INTERVIEW: David Duchovny

Published on theMusic.com.au, Feb 2018

How Getting Into Music Helped David Duchovny Overcome His Biggest Fear

Embarking on a career in music only a few years ago, Hollywood superstar David Duchovny tells Daniel Cribb how he overcame one of his greatest fears.

Famine, ignorance and war / I keep just outside my door / It’s me, myself and I / And I Let it slide,” sings David Duchovny on Stranger In The Sacred Heart, a cut from his second record, Every Third Thought.

While it’s the album’s fourth song and wasn’t released specifically as a single, it’s one of the more powerful.

“That’s the closest I’ve come to formulating a religion or philosophy for living,” the X-Files star begins from his New York home on the eve of the LP’s release.

The lyrics throughout the new 12-track effort are “extremely personal”, but don’t try to connect the dots between each song as “there’s nothing juicy in there” that’ll reveal specifics about his personal life. “I feel like the way that I write lyrics, I’m not writing a point-by-point confessional,” he explains.

His music has laid-back vocals and a folk edge, so it’s not surprising he’s drawing inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan. “I don’t give a fuck, really, what happened in Bob Dylan’s life, but something happened and it made him an amazing lyricist and same with [Tom] Petty, same with The Beatles.”

Each song captures a point in Duchovny’s life and looking back on the album, it’s fitting the acclaimed actor sees each song as its own “character”.

“The person singing the song is like a different person,” he tells. “Some of these songs were written over a period of two years, so my point of view is changing within the songs and I think if you approach each song as a story or character in and of itself then, to me, that’s the right way to approach the album and not really as a statement.”

It was only a few years ago that Duchovny decided to branch out into music, unveiling his debut Hell Or Highwater in 2015, and since then he’s become a lot more comfortable calling himself a musician.

“I’m not a trained singer or natural singer, so it was a real struggle recording the first album,” he reveals. “I was able to hook up with an amazing voice coach here in New York named Don Lawrence and I’ve been working with him for like three or four years now.”

“I’m not under the illusion that I’m an amazing singer, but I have more confidence in what it is I do and how to go about doing it, so not only recording this album but also performing live is a much more comfortable place for me to be.”

And it’s with this newfound confidence that he’ll bring Every Third Thought to Australia. “I’ll be on your time schedule soon enough and I hope I don’t walk through two weeks of concerts jetlagged; I’m a little concerned,” he laughs.

He may play the part of Hank Moody onstage, but when Duchovny first started performing in front of live audiences, it wasn’t an easy feat. “I would have told you that my greatest fear, up until I started doing it, would have been [singing],” he says.

“It couldn’t be further from what I ever expected to be doing, so in that way, it’ll never be not shocking to me. At some point, I realised it’s about the song; it’s not about me, and it’s like, yeah, I’m going to try and sing it the way it is on the record, where I had a bunch of goes at it and could get it as close to note-perfect as I could, but I’m not the kind of singer that’s going to do that live. I don’t care because people don’t come to hear notes, they come to hear a song and they come to hear a story and feel something.”

And that experience is where Duchovny hopes to bridge the gap for fans of shows like The X-FilesCalifornication and more. “I guess with two albums, maybe [fans] know the music better, but the first time, I knew I was lucky. I could sell 2,500 seats and it wasn’t because of the music – they came to see me.

“I don’t really care why you came out, I’m happy that you came out and I’m confident that what we’re doing has merit and emotional traction to it.

“I feel like we’re making good music and we’re singing good songs and telling interesting stories, so I feel like you’ll come back for the music.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/02/20/david-duchovny-daniel-cribb/

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theMusic.com.au: EXCLUSIVE: David Duchovny On Gillian Anderson’s ‘X-Files’ Exit: ‘I Can’t Imagine It Without Scully’

Published on theMusic.com.au, Feb 2018

With Gillian Anderson, aka FBI Agent Dana Scully, announcing she’ll be departing The X-Files universe at the end of the current season and showrunner Chris Carter considering continuing without her, everyone’s a little unsure of what to expect moving forward, including fellow lead actor, David Duchovny.

