Stephen Dorrington, the tradie by day, singer-songwriter-thespian by night, is launching his new EP in Brisbane later this month.
It seems like you keep yourself pretty busy: a painter, a Dad, a songwriter and performing gigs on the weekends. How do you manage to fit it all in?
No rest for the wicked! Realistically, I make time for what is important and sometimes sleep through lunch at work. Currently I'm rehearsing most nights and I generally work on projects after rehearsal, so my days start at 5am and finish at 11pm.
The weekends I gig and spend time with my son during the day. He is not allowed to wake me up before 8am the morning after a gig. I don't drink, do drugs or generally party or date anyone for that matter. I probably work too much!
You must be looking forward to the launch of your EP, '1987'? What a way to celebrate your 30th birthday.
I'm really excited about the launch. I've gone in with the attitude of 'if I want to do it, I will make it happen'. I suppose that's what I'm like generally. Never in a treading on people's toes sense though. The show itself, I've had some solid ideas about it for a while.
I'm not a regular act, so I certainly approach things a little differently. The dancers I have performed with myself in a production of 'Chicago'. So for the more theatrical element of the show they will be pretty cool.
The choir is an amazing thing! So humbling to have a group of people singing your own song (I struggle not to tear up). I was more nervous about showing them my work than walking on stage in front of 7,500 people for Queensland Music Festival. The rehearsals have been interesting. As far as it being my 30th, I've left it up to my family to plan the cake and all that carry on :)
Tell me a little bit about your music, what inspired you to start writing your own stuff?
My own music is an ecliptic mix of influences. I love old-school rock & roll, blues, folk, pop. If a song makes you feel something and you connect with it, it doesn't really matter as to which genre you put it into. I started writing because I have a lot to say.
I'm generally curious and find people fascinating. I want to write about the voices and stories that would not regularly be heard. I also feel I most naturally express myself through music.
What do you most enjoy writing about?
The things that influence my lyrics are probably the space in which I live out my life. I write things I'd be scared to say in a conversation. I write about relationships. I write about dreams. Or generally just make up stories that run parallel to everyday themes. I always wanted to be a writer when I was a kid, to write short stories. I guess that's what I do now, only to music.
You also perform with your sister Melissa; do you work well together?
Working with my sister is brilliant. Family harmony is a really special thing. I believe we balance each other out well in our little duo project. I try to tell her I'm her boss because I do the quotes and pay her, but she just laughs at me.
Where do you see yourself going with your music in the next five years?
In the short term, transitioning into full-time music is the focus. So I'll cutting back the muggle job at the end of February. I want to push this EP and get as much airplay as I possibly can as well as building up an online presence. I'd like to write a second cabaret and a musical. Record a full album. Travel with music. I'd like to collaborate on interesting projects and produce a show.
Ultimately I will go where this thing takes me. I've learnt over time that you are only ever competing with yourself and you are the most likely person to get in your own way. Usually because of fear or a lack of conviction or grunt. Music is a life long, wholehearted commitment. I figure I'll find where I want to be. I know I'm not everybody's cup of tea, but I figure somewhere along the line I'll be somebody's shot of whiskey.
Where is your most favourite place to perform?
In a theatre. There is something very romantic about it.
Stephen Dorrington launches '1987' at New Globe Theatre (Brisbane) 24 February.