Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brave Radar, Sydney/Montreal/Halifax

Current band rollcall?
Conor Prendergast, Tessa Smith, Gabriel Ng.

Brave Radar has been around since...
Conor: Let's say '06.

Let's play Six Degrees of Brave Radar. What are some interesting musical links you could come up with?
Conor: The drummer from the Easybeats, we used to use his cymbals apparently in my high school band.

First song ever written?
Conor: When I was 11 or 12, I wrote the first song I can remember, heavily inspired by Nirvana's Something in the way.
Tessa: The first one I can remember is a song called Winter that I wrote to the tune of a traditional Canadian canoeing song. It was for my first band, Julia and the Executors, at age 8. The first song I wrote with instruments was Something, the first track on Brave Radar's first album together, Distracting Strangers.

Music making for you began when...
Tessa: My dad taught me blues standards on the piano.
Conor: The first instrument I loved was the drums, I made a drumkit out of cardboard boxes in my living room.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
Conor: Me and my old roommate had a room full of blown up red helium balloons, we popped them in a frenzy and recorded it. It's at the end of a song Teton Ocean. Sounds like popcorn.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
Conor: Probably at South by Southwest at a clothing store. It was just really awkward - "who are these people? why are we here again?"

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?)
Conor: Heaps of slogans: you can win; be the future; always strive; beat your destiny.
Tessa: For our new EP Ultramarine, we pinned up life-sized portraits of our parents with speech bubbles saying things like, "Is this really what you're doing with your life?" and "Didn't I love you enough?". You have to push yourself to create art.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
Conor: Probably work. Work is good for lyrics and names and things.
Tessa: I listen to a lot of pop from every era, but modern pop is maybe an unexpected influence. Some of the taboo cheesy stuff is definitely in my blood.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics?
Tessa: I tend to write from the experience of feelings. That's totally fresh, right? haha... Conor wrote a few songs from the point of view of different animals.
Conor: Probably not the most unconventional but i'm happy with the lyrics to They mean no harm. It's about bluebottles.

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer...
Conor: That's hard, I dont think any of them would work... Tessa?
Tessa: Yours are too abstract! Um, maybe the lyrics to Lava and Magma, though they're not really advice. They're about making the decision to be with somebody, trusting that the hidden part of them is there. I like that.

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
Conor: Hmm. I've got a bad memory for lyrics... Brenden Orange has great lyrics... Tessa?
Tessa: I'm sort of averse to the idea of musicians as mass therapists... I would hate to think of singing as some kind of therapy session for the world. That's really depressing. It's worse in certain genres ...

Good lyrics snap me back to feeling things strongly, without saying like, "it's time to feel again, gurl". And that's useful, though it's very personal. Yeah, Brenden Orange and the guys that he listens to, Mount Eerie... I like Julie Doiron for sure.

Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
Conor: Not really, I thought it might be the case. I think I'm more affected by music I'm listening to or movies or art.
Tessa: Only in the sense that I met Conor here in Montreal... We're imports anyway, like most people around us. On the East Coast, where I'm from originally, music is a given – everybody plays something. So choosing to "be a musician" is a serious endeavour; you take up this character and are perceived a certain way. Maybe that's true everywhere, or maybe it's just my weird paranoia. But I feel like living in Montreal – where rent is cheap and multitaskers abound – we're allowed to have a few different projects without any conflicts.

You would love to record with...
Tessa: A recording engineer. It might be good for us.
Conor: Maybe a five piece session rock band, me and Tessa could write the songs and sing but not play anything.
Tessa: Oh man, that'd be great. Like a Brill building kinda thing.

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with...
Conor: We did a small tour with Dirty Beaches, Alex is one of the good ones.

Outside of Brave Radar, you spend your time...
Conor: Working in a kitchen, drawing...
Tessa: We run a label called Fixture Records. I also have a part-time job and I'm trying to finish my degree.

Next for you is...
Conor: A new album is right around the corner, then we're hoping to tour the states, and come to Australia in the new year.
Tessa: We've started writing stuff for a double EP that's one disc only drums, and one disc just bass. That's really fun.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called...
Conor: Car-hole popular jangle.

Five things you currently love

Conor: The Ohsees, Ariel Pink and Scott Walker. They're all so good I've been stuck on them all recently. They're winning.

In Print?
Conor: Comics by Yuichi Yokoyama.
Tessa: I love Duke Magazine, Worn Fashion Journal, The Believer, and lots of blogs.

Conor: A great record store and comic shop are both just around the corner. When I have any money, which is rare, there are no better places to spend it.

Conor: Posters by local artists Seripop, Leila Majeri and Tyler Rauman are always great and inspiring.

Conor: Keen for Sukiyaki Western Django and Appaloosa and the Good, Bad and Weird one. Westerns!

Brave Radar write songs that swivel between sundazed pop and eclectic, shambolic charm. Tracks like Something and However have an instant brightening effect, like a million screen pixels lighting up around you. They've just released a new EP, Ultramarine, and you can catch up on their news on their MySpace.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Shiver Like Timber, Tamworth

Current band roll call?
Just me and my guitar.

Shiver Like Timber has been around since...
2005, I think, officially. That's when I played my first show in a friend's lounge room in Brisbane.

Let's play Six Degrees of Shiver Like Timber...
Hummmmm. I'm not really sure if I am linked to anybody in particular! Most of the time it is just me freewheelin' on my own.

First song ever written?
Wander/Tumble was the first.

Music-making for you began when...
In high school, I taught myself to play guitar and spent my lunchtimes figuring out Cranberries songs.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
In the background of one of my first demos you can hear the fishtank

Strangest gig you've ever played?
Maybe the show I played with Japanther at Urtext in Adelaide because of the interesting mix of bands playing on the night and also the fact that I had just driven overnight from Melbourne and was feeling somewhat delirious.

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?)
I usually make up songs in my bedroom, where I do have pictures on the walls, yes. Mostly drawings and photos by me and my friends, Polaroid photos and yellowed pictures from 1960s National Geographics. My attic bedroom at my parents' house still has all the posters that I put up when I was 14, posters of horses and teenage dreams.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
I think my music is influenced by everything I've ever come across, from train trips to crumpets, giraffe spots to trumpets.

