Born and raised in Adelaide, Wes Carr first began to teach himself guitar and piano at the age of twelve years old. As his school years began to leave him uninspired, it was his burgeoning musical abilities that began take over to develop his expression and identity. Moving to Sydney at the age of fifteen, Wes won a scholarship to a performing arts school. “I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t know how I was going to get to do it, so I just started to get little acoustic gigs around Sydney, and ended up playing about five times a week. I started playing some gigs with local musicians like Abby Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride) and Paul Mac, and wrote with people like Don Walker, Andrew Farris, and Endorphin.”
Along with his experience, Wes’ local reputation as a talent began to develop over the next five or six years. “I had a few people come to see my shows off and on, and I worked with some great music talent – people who had the same kinda musical spirit. We formed this little acoustic club around town, where we’d get up and jam each other’s songs, and play on each other’s records.” Whilst drifting along and finding his way, he also picked up industry advice from some of the Australian industry’s most influential players like John Watson (Silverchair).
A succession of steps in his career followed. In 2003 he independently released his own RHYTHM TO FLY EP, which was followed by the highly-acclaimed album collaboration with Ben Gilles from Silverchair in 2005, under the moniker of Tambalane. Despite the support they received by Australian radio stations like Triple J for their singles, Tambalane ran its course, and Wes found himself back in Adelaide in early 2006 playing at a local bar. As luck would have it, Wes was then spotted by Joe Cocker’s Musical Director – who was in Adelaide on tour – and was given the chance to temporarily relocate to LA. Over the course of the next three months he worked on a handful songs, and got the chance to watch the production process first-hand from some of the industry’s most-accomplished songwriters and producers. One of the songs Say My Name even ended up on the soundtrack to the Christopher Guest film For Your Consideration.
Returning to Adelaide, Wes continued working hard on his career, and over the course of the following year he, ‘threw a collection of songs up on iTunes’ under the album name SIMPLE SUM.
Even now, as a new audience begins to embrace Wes Carr, his collection of songs still remains true to the essence of who he is as an artist. “Everything I’ve written I’m really proud of. All those songs are like friends from the past and tell the story of my progression as a songwriter.”
It’s an apprenticeship that has lasted the last ten years or so, and through his grind as a musician Wes Carr has undoubtedly paid his dues. It was this sense of diligence that gave him the courage to audition for Australian Idol in 2008.
“I had nothing to lose at that point. I was confident within myself – the option was to take on something a bit different and challenge myself. I’d worked all over the place, and worked with some amazing people, but the truth was I was just sick of playing covers-gig in pubs. I felt that wasn’t what I wanted and needed to be doing… I guess I was more ambitious, in a way.”
With his debut post-Idol single You hitting the #1 spot on the Australian charts in late 2008 and reaching platinum sales, work immediately began on Wes Carr’s major-label debut album THE WAY THE WORLD LOOKS. “Even though I didn’t write You, I really thought the UK songwriters and producers T. Jay & Adam Argyle nailed it. The music and lyrics captured where I was at the time, and it also inspired a few ideas in regards to which direction I should take with this new album too.”
Deciding to keep the You team together for the album, sessions for the new album began, against the challenge of limited time. “As soon as they set the deadlines, the timeframe, and the collaborators, I just went ahead and steered the process, and gave it my very best to come up with a collection of songs that I could be really proud of. This really was a culmination of all my musical experience over the years; this is what I’d been building towards all this time, and as a result, I really just felt it tumbling out of me.”
Wes began discussing ideas with his musical collaborators, and as a result of their shared headspace, the album began to take shape quickly. A fan of seventies rock – Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, John Lennon (his all–time favourite) – and producers like Phil Spector, George Martin, Brian Wilson, and Quincy Jones, Wes took inspiration from his influences to lay the groundwork for the new album.
“We had a limited amount of time to write the album, and it was a sink or swim scenario for us, so we just went for it. It took us a few days to get into the swing of it – we wrote a couple of songs in the first few days – and after that we just hit the ground running. We wrote about fifteen songs together in the next eight or nine days! The great thing about it was that every song was completely different. I’m really proud of all the songs on this album.”
THE WAY THE WORLD LOOKS is the story of Wes Carr. The album represents his musical progression and achievements over time. The twelve song collection includes the hit single You, eight new co-writes from Wes, and three songs that he had written over the years. Love Is An Animal was written was he was 15, East Coast when he was 23, and the title track which Wes co produced The Way The World Looks, written at 24.
“This new album is definitely more upbeat and a positive outlook for me, and has flavours from all my past and present influences. I think there’s a broader sensibility to my work now. The big difference now is that I’m more comfortable with my musicianship.”
Leading the charge from the album is the new single Feels Like Woah. “I just wanted to release something that was classic sounding and something different to everything else on the radio right now. It’s about hope and joy.”
Other highlights on the album includes the warm embrace of the title track The Way The World Looks which conveys his emotive song writing and musical instincts; East Coast – a heartfelt guitar mid tempo tale; and the soaring rock groove When We Were Kings, which was inspired by nostalgic reflection.
With his major-label debut album THE WAY THE WORLD LOOKS, Wes will soon return to his roots, taking his performances back out to live audiences around the country. With his approachable demeanour, his love of music, and his sheer talent, audiences are guaranteed of getting the chance to hear Wes Carr’s music played with the same personal touches and nuances that inspired his original song writing process.
“I’m at a great place creatively right now because I feel like the passion for my craft has been reignited. I just want to be able to write, play and produce my music. I want to set-up a studio, and be able to live off my craft. This is the only thing I know how to do well, and the thing I love the most. I’m really ready and excited to head out on the road and play this music to anyone who wants to listen to me. I want to be on the road for years to come, playing the music that I love to play – I really couldn’t think of anything better than that.”
Buffalo Tales is the new project for Sydney based singer-songwriter Wes Carr.
From his earlier days fronting Silverchair offshoot Tambalane, to his well-publicized success on reality TV, Wes has well and truly paid his dues and already lived several musical lifetimes before reaching the age of 30!
Buffalo Tales sees Wes return to his organic singer/songwriter roots and is an intimate and natural fit with folk and alt country overtones that lets his talent speak for itself.
Wes will be relaunching his new project and EP this August.
Listen to his first single here: http://soundcloud.com/sum-management/buffalo-blood-bone/s-yz6ak