Category Archives: interviews

Don’t Call It A ComeBack, we’ve scene it before

AUS ROCKERS Grinspoon are no strangers to a hiatus, but it doesn’t mean they’re any happier about the COVID-19 break than the rest of us. Drummer Kris Hopes caught up with Jade Kennedy this week to discuss their post-COVID comeback plans – which kicks off with Newcastle’s Scene & Heard festival in February – and discuss festivals of yore, ‘90s nostalgia, and the next generation of Aus music.

When COVID-19 started shutting down the country earlier this year, Hopes and bandmates Phil Jamieson, Pat Davern and Joe Hansen had been holed up in a South Australian recording studio, working on new material.
It will be their first new album since 2012’s Black Rabbits.

“When we shut down for the COVID thing we were in the middle of recording, so it was a bit of a shame how we couldn’t continue on with that,” Hopes said.
“Our last show was the V8 Supercars in Adelaide and then we stayed on for I think a week or two after that to get a bunch of stuff done. I think we got about seven tracks done or something like that. I don’t know if we’re going to use all of them, but yeah, we got a few in the bag, which is good. I think the next show is in about eight weeks from now and then we’re doing a bit more recording after that, between that show and the one after that.”

In his own words, Hopes said the band has “a pretty full card” in 2021, assuming Australia remains open.
“The stay at home thing with the borders shut has been a bit horrible,” laughed Hopes, who lives in Brisbane.
“The whole COVID thing is pretty boring, but it’s boring for everyone so it’s not just us!”

“I for one was just a bit burnt out… I just wanted a break…”


It was a different story for the band in 2013, when they first announced their indefinite hiatus. At that point, even Hopes admits the future of the band was uncertain.
“I for one was just a bit burnt out… I just wanted a break,” he said.
“Because I guess what people don’t see is that when we’re not touring we’re working anyway, and so for the however long – 17 years – before that, we were just going flat stick and we never really took our foot off the pedal. If we weren’t touring in Australia we were touring overseas, and if we weren’t touring at all we were recording, so you know, it was a big chunk out of our lives. I was a bit emotionally burnt out and I just wanted a break, so I was happy to have that time off. But then when we got back together – I think it was Cold Chisel asked us to reform to support them on a tour – so that was our reformation thing, we had a bunch of fun doing it and we had a chat and said well maybe we kick off again and have another crack. Everyone was into it, and it’s just been kind of rolling on like that for the past few years, so it’s been pretty exciting for us.”

Two of Grinspoon’s studio albums have turned 20 already – Guide to Better Living and Easy – with the former having a massive standalone sellout regional tour and the latter celebrated with a ‘best of’ style compilation album, Chemical Hearts, in October last year.

Hopes said the tours had given them an opportunity to reconnect with their audience – and connect with a new one.
“There’s not a great deal of difference (now), they’re just a bit older,” he laughed.
“They’re still pretty off the hook. I mean we’ve seen a few generational things, we’ve had a few parents bring their kids to gigs and that kind of thing, so that’s pretty funny, but it’s all good – people still go as nuts as they did 20 years ago.”

“That Guide to Better Living tour we did, we kind of created a new generation of fans, so that was a really great tour for us and as you said there’s some young ones now and yeah, we’re happy to be out there playing to them.
“(Chemical Hearts), that was a fun tour as well. And off the back of that we kind of kept going and doing all of those festivals and things we were doing, and that only ended when Covid shut everything down so it’s… yeah. We’re just happy to be out there still doing it and people seem to still be enjoying it.”

It’s hard to believe that it’s still in the same calendar year in which Grinspoon – along with acts including Guy Sebastian, Hilltop Hoods, Alice Cooper, Peking Duk, Olivia Newton-John, 5 Seconds of Summer, Tina Arena and Queen with Adam Lambert – performed at the Fire Fight Australia bushfire relief concert in Sydney

Fire Fight was an excellent gig,” Hopes said.
“We had an amazing time there, and it was good to help the firefighters out raising money for that. They raised over $50 million or something with Celeste Barber’s fund that she set up; it was probably $60 million with the Fire Fight money… in the end it’s a good cause and we were happy to help out.”

Performing in front of a stadium full of people and live televised audience is nothing new for the band, who has performed at the State of Origin (an especially good night when Queensland gets the win, according to Hopes) – but the size of the crowd doesn’t change their attitude.

“I think they had about 80-something thousand there (at Fire Fight),” he said.
“It was a nice feeling to play in front of a big crowd like that – it’s always a nice feeling.”

A few nervy wees beforehand though?
“Oh, always – that’s any gig though,” he added.
“Whether we’re playing in front of 10 or that amount of people, you know. If you don’t get that you should probably just give up. You need it. As long as you use it in a positive way you’re laughing.”

“I just think that everything turns a full circle and comes back around, it’s happened since the ‘50s and ‘60s – you kind of get your second wave, if you want to say that in COVID times…”

COVID pause notwithstanding, the Fire Fight event was further proof that Grinspoon is hotter than ever (pun intended). Hopes likened the recent resurgence in ‘90s and naughties nostalgia being enjoyed by many an Aussie band – Grinspoon included – to the pandemic with a laugh.
“I just think that everything turns a full circle and comes back around, it’s happened since the ‘50s and ‘60s – you kind of get your second wave, if you want to say that in COVID times,” he joked.
“You get your second crack at it and your fans are a bit older and as long as you’ve done a good job at the start you get to have another go.”

With festivals like Scene & Heard coming up – which Grinners will play with Regurgitator, Ratcat, Frenzal Rhomb, Killing Heidi, Cog, Custard and Caligula – like a mini taster of Livid or Homebake back in the day, what does Hopes remember of the original one-day festivals?

“Oh the Homebakes were an amazing festival,” he said
“We played the first one that started in Byron Bay and we were lucky enough to get onto that, we weren’t added to the bill at the time and I remember Pat our guitar player had to ring up the festival and hassle them saying, ‘We’re home baked, we’re baked here in Byron Bay and you’re having a festival here, we want to be on it.’ So we hassled and hassled and they got us on the bill and we opened the show. So we played at the first Homebake, which was awesome, but then once we got a little bit of success and that kind of thing we got added to a few of the big ones in Sydney, and they were amazing shows. They were all recorded by Channel V at the time so it’s nice that at some stage we can look back and see what we were doing back in the day. They were definitely fun times, we were a little bit off the rails back then but we definitely made the most of it.”

Even though the band was a regular on the touring festival circuit like Big Day Out, Hopes said he still preferred the local events.
“Big Day Out was just a bit more professional I guess, with all the American bands and stuff,” he said.
“It was a bit of an eye opener for us I guess playing our first Big Day Out… A great festival, but the Homebakes were a bit more localised – apart from the few New Zealand bands that would play on them – so they were just that one special festival. The Domain in Sydney – those big ones there – just felt special when you played them. I remember watching Silverchair come through and play a couple of their big shows there and they were just amazing gigs, really amazing. The band for those shows really stood up and kind of went to a new level.”

These days, Grinspoon is most likely to headline a local festival – as is the case with Scene & Heard. But what exactly does that mean?
“It just means you play last,” Hopes joked.
“No, it’s an honour to be able to headline a festival, and hopefully you take it for what it is… But really we’re just a band on the bill playing with a whole bunch of other bands. Along with headlining comes a bit of responsibility that you should put on an awesome show, so that’s what we try to do, and hopefully that’s what we get away with.”

“It’s a bit boring going back to your hotel room and sitting in a little box somewhere. The festivals are the fun bit…”


You can also expect to see Hopes, Davern, Hansen and Jamieson lurking around any festival they might be performing at.
“Yeah, we enjoy it, that’s what we do,” Hopes laughed.
“There’s a lot of bands that just come in, do the thing and get out of there, but we like to hang out with the locals and do our thing and have a bit of party as well – that’s why we do it.
“It’s a bit boring going back to your hotel room and sitting in a little box somewhere. The festivals are the fun bit. We’ve done lots of hard slog tours over the years where you’ve got to jump straight in the van after you play and take off and drive overnight to the next place to do it all again, and you don’t really get a chance to take it all it, you’re just always on the move – so festivals are a good chance to do that and obviously a chance for us to catch other bands as well. So yeah, it’s definitely a good thing to do and we continue to do it that way.”

When Rolling Stone Australia recently published their ’50 Greatest Australian Acts of All Time’ it was to some controversy online, with critics listing their own top 50, 20, 10 and even top five acts – many of which included Grinspoon… unlike the magazine’s list.

“Ohhh you’re kidding! Oh well, we might give up then hey?” Hopes joked when I asked if he’d heard about their lack of inclusion on the ‘official’ list.
“Cool! Good – well, they’re smart people, see?” He laughed when I mentioned the social media inclusions. But what is it about Grinspoon that connects with people so deeply?

“I don’t know… I think we’ve always, no matter what period of our careers we’ve been in, we’ve always tried to give people a good time,” Hopes said.
“They’re paid whatever they’ve paid for their ticket and turned up – it’s entertainment. It’s supposed to be a release and give people a bit of escapism on the weekend or whatever it may be, so that’s what we try and deliver and I think we have successfully done that at some stages of our career… there’s been a few shit ones as well, haha, but you get that. But that’s just what we try and do, and hopefully that’s why people like us.”

