Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back


A music conversation with Double J's Caz Tran that explores how music soundtracks, punctuates and permeates our life. An intimate look at how a single song can express who we are, what we're going though and where we're heading.


David Bridie  

David Bridie's long and distinguished music career is not just limited to his work with Not Drowning Waving, My Friend The Chocolate Cake, his solo albums and the countless film soundtracks he's composed. He's also produced albums for many prominent Indigenous and Melanesian artists through his Wantok Musik label and is a passionate and vocal advocate for the rich culture, arts and natural environment that is available in our Oceanic neighbourhood. He joins us on Don't Look Back to talk about a song that speaks to his cultural, political and social sensibilities and simply makes want to dance! Song choice: Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime

Highlights Season 1  

Don't Look Back looks back on the conversations we've had so far with an eye for the inspiring detail in the stories told and an ear for learning more about the ability of one song to change our lives and continue to nourish us in enduring and creative ways. Angie Hart talks about the impact of one woman powerhouse Neneh Cherry, Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson recalls fondly the country pop of Kenny Rogers, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith takes us deep into minimalist and ambient music and Dave Graney shares the ultimate in post punk perfection.

Kylie Auldist  

With four glistening solo albums behind her, and plenty more in partnership with The Bamboos and Cookin on 3 Burners, Kylie Auldist has carved out a name for herself as the voice of Australian soul and funk. The Kungs remix of 'This Girl' may have turned her into a jet setting international singing sensation but the influence of her country upbringing still runs deep. She talks about her family life growing up, her mother's values and ground rules and her aunties, who set her on a path to discover the 1974 song of soul seduction by Millie Jackson that still provides her with huge inspiration.

Bill Stevenson  

Influential California punk rock group Descendents has made a big comeback with their first album in 10 years Hypercaffium Spazzinate. The group's singer, Milo Aukerman, also quit his job as a biochemist to dedicate himself entirely to the band. His lifelong friend, drummer Bill Stevenson talks about what this has meant to the band. Bill also gives us a guided tour through a bunch of songs that were childhood faves, in particular a surprising country pop tune that continues to inspire him to this day. Song - Kenny Rogers - Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town

Dave Graney  

Dave Graney's three decade plus career in music has spanned from his rumbling post punk group The Moodists in the '80s to being crowned our King of Pop in the '90s. His creative longevity has been sustained by his need for re-invention but also by knowing when to borrow ideas, phrases or melodic licks from others to fashion into something of his own. Caz Tran sat down with Dave Graney to hear about the influence of blues and groove, hip hop acts like Public Enemy and Schoolly D, Radio Birdman and The Pop Group and many more. However, his song choice by New York's Television, is almost too perfect to touch. Song - Television - Little Johnny Jewel

Katy Steele  

Songwriter Katy Steele's childhood dreams of New York were filled with romantic imagery of Carole King and the Brill Building, Paul Simon writing songs from his apartment overlooking Central Park and Patti Smith hanging out on the Lower East Side. It's no wonder she set her sights on a Big Apple adventure all of her own. But, things didn't turn out the way she'd envisioned. Despite the deep frustrations she encountered on her New York sojourn, she emerged triumphant with a solo debut called 'Human'. She talks about the simple beauty of 'River' by Joni Mitchell, a song that instantly puts her in a joyous place of contemplating the present and her hopes for the future.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith  

American composer, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, gave us one of the standout albums of 2016 with her fifth album EARS. It's a beautifully composed and playfully executed journey that takes us deep into our connection with nature. In this episode, Kaitlyn talks about the importance of her childhood home, gives us some tips on how to deepen our ability to listen and get into the many layers beneath a sound, and of course, shares the songs that continue to open more internal doorways in her mind.

Ash Grunwald  

Bluesman Ash Grunwald has an axe to grind and he likes doing it through employing minimal chord changes, ditching anything that sounds 'pretty' and staying true to his old school blues values, which were informed by plenty of the genres great names like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Son House. In this episode of Don't Look Back, Ash talks about finding a sound that's identifiably his own and how rock music's greatest guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, and his song Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) continues to completely shock and mystify him.

Song: Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Chile

Angie Hart  

Writer, musician and newly appointed co-curator of Women of Letters, Angie Hart shares tales of struggle with her personal demons, her habit of snubbing her musical heroes and the song that changed everything for her.

She talks about the significance of the music, message, imagery and identity that Neneh Cherry presented in the 80s, in particular through her hit song Buffalo Stance, which provided Angie with some much needed grit and guidance as a young aspiring female artist.

Maynard James Keenan  

What Maynard James Keenan has to share about the creative process is worth knowing. In this first episode of Don't Look Back for 2017, the Puscifer/Tool/A Perfect Circle front man, writer and winemaker shares tales of what motivated him to map out his life in his autobiography, his tips for the best home-made pastas and patiently crafted vinos and the song that continue to inspire his many creative pursuits.