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer...
On E.T. & Me: "Don't pull that broken-hearted face, because you know there is always outer space."

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
All of Animal Collective's lyrics are useful because they make me very happy.

Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
Yes, of course. I grew up in the countryside, in a big open space between Tamworth and Gunnedah and I think you can hear this in my songs.

You would love to record with... Tony Dupe... Soon hopefully.

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with...
Playing a show with Beirut was pretty exciting.

Outside of Shiver Like Timber, you spend your time...
Riding my bicycle, drawing pictures of monsters and people, cooking dinner for friends, thinking about moving to Iceland.

Next for you is...
Travel and shows around Europe. More recordings.
New songs.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called...

Five things you currently love

Valet and Atlas Sound.

In Print?
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov... I am thinking about travelling to Russia sometime soon... This book is pure madness set in Moscow.

The streets of East London... where I am spending my time these days.

I keep looking at people's tattoos... Maybe it's time for me to get one... I've never paid such notice of them until now.

Old Joy... Such big spaces of greenery and nice music!

Shiver Like Timber, ie Betony Dircks, writes feverish and fragile songs. The raw acoustic strums break away like twigs and her voice catches and burns like a tender flicker that's either about to flame out or start raging intensely. Her song, ET & Me, pretty much breaks my heart into uncollectable pieces everytime I hear it. You can keep up with all her songs and news here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clubfeet, Melbourne

Current band rollcall?
Cohen plays guitars and sings, Cooper plays synthesizers and sings, Roberts plays bass and sings, and Nichol plays drums and sings. We use the term “sing” loosely, but If you had hair like Nichol you wouldn’t worry about how your voice sounded. We sometimes have guests who are good at human beatbox, giggling and who have access to boisterous children. This is the only boy band we’re in. We all play each others' instruments when someone leaves the room.

Clubfeet have been around since...
We met on an online dating forum in late 2007. Cohen said he liked saying “Maseltov” and then Roberts wrote to him and said “Maseltov”. It seemed more beautiful then than it does now.

Let's play Six Degrees of Clubfeet...
This sounds like the Kevin Bacon game. Our goal when we started Clubfeet was to be connectable to kevin bacon in six steps. um, we havent 'worked' with any heavyweights, but we have drunk with a few. We had a shandy with Steve Lillywhite (producer of U2's The Joshua Tree) at the Columbia hotel in London (He said the best thing about his label was, well, him. Then he giggled manically. True story) We downed many rounds of free vodka Red Bull at the Annex in NY with Victor Van Vugt, and hung out with the band Elefant and the crown prince of Monaco in a hotel bar playing Rodriguez covers on an acoustic guitar (until they said “play us one of your own songs” and then we were all like, “we can’t” and they were, like, then give us back our guitar. Also a true story) Oh and a friend Lauren McLean is the lead singer of a made-up band called Pool Party and she did some beatboxing on our song Die Yuppie Scum. Our dream is to work with Bob Rock...

First song ever written?
The Time in Paris Is...

Music making for you began when...
Cohen and Roberts played their own high school dance.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
We recorded seven minutes of silence at Martin Luther King Jnr's grave and we try to slip it into every track we do. Some trainspotters have picked it up.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
We have never played a gig because no one ever asks us. We'd like to though, we can do good Rodriguez covers.

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?)
We have a giant Helmut Newton nude on one wall – which Robert’s Melbourne housemate keeps taking down when she has guests. Also a picture of Samuel Beckett and a portrait of Elvis called Cut Me and I Bleed on the other which we stole from the good Samaritan bin next door to our Melbourne house.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics...
Breaking down on a Ducatis – although actually that’s probably pretty common

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer...
"I never asked you for a miracle, I just wanted someone to help me get by."
Or, "Feels like I’m here, holding your hand, but you’re at the bar buying a round".
Both from Brightlightsbigcity.

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
There’s a Beach Boys song called Busy Doing Nothing where Brian Wilson explains a memory trick on how to remember a phone number. It’s a pretty shitty trick.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
We all hate e-bow. Unless they want to sponsor us - in which case we all love e-bow. Whichever.

Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
We spend about half our year in Biarritz in France and half in Melbourne. They are both fun - it's easier to get a suntan in France.

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with...
Beirut said he was going to sing on a track but then he got sick when he was in town so instead we gave him whisky and a pep talk... You’ve got to keep some kids on the straight and narrow.

Outside of Clubfeet, you spend your time...
We are learning to play racquet ball. If anyone knows a good physio, we'd appreciate a hookup.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called...
Instructional pop songs.

Five things you currently love
Ossa bucco, buying other artists’ platinum record plaques for our wall, Wardlow Art Residence, doing remixes for much better bands than us, and white anchovies.

Enya, House of Love, Sting, Underworld, Tears for Fears.

In Print?
Lonely Planet: Monaco
Get the Edge
, Anthony Robbins
The Stain Removal Guide
100 ways to eat a Truffle
Guinness Book of Records 1987

Someone told us about an old man in Perth who has a disease that means he can't stop walking - so he just walks up and down the highway, like, ALWAYS. But we haven't met him so I don't want to talk about him here.

Paisley Wallpaper, yellow neckties, Guy Bourdin.

90210 Box-set.

Clubfeet play fast and loose with the truth and slow and wistful with their brand of danceable synth-pop. They do an incredibly awesome cover of Say Something by the 90s band James, complete with whistles and some giggly field recording at the end. Apparently "94 per cent" of the answers here are true, including the bit about Steve Lillywhite saying "well... ME rather!" and there being Helmut Newton nudes on their walls. Clubfeet don't really play racquetball but they recently did a track for the MTV Europe Awards and have a new album out soon. Follow their hijinks on Clubfeet's MySpace page.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sui Zhen, Sydney

Current band rollcall?
Becky Freeman - lead vocals, acoustic guitar and percussion.
(Also doing time writing an album with Jamie Lloyd for a project called Little Hat.)

Sui Zhen has been around since....
2003, when I performed my first solo show at Bar Broadway.