“The Australian music scene’s always been pretty healthy and I think it will continue on, as long as this COVID thing never comes back…”


Rolling Stone asked artists to discuss their favourite Australian acts – so who would Hopes’ be?
“Oh… there’s a few,” he said.
“I mean there’s a lot of ‘90s bands like Shihad that we played with on many occasions. We went back to New Zealand and toured with them over there.
“There’s a lot of great new bands coming through as well. That band that came on our… I think it was Guide to Better Living tour, Hockey Dad… they were a great band, and they’ve kicked on. A two-piece band of just some surfie lads from the south coast of New South Wales, they were really nice kids and a great band. I think for new young bands that we’ve taken on tour – because we do put a bit of thought into the bands that we select for our tours – hopefully we give them a bit of a leg up with a different kind of audience and spur them on, and also show them how we do it. Everything changes but, there is so many good new bands out there, and probably a thousand that I don’t know about. The Australian music scene’s always been pretty healthy and I think it will continue on, as long as this COVID thing never comes back!”

Hopes has potentially contributed to the next generation of the Australian music scene personally, with his son Harry a talented drummer in his own right.
“He’s been a drummer ever since he was born I think,” Hopes said.
“He came on for the last tour I think, he came on and played a song at our Kingscliff show – which was like our warm-up show for the tour – but then he came back and had another crack at the Fortitude Valley Music Hall, which was right at the end of the tour. It was exciting for me to see him play, he’s just fearless playing in front of big crowds.”

“I think he’s learnt every single song that Grinspoon’s ever written so… Haha, I think he’s just waiting for me to ever get injured or retire so he can just take over! He remembers more songs than I do! So yeah, hopefully at some stage he gets out and does his own thing. He’s just turned 12 and he’s raring to go, he just laps it all in and just wants to play everything with everyone – I think there’ll be big things for him coming. He really likes what I do because it’s what he wants to do, it’s in his blood – my dad was a drummer as well so it’s in his blood, it runs in the family – he’s just excited for what might be ahead for him.”

Grinspoon will headline Scene & Heard festival in Newcastle on Sunday February 21st 2021.

Tickets are on sale now.

Feature pic: Chemical Hearts Tour Melbourne by Brittany Long

Sarah McLeod Keeps On Killin’ It

words: jade kennedy
featured photo: brittany long

 

“Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, ‘cause every little thing gonna be alright…”

When Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus serenades you with Bob Marley down the phone from her home in country Victoria while the world around you is going mad, it’s pretty well guaranteed to put a smile on your face. And make you believe her.

It’s Thursday night, and we’re doing an impromptu interview to discuss McLeod’s upcoming Facebook live stream of the set she had planned to perform at 14 dates across the country through April and May. A solo tour that has now – along with countless others – been cancelled due to COVID-19.

“Initially when the tour was off I was like, ‘Great! I don’t have to worry about finishing all of my rehearsals!’” McLeod said.

“Then I was like no, I should finish my rehearsals and I should do it anyway. There’s going to be so many people that are sitting at home and bummed – I mean I’m bummed and I’m bored and I need things to keep me busy and I need goals. They might not be financially viable, but they’re still things to keep me busy, and they’re still goals and they’re still musical.

“I just want to connect with people. We’re all isolated, I mean I’m isolated out here on the farm, people are isolated in the middle of the city; but my main concern for everybody is mental health. I know we’re all going through some serious shit and I just worry how people go. Money is tight, people start fighting with their families when they’re home too long, they start getting weird, and I don’t know, I just want to do whatever I can to just to keep connecting with people and talking with people and playing for people where possible. So I’m experimenting with a few different things, and Sunday’s stream is the first of them.”

So Sunday’s live stream isn’t going to be the last we will see of you for a while?

“No, no, Sunday is just a, ‘Here’s that show so I can get it out of my system,’ because I was working on it, and then I can put that aside and go cool, now I can never play that again,” she said.

“Then I have a plan moving forward of how to connect with people on a much more regular level than I’ve done before, and I’m going to reveal that plan on Sunday when I have all the ducks in a row. I’m just setting it up now.”

For McLeod, cancelling the tour was “a no brainer.”

“My agents were like, ‘Oh let’s wait,’ and I was like, ‘No way, no, just cancel it.’” she said.

“I just knew that I couldn’t do it. I mean, I cancelled quite early because I just knew that it wasn’t going to happen. People were saying, ‘Maybe cancel the first week or so,’ and I was like, no, I don’t feel that this is going to be a quick fix, just cancel the whole thing. I didn’t want the stress of it. I wanted people to know where they stood so they could make a decision and get their money back and work out what’s going on in their own lives. The more things we can put into place and square away instead of thinking what the fuck to do next, the better. Also, I didn’t want to put anyone at risk by thinking, ‘Oh maybe I could do it, it’s only a hundred, I could squeeze a hundred people in here.’ It’s not about me trying to squeeze out a hundred tickets, it’s just about us all looking after each other.”

McLeod said living on the farm was good during this period especially, and she had been “totally hiding out” without venturing into the city for ages. Just be careful of how you word things when you speak to her.

“If I hear one more person say, ‘Calm the farm,’… Fuck I hate that term… Like, suck a dick,” she laughed.

On a serious note, though, McLeod is not one for sitting idle. Even in the face of Armageddon she won’t be sitting around binge-watching Vikings.

“I’ve got a book that I’ve been working on, that I was going to release as a section of my life, but then I didn’t release it and I sat on it and now I’m thinking I should just sit on it a bit longer and just write my whole life, rather than just those couple of years,” she laughed.

“I’m working on a new project that I’m going to launch on Sunday that’s going to take up all of my time and it’s very creative and it’s very interactive and I’m actually looking forward to it, I think it’s going to be very fun. You know, times are changing and you’ve got to move with it, we’ve got to be fluid and we don’t have time to worry about or sit and moan about what we’ve lost, we’ve just got to cut it and think fast about where to go next.”

McLeod is no stranger to self-isolation. She wrote her solo album Rocky’s Diner from an apartment in New York where she deliberately self-isolated so she could focus on writing. So her advice to those not so accustomed to it?

“Give yourself a project,” she said.

“If you are doing something that makes your soul happy then you’ll be happy. It doesn’t have to be creative, if you’re not a creative person, but if you’re doing something that’s for you – you’ve got no choice, I mean people would probably rather be going to work for sure – but if you can’t go to work, if you find something that makes you happy that you can do at home the time will pass really quickly and it’ll keep you sane.”

McLeod, along with the rest of the music industry and it’s workers, were the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ when it came to the effects of COVID-19 on closures and job losses. Although she is “terrified” about the future of our industry, McLeod is also optimistic.

“I know that we will build it back up, because no matter what happens people always want to be entertained and people love music deep down, and even if it takes a couple of years to get back on its feet; even if it comes back morphed into a different way,” she said.

“Like, I was using the analogy; we’re very adaptable us human beings, so if the whole planet flooded we’d develop webbed feet: we move with the times and we develop, and it’s terrifying when the change arises, but we always find ways of adapting and making our way through. And from disaster good things always bloom. So we’ll see. I’m trying to look at it as a time of change and fear with some sort of silver lining at the end that hopefully will be good for everyone. (Laughs) Somehow.”

Amongst the adaptations, which are already beginning, we have started seeing free living room concerts being live streamed on Facebook and Instagram, musicians offering vocal and music lessons on Skype and Zoom, as well as coaching and mindset sessions with musicians and industry reps.

“Isn’t it cool though?” McLeod said.

“You can actually get closer to the artists now – and you’ll find that you will be able to do this a lot more – now that we can’t see them in person, you’ll actually be able to get closer to them because that’s the new way of doing it. So it could actually be really cool. It’s just, you know, in times of crisis people band together and I just like seeing people putting themselves out on a limb and helping each other. I don’t like seeing some of the bad shit. I’m really worried about how some people flick that switch and they start fighting, and fighting in supermarkets and pulling out daggers and going fucking bananas – that side of it I fear a lot. But I’m hoping that was just the minority groups and we as Australians who are caring, beautiful people, we love each other and we’re strong and we’re clever, and I think that we’ll be able to get through this if we just look out for each other and think of the future, think of the long term, and try to think of ways we can all help each other and keep each other sane.”

Before the world started locking down, McLeod released her latest solo single, Killin’ It Til I’m Dead.

“Ironically called Killin’ It Til I’m Dead,” she laughed.

“Well I didn’t realise how apt it was at the time. It was meant to be a tongue in cheek title because I get anxiety about certain things that I have to do, and my fear of certain situations sometimes gets the better of me, so I always talk to myself in the mirror and talk myself up, like, ‘You can do this! You’re a machine! Don’t have the fear, you’re a really good singer! You’re not going to make a mistake!’ So Killin’ It Til I’m Dead is this comedic catchphrase, like, ‘It doesn’t matter, I’m killin’ it til I’m dead, there’s no flies on me! I’ll be fine!’ But it’s got a whole different vibe now, hasn’t it?”

The whole songwriting process for the new track – warts and all – can be found on Kav Temperley’s (from Eskimo Joe) new podcast, HatJam.

“Yeah, (we wrote this) on HatJam,” McLeod said.
“So you can hear the song being written from scratch on HatJam. Like, he and I just sitting there going, ‘Okay… Uhhh… Now… What should we do?’ from the fucking very beginning. (Laughs) Which you never do. It’s cool. It feels very vulnerable. I’ve never done it before. I’ve certainly never had any audio that’s out online where people can listen to all of the shit along the way… because you always write shit along the way. You’ve just got to sit there and work hard enough, and eventually you replace all of the trash with cool stuff, but you’ve got to throw a bunch of trash on the table first. No one ever sits down and writes Let It Be… (Laughs) Well… (Laughs) you know.”

McLeod admitted the whole process was somewhat scary at first – the vulnerable and unknown – but she was getting used to the idea.

“I don’t feel vulnerable about it at all any more,” she said.

