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Q + A With Robbie Bostock

A striking collision of slick blues and uplifting retro hues, virtuosic guitarist Robbie Bostock is today releasing his new single via the jubilant instrumental journey that is Cryptic Love. Showcasing Robbie’s burgeoning craftsmanship and dazzling delivery, Cryptic Love also offers a glimpse into the Gold Coast artist’s upcoming EP Explorations, which dropped May 12th. We caught up with Robbie for a quick Q + A

Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?

I’ve just been doing some work in my studio/ office.  There has been a lot going on in my world with my EP release just around the corner.

 Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for? 

I’ve been playing music for a long time. I started playing guitar when I was 7 and I would make up my own songs pretty much from the get go.  I would perform my songs in front of people anywhere I could; parties, busking, music clubs and sometimes local bands would let me get up and play during their breaks, I must’ve been around 8 or 9.  My siblings all played instruments too and we formed a band (The Bostocks) and we performed together right up into our adulthood.  We must’ve done thousands of gigs together from pubs and clubs to weddings and big festivals, it was a fantastic upbringing and a great way to cut our chops as musicians.  

 Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?

Many people inspire me; my mother is a massive inspiration, she is a fantastic artist, she paints a lot of her favorite musicians and mostly music related stuff, she is amazing.  Also; my friends, I have some close friends who have done some amazing things which inspire me to also achieve my goals.

How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process.

Normally, I’ll get an idea for a song and I’ll just quickly record it on my phone; it could be a chord progression, a lyric, a melody idea or a riff. I could be at a soundcheck or doing a session job where I get an idea so it’s just a quick reference so I don’t forget it.  Once it comes time to write properly I’ll go through my voice notes app thoroughly looking for any bits of gold.  I’ll then really start to workshop one idea, sometimes a few voice note ideas will match together. I have a home studio so I’ll then start layering all the foundations of the track.

What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?

I can get a little impatient in the studio, it can be very time consuming and the littlest of things will frustrate me, like a faulty cable or something. I’ve now learnt that things like that are just a part of the process.  I’ve also learnt to let ideas evolve more before hitting the export button all the while just being present and enjoying the creative journey.  

Tell us about your new release,Cryptic Love, how did it come about?

It started off with just the main riff, it really grooved so I knew I definitely wanted to explore it further. I sat on that riff for years before I dragged it back out. I was toying with some vocal ideas over the top, it was originally going to have lyrics on it but as I started demoing the track all of the melody just came straight out of my fingers and onto my guitar, it just felt right to keep it instrumental. It’s actually probably one the easiest songs of mine to play but it’s got all the elements I like in a song; groove, harmonies and a strong melody.

What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?

 I would say; follow your passion and be as prepared as you can be before a performance.

Tell us your favourite Zen practice.

Sometimes when I’m playing my guitar at home I will just get completely immersed in what I’m doing and nothing else will enter my mind apart from what I’m doing at that exact moment, I guess that is a zen-like practice?  I could be there for hours and it feels like only minutes.  I always feel great after practicing my guitar like that.


usting out slinky basslines, sizzling guitarwork and soaring 80s undertones, Cryptic Love is an oscillating declaration of blues and Robbie’s love for the likes of Phil Emmanuel, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler and Hank Marvin, while ultimately also allowing the instrumentals to glimmer and shine. Self-produced, mixed and mastered by Robbie himself, Cryptic Love is a creamy and buoyant delight for guitar fans and beyond – and, as Robbie explains, it’s equally a family affair, “For the single Cryptic Love I wanted to write a piece that incorporated a blues sounding verse but with a big uplifting chorus, with a bit of an 80’s flavour as well. Originally it was going to have vocals on it but my Strat guitar insisted on doing the singing! My sister Rachel Bostock also contributed a killer electric violin solo on it too!”.

Like a jet engine taking off into the atmosphere, Cryptic Love firmly opens the door for what’s to come on Robbie’s forthcoming EP Explorations. A wall-to-wall musical guitar journey, with Robbie helming the entire EP’s creation, alongside co-writing on final track Fading Off The Earth with his brother Brendan Bostock, Explorations truly lives up to its inquisitive moniker. Erupting with the toe-tappin’ Bostock Boogie, Explorations flits from blues and lush retro flavours (Cryptic Love) to hazy undulations (The New Rivals), surf-soaked doo-wop (Seashells), classic rock fare (In Guitar We Trust) and crystalline sonic fire and ice (Fading Off The Earth). With additional violins on the EP provided by sister Rachel, as seen today on Cryptic Love, Explorations is a overall a fascinating expedition, led firmly by Robbie and his trusty Stratocaster. “I do love to sing as well, but for me sometimes the music and my guitar can say everything I need the song to say without putting pen to paper,” shares Robbie of the ultimate decision to present Explorations as an entirely instrumental outing. “I decided to keep the EP all instrumental; I wanted the whole EP to be like an intriguing movie and take people on a journey”.

Discovering music at a very early age, Robbie started playing the guitar when he was age 7, going on to form a band with his siblings, including Rachel on violin, Brendan on drums, and sister Sara Bostock on bass. With genres ranging from country to Irish, blues, heavy rock and more, the Bostocks performed into adulthood at pubs, clubs, festivals, weddings and parties, with their father’s work van transformed into an honorary tour bus for the siblings on weekends. But from competing with sister Rachel for the best solo on the night to Robbie himself branching out as a solo artist, Robbie has since gone on to turn heads across the industry, including performing with some of the greats from Tommy Emmanuel to Normie Rowe and the late Stevie Wright, as well as past appearances at Blues On Broadbeach and The Gympie Music Muster. Releasing a collaboration album with his mentor and long-time friend, the late Phil Emmanuel, via 2013’s Chariots Of Fire, Robbie also took home Instrumental Single Of The Year at the Australian Song Writing Awards in 2019 for his track The New Rivals. And as an accomplished session guitarist, Robbie has also recently contributed to a range of successful releases, including Amber Lawrence’s Living For The Highlights, which hit #1 on the ARIA Top 50 Chart.

Returning once again to Blues On Broadbeach in his home town in 2023, fans on the Gold Coast this May will be able to witness some of Robbie’s brand new musical creations live in action, with multiple performances across the festival locked in following the release of Explorations on May 12. And, as Robbie concludes, these shows are set to showcase his incredible guitarwork as well as vocals, originals, covers and beyond. “My shows at Blues On Broadbeach will be half singing and half instrumental, I do like to sing as well,” shares Robbie of his upcoming performances. “I’ll play my own stuff as well as some classics. 10 years ago, I released a collaboration album at the festival with Phil Emmanuel, so I will also play some songs from that album in honour of Phil’s legacy.”

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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