Saturday, September 25, 2010

INTERVIEW: Georgia Fields

We have moved! Our blog is now at

Piano, ukulele, guitar, cello, trumpet, melodica, bass, percussion, brass, woodwind, strings, vibraphone, toy instruments and... a cordless electric drill.

These are just some of the dazzling collection of noises that Melbourne songstress Georgia Fields combines into her heartfelt tunes. Famous for incorporating recorded animal noises and the buzzing of power tools into her music, Georgia has made all of Melbourne fall in love with her, including some of notable citizens like Frente!'s Angie Hart.

Georgia's self-released 2007 EP Drama on the High Seas of Emotion secured the mistress of music a spot on Triple J's Unearthed Pop Charts for its title track, and her limited edition EPs packaged in delightful re-fashioned Little Golden Books sold out faster you can say, "awesomeness".

Miss Fields has a very new, full-length debut album in the works, but she managed to share some love with Paper-Deer.

I once wrote that your business card should read, “song bird, hostess, music composer, musician and magician.” What is your secret to such magical performances?
I don’t know that I have a secret recipe for magical-ness, I think it is something less tangible than that. When a gig feels really special, it’s usually to do with a whole kaleidoscope of little things falling into place. I guess shows tend to go well if I’m prepared, inspired and slightly nervous… I’m kinda superstitious too, so I usually take some small positive random happening (a green run of traffic lights, or getting my eyeliner on straight the first time) as a ‘good sign’ and then the rest is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You’ve managed to get some serious kudos in three years since your debut, with rave reviews from Beat, ABC, Drum Media, Inpress and Frankie. Tell us about your three adventure-packed years to get to this point.
I was living in London in 2006 and working in administration for a top corporate business consultancy firm. I’d been there a while and one morning one of the directors forgot my name, and called me ‘sweetie’. I’d been dabbling in music since I was a child, but this was the slap-in-the-face awakening I needed to get back onto the creative path. I realised if I didn’t make some kind of radical move soon, I’d be working in a job I hate being called ‘sweetie’ for the rest of my life. I booked a sneaky plane trip home as soon as I could and called in sick from Bangkok so I could still get my last pay cheque. Once I was home, I immediately reconnected with my childhood friend Judith Hamann, who had to my convenience developed a remarkable career as a classically trained, experimental cellist. I started writing and we started arranging music together, releasing an independent EP in 2007 and then focusing on playing as much as I could live. I think I played at least one show a week for 18 months! It was gruelling but such an essential part of developing as a musician.  Judith taught me a lot about working with classical musicians, and how to voice string, brass and woodwind arrangements. I got lucky enough to play Queenscliff, Apollo Bay and St Kilda Festivals a few times… Supported Angie Hart, Abby Dobson and The Wilson Pickers… Met producer Greg Arnold through my study at NMIT Fairfield… And finally secured funding from Arts Victoria to record the songs I’d been busy writing since 2007.  The album is due for release on 9 October, which is only a few weeks away!

I hear you also have a debut LP in the works. Can you let us in on a few secrets?
The majority of it was recorded in two weeks at Atlantis Sound, in Port Melbourne. It was mixed by David McCluney (who has worked with The Drones, Dan Kelly, and Nick Cave to name-drop a few!), and then sent to be mastered in Nashville USA by the legendary Jim Demain. You might have heard Jim’s handy work on albums by Patty Griffin, Justin Townes-Earl, Tim Finn, Dolly Parton, June Carter-Cash… and perhaps most importantly, the Dirty Dancing sound track. Yes, that’s right, folks.  Cue mirror ball.  “I… had… the time of my life…”

Has your sound evolved from your very first tracks, to this debut LP?
I would be very disappointed if it hadn’t! I think the album is very different to my first EP (“Drama on the High Seas of Emotion”). The first recordings were so unashamedly ‘acoustic pop’; this LP still stands firmly in the popular song idiom, but there are more classic, timeless elements. The orchestral arrangements add an ‘ageless’ quality to the songs, I hope. I also branched out with some more adult topics, and some odd time signatures.

