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54 Hyde St
Adelaide, SA, 5000
Australia

Interview: All Our Exes Live in Texas

RAD LIFE

Interview: All Our Exes Live in Texas

Natasha Martin

Alright Adelaide, it's time to prepare yourself for Sydney's finest folk band, All Our Exes Live in Texas. This four piece are coming to Adelaide as part of their national tour for their recently released album 'When We Fall'. These talent, kick-ass ladies are winning hearts all over the world, and we were lucky enough to talk to the lovely Georgia Mooney from the band about their upcoming tour, the inspiration behind the album and mostly importantly, sausage dogs. 

So, you're coming to Adelaide on the 23rd [June] to perform at Jive, what are you most looking forward to when you're here?

I feel like we don't get to come to Adelaide enough, so it's always a treat and we always have really nice shows. Last time we played at the Adelaide Festival and we played on the water, it was just gorgeous and the audience is always so lovely. I'm looking forward to just coming back and seeing people again, and Elana and I are coming a day early so we can spend a bit of time at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival!

Do you find the Adelaide crowd to be interesting?

Yeah, they are very friendly. Some of our best gigs have been in Adelaide, we've played a few times at the Wheatsheaf and it's always a nice crowd. There are lots of kids that come along. We've played Adelaide Festival, and we've played WOMADelaide, which was just amazing. I feel like Adelaide has the best festivals in the country, to be honest, so I guess the audiences are used to going out to gigs and they love it!

That's great! Well, you've played quite a few festivals, what's been your favourite one to date?

Um, that's a really hard question! That's one of those things that as soon as you say we've played lots of festivals I sort of forget which ones [laughs]. But we did have a lot of fun at WOMADelaide, that was amazing! We always like Woodford [Folk Festival] up in Queensland. The national folk festival up in Canberra is pretty special, yeah there's been a lot but I think Adelaide's got the cream of the crop.

Am I right to say you also toured with the Backstreet Boys?

Yes, we did!

What was that like?

It was amazing! It was crazy, I don't think we got to come to Adelaide unfortunately but it was very unexpected. We were playing a little show in Sydney on a Wednesday night and we got the call that we were going to do the tour with the Backstreet Boys, and on Friday night we were playing at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, which was very intimidating - but it was amazing! We just played these four arena shows, we danced and say along the side of the stage like little 12-year-old idiots and we just had the best time... and they were lovely.

You also recently toured in America and The UK, what's it like over there?

Yeah, we had a great time! We've been to the states now I think four times, we recently just came back a couple of days ago from touring on the West Coast with Midnight Oil, so that was amazing. It's great to play these venues, that it's quite possible we'll never get to play again. They were these beautiful big old theatres, really ornate, gorgeous theatres, filled with about two-thousand people - it's a wonderful city. I feel like the American audiences are a really lovely attentive crowd, I think maybe they sort of interested in the idea of four Aussie girls calling themselves 'All Our Exes Live in Texas' [laughs], so yeah we had a great time. Also we've been to England and Ireland, I love the shows there, especially in Ireland. We just fell in love with the place. I think they've got folk music just running through their blood, so they really love folk music of all varieties! [Our music] was really well received and we're going back in August, it'll be good.

Exciting stuff! I've been to Ireland it's very lovely over there.

Yeah, it's so beautiful!

Do you find the crowds over there different to here in Australia?

I guess whenever you go overseas, I mean as much as you can be when you're from Australia, you're slightly exotic [laughs]. So people are sort of intrigued, but I don't know people are people all over the world and audiences are the same. The one thing we did notice when we were in Ireland is that they researched our music before the gig was on, and they were singing along. They just really value our music and I think it's because it's that traditional Irish music, which is a big part of the culture.

What inspired you to write music?    

Oh, that's a good question. Um, wow, I guess I decided to become a musician at a pretty young age and I just loved performing, but weirdly I was always quite a shy person and that's a thing I've noticed - there are a lot of performing artists who are extroverted introverts if that makes sense. So, it becomes a sort of cathartic process, it's about expression. Really, I wanted to do for people what going to live music does for me, because there's just something unexplainable about the feeling you can get from connecting to a performer and connecting to a song when it's sung live. I wanted to do it for myself and try and do it for other people.

