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Filtering by Tag: Australia

A Chat With: Middle Kids

With its relatable narrative-style lyrics and addictive, blaring dance-around-your-room guitar riffs, it's no wonder Middle Kids' song "Edge of Town" has racked up over 8 million Spotify plays. Fronted by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Hannah Joy, the Sydney based trio has been steadily picking up steam with their equally as catchy and relatable self-titled EP. Joy sings her stories with a sense of conviction and a hint of a twang, blurring the edges of the genres tagged to their music. In the middle of recording their debut full length album, which will undoubtedly expand on these existing themes, Joy and her bandmates Tim Fitz and Harry Day are taking a break to tour America, playing festivals and shows across the country. Before they hit Chicago next week, we talked to Joy about Elton John recommending their song, incorporating a banjo into their music, jet lag, and so much more! Tune in and get to know Middle Kids now. 

Credit: Maclay Heriot

Credit: Maclay Heriot


ANCHR Magazine: You’re in the middle of recording your debut album, and you’ve posted a bit on social media... that it will be all new material from the EP and you’re even putting banjo on some tracks! What else can you tell us about the new songs, and where did you find yourself drawing inspiration from?

Hannah Joy: Ha, yes the banjo does get a feature! It’s small but mighty. I’m really excited about the new songs, they are mostly quite intense. Sometimes I think I should chill out a bit, and I am trying, but I’m not sure how. There are some ballady, reflective moments though, so hopefully that will allow it to breathe some. A lot of the inspiration comes from my own experiences and stories I hear from friends. Musically though, many lines came actually from being on the tour and recording little sound bites on my phone.

AM: How has the recording process been so far? Any fun studio stories?

HJ: The process has been pretty intense, we’ve built this album in a really piecemeal kind of way. We recorded drums up at this country house so we could play away into the night. And so much was recorded in Tim's and my home, so for the last few months I have been living snaked in microphone chords and an endless stream of scraps of paper all through the house.

AM: You’ll be taking a break from recording to come tour the states this summer, including some major festivals like Lollapalooza and Osheaga Music Festival. Which cities are you most excited to visit and play in?

HJ: We are so very keen to hit the road. I’m excited to be in Chicago in the summer because it’s so beautiful, but we were there in the winter last time. Super keen for ACL because we consistently have extremely good times in Texas. AND Atlanta because we are playing at a venue called Purgatory and that intrigues me.

AM: Do you prefer playing festivals or smaller gigs, and why?

HJ: The smaller gigs are very special because it allows for a collective experience with us and the audience. But it is friggin fun to run around like a madman at a festival. But not really sure as to preference, they are both so good.

AM: Have you gotten a chance to check out the lineups for the festivals you’re playing? Are there any acts that are on the top of your list to try to watch during the festivals?

HJ: YES. Broken Social Scene and Liam Gallagher at Osheaga, Chance and The Lemon Twigs at Lolla, gosh so many, can’t breathe.  

AM: Since you’re coming all the way from Sydney for this summer tour, what are some of your tips for staying entertained on long haul flights and how do you deal with jetlag?

HJ: OK I have learned to equip myself with many activities for entertainment. Some are: Yahtzee, crochet, cards (we like to play 500, black maria and go fish), UNO. I also got a Kindle, which I was resisting for a long time, but now I have embraced it and it is rocking my world.

AM: Elton John added your music to his Beats 1 playlist, which I’m sure has got to be a career highlight, but what have been some other highlights since you released your debut single, “Edge of Town”?

HJ: I think touring has been the biggest highlight, I mean getting to travel to different parts of the world and connect with all different kinds of people is seriously amazing. Playing on Conan was very cool too because we don’t have television like that in Australia. We were wide eyed the whole time.

AM: You recently covered “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House and “Fill In The Blank” by Car Seat Headrest. What was it about these songs that made you want to create your own version of them?