Will there be a toy instruments and a drill?
Yes. Yes there will. And a celeste. And a male choir. And a Hammond organ.

You’ve been known to invite the amazing Angie Hart onto stage. How did you first meet her? Does she still make you star struck?
I first met Angie when I supported her in May 2009. In the lead up to the gig, her manager sent me an email saying something like, ‘Angie wants to know if you’d like to sing a duet with her on the night’, and I practically head-butted my computer screen with excitement. We met for a coffee before we started working on the song, but I had had a bike accident a few days prior, and my face was all bandaged up and I couldn’t smile properly. I tried so hard to be ‘cool’ and ‘laissez-faire’ but I was so obviously a total dork and totally star-struck. She obviously didn’t notice how much of a dork I was, because we’re still friends. When we hang out I don’t see her as ‘Angie Hart the big star’, she’s just my peer, and a dear mate… But occasionally I’ll remember some piece of Frente! history, like the fact that I saw them play at Rod Laver when I was 14, and I get a few stars in my eyes.  Ang is pretty quick to pull me up on it though. I think there is a bit of competition between us about who is the bigger dork.

I also love your cover of Sweet Child ‘O Mine. Are you a closet Guns ‘N Roses fan?
I’m not a closet Guns ‘N Roses fan, I just really love the theatrical-ness of that song! Have you ever seen educated and esteemed jazz musicians bust out their best Axel impersonation (knowing all the words) when that song comes on iTunes shuffle at 4 in the morning? I have. It has that kind of effect on people. It was fun to manipulate and reinterpret that song. When I start it up at shows, I’m often amazed at who recognises it first.


  •  Friday November 12: The Thornbury Theatre


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

INTERVIEW: Carnation

We have moved! Our blog is now at

Melburnian psychedelic rocksters Carnation are proud of their newest release 12.21.12 because it's the closest to their true sound that they've ever been. Their fans are squealing in excitement over their recent sonic reinvention, and the band are just unpacking their bags from their recent Singapore tour.

If you're scratching your head trying to find a Carnation record in between your Doors and Banshee vinyls, don't. Carnation may be a rather talented, busy and accomplished (heaven knows how hard it is for a band to organise a door list, let alone a tour overseas) blokes, but they are very much of this generation.

Paper-Deer exchanged words with Carnation's rhythm guitarist Garrett Overend about Singapore, their latest EP and their fondness for Indian shirts.

The band has re-invented itself since its beginnings in 2007. Do you ever cringe or get embarrassed when you listen back at old tracks?
No, never. The songs were always of a high quality, there’s no disputing that. It was just that the overall sound on that first EP didn’t reflect the energy of our live performance.

How would you describe Carnation’s evolution from these early days, to your latest EP 12.21.12?
We’re older, not much wiser, but a bit more experienced nonetheless. This EP was recorded by the band, we didn’t involve anyone else as we had a clear direction sound wise and didn’t want that diluted. We learned from the mistakes of the past with regard to recording.

Explain these mysterious numbers in 12.21.12. Is it some secret code or is it a date in an American format? A girl’s measurements? Password to a safe?
It’s the end date of the Mayan calendar, American style. Those are some decent measurements though, I must say.

Hmmm, she'd have a pretty big waist... Anyway, are you happy with how the EP has turned out?
Yeah, we’re proud of it. It sounds like us, that’s pretty important. That’s honestly the main difference between this and the debut. This one sounds like Carnation, the first one didn’t.

Where can we exchange our hard-earned money for your EP?

You can get it from iTunes, our website/Myspace, from us at a gig, and at all good retailers. Go buy it, there are loads left.

Carnation just did a tour in Singapore, Paper-Deer’s home town. It’s a seriously interesting place because it’s completely different to Australia. What was that like?
We played five shows over there and loved every minute of it. Touring with The Pinholes was a laugh a minute, they’re all great lads. Before we left I was most looking forward to playing as an international touring band. The experience didn’t let us down, I’ll leave it at that.

