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Tomatrax

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Interview with Lisa Caruso

Since impressing Australian audiences with brooding track ‘Shake Baby Shake’ in November
last year, the song about invisible illness, Sydney’s Lisa Caruso has returned with her latest single ‘Borrow my body’ to feature on her forthcoming album.

Tomatrax caught up with Lisa to talk about her music.

You’ve just released your latest single, how does it feel to have it out?

Yeh really good. There’s something very nice and relaxed about this third single. I’ve gone with the flow and haven’t needed to kill many more brain cells (as an independent artist) in the process. Practice makes perfect right? It did also help that the single isn’t ‘high energy‘. I’m not sure that I’ll have many more opportunities to lye in a bath on set. 

What made you pick ‘Borrow my body’ as your latest single?

I wanted to give audiences another little sneak into the album. Introducing another shade, I also felt like it was the most appropriate ‘winter’ release for us here in Oz. It delivers its best sentiment in the colder months, I think. 

Where did you get the idea to play in a stairwell in the video?

After deciding on the location, we needed to find a space to shoot this ‘performance’ scene. I wanted it to feel different, but to also tie into the narrative. I love old Art Deco spaces, and didn’t have to think twice about the stairwell. It gave us so much scope to express the ache. 

What was it like working with guitarist Benjamin Fletcher

The best. Good man. 

You have your debut album planned for out later this year, how has that been going?

Very good. We’re almost there. There has been a few delays along the way because of poor health which frustrated the crap out me at the time, but now I see it was a sweet opportunity to treat each track like a single release. I’d actually love to keep going as I am, but I think it’s time to just get them all out so I can focus on the next album.

How will the album compare with the work you’ve put out thus far?

I think that this album has a lot of scope and is bolder than my first EP. I wanted it to scream all the emotions. Years have passed too, so I can better articulate what I want to hear. It’s been a dream arrangement wise, and the team has also been vital in executing the tracks this way. Massive thanks and appreciation to them. It’s also nice to hear that the songwriting lends themselves to a certain style. I played a solo show the other night and had someone comment that my set made them think of Mullholland Drive and PJ Harvey.  Spot on.

You’ve got a bit of a backlog of songs you’ve previously performed live but not released, will any of these make it onto the album?

Yes. The songs on the album are ones that rose to the top as I worked on them in live settings over the years. It was cool to get a sense from the audience as to which ones resonated most. The truest ones always seem to rise to the surface. 

Do you know what the album will be titled?

I do! But I will have to keep it a secret a little while longer…

Your previous single ‘Shake baby shake’ appeared on American NBC series ‘Good Girls’, how did that come about?

I’m very grateful for that and how they used it. The scene really embodies the mood and feeling of the song. I’m glad they could hear that too! 

What do you have planned after the album’s release?

More shows. I’d love to take it on the road. I’m also looking forward to starting on the next album. Feeling good and excited about that. 

Check out Lisa Caruso’s Facebook page to find out more!

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The Mission’s Wayne Hussey to tour UK/Sweden with ethereal wonder Evi Vine ** Hussey’s ‘Salad Daze’ autobiography & Evi Vine’s ‘Black Light White Dark’ LP out now

 

 

Wayne Hussey, best known as the frontman for UK alternative rock legends The Mission, has announced UK dates with London-based dark ethereal artist Evi Vine, as part of his European tour this coming autumn. Hussey will be touring in support of his long-awaited autobiography ‘Salad Daze’. Evi Vine is supporting her new album ‘Black Light White Dark’.

Evi Vine contributed backing vocals on The Mission’s 2016 album ‘Another Fall From Grace’, which hit the UK top-40 album chart. In 2016-17, she toured with Wayne Hussey and The Mission as featured vocalist for their 30th Anniversary Tour.

Wayne Hussey’s book ‘Salad Daze’ was published on May 23 by Omnibus Press, chronicling Wayne’s life from childhood to his days with The Mission. A confessional, engaging and explicit account of life in the eye of rock’s storm conveyed with warmth, humour and laugh-out-loud moments, each chapter is accompanied by a specially curated playlist (via YouTube and Spotify) featuring artists as diverse as Elvis, Radiohead, Suicide, Frank Sinatra, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, David Bowie, Television, T-Rex, Cigarettes After Sex, Iggy Pop, and Telly Savalas.

“My autobiography was recently published and, to celebrate, I’m going out on a mammoth tour of Europe. Having been in solitary confinement and chained to a desk for the last year or so I thought it was time to go and make some music and be a little sociable with the world. Hence, I’m playing 50 plus shows in just over two months visiting the UK, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Greece, & Sweden,” says Wayne Hussey.

“It’ll either kill me or make a man of a me at last. For the UK shows I am delighted to have Evi Vine as my very special guest. Evi, who recently released a third solo album ‘Black White Light Dark’, sang onstage with The Mission in 2016-17 on our ‘Another Fall From Grace’ tour. I am also hoping to persuade Evi to maybe join me onstage each night to sing a few songs together. It was always one of the highlights of the Mission show for me when Evi and I got to perform one acoustic song, I always looked forward to that moment.”