“I’m actually planning to do a lot more of that vulnerable stuff now that there’s a lot more working from home and things to connect with people on the internet. I think that’s the way to go. I don’t mind letting people in on things that I normally would have gone, ‘Oh no, you can only see the final finished product at the end.’ I’ve sort of chucked all of that out the window now. Now it’s like, we’re all in this together, let’s watch the process and maybe other people can learn from it.”

To support Sarah McLeod until she’s back on the road, you can buy her merch online at www.sarahmcleod.com.au, follow her on Facebook or Instagram and tune in to her live Facebook stream at 5pm AEDT this Sunday 22nd March. Local times: Adelaide: 4.30pm, Brisbane: 4pm, Darwin: 3.30pm, Perth: 2pm.

Listen: Sarah McLeod – Killin’ It Til I’m Dead

Clowning around with Jake Laderman

words: Brittany Long

Recently Girl’s Brittany Long sat down to chat with drummer Jake Laderman of Aussie punk rock outfit Clowns.

Last year saw the band release their fourth studio album Nature/Nurture, which debuted at #6 on The Australian ARIA charts and join esteemed heavyweight music label Fat Wreck Chords, and now 2020 is set to be even bigger with the band having been announced on Australia’s Download Festival lineup and famous American festival Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas.

Hi Jake, So I understand you’re just off the back of a massive European tour what have you been up to since getting back? 
A whole lot of relaxing, a whole lot of not spending time in a van, and just kind of like enjoying summer really. I miss my girlfriend and I miss my cat and its nice just having those luxuries back again. 

I thought the whole rockstar thing was life in a van yeah?
Well I think if you’re a true rockstar you probably don’t spend much time in vans you probably spend more time in you know private jets and stuff haha. But we certainly spent a huge part of last year in vans across the world.

Well fair enough that would’ve been an experience. So Congratulations on your addition to the download festival lineup again. What can festival goers expect from your set? 
Thankyou. We have a few surprises for people who Maybe are used to our normal show like we’ve definitely got a few songs from all four of our records, we have a few little special treats for anyone who is up for a surprise.

Anything you can hint at on the down low?
Not really haha, I think people should just come along and check it out. It’ll be funny. 

Sounds like I might have to. So what does being included again on the lineup mean to you guys as a band? 
It’s great you know, being in Australia there is not as many like heavy music festivals as there is like in a lot of overseas spots especially in Europe, even America too, so for Australia to have something that is like Download and to get the calibre of acts that they get it’s a pretty special thing for Australia and to be included on such a huge lineup like that is, you know really flattering and awesome, and it’s just really exciting for us. We’re psyched to be part of such a thing.

Yeah amazing! So who are your personal must sees on the lineup if you get the chance?
I’m super keen for, I mean this is like very like local and stuff but I’ve always been a huge Bodyjar fan so I’m pretty psyched about Bodyjar. Then also I’m pretty keen on The Hu for sure.

It’s a jam packed lineup right! So last year you celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the band, how do you feel things have changed since the early days?
Pretty drastically really I guess, like when we started out I don’t think any of us had anticipated that we would still be doing this ten years on and be playing even harder than we were back then. We started, just Stevie and I started like fresh out of highschool and now yeah I don’t think we ever thought we’d go overseas for one or even maybe go interstate. I remember the first time going interstate it was a very big deal for us. So I guess things have changed like pretty crazy, like we’re always planning ahead now as opposed to taking any show we get offered on a Wednesday night in Brunswick or whatever. So it’s awesome to see the progression and stuff. 

Yeah amazing! So you’ve seen a lot of changes among the Clowns lineup over the years. How have you dealt with that as a band? 
It’s actually been surprising, like you’d think that a lineup change is like maybe a bit of a burden and I think that there have been times where it was. But the lineup that we have now is like the most solid we’ve had in terms of just like the way we all get along, everyone is like very understanding of each other. I mean like when you have to spend every minute of every day in someone else’s pocket you really do get to know who they are and we can all sort of deal with each other pretty good. I feel like the lineup changes have definitely worked out for the best, I feel like if we had stuck with the original lineup there would be many problems at this point. 

Yeah that’s fair enough and of course like you said spending every minute of every day with them in a crammed tour bus you’d get to know them pretty well.
Absolutely I think we know each other more than most do.

So, a massive congratulations on being the only other Australian band to have joined Fat Wreck Chords. What does it mean to you as a band?It’s awesome you know, like growing up you know a lot of us listened to No FX and Frenzal Rhomb and it’s a special thing to be a part of. It’s something that again like I don’t think anyone would have thought would happen but again sometimes you just meet people like with touring, we were fortunate enough to cross paths with Fat Wreck and meet a lot of bands that are on Fat Freck and they’re all really awesome people, really lovely people, a really hard working label. It’s kind of like a bit of a teenage dream come true to be a part of Fat Wreck Chords to be honest, it’s awesome. 

Yeah that’s fantastic and what a huge opportunity! So I see that you guys have been added to the Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas, what does that mean to you? 
Well I’ve never been to Vegas before so this is sort of like two part excitement because like I’m one, really excited to go to Vegas and see all the glitzy bullshit that they have and then the other side of it I’m like really excited about the lineup for that festival. That’s one of those festivals that every single year I’ve just like fantasised about being part of. The lineups are always unbelievable. So we’re really excited to go back to the States and play Punk Rock Bowling. 

Which bands are you looking forward to catching the most if you get the chance?
I’m really excited to see Municipal Waste and I’m keen to see Madness if we get a chance too, keen to see Circle Jerks if we get a chance too, Bad Cop Bad Cop, PEARS, a whole bunch of bands actually, it’s a really great lineup. Although I have a feeling we won’t actually be able to stay for that long.

Well fingers crossed for you. What are some of the biggest life lessons you’ve learnt since forming Clowns?
Always, don’t get too carried away with your own ideas be willing to listen to other people’s ideas, you gotta be a team player I think if you play in a band that is like really co-collaborative. Basically everybody has a lot of big ideas and it’s important to listen to each other so it’s an open playing field and everyone’s ideas are valued. So I think that’s a very important thing about playing in any band. 

Yeah of course! So what are some of your personal big career highlights?
I think maybe, we played this festival in Belgium it’s a really great punk rock festival called Groezrock, that was a pretty special moment. We opened for Foo Fighters like a year or two ago, that was pretty special as well. 

Okay,yeah I think that one definitely goes down in the history books hey.  
Haha yep. God I don’t know, maybe like just doing like some of our biggest sort of headline shows, they were all really special moments like in Australia. Yeah I guess there’s a few it’s good.  

Awesome! So everyone has a big f*ck yeah moment in life tell me about yours?
A f*ck yeah moment. I remember having a huge f*ck yeah moment when we got added as a support band for The Descendents because I’m like a stupid fan, a big nerd about that band so let’s roll with that. That was the biggest f*ck yeah moment I can think of at this very moment. Getting to play with The Descendents that was very cool. 

Watch the official video for Clown’s I Wanna Feel Again here.

Yeah that definitely counts, that’s awesome! So where did the band name Clowns originate from? Obviously you don’t all dress up in scary clown costumes as the name would suggest. 
Well we don’t do that onstage but just in our personal time haha. No but like I said before Stevie and I were so young when we started the band I think that the name, I think he actually got the idea of the name from Ronald McDonald or something stupid like that. We just kind of thought Clowns was just sort of like a funny name for a bit of like a drongo, a bit of an idiot. Then maybe like a year down the track we were like oh hang on that name’s actually not so good, but then by that point we’d done too much to just turn it around. So here we are ten years later as grown adults called Clowns and we’re stuck with it. 

Haha I love that. I reckon it’s representative of your inner child too hey.
Yeah I mean I’ve just sort of come to realise that band names, I don’t think they’re important at all anymore. I just feel like as long as you have a band name, you stick with it and you just write the music that you’re destined to write then people see through it usually.

Yeah absolutely, so do you remember your debut show with clowns, the first show you ever played? 
I do, it was terrible haha. It was at a bar called the Grace Darling on Smith Street in Melbourne and there was my dad, my stepmother, my sister, and maybe like the members of the other bands, and I think that was it. Yeah it was hilarious, it was so silly. But you know everyone’s gotta start somewhere I guess. 

Yeah exactly right. So why did you get into music? Did you grow up with a love of music as a kid or where did the passion stem from? 
Yeah I mean I think I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. I think my dad was like a big listener, like a big Bowie fan and he used to play that War of the worlds soundtrack a lot and he like loved that so I got pretty obsessed with that kind of stuff, and then going into school like discovering rock music and stuff. I went to a school that was like pretty music orientated they had a really good music program and by the time I was in year twelve I just really didn’t give a shit about anything other than that. So I think like I was probably always destined to play music like this regardless of whether or not it would get any kind of success at all. So I guess yeah I think I landed where I was supposed to be.

Yeah it definitely sounds like it. Has the music you grew up listening to influenced what you play now as a band?
Yeah, like to a degree absolutely. I feel like you, when you’re a teenager you get really obsessed with like all these huge rock bands like KISS, AC/DC, Metallica and stuff like that, and then a little down the track you get into like kind of underground, more obscure things like kind of explore what is out there and stuff. But like there’s so many times that I just come back to, like when we’re writing a song, I literally just take it back to what is as simple as an AC/DC riff that is just so simple but so powerful at the same time. So I think we all still stick to our roots a lot in a lot of ways. 

Yeah absolutely. So what’s been your biggest hurdle in life and how have you overcome it?
I don’t know. Maybe convincing my parents that a rock ’n’ roll band was like a good career choice I guess. That’s one. 