So, did you ever find a time when writing songs that it's quite hard to express what you're trying to convey to your audience?

Yes! Oh my gosh, so much. I find it quite hard to write songs, it's a bit of a slow process and I think probably the thing that gets in the way most is editing yourself too early. You've really got to run with an idea for awhile and see where it ends up. If it ends up in the bin you've just got to not be too hard on yourself, and try to not edit things before you've given them a chance to breathe; that's sort of the main thing I struggle with. Sometimes I just find the idea of being a white privileged person and singing about my feelings hard to grapple with. I'm always able to justify it with the knowledge that music and art are an important part of the community, and a need for all different people.    

Do you find it easier to perform in a group or do you like performing solo?

I really like both, I mean as a group it's really nice to have your friends on stage with you. It's so much more relaxing and you get much less nervous before a show, because you feel like you've got a support team and being able to sing together is really special. But also singing solo is amazing because you know it's all on you and it's a different kind of pressure, but that can kind of bring out the best in you and also having the opportunity to sing a full show is quite fun. So, I think both of them are fun in different ways.

How did you start the band?

Well, we were all playing solo and we're all from all over Australia, but we happened to be living in Syndey at the time and we were going to each other's gigs and we became really close friends; we just loved each other's writing and then we started jamming together. Then it wasn't 'til a friend of ours suggested that we start the band for this gig he was putting on for a 'Brother Where Art Thou' tribute night, and he said "Why don't you do something as all four of you? You can all sing and all learn new instruments" and we were like that sounds like fun, sure we'll do that as a one off! We picked up a few instruments and then it just sort of stuck. By happy accident we ended up being asked to do more shows and then what was originally the side project became the main project and its been four years! 

Wow, so you're all really close then?

Yes, we are really close. We made a pact at the start that the friendship was more important than the band, but as the band has been going on and on we've become even closer. As band mates you have this sort of strange and very unique relationship where you become like sisters, also wise like colleagues and best friends. But yeah we are very, very close. 

That's so lovely to hear! You mentioned earlier that you had to learn new instruments, what did you learn?

Well, we were all playing piano at our solo shows. I picked up mandolin from scratch before our first gig, which was a bit stressful, but a friend of mine was really helpful. Katie was playing a bit of guitar in high school, so she found her old high school guitar and started getting back on that, and Elana was playing accordion in another band so she sort of plays piano/accordion. Hannah picked up her old ukulele and started playing that so we all sort of went to instruments we all sort of wanted to go to, we didn't really think about what they would sound like together, but it they worked well as a group. Since then we've been learning on the go!

Wow! So, you've just recently released your 'When We Fall' album, what was the inspiration behind that? 

Interesting question, I mean because there are four writers and we each have 3 songs on the album, they [the songs] sort of come from four different minds. But there does seem to be a bit of a theme of heartbreak and loss of love, but also there are a couple songs that are also about family and female friendship. 'When We Fall' mostly seems to be about relationships with friends, family, and loved ones. The songs we're writing now, [which] we're starting to crack on the second album, are sort of inspired by political movements, feminism of course and just the political climate we are in at the moment. It feels like a good time and the right time to be writing more politically charged songs, more protest songs, and that was something that was really inspiring about touring with Midnight Oil - all of their songs are so outspoken and they're really making art for change. So, I think we are going to try and avoid breakup songs and head into something on a different topic.

So, something very empowering then?

 Yeah, especially being a band of four women. It's a good time to speak up about gender and equality, and what voice we have as a female band and to express our views on things.

Alright well, I've got my final question and it's the most important! Cats or dogs?

[Laughs] Dogs, definitely! 

Do you have a favourite dog?

Well, my favourite dog is my own dog which is a sausage dog called 'Tottie', and she's gorgeous.

Well, thank you again so much for talking to us today, we can't wait to see you perform in Adelaide.

A pleasure, thanks for having me!

 

Header Image and Tour Detail image via All Our Exes Live in Texas Facebook page and in article images via The Rolling Stone magazine.