Let's play Six Degrees of Sui Zhen....
Darren Hanlon emailed me last year and I played a couple of shows with him, including one in his backyard where a jingles producer was eagerly watching. Not sure if it has helped with 'Sui Zhen' but it has helped my income a lot!

My ex-band member and brother Dan was in a rock band that was produced in LA by Limp Bizkit's DJ Lethal....
Getting to support bands like The Brunettes, CocoRosie, Kimya Dawson has definitely opened the ears of new fans and has helped get my CD out into the world.

I have worked with some of the guys on the electronic music label, Future Classic and have sung on a tracks for Jamie Lloyd, Trickski and Zwicker.

And last but not least, ... I have sung for the devil, I mean, an Unmentionable-Brand-That-Will-Likely-Sue-If-Referred-To-Slightly-Negatively.

First song ever written?
I distinctly remember hiding in my brother's room when my sister and all her 15 year old friends were downstairs. We got out the four track and old Yamaha keyboard and recorded a song about how scared we were of these noisy girls who did not have any alcohol but were naturally hyper and high and hysterical and scaring us into isolation... We made several songs on this subject matter - much to my sister's disgust and offence when the tape was discovered.

The first serious and complete song I wrote and performed was called It's Okay and I recently deleted a bedroom recording of it from the net, I fear it is still out there. It was about, surprise surprise, my first love and consequential first break up. Yay.

Music making for you began when....
Early music making began for me in my teens. Mostly at night, usually quite late, often after a day of solitude.

In my later teens, I would meet up with Jamie and we would make some nice electronic down-tempo stuff. Which has now developed into Little Hat! He was a big influence early on for new and interesting music, often electronic or with some experimental element.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
On my EP we used the sound of X's hands rubbing together, the sounds were soft but crunchy because X had incredibly dry and peeling skin due to dermatitis so it was a great rhythmic sound. That was on Big and Small.

Also on Big and Small there's the sound of me turning the pages to this Russian War time trilogy I was reading at the time and wanted it to be a part of the recording.

We also used gongs, bells, thumb pianos, marimba, vibraphone and all that kind of stuff which was pretty.

I did strike a match for the beginning of Full of You and we looped a section of the crackling flame sound which continues mixed low throughout the entire track.

And there is this massive crescendo at the beginning of Heat which is the sound of piano strings being played in a run, with a screw, reversed.

There's nothing else incredibly experimental because the songs didn't call for it. But I do try to make every sound I use in my music unusual, otherwise it just sounds like everything else!

I think my new project, Little Hat takes on Jamie's philosophy (which is shared by pioneer electronic producer Matthew Herbert), of using lots of found sounds - which I like because they are original and often have a lot of character.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
I have played two fairly odd shows in the 12 months.

One was recently at the Sydney Opera House, for Pierre Huyghe's art installation, Forest of Lines. I had to walk through the forest singing the same song on repeat for a couple of hours at a time, on two different days.

I did a late session and was often approached by drunk people or people offering compliments and I felt so rude because I had to ignore them as to not ruin the artist's intended aesthetic. Also I think the fake fog and my lack of glasses was making my vision skewed. Singing the same song for so long and so loud felt almost psychotic, like I was demanding attention whilst simultaneously being completely ignorant. Overall, it was a interesting experiment which I quite enjoyed.

The other strange gig was when I performed for the Adelaide Fringe Festival Poster Launch.

They had created this fake art gallery scenario in this massive warehouse, I was perched on a huge cube platform on a bicycle seat that rotated. I was covered in a three-metre-high and two-metre-wide recreation of the paper dress I wore on my EP cover. On top of this, I sung two songs with my guitar whilst revolving. There was ambient lighting and I had one of those Madonna headset mics. It was quite angelic and euphoric.

When it was over, I was wheeled on this cube to the corner of the room. Another performance was to begin to take the attention off me so I could discreetly undress and make a exit. Instead people kept watching and the stagehand accidentally ripped the paper dress in two, revealing an awkward me, scampering for cover in nude undergarments. People thought it was part of the performance.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
I often transcribe dialogue from reality TV shows or commercials and, out of context, it can take on a whole new meaning.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics....
Mister Sakamoto, my guinea pig, and her deep inner struggle with gender identity and how she ran away to become a legend.

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer....
My lyrics don't really any wise advice, best I could think of was: "we are all made to procreate so, get, get, get used to it..."

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
I can't remember a specific lyric, but Melbourne band The Brutals have some pretty entertainly stories to tell and I remembering nodding my head many times during their recent Sydney shows!

Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
Definitely. I haven't been writing so much for the Sui Zhen album lately, but the songs I have written whilst living in my little old shop in Redfern have been directly inspired by the space.

Little Hat also reflects living in inner city amongst the pretty and not-so-pretty parts of life, which we all experience but might not often sing about.

You would love to record with....
Arthur Russell, if he were still around. Matthew Herbert, and some old blues musicians, an orchestra, animals in Africa, for a Bollywood film....

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with....
I love performing with my brother, we started out playing shows together and it would turn into a stand up comic act.

My band is awesome to perform with.

And currently Jamie and I have been producing Little Hat together which is lots of fun, I hardly leave the house!

Outside of Sui Zhen, you spend your time....
Working to support this terrible music habit of mine and working on Little Hat with Jamie and select guests.

I also draw pictures and knit, and make felt people and objects.

Next for you is....
Completing Little Hat debut album and taking on the world!

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called...
For Sui Zhen, I think folk-tronic was the best description - or 'nu-folk' simple and true!

Five things you currently love

Micachu aka Mica Levi. She is from London is ridiculously young, completely experimental and her debut album was produced by Matthew Herbert. It is the wonkiest pop I have heard for a long time.

In Print?
This worm book of my brother's from childhood, it has all sorts of pictures of cartoon worms with various predicaments eg. a worm suffering delusions of being a pencil. I love it and it has inspired a comic I am currently working on.

The top of Prince Alfred Park, opposite George Street in Redfern (where I currently reside). I take Mister there for sun, grass and potential excitement. George Street is also a current favourite, I live in the weirdest block, which scares and intrigues me equally. It's part Eastern Block, part ghetto...

