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INTERVIEW: Doppel

Doppel is a live electronic music project from Australian producer and DJ Andy McMillan.

Inspired in equal parts by the unique textures of life on Australia’s east coast, the sunrise to sunset sounds of global house and techno and jazz, blues and rock, the Doppel sound is rich, intricate and full of emotion yet always focused on making a dancefloor move.

After spending much of 2020 locked down in his studio, he starts the new year in style with the long-awaited release of his debut album Eucalyptograph on Open Records. Featuring 11 sizzling tracks across the full spectrum of emotions, it represents another huge step forward for this talented producer and all-round nice guy.

Hi Doppel, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Wonderful, all things considered! Thanks so much for having me.

Can you tell us about your single “Kisses From The Canopy”? Why did you decide this should be the first single from the album?

“Kisses” was one of those tunes that came together very quickly, it’s pretty raw, basic and emotional but that’s exactly the point. I wrote it in about a day as a reflection on many things, not least of all the crazy journey that I have been on through this musical project. So many beautiful dusty sunsets and sunrises in the Australian bush surrounded by love so it served as a beacon of hope for me in the darkness that was 2020. It’s in no small part about feeling overwhelmingly grateful for how lucky I am.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not any one but a couple of  festivals home to the aforementioned sunshine and love in the Australian bush – Dragon Dreaming, Subsonic, Regrowth, Earth Frequency, Elements, Rainbow Serpent, Elysium, Strawberry Fields and Esoteric festivals to name but a few.

The single comes off your new album Eucalyptograph – what’s the story behind the title?

It’s just something that I came up with – similar to the name ‘Doppel’ – it conjured up a nice image and feeling to me. My musical influences and life on the east coast of Australia are intrinsically linked to the bush, the Eucalyptus trees and natural beauty we have here. It’s also a map or illustration of my emotions and that connection as well as the relationship that the land I’m on has had to people both throughout history and into the future.

How was the recording and writing process?

Turbulent, for sure. It started off with heaps of sketches that were full of enthusiasm despite emerging from the worst bushfire season in Australia in recent memory. Around the middle of last year attrition was really setting in due to COVID – I love writing music to play live, so having no gigs was starting to take a greater toll than just a financial one – but towards the end of the year the prospect of playing music live filled the process with energy and completely transformed the album into what it is today. Feeling very very grateful to have that opportunity down here.

What role does Australia play in your music?

I think it’s potentially my biggest inspiration. To speak more on the aforementioned process: the Aussie music scene and bush has completely shaped my life and sound. We have a really unique scene down here and I wouldn’t be here without it.

What aspect of nature did you get to explore on this record?

I’m lucky to live in a city immersed in and surrounded by the bush. I spent a lot of time last year escaping from the studio to wander amongst the trees, lakes and ocean in and around my city, Canberra. It’s all about the trees, birds and bees.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Definitely from inside of my own head, I try to make music both an internal and external reflection but it’s hard not to get caught up in my own thoughts and let the imagination run wild. It’s not entirely rooted in reality – I spend a decent amount of time in my head running around fantastical worlds with imaginary creatures.

What else is happening next in Doppel’s world?

Currently in the midst of a little album tour around Australia thanks to Open Records & Euca Music Management which has been incredible with a few more domestic gigs planned. We are insanely lucky to be able to go to clubs and festivals right now so I’m not taking that for granted. I’m taking good care of myself and hoping to build a new studio and write heaps more music!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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