(PB044) Danna & The Changes: Consonant Cacophony

by Popboomerang

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    Danna grew up in the infamous seaside town of Frankston, surrounded by a large musical family. Of the six Simmo’s, only his little sister is yet to form a band (although it must be noted that she dabbled with the idea of Rock Girls, but never got much further than writing the name on her school folder). Danna’s dad insists he’s the source of the family musical ability, because when he was young, he came second in a local talent contest, singing Poison Ivy.

    Danna’s formative musical experiences were typical 90s Frankston… with his first band playing a mix of Metallica, Faith No More and Pantera covers. Ever the revolutionary, he systematically kicked the metal fans out of the band and started playing Custard, Ammonia and Weezer covers. Believe it or not, members of this early band are still playing with Danna today, under their new guise “The Changes”. At that time, they played friends' parties,'The Saloon' (a dodgy local pub with buckets of bourbon the standard drink of choice), and a few gigs in Melbourne proper. Wanting to learn more, Danna joined a FReeZA group and got involved with the statewide bandcomp. The band won their regional final and found themselves playing to about 3000 kids at PushOver.

    That band then morphed into The Suits, which contained Mike, Nolan, Matt and Danna. Regularly touted as “three brothers and their best mate” they toured extensively up the east coast, playing with bands such as You Am I, Youth Group, The Posies, Interpol, The Thrills and at festivals like Come Together. Their debut EP was recorded in Sydney with Wayne Connolly (You Am I, Youth Group etc.) and was released on Reverberation Records. The EP received a bunch of triple j airplay, including making it into the Net 50\'s top 10 a few times, and led to sold out launches up the East Coast.

    That recording process also led to a big change in the way Danna was to work in the future. Although happy with the EP, Danna was frustrated that he hadn’t known how to make it sound like he wanted... and so, went and completed an audio engineering course. He now runs his own fully operational (yes, like the Death Star) studio, and regularly records and produces his own music (as well as a variety of local artists).

    As bands are wont to do, The Suits disbanded in 2007, and Danna moved onto a new chapter in his musical life.

    And so The Changes, and a new way of operating were born. The Changes are a different kind of musical outfit. They are not a band. A band are a unified group of people all working towards a single goal. That\'s a lovely theory, but musicians all travelling in the same direction and wanting the same thing from life is like getting painters to all paint the sunset the same. The Changes are a community and a fluid line up, helping to create Danna’s music. They play together as long as they like the music and the direction it’s headed in, and have the time and inclination to do so. When they\'re over it or want to travel or take a break they just give notice and the lineup responds accordingly. In return for their commitment, Danna helps out The Changes in whatever way he can, whether it be recording their music, offering supports, and of course live earnings are split evenly. The aim is to allow muso’s to play together without the added expectation and pressure that their paths must run in parallel.

    The format of The Changes is not the only thing that was novel about the recording of Danna’s forthcoming album. The drums, bass and rhythm guitar were recorded at Birdland Studios, but then those tracks were taken to Danna’s studio and the rest was recorded there... engineered and produced by Danna with the assistance of The Changes. From there, once the album was to be mixed, Danna took it to his former teacher and mentor, Neil Goudge (an Aria award winning engineer), at his new education facility (CCAT) to be mixed and mastered. The partnership with Neil allowed for time to be spent on the mixing of the album, which wouldn't have been possible at commercial rates.

    In Danna’s own words “Danna And The Changes is not about 'making it'. It's about playing the music I love to write and play, and that others enjoy playing and listening to. The motto is always time over money. Anyone can throw money at something, but the way to truly make a difference is to invest your time in something you care about and are enthusiastic about because that rubs off on people. The album, Consonant Cacophony, took over a year from the start of tracking until completion and I can't wait to launch the new album, with a great label that is really behind it and is willing to invest the time necessary, Popboomerang.”
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released January 1, 2000


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Popboomerang Australia

Australian music label founded by Scott Thurling and releasing its first CD in 2002 with over 80 recordings to date.

Specialising in melodic pop, jangle, folk and rock and predominantly working with Australian bands with the aim to building their careers locally & internationally.

Artists include Skipping Girl Vinegar, Georgia Fields, The Aerial Maps, Celadore, Bon Scotts, Tamas Wells & Tim Reid
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