‘I play the Oud. It’s a Middle Eastern lute. There’s a new album out on ABC called “Permission to Evaporate” which is a recent one I did in New York with two great jazz players. One is Mike Stern who was in Miles Davis’ band and Christian McBride – the biggest double bass player at the moment on the jazz scene in the world actually. So I was very lucky to get the chance to record with them.’

If you could describe the Oud as a human, how would you describe it?

‘It’s pretty much like me – short necked, half pear shaped. It’s perfect. I’m exactly like the instrument!

‘I’m playing next Thursday (26th) at Camelot Lounge Marrickville in a repertoire called Angel. We only play that repertoire twice a year to commemorate my parents’ passing. It’s nice to commemorate them through music. This one is to commemorate my mother’s passing two years ago.

‘She was quite sick towards the end. I think there were quite beautiful moments within the short space of time you spend with them in the end. It doesn’t get easy not having your parents around. I think it really gives you fuel for your music. It helps you as a human being and helps you grow. We’re constantly healing and that’s the beautiful thing about music. I guess you’ve just got to take these things as a lesson and grow from them.’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhp-IpRPxIs

Anyone keen to be in a Coldplay film clip today? There are still places available. They need the first 250 people lined up at The Courthouse Hotel. TODAY show is there right now too filming. We interviewed Wade, keen Colplay fan and no. 1 in line at the Courty.

‘I’m from Florida. I go to the University of Florida and am here studying at UNSW.

I saw Coldplay in 2012 with a friend. It blew my mind – I’ve always been a big Coldplay fan but it wasn’t until Viva La Vida was when I really started to like them.

I knew that they were going to be here in Sydney on June 19 and I tried to buy tickets while I was at the airport flying here and they sold out in three minutes. My flight got delayed and I was distracted. All these things went down. I was really resigned to the fact that I wouldn’t see them even though I was going to be here. Last night we were sitting at home. We’re big Game of Thrones fans and we’d just downloaded it. And then I saw their tweet about coming down here to get in line to be in their video.

That was around 8pm last night. We showed up here at the Courthouse last night around 9pm but there was nobody in line. We went back home and came back at 6 this morning and we were first in line.

They haven’t said anything about what they’re going to do. That’s the exciting part. I don’t know if they’re filming here at the Courthouse or I think they’re going to take us around and film. They have their plan and we don’t know it. I’m assuming I’ll see the band.’

‘The mainstay of my work is sideshow. I swallow razorblades, walk on broken glass, eat lightbulbs and stuff. For a circus performer, I’m neither fit nor flexible. It’s all in my fingers and tongue. I had an act where my assistant would feed me razorblades. She’d then swallow some string and then we’d snog. As we snogged, we regurgitated what we swallowed and tie the razorblades under the string with our tongues.’

How did you get in to this?

‘It’s weird. I studied business. I thought that was the smart thing to do. I didn’t study art and drama like I wanted to because like that’s ever going to make you a living. I picked up fire twirling just by randomness and started getting work for it. I then started to diversify. I went from fire dancing to fire eating to fire breathing to sword swallowing to swallowing other things to just working on controlling responses of the body that are normally automatic that we normally don’t have conscious control over – that your subconscious takes over itself.

‘What I do, it’s not like an adrenaline rush. I’m not seeking death or pain or anything like that. It’s actually more methodical. It’s more mastery of your body. It’s not even mind over body. It’s more mind over mind really. My old assistant used to say, “Everything is in the mind. Even the mind is in the mind.”’

And so the tables are turned.

If you were to give advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

‘It’s about the bigger picture. You think that the world is your little bubble but take a bird’s eye view of where you’re at. My dad actually told me that you picture your situation and then you zoom the camera out a bit and you take in the suburb you’re in and then you zoom out and take in the state and then you take in the country. It puts your experience in to perspective because there is a lot going on outside of where you are that’s also important.’

Thanks to the lovely Jo from ABCTV for this morning’s interview (her’s and mine) and a lovely hug!