Gold Coast has seen a host of its music talent migrate south recently, Stretch Crane from elsewhere, members of Tsun, Kurt from music label Strange Yonder, GC producer/musician George Carpenter and now our very own GC guitar-wielding bandit Karl S Williams has joined the migration to the cold depths of Australia.
While this is the norm for most musically-talented people looking to expand their career, it still doesn’t take the bitter sting out of seeing our local talent leave. It kind of feels like a relationship break up, you know it’s run its course but you don’t want to let go, even though you both know it’s for the best.
I caught up with Karl while he was in the middle of moving from GC to Melbourne and asked why (with tears in my eyes) he was leaving?
Not surprisingly it’s been on the his mind for a while and because of Melbourne’s reputation as a magical, musical melting pot and the promise of recording a new album with some well-known producers the timing seemed right.
When the “perfect” gig with Mia Dyson and Jess Ribeiro came up, it saw Karl S Williams packing up his belongings and heading off.
I asked how the show went with both these crazy talented ladies. Always humble, Karl reckons it was good because another amazing female artist Liz Stringer (who played keys for Dyson) recognised him from his support slot at the Waifs gig on the GC.
“It was great to arrive, play the show and immediately connect with those people straight away who are the cream of Australian blues music,” Karl told me.
I ask if he’s feeling like the Gold Coast isn’t doing it for him creatively but he assures me this is not the case.
“I don’t feel I’m seeking inspiration but I know doing the album in Melbourne and the change of scene will be reflected in my songs and performance,” he said. “But the main reason is because of the feeling I need to be restless and seek new pastures.”
KSW reckons that in an ideal world he would play shows around the release of an album and then come home to play shows locally and write songs in familiar territory. I like that idea because it kinda felt like he was leaving me for another woman. I really must not take this so personally.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard any new material since Heartland was released in 2014 and I asked Karl if he prefers releasing albums over singles or EPs.
“An album is my preference. An EP is still a lot of work and it’s easy to get overlooked and possibly not taken seriously whereas an album is a unit,” he said, “but I do have ideas about making an a Capella, spiritual EP.”
And having heard Karl sing solo without backing music I can tell you it is spine tingling, time travelling stuff. I tell him I think this is a brilliant idea and to hurry up already.
Although he remains mysterious about exactly what to expect at his upcoming headlining Bond University gig, there will definitely be a full band. Minus George Carpenter (his organ player) of course. He’s buggered off to Melbourne already.
So can we expect our usual guitar-slinging, banjo-wielding freak with a penchant for hell fire, at Bond University, I venture?
“If anything, there’s gonna be more hellfire! I don’t feel like I have any kind of identity crisis going on that’s for sure,” he said.
I breathe a sigh of relief. I get the feeling that although KSW has left our golden shores, his heart and heavenly salvation will always be here on the Gold Coast.
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Gold Coast Music Awards’ 2015 Artist of the Year, Karl S Williams plays Live At Bond on 29 May with Deena in support.