the bell speaks to Wally de Backer aka Gotye about his soon to be released album Making Mirrors.
De Backer’s album art is endless, a vast terrain of tessellations and shapes. Painted by his father it was these reflections that catalyzed the title of his latest album Making Mirrors.
As a continuation of his album art de Backer’s film clip for his latest release Somebody That I Used To Know features both himself and Kimbra as living murals painted head to toe in the same geometrical shapes.
“It’s was three days worth of hours squashed into two days. Both Kimbra and I had some little moments of what felt like quiet painful meditation just going into our own head, trying to stand still and straight up for six, seven hours in a row.”
Language is loaded and this idea is no more prevalent than in this wrenching piece. It’s difficult to lay blame on any one half of the relationship as both the male and female voices intertwine and struggle to be heard.
“The song was written in a linear way, I had the music, I had the melody and I wrote the first verse, I wrote the second verse and I had the wobbly guitar sound that operates as an instrumental break.
I got two minutes in to the end of the first chorus and it was then that the song was telling me, you’ve said all you need to say. There needs to be another side to the story. ”
It leaves me with the thought that perhaps a true soulmate is a mirror – someone who reveals your vulnerabilities, aspects of yourself unknown to you. That's before they leave.
“I think it’s quite direct, the paint that first inscribes me and engulfs her in the context of the background and then for her to be unpainted is a direct symbolic representation of how your lives become intertwined and when that breakup happens… there’s a cut there.”
There’s a saying that in an all blue world colour doesn’t exist. This makes perfect sense. But in our own varicoloured world who’s to say that my version of blue is the same as yours?
“When it comes to simple or trivial things it’s almost not worth worrying… It’s on a level of function, how we use the word blue in our daily lives. But it’s different when it comes to saying I love you and someone else saying I love you too.”
Eyes Wide Open tells of an entirely different story, one we know all to well. How we as humans continue on a path of disregard towards the environment – although we are fully aware of the consequences.
“The weird thing for me is that the song has I think, an unsettling but also strangely alluring sense of nihilism about it. As if there’s this inevitability… It’s almost like we’re triumphantly walking off a cliff.”
There’s always another side. To ourselves mostly. De Backer’s tracks, jagged at first, come together like the shards of a mirror split into infinite pieces. Making infinite reflections, making mirrors.
Making Mirrors is released next Friday, the 19th August. Be sure to check out Gotye's tour dates on the gig guide and if you feel like listening to some extended audio of our chat it's posted below. x Steph
Gotye interview by thebellmusic