HJ: I liked these songs for different reasons - I love the melody of "Don’t Dream It’s Over", it has sung to me for a very long time. "Fill in the Blank" is a special song in the way that it conveys existential angst, something I am very familiar with.

AM: Any ideas on what your next cover song will be?

HJ: We cover songs all the time because why only play our songs when there are thousands better out there to play. But not sure what we will release next.

AM: You’re one of our favorite new bands. Who are some of your favorite new acts?

HJ: Heh thank you. Some of my new favorites are a punk band from Ballarat called Good Boy, Andy Shauf is amazing...maybe not so new but still pretty fresh, The Lemon Twigs are tres cool.


Chicago, you have several chances to catch Middle Kids in August. In addition to a sold-out after show with Mac DeMarco at Concord Music Hall on August 5th, the trio will be performing in WKQX's Sound Lounge on August 1st. Finally, they'll also be playing twice at Lollapalooza-- once at the Pepsi Stage at 2:50 PM and again in the Toyota Music Den at 6PM on Thursday, August 3rd. 

See all of Middle Kid's upcoming tour dates hereand listen to their self-titled EP in full below!

Allday's Guide To Being Vegan on Tour

Hailing from Adelaide, Australia, the rapper Allday is gearing to up to tour The States next month, including a stop at The Subterranean in Chicago. During this tour, Allday will be performing songs from his sophomore album, Speeding, which features Japanese Wallpaper and Mallrat as collaborators. While he gets ready for tour, Allday put together a vegan tour guide to show his fans how he manages to keep up with his meat-free and cruelty-free diet on the road. 

Allday. Photo courtesy of No Big Deal PR

Allday. Photo courtesy of No Big Deal PR


To be vegan on tour is slightly harder than to be vegan not on tour. Because sometimes you end up in places where the concept of not eating animal stuff completely foreign and even offensive (blame meat & dairy industry propaganda). Truck stops in the middle of nowhere and small towns can be vegan heartbreakers. But there's always SOMETHING to eat. And if there is something vegan, we will sniff it out. You may end up eating something not delicious, but you will never go hungry.

DISCLAIMER: I haven't toured that much in the U.S.A yet, but I've done it a lot in Australia so I'm hoping some of these things are universal.

First things first:

Before you get in your tour vehicle, go to a damn supermarket and buy some nuts. Nuts are perfect for long drives because they kinda suck so you need to be very hungry to enjoy them. Maybe also buy... some fruit? "But Allday I don't like fruit!" Yes you do. Eat some fucking fruit. Fruit and nuts can last you at least 8 or 10 hours, by that time you'll be in another city and you can eat some actual food. Don't complain, some people are really starving. Don't buy any Gatorade or any of that poison, you're not a 12 year old Xbox player. 

Now your first day of driving is over.

You're in a "buttfuck nowhere" town. There is nowhere vegan to eat (this rarely happens but it is possible). What type of kitchen do you have in your hotel room? Is there a stove or a microwave? If yes, go to option 1. If no go to option 2. 

1. We have a kitchen! How grand. Now we find a supermarket or a convenience store. If a supermarket is open you can go Gordon Ramsay on 'em and make something gour-met. But it's probably late and there's only a convenience store open. Go to the freezer at the back. There should be some spring rolls or wedges or something. I don't need to tell you to read the labels carefully because companies are addicted to putting "Milk Solids" and "Fish Sauce" in things. Your meal is going to suck. Sorry. Open a window in your room so it doesn't smell like soy sauce.

2. Your hotel room doesn't have a kitchen. What the fuck. You should trash this place. But you're too hungry. Use your last iota of strength to crawl down to the nearest strip of take out restaurants. Ignore McDonalds and all that poison. Your best bet is somewhere Asian or Indian. Yes I realize India is in Asia. Go in there and question them heavily about vegan options. "What is vegan?" "Vegan means no animal products at all, so no dairy, egg, no fish sauce or anything like that." "Our Eggplant Curry would be vegan." "Can you check with the chef?" "Sure." 

