Category: audrey auld

Tamworth: the picks of the gigs

Make that my picks of the gigs … These are the artists I’m most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival. [All dates given are January 2014.]

Jess Holland

21  – Tudor Hotel Front Bar,  5.30 p.m.
23  – Qurindi RSL, 6 p m.

24  – Tudor Hotel Back Bar, 12 p.m. 

Ashleigh Dallas
21 – West Tamworth Leagues Club, 5 p.m.

Tori Darke
21 – West Tamworth Leagues Club, 8 p.m.

21 – Tamworth Services Club, 9.30 p.m.

Brad Butcher
22 – Tamworth Services Club, 9 a.m.
23 – Tudor Hotel, upstairs, 10 p.m.

Katie Brianna

22 – Tamworth Services Club, 9 a.m.
23 – Tudor Hotel, upstairs, 10 p.m.

The McClymonts
22 – TRECC, 2 p.m.

Kristy Cox
22 – The Pub, 8 p.m.

Shane Nicholson
23 – The Family Hotel, 7 p.m.

Catherine Britt
23 – The Pub, 8.30 p.m.

Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes
24 – The Family Hotel, 12 p.m.

Audrey Auld
24 – North Tamworth Bowling Club, 2 p.m.

Karl Broadie and Katie Brianna
24 – Tamworth Tennis Club, 4.30 p.m.

Interview: Audrey Auld (part III)

Audrey Auld is a native Tasmanian now resident in Nashville, a country/folk/Americana artist who writes and performs songs that tear apart the fabric of daily life to reveal what’s beautiful, mysterious, profound and sometimes just plain funny. She’s currently touring Australia and I spoke to her last week while she was taking a short break in Tasmania. You can catch her atMoonah Arts Centre in Hobart on Saturday 31 March and the Clarendon in Katoomba (NSW) on Sunday 1 April. For details go to

Part I of this interview is available here and part II here. In this part Audrey talks about living in the US and moving to Nashville, about Americana music and songwriting.

In front of me I have a quote by Fred Eaglesmith about you, where it’s saying you ‘hold a unique place in contemporary Americana/Roots music. I believe that this uniqueness is largely due to the fact that she is Australian. This affords her a totally different attitude as an artist than traditional American contributors to this genre.’ Given that Fred Eaglesmith is Canadian, I think that’s an interesting quote from him, but also I was wondering, you arrived in the US as an Australian, you are living in Nashville now – what do you feel your ‘different perspective’ is to that particular genre of music?
Yeah, I always think Australians and Europeans and non-American people see the American music more clearly and honestly because we don’t grow up with it. So, you come to it because you are truly attracted to it, not because you’ve been brought up with it and it’s just very familiar. So, I think we bring a freshness to the music, because a lot of Americans kind of get my songwriting, but they get it because they can see that I have a great respect for the tradition of American music and they understand the references that I think sometimes Australians don’t. I think it can tend towards the cabaret a little bit here and I tend towards the more hardcore.

[Laughs] I always think it must be so daunting, in a way, to arrive somewhere like Nashville and not really know anyone and have your guitar and have your songs behind you, and have your voice and try to make relationships and try to even get a gig. So, how do you go about that?
Well, I actually first landed in California and I went there in 2003 when I was married and I lived there for about three years in Northern California and discovered a community of people, radio promoters and fans who really dug acoustic music. There they sort of call it folk music, which means something very different in America to Australia. I’ve always perceived it as being big hairy men of Anglo origin, doing gigs – do you know what I mean?

[Laughs] I think that’s right.
Yeah. Well, you go to America and it’s contemporary and it’s diverse and it’s about acoustic music, it’s about telling stories, creating a connection with people through acoustic music. That’s more what folk music is – it’s less a genre. I mean, there’s obviously the people who love traditional folk, the Pete Seeger kind of thing. So when I got to California I was very welcomed and embraced into this community, musical community, like I had never experienced in Australia. I always felt on the fringes here and when I went there, they totally got what I was doing because they loved what I did. And they were saying, ‘You’ve got to work with Nina Gerber’, who’s this great guitar player who worked with Kate Wolf for many years. And they really helped me a lot and embraced me into that community, so it made me feel wonderful. I also realised that there are a lot of very talented people in America who were out there touring and they’re not going to become famous, but they’re making a good living out of touring and playing music, and I realised that I had to really pull my socks up and be the best that I could be. So, it was a good kind of kick up the bum to kind of be as good as I could be.

