*ADVISORY: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are advised this interview and the associated songs contain the names of deceased persons. Permission has been granted from associated elders and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre to record and perform these songs.
Nigel Wearne is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and luthier who, due to his skill as a maker of instruments, has an end-to-end understanding of how music is made that has also, no doubt, informed his deep understanding of how songs work. He has released the solo albums Black Crow (2012) and Drawing Circles (2016), and has now joined with Luke Watt to form Above the Bit, which is a project that, as they say, ‘shines a light on true tales of mutiny and civil disobedience in Australian history’. The band’s eponymous album has just been released, and ahead of that release I spoke with Wearne about the extraordinary story behind the project and the songs, and the stories that are in those songs. You can watch that interview on YouTube or listen in Soundcloud – both options below.