Introducing a musician with a purpose. The purpose is showing the world how important it is to know what goes on around us. With all the issues going on in the world today, there is one thing that we can all stand together on, and that is the foundation of music. Let’s all stand together, unite, and check out what Tim Ciantar had to say during our interview.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Sydney, NSW, Australia at the Royal North Shore Hospital, I lived there for 1 year and then moved to Niagara Park, on the Central Coast of NSW. I have remained here, in the same house for the last 25 years. Which almost feels crazy! I do like it here but I also love to be away from here at the same time. I Love to travel!
When did you start performing music?
I first picked up a guitar back in High School, when I was around 14/15 for memory. I have been writing music and performing it since then, although I have been doing it on a more serious level for the last 6 years or there a bouts. 4 of which were spent playing professionally in a band which I discuss more below.
Which instruments do you play?
I would say Guitar is my “Main” instrument of choice, always have loved guitar, but I do enjoy playing drums, percussion and also play a little bit of Bass and Keys. I don’t like to limit myself, always wanting to learn other instruments, I have a Mandolin, and plan on getting a Banjo, so really no limits, I love all sounds. I do sing a little bit as well.
Describe your music interests and abilities.
I love music and everything about sound. I hear things in my head and always strive to get them on paper, although sometimes this can be a challenging task as some of the ideas I hear cant be played because they are sometimes to technical for my abilities. However thats when Logic Pro (My software) comes into play! I Love the fact that any sound can be used and manipulated into another sound. Like for example, you pop a toaster. Doesn’t sound that interesting right? Well. You can then record that sound and change it up with effects and use it in a song. I have done this a few times. not with a toaster but other things.
I really like to step outside of the square when writing. Sometimes it is great to stick to common structures and ideas but what really gets me going is when people step outside the common boundaries for music, there really shouldn’t be boundaries but there usually is for some music. Especially a lot of the stuff you hear that goes mainstream. It’s not a bad thing, but it doesn’t hurt to do something different every once in a while!
I have a tendency to hear things in sound recordings that others cannot. It actually freaks me out sometimes, you know I might be listening to a mix that I was working on and hear a small noise that should not be there. Things like that. It is crazy.. I have the ability to really tune in to music, well not just music but sound in general.
What famous musicians inspire you?
This is a really broad question for me to answer as I listen to a massive variety of music, I have a collection of around 12,000 songs so it’s honestly very hard to answer this without ranting on about hundreds of bands. I really love, and have always loved the Progressive Rock/Progressive Metal thing, you know, bands like Between The Buried And Me, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, The Contortionist, and Bilo 3.0 bands like that.
But it’s definitely not limited to those few bands. There are many more that I enjoy, anything heavy is great, if its Metal I have probably heard it or heard of it, but I sometimes listen to Acoustic stuff, Electronic, Rap, and well just about anything, with the exception of a lot of mainstream music. Some of that stuff is utter shit. I’m always keen to discover new artists, and thanks to the the WWW, I have found so many new bands and artists to listen to. I listen to old new and in between.
I mean one of my favorite bands when I was younger was Judas Priest. Those guy’s rocked/still rock! Went through phases back in school, Metallica, Blink 182, One Dollar Short. A whole bunch of stuff, but I guess you could say my tastes have changed a bit. I still listen to that stuff but its predominately heavier stuff now.
I guess if I was to focus on single people, Devin Townsend is amazing, Steven Wilson is awesome, oh and I love The Civil Wars, they are an amazing duo, with sensational songwriting skills.
And in terms of playing, I love discovering new players, there is a YouTube channel called “Jam Track Central” which has a lot of amazing players, although I never forget players like Vai, Satriani, Petrucci Etc.
The list of musicians I like could go on and on and on!
What is some of your best musical memories?
I guess for me the day’s when I performed back at school, they were great times. I’d always be performing in front of the whole school at assembly, usually playing pretty heavy stuff, which I think some of the teachers didn’t really enjoy! I did many performances and always found great enjoyment from doing so.
I’m about to go off on a tangent here..
Later on though after school, I have some really great memories (And some really terrible ones) from when I was in a rock band called “October Rage”.
We were together for quite some time and later on we won a competition which gave us the chance to support “Bon Jovi” whilst they were in Sydney for three shows. That experience was probably the highlight of my career (So far!)
We also got to party with them at a very nice club in Sydney, the best part about that was meeting the man himself, he was still really down to earth and genuine which is unexpected with some big names. Same with the other members including Ritchie! A very underrated guitarist!
Following that we ended up heading over to the states to tour. There we went through many states, I cant remember all of them but these were the first lot. Texas, Mississippi, Ohio, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, and from there we traveled back over the West Coast, like California and nearby states. I guess I learnt a lot being on tour for almost 3 months, it was indeed an interesting up and down roller coaster ride and with most of it we just had to wing it as it was new experience for all of us.
We would be playing shows and be super tired because we would drive straight to the next place and basically have to try and get some sleep in the back of the tour van which was really difficult. It really recks your body and destroys your mind, but you have to keep on keeping on! Obviously with the right funding a tour could be more pleasant but where is the adventure in that!
We got to support Seven-dust whilst there and the last show that I played was at the “House Of Blues” with Steel Panther. That was a cracker of a show to leave the band on!
