When you were selected to play Bigsound, where were you?
I really can’t remember! Probably in some really cool cafe or cool music store in Melbourne, just doing my really cool life things….
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
The greatest source of inspiration is probably ‘myself’.. That sounds incredibly stuck up, but i’ve noticed that when I’m having a “good” day, as in, feeling good, paying attention to things, being present, feeling in tune with myself, then i could draw inspiration from literally anything; from a conversation i have around the kitchen bench in the morning, to the way the cars sound driving down the street next to my house…. Gosh i hope that makes sense.
“Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all on different journeys.”
What does ‘innovation in music’ mean to you?
Before our drummer James joined we were predominantly a guitar-band. James brought a drum pad to our rehearsals and we started to incorporate sounds that we would record into that drum pad. Vocal sounds, drum samples, etc…
Innovation is restructuring something to make it better. We innovate in order to create a deeper connection to our audiences or perhaps it’s to make the music more unique. It can feel like a clash at first. A lot of those early songwriting workshops with my band mates felt like that... but it was worth sticking it out as we were developing and progressing to the band we are becoming / have now become.
Who do you think is leading innovation in your industry today? Why?
Anyone who is trying new things. Breaking the old structures of writing, mixing old with new, clashing genres.
TFS are a band who has a metal drummer and plays almost free jazz over pop structures... St Vincent completely shreds on guitar, with these amazingly tight and sleek synth scapes. Cat Power is the absolute queen of reimagining herself with every album. Laura Jean has exploited a new palette of musical instruments to create her latest album, Devotion, after previously residing in the realm of more traditional stringed instruments and guitar-folk...
Is being misunderstood something you fear? What other challenges have you had to overcome in order to get to where you are today?
Of course it is! I have been so blocked in the past by worrying that what I put out into the world, musically or artistically, will completely ‘sum me up’. What I write and what I release into the world is only a tiny part of who I am. It’s one piece of the overall puzzle. And people can be so quick to judge, to put your artistic creations into a box with a label. It’s too easy to be misunderstood.
There’s always every-day challenges to overcome in a creative life - making an income, getting groceries, looking after your health and mental state… Personally, I need to have the base levels of life covered before I can even think of picking up the guitar… but then sometimes you’ll be showering and the best lyrical line of your life will come to you and your hands are wet and your phone is in the other room and you’ll keep repeating it to yourself over and over to try not to forget it and then by the time you get out of the shower and get to the pen and paper, the words are all jumbled and way less cool than they originally sounded. Sometimes you can’t win!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? How do you apply that advice to yourself today and to your music?
Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all on different journeys. I spose it comes through when I write because I usually seek isolation to write, so that I am feeling the most ‘me’ I can feel. No outside influences or opinions. Only when I’ve got an idea formed to a certain stage, then will I show it to band mates or close friends for their input.
When was the last time you felt compassion for something/someone and why?
I quite often notice bees around my house - sometimes in the hot weather they seem to be struggling. I have a lot of love for bees. I think i am obsessed with them. They are crucial to human survival and i feel so much for them. We had a few bee-keepers in the family who were based in Tasmania, so that stuff just hits home, i guess.
Why do you think it’s a good time to be a woman?
I dunno, what’s the difference? I’m here because i want to be a good songwriter. I wanna be taken seriously as an artist, before - and regardless of - my gender. It’s about the songs, it’s about the music. I’m not an anti-feminist, i’m not a feminist, i’m a spiritual person who believes in making good art above all else.
Name one ‘human’ thing/act that makes you smile.
Talking about poops. Everyone does it. Why hide it?
Quick-Fire Response! When you hear the word:
Patriarchy - Who?
History - channel
Plant-based - read the label, doesn’t mean its good for you
Sex - good
Privilege - bad
Sustainability - goals
Bravery - joan of arc
Seriousness - me
Freedom - is being creative
Home - Sunshine Beach
What’s next for you in the coming year?
Releasing a full length album in early 2019. Probably (hopefully) do some extensive touring. Maybe go to Joshua Tree to make an album with some people who are setting up a studio there.
Lastly: Pay it Forward - Recommend a friend/acquaintance/hero to be featured in our next quarter and tell us why.
Thommy Taranto has a lot to say and you should talk to him. His band White Vans are about to drop an album i the next year and it’s gonna be so good.