Born in Bristol and raised as a Mormon, Wayne had his epiphany as a young boy while watching Marc Bolan and T-Rex on Top Of The Pops. Seeing his destiny in a blinding flash of glitter, mascara and dark curls, he decided he was going to be a rock star. After moving to Liverpool, Wayne eventually gained recognition and notoriety as lead singer and principal songwriter in The Mission after putting in time as a guitarist with Sisters Of Mercy, Dead Or Alive, and Pauline Murray’s Invisible Girls.

Most recently, both Wayne Hussey and Evi Vine have been collaborating with LA-based supergroup Beauty in Chaos, spearheaded by Michael Ciravolo and also involving members of The Cure, Ministry, Cheap Trick, King’s X, The Offspring, Van Halen, Marilyn Manson and Bauhaus, as well as Ice T, Tim Palmer and Rolan Bolan, among others.

The ‘Salad Daze’ Tour with Evi Vine kicks off in Nuneaton on August 26and runs until November 8 at Stockholm’s Nalen Klubb. His final UK date is November 10, when Wayne appears at the Louder Than Words book festival in Manchester. Hussey will also be embarking on a full European solo tour this year in promotion of this book.

TOUR DATES (all dates with Evi Vine, except where indicated *)
Aug 26 Nuneaton – Queens Hall
Aug 27  Winchester – Discovery Centre
Aug 28  Bristol – Hen & Chicken Club (H & C Club)
Aug 29  Worcester – Marr’s Bar
Aug 30  Cardiff – The Fuel Rock Club
Aug 31  Oxford – The Bullingdon
Sept 1  Hastings – Black Market VIP
Oct 22  Southend-On-Sea – Chinnery’s
Oct 23  Bedford – Esquires
Oct 24  Manchester – Night People
Oct 25  Blackpool – Bootleg Social
Oct 26  Newcastle – Cluny
Oct 27  Glasgow – The Audio
Nov 2   Whitby Pavillion – Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival * (with The Divine)
Nov 5  London – Nambucca
Nov 6   Bath – Komedia
Nov 8   Stockholm – Nalen Klubb
Nov 10  Manchester – Louder Than Words book festival *

Keep up with Wayne Hussey / The Mission UK
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iTunes | Spotify | Book order

Keep up with Evi Vine
Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Big Cartel | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | iTunes | Spotify

Interview with Harley Mavis.

 

Harley Mavis has just released her latest single ‘Thief’. Tomatrax caught up with Harley Mavis to talk about her music!

 

What made you want to become a musician?

I think for me I’ve always known I wanted to make music and sing. I’ve been singing since I was 4 and grew up doing loads of Eisteddfods and choirs that sort of thing, so it was really just a part of my being from a really early age. I think when I realised I wanted to pursue songwriting as well as a career as a musician, was when I was 12 and taught myself how to play the guitar so I could write my first song. I instantly fell in love with the whole process. I think as well leading up to that moment of writing my first song, I idolised these strong, empowering female singer-songwriters like Missy Higgins and Norah Jones, and I would just sit in my room and sing and immerse myself in that whole style so I think that played a huge part in where I am now.

 

When did you write your first song?

So I wrote my first song when I was 12 and it was pretty terrible! I was a little bit of an activist when I was a kid and I lived in a small town called Bundaberg which is in Queensland. At the time, I think it was around 2008, there was this huge environmental crisis where they were going to damn this beautiful river called, The Mary River, and it was essentially going to destroy the livelihoods of hundreds of farmers and endanger or extinct a couple of species that were only found in that area. Anyway, I was SUPER passionate about it, and it really struck a chord with me for some reason. So I picked up my brother’s guitar without having ever played it before and just kind of wrote this song. As I said, I fell in love with writing and felt I just discovered something incredible for the first time. Anyway, the song is out there on my Mum’s computer which I’m sure will come back to haunt me one day!

 

You’ve just released your latest single, ‘Thief’, how does it feel to have it out?

It feels amazing to have this one out! It’s been a long work in progress and a lot of build up behind the scenes to get it all rolling. I’m so happy with how it’s going and people’s responses to it as well. It’s probably one of my favourite songs of mine. For someone who is entirely independent it’s pretty daunting to navigate your way through an industry. You end up ‘cold-emailing’ heaps of different people and when you’re doing that, and it’s just you, it really makes you feel exposed and vulnerable because you’re working really hard to get it noticed. So when it does start seeing success it makes it extra special and you feel quite relieved.

 

 

 

You’ve said that ‘Thief’ encapsulates your mental health at that time in your life. Is it hard to share something that personal for everyone to hear?

Yeah it is and it isn’t I think. For me, Thief was written a good 3 years ago and it came out of a time that was extremely challenging for myself and for my family. I was suffering pretty badly with depression and anxiety and it was so bad that I actually couldn’t write any songs. I had writer’s block for probably like 6 months which doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you’re in a dark place and that’s what you rely on to feel better it really takes its toll. Thief was the first song I wrote out of that writer’s block that I felt proud of, and something that just articulated exactly how it was for me in that year. I think it’s really important for me as an artist to share those experiences because these times are so important to share in our world.

