Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Rich Webb

Riot-inducing riffs, rip-roaring vocals, and provocative lyrics; Rich Webb’s music is the sound of bar brawls and busted knuckles or as BEAT magazine accurately said: ‘a Tarantino soundtrack’. With a new track and album in the pipeline, we catch up with the Australia-bound front man to find out more…

What’s the story behind your forthcoming single ‘Let It Rain’?

It feels to me like we’ve gone back to the 50’s or something, with crazy ego-driven leaders making nuts decisions, massive power plays around stuff geared to make rich people richer, and growing social division. ‘Let It Rain’ is a simple song about wanting an absolute deluge right now to wash away this all-pervading crap we’re in… and when it happens, we’re going to run with a lot of other people I reckon into the middle of a muddy field somewhere, shouting ‘hallelujah’! – and we’re going to dance a jig!

How would you describe your music to a stranger in a bar?

The music is lyrically driven, earthy, left field, eclectic, a bit old school, I write songs about things that often don’t get written about so much these days that were more common in the 50’s and 60’s from artists such as Jacques Brel, it’s loosely defined as nouvelle chanson I think…

Your music has been dubbed as Australia’s answer to Americana. Where does that fit in the mainstream consciousness?

In the ball park with bands like Arctic Monkeys / Arcade Fire / Courtney Barnett but also crossing over to less traditional but really successful country areas such as US singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton (Pete Lyman who mastered our latest album, also masters Chris Stapleton’s stuff, as well as Tom Waits and the like who would be a big influence).

What does the album’s title Le Rayon Vert mean to you?

Le Rayon Vert was a French film we both liked way back when. The premise behind it is that if you see the green ray as the sun goes down you will be able to read the mind of the person you are with, and they will be able to read yoursIt is a real optical phenomenon that happens occasionally at sunset. I reckon the name suits the collection of songs on this album which are full of openness, discovery, and also look into some dark uncomfortable places that don’t often get explored – if everything is going to be suddenly revealed to you, it’s not necessarily going to be all positive, right? Each song is like a polaroid of a moment and a certain state of mind – and what we are trying to do is to capture that moment as if we’ve all just seen the green ray.

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