And what about the country itself? Any funny tales to tell your mates back home?
Well, we all have a penchant for Indian shirts. Whilst in Singapore we passed a market stall selling Indian shirts, so Pete tries one on. Fair enough. The only issue was that with it being 39 degrees and Pete sweating profusely, the shirt stuck to him like it was a wet t-shirt comp! He likes the shirt and decides to buy it, so he takes it off only for the stall owner to chuck it on the ground like a rag, and Pete gets a fresh new shirt in a packet! His custom cost the guy twice what it should’ve. Maybe you had to be there.

Gigging in a different state seems scary and complicated enough. What was shipping all your gear over like?
Packing wasn’t as bad as it might seem. We stripped back the gear we normally use, and the rest of the case was filled with summer clothes. Seriously, we didn’t even need a jacket over there. That pissed me off.

Anything else our Paper-Deer readers should know?
We’re really good and modest too.

  • Friday September 24: The Espy
  • Thursday October 21: Revolver

Monday, September 20, 2010


We have moved! Our blog is now at

Yes, they’re electro. And if you don’t like it, you can shove it up yours because they’re not changing for anyone.

Hailing from Melbourne, Naçional are four-piece band hell-bent on smashing together all facets of electronic music into one tight fuzz-ball of noise. Drawing influences from heavy industrial gods like Trent Reznor to the boppy dance sensibilities of Blondie, this local quartet are just about to head into the studio to record their debut EP.

Drummer Nathan Bobik stopped by Paper-Deer central to have a chat before locking himself into the recording studio.

So the name “Naçional” is… French? Spanish? What’s the story behind your exotically foreign band name?
The name actually comes from Los Angeles - I used to go to club called Naçional and it was a tiny place with this incredibly dark and dirty atmosphere. Kind of claustrophobic, almost like a bit of a maze but it played a lot of good music. When we were thinking of names I just remember the place and thought, “Why don’t we work with this for now?” It seemed to fit with the ideas we had in our heads, and we just never changed it.

There is a massive electro-rock scene in Melbourne. How does Naçional keep things sounding fresh and different from the rest of the pack?
We’re probably a little different because we have quite a big industrial influence. Although I think almost every type of music fits into electro rock these days. Everything from Katy Perry to Nine Inch Nails – it’s the most overused term used in music today.

From our perspective, we’re just making the type of music that we love, if it’s current and relevant then great. If it’s different from the rest of the pack, even better… and if it’s shockingly behind and overdone, well then there’s nothing we can do about it right now because we still love it and don’t really want to change it!

We hear the Naçional gang is headed into the studio to record your debut EP. How are you planning on bottling up your live energy into .wav files?
We’ll let you know as soon as we figure that out ourselves! We’ve spent quite a lot of time demo-ing in Matt’s studio so technically we already have the tracks recorded, we’ve just never released them. We know the way we want them to be recorded, but we just wanted to make sure we’d written enough tracks so we could actually choose the ones we wanted to record rather than record every track written.

Ace thinking. When can we expect to get a copy of your EP in our hot little hands?
Hopefully, start of November… Most likely? Middle of November…

What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened at a Naçional gig?
Matt Sofo backstage. I really don’t need to say anymore. The image is burnt into everyone’s minds for life.

  • Thursday November 4: Croxton Park Hotel [supporting Calling All Cars]

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We have moved! Our blog is now at

Hello, Paper-Deer hunters.

Just writing to apologise for the incredibly lack of activity on this blog lately. I am the sole contributor on this blog at the moment - what can I say, I'm a control freak - and started working full time in the music industry last month in the distribution sector. The bad news is that I haven't had any time recently to add new content. The good news is that I'm still writing copy as part of my job, and I actually have several interviews lined up for Paper-Deer. The other good news is that I'm intrigued by the idea of getting other writers to contribute to this blog, so hit me up if you are interested.

If you're a blog addict, you can get your fix at, my non-music blog that is updated more frequently. If you have any questions about either blog, contributing or what I'm doing in the music industry, feel free to send me a message through the CONTACT section of