 

Are there any plans for an LP or EP release?

In the big picture I’m setting my sights on an album. For now at least I think I’m going to keep releasing singles and see how people respond and then eventually look at doing an EP. Or you never know just go straight to an album!

 

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Magnolia’?

Maya Luana, who is an absolute genius at what she does, came up with the concept. We were both talking about the song and how it’s about taking a step back from your hectic life and remembering who you are. So I think it blossomed from there. My partner, Geo, is the other person in the clip and Maya and I wanted to show how these two people who were caught in these strange little mundane-like worlds wanted to break down the barriers that trap them in the hope that they’re able to express who they are. It was interwoven with a little bit of a love story as well and for me these narratives are important because as a queer artist I think it’s crucial for stories like this to be portrayed more in the media so there’s more representation for our LGBTIQA+ community.

 

 

Where did the name Harley Mavis come from?

The name came pretty much out of luck. My good friends and I were brainstorming what I could be called and one of them said, “Do your grandparents have cool names,” and just out of sheer luck they did! My Grandad on my Dad’s side was named ‘Harley’ and my nan on my Mum’s side, who is still alive, is called ‘Mavis.’ We put the two together and it just worked.

 

Do you ever listen to your own music?

I think I’d be lying if I said I don’t listen to my own music every now and then. Before a release and after I listen to it a bunch of tones just to make sure it’s perfect, but yeah sometimes it’s nice to sit back and listen to stuff you’ve recorded/released and be kind of proud about it.

 

What other music do you listen to?

I’m an absolute sucker for folk music so anything in that genre is pretty great. Otherwise music that I’m really loving right now is the new Marina Hackman song ‘I’m Not Where You Are,’ anything Courtney Barnett, Jade Bird, and locally my friend Merpire, her stuff is stunning!

 

Now that the single is out, what do you have planned next?

I’m doing a couple of dates in Sydney and Melbourne to launch the single, with a few shows coming up after the tour as well. The video clip for the track will be out pretty soon too so I’m really excited about showing that to the world, and then looking at recording another single for the end of the year.

 

Check out Harley Mavis’s Facebook page to find out more!

 

HARLEY MAVIS | TOUR DATES 2019

Sydney

12th July– Botany View Hotel w/ Ainsley Farrell and Lisa Caruso

Melbourne

17th July– Grace Darling Hotel w/ Kaitlin Keegan and Rach Brennan & The Pines

Interview with Nathan from My Elephant Ride

 

My Elephant Ride make cosmic and soulful indie pop. They have just returned with the second album ‘Beyond the Skin’.

Tomatrax caught up with Nathan from the band to ask a few questions.

How did the band form?

Yo, Nathan here. We all met at uni. We were young innocent and ambitious back then. We used to share our new songs together and give each other suggestions. Eventually we just put all our songs together.  

Where did the name My Elephant Ride come from?

The Elephant is a wise, ancient animal. It symbolizes a power far greater then ourselves. We ride it without questioning where it’s going, how long takes or for what reason it’s going there. We are just along for the ride. 

You’re about to release your second album, how does it feel to have it ready to go?

It feels great! it’s been done for a while now, but part of the process is the patience of not letting it go too quickly.  

It’s been around 3 years since your first album, what have you been up to over this time?

Whoa, really that long ago? So much of our lives have changed now that I’m looking back. Life takes weird twists and turns and when you multiply that change between three band members, you could write a book on the amount of change that has happened. To answer the question of “what have we been up to” though.. Mostly just questioning reality.

How will your next release compare with your previous work?

It’s pretty different musically. The first album was more of a document of our live show. Loud guitars and drums kind of thing. This is more of a studio endeavor where all the songs where written while we were recording.  

Where did the title Beyond the skincome from?

It’s a question really. Are we shackled by limitations of flesh? What’s going on outside of our sensory inputs?  

What made you pick ‘Diamond Eyes’ as the single?

There’s too much bias for us to decided ourselves haha. We just asked a friend in the end and trusted their choice.

The album was recorded across Bali and Melbourne, what inspired you to take this approach?

Practical reasons really. Joe spends most of his time there anyway so we thought it would only be fair to go to him for once. The beautiful people, scenery and way of life were all little sub reasons.

What is the music scene like in Bali?

That’s something I’m not really sure of unfortunately. There were some great music stores that let us hire some gear, which was really nice. The time we were there recording we didn’t really go out much.. We just stayed inside and stared at a computer mostly.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

That’s a funny one. I do a lot when it’s first finished. You hear it done and it fills you with sooo much pride and accomplishment. Unfortunately that wears off pretty quickly though and then things get pretty cringy.

What other music do you listen to?

Lot’s and lots. Recorded music is my favourite thing in the world!! The analog sound and approach of the 70’s warms my heart a lot, however the DIY attitude of today’s music fills me with great inspiration.

What do you have planned once the album is out?

No plans. Just try and live in the present. Also trying to stay aware that the present is in constant motion, so just trying to flow with that momentum through life. 

Thanks for the time, peaceeee ❤ ❤  

Check out My Elephant Ride’s website to find out more!