Stu White is a Sunshine Coast local from Nambour. His EP “Wild Man” is now available in most places online. Stu White answers our questions.
Was this album recorded and put together all in the same place?
Yes it was. It’s a home recording put together by my good friend Carl Jackson, front man of punk rockers Wishful Thinking. I think this one rocks a bit more than the previous EP ‘Horizons’, and we paid more attention especially to the guitar sounds and parts.
Does the album title reveal anything about the nature / meaning of the album?
The EP is named after its title track, Wild Man, and hints at the general theme of the other songs. With this release I wanted to go after songs that carry a depth, but also an authenticity to living, to relationships and to the spiritual journey.
When did you begin creating material for this release?
Wow. I think a couple of the songs on here- Earthquake and I See You, for instance- date back to around 2013-14. I didn’t create material for this release per se, but when I had the general theme of the EP, I went back over my originals to look for ones I could include that have been part of my story. The gathering of these songs included some re-writing on my part, and of course, some great production from Carl.
Did you try and capture any overall mood or theme?
Not especially. I think there’s a good balance of light and shade, intimate parts and explosive sections. We go from acoustic guitar, to full blown electric, to a reggae feel (Earthquake), and soft tones across the EP.
Were there any musical or writing influences that you had?
Bernard Fanning and Powderfinger have always been a big musical influence for me. ‘I’m Gonna Live’ is produced especially with their sound in mind. ‘I See You’ is also influenced by Fanning’s sound. The title track was influenced by John Mark McMillan’s early stuff. Lyrically, the songs come from different experiences, conversations and seasons. ‘How Good You Are’ was mostly written in an AirBnb in Seattle while my family was on a month-long trip up and down the west coast of the US.
What do you think is unique about this release?
These are songs grounded in my Christian faith, but they don’t sound pretty- if that makes sense. Wild Man was always going to be different. At its heart is my belief that the one I follow- Jesus Christ- is not so much a nice guy as we often think, but he is a wild man. Like Aslan from the Narnia books, he’s not safe, but he is good.
So that’s the uniqueness I think. Listeners may be put off by the overt nature of the lyrics, and believers may be put off by the raw edginess of the production. That’s okay. I just hope those who like it can continue to enjoy it, and be encouraged in their own journey.
Any favourite or stand out songs / singles? Why these ones?
I really dig the way How Good You Are turned out. We weren’t sure when we started where it could go, and the danger was it might sound a bit ‘churchy’ or ‘worshippy’. This is a song firmly grounded in my Christian faith, but I’m so glad where we got to take it- from soft finger picking in the opening verse to a full on chorus and soaring guitars toward the end.
Wild Man also stands out for me. I had the pleasure of having my daughter sing on this (& some other songs), and my son is playing the lead guitar part. I like what he came up with- it really adds to the song.
‘I’m Gonna Live’ just rocks. I’m grateful for my friends contributions to this song: Riordan with the opening solo, and Yosi with the stellar BVs. Also, the way the bridge sounds- and what Carl did with the guitars here. Beautiful stuff.