And so, when I got to Nashville three years later, I did actually know quite a few people there prior to going to Nashville, and I’d played there even before I moved to America – I’d played in Nashville a few times. And so I’m very comfortable with what I do and I’ve had songs recorded and sung on the Opry, so I didn’t go there as a complete novice, and I saw, too, that I was just going to take it slowly. We’d bought a house and I could see there were a lot of people who kind of rush in and they want it all to happen immediately, and then they get dejected and disappointed and they slag off Nashville and they move out. And I could see that there’s no rush here: we’ve bought a house, we’re going to stay here, I’m going to take this slowly, I’m going to be open and learn about the commercial country music scene. I went and met with publishers and I did some courses where you learn about what they’re looking for in country songs.

I know my songs are good because people come and hear my shows and they tell me – they respond and they want to buy them. So, I’m not a commercial country songwriter in the Nashville vein. I really want to have those moments like when you get to write ‘Last Seen in Gainesville’, but I’m not going to mess with that. When I say that to a publisher, he’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a bit long’. So that’s fair enough. I mean, they’re very clear about what they want and what they don’t want, and recently I’ve been playing in Nashville because it’s a great place for touring – it’s very central, geographically – instead of doing my five-week tours from California to the rest of America, which is kind of a lot like living in Western Australia and touring Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland. I guess it’s like living in Sydney now, when you can do shorter runs to a lot more places in America, and it’s just filled with musicians. So it’s fantastic, we have the best jam sessions and I’ve met a lot of female musicians – Anne McCue [who sings on the new song ‘Resurrection Moon’] – and it’s been great creatively, very inspiring, even though it’s known for that commercial country stuff, but there’s a whole lot of other stuff going on that’s just fabulous, that’s not country.

When I talk to people about Tamworth I say, ‘Look, it’s not just country music, there’s a whole lot of incredible music going on, it’s just that country music seems to attract really great musicians and, of course, because they’re great musicians, they’re interested in music full stop. It doesn’t matter what the genre is.
That’s right.

So I imagine Nashville is the same.
Oh, yes. I mean, it’s incredible. One of my favourites is Kenny Vaughan, who plays with Marty Stuart’s band and is a wonderful country guitar player, but he could just as easily play jazz, pop, rockabilly. And you go down Broadway and you’ll see him just sitting in with a band on Broadway because he just wants to keep his [skills] up while he’s not on the road and [it’s] just very, very inspiring. People around you, working in the same industry as you and with all their different stories of success and helping each other out, and it’s really cool.

For you as a songwriter, does it feel strange when other people record your songs?
It feels wonderful [laughs]. It’s a great compliment.

So it doesn’t feel like you’ve sent your child off to stay at someone else’s house for a year?
[Laughs] it’s always wonderful to hear how they do it and how they make it their own. One of the greatest achievements or compliments of my life is that a man called Dale Jett, who is the grandson of Sarah and A P Carter, he played one of my songs – it’s called ‘Down in a Hole – he played that in his live show. I’ve heard him do it at a festival with his trio. One time in a show he heard me sing ‘Orphan Song’, which is a Mark Attalla song and right away he was like, ‘I’ve got to have the lyrics’, and he and his band have become friends and they’re very supportive. And that he’s a descendant of the Carter Family, who I completely [laughing] just kneel down to, it’s just wonderful. That means so much more to me than some big Nashville country star doing my song [laughs].

Just to go back to something you said a few minutes ago – you talked about learning how to sing. Your voice sounds very relaxed, as if it’s something quite instinctual for you to sing.
Oh, thank you.

But did you learn, like did you go to lessons to learn how to sing?
Oh, a long time ago. Yeah, I did. Because we all grew up singing, doing the dishes and in the car, travelling as a family. I’ve got three siblings and we just didn’t think about it, we just sang. But when I came to actually getting up on stage and singing, I realised that it’s an instrument and there are things to learn – just technical things. It’s about teeth, tongue and lips. And I had a wonderful teacher called Bob Tasman-Smith, who actually taught Deborah Conway, and he was incredible, just a very practical teacher, and it changed me because I learnt well from him, and it takes you a long time to find your voice. I had in my mind that I could get there, but it takes you time to just get there actually. You hear in your mind how you want to be, but there’s also a lot to undo. I mean, I love Patsy Cline, but I’m not Patsy Cline and I’m not going to sound like her. So you’ve got to let go of all of those influences of people that you’ve copied. You’ve got to undo all of that to kind of find your own voice and I really love singing now, and all that judgment that I used to have about myself is gone, because I’m enjoying what I do and I like what I sound like. And if I’ve got a cold or a rough throat from tiredness, I don’t worry about it, I just kind of go with it and I think well, if Bob Dylan can do it, I can [laughs].

