Megaritual interview with Dale Walker
Megaritual is a solo project by Australian multi-instrumentalist Dale Walker, who is also member of Sun Of Man and Drug Cult.
What do you consider to be your first real exposure to music?
From what my mother has told me, which is well before my first recollections, my first exposure was at the age of six months old as a little baby. When I was upset and couldn’t be settled my Mum would prop me up on the couch with some cushions and put on a video of a concert of Electric Light Orchestra, it would work every time and I’d sit there in rapt attention for the duration of the video.
When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music?
From the moment I was first taught some basic chords on the guitar at the age of 9 by a friend of my Dad. I knew without a doubt that music was the path for me.
What does the name “Megaritual” refer to in the context of the artistic name?
The name “Megaritual” for me represents that music for me is ritualistic in nature, from putting on a vinyl to listen to, through to writing and recording, as well as the ultimate ritual of performing for people. I also think of the word ritual in a spiritual context, because when I’m in the space of doing my music and I’m totally lost in it, at its best I start to lose the sense of who I am and that is as close as I can get to the ultimate source of being, call it God if you like, but even that is too limiting a description.
What’s the songwriting process like?
The songwriting process for me is pretty fluid and at its best, I’m just an antenna for something that is already out there. Kind of like the previous answer, it’s just tapping into the ultimate source of all being. We all have different antennas as people so that’s why there are so many songs in the universe, but they all come from the same source ultimately, at least, that’s how I perceive it. On a more basic level, some songs will start from a drum beat, others from a vocal melody… I’ve found there is no set structure to how it happens when inspiration strikes.
What kind of process do you have at mastering material for the release?
The mixing/mastering process is fairly simple for me. Because of budget constraints it’s all DIY, I mainly use Pro Tools and some mastering plug ins on there and reference between that and the sound of recordings I particularly love the sound of.
Can you share some further details how your Mantra Music was recorded?
All the Mantra Music material was recorded in my home studio. It’s a pretty dilapidated setup, some janky old equipment combined with a Pro Tools computer setup. I have a few old run down reel to reel tape machines that I occasionally employ for more lo-fi sounds. Pretty much your standard average recording setup that you find in most bedrooms of home recordists. I’ve just acquired some tube pre’s I’m excited to incorporate on future Megaritual releases to grime up the sound with.
White Dwarf release on vinyl.
Is there a certain concept behind each release?
Generally no, there isn’t a specific concept behind each release though I guess the lyrics are all internally reflected so that could be a more general arcing concept but as far as more specific concepts, no, not yet but I’d love to tackle a proper concept album in the future, I was brought up on old Pink Floyd and Yes records so it’s in my blood!
What would you say influenced you the most? Have influences changed during the years?
Big question! At least on a musical level I’d say that the first two Tame Impala albums were a big eye opener for me when I found out Kevin Parker recorded all the instruments himself, which re-inspired me in a big way to just go full rogue DIY and do it all myself without any other musicians so I can get the truest representation of what is in my own mind/cosmos. Also the thoughts and ideas of people like Terence McKenna, Ram Dass, Alan Watts and comedians such as Bill Hicks that shine a light on the deeper levels of why we’re here. On a bigger level still, I’m super inspired by nature and the surrounding bushland of where I live and that is a big part of what drives my music and art.
There is some other material available. You actually released a few album on Bandcamp.
Yes, beyond the Mantra Music releases I have collaborated with a close friend of mine for the releases of Eclipse and Temple so they do differ from the Mantra Music Ep’s as they are more collaborative in nature and feature quite a bit of music culled from live jams we’ve done over the years that I hold dear to my heart. I’m especially proud of Eclipse as the opening ambient music was recorded live in nature at a special secret spot with strong ties to indigenous song lines where I felt we tapped into something really special and sacred. The last EP, Dreamfeeder, is a return to the previous methods of Mantra Music, done all DIY by myself but featuring a more overt prog direction to the usual theme.
What about your Sun of Man project? How would you compare it to Megaritual?
Sun of Man is totally different from the Megaritual modus operandi, we are truly a democratic collective where there is no one leader and we all throw in our ideas to the cauldron. That’s all I’ll say about that!
Who is behind the artwork for your releases?
Again, due to budget constraints, I have done all the Megaritual artwork myself using Photoshop though I did get some much needed help for the vinyl layout from theendcollective. I would love to collaborate for future releases budget permitting.
What are some future plans?
I’m in a weird place at the moment as far as new material, nothing has come for awhile so I’ve been patiently waiting for when inspiration strikes. I’m feeling another collaborative Megaritual release with my close friend, who I did Eclipse and Temple with, may be in the cards soon. There will more vinyl releases coming of my previous releases, hopefully by later in the year.
Let’s end this interview with some of your favourite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?
Another big question! As mentioned earlier, the first two Tame Impala albums are big for me. Pink Floyd’s “Live at Pompeii” is another huge touch stone for me as well as the usual Hendrix, Doors and Zep stuff. Nikhil Banerjee and Ravi Shankar on the Indian side of things. Also love John McLaughlin’s Shakti for some east meets west stuff. Electric era Miles Davis were huge inspirations for Megaritual Eclipse and Temple releases. Acid Mothers Temple is a huge one for me, they have too many releases to pinpoint, though the hour long version “Pink Lady Lemonade” of off “Do Whatever You Want, Don’t Do Whatever You Don’t Want” is particularly amazing, Kawabata Makoto is a total lord. I’ve been on a huge Police kick lately, the first three albums are essential. Also been loving King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s output of late, some great Aussie psych coming through lately and a shout out to Comacozer for flying the Aussie freak flag as well.
Thank you. Last word is yours.
All I can say is the huge gratitude I have to anyone that enjoys what I do, I am beyond humbled that people resonate with my particular wave length and vibrations that I do my best to represent and tune into. Also, keep an eye out for a new project I’m playing drums for called Drug Cult, super heavy doom with some astral psych elements, there’ll be a release (vinyl, CD, cassette and digital) of our debut album on the UK label Ritual Productions coming out in the UK spring. Thank you and god speed!
– Klemen Breznikar
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