Speaking with The Music in the lead up to his debut Australian tour, the US actor opened up on the subject, stating he couldn’t “imagine the show without Mulder and Scully”.

“I love the people that I’ve worked with; I love Gillian and Chris and I want them to be doing what they want to do,” Duchovny said.

“There’s no way I want Gillian to be doing the show if she doesn’t want to be doing it, and yet, I want people to do work that they’re really good at, so we’ll see what happens.

“I’m just thankful we got to do as much as we did.”


read more:


Season 11 is halfway through airing and Duchovny said fans knowing it would be Gillian’s last has given it a different flavour to the one they initially set out to make.

“To me, the unfortunate thing about Gillian saying that she was done is that there’s kind of a mourning sense about the whole season, when in fact, what I’d love is that people really recognise that these are 10 excellent episodes —  like, way better than the six we did a few years ago.”

Despite stating in the past the show wouldn’t continue without Gillian, in a recent interview with Digital Spy, Carter made comments that suggested he’d changed his mind.

“I think that certainly The X-Files has more life in it, there are more stories to tell, with Gillian or without,” Carter said.

Duchovny’s new album, Every Third Thought, is out to today; check out all of his upcoming Australian tour dates in theGuide.

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2018/02/09/david-duchovny-talks-gillian-andersons-xfiles-departure/

theMusic.com.au: EXCLUSIVE: Backstage At Australia’s First-ever ‘Walking Dead’ Convention

Published in The Music on theMusic.com.au, Feb 2018

day one

A horde of cosplayers lingered around the gates of Alexandria (once known as The Dome), anxiously awaiting the doors to open for Australia’s first ever Walking Dead convention, Walker Stalker.

Fans had flown and driven from all around the country, including myself, and with a gripping mid-season finale airing only weeks earlier, the event couldn’t have come at a better time.

As is the chaotic film and TV industry, big-name acts Norman Reedus and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were forced to withdraw last-minute, but with a new season of Ride in the works and a little baby Negan on the way, dedicated fans were understanding.

The recent season eight cliffhanger involved Carl Grimes revealing he’d been bitten by a walker, so Chandler Riggs was a fitting headline act in Sydney.

As an avid fan myself, receiving a phone call from Walker Stalker asking if I’d be interested in moderating panels across the weekend was met with overwhelming excitement and waves of horror – meeting some of your favourite actors is one thing; doing it on stage with more than 1000 people watching is a completely different thing.

As I enter the green room, I’m greeted by an affable Nick Floyd backstage, the nicest guy ever and a touring Walker Stalker crewmember. He usually moderates, among a million other things, but is still recovering from the convention’s annual cruise. One of his first pieces of advice was to talk about things outside of the show as the fans will have plenty of questions about it. Well, there goes all my prep.

But the cast of The Walking Dead are prolific, and with skating, one-man shows, music and more on the menu, rejigging the line of questioning is an easy task.

My first glimpse at the inclusive and welcoming nature of TWD family comes from Khary Payton, aka King Ezekiel, who’s just as friendly on the screen as off it.

The green room is quiet and we strike up a conversation that leads to a game of table tennis.

We talk the convention and how the show differs from his extensive voice acting work as Cyborg and more across games, film and TV.

He’s a legend, but it wasn’t until he scored the larger-than-life role on the AMC hit that things really took off. We didn’t keep score, but with Shiva out of the picture (too soon, I know), I won’t hesitate in saying it was a close game.

Warmed up and slightly out of breath, I was more than ready for the first panel of the day.


the heart of the walking dead

If you were scanning through the line-up trying to pick the ideal opening panel, you’d struggle to pick someone as perfect as the show’s executive producer, director and special effects creator Greg Nicotero. The icon helped shape the industry as we know it today and gave us some of the show’s most gory highlights.

My first ever gig as a moderator and I was sitting on stage with Greg Nicotero.

He’s so casual and down to earth, it’s hard to imagine he’s worked on more 800 films and is now a driving force behind one of television’s biggest shows and its spin-off, Fear The Walking Dead.