I guess it’s also part of the story on the night. If you’ve got a cold, then that’s part of the story of whatever songs you’re singing.
Yes. Absolutely. I mean, you’ve just got to be who you are, yeah.

And you’re in a genre where you could have this career for another 50 years if you want to, because it’s not a career that – particularly, I think, for women – turns around and says, ‘You’re too old and you’re gone.’ So I think it’s very supportive that way. So, you can have a cold for the next 50 years and still sing.
[Laughs] Yeah, it’s cool though. I look at that in people like Emmylou and Buddy Miller and Lucinda [Williams] and, you know, they’re just more revered as they age, and I like that about the country and the Americana and the folk scene – I mean, I love getting older and I think your writing matures, your voice matures and you just become more comfortable with who you are.

And you wrote a song about it, called ‘Forty’.
Yeah. That’ll keep me young forever. [laughs]

The delightful and wonderfully talented Audrey Auld can be found online at At her Katoomba show she’ll be playing with recent Jolene interviewee Glen Hannah.

Interview: Audrey Auld (part II)

Audrey Auld is a native Tasmanian now resident in Nashville, a country/folk/Americana artist who writes and performs songs that tear apart the fabric of daily life to reveal what’s beautiful, mysterious, profound and sometimes just plain funny. She’s currently touring Australia and I spoke to her last week while she was taking a short break in Tasmania. You can catch her at Moonah Arts Centre in Hobart on Saturday 31 March and the Clarendon in Katoomba (NSW) on Sunday 1 April. For details go to

Part I of this interview is available here. In this second part Audrey talks about running her own record company, her love of performing, and being brought up with music, amongst other things.

It seems when you were growing up, you obviously grew up in a household full of music but then you were involved in art and acting and you found your way back to music. Does it feel a little bit like that’s destiny? Like that was your predestined path because your parents raised you that way, or is it just that music’s what makes the most sense for you?
We were taught to really appreciate it and my dad and my stepdad both were weekend professional musicians, and in jazz bands, but it was never presented to me as an option as a profession. It was always for the enjoyment of it and it was only later in my life, I think, I started putting bands together, but I still had a day job and I guess so, because we were brought up to really appreciate music and listen to it and not just have it on in the background. It wasn’t until I kind of got with Bill Chambers that I made that step from doing it and having a job to just playing music full time, because that can be a difficult transition, I think, to go from giving up the security of a regular paycheque to living the wonderful life of a freelance person, whatever the job is.

It’s a huge step. You set up Reckless Records in the late ’90s and I’m wondering what it’s like to set up your own record company?
Well, I come from working in the film industry and from live action to animation, which is very organised. I mean, animation, basically, you’ve got a film broken down into frames, and you’ve got to organise millions of frames and scenes, and I used to run Animation Studio, so I learnt – I’m a very organised, efficient kind of a person and so it was – I thought, I’m going to apply that kind of professionalism to my music. And Bill had a great deal of experience with touring and dealing with fans and dealing with the media and he just had been doing that his whole life. So, it was easy – I learnt a lot from him and then I brought what I knew, as far as using the computer and communicating with people and doing publicity, and I really enjoyed all of that and we made the record, the Looking Back to See record. I learn with every release, there’s always new ways to do things and I still enjoy that whole process. So, here I am, like, ten albums later and change as the internet evolves, you know, we kind of learn different ways to do things and it’s a never-ending lesson.

So you’ve put out all those records as an independent artist?
I have, yeah. I’ve got distribution, I’ve usually had distribution in Australia and America and it’s great. I’ve got a couple of ARIA nominations, some Golden Guitar nominations, and it’s very satisfying to me to be self-funded, self-produced, self-released and to get that kind of acknowledgement from the industry.

It’s also fantastic from the point of view of just controlling your own destiny – I’ll use that word destiny again – but in that you own your own recordings and you own your own songs and I think a lot of musicians find that they have to hand over ownership of the recordings and the music publishing to other people, whereas it’s all yours.
I’ve had a publisher and I just – I guess, I know I’m ambitious, but I don’t have stars in my eyes, I don’t want to just hand over everything in the name of becoming famous, because it’s just a little simplistic and I think there’s a trade when you give your music to somebody else and hope that they throw a whole lot of money behind it. But that doesn’t always happen. It’s a beautiful dream [laughing] if it happens, but so many people I know sign with labels and just get really dissatisfied and end up grossly in debt. So, I guess I’m a little bit independent [laughing]. I think I kind of like to control what I’m doing but, with that being said, I do have good long-term relationships with various distributors because we work well together.