I am very much excited by contemporary visual art at the moment, but Chinatown's Morning Glory has been visually exciting me most lately! The keyrings and bizarre characters they have for cheap-cheap-cheap never ceases to astound me!

This entire week I have been horror/thriller obsessed! I love film and studied it at Uni, so for a long time was scarred with a constant habit of over analysing. Misery and Rosemary's Baby are two stand-outs from this week. I also loved The Dark Knight.

Sui Zhen writes songs that have the unrushed energy of slow-rising smoke. Each acoustic strum and lyric sparks all the emotional temperature of a high fever. It's a dangerous combination when she's wearing a paper origami dress, like on her self-titled EP! Keep close to the crackle of Sui Zhen news by looking up her website here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Small Hours, Sydney

Current band rollcall? (Members and instruments/other bands they're in?)
Mark Smithers - vocals and guitar.
Harrison Lillis - bass and vocals.
Peter Watts - keyboards and wails.
Craig Lyons - drums (and blog-question-answerer).
Craig and Mark occasionally play drums and bass respectively in Sydney's infamous Quarteracre.

The Small Hours have been around since....
Roughly the end of 2005. But our current lineup was finalised at the beginning of last year.

Let's play Six Degrees of The Small Hours...
Our first ever gig was at our school disco supporting Dappled Cities, and we've played a number of shows with them since. Jake Stone from Bluejuice has always listened to our crappy demos and provided tons of help to us. The guys from John Columbus. Pete Kelly from Decoder Ring. Al Grigg from Red Riders was the first guy to give one of our demos to FBI 94.5FM, so he deserves a big pat on the back for that. And Stephen Malkmus, because he exists.

And as far as a weird musical link, when I was in New York, one night I found myself jamming with Shannon Noll. It was in my friend's East Village apartment, and he played a cover of Silverchair's Shade and then I played bongos and tambourine for a new song he was working on. I played him some of our demos, he said they were nice even though I'm guessing he didn't really know what to think.

First song ever written?
A track called Expecting What's Coming Next From You which floated around the Internet as Track 1 Demo for a while. We still listen to it occasionally, for a laugh. But we haven't played it in years.

Music making for you began when....
We got bored of playing other people's songs. Sometime between the ages of 14 and 15, I'd say. The moment Mark learnt how to play a bar chord was also pretty pivotal. Also when we bought our synthesizer. We realised you could make awesome sounds that didn't come from a guitar.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
In a version of our high school song that we recorded for a triple j competition in year 11, some mobile phone interference got in the middle of the song. We couldn't be bothered re-recording it, so we credited Mark with Mobile Phone Solo and sent it off.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
It's a toss up between supporting Dappled Cities at our school disco, and our first gig in sydney, which was when we were 17 and it was in the Hibernian House in Surry Hills. For a bunch of kids playing their first show in Sydney, that was something of an initiation.

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs?
In our living room in Petersham where we rehearse, we have a giant Life Aquatic poster, and channel Bill Murray's energy into everything we make.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
The poetic genius and all-round nice guy that is Will Smith.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics...
Inefficient night-fillers at Wattle Grove Coles supermarket.

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer...
I probably wouldn't offer much. We're not a band to preach anything really. But if I was pressed to choose one line, it'd be "It's OK, I wasn't expecting you anyway," from Overlays & Underlays.

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
Probably the entirety of Suzanne by Leonard Cohen. But in particular, "And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind, and you know she will trust you, cause you've touched her perfect body, with your mind".

Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
Definitely - growing up in the suburbs, where not much happens, and having not much to do, and working shitty jobs when we were kids to save enough money to buy new guitar strings or an effects pedal. None of us are particularly well off and don't come from backgrounds with exorbitant amounts of money, and a lot of things we had to improvise, gear-wise. I think that comes through pretty strongly in our music. Also the current music situation in Sydney affects how we approach our music. We're not positioning ourselves as directly opposed to anything, but more saying "Hey, you don't have to wear fluoro and put trashy photos on Facebook to have a good time", if you know what I mean.

You would love to record with....
Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine or Stephen Malkmus, or if we had enough money, Brian Eno. But we don't have that much money.

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with...
Recording our last batch of songs at Albert Studios with Wayne Connolly was pretty awesome. He's an amazing producer, and he got exactly the sound we wanted.

Outside of The Small Hours, the band members spend their time...
Harrison's life consists of working in a cafe in Bowral, driving there from the city at 6am and never sleeping.
Mark is a sound guy and can regularly be found at the Hopetoun Hotel or a similar haunt. He's also really good at sleeping.
Peter makes websites and is a master of Super Smash Bros.
And I study history, scan groceries in a supermarket and am currently trying to finish Grand Theft Auto 4. We can also often be seen drinking on our balcony and playing guitars in the house that three of us live in.

Next for you is....
Harrison's going overseas for six months, so we're writing and demoing, then when we gets back the plan is to record our debut album.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called...
Guitar-synth indie dream-pop shoegazer bubblegum rock. Or alternatively, they can file it under "S," for The Small Hours.

Five things you currently love

A band from New York called The Subjects, and their album With the Ease, Grace, Precision and Cleverness of Human Beings. Really awesome, rough-around-the edges indie rock. I'm trying to get them to tour here.

In Print?
Right now I'm ploughing through a lot of Bukowski. And Douglas Coupland. I think I'm gonna quit my job and become a postman.

Palace Pantry, Petersham. Purveyors of fine coffee, Thai, sausage rolls, overpriced groceries, bread, milk, and fresh cat food. Because it's the closest place for us to get food, and it means we don't have to walk to Coles.

The new guitar rack I made for our Guitar Hero guitars in our living room. I made it by banging some nails into the wall. Then I realised that the plaster walls probably weren't designed for holding Guitar Hero guitars, but I persisted. Four days and they seem to be holding up nicely. I'm still clinging to hope.

I've been watching a lot of Woody Allen films, especially his early ones where there's a lot of slapstick and bad one-liners. It's pretty funny, even though they're really bad historical send-ups, Woody Allen is still wearing his glasses, and still has his Brooklyn Jew accent. Like he's eternal or something.

