The Courier-Mail author profile: Dave Graney – ‘1001 Australian Nights’, March 2011

An author interview for The Courier-Mail. Excerpt below.

Proud and dodgy Dave Graney

AS ONE of Australia’s most prolific rock musicians, Dave Graney has stood on stages across the world for more than 30 years, wielding guitar, voice and attitude.

His output covers 24 recorded albums his hard-earned musical experience began in Mt Gambier, South Australia.

Yet despite his longevity, vitality and originality, Graney says: “There are only a small number of people who really like my music, and who communicate with me.”

Don’t mistake that for a complaint. Ever the realist, Graney knows that his confrontational, occasionally oddball style isn’t for everyone.

“I’m glad they find my stuff, and get a kick out of different aspects of what I’m doing. My vocal style is full of little cries and gasps, and weird noises and yelps and screams,” he says.

“I guess some people must think it’s kind of weird or something, because most indie rock is so uptight that there’s no physicality in a lot of it. We just do it.”

The “we” refers to Graney, his wife, percussionist and creative partner Clare Moore, and the revolving cast of players who’ve had bit parts over the past 30 years.

Graney admits that he’s always been interested in being a performer, not just being a writer.

“But I think you’ve got to be one or the other,” he says. “You have to hold the pose to be a serious songwriter.”

He cites Paul Kelly and Bernard Fanning as serious-looking dudes, before stating that he’s never been that sort of person.

“So to answer your previous question, most people probably think I’m dodgy, and that’s something that I prefer, actually. I’d rather be dodgy than worthy,” he says.

Now, for the first time, Graney’s wide – if disparate – audience has the chance to absorb his world-weary wisdom in text form, unaccompanied by music.

His memoir, 1001 Australian Nights, traces Graney’s path from Mt Gambier to a consistent creative circuit of writing, recording and touring, both across this country and throughout the world.

Split into two halves, the book first deals with the intense, solitary experience that Graney lived out upon finishing school, driving up the east coast of Australia, and eventually starting his first band, a post-punk act named The Moodists.

With his focused sense of self-awareness, Graney admits that many of the things he writes about in that half are not particularly special.

For the full article, visit The Courier-Mail. For more Dave Graney, visit his website. The music video for his song ‘Knock Yourself Out‘ is embedded below.

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