Different strokes create harmony

Diverse folk: Daniel Rickard, Tim De Sieldie and Glenn Keane buried their differences to form The Walters.


Imagine the creative tensions in a band comprising a hardcore punk guitarist, an R&B/reggae drummer and a folk singer.

But the members of The Walters have embraced their differences, recently releasing a folk EP and playing in front of 30,000 at Easterfest in Brisbane.

Lead singer Daniel Rickard said the unlikely trio, all from Dandenong, had not played live locally.

“I think there’s a lack of venues here and a lack of audience for the folk music genre,” he said.

“We try to keep it closer to city-side, North Melbourne-side to be specific.”

Rickard, also an acoustic guitarist, loved folk through growing up with Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel tunes. That evolved into listening to Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes.

He admits his folk obsession wasn’t shared by many other Dandenong High School students.

Three years ago, The Walters were born when Rickard got together with schoolmate and drummer Tim De Sieldie and guitarist Glenn Keane.

De Sieldie and Keane had an appreciation for folk if not Rickard’s deep love for it.

“That diversity has its upsides and downsides,” Rickard said. “Rehearsal takes longer than it should. [De Sieldie and Keane] rock out and make it a lot of fun. It makes you appreciate all genres.”

The band has not skimped on quality. It’s brought in sessional vocalists and muso friends on piano, bass guitar and banjo to enhance its rich sound.

Clips from their EP Bring Me Water show polish, featuring poignant animation from Amsterdam-based Bob the Builder animator Matt Smart.

The clips are about “despair, longing and hardship” and the “ins and outs of a relationship coming to an end”. Rickard said despite the introspective themes their music was “not too miserable”. “We think the music speaks for itself.”

To view The Walters’ video clips, go to youtube.com. The Walters’ next gig is at The Toff in Town, Swanston Street, Melbourne on May 1.

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