When I first heard The Small Hours, their jangly strums and melodic twists left this instant brain-lodging effect on me, triggering one of those "who ARE this band?" moments. Like that line in the first song FBi ever played of theirs - "these teeth are so lovely, I'll remember you" - there's something sweetly original and hard-to-shake about their music. Like Jordy Lane, they're another Sydney act I am always keyed up about. Keep by their website to hear what they're doing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Jordy Lane, Sydney

Current band rollcall?
Me, and Kaity Fox on keys and vocals. But I'm looking for a drummer and a second guitarist contact me!

Jordy Lane has been around (musically) since...
2002 - that's when I started working on my own music. I started playing in a little indie-rock band called D'arcy before that though and did a few other bits and pieces.

First song ever written?
Under my name, it was probably some wanky untitled ambient electronica track that I've since lost.

Music making for you began...
When my mum made me learn the piano when I was about six years old.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
A field recording of Japanese students and horny bogans on a train coming back from Wollongong. If you listen closely to a track called Have Some Patience - Life Is Long you can hear a bogan yell out "I am a lesbian trapped in a man's body" to a girl on the station.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
Probably Rock N Roll Circus - crazy warehouse party that I didn't really belong on the bill to. But it was still fun watching 600 people try to cram into a 200 capacity room.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
The computer voice on iMacs.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics?
How useless my songs are.

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer...
"Don't lose faith, just look at what you have, a beautiful brain, so use it all you can."

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
"Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die, but instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realise that life goes fast it's hard to make the good things last, you realize the sun doesn't go down, it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round."

Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
Of course.

You would love to record with...
Nigel Godrich/Steve Albini - although I'd probably been incredibly intimidated by both of them.

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with...
Sarah Kelly.

Outside of making music, you spend your time....
Recording other bands, watching Arrested Development, drinking at the Courthouse, reading.

Next for you is....
Recording one more song and then releasing an album by the end of the year.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called....
Noise pop. Well, it's not quite that yet, but maybe someday.

Five things you currently love

Animal Collective.

In Print?
The Death Of Forever by Darryl Reanney- mind-blowing scientific-based book about why it's irrational to fear death.

Campos coffee - expensive but hits the spot.

Van Gogh - I got to see Starry Night in person a few months ago. Beautiful.

Team America - "It's not about sex, it's about trust."

Stunning indie pop with an electronic heartbeat is what you can expect from Jordy Lane. Each song is sprinkled with thoughtful words and wistful voltages and sparks. I'm very excited that his debut album, Here We Go Down, The Black Hole will be out soon. Head to his website to keep up-to-date with everything he is doing.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Firekites, Newcastle/Sydney

Current band rollcall? (Members and instruments/other bands that they are in?)
Tim McPhee (vox, acoustic guitar, keys, bass/The Instant), Jason Tampake (violin, bass/Charge Group/Josh Pyke), Rod Smith (acoustic guitar, vox, keys, bass, blog interview-answerer), Jane Tyrrell (special guest vox/The Herd and the Urthboy show) and Ben Howe (drums, percussion).

Firekites have been around since...
We began life as a two piece acoustic outfit in March 2005 but gradually grew into the current format.

Let's play Six Degrees of Firekites. Who have you collaborated with?
Andy Howe, Richard Pike and Matt Blackman among others.

First song ever written?
Finding Home.

Music making for you began when...
I found my sister’s acoustic guitar in the hall cupboard in 1989.

Most unusual sound/instrument you’ve used in your music?
Recording remnants of a broken wine glass for the track History. There have been many broken wine glasses! Ha!

Strangest gig you’ve ever played?
We once played a pub in two-piece acoustic mode and got heckled by bar flies with calls like,"You boys must have big hearts!" Classic.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
Brownies with rosemary.
Seeds and scotch finger biscuits.

Most unconventional topic you’ve covered in your lyrics...
Sleeping in your best clothes and courtroom juries judging old clothes.

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer...
If you’ve got something to say, then stroll out in the park.

Most useful lyrics you’ve heard in a song?
Should I take that risk or just smile?

Do you think where you live in affects your music in any way?
Yep, as does all your experiences in that place.

You would love to record with...
Nigel Godrich or Jim O’Rourke.

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with...
Simon Connolly doing sound for our Northcote Social Club album launch. Great times!

Outside of Firekites, the band members are involved in...
Busy times...
Janey with Herd haps...
Tim with abacus duties...
Roddy holding down the law...
Benny chefing and chopping wood on the Kites' kit...
Jason with chargies, building an empire in World of Warcraft and otherwise slaying gents on the poker table.

Next for you is...
Some great supports, film clip, the Great Escape festival and a headline tour.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called...

Five things you currently love

Keyboards through guitar pedals, because the possibilities are endless.

In Print?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, because of Frost at Midnight.

Feast cafe in Bull street (Cooks hill), because of the relaxed vibe and smiles.

Art deco, because it's quirky but classic.

I haven't seen a movie in a very long time...

Firekites write beautiful, sleepy-eyed songs softly brushed with electro-folk touches. If I was going to apply one of those over-the-top musical equations to describe it, I'd say it's like Psapp meeting Sea and Cake in an empty school playground at sundown. You can find out more about their music and shows on their MySpace.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cleptoclectics, Sydney

Current band rollcall?
So far, Cleptoclectics has been a solo project, just me (Tom Smith), some synths, various keyboards, a microphone, two computers, an MPC1000, a saxophone, some home-cooked software, and lots of records.

Cleptoclectics has been around since....
I've been around for about 24 years, but I thought of the name four or five years ago, and it never went away. Even though I still find telling people embarrassing... "Cleptowhat?"

Let's play Six Degrees of Cleptoclectics - are there any note-worthy musicians you've worked with?
I'm fairly solitary as far as musicians go. There was talk of me doing a remix for The Paper Scissors at one point, which seems unlikely.

First song ever written?
I used to churn out beat tapes as a kid, on cassettes I stole from hi fi shops. But it's hard to say at what point the sketches I've been been tinkering with for years turned into songs, I'm still not sure they have.

