Barnaby Weir is a creative collaborator at heart. He's the musical maverick behind The Black Seeds and the architect behind the dearly loved Fly My Pretties ensemble. He's also a consummate solo artist under the moniker Flash Harry and is tirelessly spreading his generosity and genius.
What place does generosity have in the world of music?
Music is best when it is generous and at its worst when it is selfish. You can literally hear the difference. The basic principle of sharing, making and performing music is a generous act. The ego and marketing side can be shallow and selfish. Most people can tell the difference.
Music is one of the best ways to tell a story or spread a message. It unites people and can be hugely influential and inspiring. It can trigger thought and change opinion. It can make you feel emotion and experience abstract concepts of the heart and mind. It can make you dance. Generosity plays a huge role in the world of music.
How have business and technology affected your work?
Changes in technology have meant major changes in the music industry over the last 10 years. Although some artists and labels think the sky is falling, I believe there are many positives to these changes. Some artists just give everything away for free now. For me it's about embracing change and using new tools to build bigger fan bases and share our music worldwide much more easily. So you gotta move with the times but this doesn't mean that I think music should be free. Not at all. Music, like all art, should be valued and paid for unless the artist chooses to give it away. A bit of both if you like.
Imagine the world the way you want future generations of children to inherit it.
I don't know if it's helpful to imagine an ideal world. We can only improve it for our children and on all levels in the present. The world is extremely cruel. People are cruel, selfish and cut throat. Unfortunately there will always be power struggles and war and hunger unless there is absolute simultaneous global behavioural change. But if we all do our bit we can make the world a better place for those who have nothing and no hope, no dreams. This will make a difference. Those who can should wake up from a life of unimportant first world problems. We face challenging times. All we can do is get together to make real change.
Which artist, musician or creative has created the biggest positive social change in this world?
I would say people like John Lennon, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Fela Kuti, Bob Dylan, and Gandhi to name a few.
Who would be in your ultimate super group?
Mozart on keys, Gandhi on vocals, Bonham on drums, Hendrix on gat, Bon Scott on vibe, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and George Clinton on whatever.
Tell us three things that inspire you.
- Honesty – cause it ain't easy facing the facts and dealing with it.
- Persistence – because people who work hard at what they believe in even when their chips are down always inspires me.
- Generosity – making a habit of giving to those who need help is a fantastic quality in anyone.
Give us three inspiration links.
- I'm trialling Rdio
- I use SoundCloud
- I like Powershop
Are you keen to join Barnaby in the giving evolution? Click here to get involved.