And so, for you, having these two sides of work, really – the creative side and the business side -and also you said you’re organised initially doing that, do you have an organised structure to your day? Do you get up and think, ‘This half is for business and this part’s for something else?’
No, no, not at all. No, I could never be that person. I totally submit to the muse. When a song is coming through, I just give over to that because that’s why I do everything else, and you can just get really spent by – it feels like a treadmill to me of booking tours, promoting tours, you know, that’s a lot of work, and I’ve learnt to kind of just do it a little less. You could do that until the cows come home and you end up using that part of your brain and not enough just playing music and writing and that creative part, so it kind of goes in cycles. You’ve got to put that time in at the computer so that you can be out there touring and playing shows. Writing and playing is what you do all the other stuff for, but I’m pretty good at it and I get enough offers coming in now where it’s pretty balanced and I feel very successful, I feel very happy with my life and I don’t feel like I’m wanting for a whole lot.

Which is fantastic. A lot of people never reach that point.
Yeah, it’s really good. I’m very lucky.

It sounds like you’ve done a lot of work to make that happen, it’s not by accident. You kind of put things in place and did them consistently so that you ended up there.
Yes. I think, once you’ve done something – what do they say? If you do something for 10 000 hours, you’re an expert, and I think I’ve done that, I think I’ve done more than 10 000 hours.

So do you really love performing?
Oh, absolutely. I mean, it’s why you do all the other stuff. I learnt to sing because I wrote songs, and then I think it’s good for people to feel good. The entertainment that I enjoyed was sort of comedians, and June Carter was a big influence – I watched a lot of the old Grand Ole Opry TV shows in the ’50s and she’s just this beautiful woman but she’s just acting up like a real old ham. And Fred Eaglesmith is another big influence because he just makes people laugh; he said he realised that he was singing all these sad songs and he was kind of surrounded by sad people [laughing]. And I think that’s a valid point.

I think there was some research done – I heard this many years ago – that looked at different genres of music and kind of like the mental state or psychological state of people who listen to them and old-style country music – your Hank Williams-era country music – the people who listened to that were more depressed than people who listened to any other types of music [laughing]. And listening to a lot of it, I think, well, yeah, because a lot of it came out of the blues and it was miserable.
Yeah, yeah [laughing]. Well, I think there was humour then, but ‘Hey Good Lookin’’ and ‘Roley Poley’ and ‘Movin’ On Over’, they’re humorous songs and I love that about country music – there is quite a lot of humour, and some of the contemporary stuff, I feel it’s a bit precious. I don’t know if there is that much humour. There is a bit in the Nashville songs, I guess, but there was something raw in that old stuff that seemed more authentic, hey?

Well, then, speaking of humour, the Americans aren’t renowned for having great senses of humour, especially compared with Australians, so how do you find that your sense of humour translates there?
Actually, very well. It’s a good question – I think it’s funny because I come back here to Australia and I feel sometimes I don’t feel like my humour translates. Things that I can say in a show in America, people laugh and they get it, and here, I can just be met with silence. So, it was really off-putting at first – I thought, ‘Oh, I have to kind of set it up better. I have to set up the joke better here, maybe explain things a little bit more or something.’ There was definitely a difference between the American audiences and Australian audiences, with the humorous aspect.

I actually wonder whether it’s that Australians aren’t that used to interacting with performers and especially, I think, the country music scene here is still quite young and we don’t see a lot of it. So, if you’re a country music fan living in a city, for example, you don’t get to go to a lot of gigs, unless you’re going to Tamworth every year. And part of the country music genre, very much, is that conversational, joke-telling thing. When Dolly Parton when out a few months ago, I read this article in the paper that was complaining that she had talked so much and told so many jokes and I thought, ‘But that’s country music, that’s part of the deal.
Oh my god, who said that?

It was Andrew Hornery in the Sydney Morning Herald, who was saying, ‘Well, you know, she was telling all this down-home stories’, and I thought, ‘She played for three hours, for one thing, so it was great value for money, and also if that’s part of the deal, you’ve got to set up the songs, you tell the stories, you connect with people – that’s what the genre is.
It’s also just mainstream Australian media. They really need to kind of travel. They really need to get out and hear some stuff, because I just find they’re not that broadminded.