5 minutes passes, the man waiting for his Butter Chicken will is judging you but he's not woke like you, so it doesn't matter. The cashier returns with good news "It is vegan." 

"I'll have one of those please!!!"

You made it through day 1 on tour, you beautiful compassionate vegan angel. 

(P.S never feel bad about questioning people about vegan options, once someone does it, it makes it easier for the next person, you are a pioneer.)

Day 2:

Wow it's your lucky day, tonight we are arriving in a big city with lots of vegan restaurants (because I'm making this tour route up so why not). But before that, go to a supermarket again. Nuts, fruit, water. Avocado and tortilla chips? Hummus and carrots? "No that's too healthy." Ok fine.

Here's an idea, buy:

- Hotdog rolls

- Bananas

- Peanut Butter

- Jam (Americans you call it Jelly)

- You should have stolen a butter knife from your hotel, but if not, buy one

Method: Spread PB&J on the hotdog rolls, then peel your bananas and insert them into the rolls. PB&J + Banana Hot Dogs.

By the time you get hungry again after your hotdogs, you will arrive in a city with lots of vegetarian/vegan restaurants. A good app/website to find these places is Happy Cow. Go out to dinner with your touring party and eat some nourishing food, then blow the audience's socks off with your gig later. "Wow *insert your name here* really had a beautiful glow up on stage tonight!" 

Day 3:

Basically repeat all the things I've been saying so far until your music is no longer profitable and you have to go be a janitor. 

P.S For when you're stoned/self loathing/lazy, lots of truck stop junk food is accidentally vegan, things like:

- Oreos

- Some pop tarts

- Skittles

- Mostly all original chips and some funky flavours too

- Certain dark chocolates

- Skittles

If you're already vegan, this is probably the most inane thing you've ever read. But if you're just starting, maybe it will help.

Yours always in animal-leaving-alone,

Allday


Chicago, Allday will be in town on August 7th at the SubT. Grab your tickets here, and make a night out of it by supporting veganism and grabbing your pre-show meal at The Chicago Diner. You can get tickets to all of the upcoming shows here. Last step to prepping for the show? Listen to Speeding in full below!

A Chat With: Meg Mac

Australian singer-songwriter Meg Mac combines her soulful vocals with pop melodies to craft irresistible tunes, like the viral "Roll Up Your Sleeves," which has racked up over 9 million Spotify streams. Prior to the July 14th release of her debut album, Meg will tour North America playing some of the new songs, returning for the first time since she supported D'Angelo on a 2015 tour. In advance of the tour next month, we had a chat with Meg to get the scoop on the upcoming album, her influences, her advice on dealing with jet lag, and more! 

Photo Credit: Metaxia Coustas 

Photo Credit: Metaxia Coustas 

ANCHR Magazine: Congratulations on your debut album coming out later this year! Can you tell us a little bit about the songwriting and recording process of the album?

Meg Mac: Thank you! I really wanted to make my first album simple.  I write all my songs at the piano and I played on most of the album. I wanted it to feel and sound like you were in the studio with me when you listen to the album. Just me and my songs without anything getting in the way.

AM: You’ve cited Edith Piaf and Carole King as influences for the album. Did you pull inspiration from any other art mediums or nonmusical influences when writing the songs?

MM: Edith Piaf said she wanted to make people cry even when they don’t understand her words. I love the idea of that. When I am writing I’m always inspired by something personal, something I am experiencing. I have to feel strongly enough about something to sing about it. 

AM: Which of the new songs are you most looking forward to playing live, and what can we expect from the live show?

MM: There’s a song on my album called "Ride It." Recording this song is what inspired me to get my first electric guitar from New York and learn how to play. Obviously it features guitar, but it also has an energy on it that I haven’t had before, and I can play around with that on stage.

AM: Which cities are you most looking forward to on the upcoming tour?

