You bought a keyboard in the early days of the shutdown. Were you a bit bored?

Yeah, I was. I was back home, and my brother has a guitar that he hasn’t touched in five years. And I’d say he got it five years ago. So he pretty much bought a guitar and never played it. I thought I’d give that a crack first, and I played it for about 10 minutes. I don’t know if I have fat fingers or what, but I just couldn’t push down on one string without pushing another one down as well. So I got frustrated with that pretty quickly.

What led you to the keyboard?

We were having our small group catch-ups, and Whitfield was on one of mine with a few of the other boys and he mentioned he’d just gone out and got a keyboard. So I thought, that actually sounds all right. Because if you want to, you can just learn how to play a few songs, you don’t actually have to learn how to read music. I thought I’d give that a crack because Whitters was doing it, so I ordered one in and got into it. I was on it quite a bit for a while there.

How did you decide which song you wanted to learn first?

I pretty much just typed “easiest most popular piano songs” into Google and it came up with a few. I saw Bohemian Rhapsody there and that’s a long song, I thought it would be harder, so I got onto that. And up until now, I can play about half of that song. Which is about two and a half minutes, so I’m actually pretty happy about that.

Have you moved onto new songs since?

Oh no, that’s it.

Well, one is good.

I think so too. It's not easy. For each 15 seconds of a song it’s probably half a week of work if I’m going at it pretty hard.

So you might throw it in?

Well, I might not. I live with Nick Haynes and he has a piano in the house. He sort of dabbles on it a little bit. He actually rocked my confidence when I got back to Sydney the other week. I was playing the half-a-song that I knew, and the neighbours were doing renovations at the same time so they were making a bit of noise. I started playing the piano and he made a comment saying “oh, not the double whammy.” And I just thought, hang on a minute, I thought I was all right. So I’ve gone back into my shell a bit since then. I don’t think he even realises the damage he did to me, that day.

How did he end up with a piano?

Well, he enjoys the piano. He was always keen on getting one, I think. He just sort of memorises songs and jumps on every now and then and plays. I think he got it for free a few years back, he just had to go and pick it up.

So one day you might get to finish your one song…

I’d like that. But I’m thinking I might throw it in and just pick another song. I’ve found a couple of Coldplay songs. I think there was a Sam Smith song in there too, when I looked up the easy ones. I was looking for a Beatles song but they looked a bit tough. I like the idea of playing Imagine, so I was going to give that a crack. I can do the start of it, but as soon as my left hand has to come into it I’m in trouble. I have to multi-task, which I’m not great at. That was probably the dagger in my piano career, realising that the left hand has to join in. But I do enjoy going on and just playing the little bit I do know.

Did you leave the keyboard in Melbourne, or take it back to Sydney with you?

I’ve brought it back up here. The thing is, the piano is so loud. If I want to get back into it, at least I can get on the keyboard in my room and turn the volume down. I lived with Bunts for a few years while he was learning guitar and I understand what it’s like to live with someone while they’re trying to learn an instrument. It’s not ideal. It really is not great.

Maybe you could start a band one day.

We actually used to have one, three or four years back. Tim Mohr was the lead singer and Dyl Addison was on guitar, he was the backbone of the group. We had Sam Schulz on the drums and Tom Downie on bass. And Bunts was on the guitar but his nickname was “Unplugged.” No-one ever heard us or saw anything we did but we called ourselves ATG – Against the Grain. I have no idea why.

How about you?

I was just there to support Mohry with a bit of back-up vocals. But really, I was pretty much pushed to the side. It was a bit of singing, a bit of being Team Manager. They tried to get me on that thing where you sort of shake and hit it, shake and hit it – the tambourine. I was on that and could not find any rhythm at all, so I just stopped it. And that’s probably the easiest thing of all to play.

What happened to you?

We were going to go viral. It was going to be pretty big. But then there was a falling out amongst the group and we all went our separate ways. Unfortunately no-one could get along with Schulz. But who knows - maybe there could be a reunion show somewhere down the line.