Get the low-down on The Guild League. The Guild League Interview
Article By Kath on Nov 20, 2002



The Guild League is a side-project for The Lucksmith's main man Tali White. Kath gets the low-down.

The idea for The Guild League came about a few years ago when Tali started writing songs that he was shelving as he didn't think they would suit The Lucksmiths. Time went by and eventually the project came together while Tali was in San Francisco.

"I was in San Francisco for about four months and in between some Lucksmiths tours and had some time on my hands and had some friends who were willing to muck around so we started recording this album there and when I got back to Australia The Luckies were having a pretty relaxed sort of year…so I recorded the rest of it with a whole lot of good friends here."

The Guild League's CD entitled 'Private Transport' was recorded in San Francisco and Melbourne over a six month period of time and was fitted in where it could be, but the result has produced a unified CD that Tali is very happy with.

The band is the first side-project Tali has been involved in and he wrote all the songs on their CD.

"Some of them were collaborations as far as the music goes but all of the lyrics are mine and a lot of the music as well so yeah, it's largely my thing but I've had a lot of help from some really, really good people."

The CD is a collaborative effort and features fifteen musicians (besides Tali) including Richard Easton and members from Art of Fighting, Sodastream and The Blackeyed Susans.

Was working with that many people a nightmare or did it run smoothly?

"It was actually a lot smoother than you'd think. The people I worked with are all pretty good friends of mine. They're all people I've wanted to work with over a period of time…mostly it was people I knew and trusted and they were just really generous with their skills and time."

The CD's main themes are travel and love with most of the tunes being penned while Tali was Abroad.

"Almost all of them were written in various places Overseas. Travel and being away from people that you love has it's own shortcomings and what not but there's also a lot of amazing things about travel so I was trying to get a double-sided take on the whole thing and include as many of my own experiences as possible."

The CD is a diverse one. Vocally it sounds like The Lucksmiths because of Tali's unique vocal style but musically it is something else entirely. It also includes a song he raps on entitled 'Siamese Couplets.' You wouldn't think of Tali as a rapper but the style fits the song perfectly. Is this the first song he has ever rapped on?

"Yes, yes it is. It was funny, I was travelling around Thailand with my girlfriend at the time and I wanted to write a song about Thailand but whenever I thought of it there were too many images for a normal kind of song so I figured with a rap song you can cram in a whole lot more words in a short space of time and it kind of suited, almost like a check-list, like when you're travelling and you try and recall all your travels, things pop up in one image after another and it suited that rap style and it's also just fun."

Not many Lucksmiths fans would know that Tali has always been a bit of a hip-hop fan but preferring The Beastie Boys to Gangsta Rap!

Another interesting song on the album is the closer, 'A Faraway Place' which has an incredible amount of vocal harmonies overlapping eachother. Tali had his entire family help him create that song as it is quite hard to harmonize with yourself!

Tali would like The Guild League to be an on-going project rather than a one-off thing and something that can fit around The Lucksmiths as that is his main focus. He has also been writing a lot since this CD and almost has enough material for another Guild League CD already!

The band are embarking on a tour to promote their CD . The touring band will be a three-piece but for the launch Tali will be trying to get as many people in the band as possible including string sections and trumpet.

"For this launch I'm gonna try and go all out but it is a bit of a nightmare getting so many people together!"