MM: I’m excited to come back to a lot of the places I’ve been before. My last tour in the states was with D’Angelo and I fell in love with a few places. But I’m pretty happy about playing my first show in San Francisco.

AM: Since you’re coming to tour The States all the way from Australia, what are your best tips for staying entertained on long flights and dealing with jetlag?

MM: Don’t take daytime naps.

AM: I saw you tweeted about Firefly Festival and being in disbelief you’re on the same poster as Bob Dylan. Who else on the Firefly lineup are you hoping to see while you’re there?

MM: I’d love to see Banks - she’s playing the same day as me.

AM: I also saw on your social media that your sister is in your band and plays on some songs on your album. Is your whole family pretty much musical, and when did you first get into making your own music? 

MM: Yeah my little sister sings in my band and every now and then she comes in to the studio. Singing is just what we did in our house growing up - it was normal.

AM: What other bands are you listening to at the moment? 

MM: I have been getting into Father John Misty and also going back and loving Tracey Chapman.


You can pre-order Low Blows here, and grab your tickets to see Meg Mac at Schubas Tavern on 6/20 here. Get ready for the show and the album by listening to Meg's debut EP below. 

A Chat With: Julia Jacklin

Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin has had a year as incredible as the songs she writes...releasing her debut album, touring nonstop, and being announced on massive festival lineups all over the world, like Glastonbury and Spendour In The Grass. Her music blends her rich and haunting vocals with retro-tinged folk music, and a pinch of twang. In the midst of her current North American tour, Julia took some time to chat with us about her first album and what's in store for her this year. Get to know Julia Jacklin now before she takes summer 2017 by a storm.

Thumbnail Photo Credit: Scarlett Mckee

Photo Credit: Nick McKinley

Photo Credit: Nick McKinley

ANCHR Magazine: Congrats on releasing your debut album last year... it’s a big accomplishment! What have been some highlights for you since you’ve released it?

Julia Jacklin:  I’ve kind of been on tour since I released it. So I’ve done a lot of things. Playing music festivals has been cool. We played...it’s a pretty big bill back home, it’s a festival called Laneway Festival. We got to do that, which was like a teenage dream come true. We did Tiny Desk two days ago, which was also on the list of dreams.

AM: Cool! Talking more about your music, you wrote, starred in, and directed the video for “Leadlight." Was that your first experience directing?

JJ: The first one I did was “Pool Party” actually. I released that quite a long time before I released the record. That was my first experience, just kind of coming from having to make it work. I needed a music video and had to make it happen.

AM: Do you have any interest or background with films, or was it really that you just needed someone to direct it and stepped into that role yourself?

JJ: I definitely have an interest...I definitely have a lot to learn in that regards. I’m a person who has grown up watching many things. It’s something that I ended up really enjoying, but honestly it wasn’t like an “Oh, I really want to do this all on my own.” It was like I just had to do it.

AM: Do you have any all-time favorite music videos that you were inspired by when you were planning what you were going to do for your own music videos?

JJ: Probably my favorite is a Grimes clip, called “Oblivion.” Have you seen that one, where she’s in like a football field? It’s really cool. I wish it was my music video.

AM: Cool! So then as far as the live show, what have been some of your favorite songs from the album to play live since you’ve played a bunch of shows since the release? Are there any that have sort of changed and transformed in the live sense?

JJ: Yeah, they’ve all kind of changed over time. They’re quite a lot bigger than on the record now. I’ve kind of had a few---just cause I’m touring a lot in many different places, I’ve had a few line up changes in the band. That’s always changing the songs in a way. I definitely hated a couple of songs a few months ago and now I’m enjoying them. It kind of changes all the time. I’ve been really enjoying playing “Leadlight” lately. Which I was always really scared of for some reason. It was always the one song in the set that I was thinking I was gonna screw up.

AM: So you’ve had a few different line up changes with touring different countries. What’s the current set up on this tour?

