Grounded in a Groove
Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m inspired by melody and love a good story in a song. I like there to be many layers, so that someone who takes more than a passing interest in my music can delve deeper. I was inspired young by Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, and it surprises me that there aren’t more acts taking these genres further forward or sideways. I’m also of the opinion that songs choose me, I’m a vehicle for a collective inspiration in many ways. I often record my jams and listen back. What comes out “off the cuff” often surprises me, and I don’t understand what the lyrics are about, until much later. That said I write songs in all different ways. I love to collaborate with others, and have a few lyric writers often sending me their lyrics. Right now Im working on a few ideas from my best buddy Ruthy, that will probably make it on to an album in the future
Talk to us more about your latest release
Beautiful Blues is the title track from my latest EP. It’s a song that celebrates sorrow and sadness by recognising its beauty and romance. It’s one of those songs that “found me”, as I just explained. It has had a pretty big impact live, and clearly moves people. The second track Mary Mary, much the same. Jamming when it came to me. On a listen back, it was undeniable. Mary Mary, to date is my best performing single ever, and has publishing representation in the USA, which is exciting.
The EP as a whole is not the most comfortable or easygoing releases. It’s themes are confronting to some degree. The other songs deal with issues of displaced people and the evils of big Pharma. I’m ok with this. My aim is not always to please, and it feels like a good time to make people think.
What inspired you to write this release?
Releasing this EP a healing process for me. The songs have been compiled over 5 years, with the most recent (Beautiful Blues and Mary Mary) written in 2019 and recorded in 19/20. Beautiful Blues I have already discussed, but Mary Mary, is a song worth further analysis. It’s a story telling tune, about a River, in this case The Mary River. Where I live (in the Mary Valley) the creek that runs through our property eventually joins the Mary River. Although I have only lived here since 2017, Im inspired by the River being a central part of my Community. As such the songs talks about special memories which were made by the river. It could be any river in the world. Running water brings people together, and the peace and happiness spending time by a River is a healing and universal theme .
The other songs were written 2015 and recorded the following year, but came at a very dark time in my life and the songs reflect this. I spent 7 months in Europe, and let’s just say it wasn’t the most positive of experiences. I got to feel what it was like to have extreme uncertainly in my life. It resulted in a relationship breakdown with my long time musical and life partner and that resulted in a very nasty battle over intellectual property, including these three songs, which I am now received have come back home to me. I’m in a much better place now, the songs I am writing currently are more carefree and hopeful, and I believe it is because I have been able to compartmentalise this collection of tunes in the form of a release, letting go of all the frustrations and build up. I’m free now.
Describe the writing and recording process
My process for writing songs is varied. I believe that songs write themselves to a degree. It’s my job to recognise when they are worthy of refining, performing, recording and releasing. I jam and record my jams, I write lyrics, my friends write lyrics, and the combination of these things usually means I have a list of about 15-20 new tunes on the go at any one time. Songs need to pass the pub test… that is if other people enjoy them in a live situation or listen back and agree they are worth pursuing further. Recording the songs is a different story. In the past I have been a part of very expensive album recording projects, with excellent, well known producers. In this environment it is a team effort. I’m happy to take advice or suggestions from the professionals. More recently however I have been travelling a more solo inspired recording process, and as such I don’t really need an expensive studio and world class team. I guess I am also more confident and ready to steer the directions and results. My dear friend and colleague has a home recording setup, and so I’ve taken advantage of that with great results.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
I have been a very busy performer in the past.
That came to a grinding halt in 2020. So I am very pleased to be able to launch my new EP on Saturday 12 December at a gorgeous intimate venue, GunCotton Coffee Roasters, a licenced Cafe in Yandina on The Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia from 5:30pm
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I’ve learnt that Independence is freedom not to hung up with the trappings of ego and want of fame. I have no one to please other than myself. Of course I want success, but I have learnt that having extra high hopes, or unrealistic expectations often leads to disappointment. So nowadays I do what I can to support my releases, I tell the relevant people, communicate with my fans and friends and I am content with the outcomes whatever they are.
How my music performs in the wider world really makes no difference to me, as I will continue to be a songwriter, performer, recording artist. I am privileged to have a place to live and thrive. What more could I want or need? If for some reason one of my songs “takes off” or my EP suddenly gets “picked up” in todays environment I cannot see it changing my life to any great degree.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Musically, I’m listening a lot to JJ Cale at the moment. I also watched an amazing documentary on Linda Rodstandt, which has got me looking up all her side projects. I can relate to her, as I believe I have a similar perfect pitch ear and singing voice to her (not nearly as amazing but similar).
Im also addicted to True Crime Podcasts. I have an active mind and sometimes struggle to sleep. It’s a relief to turn off the tap and get absorbed into someone else story.
Who are your biggest influences?
Led Zeppelin turned my world around as a teenager. Thanks to a dear older friend who one by one gave me each cassette to listen to on my Sony walkman. Wow. Although I don’t listen much nowadays (I know it all so well) I still rate them very highly on my influence list. Australia’s heroes ACDC also inspire me. I love the pub rock. That cracking live sound. I live to get back on that stage with a drummer and rock band and crank out some tunes in a loud way. That they have another new album out recently is cause for celebration.
Tell us about your passions
Im a gardener. I run a market garden on our property and am part of a growers collective called The Mary Valley Country Harvest. Gardening has always been a passion, but when Covid hit and my touring was cancelled earlier this year my partner and decided to bite the bullet and build a market garden. This now is producing well and keeps me very busy. There is something very honest and rewarding about growing vegetables.
I am a painter. Although I haven’t put paint on a canvas since we started the market garden, it’s something I always come back to. I do mostly abstract large colourful canvases.
What else is happening next in your world?
Not much. I’m a busy person juggling music and gardening. Im optimistic these two things will sustain my life for some time to come. I’m happy and in an environment where I’m loved and content. I don’t need any more than that.
Thanks for an awesome interview, The Amanda Emblem Experiment
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