I listened to your song There’s a Line, the other day; it’s got quite a different sound to some of your previous tunes, and particularly your most recent EP The Beginning and the End of Everything. Can you tell me what’s influenced this sound as compared to your other tunes? Has it been produced or created differently to the other ones?
"Yeah, it was actually; it was just a kind of process of experimentation. I have a studio at home and I was just spending everyday down there mucking around with different things. I came across a sound on an app on my iPad, just mucking around with a synth-y swirly loop and started singing over the top of it. Initially I thought that I would I would transpose the whole thing across to guitar, which is what I’ve done in the past. I really liked the synth sound, and it sounded interesting and kind of fresh, so I stuck with it. From there I built the track up around that, which was kind of different to what I’ve done in the past.
I’ve definitely heard the more ‘electronica’ sound, rather than the more purely acoustic as previous ones. With your new album, But for all the Shrinking Hearts, did you write it all in one go, or bits and pieces everywhere? And what was your inspiration behind it?
"I just write, you know? Writing is how I process things in my life and what I’m going through. So there was no point where I sort of sat down and was like “I need to write a record”. It was literally a process of clearing the deck and just write. When I was on tour, if I came up with a little idea I’d do a little demo on my phone and then get home and refine those ideas. It takes about a year or so to realise that you do have a collections of songs that sit with each other. And then it took another year before I had a set of songs that I was really pleased with, and then it was time to hit go."
When you write those songs from ideas you get along the way, do you test them out with your crowds at your shows?
"To be honest, I haven’t. it’s kind of hard because I have four albums, a mini album and an EP and I want to play songs that people want to hear. People, if they’re going to pay for a ticket, I want to play the songs they want to hear. So I haven’t done that in the past. Also, when I’m on tour, I’m only just getting used to the songs I’m playing, I’d probably stuff up new songs that I’m writing if I were to play them."
I understand you’re doing a “fans first” approach to this album, is it any different to the way you’ve released your previous tunes. And if so, what’s the benefit of doing it this way, as compared to just a blanket approach?
"For me the “fans first” is the way I’ve done the last 3 albums. It’s a really great way to reactivate the core fan base, because there’s lots of music in the world and lots of people doing lots of things, and it’s not just musicians that are taking up people’s Facebook feeds. It’s a way for me to, before we do anything else (radio, film clips, etc.), to just say to the people who have always supported me “I’m doing another album” and I really want to give them something first, including a show. It’s just really a way to acknowledge their support and acknowledge that, without their core support, I really don’t have a job. And to say thanks before I get into the world of playing the bigger shows, to get back to my beginnings and play some shows for the people who supported me."
Off the back of that, I would assume it would be the same way, but particularly for you because you do pay a special attention to the connection you have with your fans, do you think that they’ve played one of the biggest parts in where you are as an artist, and in your success and some of the awesome tours and artists you’ve got to collaborate with. Would you say your fans are the biggest part of that or, how did you get to where you are?
"Well, it’s a good question. If you take away everything else, the only true barometer of your success or longevity is your connection with your core fans. And I feel extremely fortunate to have a really amazingly supportive core fan base. And more than that, to have been told that my songs have become part of a lot of peoples lives. Loads of people come up and show me tattoos of lyrics from my songs, or they’ve had my songs played at their weddings and the birth of their children, and funerals of family members and stuff like that. That kind of connection, I think is a massive part of why I'm still doing what I'm doing. You can’t also discount the work. I’ve had labels supporting me, and an amazing team of managers and booking agents working with me over the years. We all work together as a team to sort of strategize how to have a long-lasting career, because I would like to be doing this when I’m sixty- to be releasing songs to people who actually care. The fans are the absolute truest barometer, without them I don’t have a job, but I also have a pretty amazing team, I’ve gotta say."
On your upcoming tour, what’s your favourite venue, or what are you looking forward to most about playing where you’re playing?
"Well, I haven’t actually been to – well I’ve played at BlackBear lodge in QLD before- but I haven’t actually been to any of the other ones apart from the Grace Emily’s in Adelaide, so I’m excited about all of them because I haven’t been there before."