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Local songsmith Noah Earp has recently released a new single The Raw and the Cooked, a broad, sweeping stroke of alternative folk-rock. To accompany the single, Earp has also released a self-made film clip that endears the viewer with its undeniable quirk.  The Raw and the Cooked is the first taste of Earp’s debut album Disinheritor, an enlightening collection of songs that demonstrates a rare ear for unexpected harmony.  Disinheritor is out October 28. Ahead of the album release Noah kindly took some time out for a Q&A with us.

What was your first guitar?
My first guitar was a Maton EM225C made in the 90s. It was actually a really good guitar for a first guitar – I still love and play Matons, they have a great big woody thump to the sound which often bests more expensive guitars in the studio.

What was your first band t-shirt?
I’ve never worn one. I don’t really get the point of band merchandise, to be honest. For me it’s all about the records. I do have a t-shirt of the French poet Rimbaud though, and I guess he’s more or less a rock star.

A record that changed your life?
Starsailor, by Tim Buckley. I first heard it in Mexico City drunk on tequila and I couldn’t tell if I was mental or the record was mental or Mexico was mental. I’ve listened to that thing a hundred times now and I still don’t know.

What’s your main guitar now?
My current live staple is a 1969 Yamaha FG 180 red label, made in Japan. It’s as cheap as chips but sounds great.

If you’re plugging in, what amp and why?
As an acoustic guitarist I rarely bother with amps. But when I go electric, it’s a Mesa Boogie DC5.

Which pedals are your standards?
My Turbo tuner. It’s the only thing I really need. When I want to go to psychedelic la la land, I’m very fond of my Strymon Blue Sky reverb.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
My debut album, Disinheritor, took me a few years to make and it’s finally out. It was a lot of songwriting effort and it’s a mix of live band takes and countless hours on post-production with producer Jonathan Dreyfus. I’m trying to stay out of the studio for the next little while, but…

What gigs have you been playing lately?
I’ve been deliberately avoiding gigs lately but there was a great one earlier this year at a venue called Depot29 in Delhi, India. Fantastic pasta as well, I gotta say.

Most memorable gig?
(of mine)
OK I know I’m supposed to name some festival set or headline show, but… back when I was starting out I once did a gig at Veludo’s in St. Kilda. Almost everyone in the crowd was a young well-heeled yuppie, and I came on kind of yelling with the distortion turned way high. Immediately cleared everyone out of the room. Except for one bikie who stood in the corner swaying and grinning from ear to ear. When I was finished he came up to me and beamed: “Maaaate. That was fucking siiick!”

(of someone else’s)
There’s been quite a few. For some reason I really like gigs of old musicians, where you feel like they’re playing their life’s work for one final time. The best one of those was Leonard Cohen at Rochford Winery. By the end of the set it felt like we were all ascending to heaven with him.

Worst stage nightmare?
I once had a dream where I finished a set and a woman came up and put her hand down my pants, uninvited. I still don’t know what that’s all about…

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
The biggest one is my album launch on Oct 27th. The ever-amazing Gretta Ray and Busy are supporting, and it’ll be a chance to really show what the band is made of in front of an audience that might not have seen it before.

A guitar tip for the kids?
Even if you’re an electric player, always practice on acoustic. You need to learn feel first and foremost. And write your own material. You don’t wanna be the world’s best Jimi Hendirx cover band!

Noah Earp’s website

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