Missy Higgins  

Life doesn't come with an instruction manual or a roadmap. Sometimes you just bumble through, faking it til you make it. Others of us are lucky enough to find that role model, a mentor who shows us a possible way forward. Missy Higgins was one of those lucky ones. At a time in her life when she needed it most, she discovered the music of Canadian songwriter Sarah McLachlan which helped kickstart her musical life. Further along down the track, Sarah McLachlan also played a key role in bringing Missy out of musical retirement with a changed perspective on what it is to be a musician.

Ben Lee  

Ben Lee is back with a new album Freedom, Love and the Recuperation of the Human Mind, and not surprisingly his spirituality informs much of this latest release. But you might notice something a little different. It's possibly the most stripped back that we've heard him, and his approach to sharing his stories has shifted. There's an openness that invites your ears inwards. Ben says it's something that's come with getting a little older and becoming a parent. He talks about the influence of really good art, the Dalai Lama and a Gillian Welch song that literally was a revelation.

Clare Bowditch  

Mum of three, beloved musician, sometime actor and now popular radio host on her Melbourne ABC local radio show, Clare Bowditch has a lot of irons in the fire. A natural story teller, Clare talks with warmth and openness about a dark time in her life, a time when she couldn't read the paper or even listen to music and shares the song that was her constant and healing companion.

Michael Franti  

Michael Franti has a simple manifesto when it comes to the reason he makes music. It's ultimately, 'to make people feel happy, healthy and equal.' It's been informed by experiences like performing in prisons, his trips to the Middle East and playing on the streets. The Spearhead frontman shares intimate tales of the evolution of his music and its message through his encounters with getting tested for HIV, coming to terms with his son Ade's health issues and dealing with addiction in his family. Michael talks about how he was changed by hearing 'The Bottle' by his hero Gil Scott-Heron, a song in which Heron lays bare his struggles with substance abuse.

Holly Throsby  

Songwriter Holly Throsby has given us four albums exploring themes of darkness and wonder, a kids album, written and illustrated her own comics and can now add novelist to her list of achievements. 'Goodwood' is about a small, tight knit community who're changed forever by the sudden disappearance of two people from the town. As a writer, Holly balances the emotional tension with lovely light touches and humour, phrases that pop and reveal as much about the writer as they do about our evolving relationship with her characters. And even though writing songs and books are fairly different pursuits, there are similarities in the way the unconventional use of language can spark an emotional response and become part of the lexicon, something she came to appreciate through a stream of consciousness song by Scottish rock band Life Without Buildings.

Mick Harvey  

Whether he's re-interpreting the songs of French icon Serge Gainsbourg, or assisting the likes of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey to bring their artistic vision to life, Mick Harvey's renown as a trusted and insightful collaborator is well known. In this episode, Mick Harvey shares his deep appreciation of the fearless and uncompromising work of Nina Simone and how her song 'Four Women' with its blurring of musical lines and mysterious story telling continues to inform his own captivating work.

Eddie Perfect  

Great music can provide instantaneous, unconscious gratification, like a when a key just glides into a lock. On the other hand, songs can have a very specific set of purposes. As a writer and performer with a huge love of musical theatre, Eddie Perfect sees songs as serving very precise and multilayered functions. He says the 1970 soundtrack for Stephen Sondheim's musical comedy 'Company' and in particular the weary but scathing performance by Elaine Stritch illuminated the various important roles that musical pieces can fulfil within a broader story setting.

Eleanor Friedberger  

In the years since the Friedberger siblings decided to rest their musical carnival ride, The Fiery Furnaces, singer Eleanor Friedberger has had a steady creative outpouring that's informed three solo albums with lots of introspection that's bittersweet, fragile and never without its gentle quirkiness. She invites us into her childhood, one filled with her own tastes and musical discoveries but also one that's been influenced by a nurturing and kind hearted older brother. Matthew Friedberger not only bought Eleanor her first guitar but introduced her to the quintessential New York band. Find out the iconic Velvet Underground song that stoked her long fascination with The Big Apple and helped her take her first artistic strides.

Richard Fidler  

Each week broadcaster and author, Richard Fidler through his acclaimed program Conversations captivates millions of listeners with his incisive, thought provoking and good-humoured approach to sharing a good yarn. In this conversation, he takes us back to the much darker and despairing times of his youth in Canberra. The recession of the early 1980s and the looming nuclear crisis threatened to wipe civilised society off the boards altogether. In this climate some menacing and melancholic music captured the mood of the time and the imagination of a young Richard Fidler. Join him as he shares the magnificence and bleak tones of Killing Joke's 'Requiem' which gave him a sense of dancing to the impending apocalypse and ultimately, an odd sense of inspiration.

Felix Riebl  

He's a talented singer, songwriter and showman, but Felix Riebl has had a lifetime of constant push and pull in his relationship with music. It began with the search for identity, then the struggle for expression and these days as an older musician it's about allowing himself to enjoy the mystery of the language of music. Felix shares some of the moments that have shaped his journey including growing up in an accomplished musical family, learning to accept the unique qualities of his voice and he also shares his secret burning six string regret! And you'll hear the incredible song by Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin that opened up a whole world of music to him.

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