It’s like chatting with an old friend and everyone in attendance is made to feel welcome as he fires through fan questions and recalls hilarious anecdotes on his work with Spielberg and secrets from behind the scenes of TDW. We reach the panel’s end and although we’re running slightly over time (and he has a busy signing and photo schedule throughout the day), he takes the time to answer one last fan question.


alexandrians

There was an early indication that the Alexandrians panel was going to be full of inside jokes as Ross Marquand (Aaron), Alanna Masterson (Tara) and Tyler James Williams (Noah) congregated backstage and chatted like best pals.

“You guys are just too good friends,” I said as they took their places on stage. “There’s three of us,” Masterson responded with a dry wit. Well played.

Despite the crowd’s best efforts, we were unable to pry a Daryl Dixon impression from Marquand, who is amazing at such, but we are treated to a Russell Crowe impression among others before Masterson talks about her childhood soap opera career and Williams recalls the time a fan bit him.

A curious character with a hat covering his face approaches the mic during the fan Q&A section and it quickly becomes apparent that it’s a former Alexandrian and the man behind one of the show’s most polarizing characters, Michael Traynor.

He’s quick to throw his character, Nicholas, praise while the three on stage dish out a series of snarky and fun remarks. He then disappears into the crowd after a whirlwind of confusing and charming humour. Traynor had literally just landed after being invited last minute in the wake of Pollyanna McIntosh cancelling due to filming commitments.


sitting in a tree

The Walking Dead cast are a talented bunch, with a few also dabbling in musical endeavours. After carefully tuning her ukulele backstage for a pre-panel performance, Katelyn Nacon, aka Enid, arrived on stage to a rockstar reception.

As soon as her voice began to bounce around the Dome, it was evident she had some serious talent and it wouldn’t be surprising if she’s one day just as well known for that side of her skillset.

Her mini-set included a captivating rendition of Radiohead’s Creep and new song among others. Here’s to hoping we see a follow-up to her 2015 EP, Live In May, soon.

The room was packed by the time her performance had ended and there was an epic roar as Riggs emerged from behind the curtain. With Rick Jr set to make his exit from the show when the show returns later this month, Riggs had already cut his hair and looked completely different.

He breathed a sigh of relief when quizzed about not having to wear the Carl Grimes eye-patch anymore, admitting it made filming hard at times and he’d often drop things and miss the mark with impaired depth perception.

So, given Riggs is now looking to further explore his career in EDM, is there a chance we might see a collaboration between him and Nacon? They’re quick to shut the idea down, given their different styles, but fans remain hopeful they’ll see some form of Carl and Enid reunion down the line.

In scouring the internet prior to the event, I discovered that Nacon had starred in Adult Swim viral video Too Many Cooksback in 2014, so I was sure to include a question about such a bizarre addition to her IMDB; a credit she’s wildly proud of and received a mighty cheer for as well as a follow-up fan question.

Before the panel is through, we get a breakdown of what else is in store for Riggs post-TWD and discover his favourite shows are currently Mr Robot and The Flash.

After we wrap Sitting In A Tree, fans are gifted a video message from one and only Jeffrey Dean Morgan, explaining his absence and apologising. It was surreal standing next to Carl and Enid while watching Negan pour his heart out.


trouble makers

The video message was a fitting bridge between the show’s good and bad guys. Behind the stage, Steven Ogg chowed down on BBQ Shapes and enlisted the help of Austin Amelio for pre-game stretches. I doubt we’ll see such comradery when and if their onscreen personas, Simon and Dwight, face off.

I invite Traynor on stage before the next panel, and quiz him about the last minute arrangements and his willingness to wear a wig and take on a European accent in place of McIntosh. He’s all in.

The two other aforementioned troublemakers burst onto the stage in a blaze of glory and begin what has to be described as one of the most sincere, awkward and hilarious man-hugs of all time.

The chaos continues, and a question about Amelio’s skating career sees Ogg embark on a long-winded anecdote poking fun of the way he acts on the streets with his deck, to the point where he jumps off the stage and begins miming. “I’m sorry, do you have any questions over there?” Ogg asks me.

