Musical instrument repair and music theory expert, musician and musician’s friend, Mark O’Brien, has been a musician for over 30 years and was a member of Australian indie rock band, The Shins.
O’Brien says he first became interested in guitar playing as a teenager and soon became fascinated with the instrument, and the various genres of music and styles that it represented.
“It was really exciting to see how different instruments were in terms of sound, sound and sound quality, and I’ve always been fascinated by music in general,” he said.
“I think the whole thing of music is about the sounds that it’s making and it’s about the way that it shapes people’s perception of reality.”
He says he is currently working on his first solo album, which is scheduled to be released in 2018.
“I’ve been in this genre of music for so long that I know all the instruments and they’re all just sort of on the spectrum from the acoustic to the electric and then there’s the electric guitars and the electric bass and the acoustic guitars,” he explained.
“The guitars are always on the edge of the spectrum, and then the electric ones are always pretty cool and the bass is a lot more on the mellow side.”
Mr O’Briens first guitar came from an old, beaten-up Yamaha Stratocaster, which he bought from a friend in 2002.
“They had this thing called a neck and it was made of a maple, which had been left behind by the factory, and it had a really nice maple fretboard,” he recalled.
“So, when you put it on the guitar you could actually feel the wood and it made it feel very nice.”
Then, I used a good pair of scissors to cut off the back and then I had this little peg and a pair of wire cutters and it just fell right into place.””
It’s just a beautiful instrument, it’s so beautiful and so unique, but also a bit of a problem because the neck is actually a very small piece, and that made it difficult to get the neck out,” he continued.”
But once I had it, I had to get it back on the string, which was very difficult because I had a big fretboard and I wanted to use a very large fretboard so it had to be put back.””
I didn’t want to do anything with it, so I had the neck taken off and put back on, which I did because I thought that was a little bit more practical.
“In 2006, O’Connor and fellow bandmate, musician Chris Tisdale, got their own guitars, which they named the Shins, and decided to focus on getting them into the mainstream.”
We’d always been into the weird things like live shows and all that stuff, and all of that kind of stuff, but when it came to guitar, we just didn’t know what to do with it,” Mr O’briens said.
The Shins had an amazing debut album in 2011, and they were one of the first bands to reach the top of the Australian music charts.
Their second album, 2012’s The Shin, also went platinum, selling more than 1 million copies in Australia.”
This was the band that was really on the forefront of this weird sound, and we kind of made that sound very natural, very melodic, very musical,” Mr Tisdal explained.
He also said that the Shin is a “big influence” for him as a musician.”
When I first got my guitar, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is really awesome, this sounds like a Beatles song’,” he said, referring to The Beatles’ hit song, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
And then when we did the second album with Mark and Chris, we did something similar to that, which really captured the essence of what that band was about.
“Music was also the focus of the group’s first film, The Sound of Music, which premiered in 2012.”
Music was always the focus, because we were just going to do whatever we wanted, we were never going to be a band,” Mr Geddes said.
Music in Australia is also a big topic for Mr OBrien and his bandmates to discuss.”
There’s this whole debate in the music industry about the impact of music, and there’s this perception that music is expensive, or that it is not as relevant or important as other forms of art,” he revealed.”
As artists, we’re really into making music that makes us feel good, so we’re not going to sit around and say ‘oh we can’t make it as good as other people’.
“We have a big focus on music and the way we approach it is very, very different from other music.”
The Shin were also a founding member