From teaching himself guitar to classical music training to producing and DJing for a living, Sydney’s Lancelot aka Lance Gurisik has always strived to create honest music he can be proud of. TOM KITSON chatted with the former baseballer and John Paul Young fan ahead of his visit to Geisha Bar on Friday night.
With his new J.O.B. EP now available and backing up his hugely successful track Givin’ It Up, Gurisik’s love for and influence from house music has found him on an unexpected career path.
“When I started going clubbing I made the transition from listening to progressive rock to trying the electronic sound palette,” he says. “I was really inspired by The Presets, Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts, guys who were doing the Australian sound at the time.”
Dropping his guitar and spending big on synthesizers was his next step, and he’s been making a living as a DJ/Producer for the last three years now.
“Being relatively new to it still, I tend to find stuff that some people might call ‘throwback,’ but to me it’s new and exciting,” he says. “I’m definitely not a deep house producer – the moniker of Lancelot does involve house music, but I do many other things and am first and foremost a musician.”
Revealing his passion for baseball at a younger age, Gurisik was intent on forging a career in the sport until the tables turned and he found himself working hard on his music instead.
“Up until the age of 16 I was a pretty serious baseball player, playing tournaments overseas and thinking of that as my future,” he says. “Then everyone else was growing except me, and those kind of physical restraints meant the dream faded away.
“At the same time I was learning guitar and joining bands, which I was able to switch focus onto and dedicate time to.”
Valuing the simplicity-over-complexity approach to music has him deeply ingrained in the nature of house music and its many evolutionary forms.
“What I love about house music as a genre is that often the most effective stuff is just so simple – it’s beautiful to unlock that simple, four bar fragment rather than over-decorating your music.
“Givin’ It Up is a really simple track,” he says. “It’s the little things that make it work, like the syncopation, piano rhythm and how it’s stripped back with each element complimenting another.”
One track he likes to drop on the odd occasion for a different sort or crowd reaction is none other than his own edit of John Paul Young’s Love Is In The Air.
“Sometimes people lose it on the dance floor when I play it, and other times people are wondering what I’m doing,” he laughs. “It’s risky but also fun, and the best parts of a set are always those unexpected songs that people remember.”
Gaining recognition for his heartfelt, artistic approach to music hasn’t fazed him, despite airplay on Triple J and now embarking on a national headline tour.
“Nothing’s changed,” he says. “I do what I do, and most importantly I try to make honest, melodic music that I’m proud of.
“If that ever changes, then something’s gone very wrong!”