Darius Papak - scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do? I'm a singer-songwriter, music producer and audio engineer. I work out of a couple of studios, but primarily run my own business Mix On The Move – a mobile audio and production studio I built into the back of my van.

Why do you do it? Making music is more than a passion, it's a way of life. Ever since I can remember all I could think of was making music. I used to think I wasn't good at sticking to things because I'd always be distracted by music. Until I eventually realised music is the thing I stick to.

There's a lot of ups and downs, it's definitely a rocky road, but I feel like that's the case with anything. To me the moments that are good compare to nothing else I've ever experienced.

When you write that perfect melody, lock in and drum that perfect beat, play, record and mix that perfect guitar take and tone. . . it's addictive and maddeningly glorious.

What do you love about the city you live in? The passion for music in Melbourne and the array of talented people in the industry to work with. It's a really tough industry in Melbourne (or Australia) to thrive in let alone survive, so you generally know if you're meeting someone in the industry they're there because it means the f...en world to them.

I also appreciate the ability to be close to work and the scene, while having great camping spots I can travel to and do my own tracking or mixing in between studio time.

Where did you go for your last holiday? Well, I'm currently camping out northern Melbourne while I write this, but the last place I went on holiday was Wilsons Prom. Camped out near the beach there and oh my what a place that is. Unbelievably beautiful.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Probably my two Lazy Sidekick shirts. They were the first band I ever recorded and mixed from start to finish as the lead engineer and producer. My first full job. It's a pretty damn special memory.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid? Oh man. . . that's so hard to say. I loved Nickelodeon and The Cartoon Network. Alex Mack was definitely up there. I loved science and the idea of being young, but having a secret power you could use for good.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go? Definitely would have to be a time where they were building megaliths out of stone.

Some cultures say their ancestors would move or shape stone with instruments that emitted a resonant sound frequency. While it's probably not the case, how damn cool and artistic could it be to find that frequency or instrument!? You could put on one hell of a show!

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? Cevapi. Straight up. It's the bomb.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned? Life-work balance and to love and respect yourself more. I'm still not great at it but I'm getting better. Life can be really lonely at times especially in this line of work and even more so when you don't have self-love.

You can spend a lot of time hating on yourself. Moments get lost or clouded while you're hurting. It's easy to get trapped in this cycle and nothing can go right when you're not letting it.

My first step to balance was building this van as a home and studio, so I didn't have to spend as many hours cooped up working in a dark studio by myself.

Are you happy with your work/ life balance? Not quite yet. I took up producing and engineering quite late in my career. I had to do a lot of work to get good and grow confidence and when I put my mind to something, I'm all in.

Now that I'm confident in my skills, it's been difficult to transition back to a balanced life. But I'm kinda putting my mind to that now, so I'm sure I'll get there.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows... When I was a kid I drew up a schematic for a perpetual energy generator. I know, I know, sounds absurd. It's impossible right? That's why nobody knows. But I'm pretty sure it would've worked. If only I kept that damn schematic!

How do you define success? Doing something you love for a living, no matter how modest that lifestyle is and truly loving yourself for it.

What's your spirit animal? Apparently the snake. It didn't used to be, but maybe I'm transitioning for the better!



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