It wasn’t the glittering hyperbole of Los Angeles that attracted Australian musician Jordie Lane, but the grim, gritty, mundane reality of his urban neighbourhood.
After growing up in Melbourne, Lane said living in LA was perfect for sourcing inspiration for his earthy, Americana style.
“We always found Hollywood itself kind of a bit too crazy and not our scene,” he said.
He and his partner, music producer Claire Reynolds, moved to an area called Glassellland Park – with three Ls. The day before they moved in, a local artist put up a large-scale GLASSELLLAND sign in reference to the famed HOLLYWOOD sign.
“It became this ironic symbol of flashy dreams and a fantasy world for us to create these stories in," Lane said.
“Instantly it became the symbol for the album before we’d even started writing. It was like a visual mantra that said: ‘Your dreams are endless!’ But the difference was it was not all glossy and fake Hollywood. It was a mundane, regular working class, real, gritty, neighbourhood.”
We always found Hollywood itself kind of a bit too crazy and not our scene.Jordie Lane
The son of well-known comedian Denise Scott and past Moomba Festival Director John Lane, Lane’s earliest foray into performance was with his family’s circus troupe.
“I’d ride around on a unicycle and play an accordion. My sister was a contortionist and an acrobat. It was a pretty fun and weird little world,” he said.
“We eventually all got out of the circus, my mum got sick of the circus taking over our lives and gave us an ultimatum – the circus or her – and we all chose her.”
That experience planted the seeds of performance in Lane’s mind. His new album, Glassellland is an exploration of how he sees the world, sometimes with tragic or tongue-in-cheek effect.
The folky track Frederick Steele McNeil Ferguson is an ode to his great grandfather, who had killed during WWI and never recovered.
“I started thinking of these ideas of ancestral sin and guilt passing through the generations,” Lane said.
“All these things he went through I can’t really understand in my reality. But the stuff he went through does kind of sink through the generations. It’s a song to commemorate him and the hardships he went through but also hopefully for future generations to learn war is never the answer.”
Jordie Lane will perform on November 5 at Suttons House of Music. For more details, visit suttonshouseofmusic.com.au