Oh hey, friends. We're back with our second featured BIGSOUND Live artist tonight, the sublime Ali Barter! BIGSOUND Live tickets are still on sale, but they won't be for long. So if you want to be able to see incredible artists like Barter, Gang of Youths, Tired Lion and Ngaiire, you'd better head over to QMusic quick smart and get some. Now, read on and enjoy our chat with Ali Barter!
Performing as part of BIGSOUND Live 2015
Wednesday 9 September - 9:50pm @ The Zoo
Hey there, Ali Barter. Thanks for joining us! How’s life treating you today?
Ali Barter: Heya! It’s pretty good. I’m sitting in a cafe in London catching up on emails. Been traveling around Europe and writing songs in London. It was fantastic to see your name on the list of artists performing at this year’s BIGSOUND Live event.
What are your thoughts on the BIGSOUND concept? Any acts you’ll be keen to check out during the event?
Ali Barter: I think BIGSOUND is a great concept. It’s important to a SXSW type conference in Aus. We have so much amazing music here and it allows industry from Aus and all over the world to come check us out! I have heard great things come to pass from playing BIGSOUND, like bands getting overseas booking agents - which then opens the door for them to tour in the UK or US. In terms of who I want to see… I’m really keen to see City Calm Down because I LOVE their sound. Also looking forward to Aldous Harding who is playing before me at The Zoo. Her voice is divine.
You’ll be performing on September 9 at The Zoo! You have a short space of time to play for people who may not know you or your material well. So, how do you decide what songs you’ll be playing on the night?
Ali Barter: All killer no filler!! We will just play the loudest, randiest songs!
We’ve been loving your new single ‘Hypercolour’… especially the live version you made a video for. The song sounds like it was written when you were coming out of a particularly trying time. What’s the story behind the song?
Ali Barter: It was written during a break up and then finished during a year I wasn’t allowed to sing due to vocal issues. It was a shitty time and one that I really had to force myself to stop moping and get back on the horse. My partner Oscar kept pushing me to write when I wasn’t allowed to sing, which was the best thing because otherwise I would have had all those words and feelings rolling around inside my head and I probably would have gone crazy. It’s a bit of a mad song, I mean, it came from times of madness and despair. Which is always a bit of fun!
Have you got any other releases planned for this year we can look forward to? What about
touring plans? After you’ve hit up BIGSOUND, will you be heading out on the road for any other shows in 2015?
Ali Barter: Yes! I’ll be launching my EP later in the year and playing some shows in Melbourne and Sydney, hopefully with a little run of regional solo shows too! There will be a support slot or two I’m sure as well.
What do you think makes a good songwriter? I ask, because you’re really very good at that whole songwriting thing. Is there anything in particular that you draw inspiration from when it’s time to start writing?
Ali Barter: I usually watch movies, write down words that evoke a feeling. I went to the Tate Modern in London and walked around listening to a playlist of songs and just wrote down anything that came to mind while looking at the works. I wrote quite a lot looking at the Mark Rothko paintings. They were really dark but beautiful. there was a Picasso that was great too. But thats the first time I’ve written from visual art. Usually its films or other music. I get into soundtracks big time.
I apologise for asking this question, because more often than not I get a, “why would you ask this question?” in response… which is probably why I keep asking it… but, if you had to pick five albums that have shaped who you are as a person (or if the zombie apocalypse happened and you could only grab 5 albums to keep with you forever), what would they be and why?
Ali Barter: I did this recently for my friend Justin Guppy who is starting a podcast for his blog ‘Lost In Dopeness’.
The songs I picked were -
1. Malibu by Hole - Perfect combo of rock/pop/glam/grunge. I love the chords and lyrics, the picture the song paints. It was co-written by Billy Corgan who is a legend. I never get sick of this one.
2. Stand Inside Your Love by The Smashing Pumpkins - Ugh, just amazing. Epic, huge. I remember the first time I heard this song. I listened to it on repeat on my discman for days. I love how the chorus kicks up a gear the second time through. The drums and screaming guitars are just so good.
3. Glorybox by Portishead - from one of my favourite film soundtracks, ’Stealing Beauty’. This song is so sexy and timeless.
4. Crazy by Patsy Cline - This is my mum’s favourite song. It was written by Willie Nelson and sung but the incomparable Patsy. It’s just so sad but has that country way of lifting the song to a lilting sweetness. A timeless melody and subject.
5. Metal Heart (the Moon Pix version) by Cat Power - I love the guitar in the intro and the double tracked vocals sung super effortlessly. I just adore this song. I would say it’s my all time. The lyrics are great ‘be true cos they’ll lock you up in a sad, sad zoo.’ It’s so simple and beautiful, sung by the disturbing and bewitching Chan Marshall.
If you could have one of your songs featured on any TV show, you would want it to be…
Ali Barter: OMG Made In Chelsea
If you weren’t a musician, you would like to pursue a career in…
Ali Barter: Travel, I’m about to do it too! I’m taking over my mum’s India tour company, ‘Tagore Tours’… watch this space!
The first album you ever bought was…
Ali Barter: It was a compilation CD called Moods 2. It included ‘Sweet Lullaby’ by Deep Forest and the theme from ‘The Mission’ by Ennio Morricone.
Your dream music collaboration would be with…
Ali Barter: I love the production Justin Vernon did for the band Land Of Talk’s album, Some Are Lakes. He just nailed it. Beautiful, honest and grungy. I’d love to work with him one day.
When they air the Ali Barter MTV ‘Behind The Music’ special in forty-two years, what will they say about you?
Ali Barter: She was a searcher… and a kook.
There's exciting times ahead for Ali Barter, with BIGSOUND Live an EP and more shows to come. And maybe some India adventures too! Thanks for the chat Ali and we'll see you at BIGSOUND!