Interview: Vancouver Sleep Clinic

Interview: Vancouver Sleep Clinic

Tim Bettinson: Vancouver Sleep Clinic

Tim Bettinson: Vancouver Sleep Clinic


Figaro chat to Tim Bettinson who is the Brisbane’s born, creative force behind ‘Vancouver Sleep Clinic’. We chat about turning 21, ‘Chance the Rapper’, the three year project that is his new upcoming album ‘Revival’ and what’s to be expected for his live shows in his European, American and Australian tour.

How can you compare playing solo to playing with a band? 

It’s definitely a lot more fun, for me I think it really helps capture the full sound of the music as well. You know, right back when it started I played a couple of slow things and found it’s more honest and natural but at the same time you can’t really work in too many places dynamically or musically and you can’t really jam things. So it’s been awesome having a band cause it just opens up so many more doors to mess around with in your live show to make it more something to remember.

I read on your Twitter that you said that "No one has inspired me more than Chance the Rapper in a long time” which hit me such on a personal level. Was Chance an inspiration to your music or the ‘Revival’ album or more on a general day-to-day level?

*laughs*, Well, I think there are a few things about him that kind of inspire me. Definitely the fact that he’s done it all independently is kind of insane but I guess that goes to show the power of the internet and modern music. So that for one is very cool, but I just love what he’s done with his music in general I think it’s very creative and ambitious and the fact that he’s put all his music up for free and his sound he has, the production, his versus, it’s all just very new which is something that I’m always excited about cause myself I try to make music that feels new, so I think he’s a really big influence at the moment.  

After a chat and exchange of thoughtful advice on the need to see Chance live and how Brisbane is always left out of the touring scene - we continued. 

What do you make of comparisons with the likes of artists such as Bon Iver and James Blake? Does this encourage you to be different and step outside your boundaries or strive even harder in that area?

I don’t really think much to be honest, I’ve always just made music that sounds good to me and I enjoy making. But I don’t really think about what other artists are doing or what other people think I sound like I just make whatever I feel like, and you’ll hear that on the album I guess, there’s a few different influences for things. I mean in general, when I’m making music I don’t listen to other music, which sounds weird but I find that it helps me be more creative and innovative and use my own ideas.

So when you’re writing an album or a song you tend not to listen to any other music or artists?

Yeah, I just kind of switch the locks for a few weeks and just kind of do whatever comes natural to me in the studio. I’ll listen to myself a lot in the space of a few months and it drives me crazy but I think it’s important to the way I work.

You’re a very personal writer and your lyrics clearly reflect some raw, deep emotions, which you portray quite nicely in your music. Your new album “Revival” is out quite soon. Is there any song in particularly proud of or excited for people to hear?

I think, I mean, more than anything I’m just excited for people to hear the thing as a whole. There’s a lot of different ideas lyrically and musically. I mean it's been couple of years since I started writing it so I think as a whole I’m excited for everyone to have the body of work that no one’s really had before. Cause we only had that little EP we released two years ago so it’s the first time I think people can really have the sense to understand me as an artist and see the whole picture. So I’m pretty excited for that.

Could you explain a bit about the album artwork?

Yeah, so we worked with this guy called Pandagunda, he’s amazing and he’s actually the first person I talked to about the artwork and he seemed to really get it. I guess the whole idea I wanted around the art, is how it’s kind of about this personal revival, of passion and ambition and finding more about yourself. And the artwork kind of explores that in a way. Taking different parts of the human body and bringing life to places that were dead or detained and that’s what’s so beautiful about it, but it takes something that we all have in common which is our body and it shows that in a metaphorical way there’s revival of life. 

And do you think that the album speaks about that revival in life?

Yeah! It’s kind of about those first couple years after school, I was making a project about the whole journey of finding where I wanted to be in the world and what I wanted to do and rediscovering how much I loved making music and how much I loved other people and those people around me and it was a lot of different areas and steps and processes and getting psyched again to be making music and doing what I do. There’s a lot of different braces cause it’s not all pretty in a way and I think that’s the thing with self-discovery, you have to go through some rough thoughts, feeling and events that shake you up a bit and that’s what the album capitulates I guess. 

Any gigs and shows coming up we can mark our calendars for?

Welllllll… we’re actually announcing our U.S flag of the album tour, and at the moment we're finalising dates for Europe and Australia, so we’re going to be all over. But for Australia we’re looking around June or July so I’m super excited for that. 

The entire of Europe, U.S and Australia? You’re going to be exhausted.

Yeap! We’re taking it everywhere, which is exciting. I’m super ready cause we’ve been working on this for so long and I’m ready to go. 

Is there anything we should look out for or expect at the live shows?

Yeah! We have this really crazy visual show now we’ve been working on for the past 6 months.

Again with Pandagunda, the guy who did the album artwork?

Yeah exactly! Yeah it is. It’s super super amazing it’s probably one of the cooler things I’ve seen in a while. Cause music has always been kinda cinematic in a way so I think this will be a really cool edition, so super excited for that!

Anywhere you’re particularly excited for in America or Europe?

Ummmm, we haven’t been in Europe for like two years so I think just being back there playing shows will be amazing, I just love it over there. Paris and Amsterdam we had a lot of good crowds so I’m excited to get back there. Of course, I love playing in LA and New York in America cause those cities are awesome so there’s gonna be a lot of good times. And I’m finally turning 21 in two weeks so it’ll be the first time in legal in America which will be sweet.

I’m sorry to ask cause I know how hard this question is, but what is an album or artist that you’ve been stuck into recently?

Oh man. Ooff. Umm. Okay I can do this, I believe. Hang on I’m gonna check my Spotify… I’m going to say, for jams I’ve been loving this new hip-hop group from LA called ‘THEY.’. They just put out this album called ‘Nü Religion’ and I love it. It’s different from what I do but it’s absolutely rad. You should check it out! 

Well, thank you so much for having a chat and giving us an advanced peek at Revival! Congrats on the album and everything that’s happening! Good luck for all your upcoming shows and we’ll see you once you're back on our Australian shores! 

Thank you so much! Great talking to you! See you then!

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