Fresh off the release of his latest EP “Head of a Home” Scott Gellatly chats with us about Apple Tree Records and the thrill of writing new songs.
From surf-rock to psychedelic harmonies, Stones Corner Club’s new EP is a reflection of Scott’s creative journey, all captured within the walls of his own studio, Apple Tree Records. The EP delves into topics like gratitude and life’s inevitable changes, and showcases Scott’s unique musical style.
But music isn’t the only creative outlet for Scott. When he’s not making music, he’s busy creating frisbee merch from Zambrero lids. Yes, you heard that right. And just between us, Scott’s reading list is so damn good, it’s practically a must-read listicle.
When Scott isn’t busy juggling his role as a sole trader waterproofing business owner with being a stay-at-home dad, he’s working on mixing and editing his music at night, after his family has gone to bed. And when it comes to his ultimate day, there’s nothing like the thrill of writing a new song that he knows has real potential.
Scott’s creative community may be a bit more solitary these days, but he’s embraced the philosophy of self-reliance when it comes to his art. He films and edits his own videos, takes his own photos, and sometimes even creates his own artwork. And it all started with the reactions he got from friends and family when he first started playing music outside of his bedroom.
When it comes to his journey in recording and engineering, Scott’s background is a mix of self-taught and formal study. He started recording on his own while working on superyachts, and his passion for music and sound led him to study at JMC Academy in Brisbane. He eventually landed a job there, which pushed him to level up his knowledge and expertise.
We caught up with Scott to talk about all things Stones Corner Club, Apple Tree studios, and the projects that showcase Scott’s unique talent and vision.
Happy: What are you up to today?
Scott: Trying to do a little work hustle and looking after my baby boy ‘Bowie’. Not much studio time.
Happy: Tell us about your suburb, what do you love/not love about where you live?
Scott: live in Tugun on the Gold Coast. It’s the one suburb on the GC that everyone calls God’s country. I love it, it is very family-friendly and communal.
I don’t like having to cross the main roads to get to the beach though. They need to build a bridge over the GC highway in Tugun. Because Tugun is right on the border of NSW there are too many people coming in and going out of the GC that don’t know where they are going on the roads. I’ve seen multiple people plus myself that have nearly been cleaned up crossing the GC highway because of this. Very frustrating, especially now that I have kids.
Happy: Describe your average work day.
Scott: Depends on what day it is. I have 2 days of the week that I’m at home doing daddy daycare. The other days I juggle, I have a sole trader business as a waterproofer, and fit most of the audio work in when I can in amongst all that. Mixing and editing at night times after the family has gone to bed.
Happy: What about your ultimate day?
Scott: The thrill of writing a new song that you know has legs. And having the time in front of you free to be able to dive into the creative process until the body of the song is down. Oh yeah!!!
Happy: Tell us about your creative community.
Scott: I’m old. I used to be surrounded by creatives of all facets….. Now it’s me. I have just learnt over time not to rely on anyone but myself when it comes to creativity. Because of this mindset, I film and edit my own videos, take my photos and photoshop them, and sometimes do my own artwork. Plus of course, play all the instruments, record and produce my own music. I wish I had adopted this philosophy 10 years ago.
Happy: What did you read or watch growing up that fuelled your passion for storytelling?
Scott: I grew up in the 90’s, one of the best music decades of all time in my opinion. The way the youth interacted with music when I was a kid was so different to now. We obsessed over our favourite bands for months or years just idolising everything about them. It was a different attitude towards music. I think people are overstimulated with music now and need a fresh approach to capturing fan’s attention.
If I was to put my finger on what fuelled my passion. I guess when I first started playing and showing people outside of my bedroom what I could do….. it was the reaction that I got from friends, family and strangers when I played that got me hooked. People would say “oh you’re going to be famous, no doubt” and “you have to do this for a living”
I was never a look-at-me kinda guy, so when I decided this is what I was doing, I meant it……..I just needed time to get pro and become recognized.
Happy: What did you read or watch last that opened your eyes and mind to a new perspective?
Scott: The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
The Book / The way of Zen – Alan Watts
How to make it in the new music business – Ari Herstand
The art of exceptional living – Jim Rohn
Marketing rebellion – Mark Schaefer
How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
12 Rules for life – Jordan B Peterson
Happy: Can you tell us a bit about your journey in recording and engineering? Self-taught or study?
