Dylan Cattanach talks music and songwriting

With a passion for unpacking songwriting to be more than just structure and chord progression, Dylan Cattanach hopes to produce emotion and connection when creating new music.

I’ve grown up with music. My father is in a couple of cover bands with some other friends and my uncle is a muso. Either I’ve been hearing it live or on the radio my whole life. I just love music and the beat. I’m always sitting there tapping out a beat – annoying my family and friends – or picking out a new melody on the guitar or keyboard. My uncle has made a living from his music and I’ve always admired him. As soon as I realised I was comfortable bringing my songs and music to live audiences I’ve thrived on the buzz of entertaining.

“I had the opportunity to support Pete Murray for a couple of his shows outside Brisbane this year. It was a great experience to see professional musicians at work. It’s encouraged me to put in the hard work so that one day I may have that number of people coming to my gigs.”

Sometimes accompanied by someone on cajon and stompbox, Dylan has recently begun playing solo acoustic gigs. “The acoustic style really suits my voice and I’m happy with the positive feedback I’m receiving.” He explains that music offers a unique space for expression; it’s the drawcard for him.  “I love the ability to express yourself in a form that so many people can relate to. If I had the opportunity to make music my career full-time, I would jump at it.”

So what’s Visible Ink got to do with this? “Visible Ink are providing me with lots of advice, which is really important because starting off you know nothing. Helpful tips on biographies are especially important, as it’s hard to write things about yourself, pick the important things to say and make it interesting.  They have other services that I’ll be using very shortly, namely making badges, printing stickers and printing posters. Every little bit helps to get your name out there.”

What do you get up to in your down time? Do you have any hobbies? “Music is my down time. I’m constantly looking at ways I can improve current songs or writing riffs for the next song. I wish I’d learnt the saxophone when I was at school, but it’s never too late to learn anything, so I’ll keep you updated if I do that!”

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to start performing? Or any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand? “The advice I’d been given was network, network, network. Initially it didn’t make any sense to me, but now I see how important that piece of advice was.  But also, go see other bands and support them. Go to as many live local gigs as you can and support the Brisbane music scene.  We all need to help each other.
You just have to get out there and play. Once you’ve done it a couple of times it becomes so much easier to work out what to do next. Organisations like QMusic are a good source of information, and they run Industry Connect courses providing lots of help along the way.”

If you’re keen to have a listen or learn more about what Dylan is up to check out his facebook, instagram, soundcloud or youtube channel.