TWO ALBUMS: Brutal Dawn completes a two-album project between Bernard Fanning and local engineer Nick DiDia.
TWO ALBUMS: Brutal Dawn completes a two-album project between Bernard Fanning and local engineer Nick DiDia. copyright

Bernard Fanning adds Byron Bay show to national tour

BRUTAL Dawn is the latest album recorded by Bernard Fanning at his recording studio in Tyagarah, just out of Byron Bay, a work completed with iconic music engineer Nick DiDia.

The album will be accompanied by a tour that sold out many shows around the country within minutes.

Fanning announced today a third show in Perth and a fourth show for Brisbane, plus new dates in Newcastle and Byron Bay.

Special guest, local musician Sara Tindley will be joining the Newcastle and Byron Bay shows.

Brutal Dawn

 

 

Brutal Dawn is a continuation from his 2016 Aria-winning release Civil Dusk. Fanning said the two albums are connected but point to different issues in life.

"(Civil Dusk)'s theme was decisions and their consequences, and in this one it's a bit more about memory and the gaps between memory and reality," he said.

Those memories, the artist said, can vary over time.

"So you grab them and pull them apart, and really look at them instead of the one-frame version you usually have in your mind, which usually has a nice Vaseline-layered lens, which is really quite rosy," Fanning added.

"The idea is looking carefully to those memories and say: well, what actually happened here? Is the way I remember it how it actually happened?

"It's about reflecting on the past and looking at what really happened."

Fanning said this idea applies particularly for situations that are traumatic or difficult times in people's lives.

"That's the thread that connects both albums," he said.

 

LA CUEVA is Bernard Fannings music paradise  a recording studio co-owned with Nick DiDia, a music producer to stars including Bruce Springsteen and Powderfinger.
LA CUEVA is Bernard Fannings music paradise a recording studio co-owned with Nick DiDia, a music producer to stars including Bruce Springsteen and Powderfinger. copyright

After years fronting Powderfinger and then with a successful solo career, Fanning is clear he is not releasing albums focused on being popular or commercially viable.

"I don't know if it is commercially viable," he laughs.

"The commercial realities in the recording world have changed for artists. Some artists like Adele and Ed Sheeran sell a lot of records, but people like me don't sell a lot of records, because people are members of online platforms and their access to music has changed.

"People don't have the same sense of loyalty and tribalism that used to exist.

"It's a bit of a cliche but you can't consider commercial interests when you are writing, and there is nothing wrong with trying to make a record go well, promoting it or marketing it, it's dumb not to, but you don't have to make that consideration when you are writing it."

Fanning said he is very happy with the final released version of Brutal Dawn.

"I'm very happy, in fact we both (producer) Nick (DiDia) and I have made a better record with this one than Civil Dusk. We were really happy with Civil Dusk but we set out to try to equal it or better it, and we think we did better.

"I hope it does well," he said.

La Cueva

La Cueva (Spanish for The Cave) is musician Bernard Fanning and engineer Nick Didia's recording studio in Tyagarah, 10 minutes north of Byron Bay.

The venue is not a typical recording studio: large windows offer panoramic views of Cape Byron and the sea, and the abundant natural light and clean air are a contrast to the typical dark and enclosed experiences inside a recording studio.

In the last 12 months, the venue has been utilised to write, produce or finalise around ten albums, including the last two by Fanning: Civil Dusk and Brutal Dawn.

Local artists such as singer songwriter Sara Tindley and Darren Middleton from Powderfinger have used the studios, plus stars such as Missy Higgins and Delta Goodrem have used the venue in different capacities.

 

Brutal Dawn completes a two-album project between Fanning and DiDia that started in Madrid some years ago.
Brutal Dawn completes a two-album project between Fanning and DiDia that started in Madrid some years ago. copyright

DiDia said they have not actively publicised the studio, leaving word of mouth to work for them.

"We are trying to keep it in a place when I do a certain amount of work, and some friends of ours do other stuff here," DiDia said.

"It's not a full-blown, open to the public, seven-day operation. It's kind of a one-man place.

"We have only done one record here when I had to hire an assistant to help with the work," DiDia said.

The engineer doubts him and Fanning should make the studio a bigger operation.

"Our idea of starting the studio was to have a place that paid for itself where we could work all the time," he explained.

Fanning's goal with La Cueva is to continue making his own projects locally.

"If there is any money we'll use it on making the place better."

  • At The Northern, Byron Bay, on Saturday, November 4. For details visit bernardfanning.com.