A lot of fans aren’t too fond of the character of Nicholas – one of his only saving graces being he inadvertently saved Glenn in season six – but after his Walker Stalker appearance, everyone was a die-hard fan of Michael Traynor.

Before we know it, 45 minutes is up and as we leave the stage I finally get the chance to talk to Ogg about his appearance as a seedy locksmith in Broad City, to which he laughs.


day two

While there weren’t as many guests scheduled for panels on day two, the talent that was set to appear on the stage was some of the show’s most beloved; and not just because most of them had met gory deaths in past seasons (partly in thanks to Nicotero).

The green room was buzzing as day two kicked off, with guests getting to meet snakes, lizards and more.

I was making some final notes for the day’s first panel when IronE Singleton, aka T-Dog, approaches me and starts chatting. He was one of the most upbeat people I had come across all weekend. Wearing an Akubra, he talked about the shortage of Tim Tams the previous day and his plans to stash some for later.

He had also just met some local reptiles, but there surprisingly wasn’t any drop bears there. One of the Walker Stalker crew brings up an image search and his reaction is one of pure horror, that is until we finally tell him they’re not actually real.


the king & jesus

After a larger than life introduction the previous day, I knew this panel was going to be a highlight of the convention, and from the moment Khary Payton and Tom Payne ran on stage there was no stopping them.

Payton was wearing ridiculous novelty sunglasses with a small crown attached and immediately schooled the fans on the anatomically incorrect Shiva that sat on stage. For starters, female tigers don’t have balls.

We’re all still hurting from the loss of the Kings’ faithful companion – including Payton’s father – but a surprise onstage visit from a koala (Shiva 2.0?) lightened the mood and made for some adorable photo ops.

The King and Jesus are the show’s moral compasses in a lot of ways, and thus the fan questions directed at both rendered interesting results; including one about who would win in a fight, of which it was widely agreed upon that Jesus would surface victorious in such a circumstance, given there’s no tiger on the scene. Another fan question that had the crowd wooing was whether or not Carol and King Ezekiel would ever get together. As Payton pointed out, if the fans want something to happen in The Walking Dead and the showrunners find out about it, they’ll play with emotions as long as they can. Ultimately, he didn’t think we’d see such a plot point emerge.

Pic by Walker Stalker


abraham: michael cudlitz

Abraham may have suffered a brutal fate at the hands of Negan, but the man behind the catchphrase king is alive and well, and the crowd went absolutely insane when Michael Cudlitz strolled on stage. It was the only panel of the weekend where a guest was left to their own devices on stage (“That’s the way I like it,” Cudlitz told me prior), but given how adored he is and the long lines of fans who had questions, there was no need for a moderator. In person, he looks quite different to the redheaded warrior he portrays on-screen.

He didn’t hold back when it came to his answers – whom would he kill off if he had the choice? “Baby Judith,” he joked, pretending to throw a baby in the air. There was also a decent mix of questions about his other works, Band Of Brothers, Southland, and more. And, of course, he bestowed some iconic Abraham catchphrases on the crowd, including crowd favourite “Bitch Nuts”.


og crew

We haven’t seen Hershel Greene or T-Dog for a few seasons and that’s perhaps why so many fans were keen to cram into the OG Crew panel. Both IronE Singleton and Scott Wilson left the show in brutal way, but given they’re still able to travel the world with their former co-stars, it’s not surprising they were both smiling ear-to-ear.

There’s a bit of time to kill backstage before I jump up for my final moderating gig of the day and in chatting with Wilson’s wife, Heavenly, I discover she’s spent a lot of time living in Perth, where I’m from. Singleton tunes in when I tell the story of how I ended up moderating panels at a Walking Dead convention on the other side of the country. I’m getting married in June and my best man, Jacko, as a ridiculous wedding gift, decided to fly my fiancée, Sarah, and I across the country to attend. It was because of that I got offered the role and got to spend the weekend hanging out with the crew from one of my favourite shows.

