POP VULTURE: ALL OUR EXES LIVE IN TEXAS
All Our Exes Live in Texas released their Debut LP When We Fall in March of this year. They are now embarking on a national tour to support this amazing album. We were fortunate to catch up with them, ahead of their two Perth shows this weekend.
IN: Do all your exes really live in Texas? Has the name backfired at all? I kid!! I've read that you based your name on one of the worst country songs of all time, what are some other influences on your music/aesthetic/sound?
AOELIT: Haha! Unfortunately they all live within a much smaller radius from us. Hmm..backfired…a good question… perhaps only in the sense that we may have had some surprise propositions during our recent trip to Austin for SXSW? But not really, it’s all good fun. I should also say that it was on a list of the worst country song TITLES of all time. I think the song is actually quite fun. We are very influenced by Americana music, those beautiful folk/country harmonies and stories. Many of our favourite folk artists also seem to be Canadian. I’m also very fond of Irish folk music.
IN How did your group get together? Was it easy finding your sound or has it evolved over time?
AOELIT: We were all playing solo and wound up in Sydney at the same time. We were going to each others’ gigs and spending a lot of time in the wonderful folk and bluegrass community. We were inspired by those bands, like The Morrisons and Green Mohair Suits, to form our own lady band. We picked instruments that appealed to us rather than thinking about how they would work together. That was a happy accident really! I think we have evolved from being quite rooted in traditional country music, to having more of a modern indie-folk sound. I think we’ve also got something of an Australian sound now too.
IN: What was it like crowd funding your album 'When we Fall' this year?
AOELIT: Crowdfunding was a very humbling experience! We were overwhelmed by the support we received. We really couldn’t have made the album if we didn’t have that help. Because of it we were able to make the best album we could. It feels really nice to be able to hand the finish product to people now and say thank you!
IN: How did the songwriting/recording process play out? Was it easy?
AOELIT: I don’t think that songwriting and recording is ever particularly easy. It is unpredictable and involves undulating periods of self loathing but the nice thing about this band is that we all contribute songs so we do accumulate them quickly. It’s also lovely to have four brains working on something. We were lucky to find a producer who gelled with us really well. Wayne Connolly made the recording process as easy as it can possibly be! He had wonderful creative ideas and was a lovely person to be around. You spend a lot of hours slogging it out in the studio so having the right personalities makes all the difference. Like any working relationship I think.
IN: Whats it like playing live without percussion?
AOELIT: We’re quite used to it really! It’s fun to be able to create a full sound with just the four of us. Having said that, Elana and Katie both play a lot of foot tambourine and stomp box these days so we are more percussive than we’ve ever been! It is always such a treat to play with our bass player and drummer though when we get the chance.
IN: Who inspires you musically? Historically and currently!
AOELIT: I’m sure there are different answers for every member but some people we all agree on include - Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, the Wainwrights, Father John Misty. There have also been some wonderful artists that we’ve discovered together - like Oh Pep!, Bahamas, Margaret Glaspy, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats…to name a few.
IN: We looooooooveee your tame cover of 'Eventually'- What are some other Aussie bands you are vibing?
AOELIT: Thanks! It’s such a fun song to play. There are so many wonderful Aussie artists doing great stuff at the moment. We all love Oh Pep!, Ngaiire, Sarah Belkner, The Morrisons, Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers….oh and an amazing duo from Melbourne called Miss Eileen & King Lear! You must listen to them.
IN: What TV shows are you currently binging?
AOELIT: Ooh this is fun. Well we all watch Orange is the New Black because Elana’s sister is in it (she’s Morello!). I am very fond of a BBC costume drama I must say. I struggle to get the other girls to watch them with me but lately I have loved Broadchurch, Sherlock, Peaky Blinders, Call The Midwife and many, many more… I did also just have a big old chuckle at the Australian comedies ‘No Activity’ and ‘Rosehaven’ too I must say.
IN: What are your guilty pleasures?
AOELIT: I’m taking this as an opportunity to reveal my (not so) inner dag. My favourite thing to do when we have a break from touring is to go to the cinema by myself. Preferably a matinee with the nannas, definitely with a big choctop (coffee or choc-mint) and absolutely to see a British period costume drama.
IN: That is by far the best answer we've had yet...What are your favourite albums/acts of 2017 so far?
AOELIT: I’m currently listening to Laura Marling’s beautiful album ‘Semper Femina’ after seeing her wonderful show at the Opera House the other night. I was also totally blown away by Midnight Oil when we toured with them in the states last month. What a band.
IN: Have you been to any other memorable gigs this year?
AOELIT: There have been many! Some of my faveys have been Cass McCombs, Big Thief and Ryan Adams. I’ve also seen a lot of really great comedy which is my second favourite sort of gig! Highlights include Rhys Nicholson, David O’Doherty, Bear Pack, Daniel Kitson, Tripod, Nikki Britton and Susie Youssef.
IN: Have you guys always been based in Sydney? What are your fave spots in Sydney?
AOELIT: Hannah is actually from Melbourne and Katie is from Brisbane but we’re all proud Sydney-siders these days. I’m currently typing these answers in ‘Bill’s’ in Surry Hills which is very Sydney isn’t it. We tend to spend most of our time in Newtown which is full of wonder. Vivid Festival is also on at the moment which is a pretty spectacular. I’ve lived here almost all my life and it still feels like a special treat to go down to the harbour and wander around the Botanic Gardens and the Opera House.
IN: What are the best local music venues in Sydney?
AOELIT: My favourite one just closed which I’m still really upset about. Newtown Social Club. We have some serious work to do to regenerate Sydney’s night life and live music scene. Lockout laws and ridiculous regulations are a nightmare at the moment. But that wasn’t the question! There are still some great ones going strong. I love Camelot, 505, The Basement, Leadbelly, The Newsagency is soon to reopen too. There’s also a beautiful house concert series called High Tea at Hibernian House. The State Theatre for big, special shows. Can’t go past the bloody big house though can ya! (Opera House).
IN: We had a similar story a few years back with the closure of The Bakery in Perth. Do you have quotes you live by?
AOELIT: A life lived in fear is a life half lived. (Thanks Baz Lurhmann).
IN: What’s the best life advice you can give someone in their 20s?
AOELIT: You do you. Sorry I really just wanted to say that cause it’s hilarious but I suppose it’s actually perfect.
IN: What is the best advice you could give someone who doesn't want your advice?
AOELIT: Bugger off then.
IN: Girl band or boy band?
AOELIT: I feel as though this doesn’t need answering.
IN: TLC or Destiny's Child?
AOELIT: Destiny’s Child. Though ‘No Scrubs’ is Hannah’s and my party duet.
IN: Who is the Beyonce in your group?
AOELIT: Ha! Are you trying to break us up? Hannah would say Hannah so I’ll say Hannah too.
IN: Haha I always ask one 'contro' question in my interviews!... Backstreet Boys or 1D?
AOELIT: BACKSTREET BOYS, COME ON!!!!
IN: Coffee or tea?
IN: Vintage or new?
AOELIT: Vintage! Heaven.
This wonderful band plays Babushka on Saturday 24 June and Fly By Night in Freo on Sunday 25 June. You may purchase tickets for either show here.