That seems like a common answer among musicians these days doesn’t it. 
Yeah. But with that being said they’ve been super supportive. I truly don’t know what the biggest hurdle is. Probably doing interviews, I’m not very good at them 

Well you’re nailing this one. 
Ah, perfect.

So what’s the inspiration behind your latest release album Nature/ Nurture ? 
Nature/ Nurture is a record that’s kind of a concept record that plays on the theme of nature vs nurture and what makes somebody behave or act the way that they do. Is it the way that they are raised or is it a way that they are like born to be. I guess both sides of the record are like opposing themes so yeah we have like side Nature and side Nurture and like on a musical level they definitely sound different and have different themes and stuff so this was like a pretty creative record and something I guess that’s a bit different to every other record we’ve done in that regard.

Get to know Jake with Fan favourites in a minute: 
Food: Laksa
Ice-cream: Pistachio
CD vs Vinyl: Vinyl
Artist: The Descendents
Album: Milo Goes To College
Dream place to tour: South Africa
A Tattoo you’d like to get: a bird
Disney Film: The Lion King

Thankyou so much for chatting with me today Jake. I hope to catch your set at Download festival! Have a wonderful day.
Thankyou so much for your time. You too Thankyou.

You can catch Clowns performing at the 2020 Australian Download Festival dates:
Friday March 20, Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, Victoria
Saturday March 21, Parramatta Park, Sydney, New South Wales
Purchase tickets here

 

Everything Is Wonderful For Art Alexakis

words: Jade Kennedy

 

Last year was a somewhat selfish one for Art Alexakis – a fact he himself will happily admit. The Everclear front man released his debut solo record, Sun Songs, and toured it throughout the UK, Canada and USA. He announced the tour, which began in May 2019, in a somewhat odd fashion – by penning an open letter to fans disclosing his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis almost three years earlier.

“I hadn’t been hiding from it, but I was diagnosed in 2016 and it was about three years before I talked about it,” Alexakis said.

“I guess part of it was not wanting people to get the wrong idea about me if I’d walk weird or talk weird, that they’d think maybe I was drinking or on drugs again. I’ve been clean and sober for 30 years.

“But also, more than that, I don’t like ever being disingenuous. I wasn’t being honest. I don’t like that feeling of that elephant in the room, that’s not being 100 per cent honest with everybody in my life.

“Also I wanted to be able to connect with other people and tell the story of how you can have a disease like this and still not give up. I’m not trying to be a role model, you know, but I’m kind of tuned into that space because as a parent, you’re a role model every day – I’ve been a role model every day for the last 27 years of my life.”

Alexakis said the revelation had been motivating.

“Ever since then I’ve been so driven… I’m like a shark, you know, if I stop swimming I’m gonna die,” he laughed.

“But it’s been a big year of changes for me, and I’m feeling things and taking care of myself and doing a lot of self-care.”

His statement – which you can still read on the band’s web site here – quickly and unexpectedly went viral.

“I mean, I just went on our social media and put it out there and it went viral,” Alexakis said.

“I’ve heard from over a hundred thousand people now, and every correspondence has been overwhelmingly positive and filled with love and support.

“It’s pretty amazing. I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect the fans to be so full of support and a lot of people have been pretty sad about it, but for the most part it’s just amazing how supportive and upbeat and just positive people are. It makes me really proud of our fans and just, you know, people talk about how bad the world is, and there is bad things, but you know man, people overall are pretty wonderful. They really are.”

Chalking up three decades on the road – Alexakis did four Everclear tours just between his MS diagnosis and revealing it to the world – is enough to wear down anyone. But having a chronic illness is not going to steer this punk rock veteran off the road just yet.
“Well you know, (touring) is harder,” he said.

“Everything’s harder as you get older, and everything’s a little bit harder from the MS. It just is what it is. I try to give myself more time as far as back up between shows… it doesn’t always work out that way, so I’m still a lot of times doing four or five shows a week. I prefer to do three to four shows a week. But, you know, I have to eat right I have to sleep right… Back in the day I could go days without a lot of sleep or eating very well and it wouldn’t affect me. Now it does. It’s definitely not what it used to be.

“Back in the day it didn’t matter so much, as you get a little bit older, even in your 40s and 50s it’s not what it was 10 years ago, you know, even if you’re in good shape. I mean I’m in the best shape of my life right now. I’m eating well and working out and really taking care of myself. But I have to know when to recharge my batteries, to have enough energy… I want to be able to have as much energy and as much action at each and every show, and be able to sing and to have all of this stuff. And, if I don’t take care of myself I can’t do that.”

It’s safe to say Alexakis will be taking good care of himself when the band embarks on it’s longest-ever tour of Australia, taking in more than a dozen festival and headline shows around the country. He was excited about the prospect of what lay ahead after the 14-hour flight from California.

“We’re so excited to come back,” he said.

“I’ve never been there for as long as we’re going to be there – we’re going to be there for like three and a half weeks – and with that I think we’ve got 15 shows now? Something like that. And the Hotter Than Hell shows – I am so excited. There’s all these bands and it just harks back to our punk rock years, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The Hotter Than Hell tour will see Everclear perform with the likes of Cosmic Psychos, The Grates, Area-7, Frenzal Rhomb, Unwritten Law, The Superjesus and Motor Ace – a line-up reminiscent of 1990s/2000s Australian summer festivals like Livid, Big Day Out and Homebake.

I asked Alexakis about a story I vaguely recalled reading in a magazine in my high school days, which involved the band having a guitar stolen at a Big Day Out or similar festival.

“Oh yeah! It wasn’t Big Day Out, it was… Oh, what’s the name of that festival? It was outside of Melbourne…  And it was in ’98… It wasn’t my guitar though, it was our bass player’s bass that got stolen, and someone threw a pipe bomb on stage while we were playing,” he laughed.

“So… Wow, yeah, it was getting crazy. I’m trying to think now, what was the name of that festival? Oh, it might’ve been a little before your time. It was crazy!

“That was one of our weirdest tours, the band was going through some challenges at the time and, you know, it was what it was, but the shows were great.

“I remember also on that tour in Wollongong, we were playing a show inside a big, like, amphitheatre, and the lights were off and someone threw a boot and it hit my microphone and hit me in the mouth and broke my teeth (laughs) and I was like putting blood on the stage and had to leave for a minute, but went back and somehow finished the show (laughs). But you know, I tell you what, you guys are crazy – you guys are descended from criminals (laughs) so what do you expect? (Laughs) I love it!

“On this tour we get to go to Hobart in Tasmania, and those people are all really descended from criminals (laughs) we played there in ’98 and it was just insane… In-sane… I’ve never seen so many crazy people. And I think those crazy people are still there, because we’re almost sold out at that show… I’m pretty excited, it’s going to be a great show. It’s going to be a great tour. Playing the Hotter Than Hell stage is going to be just… Man, I can’t tell you how excited we are to come back and do this.”

Alexakis said although he had been to Australia 10 times or more – “which, for most Americans, that’s a lot,” – he had never heard of a lot of places on the Australian itinerary for this tour.

“I’m really stoked and excited that we’re going to be playing places that are kinda off the beaten track,” he said.

“I had to actually get a map out and, you know, ask Siri, ‘Where is this place?’

“If I have the time I’d love to go see Ayers Rock, I’ve never been there. And I’d love to go to Darwin, I’ve never been there. There’s a few places I haven’t seen before, but we have been there many, many, many times. Actually, more than ten times probably.”

Last time the band came to Australia was the 20th anniversary of So Much For The Afterglow tour in 2017 – this year marks the 20th anniversary of Songs From An American Movie Vol One: Learning How To Smile. Alexakis said fans could expect to see some tracks from that record if they were at the band’s headline shows.

“That wasn’t really that big of a record out there,” he said.

“I guess it would be for the fans, and you know what? For the headlining shows that we’re going to do, we’re going to go deep on that record… We’ll play the hits as well, but we’ll play Learning How To Smile and definitely Thrift Store Chair and maybe a couple other songs as well, because we know fans like to hear that.

“I think for the Hotter Than Hell shows it’s going to be old-school punk rock Everclear. And maybe a couple of new songs off Black Is The New Black because that’s a pretty guitar-heavy record as well. But yeah, I think it’s going to be pretty rock’n’roll, not a lot of pop songs on the Hotter Than Hell Tour, But, you know, we’ll play the hits – you’ve gotta play the hits.“

For someone that didn’t have the smoothest start to life – it has been well-documented that Alexakis was raised by a single mother as the youngest of five kids in a low socio-economic area of LA, and his life was touched by death, substance abuse and suicide at a very young age – Alexakis has overcome a lot to have a professionally and personally fulfilling life by anyone’s standards. Perhaps without even meaning to, he has been inspirational even before his MS diagnosis.

So what, then is he most grateful for? And what would he like his legacy to be?

“Hmm… That’s a good question,” he said, quietly.

“I’m most grateful for my family. I know that sounds like a stock answer but it’s really true. I’m really grateful for my family and my relationship with my wife and my daughter and with my friends; just the support group I have in this world.

“But at the same time I am extremely grateful that I’m a 57-year old guy with MS and I get play for a rock band. I get to sing, and play guitar in a rock band for a living, and I’ve been doing that for almost 30 years… And I’m going to do it for the rest of my life. I’m very grateful for that.

“As for my legacy? I hope I will leave a legacy of positivity. That my music was positive and constructive and helpful to people; and it seems like that’s what people tell me it is, so I hope I can leave a legacy of that in my life. Leave something behind that means something.”

