Wednesday, 30 September 2015

It's My Kind Of Interview - Little May's Liz Drummond

Little May's Annie Hamilton, Liz Drummond (C) and Hannah Field!

It's no secret that we're big fans of Little May around here. The Sydney outfit comprised of Annie Hamilton, Hannah Field and Liz Drummond are really quite excellent at that whole 'making music' thing and their debut album "For The Company" will be out October 9! We've already heard the gorgeous 'Home' and the heartbreaking 'Seven Hours' and we know the album's going to be one of our favourites of the year. And probably ever, but anyway... Liz has always been super kind to us and took the time to answer some questions about all things "For The Company" and the crazy adventure the Little May journey has taken her on over the past couple of years. Enjoy! 

Interview by Matt Bond

Liz Drummond! Thank you so much for stopping by again. How are you and what have you been getting up to today?

Liz Drummond: HEY! Always a pleasure talking to you guys. I am great thanks! I am currently sitting at a cafĂ© on the Central Coast, drinking coffee and eating cake by myself. It’s a really nice day.

It was so great to see you perform live in Brisbane last weekend. You're previewing tracks from your debut album "For The Company" while on the road. How have you found the response from crowds? Any tour highlights so far you want to share?

Liz: Thanks so much for coming to the show, I was wondering if you guys were there! The response so far has been positive, I think. It feels like there is a bit of a new energy happening on stage, just playing the new songs. All the Australian shows were amazing and the crowds were all different in their own way. I loved the Sydney show, because there were so many of our friends and family, and it sold out (which blew our minds). I also secretly enjoyed forgetting the lyrics to ‘Dust’ at the Brisbane show. It was funny, but also a bit sad.

You recorded the album in New York earlier in the year with The Nationals' Aaron Dessner. Did you find yourself approaching the way you record your music in completely different ways? What are some of the best lessons you learned during the process?

Liz: We recorded the album over 5 weeks. It was quite a whirlwind and in that time we all learnt a lot. For me personally, it was a great experience having a deadline. I admit that I can be a perfectionist, and I think that can be somewhat debilitating when you want to get things done. It can also make you lose perspective. We really surrendered ourselves to Aaron, and what he does as a producer and a visionary. I think it was important for us to do that. We really trusted him, and we wanted his input and for him to put himself into the project. We went into the studio with a full album in mind. A couple of the songs weren’t working as well as we had hoped, and we ended up co-writing with Aaron on them. That was an experience in itself.

I'd like to single out the track 'Seven Hours' for a second. I love the build, the harmonies, the lyrics. Everything. What's the story behind the song?

Liz: We went to Jindabyne last year for a writing trip, just before Splendour. We locked ourselves away and were determined to write some stuff. We had been listening to Heavenly Father by Bon Iver. I then came up with some chords, then Hannah started writing the lyrics. We wrote the chorus melody and lyrics together. We wanted it to be something that was moving. The coldness and the whole vibe of Jindabyne was a massive inspiration. I think the verses are from Hannah’s personal experiences. I can’t really speak for her but I think it’s a reflection of a past relationship. I think there’s a lot of imagery in the song, and the lyrics are sensationalized to really paint a picture.

You've come up with a really cool listening party-ish concept with the #ArtForTheCompany exhibition. Tell us about the three day event, how did you come up with it and how did you choose the featured artists, designers and photographers?

Liz: Our manager Monique came up with the original idea, and since then her and Annie have been working intensely on making it all come to fruition. Annie reached out to a bunch of artists who were keen, and we sent them the album. Every artist picked a song. No one picked the same song, which was surprising (and awesome). Annie is such a talented artist, and it’s really awesome to see her thriving in this exhibition. We’re setting up listening booths, so people can come and hear the album before it’s released. The exhibition is really birthed from the idea of encouraging inspiration and creation. It’s really cool to see how the artists each interpret the songs for themselves, and create something new. I love that art just inspires new art. It’s endless.

You'll be heading over to England just before the album is released on October 6 and then after stops in Holland, France, Germany and Belgium it's back to the USA for more shows. You're kinda taking over the world. Looking back over the last couple of years, how are you feeling about how far you've come? And what do you find different about performing to local audiences and international ones?

Liz: I know it sounds clichĂ©, but this whole lifestyle, and everything that’s happened in the past year, is really beyond my comprehension. Annie and I often joke that when we enter a room, everyone’s going to jump out and yell “SURPRISE, YOUR LIFE IS A JOKE”. I never thought this would happen for me. The last tour we did overseas was an eye opener. We had people come to our shows overseas. They bought tickets and they knew our songs. We sat on a plane for 24 hours across the ocean, to new land where people have heard what we recorded on the other side of the world. What even is that?

In our very first interview with you, you said you would love to be involved in a big Mumford and Sons festival jam and that happened in June along with The Flaming Lips, Jenny Lewis and The Vaccines. So what's next on the bucket list?

Liz: I was literally talking about that the other day. I knew I wrote it down somewhere. That was a distant dream. I can’t even… We are really, really lucky. Next on the bucket list - I know it sounds silly but I really want to do trapezing, or some sort of circus thing. That’s not really a bucket list thing though, just an expensive hobby. I don’t know, I would like to have children, at some stage.

What's planned for after the American leg of your tour? A well deserved break? Recording of more music perhaps?

Liz: I plan to go lie on a beach for as long as I can, and shut everything out for a while. I also want to spend some time up at the farm with my parents and my boyfriend. I also want to get straight back into writing, and start recording the next release. Writing and recording is my happy place, I have discovered.

I know you're sort of on the go, non-stop, action action, album release busy like at the moment, but what music have you been loving this year?

Liz: Tame Impala, Other Lives, Father John Misty, Alberta Cross, Pond, Sufjan Stevens, Wolf Alice

If you could make your own supergroup comprised of: 1 x lead vocalist, 1 x guitarist/vocals, 1 x bass guitar player, 1 x drummer and 1 x keys player... Who would you pick? Anyone is in play.

Liz: Robert Plant, Thom Yorke, Flea, Dave Grohl, Elton John. If they could work out their differences, I think it could be quite a sound.

Kanye for President of the United States in 2020. Your thoughts?

Liz: Haha. I don’t think he would be the best president, but I think he is extremely innovative and would do some good things for culture and creativity. I think he has been incredibly misunderstood. But yeah, realistically, maybe not president.

Thanks so much, always a pleasure. Can't wait to hear the album so very soon!

Liz: Thanks for the support guys. Love you all! x

If we had a Hall of Fame, Liz would be in it. That's the fourth time she's stopped by! We love it. And we're going to love the album "For The Company" when it's out next month. If you're in Sydney this weekend, you should head along to the Art For The Company exhibition at Goodspace, which is running from 12 - 6pm. You can get full details over on the Facebooks. Thanks again to Liz Drummond for another lovely chat and all the best to Little May on their international shows and the release of "For The Company"! 

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