Music making for you began when...
First song I can remember is Buffalo Soldier, I was wearing a nappy at the time. I grew up thinking music wasn't something people actually 'did'. At the school I went to, you were showered with praise for getting an accounting scholarship, not for making tunes. But I think when I was about 17 or 18 I realised there are paths open to people who want to make music in their own way, even if they're fairly protracted.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
My grandmother recently handed down her koto to me, which I've been playing lots lately, it's that twangy plucked string instrument you hear in Kabuki, and generally associate with Nippon stereotypes. I once made a tune out of black swan calls, if you put them through an amp they distort nicely.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
I played a party once which had a peacock theme and you weren't allowed to wear shoes, everyone was on drugs, not that strange I suppose, but it's one of the most memorable for some reason. The first legitimate 'gig' I ever played, I followed a 12 piece improv band who had stage props and stupid theatrics, I then climbed on stage by myself and bunted away at my sampler, to the bemusement of the 10 punters in attendance, also not that strange really. I've been turfed out of a couple of illegal type gigs before I even got to setup, which is just annoying.

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?)
I've got a poster of Antonioni's Blow Up, some King Kong posters, a collection of West African and Sepic ceremonial masks, a Bridget Riley print, a replica Sun Ra hat which - when you put it on - gives the effect of a solar system orbiting your head, I wear it whilst channeling the cosmos. I have a thing for kitsch sleeve designs too.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
Sometimes people struggle to believe that I actually like some of the crappy exotica records I buy.

When you're working with electronic music, is it easier or harder to get across a message or mood when you can't use lyrics?
Obviously if I wanted to write a polemical song about an issue, it would be hard to do without words, so it's lucky I'm not really interested in saying things consciously with my music. I find music with too much intention tiresome. As far as mood goes, maybe lyrics can obscure as much as create it, they can lock an experience down by making it 'about' something, obliterating the possibility of people formulating their own response. I'm interested in phenomenology, and by extension, people's unique responses to sound, which can become less important in lyric music because it's spelled out for people.

It's a good question, kind of leads to other questions though; like what is musical communication? Music is sort of impotent in lots of ways, that's probably what leads some people to approach music like an intellectual game, rather than a vehicle for emotions. I'm not quite at that stage, but I'm not really into 'message' music either.

Do you think the country/city/town you live in affects your music in any way?
In all sorts of ways. The relationship between music and geography is really interesting I think. I find Sydney isolates people a little, I've found it easier so far to get gigs in other cities. I've played almost as much in Melbourne, without really trying, even though I hardly knew anyone down there when I started. So my music isn't made with much consideration for my immediate context, which is I think something that a lot of music from Sydney has in common, a kind of spatial dislocation, which paradoxically comes from the city perhaps.

You would love to record with...
Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with...
The most challenging performance I've ever done was at TINA last year: a bunch of friends, calling themselves DKDC, loosely connected to this site - - asked me to score their performance live. It was a kind of absurdist theatre performance and I was pretty far out of my comfort zone, which made me feel embarrassed, but then thrilled and satisfied. Flying Lotus and Touch Typist were the two best support slots I've done.

Outside of Cleptoclectics, you spend your time....
Working in a gallery/artist agency, teaching at the College of Fine Arts, taking up space.

Next for you is...
Limited edition 3" release coming out through this label sometime in the not too distant future, just working on music generally.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called...

Tonally Considered Rhythm Scapes
Variable Drone Beats
Swinging Interval Meditations
Syncopated Granulation Edits
Brick Wall of Sound Constructions

Five things you currently love

Musically? Alice Coltrane - it's next level amazing shit.
In Print? George E Lewis' various writings, Roland Barthes' A Lovers' Discourse
Locally? Pigeonground - right near my house, perfect thing to do on a lazy Sunday. Consolador de Dos Caras - crazy music, loud, awesome.
Satellite cafe - do yourself a favour and get a veggie breakfast.
Visually? Edward R Tufte's Envisioning Information - sort of information design 101.
Cinematically? Blade Runner - doom, gloom, synths and sax.

Cleptoclectics' electronic tinkering is as wistful, spaced-out and strangely beautiful as a constellation. His latest album is Poignancy Beats. When Jonathon Valenzuela and I used to do semi-neighbouring timeslots on FBI, we would fight over who would get to play Cleptoclectics. You can slink over to his MySpace to hear some tunes and check out Cleptoclectics' verbal stylings on his blog.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Catcall, Sydney

Current band rollcall? (Members and instruments/roles?)
I'm Catherine Kelleher, the vocalist and songwriter. I collaborate mainly with Crumbs, who is Melbourne-based producer Max Kohane. I've also recently collaborated with Sydney producer Mailer Daemon.
Live, I perform my set with Sleater Brockman and have recently acquired a male back up dancer, "Jack Ass".

Catcall has been around since... January 2007.

Let's play Six Degrees of Catcall - who are some note-worthy musicians you've worked with?
Kiosk (for three years, I played in this punk band).
The Crayon Fields/Sly Hats (my EP was recorded by Geoff O'Connor).
Agents of Abbhorence (my producer plays in this grind band).
Sleater Brockman/Ro Sham Bo (DJs and friends).
Mailer Daemon and Peach (we recently collaborated).

First song ever written? Bodies was the first song I put on my MySpace. It was a downbeat, slow jam with a sparse organ and bassline. I wrote the beat myself, and the vocal was quite soft and breathy.

Music-making for you began when... I first had piano lessons at the age of five. But really it started when I met Jack and Angie and started playing in Kiosk when I was 17, at the end of 2003. We kept pretty busy until mid 2006 when we toured the USA. And then from early 2007, I was drawn towards making pop.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music? Probably my harmonica.

Strangest gig you've ever played? More bad ones than strange ones, haha. Me and Sleater got heckled at an Annandale show once. By Mogans (Modular-bogans).

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?) Not really!!! I mainly just listen to the same kinda tracks that are inspiring me at the moment. Right now, it's Neneh Cherry and The Go-Go's.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music? Party pix photographers.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics... Baking!

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer... Not the best person to give love advice, hahaha!!

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song? "I don't want the world, I only want what I deserve" - The Gossip.