Watch: Everclear – Santa Monica 

Everclear Australian Tour Dates

Thursday 30 January: The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
Friday 31 January: The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
Saturday 1 February: Hotter Than Hell, Adelaide SA
Sunday 2 February: Odeon Theatre, Hobart Tas
Thursday 6 February: Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne Vic
Friday 7 February: Pier Bandroom, Frankston Vic
Saturday 8 February: Hotter Than Hell, Melbourne Vic
Sunday 9 February: The Basement, Canberra ACT
Wednesday 12 February: The Helm, Mooloolaba QLD
Thursday 13 February: Parkwood Tavern, Gold Coast QLD
Friday 14 February: Racehorse Hotel, Ipswich QLD
Saturday 15 February: Hotter Than Hell, Townsville QLD
Thursday 20 February: Freo Social, Fremantle WA
Friday 21 February: Carine Tavern, Duncraig WA
Saturday 22 February: Hotter Than Hell, Dunsborough WA

PUTTING PACES THROUGH HIS PACES

words: Brittany Long

Recently I sat down to put Australian record producer and musician Mike Perry ,aka Paces through his paces with a Q and A. Covering everything from his newest release, hit track Vertigo with Yorke, to his dream collaborations, where his music journey all started and where he finds the inspiration for his music.

Mike Perry has an impressive discography under his belt having remixed for artists like Tkay Maidza, Kilter and Safia to name a few. Having also released his own music with his 2016 release of debut studio album Vacation getting lots of positive reviews. But it’s his newest track Vertigo feat. Sydney artist Yorke that has truly got us spinning!

So Congratulations on launching your new single Vertigo! Let’s start with the inspiration behind vertigo, specifically with the song itself; where did the name and the song come from? 
The lyrical side of the song came from Yorke, so that’s where the name came from too. It’s about falling for someone so hard that you feel like your world’s been turned upside down.

How did the collaboration with Yorke come about? 
Yorke and I both live in the Byron Bay region and we’d been trying to do a song together for a while but hadn’t found the right one. Then one day she sent me a rough vocal-only version of Vertigo and it really jumped out at me. I was so excited about it I wrote most of the music on a flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast. Next I met up with Yorke to record the final vocals and then spent a few weeks at home finishing everything off.

What sort of unique elements did Yorke bring to your song and your vision? 
Definitely the “ooOOH” in the chorus. It’s such a catchy hook. That part originated as a hiccup and she turned it into a song!

Tell me about the initial inspiration for Vertigo. Has the initial vision you had for your song remained throughout the writing process or has it changed/ been shaped?
Yeah it’s remained right on track actually. Sometimes a song will evolve wildly throughout the process but this one all came togetehr so fast, there was no time for it to drift!

Let’s go right back to the start. I always love hearing about the inspiration behind the journey for an artist. Can you tell me what that’s been like for you? Was your passion for music developed as a kid or?Yeah definitely. I used to play guitar as a kid. I was into playing pop-punk stuff like Blink 182. Now that I think of it, those pop-punk influences have probably informed a lot of my melodic choices. Then later I discovered hip hop, bought some turntables and learnt to scratch. That was my first step toward being a music producer really.

Tell me the inspiration behind your stage name ‘Paces’.
Long story short – the name that I wanted was taken, so I just spent a day going through words in an online dictionary until I found one that I liked the sound of, and that nobody was using.

Watch the official video for Vertigo ft. Yorke here:

What sort of music did you listen to growing up? Has the type of music you listened to influence what you yourself play now?
Yeah definitely. All the pop-punk and hip hop that I listened to as a kid has influenced the type of music I make now. When you strip it back it’s really just pop music with hip hop drums!

Which musicians inspire you?
Oh man so many. The biggest one at the moment would have to be Charli XCX. She’s constantly ahead of the curve and pushing things forward. Extremely inspiring in so many ways.

Was there a certain point you decided you could make your music a career?
Yeah I was Djing about 3 or 4 nights per week and working as a graphic artist. I wasn’t doing a great job of either because I was so tired all the time. When the day arrived that I could just survive off the music money I quit my day job and dedicated all my time into music. Best decision ever!

What’s the songwriting process like for you? Is it usually the lyrics or the music that comes first?
For me the music comes first. Then I’ll often do a songwriting session with a singer who’ll come up with most of the vocal side. I usually have some input there but it’s mostly about the other person at that stage. Then I take the two halves and spend some time tweaking them until I’ve found the best version of the song. Often that means changing the instrumental quite a lot and trying different versions until something makes you go “f**k yeah!!”

Alongside producing your own music you’ve also remixed for some of the greats like Tkay Maidza and Safia. What’s this like for you? 
Remixing is great fun! You’re usually working with an existing vocal rather than working from scratch, so half the battle is done and you can just get stuck into the musical side. It’s always fun to try and find the right balance between the original song and your own style.

How does your approach remixing for other artists influence writing your own music? 
It doesn’t really. More like the other way around. My musical habits just flow over into the remix subconsciously really.

Photos: Mitch Lowe Photo

Favourite/ most memorable remix that you’ve done and with whom?
My remix of LDRU – Keeping Score was one of my favourites because I ended up performing it on Like A Version with Guy Sebastian. I’m really thankful for that experience and it still seems to connect with so many people. 

How have things changed for you since the release of your debut studio album Vacation in 2016? 
I’ve learned more music theory and songwriting tricks. I’ve become a dad. My shows have grown in size. I feel like my music has evolved quite a lot since then, but essentially it’s still left-of-centre pop music. 

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with but haven’t yet?
Heaps! So many people! I’d love to collaborate with Terror Jr or Charli XCX.

Why do you believe people resonate with your music? 
I honestly don’t know because it varies from person to person. I hope it’s because it makes them feel good. That’s usually what I’m aiming for.

How would you describe your sound?
Pop with weird sounds.

Are there any measures you take to try and prevent creative inhibition? 
It’s good to put limitations on yourself. For example one day you might try writing a track without any drums. That sort of thing gets you thinking outside of the box and often what you come up with is really useful.

Whats next for Paces? Can fans expect a tour in the near future?  
Yeah for sure I have a bunch of shows coming up. I also have a bunch of new music lined up too!

What do you want an attendee to leave with from one your shows? Obviously you have quite a large production I believe. 
I just want people at my shows to feel like we’re all in it together for an hour. Not feeling self conscious, not worried about work or money etc. Just one big house party.

Top five items for your rider?
Fruit platter
Corn chips
Hummus
Protein balls
Framed photo of a happy dog

If you could play onstage or tour with anyone dead or alive who would you choose and why?
The XX. They’ve been a huge influence on me and I’ll love their music forever. 

If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing?
I guess I could always go back to being a graphic artist, but I think I’d also be happy being either a tattoo artist or a personal trainer.

An Achievement you’re most proud of?
Making a living in an extremely difficult industry, and being able to provide for my family while living a life in music.

Favourite activity to do in your free time? 
Surfing, running, going to the gym, even just listening to a podcast while I cook dinner.

Tell me something no one knows about you.
I’m left handed.

Get to know Paces with Fan favourites: 
Food: Mexican
Ice-cream: Vegan Magnums
Book: The Story Of The Streets – Mike Skinner
CD vs Vinyl: Vinyl of course!!
Artist: Charli XCX
Album: Pop2
Biggest inspiration: learning new things about music keeps me inspired.
Dream place to tour: I really want to tour America!
Best dance floor groove number: Childish Gambino – Redbone (4B remix)
A Tattoo you’d like to get: no ragrets
Quote to live by: if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got (or something along those lines)
Disney Film: The Incredibles 1 & 2

It’s in the Veins with Alex Carpi

 
words: Brittany Long

Pop-rock powerhouse Alex Carpi is back with new music to delight the senses.

The Melbourne singer-songwriter has just dropped her new single Veins and we wanna ‘feel it running through our veins.’ Girl’s very own Brittany Long caught up with her to get the inside on the new single, discuss where her musical journey first began and who she believes is the best up and coming artist of 2019!

Congratulations on launching your new single Veins! Let’s start with the inspiration behind veins, specifically with the song itself; where did the song title and the song lyrics come from? 
“The lyrics kind of came to me at random, I was driving (where I come up with a lot of my material) and the first line “I want to know where you are all the time/ Just to avoid you and know where to hide” came into my head. I was thinking about how sometimes you can hate someone, but still have this weird obsession. Which then turned into me writing the rest of the lyrics around a ‘love-hate relationship’ story. It reminded me a lot of high school in a way, like quite immature but also all-consuming, how everything at that age is heightened.”

Tell me about the initial inspiration for Veins. Has the initial vision you had for your song remained throughout the writing process or has it changed/ been shaped?
“It has been shaped as it’s come together. I didn’t sit down to write it with a specific vision in mind, it just happened and the way I felt about the lyrics shaped the rest. It was very angsty, moody, but also playful. I wanted to keep that vibe true through the rest of the process.” 

Let’s go right back to the start. I always love hearing about the inspiration behind the journey for an artist. Can you tell me what that’s been like for you? Was your passion for music and singing developed as a kid or?
“I’ve loved music since forever. I started piano lessons at 5, and followed through with it until the end of primary school. I used to sing ALL THE TIME, and was writing my own songs from a very young age, but I wasn’t very good at singing them. It was only in high school that I actually started training my voice and it matured. After a couple of years of voice lessons I loved it even more, and could sing my own songs well, and this lead to me wanting to do it more and more.”

If music has been a part of your life since you were a child tell me about your fondest or earliest memory of music? 
“I remember dancing around with my grandma from quite young, to old rock n roll music, Elvis, and then Cher and Reba McEntire. We would dance and sing all the time, and I remember the first albums I ever heard in the car with mum were Shania Twain’s Greatest Hits and Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill. It was a very good foundation for a small Alex.”

