Man I Never Was
Riff-doctor for The Devil Rides Out and Thumb, Andrew Ewing is already known to the public for his abilities on a six-string. As his latest solo EP The Man I Never Was shows, Ewing is nothing short of an amazing all-rounder. Ewing, along with a cast of Perth's finest musicians, launches the EP on Saturday, April 28, at the Hyde Park Hotel. MIKE WAFER reports. Though not his first solo record, The Man I Never Was is the most significant project Andrew Ewing has ever undertaken, as it has seen him face his own insecurities head on, and overcome them. He's still a little sceptical as to whether or not he's won the war outright, but the fact that Andrew Ewing's latest record is plastered with photographs of himself is proof enough that he's won a battle. Naturally shy in spite of his commanding presence on stage, Ewing fretted over several issues with The Man I Never Was, though so important was this record that, after encouraging kicks up the jacksie by his friends, Andrew Ewing decided to allow himself a bit of attention. "I never done this before with my solo releases," says a proud Ewing, his smile emerging from the sanctuary of his own beard like a hermit crab. "I've never made a fuss before. I've never put photos of myself on the cover. I've never come down to X-Press to talk about my records. I was very reluctant at first to do all of the things I've done with The Man I Never Was, but I'm lucky to have very talented friends who were very encouraging along the way. Also, I think I've reached a point where I've asked myself 'what am I doing this for?'. There's absolutely nothing wrong with people making music that stays in their bedroom, but this record is something I really believe in, and people like Joe Kapiteyn [The Devil Rides Out] and Rachael [Dease] Schvendes were nudging me like 'don't just do another EP that disappears'. Which is exactly what has happened with Ewing's past solo releases. Pressing only 50 or so copies to give to friends, Ewing's past approach has been stifled by guardedness. From a listener's perspective, this guardedness seems grossly unwarranted. Even when you take away the fact that The Man I Never Was contains the skills of the likes of Ben Franz, Tristen Parr, Greg Hosking and John Clark... even when you take analysis right back down to one man's voice, his guitar and his poetry... The record is breathtaking. "I'm just lucky I have so many talented friends," Ewing blushes modestly at the compliment, resisting the interviewer's constant prods to accept praise. Graciously and endearingly, Ewing simply says 'thank you' and deflects the attention away from himself. It's upon seeing this reaction that it becomes obvious just how special a record The Man I Never Was is, because it is a true artist inviting the world into the depths of his soul. To do such a thing has been a huge leap of faith for Ewing, but it has allowed the world to see the beauty and darkness that exists within a unique man, echoing truths within all of us. In a world where so much music means nothing, and serves no purpose but to distract, having such an honest and vulnerable glimpse into another human being is a rare and beautiful privilege. And although he doesn't yet know it, by inviting the world to peer through the looking glass, Andrew Ewing has become the man he thought he never was.