It’s true. Apparently the viewing numbers for the Country Music Channel on Foxtel, in cities, are large, so there are a lot of people who love country music and even if it’s that very stylised country rock, they’re still watching CMC, they’re aware of who’s out there, and if you watch CMC for any period of time, you’re going to be exposed to a lot of different music. But it’s kind of like this gap in cultural knowledge in the media, where every year, people go, ;Oh, Tamworth is on, everyone’s pretending that country music is cool’, and I always think, ‘It’s not cool, that’s one of the reasons why we love it.’ But it’s just this kind of, oh well, have a little poke at the country music animal and see if it bears its teeth.
Oh, it’s very strange here in Australia. It’s very off in its own little corner and there’s not a lot of integration with the rest of the music industry. I’ve always felt that and a lot of the people in the country industry, I don’t think want to be integrated, you know? I remember years ago, Meryl Gross wanted to move the CMA to Sydney and they were like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, we’ve got to keep it in Tamworth’, and I just don’t know if that’s the music so well, but in America, people are less concerned about – they’re not so concerned about genre, they kind of get the Americana thing, which is this term that covers a broad range of styles and really allows people to be an individual within. You know, roots music – they don’t really use the term ‘roots music’ in America, they tend to use ‘Americana’, which is kind of what I fit into because it covers country and folk and songwriter. I mean, it’s almost like ‘songwriter’ is a genre, which is kind of weird, but they kind of get that.

Audrey Auld’s latest album is Resurrection Moon. For more information on her music and shows, go to

Interview: Audrey Auld (part I)

Audrey Auld is a native Tasmanian now resident in Nashville, a country/folk/Americana artist who writes and performs songs that tear apart the fabric of daily life to reveal what’s beautiful, mysterious, profound and sometimes just plain funny. Audrey’s career has spanned several albums and many cities on tour. She’s currently touring Australia and I spoke to her last week while she was taking a short break in Tasmania. If you aren’t already a fan, I’m sure you will be after you find out what a fascinating, creative woman she is.

It sounds like you’re taking a few days out of touring to have a bit of a rest.
Yeah. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks and just came down to Tassie. I’ve got a week with my mum and then a weekend of gigs in Melbourne and then I go back down to Tassie for a week with my dad and a Hobart show and then wind up in Katoomba and then home.

Since we’re talking about Tasmania, I don’t know much about music venues in Hobart or anything like that, so where does a country music player perform in Hobart?
Well, I play at the Moonah Arts Centre. I played there last year and it’s run by a man that used to be my art teacher in matric and he’s just been a lifelong friend and he runs this arts centre, so it’s great. It’s like a listening concert room which is the kind of shows that I do.

And is this the guy who gave you a mixed tape of country music songs?
Yes, it is, actually – Sean Kelly. It’s Texas songwriters and Dwight, Bob Wills, John Prine, Jimmie Dale Gilmore; it was a really diverse mix of stuff and that was my first sort of introduction to country music in my early twenties.

I was reading in your bio that it was while you were travelling around Australia, I think, that you thought to pull out the mixed tape, but I was just really impressed that you still had the tape.
Yes, I do, I know. That’s why it’s a treasure.

It’s probably a very good collection that someone should put together and publish or something, I don’t know.
Yeah, it’s good idea. He’s just a real music fan and it’s nice that we know each other after all these years and now he gets to host me at his concert, so it’s pretty cool.

John Prine – I know Shane Nicholson and a few other Australian country singer/songwriters really admire him, but he’s not very well known, so it must have seemed like a lot of those songs were just kind of coming out of nowhere, or out of the ether even?
Yeah, for me it totally was, ’cause I just grew up with jazz music and classical music and so to hear stuff that had a real poetic bent and a depth to the lyrics and quite emotional and stories, plus then Patsy Cline and Bob Wills have a definite jazz influence, Dwight Yoakam, so it was kind of quite diverse and it really led me to listen to the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers and Loretta Lynn and I really – it kind of peaked my interest and wanted to delve into the history of the music and where it originated from.

So when you finally delved into Australian country music, who were you listening to?
Well, as I kind of lived in the Outback and a lot of the stations in the Outback had quite extensive Slim Dusty collections, and it wasn’t until I met Bill Chambers that I learnt about Tex Morton and Buddy Williams, Rick and Thel, and I got to meet Rick and we recorded a song together eventually.

