Guineafowl play the Beach Hotel Byron Bay.
Guineafowl play the Beach Hotel Byron Bay.

Q&A with Guineafowl

SAM Yeldham, better known by his working title Guineafowl, is at home demoing tracks for an LP.

His EP Hello Anxiety, released in February, has already garnered him critical acclaim with the first track In Our Circles picking up an FBi radio award for best Sydney song.

Yeldham takes some time out to chat to Pulse ahead of his Byron Bay gig.

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You've just come back from the United States - how was the trip?
It went really well. We did 13 shows in three weeks so it was pretty full on but they were all well received.

Do people know your stuff over there?
No, the shows were filled with people who were either curious or read a blog somewhere.

Where does the name Guineafowl come from?
It was a nickname I was given in primary school. This teacher I had called me a guinea pig one day because I had a big fringe that went over my forehead. He didn't call me that because I looked like a small hairy pig or anything.

So, for like no reason one day he changed it to guineafowl and it just stuck. I hated the name but then when I was choosing an artist name I wanted to use something that actually meant something to me and unfortunately that is something that means something.

Your EP Hello Anxiety has been out since February have you been happy with the response?
Yeah, it's been great. It has taken off around the country and now inter-nationally as well so I'd say it's a solid EP.

I notice you credit Sydney artist Tom Melick for inspiring Mothr and the initial spark for In Our Circles - are you a fan or is he a friend - how did that come about?
He wrote some poems and sent them to me. We used to play in a band together and two of the poems he sent to me ended up starting the thought process for those songs.

It's just observations really. He's an incredible artist though and it was good when I was alone having his words urging me to go on.

Will you be using that approach for writing the new album?
The songs are a lot more based on me. They're more based on my observations.

I read that My Lonely Arms was one of the only songs written from personal experience so the album will be more like that?

Not sonically. That's a satirical song. I don't think I'll be swearing that much on the album, but the person, the me the us and the I, as opposed to the we of the story telling will be the same.

The EP is quite uplifting - is that something you will be aiming for on the album?
I just gave some demoes to my bass player and he said they really are quite down but they become uplifting.

I think that's just my style. writing about something sad and making it sound uplifting.

I think as an artist it's a better outlet for you if you put in a more uplifting manner. It makes it more cathartic for you.

You don't want to crying on stage every night.

Have you played Byron Bay before?
No, the last time I was in Byron I was 17 and unable to drink. I'll be happy to come back and play and have a beer.

Guineafowl plays the Beach Hotel on Wednesday at 9pm. Free.

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