JJ: I’ve got Eddie from back home. He’s played with me the whole time. Then I have Ian and Ben from Toronto, who joined a couple of weeks ago. They are fantastic. We’ve been really getting to know each other.

AM: Nice! Any random outings or fun stories from this tour so far?

JJ: It's been a very chill tour so far. The whole first part was driving up the west coast of America, and getting to see the Red Woods. Like staying in really secluded Air BnBs, and just feeling like a real tourist for once. Instead of like a really tired musician just coming in and out of cities and never really seeing anything. I felt like I really got to see some of America this time.

AM: Any cities coming up that you’re excited to go to on this tour?

JJ: We’re going to a few places on this tour we’ve never been to, like Raleigh and Atlanta. So I’m just keen to see what the deal is, what’s going on. I’m pretty excited about playing in New Orleans. I’ve been there a few times as a backpacker, just wandering around, soaking it all in. It’s a nice turn of life events that I’m gonna play there.

AM: That should be great. I hear a lot of musicians say they like playing there because the crowd is really receptive.

JJ: Totally, yeah.

AM: Have there been any culture shocks for you playing in America? It sounds like you’ve been here before even as a backpacker, but anything being a musician that is completely different here than back home?

JJ: It's very different to back home, as there’s so many more cities and venues to play. In Australia it’s like you tour for a week and you’ve pretty much covered it. Really long distances between places as well, and you have to fly. That’s super different- being in a new place every four hours that seems to have a pretty different culture, like food-wise and the music scene seems to change a lot between each state. It’s a completely different experience than back home. It kind of feels like you’re in different countries every couple of days.

AM: What’s been the most surprising show, like where the crowd or city was different to what you thought it would be like?

JJ: We just played in Montreal actually, and that was quite different to what I was expecting. Just a very a vocally appreciative crowd. They were yelling a lot at me, but nice things. Kind of throughout the whole set. They were really into it.

AM: So kind of circling back, do you have anyone who inspired you to start making music? Both musical and nonmusical, what first inspired you to start writing and playing an instrument?

JJ: I guess my friend to be honest. My friend Liz, who I got to know when I was 18. She was a massive fan of like Annie DiFranco and she had a classical guitar. She used to do really cool finger picking, and I was like I really want to be just like you. So I bought a classical guitar and started doing exactly what she was doing. We still play music together. She’s been the biggest thing for me in the beginning. The first band I was in was with her, and she’s just someone I really looked up to.

AM: Very cool. So are there any new albums or bands that you’re listening to a lot?

JJ: I’ve been listening to Mitski’s new record a lot. That’s been a big favorite. I’ve just discovered Cass McCombs. I’m very late to the bandwagon on that, but I’ve been enjoying listening.

AM: So then last thing, you’re on the Splendour in the Grass line up. It’s a big Australian festival and your first time playing it right?

JJ: Yeah the first time, it feels really good.

AM: Awesome, so anyone else on the line up you’re hoping to check out?

JJ: Well we have to fly straight to LA to play FYF Fest. So it’s one of those things where it’s like oh cool there’s all these great people playing, but we have to play and leave straight away to get to the airport. Which is usually the case it seems with music festivals once you start playing them. So I’m choosing not to look at the lineup and when people play so I don’t get disappointed.

AM: Anything else you’re looking forward to this year?

JJ: We’re moving to Spain in a month, doing the European Festival circuit, doing like Green Man, Glastonbury, and Primavera. So I’m really looking forward to that. Summer time festival life.

AM: Very cool. Are you writing new material on tour?

JJ: Yeah I have been. We had quite a lot of down time at the beginning of this tour, so hopefully I’ll have something new soon.


Follow along with all things tour and other updates from Julia here.  Chicago, you can see Julia Jacklin with Andy Shauf this Saturday, May 13th. Grab tickets to their show at Lincoln Hall here, and get ready for the show by listening to Julia's debut album below!