1. Growing Up
I grew up in Germany and my parents loved to listen to 60s pop records like The Searchers, The Hollies, The Kinks. My dad had the complete Beatles vinyl box set. We listened to those records a lot; I learnt the words phonetically before I knew how to speak English.
There are certain songs that have really affected me, either by their lyrics or their melodies, and I’ve continued to be inspired by these songs and the artists who wrote them my whole life. Songs like ‘Jealous Guy’ by John Lennon, ‘It’s All In My Mind’ by Teenage Fanclub, ‘Without Her’ by Harry Nilsson and ‘How To Fight Loneliness’ by Wilco are a few amongst many. Other than songs, I’m a big believer of there being songs inside every instrument, so every time you pick up something you haven’t played before, there will be ideas!
3. Your Band
I’ve just formed a new band for my ‘All Our Wires’ release. Since starting to release my solo albums I’ve only really had girls in my touring band, and now I have three boys. I’ll be able to tell you more about how it’s going after the first shows, but they’re all really great at stuff! Cuffy plays drums and is from a Brisbane punk band called Dick Nasty, Tass plays guitar and keys and is from a Brisbane rock band called El Motel, and Arun plays bass and is from a Brisbane band called Oh Ye Denver Birds.
4. The Music You Make
I’ve always wanted to make music that sounds like Devo and The Cars, but I think I’ve ended up making music that sounds more like a mixture between Lali Puna and Nico. I recorded my second album All Our Wires all over Brisbane and Melbourne with my brother Mirko who recorded, produced and mixed it. It has some guests on it – Robert Forster (Go Betweens) sings a song with me in German, Ben Ely (Regurgitator) plays some bass, Tim Hoey (Cut Copy) plays some guitar and Wally de Backer (Gotye) did some arrangements for me. The live show will be me with a full band of dudes and some extra special girl guests in each city.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
I feel like music is such a great little pond of fish where all the fish know each other and make music together. And if they don’t know each other, or if you’re a new fish, you get friended and accepted into the fishpond really easily. That’s always been my experience, anyway. Perhaps I have been lucky. I suppose an obstacle for all musicians is always to know why you do things so you can always come back to that foundation if you come upon difficult times or disappointments. My favourite Australian band at the moment is Harmony from Melbourne. Bloody great!