Category: interview

Brook Chivell on his new single ‘In My Life’


Gold Coast-based singer-songwriter Brook Chivell is known for his high-energy live shows and his powerful country rock sound – but he’s always had a musical and lyrical balance within his music, and his latest single, ‘In My Life’ is a heartfelt ballad that become his new single for a very good reason: his fans asked for it.

‘It was the one my hardcore fans kind of chose, really,’ says Chivell. ‘I listen to what they say. If they say, “I really love that song”, and I hear it enough times, I think I’ll put that one out next.

‘The first single that I ever released was chosen by people I knew. I didn’t have any fans at the time but they chose the song, because I like what I like for different reasons, other people like what they like for different reasons, but when a bunch of people say it, that’s something to listen to.’

The McClymonts’ song ‘Forever Begins Tonight’ has become a wedding song staple, and ‘In My Life’ would be a good candidate for that too. When that idea is put to Chivell, he says, ‘I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of songs that have been seen that way. One in particular – I did a duet on my first album called “Always You”, and it’s a waltz, in three/four time, and I know that’s been used in a few weddings. It’s an easy waltz and the topic’s nice as well.

‘Any time that people use one of my songs for any reason that’s big in their life – even when people say, “That song really got me out of a hard time” – those things really mean a lot because it means that your lyrics have connected and resonated with somebody. That’s huge to me, because that connection is what it’s all about.

‘If it’s a song I’ve written by myself it’s nice for me because I can realise I’m not the only person going through this. A lot of times you write songs because it’s a bit of therapy. Sometimes you do think, I’m the only person who’s ever been through this, and that’s part of the human condition, I guess. There’s a lot of people out there feeling pretty horrible because they think they’re the only people. But I don’t think anyone’s been through anything new in a really long time.’

‘In My Life’ appears on Chivell’s most recent album, Fearless Rider, which he released on CD last year. It’s not yet available on streaming services because, as he explains, ‘of the way that Spotify is now – you can’t pitch a playlist if the song’s already on Spotify – so I’ve had to release the songs from the album one at a time and hopefully I can group them together at the end.’

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The Wolfe Brothers take off the brakes


The Wolfe Brothers are a Tasmanian band who have used the Apple Isle as a springboard to the rest of Australia over the past few years, travelling constantly for their own shows as well as being Lee Kernaghan’s touring band. They have steadily built fans and accrued accolades, including ARIA nominations and Golden Guitar wins. That success has led them to a recently announced global recording deal with BMG, which will take the music of the Wolfe Brothers far beyond their island home.

‘It’s amazing,’ says Nick Wolfe. ‘There’s not too many deals like this that have been done, that’s a global umbrella of the company, coming from Australia. Usually the traditional path is that Australian country guys want to have a crack overseas and that involves moving there and mowing lawns for years. So we’re pinching ourselves that we’ve gotten this opportunity, and we just can’t wait to see where it takes us. We’re ready to work hard and make it happen.’

The Wolfe Brothers have never been afraid of working hard, but, of course, currently they can’t play any shows. Once they’re able, however, ‘we’d like to take our music to different parts of the world through this,’ says Nick. ‘We’d like to make an impact in the States and Canada. We were planning to tour Canada later this year but that’s been put on hold through what’s happening. But I’m sure we’ll get there. At the moment we’re just excited to have a new song out. While everyone’s at home isolating they can chuck that on and have a bit of fun.

‘The worst thing about it all is that no one really knows when things are  going to get back to normal, so we’re just waiting to see the next move. But for now we’re just doing what we can online, writing a bunch of songs, shooting videos and keeping the ball rolling as much as you can.’

The extra time to write songs has meant they’ve been able to set up co-writes that might otherwise never have happened.

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Interview: The Buckleys

unnamed-3-2Australian band The Buckleys introduced themselves to audiences with the single ‘Daydream’, an infectious tune that combined country sounds with influences from pop and other genres, and also established the band’s sound. Their second single was ‘I’m Comin’ For Ya (Love)’. Then, just as people around the world started to head indoors, they released their first global single, ‘Money’. Each song has its own characteristics, but they all have one element in common: they’re irresistible. It’s almost impossible not to feel uplifted after listening to a Buckleys song, so in that way their music is right for a time when we probably all need a positive distraction.

The members of The Buckleys are siblings Sarah Grace, Molly and Lachlan, who come from the Byron Bay area of New South Wales and are 20, 19 and 17 years of age respectively. While they’re still young, they’ve been a band since 2011 – although the formation of the band wasn’t really a surprise because, as Sarah says, ‘We have always been playing music. We grew up in a musical family so it’s always been something we’ve done.’

‘I feel like it was Dad’s dream,’ says Molly. ‘Before he even had kids with Mum he was saying, “We need to have a family band!” He’s always been a muso and Mum was telling us the other day that he was always into the fantasy of all of us playing music together … We’ve always had a massive connection to music since we were younger. Wanting a career out of it. And we all performed as we grew up.’

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Natalie Pearson lets ’em talk

Let 'Em Talk - Single ArtworkQueensland singer-songwriter Natalie Pearson is carving out her own niche in Australian country music, with her catchy, memorable country rock/pop songs and her dynamic stage presence. Towards the end of 2019 she released the single ‘Plan B’ and she has kicked off 2020 with the release of ‘Let ‘Em Talk’. If you ever needed motivation to stop worrying about what other people think, this song will give it you. Not that it means that you’ll find it easy …  Pearson says she has struggled with it herself.