Photos courtesy of Brittany Long

What sort of music did you listen to growing up?
“Pretty much as above, that stuff was in the formative years, and then when I got a bit older it was mainstream, what was on the radio. I remember listening to the So Fresh albums in the car on my Walkman. They were the good ol’ days. By the time I was 13 I had discovered the alternative rock scene and got super into that, also getting into metal bands like Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine, Escape the Fate. Then I kind of plateaued as I grew up and now I just like everything.” 

Has the type of music you listened to influenced what you yourself play now?
“Definitely. I was surrounded by certain types of music from a very young age. You think you can put a 4 year old in front of Alanis and Cher every day and she’s not gonna start writing songs after a few years? I’m so glad I got to listen to all different types of music growing up, I think because I was so exposed to it, that’s why I started making it myself. 

Which musicians inspire you?
Pretty much all the ones I’ve mentioned. Cher, the OG, has had a 6-decade career. That’s incredible. I saw Alanis live recently and she absolutely killed it, she’s such a great songwriter. Also Fleetwood Mac, ABBA (both who made their best material after divorcing their band-mates), they’re just respectable. On the younger side of things, Taylor Swift inspires me from a songwriting point of view, you can’t deny she has an incredible talent. I’m also inspired by Brendon Urie (Panic! At The Disco) because of his voice and presence, I’ve been a fan of them for 11 years now.” 

What’s the songwriting process like for you? Is it usually the lyrics or the music that comes first?
“The lyrics definitely come first, then I sit down at my keyboard and track chords, and figure out exactly how I want it to sound.” 

Where do you find the inspiration for your music in general
“Just from things around me. Sometimes I’ll say a phrase and think “that would make a good lyric,” so I write it down and come back to it later. Sometimes it’s a feeling, or a feeling I remember from a long time ago. The city, and other people.” 


What’s the experience of being onstage like for you?
“I LOVE being on stage. It’s so much fun. I get a bit nervous, but I love being in front of people and sharing my music with the world. It’s such an adrenaline rush and I want to do it over and over again.” 

Who in your opinion is the Best up and coming artist of 2019? 
“This is a really hard question. I think Tones and I has had the best 2019 of any Australian artist – that’s undeniable. I’m not a massive fan per se’, but I can appreciate her talent, and her unique sound. Her second ever release has just hung out at #1 for months, breaking records. Pretty good for a 19-year old. She’s a very lucky artist.” 

How have things changed for you since the release of your first original ‘I Don’t Want To Love You Anymore?’ 
“I’m taking music a lot more seriously now. With IDWTLYA, I just released it as a bit of fun and I didn’t put heaps of work into the release. With Veins, I have pulled out all the stops and I will continue to do so with future music. I know that if I’m doing this I want to do it properly, and we put a lot of work into my songs so I want them to have the best life when they’re out in the world. I’m also now gigging more and I have a lot more connections within the industry.” 

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with in the future?
“So many people, and this is such a hard question because I never know whether to name people who are within my reach or just name like, Stevie Nicks. I would love to do some collabs in the future though, and I’m sure they’ll happen organically over time as I work with more people in the industry.” 

Why do you believe people resonate with your music? 
“I think I write about stuff that people can relate to. We’ve all had love/hate relationships, and been with people who we’re not sure if they’re good for us. My other songs talk about how women are portrayed in the media; how you feel when everything is up against you and you just want to be underwater; about connecting with someone new and getting that giddy feeling. I think they’re diverse songs and I think I can get my message across through lyrics.” 

How would you describe your sound?
“I think it’s pop/ rock, with nouveau grunge and funk influences throughout.” 

Are there any measures you take to try and prevent creative inhibition? 
“I don’t think so. I kind of just do music. I don’t try and put too much pressure on it. If I want to write a song and nothing’s coming to me, I’ll pretend I’m writing a song that already exists. It’s all about getting out of your own head.” 

Whats next for Alex Carpi? Can fans expect an album and a tour in the future?  
“No album plans as of yet, I’m trying to gig as much as possible over the next few months, and I think 2020 will be a big year for me… that’s all I’ll say.”

If you could play onstage or tour with anyone dead or alive who would you choose and why?
“Probably Brendon Urie or The 1975. I think our styles would vibe well and the energy at their shows is so crazy, I’d love to be a part of that (not just as an audience member).” 

If you had the opportunity to chat to your idol sidestage but could only ask them one question, what would you ask and who would it be? *not limited to music 
“I would ask Stevie Nicks how much coke they actually did in the 70’s. Like, they say it was a ridiculous amount, and she actually has a hole in her nose from it, I just think I need to put a number on that, because it’s unfathomable.” 

What else are you passionate about aside from music? 
“I love film and I film weddings and promotional material in my spare time. I love seeing movies, and I’m also passionate about good food but I’m not the best at cooking it.” 

Tell me about an achievement you’re most proud of?
“At the moment, probably releasing Veins and premiering it on Joy FM. I’m really proud of the track and of all the work I put in to make this release the best it could be, and I got to have my first On Air experience as well!” 

Favourite activity to do in your free time? 
“Singing or watching Netflix.” 

Tell me something no one knows about you
“Everyone knows everything about me. I’m such an open book it’s ridiculous. I should probably start keeping more things to myself if anything!”

Get to know Alex Carpi with Fan Favourites: 
Food: Tacos/Nachos 
Ice-cream: Vanilla
Movie: I honestly don’t know
Book: Sapiens 
CD vs Vinyl: Depends what record, but probably vinyl. 
Artist: Cher
Album: Revelator by the Tedeschi Trucks Band
Biggest inspiration: Probably also Cher 
Dream place to tour: America
Dream festival to play: Coachella 
Best dance floor groove number: Man I Feel Like A Woman, or Sandstorm
A Tattoo you’d like to get: None 
Quote to live by: I have two: “Never do anything you’d be ashamed of if everyone found out”, and “It is ignorant to deny talent when blinded by personal opinion”. Made them both up in high school and they’ve stayed with me. 
Disney Film: The Lion King (original)

Keep up to date with Alex Carpi here:

 

Ready to Marvel Complex with Montaigne


words: Brittany Long

Montaigne is back, better and more Complex than ever.

The Sydney singer-songwriter is getting ready to release the follow up to her five-time ARIA Award-winning top five debut, Glorious Heights, later this month. Girl’s Brittany Long caught up with her to discuss inspiration, touring, and why she is so passionate about crediting artists for their work.

Hi Jess, how are you?
Yeah I’m good.

So where do I find you today? 
I’m at home at the moment, I live in Sydney so I’ve just been rock climbing, and I’m just making some toast now.

Well Congratulations on the release of Ready, can I just say what a fantastic song that is! 
Thank you.

So can you tell me a bit about it? What’s the inspiration behind it?
Well when we first wrote the song, because we wrote it in a day, it was called 50 songs in five days. It’s this program that gets put on for artists and creatives to meet each other for the first time and work on, like finish a song in a day. So we were writing the song for an artist named Eliott who’s from Melbourne. We were just talking about how she’d just gone on international support tour and then came back home and felt like she was doing nothing with her life. We sort of discussed how absurd that was, that so many musicians come to feel that nothing they ever do is enough. Or, what is making progress when you’re doing this career. Like talking to her and listening to her sing I was like ‘you’re incredible, like you’re very good at what you do, and it’s amazing that you got that international support, like not everyone gets those’. I currently empathise with that, that feeling of not being satisfied with where you’re at, and also feeling like you deserve more. So we sort of started writing from that perspective, of like I feel like I deserve more than the opportunities that are being afforded to me right now, and I’m sort of ready to go get them! That was sort of initially the take home for it. But to me it’s kind of evolved into this activistic song, like an anthem for people trying to change the world to hear, to get them fired up to do what they need to do. I feel like that’s really important at the moment.

Yeah it definitely feels like that, it feels like that call to action to just get up and do something. I guess, it’s like you can change the world one song at a time. Music can be so powerful!
Yeah, definitely. 

So where do you typically find inspiration for your music?
My life, just things that happen to me, and things I feel. I usually write about myself or something that is familiar to me. In terms of style and the type of imagery I use, just wracking my brain; I read a lot of books, I listen to a lot of podcasts, I watch movies. You know, there’s always some sort of creative input that I suppose I sort of chew on and then at some point, decide ‘yes’ and then poop it out into a beautiful song haha. 

I think that right there is the perfect description of a creative isn’t it! I’m a photographer myself so I totally get where you’re coming from. 
Awesome! Yeah I take everything that I’ve ever experienced consciously and subconsciously that’s what becomes variety within expression. 

Yeah amazing! So can you tell me the idea behind calling your album ‘complex’, where did that name come from?
I think from the titular song. One of the first songs that got written is the titular song Complex, so I wrote that about Messiah complexes, that saviour complex I suppose is the broad term, it’s a more secular term. I wrote it about that and I was thinking about some people I knew who have complexes, and also what my complexes were, and also just the way that humans and the way they relate to each other is complex and just word every facet of the word that can exist in itself is a complex word, it’s polysemous it has multiple meanings. So I think from my perspective it was an apt title for the album, because a lot of the things I was tackling in the expression involved many contradictions, and the feeling of wanting a certain thing and seeing the path to it but also not being able to adhere to the path or to, just to be able to understand what your goal is but just to have no idea how to get to that goal, and just how bizarre that is. You know you can know things intellectually but not actually achieve them in like full body-soul and mind you know.  So I think Complex is a title that just summed everything up conveniently.

montaigne complex album cover

Yeah definitely. Like one word but yet you’ve put so much hidden meaning and feeling into it, it’s truly a remarkable piece of work.
Thank you.

