When you were selected to play Bigsound, where were you? What ran through your mind?
I think I was probably at work when I got the email confirmation. I remember just feeling really relieved that we had got in, and then excited!
You’ve recently recorded an album. Can you tell us a bit about the album and what to expect?
The album has been a long time in the making - I think by the time I release it it will have been about 2 years since we started recording the first track on it. It’s a collection of songs with quite different moods, from different times in my life. Some of the tracks are angry and rocky, some are sad and slow, some are upbeat, but all of them come from a place of honesty and hopefully that comes through.
“Fear is a weird thing - personally I think I need a little bit of it, as a creative driver and as a reality check.”
What challenges did you face in the process of making this album and in what way have you grown from those challenges?
Mostly the challenges of time and money - we recorded in stops and starts, in between work commitments etc, which added another layer of complication when trying to bring all the tracks together as a cohesive release.
What does ‘innovation in music’ mean to you?
For a lot of musicians it might be breaking the boundaries of musical experimentation … for me though, I get most excited about new openness and inclusion in the industry and about pairing music with social commentary.
Who do you think is leading innovation in your industry today? Why?
Non-male leaders. Small labels. Bands doing stuff themselves.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
The urge for some kind of catharsis - I don’t seem to be able to write anything decent unless there’s an emotion or a concept that I need to process and work through.
What role does ‘fear’ play in your life as a person as well as being an artist?
Fear is a weird thing - personally I think I need a little bit of it, as a creative driver and as a reality check. At the same time it can be a damaging force that stops you from growing sometimes. It’s a constant presence that manifests in different ways - sometimes it sneaks up and overwhelms you, other times it can be harnessed and used to tap into something honest and universal.
Although there’s always room for growth, why do you think it’s a good time to be a woman?
Particularly in the world of songwriting, there are so many great female and non-binary artists emerging all the time. In another sense it’s nice to have female peers to look up to and to collaborate with. For me, that supportive network has been particularly important in building confidence in my own work as well as supporting the creativity of others.
When was the last time you felt compassion for something/someone and why?
I would like to think that I feel it all the time, but really it’s one of those things that slips between the cracks when we get caught up in ourselves… I think the situation on Nauru and the detention of families and children in the name of Australia is something that really rips into my heart and those of many people I know.
Quick-Fire Response! When you hear the word:
History - Yay
Plant-based - Food
Sex - Freedom
Sustainability - Essential
Bravery - Create
Seriousness - Sometimes
Cool - Beans
Home - Space
What’s next for you in the coming year?
Getting this album out and hopefully someone, somewhere, will connect with it. Playing some shows and then writing new stuff!
Lastly: Pay it Forward - Recommend a friend/acquaintance/hero to be featured in our next quarter and tell us why.
Liz Hughes - Currently playing under the moniker of Elizabeth Fader. Talented musician and an incredibly hard worker. Ainsley Farrell - US-born singer songwriter, collaborator and friend.