Q & A with Mufassa
A name that has become increasingly common along our sunny strip would be that of the much-dreadlocked roots/reggae man, Mufassa. Having only just recently completed a massive tour in collaboration with fellow Sunshine Coast musician, Pete Allan, Mufassa (aka Dale Mallett) is gearing up for yet another long run of dates, this time in support of the debut single from the man and his band.
In the lead up to Mufassa and the Pride’s show at Solbar on October 12th, we caught up with Dale for a bit…
G’day mate! Congrats on the release of your first single, ‘Blue Sky’. What’s the story behind this track, and why did you decide to go with this song as your first official release?
Hey mate, thank you. ‘Blue Sky’ captures life by the ocean, with its 60’s/70’s surf guitar tones you suddenly feel you’re riding the waves of the endless summer, leaving all your expectations by the door and simply living each moment for what it’s worth. I wrote ‘Blue Sky’ about a year ago sitting on my deck. It was one of those songs that came together quickly, I think in about an hour I had the melody and verses down. After refining the track with the band at jams and live shows, my producer ‘Rowie’ and I spoke about it being the lead single, because to us it had all the elements that spelled ‘MUFASSA & The Pride,’ coastal, upbeat dub-reggae with a good message. We took our time with this one as it’s the first single for the band…we wanted to get it right and not rush the process. We then took the song to Brian Goodworth at Big Rock Studio in Mt Coolum and began tracking in between tours and other life happenings. It has definitely been a journey, one that I have really enjoyed and learnt a lot from. I am very excited to keep working on the rest of the EP which is due out in Feb 2019.
And you’re about to head off on a pretty hefty tour, both as solo and with your band, the Pride…
That’s right, time to hit the road again, although it feels like I haven’t stopped with the touring this past year (not complaining here). My life has had a lot of changes in previous months and I am now investing in music full time, so the solo shows are a great way to gain exposure and play gigs/festivals in places that don’t always suit the band. Not many people know, but I have only been playing guitar for 3 years now, so every solo show I play is like gold for me. Practice, practice and more practice is what they say. I’m refining my skills as a songwriter and am enjoying the challenge. However, I love nothing more than playing with the band. There’s something about sharing the experience with your best mates and creating a much bigger impression both on and off the stage. The core of ‘The Pride’ is made up by Daniel Taylor (The Floating Bridges) and Johnny Collins (too many bands to name 😉) and we have been experimenting with a few guitarists this past year, with Jack Blandford (Agnes Blue), Jimmy Guitars (Bridges) and Rohan Nitschke (Bearfoot) being regulars on stage. It always depends on who’s available at the time amongst their own hectic tour schedules. For the WA leg we have Oskar Campbell (Dosed) & Ben Knibb (Bridges, Dawn Chorus) coming to experience tour life in the west and to add their flavors to our sound. I can’t thank all these boys enough for their continual contributions and musical talents in driving this band.
Looking at the musical story of Mufassa, for those unaware, you were a longtime member of The Floating Bridges, and though Mufassa is way more roots/reggae than the Bridges were, can I still hear a little of the past sneaking in, in the new material? Obviously a lot of the fans of the Bridges would be interested in seeing what the members are doing now, so how would you describe the sound to them in your own words?
Yeah mate, I was there from day dot with The Floating Bridges and man did we create some amazing memories. We spent 9 years as a bunch of mates touring the world, sharing our lives and our music with some crazy creatures, developing lifetime friendships. As one door closes another opens, and I will never forget my days with TFB, it taught me a lot about myself as a person, about the music industry and I am blessed to have had that experience. ‘MUFASSA & The Pride’ are definitely more coastal roots dub-reggae with elements of ska and there may be hints of The Bridges, as towards the later years I had much more of a hand in the songwriting for the band, not just lyrically like in the early days. MUFASSA is a deeper dreamy experience that has been described to me as ‘infectious’ and warm. I hope Bridges fans come out to check out the new project and I know many already have. Ultimately, I want to create something that makes people feel welcome and connected and I feel our new sound, band, community does that 😊
You recently completed a massive tour with fellow Coast musician, Pete Allan. How important do you think it is to develop and maintain relationships with local musical peers, and even collaborate with them?
Yes, Pete and I travelled from the Sunshine Coast to Cairns for our Tropical North QLD - ‘Built On Basic’s’ Tour. We connected through our Youth Work roles in the community a few years back and always shared the love of music, and using this music to influence young people on a positive level. We always spoke about touring together, and more recently, since learning the guitar, it became a possibility, so that’s wat we did. We spent 4 days up on Mornington Island visiting community and sharing our stories and music with the local school kids, teachers and mentors. Such an amazing experience, that would not have been possible for me without Pete’s connections. We all have our own connections across the lands, from people who dig our tunes, to venues, festivals, publicists, radios and so on. Coming together not only helps each of us as artists, but it demonstrates our values and beliefs in sharing and looking after one another, a very fundamental skill that some humans forget about – hence the ‘Built On Basic’s Tour.’ Pete and I have developed a friendship that serves many purposes and we are currently collaborating in the studio for his next single. I guess ‘MUFASSA & The Pride’ is one big collaboration, from working with Rowie our producer to the various artists who play in the band, offering their skills and knowledge. It is very exciting and I can’t wait for what comes next.
What would the main message you would like new fans of your music to take home with them?
Look forwards and be the person you always dreamed of. Life is full of changes, shit happens, but all we can control is our own choices. If you really want something to happen, make it happen and accept responsibility of it. I play music because it makes me happy, it feeds my soul. If my music can give that feeling to someone else, then we’re all winning 😊
‘Blessed by the ocean, fly through the trees, do what makes you happy, follow your dreams.’ - MUFASSA
And finally… who is the Zazu to your Mufassa in the Pride?
Well, Dan our drummer is definitely Rafiki because apparently he knows the way 😉 But if someone was to be the Zazu of the group…the informant…it would be Brian Goodworth our sound engineer and best friend. Brian always looks out for us, providing advice and offering his knowledge to help guide us not only as musicians, but as humans. Can’t explain how much love we have for B Man!
Thanks mate! We’ll catch you at first up at Solbar on October 12th, launching ‘Blue Sky’ with Mantis Empire as well!