I decided to leave the band for many reasons, a lot of things just weren’t working out with a couple of the other members, and there were quite a few other issues that just did not get fixed. There are many things that people don’t realize about being in a band, like when your on stage everything seems well, but it’s just a show, you have to really get behind the scenes to understand all the other things that go on and how hectic things can really get. At times you want to knock people out or strangle them because it gets so intense. It’s crazy!
The last memory I have, well, its still current, is what I am doing now. I currently run a small and very laid back casual music production business! I also love to collaborate with different artists. This is pretty much my passion and love. Being able to do what I adore, writing music and letting people listen and enjoy! I plan on getting into music for film and TV etc.
What public events do you have coming up?
Well, I am playing some shows with the Trio I am in called “In Harmony”, at a little local place called Lizotte’s. Also planning a few gigs for the future too.
In terms of releases, I am always releasing new songs, nothing thats officially on iTunes or the like yet but always up on soundcloud/FB which I will plug at the end.
No showcases at this point!
What would you say to beginners to the industry, who are nervous?
A few tips and a few things I have learned… Well…. There are always haters, you have to embrace that, let them hate, they are just promoting you more. It’s still Publicity, if haters really hate something they should just shut their mouths and stop promoting!
There are also a lot of dodgy people in the music industry so prepare yourself for that down the track.
In terms of getting somewhere with music, well its not an easy feat. You have to work hard and never give up, be persistent and don’t change as a person. Always be true to yourself. Keep a positive attitude and never let setbacks put you off too much. I have had plenty of them, but I still do what I do.. Because I love it and music is something that I can say has gotten me through some tough times.
Again, I must re iterate that it isn’t an easy thing to make a living off, but it should never be about that, it should be about the passion and love for music!
Work hard and if you have something unique you will get there, if you don’t it will be a lot harder.
Get to know people in the industry, make contacts where possible and maintain strong relationships with people of importance in the industry.
How do you balance your music with your family and friends?
I don’t. Music seems to always take priority in any situation. Obviously family or friend emergencies are more important but apart from that, I would rather be doing music. On another note, I love my friends and family and always try to make time to see close ones each week. I stay very busy because of my lifestyle and lifestyle choices but I love it and would not change it for the world!
My friends, fans and most of my family are all very supportive of my music ventures, and that is what gives me motivation to keep going.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
You know what, I usually always get nervous before a performance, even with all the experiences that I have had and the many people I have played in front of, I still get pretty nervous before playing a set!
I find that its usually good nerves but yeah it never goes away.
Do you attend jam sessions?
I don’t know that I would call them jam sessions but I do frequently collaborate with others and have songwriting sessions to. Which are all great fun. And you get so many different ideas bouncing off each other in this sort of scenario. It’s really a great thing being able to write with different people.
I have had some bad sessions, not because I didn’t like the person or whatever, but more because some times musically you just don’t gel with that person. You need to have that for a session to work well. You need that bond and you have to be feeling pretty comfortable with the other individual.
When I am working, and recording other artists, it’s really important for me to build a good rapport with all of my clientele so that I can give them the best experience possible. And also the best product possible!
Is your family musical?
On my mums side, no. I don’t know my blood related relatives on my mums side as she was from an adopted family, and it was only recently a couple of years or so ago that she was re-united with her real mum and sister.
On my dads side, there is a little bit of a musical background, not a lot but a little. My grandfather played piano and my uncle also plays piano. My grandmother is very arty too, very well known artist in her local area!
So I am almost the black sheep of the family. Only one that listens to heavy metal. Haha..
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
It’s super important when you make a mistake during a live performance not to make it obvious, its best just to continue and forget. Most of the time the crowd does not even realise it unless they know your songs very well. Sometimes if the mistake is quite bad it can put you off but you should never ever make it obvious. Looks better to just continue! Just laugh about it!
So what are your thoughts on Another Destiny Project?
I think the ADP is a great idea and I am glad to have discovered it through Sander Brandriet who is also a part of it. We met through SoundCloud and have kept in contact since. If it wasn’t for him I would not have known about the project.
I really do believe that this project has the potential to grow very large and even global if marketed well. Being able to collaborate with my friends is one thing but being able to collaborate with musicians from all around the world is crazy! It seems to be all running pretty smoothly at the moment. There are some really good songs coming along and of course I am working on a track too, a kind of Progressive Metal piece which I did most of the instrumentation for, and had Susana And Alexandra lend some parts also!
There is so much talent in the world and not enough of it is discovered, I hope that this project will give all the musicians a chance to get heard and be discovered on a massive scale!
How do you feel about working with artists from around the globe?
Its amazing that it’s actually possible to do. I think this is something that should be done more often. Music is a very universal thing and its something that can be heard anywhere around the world at any given time. It’s what keeps us going, its what makes us feel emotion and now we can share that feeling with other artists alike! Amazing!
Where can we follow your career at?
These are the main pages you can follow my career at:
TC-Productions | Facebook Page
TC-Productions | Reverb-Nation Page
I would love a few extra likes on my FB page!
And you could also add me on my personal page. Tim Ciantar
About Johnny Naylor:
Johnny Naylor is the founder and owner of 1st Shot Music and a feature writer for Jammerzine. His work can also be found on 1st Shot Music and Naylor’s Notes. You can also get his latest updates on his facebook page.