Scott: I worked on super yachts for a year when I was 26 travelling around Europe. When I was on the yachts I would sneak down into the guest rooms when no one was staying there and record my ideas on garage band through the laptop computer. Surprisingly I got a few of these tunes to sound pretty good. I showed a few people, and got some cool reactions and advice. After travelling, my wife and I both started studying. I studied at JMC academy in Brisbane. A year after I finished uni I scored a job working at JMC academy. When I left uni I was still so green, and couldn’t believe I was going to try and charge people for my services. But when you teach you have to know your shit, otherwise the students will know and make your day horrible because of it. So I just had to level up and know my knowledge base a lot better or get left behind in a sea of student angst.
Happy: We are curious about your name Stones Corner Club, how did it come about?
Scott: I lived at Stones Corner in Brisbane…. And I like band names that had club in them. Like the ‘Bleeding Knees Club’.
But Stones Corner Club was originally intended to be a database of creatives. Hence, club in the name.Where creatives of all fields banded together on songs to promote their skills and hopefully get a percentage based on their weight in the release.
‘Cellophane’ a song of mine was the only one that made it off the ground…..Turns out that even when you work at a creative uni it’s hard to motivate creatives to get off their ass and do something. Such a procrastinating bunch of creatures.
Happy: How has your music evolved over time, and what are the key themes and ideas that run through your work?
Scott: Vocal production, harmonies, and layering is my strong set in recording. I used to be all grunge. In my opinion I was too much of a Scott Weiland wanna-be. Now I’d say Grunge elements combined with 70s vocal production with a backbone of hip hop/funk drums.
Happy: Do you have a dream studio that you have based Apple Tree studios on, or have you created something more unique? We would love a little insight into the process behind building a studio from the ground up.
Scott: The studio was built in a 6 x 3m garage that was 1m below soil level. So it leaked a lot of water. After I waterproofed the floor. I laid 10mm of rubber 200mm up the walls and all over the floors with no gaps. And poured a polished concrete slab on top. So the floor vibrated independently to the walls and ceiling.
I was lucky to have patterned brickwork on the outside wall that was filled on the inside of the roam with acoustic foam making a huge diffuser. On the outside of the brick wall, my acoustic engineer says that 2 x 12mm compressed fibre cement sheets are the acoustic equivalent of a brick wall in density.
I mounted the compressed fibre cement on 10mm of rubber and screwed it to the wall. The inside walls were created by using these clever little things called resilient mounts. They are designed to slow down the vibrations from the interior wall to the original structure wall. And then fill the cavity with acoustic foam. Where the garage door was, I had built two walls with a 50mm gap between the two walls. And finished off with 2 doors, a hardwood door and a glass acoustic door.
Happy: What role do you see music playing in shaping and reflecting the culture of Australia, and how do you hope your music contributes to that conversation?
Scott: That’s a tricky question because the answer has many different governing gatekeepers that hold access to potentially amazing music. We need another triple J, haha…. the one we have is boring now.
My music is just another regurgitated version of what has already been before me. I just grabbed a few genres and blended them together. I just like to think I did a professional job of capturing my creativity and I get recognized in my industry for that. Fame Blah
Happy: In the current music industry landscape, where streaming and social media play a huge role in how music is distributed and consumed, how do you navigate the business side of things while staying true to your artistic vision?
Scott: To be honest I need to do a marketing degree or something. If you look at my socials you would see that is one area I suck at. Oops.
I think if you make your music as honest and vulnerable as you can you become relatable. I don’t do trends, they fade out too quickly.
Digitally, I think there should be a place where artists are packaged in an all-in-one application and not spread across many different social media apps. This could be where fans pay a small opt-out monthly fee to have full access to artist photos, lyrics, videos, gigs, rehearsal sessions, mix tapes, rough demos, and the lot….. Intimate and personal.
Happy: Can you talk about a particularly memorable performance or moment in your music career that stands out to you?
Scott: Just after I finished my degree, I started a band with a super hot producer under the name of Omegachild or Newstead productions now. He’s so talented he plays the piano, sings, programs and drums all at the same time. Crazy talent.
When I started working with him I really thought that this was it, I was making it. Although, we wrote a kick-ass set to go live and spent 2 years rehearsing to play 3 shows. You see, we couldn’t hold onto our drummers. We lost our first drummer to Sheppard, who went Australian platinum for the song ‘hey geronimo’. Fair enough.
After that, we then got this real hot metal drummer who after 6 months got poached to go play in Europe for a metal band. Fair enough.
The band fell to bits after that. It was really the whole experience that has been my highlight as sad as the ending was.
Happy: Looking ahead, what are your plans for the future, both in terms of new music and your overall career trajectory?
Scott: To have a steady client base running through Apple Tree Records to remove myself from the building industry completely. And just keep writing and recording music for love. Hopefully, pass down my skills to my kids.
Happy: What makes you happy?
Check out Apple Tree Records.