Mike Ragogna: What do you think it was about that song [“Riptide”] that resonated…
Vance Joy: I think the recording is really special. We did it in a day. My drummer and I went to a studio in Melbourne and spent seven hundred dollars recording it. It was my first proper experience in a proper studio, so there were certain naiveties that went into it and I think that comes through. We didn’t play to a click track so it comes flowing in and out of time. The choruses are almost a little bit off, I think there’s something really human in that, it’s almost like a bizarre, strange chemistry which can work sometimes. I just did a couple of vocal takes, really raw at the end of the day and just pushed super hard. It felt like the way that I’ve learned to sing was probably more controlled but there’s a certain looseness and lack of control which I think works for the song–besides the fact that it’s a catchy song and there are really colorful lyrics. I think all that stuff comes together and makes a really tasty song.
MR: Is that also good advice for a new artist?
VJ: I think so. Recording a song in a day, or at least allowing something magical to happen by throwing caution to the wind is something that I’m a believer in.
MR: What’s the best advice ever given to you?
VJ: I had a couple of good ones. A singer-songwriter from Australia said, “Just write what you write,” which I really like. You get involved in songwriting and you’re at the mercy of whatever. Songs come into your creative channels, so just follow that intuition. I also got another advice about songwriting which is that it’s not going to be easy but every little thing that gets in the way and makes a song hard to write or makes you think that you’re not at the top of your songwriting game is just an obstacle you can push through. It can be overcome. That always gives me hope. When the songs aren’t coming I just think of the fact that I’m just standing in front of an obstacle that I can get around.