So, you’re going on tour again in November, how are you feeling about that?
Good, I’m excited. I love being onstage, so always excited, I do also love home so that will be tough, but I’m keen.

So what can fans expect from your upcoming tour? Is there anything special? Obviously the new album of course.
I think that’s probably the biggest point of difference, I haven’t really thought about it. I’m not up to there. I’ve definitely got some ideas brewing. Like I’ve got ideas about costume and a new musician maybe as part of the touring crew. Also how to perform these songs because they’re so multi-layered, layered with instrumentation that I do not have the money to have live on stage haha. So yeah, I guess it’s mostly just challenges I’m going to have to navigate, which might not necessarily be apparent or obvious onstage but will definitely be part of all the moving parts behind it.

Yeah absolutely. So like I said I’m a photographer myself, I understand that you’re really passionate and vocal about artists crediting photographers, can you tell me what drives that?
Well I think it’s just, just. I think it’s just to photographers to give them credit, because  in this day and age with Instagram, and everyone having a phone and a device that takes photographs, there is less and less and less money in photography, and that is also an artform that we need, and that is important. We all know the way that economy and business works and you can’t continue to maintain business if there is no money coming through. One of the ways to maintain business is to do marketing, and again photographers don’t have many options for marketing except to just try and get their photos out there as much as possible so as many people can see them. If a musician uses someone’s photo, for free, usually, reposts them and doesn’t credit them, that is a total disservice to an adjacent economy to music and art, and to the people who actually are helping in that regard. Whose service or product they’re actually using. I think crediting your photographer just allows people, for that photographer to become very easily visible in a way that otherwise they would not be. It’s not necessarily 1000 people calling them up for work. But if like a f**king huge popstar like Halsey or Ed Sheeran or whoever puts a photo up and then credits a photographer, like I can only imagine the level of traffic to that person’s page or website or Instagram account or whatever. There’s gotta be a few people in there who wanna throw their money at that and that’s like important and it’s that flow on effect that determines people’s livelihood. So that’s why I think it’s really important. 

Well us photographers appreciate artists like you so much Jess. I’m actually a photographer in a wheelchair, so things are often a bit more difficult for me. A lot of the photo pits are teeny tiny so I shoot from the barrier platforms, I lie on the floor, I do anything for my shots. 
Amazing. 

Honestly the way I say it to people, like you said it’s an economy, and half the time we’re not getting paid. I myself don’t get paid. But like it’s literally an @ symbol and tagging someone’s username but it makes a massive difference. That exposure when you’re working for free has the potential to lead you to a new client even.  
Yeah absolutely, agreed. 

So let’s go big. If you had the chance to tour with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Arcade Fire or David Byrne, or Björk, I think they’re my three. 

If you were chatting to them side stage what’s something that you’d ask them?
I don’t really know, I haven’t really thought about that. I’ve never thought about what I’d ask them. Like if it was just like that one question. 

Yeah if you could only ask one single thing. 
I feel like I’d just want to hang with them and just get a feel for them. I don’t feel like I have a burning desire to know about any one thing about these people. I think if you wind back a year or two ago I definitely would have. I think I would have asked something along the lines of would you consider yourself as introverted or extroverted or how much space between the two, and is it difficult for you to get onstage or do you thrive or is there an in between there. I’d be interested to know about their confidence levels about what they do, and if previously they’ve had difficulties with confidence and if that has changed and what happened to make that happen, like that whole trajectory of, I guess their belief in themself, I’d be interested in that. But I don’t know that I’m so curious anymore about that with these people. Because I’ve kind of done a lot of my research and my reading on that kind of thing and, I’ve also found myself in this place where I am myself self-confident and can see what the trajectory has been and that is kind of enough for me now. But a couple years ago I definitely think I maybe would’ve asked that. 

Wow! So now it’s time for what I’m calling fan faves in a minute. I’m just going to fire them at you. Ready. Favourite; 
Ice-cream: Chocolate
Movie: Swiss Army Man
Artist: David Byrne
Biggest inspiration: I actually don’t know the answer, probably David Byrne again
Dream place to tour: I’d love to do the whole of Europe thing one day, I think that would be fun
Disney Film: My immediate response, the first thing that comes to mind is Tangled, so let’s go with Tangled. 

Amazing! Well I’d like to really thank you Jess for taking the time out to speak to me today.
No, thank you. 

I’ve had the chance to listen to your entire album and I may have only played it like five times in the past two days, I love it. 
Awesome!

I wish you all the very best and can’t wait to hopefully come see and shoot one of your shows one day.  
Thankyou. Hell yeah!

Watch: Montaigne – Ready

 

Tickets to Montaigne’s upcoming Complex Tour can be purchased here.

COMPLEX AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
Friday November 1 The Beery, Terrigal N.S.W
Thursday November 7 The Gov, Adelaide S.A.
Friday November 8 Badlands, Perth, W.A.
Saturday November 9 Mojo’s, North Perth, W.A.
Thursday November 14 Solbar, Maroocyhdore, Q.L.D
Friday November 15 The Zoo, Fortitude Valley, Q.L.D
Saturday November 16 The Northern, Byron Bay, N.S.W
Thursday November 21 Tap House, Bendigo, VIC
Friday November 22 Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC
Saturday November 23 The Croxton, Thornbury, VIC
Thursday November 28 UC Hub, Canberra, A.C.T
Friday November 29 The Metro, Sydney, N.S.W
Saturday November 30 UOW UniBar, Gwynneville, Wollongong, N.S.W







River Sessions – Regional Festival Ramps Up

With River Sessions festival just days away, Girl figured it was time to chat to Festival Director Michael Delaney, who kindly took some time away from last-minute prep to chat to us about the event.

The festival, which this year features acts like Amy Shark, The Rubens, Illy, LDRU, Middle Kids and Skegss, has been running for a number of years. Delaney has only recently joined the team, he is just as excited for this year’s event as the rest of us.
“Everything is coming together great,” he said.
“We are extremely lucky to have some amazing stakeholders working with us in Mackay. We’re less than a week out now from festival kick-off and the site is going to be looking great, the weather is meant to be lovely, so we’re feeling confident.”

This year’s event has been moved to Mackay Harbour, which takes it further out of the city to previous years.
“We chose the new location in J.M. Mulherin Park because it’s beach side and a great park, but also because the original park is under construction this year,” Delaney said.

The change of venue also allows for a bigger crowd – organisers are expecting 5,000 people to attend this year’s festival, which is up from last year by well over a thousand.
“Over 1500 tickets were sold from the Brisbane area this year, too, which is huge,” Delaney said.
“This year we’re featuring 15 hand picked local food vendors with gourmet foods, as well as some amusement rides and arts and craft stalls.
“There’s plenty to do and see besides the awesome music.”

Delaney said there were definite challenges to hosting an event in a regional area like Mackay, although the original motivation for hosting the event in Mackay still stands.
“We are locals ourselves and we want to give the locals something they can call their own, whilst bringing people to Mackay from out of town,” he said.
“Organising regional festivals takes a lot more work than in metropolitan areas, being that the market is a lot smaller, and it can sometimes take people some travel to attend.
“But it’s a testament to what a great festival River Sessions is that not only locals enjoy the event, but plenty of people make the trip from Brisbane too.”

Delaney said a considerable amount of effort was put into choosing the acts to perform each year, although even with the best planning there were still plenty of surprises.
“Each year we do extensive market research on who is bringing out new content and who our audience are loving at the moment, to make sure we can bring festival-goers a line up to remember, every time,” he said.
“There has never been a time when the event has always gone as planned,” he added.
“There are always curveballs thrown our way, and we have to deal with them the best we can. That’s what makes organising an event like River Sessions so exciting.”

One such curveball was an economic one, which forced the event to shut down for a couple of years. Organisers have made an effort to keep tickets affordable upon their return, though.
“We always like to keep the local community in mind when planning the festival, as in the end it really is for them,” Delaney said.
“Due to the mining downturn the festival was no longer sustainable for the region. However, the break allowed us to come back bigger and better than ever, which has been a huge bonus.
“To make sure the tickets are affordable for everyone to come and enjoy the music, and fall within festival-goers’ expectations, we keep an eye on the market, as well as receiving assistance from tourism departments in Mackay and (wider) Queensland.”

At the end of the day, the regional weather is also a drawcard for out of town festival-goers in June.
“The winter weather in North Queensland is just perfect for a festival,” Delaney said.
“With no bad weather – not a cloud in the sky – and still above 22 degrees.”

There are still limited tickets to this Saturday’s River Sessions. Head to riversessions.com.au for all the info.

Watch: Illy – ‘Then What’ (Audio)

No Rest For Nollsie

Australian Idol alum Shannon Noll is one of few reality show contestants still releasing new music and slogging it out on Australian stages week in, week out. Although his career hasn’t been without controversy, Noll is still a laid back family man and all-round good bloke. Jade Kennedy caught up with him this week as he took a break from quality time with his new baby, Colton, to chat about life, reality, and make light of some of his more questionable on stage moments.

 How are you Shannon? How’s life?
“Flat out at the moment, actually. Just flat out touring, we’ve had a couple of really big weeks last week and this week so lots of travel and yeah, probably the biggest couple of weeks of the whole tour. Juggling time at home with the family, travel and getting clothes washed from last week so I can go again this week (laughs) so it’s all happening.”