Do you think where you live in affects your music in any way? Yes. Sydney has made me who I am. I think Catcall is definitely a product of the scene which surrounds DJs and performers like Ro Sham Bo and Hoops.

You would love to record with.... Bangladeshi, Switch, Sinden

Favourite person you have performed with/recorded with... THE GOSSIP.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called... Hip pop.

Outside of Catcall, you also... work in film, most recently in independent film distribution. Film is my other great passion, especially arthouse, independent cinema.

Next for you is... Writing my album with Crumbs and collaborating with several other amazing Australian producers. Then touring the country and then the USA with Sleater Brockman.

Five things you currently love

Musically? Kid Cudi, hip hop perfection.
In Print? Lexicon Devil. The bio of Darby Crash and The Germs, my favourite punk band. Really intense life story.
Locally? Cafe Zoe, my actual local!
Visually? Photographs by Sophie Calle, the French artist.
Cinematically? City Of God/The Constant Gardener by Fernando Meirelles. Intense stories told in an incredible way.

Catcall's beat-spiked, ultra-feisty, and slick-yet-DIY-spirited hip hop is sharply and sassily-showcased on her recent EP Anniversary. You can find out more about it, plus details about her gigs and blog by clicking on her home page.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Motifs, Melbourne

Current band rollcall? (Members and instruments?)
The Motifs live band is...
Chris - keyboard, glockenspiel, hand claps and singing
May - keyboard, glockenspiel, hand claps and singing
Neil - drums, percussion, random instruments and singing
Alexis - guitar, singing
(The others swap instruments a lot, so the gaps between songs can be longer than the actual songs.)

The Motifs have been around since....
The Motifs have been around since I (Alexis) started recording songs at home, a few years ago. We played live for the first time in our friend's kitchen in Sydney, as a one-off show with a four-song set. Last year we started playing live shows more often with a more permanent band.

First song ever written?
When my sister and I were little and got bored on car trips, we made up songs. I don't know if they count, but there probably wasn't much difference in my songwriting then and my songwriting now.

Music making for you began when....
Other than singing in the car, I also had a toy glockenspiel when I was little, and I spent a lot of time pretending I could play the piano to my friends. I guess I still do that...

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music? In my really old songs, I recorded lots of different sounds - chickens, mortars and pestles, rain on the roof, ice cream vans, mathematical equations, ranting on the train, squeaking gates... though fortunately none of these songs were released to the public.

Strangest gig you've ever played? On the back seat of a bus at a music festival in Japan. It was a mobile live venue called 'Mobium' and they had turned all the seats around to face the back and made the middle doorway into a bar and mixing desk. It's good having those hanging handle things to hang on to if you're standing and watching a band - I wish normal venues had those.

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?) With recording or songwriting I'm just thinking about the music, not really what I'm looking at. In fact, I think it's probably easier for me to be imaginative if I have nothing visual to distract me, so maybe a blank wall is best. Maybe if there was a picture of something right in front of me, I'd manage to make all the songs somehow about that thing. Could be good for a theme album though.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music? TV theme songs? Some of them are so good- I especially like Postman Pat, Noddy... Wait, that's not surprising at all, is it? I don't think any of my musical influences are unlikely. I like lots of kinds of pop music, especially songs with lots of ideas and not much repetition.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics... Probably most of my lyrics are about somewhat unconventional subjects. I think it's easier to write about things which haven't been written about heaps before (for example, hilarious knitwear) because you don't encounter so many clich├ęs. Or if you do, they are kind of funny, given the subject matter.

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer... "Stay away from that trapdoor." Sorry, that's not really my song. How cool was that show though?

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song? We learnt this song in primary school called Minestrone which was basically the recipe for minestrone in Italian. So you gained multiple skills from singing it.

You would love to record with... A nice microphone. And an SK-1. And every type of Casiotone ever.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called... Knit-core

Next for you is.... More recording, more records. We aren't playing live for a while because Chris is going overseas. But the rest of us will be cluttering up venues in other bands I'm sure.

Five things you currently love

Rouge No Dengon by Yumi Arai.

In Print?
Educational Origami Activity Instruction Book

A tie between Sydney Road and Northcote Shopping Plaza (for the bargain shops and general ambience).

My 'Animals of the World' camera-Viewer' and 'Dazzling with Glamour' light-up glasses, both from Sydney Road.

Anything on VHS.

The Motifs write cute and wistful synth-acoustico-pop songs about everything from umlauts to pine cones. Most songs sneak in under the two minute mark, meaning you could time the making of ramen to go with a track of theirs and have a nice steaming bowl of noodles by the time the song's done. You can check out news of their upcoming vinyl record, Cross Paths, and their latest adventures here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Faux Pas, Melbourne

Music making for you began when... My friends and I started a grunge band in high school. None of us knew how to play our instruments so we just figured it out as we went along. I guess I learnt to trust my gut instincts first and think about musicality and structure later. I used to record all these cassette tapes at home, just with a microphone plugged into a cassette deck, recording loops of guitar chords over the top of each other, just keeping records of chord progressions and fragments of ideas and melodies, so I think there was a lot of trial and error. There are hours and hours of tapes. Then I started recording things on to the computer, and then samples, and then synthesisers, and eventually I got to what I do now.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music? One of the tracks from my first album, Entropy Begins At Home is built around the muted guitar strums from the starts of about 4 or 5 songs from the album, Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins. I remember being in my sister's bedroom, flicking through that CD trying to find the one song I liked - Turn a Square, for the record - and realising that almost every song starts with a muted acoustic guitar strum! So I turned it into a song. Thanks Shins.

You're a musician and a visual artist. What came first? Does one hijack your interest more than the other or do they kind of work together like a two-part harmony?
I'm really not a visual artist so I'd say that being a musician comes first. I design my own artwork, website, T-shirts, not because of any aspirations as a visual artist but simply because it's frustrating trying to find someone else with the time and interest to come up with visual accompaniments to my music. It's something I can do, so I do it, it's pretty much been my attitude with everything I've done so far. I do enjoy it though.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
Haven't played a gig. People tend to find that pretty strange, for some reason.