Singleton’s larger than life personality is immediately on display when the pair hit the stage, and is nicely balanced out by Wilson’s more calm and collected nature. Their panel is funny, inspirational and sees Singleton open up about his troubled childhood, offering hope and words of wisdom to those in the audience who might also be struggling, while Wilson, who is now 75, talked about what it’s like to be thrown into TWD fandom so far into his career. He’s done countless other projects across his career, but now he’s known as Hershel.

Singleton pointed Heavenly out in the crowd and then jumped off the stage for impromptu musical number; he laid down the beat and she rapped over the top.

Singleton would remember fans names as they approached the mic and had a witty answer for everything, even, “How did it feel to get beat up by Merle?” That attention to details and memory caught me by surprise at the panel’s end. “Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap things up?” I asked. Singleton stood up, put his arm around me and asked Sarah and Jacko to stand up, before telling the audience the story I had told him backstage and wishing us the best of luck. He is the nicest guy ever, and made my final panel one to remember.


Walker Stalker hits Exhibition Pavilion at Melbourne Showgrounds this weekend. Head to the event’s website for all the details.

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2018/02/07/backstage-at-walker-stalker-sydney/

Show Review: Rise Against 11.02.18

Published on theMusic.com.au, Feb 2018

Pic by Linda Dunjey

Rise Against

HBF Stadium

Feb 7

Only half full of bodies and thick with fog radiating from the stage, HBF Stadium resembled a high school gym and gave off the vibe of a ‘90s music video as punters anxiously awaited the arrival of Chicago punk rockers Rise Against.

As soon as the house lights were cut, a wall of bass began wrestling with the crowd’s echoing roar and the stage was set for frontman Tim McIlrath, who had punters in a trance, mimicking his every move.

“Perth, put your fists in the air!” he screamed as the beat slid into the groove of 2006’s Chamber The Cartridge, sans the iconic “this is noise” sample.

Kicking off with material from what’s arguably the band’s best record, the song painted a picture of what would follow; whirlwind punk verses, big choruses and a heavy breakdown, all driven by political lyrics.

Rise Against may be in the touring cycle of 2017’s Wolves, but they weren’t going anywhere near the new material until fans had got their fix of the ‘old stuff’, going even further back with a nostalgic anthem Give It All, McIlrath jumping into the audience to get up-close and personal with fans.

Unable to stand still for even a second, Zach Blair laid down a chunky guitar riff and gave McIlrath a platform for a speech on inclusivity and tolerance, which led to the first new song of the evening, The Violence.

The addition of a second guitar added another level of intensity to the sound bouncing around the venue, which the room struggled to handle; a problem that persisted throughout stadium rock hit Re-Education (Through Labor).

It became clear during that song that the band truly thrive under more raw conditions, with one crisp guitar leaving plenty of room for McIlrath’s pitch-perfect vocals, especially in a room with such terrible acoustics. Fast-past classic Dancing For The Rain and crowd favourite The Good Left Undone were a whirlwind of infectious energy but also fell victim to the terribly muddy room.

Thankfully, their relentless stage presence prevailed and unexpected turns, like an impromptu mid-song cover of Black Flag’s American Waste, rendered more than enough to overcome the issues.

It may be a simple guitar riff, but the intro hook of Prayer Of The Refugee had punters flocking closer to the stage in anticipation of its massive chorus, and it didn’t disappoint. Its octave-driven bridge took the song to a big finish through a series of wild breakdown sections and drummer Brandon Barnes gave a dizzying lesson on punk drumming.

Pulling things back, McIlrath grabbed an acoustic guitar and stood solo onstage, instantly assuming the role of a storytelling troubadour and telling tales of riding from Perth to Fremantle and meeting great people along the way; a fitting transition into People Live Here.

It was the ‘eye of the hurricane’ and he continued with Hero Of War. “Not all my songs are sad — some of them are happy,” he said, quickly backing up the statement with Swing Life Away.

He could have kept the room entertained for hours, but there was still a serious amount of upbeat hits to cycle through, despite one loud ocker bloke mistaking the quiet after the acoustic section for the set’s end and humorously grunting “one more song” in the dark room.

