hunter St, Sydney, free, frankiespizzabytheslice.com