NEWCASTLE punk rocker Dane Tutty has played in bands for more than 15 years, but he never believed he had the talent to cut it as a singer-songwriter.
"I never had the confidence to do anything myself before, so it took a lot of reaching out to friends during [COVID] lockdown and saying, 'tell me how much this sucks'," Tutty said.
One friend who was particularly impressed by Tutty's acoustic demos was Chris Barker, aka Chris No.2, the bassist from US punk heavyweights Anti-Flag.
The pair had become close friends due to Tutty's former Newcastle punk band Liberation Front having supported Anti-Flag several times over the years and through their shared love of tattoos.
Tutty is the owner of Maryville's Downunder Tattooing and once inked Barker backstage before an Anti-Flag show.
While Liberation Front had recorded music, Tutty had never developed his own songwriting. When COVID-19 forced his tattoo business to close for three months he returned to music to find an outlet for his creativity.
Tutty sent the song demos to Barker in Pittsburgh for honest feedback, but received more than he bargained for.
Barker emailed the songs back complete with full band arrangements.
"Having Chris believe in me f--ked me up," Tutty laughed. "It was pretty wild. I had to take some screenshots of the messages he sent me just so I could re-read them later and go, 'are these songs alright', because I'm not someone who believes in myself too much."
The songs wound up on Tutty's debut five-track EP Bend & Break, released in March. The EP is emboldened with an anthemic brand of emo and Tutty's emotional lyrics addressing mental health issues.
On July 22 Tutty will release a video for the Bend & Break's track BPD, which analyses a friend's struggles with the often misunderstood mental illness of borderline personality disorder.
"It started to get out of a hand and during that time I learnt a hell of a lot being close to someone who was diagnosed and was going through the intense therapy to counteract the thought process it creates," he said.
"What I thought it was, was nothing like that. You hear about a stereotype.
"It was really cool to learn and I thought it was really important to me and we came out with a video where we thought we could create a conversation about something that I didn't understand until someone close to me was affected."
WELL? SPEAK EASY
ONE of Newcastle's most intriguing young bands Well? will launch their latest single Speak on Friday night at the Stag and Hunter Hotel.
The three-piece of Taylan Bragg (guitar, vocals), Andrew Gray (bass) and Duncan Brown (drums) blend an elaborate mix of prog metal and psych rock which has seen them release a series of singles, including the eight-minute epic Issue + Command, and receive an invitation to perform at PigSty In July on July 31.
Friday's launch for Speak, will also feature support from Newcastle political punk band Boycott and post-punk five-piece Doris.
The Stag will also host Newcastle pop-rock band Glovers Lane on Saturday with support from Aaron White.
GLAMOUROUS Newcastle producer and model Shiralee Coleman has teamed up with Sydney underground rave DJ Daniel Tonik and vocalist Sammi Constantine for her second single Desire.
The hybrid track of melodic house and dance drops on Friday and will be the fourth track released by new Newcastle electronic dance label Pumping Records.
Desire was unveiled publicly by Coleman and Tonik at the Facon magazine launch recently in the Hunter Valley.
Coleman features on the cover of the Facon's winter issue, photographed by Newcastle Herald music photographer Paul Dear.
EMERGING Melbourne roots singer-songwriter Riley Catherall will release his debut album When I Go next week, featuring his latest single Mother Please.
Catherall wrote the '70s-inspired folk song about his mother's constant worrying and staying up waiting for him when he began gigging as an 18-year-old.
Anticipation has been slowly building for When I Go after Catherall released the EP Venture In Pain (2019), co-written by Kasey and Bill Chambers, and his singles Vacant Lot and Leave Me Out To Dry.
Newcastle music fans can judge Catherall's potential for themselves when he performs at the Stag and Hunter Hotel on September 24.
IT was no surprise earlier this week that Empire Touring and TEG Live made the decision to postpone the upcoming Stones' Sticky Fingers Tour until September.
The tribute to The Rolling Stones classic 1971 album, featuring Tim Rogers (You Am I), Tex Perkins (The Cruel Sea), Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon) and Adalita (Magic Dirt) was supposed to debut at Newcastle's Civic Theatre on July 27.
Due to the Sydney COVID-19 lockdown the Civic Theatre show has been shifted to September 15.