‘I think as an artist you always care about what other people think of you,’ she says. ‘You always want people to like you. I think that’s just a human nature thing as well but more so when you’re an artist. But sometimes that gets in the way of you doing things. Or sometimes if people are saying things to other people, that can get in the way of things as well. So this is about, “Just don’t worry about that and just do what you do because at some point in time what you’ve created will have its own shine for what it is. And the people who are going to love it are going to love it. And the people who don’t care about it or don’t like it, they’re not your people anyway.” So that’s a really universal thing that everybody can take on board: not everyone is going to be your people and that’s okay. You just focus on the people who are your people and don’t worry about the rest.’

This is something that Pearson says she has to put into practice on a regular basis: ‘I think it’s still a realisation that I have to remember myself. Sometimes I get caught up in what other people think, and I just have to say, “Don’t worry about it.” It’s a learning process,’ she says with a laugh.

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Kristy Cox releases new album No Headlights

unnamed-6Originally from South Australia, bluegrass artist Kristy Cox has made her home in Nashville for the past few years, originally with a songwriting deal. She has continued to write songs, and has also continued to release music while returning to Australia for the Tamworth Country Music Festival and tours, and winning Golden Guitar awards.

Cox’s sixth album, No Headlights, was released at the end of February, and she managed to fit in the recording around another very important commitment in her life.

‘We did the band tracks when I was 40 weeks pregnant,’ says Cox. ‘A week before [second child] Ryman was born. I didn’t even know if I was going to get into the studio to do them, to be honest. Jerry [Salley, the album’s producer] was all teed up to sing the guide tracks just in case I couldn’t get in there.

‘Ryman was six or seven weeks old [during recording] and you definitely have to retrain those muscles. It’s like not going to the gym and then trying to run a run a mile. Hang on, no, you need baby steps into it. And I didn’t give myself as many baby steps as I probably should have, so I definitely made it a lot harder on myself.

‘But I was just so excited, I wanted to get in there and get the album done,’ she says, laughing. ‘I said, “Right, baby’s out – album time!”‘

Jerry Salley has been Cox’s producer for all six of Cox’s albums. She says of him, ‘Jerry does a really good job of getting the best out of me. I don’t think I would be the artist that I am today without him, that’s for sure. He challenges me. He knows what I’m capable of more than what I know what I’m capable of. So he will throw me songs and say you need to do this, or he’ll say, “You need to sing a trill”, and I’ll say, “I can’t do that.” And there’s been times where I’ve literally walked out of the studio in tears because he’s said, “You need to do it”, and I’ve said, “I can’t do that.” “Yes, you can.” “No, I can’t.”

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Interview: Cassidy Rae Gaiter

CassidyRaeGaiter HiResPromo2020ACassidy Rae Gaiter could be described as a singer-songwriter but she is also a dancer, experienced musical theatre performer, and holder of a Bachelor of Music. She released her debut EP in 2017, and now released a new song, ‘Boy Like That’.

Originally from Adelaide, Gaiter moved to Sydney to study; she returned to her home city recently just before making another big move – to Nashville. This move is, she says, ‘daunting for sure. Moving anywhere [is]. Moving to Sydney for me was scary because I didn’t really know anyone, but I went and that ended up being like the best time of my life. So I’m trying to go into this with that same mindset because this is all I’ve ever wanted, so it’ll be great.’

The road to Nashville, however, is paved with Gaiter’s extensive musical achievements. She started performing at a very young age, although she can’t remember exactly what her first performance was.

‘It would have been probably Adelaide’s version of a talent showcase or something at school,’ she says. ‘I would have been so small, probably six or seven, and I probably sang something Shania Twain or maybe “My Heart Will Go On”, Celine Dion, which is so weird for a seven-year-old!

‘I can’t pinpoint it because I’ve known nothing else apart from singing. I’ve always done it and always been doing it.’

Although her parents aren’t musical – ‘I don’t know where I got it from,’ she says with a laugh, ‘maybe a great-great-great-grandparent down the line’ – they have been ‘super supportive, which has been amazing because this career is not easy and there’s a lot of ifs and buts and what-ifs that go along with it. So I’m very grateful that they have just let me do it.’

Gaiter says that the key to her full-body immersion in a musical life is that ‘I just like performing. The stage is where I feel completely at home and completely myself, even if I’m playing someone else on stage, which is a little bit weird. But I do love it. It’s just what I feel like I’ve been called to do. And I can’t see myself doing anything else.’

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Andrew Farriss AM on what makes a ‘Good Momma Bad’

Andrew-Farriss-Good-Momma-BadAt the start of this year Andrew Farriss was preparing to release a new single and play at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Then right in the middle of that festival came the announcement that he’s now Andrew Farriss AM – that is, he’s been made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts. And while no one who knows anything about Farriss’s career as a member of and songwriter for INXS, as a producer for other artists and many other music-related roles besides, could dispute that he’s worthy of this honour, when asked about it laughs and says, ‘I was trying to work out at first what the “AM” meant. I thought it might’ve meant “average musician”!’

In all seriousness, though, Farris says, ‘I’m really, really thrilled and happy for my family too. I really dedicate the times and years that I spent running around previously and now. I’m doing the things I’ve done and they put up with me.’

He’s also very pleased ‘to see the other artists who also received that recognition, it was great for them … On a bigger scale it’s great to see Australia recognising its musicians and artists and creative people because in the world we live in today, those sorts of great artistic pursuits tend to travel around the world, especially in the internet era we’re in. So for Aussies to show that they’re proud of their Aussies is good for Australia, in my opinion.’

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