Beat Brothers - Walsh Brothers Music
Two Northern Beaches brothers with very different musical styles are combining their talents for the first time to create an individual sound. COVERED. spoked to Ian and Peter Walsh about their new venture and what went before.
Different musical styles and journeys; where did it all begin?
I: I did a couple of years of piano lessons, and played the tuba in the school brass band but it wasn’t until I started going to see bands and started my own band, that I really felt the bug, when I was about 15.
P: At first, it was just a case of the younger sibling following the older brother to piano lessons but it wasn’t long before I realised that it was the voice for me - it was how I wanted to communicate.
Ian why did you leave to go to the UK and what did you do there?
I: I just wanted to travel with all my mates and I had every intention of being back within 12 months... 15 years later I returned. In London I played in punk bands. My band mates were part of the UK punk scene since the early 80s and I played with them at all the classic punk venues in London and whichever derelict building had been chosen for the latest squat party.
Peter, you have spent time in Europe too. How do you divide time between teaching and performing?
P: After finishing a degree in piano performance in Sydney, I spent two years in Italy, studying, performing, teaching and competing. Since returning home, I have taught and performed at a music summer camp in Geneva, Switzerland. I now share my time between my private music studio on the Northern Beaches and the Conservatorium High School, where I’ve been teaching for ten years. I recently performed in a Concerto for four pianos and an orchestra, at The Conservatorium.
Ian you returned from the UK – why?
I: I had itchy feet. I had been recording bands for a while and I wanted to concentrate on that. Also Pete and I had been talking about collaborating for a while which excited me.
What music do you like to play and produce?
I: I like it when bands keep it simple, keep it honest, keep it raw. I play in a band here in Sydney called the Fashion Victims and, although between us we have quite a bit of experience, we deliberately keep to the basics.
P: Obviously classical music is a daily part of my practice/playing. I like to play everything, but am currently working on pieces by Chopin, Rachmaninoff Horowitz and Schubert.
Have you both played together often – musically and why the collaboration now?
I: Never, until I returned to Oz three years ago. We both felt it was time to bring our complimentary skills together and form a musical Voltron. Aside from the experience we developed apart, we also wanted to start writing music more in line with the influences we shared while growing up together.
P: No, not really. The odd boozy Christmas has ended in some late night blues improvisations, but we have never been on stage together. The collaboration has been a long time coming.
How do you mix punk rock with classic?
I: Ummm, you don’t. We’ve tried. What does work is when we don’t get precious about genre. It’s such a narrow-minded endeavour to frame your art in a certain style before a single note has been written. Ultimately, our individual styles do exist in everything we do; however, they are subtle.
P: It’s more that we work to a brief with a diversity of experience. I suppose there is an element of Ian’s punk rock and my classical in everything, but that won’t necessarily be heard in the product.
Are you both basing yourself on the Northern Beaches now?
I: Yep. I have a studio space in Curl Curl but am hoping to find a larger permanent studio space in Brookvale soon. There’s quite a few music related businesses in the area, so we reckon it’s the place to be in the near future. There’s a scene brewing!
P: Yes, I’ve been here for a number of years now. I can’t think of anywhere better to work from and spend my downtime.
What is next for you both?
I: We have a few exciting jobs in the pipeline at the moment. We’re composing for a local filmmaker, Ripple Films among others. We’ve also been mixing and mastering including for the Love Drunk Hearts who are a very, underappreciated Northern Beaches band, Check ‘em out!
P: More music. It’s all day, every day right now. When people say music is a lifestyle, not a career, they are not far wrong.
Follow the Walsh Brothers at www.walshbrothers.com.au, or @walshbrothersmusic on Facebook and instagram.