Dane Tutty’s debut EP ‘Bend and Break’ is the sweet rockin’ roll fruit of long-distance friendship and making the most of lockdown… the seeds for which were sowed way back in Dane’s punk rock past. Released in March 2021, Bend and Break brings us five songs, written and sung by Tutty while all the instrumentation, backing vocals, recording, and producing is courtesy of Chris No. 2 of Anti-Flag.
Dane’s new video for the song BPD a cool elucidates what the song is about; the confusion and heartache of being close to someone with a little understood mental illness. Today, we’re stoked to give you its first airing above and the first hand track by track rundown, where oth Dane Tutty (writer/singer) and Chris No. 2 from Anti-Flag (all production, recording and instrumentation) have given their perspective on each track from the EP.
The entire EP is produced, recorded and instrumented (if that’s a word) by modern punk rock legend Chris No. 2 from Anti-Flag, with original songs by Aussie singer/songwriter Dane Tutty. Chris and Dane collaborated from opposite sides of the world, separated by the pandemic in 2020, to make the album- Chris recording it in four different spaces.
Video by @shadesofbluemedia
Beneath the slick, punchy cpunk sound you would expect from an album made in collab with Chris 2, one of the most accomplished alternative rockers on the planet, is Tutty’s self-effacing talent for song writing, evident in his disarmingly honest lyrics and bittersweet riffs. For instance, the title track deals with the complexity and pain of letting insecurity and society’s judgements seep into personal relationships. The second single off the album BPD compassionately confronts the heartache of being close to someone with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Tutty spent his early 20’s as founding member and bass guitarist of political punk band Liberation Front. When Dane became a full-time father at 26 years of age, he quit the band to focus on supporting his daughter by establishing a career as a tattoo artist.
In 2012, Tutty temporarily re-joined Liberation Front, supporting punk rock influencers, Anti-Flag. Years later, when Anti-Flag was touring through Newcastle, Tutty offered to tattoo Chris No. 2. From there their friendship grew and they stayed in touch.
In 2020, Dane was forced to stop tattooing during the lockdowns. To occupy himself, Tutty once again picked up a guitar. However, this time he focused on singing and writing songs on his own- two things he had never done before. What started as a creative outlet was to become much more.
Tutty sent the acoustic versions of his tracks, to Chris 2 in the US, seeking his advice. To Tutty’s surprise, Chris was so grabbed by the songs he not only offered to produce and record the album, but also do all the backing vocals and instrumentation himself. Separated by the pandemic, Chris and Dane collaborated remotely, making the album from opposite sides of the globe.
Restless political punk rocker. Responsible single parent. Respected tattoo artist… now singer song writer. Dane Tutty is already many things- and with this solo debut, it feels like there is still plenty more to come.
Dane Tutty began his journey as a musician playing bass in punk band Liberation Front.
He became a full-time dad at 26 years of age and quit the band to focus on being a parent and establishing a career as a tattoo artist. Dane’s story as a single dad was shared with the world in viral documentary ‘Staying with Vegas’. Dane temporarily re-joined Liberation Front and enjoyed touring again with bands like Anti–Flag. Currently Dane lives in Newcastle and owns his own tattoo studio. Prompted by the lockdowns of 2020 that stopped him tattooing, Dane has spent the last year rekindling his love of music, this time as a solo singer song writer. He plans to tour acoustic versions of his debut EP towards the end of 2021.
Track by track commentary by Dane Tutty (writer/singer) and Chris No. 2 from Anti-Flag (all production, recording and instrumentation):
Dane: The song lyrically, is a product of a conversation with a friend about their relationship as their partner entered the sex work industry and the way they felt and how the transition and troubles they faced were navigated by the two of them, after speaking with another friend more recently I found this is more common then just this particular relationship and many people in the sex industry face challenges in their relationship due to their job
Chris2: all of these songs were musically born from the skeleton voice and acoustic guitar sketches that Dane sent me. Then I would build the full band arrangement, send files back to Dane and have him either replay things, or just affirm the path we were on was correct. This song is a great example of writing music to support the intention and focus of the lyric. Dane’s delivery of the most impactful lines, and the choruses specifically, it was my job to just get the music out of the way and let it speak, LOUDLY.
Dane: This song was inspired by watching a close friend suffer through the relentless extremes of ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’:
Through this experience I was exposed to the trauma it caused to their loved ones and also the pain it caused my friend. It was a horrible experience for everyone involved. My friend asked that I learn more about the illness so that I could try to understand what it was like from the perspective of a person with BPD and in turn, understand them better. My hope with this video for this song was to try and showcase a few of the things I learnt. As well as encourage anyone who may have been affected by the actions of someone with BPD, to try understand them and their disorder better.
Chris2: This song may be my favorite musically because of the juxtaposition of the lyrics and that kind of pop structure, drum loop and repetitive pattern. Again, just trying to make sure the lyric stood above everything else.
Dane: This Lyrically explores addiction issues, it’s something I deal with personally as well as a lot of people in my life. The narrative loosely follows how we trade vice and addictions as we get older and transition into jobs and careers but if the underlying causes are not treated we seem to just find new more socially acceptable addictions to mask our problems.
Chris2: Dane loves writing songs on 3/4 time, it’s not something I do very often. So having a few tracks on this release in this time signature definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone for sure, but that challenge is exactly why we wanted to do this. Those road blocks or hurdles often lead to the most rewarding creative collaboration.
Dane: This song is based on my experience as a singe parent and some of the feelings and experiences encountered during that time, my daughter is 13 now so it’s reflective of times when we were both a lot younger, I think it made her happy.. she favourited it on her Spotify which made me smile
Chris2: I knew this song was about Dane’s daughter, and the things they’ve endured, the love they’ve shared, and the hope they have for their future, it’s a pretty heavy task to work on such an important and personal document. That said, I didn’t want to fuck it up. I kept the melody pretty true to what Dane originally sent me, I wanted to make sure it had a hopeful feel to it. I could see even from halfway around the globe how much hope and passion Dane gained from Vegas and their relationship, there was more than enough inspiration from their story alone.
Goodbye, Younger years
Dane: This song was the first song I wrote for this ep, I remember having the chrous for a while and just knowing I liked it, but not knowing where to go with the story.. it landed on being centered on being in an abusive relationship earlier in life and me being to young and not really understanding so much about mental health and how to not take that abuse personally or help the other person
Chris2: another 3/4 song. I loved Dane’s acoustic version so much we even toyed with the idea of keeping it just that. But then on whim I wanted to experiment with kinda doing this classic drinking song round vibe. Dane also plays this song kinda free form, which is sick, but when you’re recording remotely having things being on a click and kind of on a grid makes the file sharing easier, we did a version that was on the click and it just stole all the feel from Dane’s original takes. So I scraped it, went back to the original and that’s what you hear on the EP.