"The walls won't let you sleep tonight/ you're throwing the title fight/ you want to disappear." - Safe And Sound - Shane Nicholson.

Shane Nicholson performed a Dragon tune in Australian movie Mullet and landed his original tune The Best Day Of The Year in acclaimed new U.S. public education satire Chalk.

Another of his originals I Know What You Need features in a promo for Fox network TV series House MD.

So it's no surprise he's keen to expand his cinematic songs beyond the aural medium to the lucrative world of TV and movies.

It's not a case of competing for royalties with singing spouse Kasey Chambers whose hit songs adorned smash TV series diverse as Crossing Jordan and The Sopranos.

"I would love to write specifically for a movie," Nicholson, 30, told Nu Country TV before he launched second solo CD Faith & Science on May 24 at famed Northcote Social Club.

"I love the idea of having visual version of a song taking on a different life from its audio birth."

Nicholson hasn't seen the Mike Akel directed Chalk that features his song The Best Day Of The Year and is a highlight of film festivals diverse as Memphis and Athens, Georgia.

But he has vivid recollections of making his video for I Know What You Need in his hometown Brisbane where he was oldest of three children of a mechanic-golf course green keeper.

"The characters in the treatment were me and the female lead Emma Louise doubling a make up artist," Nicholson revealed.

"I leave my house with woollen jumper on but its caught on something. As I walk around the city she's upstairs knitting the same jumper. She has to find me to finish knitting the jumper. It's a cute little circular love story. It's not what I had in mind when I wrote the song. That's what I like about videos - they have a completely different visual representation."


Nicholson doesn't write political or social comment songs but Safe And Sound was inspired by a night in Los Angeles.

"I wrote it in LA. on my own on a recent tour," Nicholson says of one of his forays that has included touring with Paul Kelly and the Chambers family and two SXSW fests in Texas capital Austin.

"I was feeling the pressure of how L. A. encroaches on you, how full on it is. It can be all consuming and make you really feel small and insignificant. That song is kind of social comment or that level.

I like to follow politics but it's not something I'm well enough versed in to write and talk about. I don't want to talk about it in interviews and be a spokesperson for it."

So Nicholson, whose discs were produced by Nash Chambers, is unlikely to hit radio cutting room floor for emulating the Dixie Chicks or Steve Earle.

The singer prefers to write solo but broke the mould with a cover of Tom Waits Big In Japan and co-writes with L.A. producer Wally Gagel and Michael Barker from the John Butler Trio.

"I wrote Safe And Sound with Wally in his studio in Hollywood," says of a song on which he shares credits with the studio serf known for his work with Texan country band Old 97s, Tanya Donnelly, Julia Hatfield and Sarah Blasko.

"We wrote it in a day but I haven't seen him since."

Nicholson is more likely to cross paths with Barker with whom he wrote All The Time In The World.


Although Nicholson, whose music shares more similarities with stable mate Simon Bruce than most to whom he is compared, performed in country band Lost Dogs with Kasey but doesn't write with her.

"About 80% of the songs on this album I began writing in the U.S." Nicholson says.

"I carry a notebook full of scribbles, often don't know where they're from specifically or who inspired them."

But he admits that marital and musical bliss has broadened his music.

"I never listened to country until recently, it's around me a lot more," Shane added.

"There were country elements on last record. I'm not afraid of it at all - it seeps in by osmosis. I didn't want a country record or even a country song on it but I wanted country elements. I like the idea of playing pop, folk and including instruments like pedal steel guitar and mandolin appeals. But on this album there is just a lap steel played by Diesel."


Nicholson recorded several EPS with Brisbane band Pretty Violent Stain before his debut CD It's A Movie.

He started on drums at 8 and guitar at 13 when he was raised in Kingscliff in southern Queensland.

"The Bee Gees lived there at one stage and Keith Urban was about half an hour away in Caboolture," Nicholson recalled.

"I once had a job installing garage doors. It was first day job. I was about 19 - it didn't last long. I lived very frugally, cheaply. I bought a camper house-mobile home and put it on a block of land where I didn't have to pay rent so I could tour all year around. I put it on my ex-girlfriend's property near Kilcoy."


The singer won exposure on Americana and AAA stations in the U.S. while touring to promote it.

"We started the tour in Seattle and went to Texas, Atlanta, the Carolinas, Chicago and New York," Nicholson recalled.

"The airplay started on Americana and AAA and expanded to commercial stations. I have done four U.S. tours and plan to return in 2007. I played South X South West twice. I lined up to see Peter Yorn and only got to see his encore. I planned to see Ron Sexsmith. I saw him in my audience at my gig but missed him live."

Although he won exposure in Canada he is making Australia his priority in 2006.

"It fell through the cracks in Canada and I haven't played enough here recently," he explained.


Until recently Nicholson has preferred to write solo.

"Co-writing recently has broken up the monotony," Shane revealed.

"I prefer to write with people who are quite different or I know really well. People I think can add more to it."

But he has no desire for serious writing in Nashville.

"I have never been there but song writing as an industry doesn't interest me," Shane added.

"I wrote a song in LA that's been recorded in Germany. He's a big artist in Germany.

Most of the time I'm writing songs for myself. I would like to write more in the future as I don't want to tour for rest of my life."

What about writing with Kasey?

"No, we don't write together but we perform together," says Nicholson.

"We worked together in The Lost Dogs. We took the name from the John Prine album Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings. Ian Haig was on bass and Mick Albeck on fiddle. We play for fun."


It was Bill Chambers - father of the bride - who serenaded Shane and Kasey at their recent December 2005 wedding on the NSW Central Coast.

Bill performed James Taylor tune You Can Close Your Eyes to the barefoot bride and groom who both wore jeans and a white shirt.

It was an impromptu ceremony in the backyard of their Avoca Beach home.

A small group of 20 family and friends invited to a barbecue engagement party found the couple intended to get married when they were introduced to the celebrant.

Bill was asked to play a song only five minutes before the ceremony began.

Shane's brother Steven was his best man and Worm - Kasey's roadie and lighting man for 17 years - was their mate of honour.

Kasey plans to release her fourth solo album later this year.

Click here for a review of Shane's CD launch at Northcote Social Club

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