A homage to heroes

ROCKER: New Lambton Heights musician Jesse Fildes is releasing his debut EP, From The Top, on February 28.HE’S only young, but Jesse Fildes’ debut album has been a long time in the making.
Nanjing Night Net

The New Lambton Heights local, 23, first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and started strumming along to his favourite CDs, eventually getting good enough to join a band as a 16-year-old. Since then, he’s been playing covers inspired by music greats like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Now, with the help of his girlfriend, who taught him to read and write music, he’s ready to release material of his own: a five-track EP making its debut this weekend.

The record, From The Top, was put down by Fildes in a makeshift studio in his house, with the help of a friend who has a background in sound engineering.

“It’s my first originals venture, so it’s all a bit new to me, but I’m really enjoying it,” Fildes says. He did the vocals, back-up vocals, guitar and bass on the recording, while friend Jackson Collings took care of the drums.

“It’s all hard rock, some funky sort of riffs in there, and a lot of ’80s-style leads and harmonies,” Fildes says.

“All the songs are kind of from personal experiences that I’ve had, and I just tried to pay homage to all my heroes and all the people I was influenced by when I was learning music.”

The record is being released this weekend, via digital download on his website jessefildesmusic南京夜网 for $5 (free for a week from today), or at upcoming gigs by his band, Tres Hombres, for $10. So far, the reaction to advanced copies has been positive.

Fildes formed the band after a jam night at the Wickham Park Hotel two years ago. The trio perform a mix of lively covers and original material. On stage, Fildes has a few tricks up his sleeve, including playing the guitar behind his head, a homage to Hendrix, but in his daily life, he’s a little more reserved.

He has almost finished an electrical engineering degree at the University of Newcastle, with one subject left in semester two. The lull means he has time to play gigs regularly.

And though he’s invested time and money in his career, he hopes to become a professional musician if the opportunity presents itself.

“I’m definitely going to pursue music as much as I can as long as I can,” Fildes says.

“If I never have to use my degree I won’t, I’ll just do music. The trouble with music is it’s such a fickle kind of industry. It’s not a very stable industry, so all I can do is give it a go. While I’ve got the time up my sleeve at the moment, I’m just going to hone my craft as much as possible.”

To complete the circle, Fildes is also helping hone the craft of others, through guitar tutorials he posts to YouTube.

“I like teaching people and sharing knowledge and all that kind of thing,” Fildes says.

No doubt it’s to the benefit of a 12-year-old somewhere out there.

Tres Hombres play at the Belmore Hotel on March 7 and The Exchange in Newcastle on March 20. For a chance to win a copy of Jesse Fildes’ album, go to facebook南京夜网/JesseFildesMusic.