It seems to me that you’re very much in that traditional storytelling vein of country music, not that you play like traditional music like Hank Williams or Lefty Frizzell’s kind of music, but just acknowledging, as you’ve mentioned, that the genre is a storytelling genre primarily. So, how do you collect stories for your songs? Because one of my favourite songs of yours is ‘Last Seen in Gainesville’, which kind of makes me want to cry every time I hear it, and it’s clearly someone else’s story, but you sing it like it’s your own.
That song is amazing. I mean, that song came from – I stopped at a roadhouse in Texas to get some gas and I always like to go in and have a look around at all the American cultural stuff that’s in truck stops over there – it’s always fascinating – and as I was leaving I saw a poster on the wall near the entrance that said, Missing Person – last seen in Gainesville, with a couple of photos of a woman. And you always stop and think when you see those missing person posters, you wonder what happened and if they were found, or you never know the outcome of that story. And so I set off up the highway and I had quite a long drive ahead of me, and – as sometimes happens when it’s a good day – a song comes through from somewhere else and you really are just a vessel for it, and it’s not a song that I made up, it’s very much a song that I channelled from somewhere else and it was almost like it was tapping me on the shoulder, just really wanting to be written, and it was very strange and mysterious to me. I didn’t sing it to anyone for a long time, because I just didn’t know whose voice that was or what it was about. It was really a mystery to me and I think it really moves people, I mean, it’s a very touching song and I think it’s about consequences, the consequences of your behaviour, of the person who’s missing – I mean, did she leave or was she abducted? The consequences, the behaviour of the person that’s left behind and he’s looking at what he did and didn’t do and what he might have done differently and yeah, it’s quite a deep song really [laughs].

Even though the narrator of the song is ostensibly the man who’s left behind, to me it kind of sounds like it’s her song that she’s actually singing that through – singing the consequences through. If that makes sense?
Yeah, yeah. I never thought of that.

Well, when you say you don’t know where the song’s come from and I always think that that’s when people are truly plugged into their creativity, they do pluck things from the ether. And it kind of seems a bit like it was her saying ‘Tell my story’.
Right, right, you’re absolutely right. Yes, yes, yes. Mmm hmm.

That’s why I think that’s when those songs give you chills – because that song does give me chills every time I listen to it – and I just think, ‘Ooh, it’s coming from somewhere else’.
Yeah, yeah, you’re right now. You’ve given me something to think about. ’cause it is – you’re absolutely right, it’s her, yeah.

And it’s not just because it’s a woman singing it, it’s not because it’s your voice, obviously. You make a very convincing narrator for other people’s stories, so it’s not just, ‘Oh, it’s a woman’s voice therefore it has to be a woman’s story’. It’s just – that was my impression. But, in writing about – getting inspiration from those sorts of sources – do you think that a lot of your songwriting is about kind of trying to understand what it’s like to be human or how to make your way in the world as a decent human being?
Sure. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, that’s very well put. I think, especially since I moved to America, I mean, I kind of fell in love and got married and found just beautiful happiness with this wonderful man and I’ve shifted hemispheres, so my whole life changed and so your perspective as a writer can’t help but change, because where once – my earlier albums – I was writing about matters of my heart and my wretched life, and then as I got happy, I was like, well, I don’t really need to kind of be writing about that all the time, and here I am in America, which is a very kind of political entity in the world and in America you’re much more aware of what’s going on politically, globally, and people talk about it and have opinions and you’re sort of faced with, ‘Well, what do I think about this and how do we all cope with all this stuff that’s going on and try to remain happy and helpful [laughing] to each other in the face of a lot of tragedy and adversity and hardship and all of that stuff that the media shove down your throat’. We’re all trying to cope and deal with it and process it and remain positive.

That’s one of the great roles of art, to help people be human or help people make their way through being a human and understand how to live a good life. And not just be decent, but also have fun. A lot of art, whether it’s music or painting or whatever, unlocks that for people, even if they don’t really understand what’s going on.
Yeah, that’s true, and I think that’s right. I think, as a writer, I do try to find the universal human experience and the expression of that. and I know that I can sing a song or write a song and people come and say, ‘Yep, that’s me’, or ‘Yep, I get that’, or they really respond to certain songs because they don’t particularly have that means of expression. For sure, like you see a painting and it speaks to you, you want to have it in your home. Same thing – it’s helping you make sense of everything.

Part II of this interview will be published tomorrow.

Audrey Auld is playing at Moonah Arts Centre in Hobart on Saturday 31 March and the Clarendon in Katoomba (NSW) on Sunday 1 April. For details go to