Interview: Black Rabbit George invites us down the rabbit hole on Warren

Black Rabbit George

Black Rabbit George, the latest project from Tijuana Cartel guitarist/singer/songwriter Paul George delivers mesmerising psych-folk, opening doors to the subconscious. Warren, the second album from the Gold Coast-based artist, is an immersive journey spread across eight tracks.

Each of the album’s songs carefully mix acoustic instrumentation with subtle psychedelic production techniques. Guitar phrases intertwine, rhythms hypnotically repeat and melodies come and go. The album is nothing short of a sonic journey through a dream sequence.

We were fortunate enough to chat with Black Rabbit George and learn more about his new album. Give Warren a stream and read on to learn more:

Firstly, congratulations on the album – can you tell us a little bit about what inspired the recording of these tracks? 

I spent the last year trying to refine what I wanted to do with music, which included a fair bit of soul searching. My inspiration came from the path I’ve been walking down, especially in relation to the direction and sound of what I’ve been working towards. It was a bit of a process to get here, but I managed to in the end.

You self-produced this one and recorded it in your home studio – what was it like working alone in the comfort of your own home?

It’s a bit like a trip. There’s a lot of ups and downs and having no one to bounce off is a little daunting at times. There’s also something fresh and feel good about doing the whole thing yourself. I usually shy away from doing the final mix or mastering myself, but I really wanted to have the whole DIY thing throughout. I should mention I did have my drummer Adam Felton sit on for the live drums and also my good friend Phoebe Corke make an appearance on Violin.

How long did it take to complete the album?

I started it last winter, so roughly around a year in my spare time.

The album has many layers of percussion – even overdubbed drum kits at times! What were some of the tracks you were listening to for inspiration on this album?

I had a theme in my head of psychedelic French countryside. So, I started a collection in a Spotify list of inspiration, it had everything from Air, to Serge Gainburgh. I also really fell in love with the soundtrack from Killing Eve. If you mix those with my penchant for psychedelic music from Iran and my study of Flamenco Guitar, I think you get my sound at the end.

Can you elaborate on the album’s title, Warren?

My last album was named Charles, and I felt I wanted to keep on going with guy’s names. I’m not sure why, but it felt right. Also, Warren… Rabbit…. Get it?

How do you feel your work as Black Rabbit George differs from your work with Tijuana Cartel?

It’s more laid back, it often features more vocals and live elements. In Tijuana Cartel there is definitely two of us producing the sounds, in this you can really hear my own singular flavour and in a new way for me. I found it quite hard at first.

Once the pandemic situation settles, will you be planning a tour to promote the album?

Oh yes, I can’t wait. I’ve been doing a few sit-down ones and will do what I can. I honestly miss the road though.

Your pseudonym Black Rabbit George is a reference to the Richard Adams novel Watership Down – are there any other novels, films or artworks that have profoundly influenced you?

Ah, yes many. Not so many from childhood as Watership Down. I have a real love for great American novels, anything written around the 1930’s to 1950’s. F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, and some Australian writers too. I really took a lot from Judith Wright when it comes to poetry and song writing.

What does the remainder of 2020 have in store for you?

Man, I really don’t know. I keep booking stuff then having to cancel it. At this stage I’m planning to hide indoors and write a new album.

Warren is out now on all major music providers. Follow Black Rabbit George on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

Ed Hirst

I'm either listening to music, writing about music, or writing my own music! Keep up to date with my latest projects @edhirsty