The piercing screams of Help Is On The Way compared to McIlrath’s softer acoustic melodies illustrated just how talented he is as a vocalist and also highlighted the diverse nature of the band’s back catalogue. Blair and bassist Joe Principe also showcased some decent vocal chops in the song’s chorus.

Bricks set in motion another eclectic punk onslaught that carried over into fan favourite Survive; a series of songs that highlighted that, while they are highly political, they’re still connecting with fans on an emotional level.

It was although someone turned the PA up during the Wolves title track and its message of tolerance burned into the memory of those in attendance while sparking a circle put lit by a red spotlight.

One punter’s excitement couldn’t be contained and he scrambled onto the stage during Behind Closed Doors to take a selfie while security grappled with him. “I think the lesson we’ve learned tonight is, if you’re gonna crash the stage, unlock your phone first,” McIlrath laughed.

And with that, the band dished up Satellite and Savior and disappeared, leaving the crowd cheering for them.

http://themusic.com.au/music/livereviews/2018/02/08/rise-against-hbf-stadium-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Rahul Kohli (iZombie)

Published in The Music (NSW) on theMusic.com.au, Feb 2018

iZombie Has Only Scratched The Surface

“In episode one, you’re nude.” The fourth season of iZombie gets weird, as actor Rahul Kohli tells Daniel Cribb.

When and if a zombie apocalypse begins, there’s one man you might not want to partner up with on your quest for survival. “I like a warm shower and I like to take a poo in a nice toilet – I’m not doing it in the forest; I’m not about that life, man,” begins iZombie star Rahul Kohli.

The affable British actor is all about creature comforts and after setting up a sweet home theatre system earlier that day, he’s just returned from dinner with co-star Malcolm Goodwin (Clive Babineaux), who would be “the best” under Walking Dead conditions. “It looks like a PR stunt when we go, ‘Oh, we’re on this show and we’re best friends off screen,’ but with iZombie it’s true. I think everyone is close.”

iZombie and The Walking Dead are miles apart, but Kohli’s quick to draw some comparisons as the Rob Thomas hit series enters its fourth season. “One of the reasons you connect with The Walking Dead is you don’t follow the story of the zombies, you follow the story of the humans because that’s what you immediately align yourself with,” he tells.

While the show follows zombie Liv Moore, a lot of fans have connected to Kohli’s adorable and “unfiltered” character, Dr Ravi Chakrabarti, because he’s a human. “He represents the audience – he always has,” Kohli says. “Liv’s a zombie and to a certain degree, despite the fact that you follow her journey and see the world through her eyes, the fact that she starts the show as a zombie, there’s already a disconnect with the audience.

“Ravi’s the first human who discovers her secret and you kind of realise the extent of her zombiism through his eyes. I think the audience immediately connects with that.”

Season three ended with Liv scratching Ravi as part of his ongoing efforts to find a cure. “With the cliffhanger, I’m still protecting that for viewers for when they finally get to see the premiere. There’s a scenario that a lot of people hadn’t thought could happen and it’s the road we take and I was very happy with the decision that Rob and everyone made.

“I was protective of [Ravi’s] human status because of that relationship with the audience,” he says. “Clive and Ravi, in my opinion, should always remain human, because you need that.”

The other big developed in season three was the zombie virus being made public, which Kohli says will make for a refreshing change of pace moving forward.

“A lot of shows, when they reach that middle ground or middle period, in an effort to keep things moving need to change things to point where it’s no longer recognisable as the show you fell in love with in the first place,” he tells.

iZombie still keeps its DNA. If you look at the [season four] trailer, it looks like nothing’s really changed, but it really has; the world has changed, the rules have changed.”

The rules have definitely changed for Ravi, with the aforementioned trailer teasing a nude scene for Kohli. “That put a damper on things,” he laughs. “When we got picked up for season four, I was partying in LA and having a good time and spending my season money.

“I got a phone call from my producer going, ‘Yo, in episode one, you’re nude. And not just topless, the full Monty.’ And they told me that in June, which ruined my summer. I think I was eating a burger when I got the phone call and I remember sliding it away half eaten.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/02/22/izombie-rahul-kohli-daniel-cribb/