While in Byron Bay for Bluesfest earlier this year MWT had a chance to catch up with Newport brother and sister folk duo, Angus and Julia Stone.
(Photo by Stereodan)
Bec: We’re here, Bluesfest Day 5, about to have a chat to Angus and Julia Stone, how are you guys?
Julia: Good thank you
Angus: yeah, Good.
B: You guys just played the west coast festival, how did that go and how was your performance?:
J: Yeah it was really fun it was really a great crowd and we had a fun night
B: And you guys have just released the most recent album Down the Way, how was you creative writing process in terms of in comparison to a Book Like This?
J: Ah, it actually was pretty much the same. I mean it’s just like we write songs and then when we get a chance between tours we record them. That’s what happened the same with Down The Way and a Book Like This. We wrote the songs and then when we had a couple of days or a couple of weeks here and there we would jump in the studio and let the songs unfold and yeah which is pretty much what we did for a Book Like This.
B: and what’s your kind of inspiration when you’re writing the songs?
A: our inspiration comes from all kinds of places
B: you don’t have any underlying themes or anything with this new album?
A: you know what, a lot of them, for me, are postcards. And the imagery of sailing through California and falling in love and all that stuff.
B: And you guys have recorded this most recent album in a whole load of different places, where was your favourite place to record and what was that experience like?
J: where was your favourite? (Looks as Angus) Well, Sawmills was pretty beautiful. We recorded down in Cornwall (UK) in a studio that was right on the river and it was just stunning. It was like we had to get there by boat, and it was a tidal river so it was amazing you know, it would rise and fall and it had an old china clay train that would go past during the night and would make these quite eerie noises. Yeah, it was real mysterious place and it was very isolating but also very beautiful.
B: How are you guys going, I mean brother and sister, you must have had a pretty musical upbringing, what was being played around the house as kids when you were growing up?
J: Oh gosh, anything and everything. I mean Dad is a music teacher so he was really into all different types of music. He took us to a lot of [concerts]. Mum and dad were members of all sorts of musical going groups where they would go and see ensembles of strings playing. And we both grew up playing horns so we went and played in and toured in orchestras and things like that. So it was a mix of classical music and then kind of anything from, mum was really in to Janis Ian and Carole King and that sort of stuff and dad played in a covers band so it was Bob Dylan and The Eagles, Neil Young. Everything from the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, like they just played whatever songs.
B: And how did you guys get together as a duo on stage, when did that come about?
A: Well it kind of just happened along the way. We grew up together so you know we would write and kind of share these things with one another and it was just a matter of time before we started doing anything.
B: (to Angus) And you’ve just started your solo career? You’ve got a solo album is that right?
A: Yeah we recorded an album at Coolangatta in an old water tank. It’s called Lady of The Sunshine
B: Fantastic, (To Julia) and are there any plans for you to go solo, or to move away from this?
J: (laughs) I down know, I mean, we will see what happens. We’ve got a solid year of touring and you know I’m enjoying playing these songs. Angus and I write separately so I think there is always that possibility at some point that we will have some time apart, but I hope we always get to play together as well.
B: You guys are spending so much time on the road, I know me and my brother, if we are around each other too much we will absolutely kill each other. How do you guys go, how are fights on the road and the whole brother and sister touring thing?
J: I think it’s gotten easier over time. When we stared out it was a little bit harder because we didn’t really have any like filters you know. Now we’ve kind of figured out, just you know giving each other space and being respectful of each other and you know, just not acting like brother and sister, being a bit more like friends and looking out for each other. And I think that’s been a process you know and it will continue to be like that and evolution and us hopefully getting stronger as people and happier and all that stuff.
B: Fantastic well thank you so much for chatting with us today and we will catch you on stage tonight.
Posted by Bec Clark (Reebajeeb)