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs? (Or put up other things in the studio for the same effect?)
Ahh no, but I do think about doing it... ? I'm in a rental so I get paranoid about sticking things to the walls. I have an action figure of Beverly Crusher sitting here in front of my monitor right now. Also sitting here is the album cover my friend made me for a forthcoming Faux Pas album called 7 wolves 1 shirt. It's a concept album about my favourite t-shirt.

I love the story of how you came to remix Pikelet's Bug In Mouth*. Are you ever overwhelmed by the possibilities when remixing a song? It's definitely easy to get overwhelmed, I try just to follow the first good idea I have to its conclusion, and not think too much about what might have been if I'd gone in another direction. It's meant that a couple of them haven't seen the light of day or haven't been finished, perhaps because I chose the wrong direction right at the start? I don't necessarily follow this approach when it comes to my own music, I've definitely taken some sharp left turns with some of my own tracks while they've been in development. I think it's 10x harder to come up with a good end result when you do that though, when you've gone a certain way down the path and then decided to turn back and go another route. It's way harder to get something that feels natural when you're bucking some of your initial gut feelings, but sometimes you end up with something great.

You would love to record with...
I don't fantasise about making music with anyone - I'm generally way too insecure about my own abilities to ever imagine myself working with the people whose music I idolise. I'd rather keep playing in my own corner of the sandpit.

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called... I like the concept of "aleatoric music" or chance music. I don't know how much of my own material fits in to that category but it's a nice idea for a genre. It is music whose composition is, at least in some crucial part, random or left to chance. Aleatory comes from the Latin word for dice, which is appropriate for me because I love to play Dungeons and Dragons.

Next for you is....
I'm finishing the second Faux Pas album, which I started working on about 12 months ago. It's basically the best album of all time.

Things you currently love

I've just started listening to the Moody Blues again. They are one of my dad's favourite bands, and I listened to them heaps as a kid, and then even more in high school, but I haven't in a little while. A Question of Balance is a great record. They're all good though.

In Print?
I'm reading the Terry Pratchett books for the first time. They are as good as everyone says! And also I am appraising the just-released 4th edition rulebooks for Dungeons and Dragons, and trying to figure out whether it's worth it for my current gaming group to upgrade our characters or not...

The Title store on Gertrude St is a super exciting addition to Melbourne's record store roster. They only stock good music (and books) which is more than can be said of most stores.

I don't know why, but the comments section on the MySpace page for Melbourne record label, Brothersister Records always has great weird photos.

*The story, in Faux Pas' words: I caught Pikelet's Bug In Mouth film clip on Rage late one night and was completely entranced, not so much by the clip but just by those hypnotic looped harmonies and intuitive almost primitive rhythms. Evelyn Morris's voice is pristine, and the melodies in this song are completely captivating.

I actually remixed the song without Evelyn's permission, working from an mp3 copy I had of the track (ie not working with separated parts). Weirdly, it all came together one Sunday afternoon while I was sitting in an edit suite 'working' for an ex-game show host...

I'm glad in the end that I was able to contact Evelyn and that it didn't have to take much convincing for her to let me put the remix out. I'm pretty proud of it, though really all it does is just play to the strengths of the original track, that being the amazing hypnotic melodies and voice of one (actually more than one) Evelyn Morris. The Faux Pas remix of Bug In Mouth is on my EP Changes.

Faux Pas has a couple of records out, the latest being the Changes EP, which mixes his musical DNA with songs by Pikelet, Zeal and Aleks and The Ramps to create some crazy scientic-lab remixes. It also features some wholly original cuts too. He's currently working on his next album and on his entirely understandable desire to become Christopher Willits. Keep an ear out for Faux Pas updates here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jane Woody, Alice Springs

Current band rollcall? Jane Woody - plays everything, drums, guitar and bass
Jane Woody has been around since... 2006
First song ever written? 'Sit/Stand', recorded on a dictaphone years ago.
Music-making for you began when... I used to drum for my brother when he'd play Poison songs on his guitar. I'd use two school rulers and hit piles of books (dinting mum's good encyclopedias) in his bedroom when we were really young. We worshiped Poison and Def Leppard and Gunners. I didn't even wear a shirt whilst drumming, that's how seriously rock I was.
Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music? I'm always a fan of Casio keyboard beats put through a distortion pedal and guitar amp.
Strangest gig you've ever played?
Swingin Safari on the Gold Coast, it was just strange, there was a 'homely' vibe out the back - like a record player and a book shelf. After quite a few drinks, I found a book called Ten Poems To Change Your Life and I had a really intense reflective moment. I stole the book. When sober it didn't have quite the same impact...
Do you place things in the studio to inspire you?
With this album, Big Breaths, Little Lungs, I ate lots of dried apple and M&Ms and I had a pic up on the wall of a girl line dancing - I really like country music. We had a cat in the studio called Lilly and she was delightful to be around.
Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
This is hard because absolutely everything that happens to me influences my music. Umm...I'd have to say A Current Affair, or Today Tonight. That stuff seriously doesn't influence my music.
Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics....
Probably this stupid song about a shoe doctor I wrote with a friend when we were a little drunk. What the fuck is a shoe doctor?
If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer "How will you survive if you make it your plight to keep everyone else alive?"
Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
Most recently, Kimya Dawson, "I got good at feeling bad and that's why I'm still here."
You would love to record with... Prince
If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called.... "Introverted-lovesick-obsessive-pop"
Next for you is... More recording and more dancin.

Five things you currently love

Musically? The Donnas - I love the simple lyrics about making out in cars.
In Print? Some excellent zines, namely Damki and a Melbourne one about Neighbours called Erinsborough Exploits - and also a magazine called Juxtaposition. Anything creative and interesting.
Locally? A place called the Tea Shrine in Alice Springs. Heaps of great tea and this amazing local coffee.
Visually? Some excellent Aboriginal artists around Alice.
Cinematically? La Vie En Rose - the Edith Piaf film. I loved it.

Jane Woody's sweet DIY synth-pop album, Big Breaths, Little Lungs was recently released on Valve. If you're sonically curious about her music, you can hear it here