Dion Puru

Interviewed by Kynan

 

How long have you been singing? I've been singing and playing seriously for at least the last 10 years, but I've messed around with guitars since I was about 15. My first girlfriend's father was a bit guitarist and I was fairly impressed with his playing abilities. He died last year actually. I felt a little sad when I heard that. He probably set me on the path to somewhere

How old are you? Didn't your mother tell you never to ask a mans age (laughs). Lets say I'm probably older than you

Whats you favourite band? What's myfavourite band? Hard to say really. I don't have any one favourite. I tend to go through phases. I think that my choice of music is often a reflection of my emotional state. At the moment one of my favourite bands is Cake. I'm also listening to the Wolfe Tones, lots of Irish fiddle music and even a bit of acid jazz. Oh and Robbie Williams. I've even grown to like Robbie - he wears his heart on his sleeve. I like anything with lots of voices and acoustic guitars. I can tell you what I don't like. I'm not much into hardcore heavy metal sort of stuff

Where do you come from, whats your family history? Well I'm a real mix. I have spent most of my life in Australia, so I generally call myself an Aussy, but I was actually born in New Zealand. My father was half French, half Maori, and my mother is of Irish/English descent. How's that for a mix (laughs). That's where my weird surname comes from, it's from a tribe of warriors in the north called the Ngapuhi (laughs again)

Do you speak French then? Unfortunately not? I never had much to do with my father's side until I was well grown up. I grew up in country Australia speaking nothing but English. I had most to do with my mother's side

How come you play so much Irish music? A lot of Aussy bush culture is Irish influenced. This bloody country was built by the Irish (laughs). If you listen to Australian bush music you hear lots of Irish tunes, they just sing different words. My grandfather loved folk music, had a banjo thing he used to play. His family were from County Antrim

How would you rate GreenJam as a group? To be honest, I think musically we're quite average, but we do know how to have a good time. Live performance is a lot about atmosphere. If you want musical perfection you produce music in a studio but if you want a great night you work with people and let the natural energy of the crowd and players express itself. That's when I have the best time

Where do you play? We've been playing weekly in the Rocks, Sydney for about 7 years. We played in Glebe for about 2 years and we do lots of one-offs all over Sydney. I find that if I do more than two Sessions in a week I'm absolutely bollocksed, particulary if they are close together. Paddy's Day nearly kills me every year. Ah but I love it

Do you ever get out of Sydney? No not much. A bit lazy that way I guess. We've always had enough work around Sydney so haven't really needed to travel. We go down to the Port Fairy music festival near Melbourne once a year. That's our yearly sabbatical to find the meaning of life in the bottom of a beer glass

But what about visiting your more distant fans, or lifting your profile around the place? Yeah - I would l like to, but it takes lot of organisation and money to make it happen. We need a benevolent sponsor to bankroll us (laughs)

Whats been your most memorable night? Well there's been quite a few. One of the funniest nights was when a girl was jumping down from her boyfriends shoulders and her dress got caught on his shirt button and hitch it right up to her neck. She was standing behind me on the corner of the stage and all of a sudden the crowd gasps and I was wondering what the hell was going on. The funny part was that she had no underwear on. I turned around to a very unusual view. Try and recover from that one

Have you recorded any CDs? We've made a few live recordings during the session but they're pretty rough. I'm hoping Distan will put his recording skills to good use one day and whip up something. He's a bit of a whizz on his Mac computer

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