Looking forward to heading to North Queensland this weekend?
“Yeah, definitely! The last couple of weekends it’s been a bit cool so it’ll be nice to get up there to some warmer temperatures. I haven’t been up to Cairns for a while, and it’s always fun up that way, there’s always great crowds and I get really good support up there, so hopefully it’ll be similar this time.”

I did notice this tour you’ve been running a competition to have a beer with you, have you met any interesting characters?
“Yeah, it’s been really good. We’ve met a few people, obviously the competition winners, and it’s always a little bit of fun to catch up with people like that and take a few photos and have a quick beer then head back to have a shower and come back to get ready for the show. It has been interesting, I’ve met a couple of characters along the way, but it’s a lot of fun in saying that as well.”

Well everyone has their pub fact – the thing you pull out at the pub that makes everyone Google on their phone these days to see if it’s true – what’s yours?
“Oh man, I can’t think of anything (laughs) I was just telling my brother something just yesterday and I can’t even think now what it was! (Laughs) That’s lack of sleep for you, now that we’ve got the little bloke; he wakes us up a bit at night so I’m a bit delirious most days! (Laughs)”

How is the new bub going?
“He’s fantastic. He’s absolutely such a beautiful little soul. He just gives you cuddles and smiles all day so yeah, he’s got such a great little personality on him and he gives us no trouble whatsoever, you know. He only ever cries when he’s hungry ’cause he doesn’t mind a feed (laughs) and just wakes us up a little bit at night, but that’s the only thing, other than that he’s absolutely perfect. We’ve been out of practice for a while, my wife and I, (laughs) but it’s just like riding a bike I s’pose (laughs) you pick it up pretty quick again. We’re really enjoying him and the older kids are absolutely smitten with him too. We’re very, very lucky and everyone’s in love with him.”

https---s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com-vms-tv-images-prod-2019-02-200512-190211_tdx_ShannonNoll
Noll with new son, Colton. (Pic: 9now.com.au)

Your oldest would be old enough to vote by now, wouldn’t he?
“Yeah, we just had his 18thbirthday party at home the other night so I’ve got one starting festivals and the other starting solids (laughs). It’s a little bit of a contrast, you know? (Laughs)”

So realistically you’re old enough to be a grandad!
“Well that’s how I look at it really, because I’m sort of so much more in the moment, you know? Just absorbing every bit. I think that’s sort of the mentality that grandparents have, because obviously when you’re young and you have your kids you’re focused on providing and putting food on the table and all that sort of thing. I think when you’re grandparents you’re a bit slower, you sort of absorb every moment and take it all in because you know how fast it can go, you know? I think we’re sort of at that stage where the kids are sort of 18 and 16 and that, so we’re sort of going, wow, I remember when they were little boys, and how time flies and all that sort of stuff (laughs). So I think with this little fella we’re just absorbing it and taking it all in so we don’t miss a moment. So I’m always pretty quick to after touring, you know, because I’m in a rush to get back and see the little bloke, so it’s always great.”

Well it must be a lot easier now, with touring mostly happening on the weekends so you do get time between to go hang out with the family, as opposed to 10 or 15 years ago when you’d be on the road for weeks at a time.
“That’s right mate, for sure. That’s the best part about it. It’s mainly two or three or four days over the weekend now, so at least you’re coming back at some stage through the week, which is a lot better than, like you said, six weeks out on the road.”

So I think the last time we spoke you were promoting Southern Sun, and you’ve released the album now but I guess the question is – why did it take you seven years between records?
“It was really surprising that, because time flies so much you know, and I think in this day and age you tour so much more – you nearly tour 12 months of the year now. Whereas earlier in the piece you’d tour for six months and then you’d have six months to sort of write and record and release your new material. But not only that, I changed through two different record labels, and management changed a couple of times too I think, so all of those things just put you back. Plus you have new people coming in, A&R people from different record labels with different opinions, and obviously that sort of puts the whole project back when all those things happen. So I just sort of ended up going, oh, it’s about that time, and by the time we all actually agreed it was about that long. I’m not going to let that happen again, I’m really conscious to try and make sure we get in and get some new material written; I’ve written a handful of new songs already for the next album coming up. Hopefully as soon as this tour slows down a little bit we’ll kick into high gear and get some more writing done.”

Yeah, I did see a post on your socials a little while ago where you mentioned writing some new lyrics. How do you find the time though when you’re on the road so much?
“It is difficult, you know, and obviously with the family and that too, when you get home there’s a lot of stuff that my wife has to deal with by herself when I’m away and it’s really hard for her to cover all of that, you know, so it is difficult to try and find some time and then obviously have some family time as well once you do get home from being away. It’s just a thing you’ve got to learn to balance, you know, it’s no different to anyone else, they’ve got to balance different parts of their life so they can make it all work and juggle it all. But I guess you just do your best and try to carve as much time as you can out for getting back in the studio.”

Your music career has long outlasted the show that started it…
“It has I s’pose hey – I’ve actually never thought of that! (Laughs)”

… What were your expectations when you first auditioned for Idol?
“Oh, you know… Obviously we’d lost the farm and I was just working as a farm hand at different random properties, so I think the biggest thing was just trying to get some exposure to some degree, whether it be something in musicals or anything like that – just somewhere I could use what I was lucky enough to have singing-wise to benefit and provide for my family, I suppose. So that was the main objective; just to try and get a foot in the door somewhere, no matter where it was, singing. That was the whole agenda for sure at the start.”

Well I mean it worked…
“Yeah (laughs) that’s right! I was very lucky, you know. Then to still been doing it 16, 17 years down the track. I’m really very, very lucky; lucky I’ve got a wonderful family and fans that have stood by me through thick and thin, and continue to support me.”

Do you think that going the reality show route gave you a good foundation in music?
“In all honesty given the fact that we were the first season made it pretty tough, you know? Guy and I weren’t accepted in any way by the mainstream music industry very much, like they had us performing at the ARIAs and that but it’s not until recently that Guy’s actually been winning a few ARIAs and he probably deserved to be winning them right from the start I s’pose, but it took a bit of time for the industry to accept Idol as a new way of finding singers or artists, you know what I mean? It was a bit of a learning curve for everyone I think. We sort of got thrown into the deep end right from the start considering we were the first series. But in saying that too, that’s also probably the reason why we’re still around – there was that affection and affinity with the first series because we all sort of took a journey together, and none of us really knew where it was going to go (laughs) or what was going to happen. That excitement and that honesty I think is part of the reason why we’re still here, you know, with the good there was some bad too but at the end of the day it’s all equalled out and I wouldn’t change a thing. It was an amazing journey and an amazing process to be involved in.”

Do you see Guy (Sebastian) around much at all? Do you two keep in contact?
“We haven’t caught up for a while, because he’s always got something on or he’s overseas a fair bit too, and I’m away a heap just recently, so when I get home I wanna stay home and catch up with family and the new little bloke and that sort of thing, so it’s always a little bit difficult in that sense. But we mainly catch up at the events of whatever kind, music events and stuff we’re both attending. So we normally catch up at them and have a quick catch up then don’t see each other for a number of months. (Laughs) It’s always good to see him but, Guy and I will always remain close mates, we always have.”

We all know you’ve had some things thrown at you on stage…
“(Laughs) Yeah, that’s right hey, just a couple.”

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve had land up there?
“Oh you know (laughs) there’s been everything from I s’pose bras and underpants to 50 cent pieces! (Laughs) My first show in Capella up there, something kept flashing right beside my eye line, I didn’t know what it was, but at the end of the show we found a couple of 50 cent pieces that had been thrown from someone in the crowd (laughs) and they’d been just reflecting off the lights. So that was the first $1.50 I made! (Laughs) But you know, you get underpants, socks, hats, Australian flags, cans and bottles (laughs) anything you sort of want to conjure up has been hurled towards the stage at some point (laughs) over the years.”

Oh, when you said ‘flashing’ I wasn’t quite sure where you were heading with that story…
“Oh yeah, there’s been plenty of that, too! (Laughs) Very funny, very funny stuff.”

Well look, I’ll let you go so you can hang out with the family some more but just for fun – misheard lyrics. Now, ‘Old Town Road’ is obviously hugely popular at the moment and I have to admit the first time I heard it on the radio I thought it said, “I’m gonna take my horse to the hotel room, I’m gonna ride til I can’t no more,” and obviously wondered if that was some kind of euphemism or something.
“(Laughs) Oh no, that’s a terrible one! (Laughs)”

What’s the best misheard lyric you’ve heard recently?
“Oh well a good one… my brother and his family were just here staying for the last week or so at our place, and his three-year old daughter told us a good one. She was saying, “Three times and a three-legged goat,” for Cheap Wine. (Laughs) (Sings) “Three times and a three-legged goat.” (Laughs) That was a serious song to her, I think she heard it for the first time in the car and oh, I got a chuckle out of that one. Not “Cheap wine and a three-day growth,” a three-legged goat got in there somehow. (Laughs)”

Have you heard any good ones for your songs?
“Oh not really… I mean there have been a few of them but nothing really… Oh, I guess one of continues to sing a wrong lyric, it’s “a pile of mistakes,” and for years he’s been singing, “a file of mistakes,” (laughs) I keep going to correct him but we get a bit of a laugh out of it every time he sings file so we just let him go. (Laughs) It’s a bit of an in-joke that one, but it’s pretty funny though.”

Watch: Shannon Noll – Who I Am: 

Shannon Noll North Queensland dates:

Wednesday 12 June: Rockhampton Show
Thursday 13 June: Edge Hill Tavern, Cairns
Friday 14 June: Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville
Saturday 15 June: Magnum’s, Airlie Beach

Limited tickets still available – contact the venues or visit Shannon’s web site for info.