DIARY - 22/9/2010 - KASEY CHAMBERS INTERVIEW
RESURRECTS HER VALENTINE
into space like a moth to a flame/ talking too much, but forgetting my
name/ these are the stupid things that I do." - The Stupid Things
I Do - Kasey Chambers.
Kasey Chambers writes love songs she prides herself on speed and spontaneity
- especially when roses prick her conscience.
Chambers forgot Valentine's Day 2010 until her singing spouse Shane
Nicholson showered her with presents including flowers - and breakfast
The Copacabana chanteuse was as red-faced as those roses but she acted
When Shane jumped in the shower she prepared her reciprocal reward.
mother of two sons, Talon and Arlo, fled the marital bed and wrote aptly
titled song The Stupid Things I Do.
It may be a hidden track on her acclaimed fifth solo album Little Bird
but didn't stay secret for long.
"Actually it's a Valentine's Day present for Shane, it was a bit
of forced luck," Chambers, 34, told Nu Country TV on the eve of her
national tour to promote Little Bird.
"I woke up in the morning and Shane had presents, flowers, breakfast
made - all those lovely things. I had forgotten it was Valentine's Day
- he went and had a shower and I thought 'shit, I'll get a present quickly
so I went in and wrote that song.' The fact it came out of me just being
slack was a good thing."
BENNETT LIKE A HURRICANE
hallelujah, I can just see the light/ I can see if from down in a hole."
- Love Like A Hurricane - Kasey Chambers.
juggled parenting, domestic duties and gigs when she wrote 14 songs during
12 days in February.
The eclectic country, bluegrass and western swing hybrid enables her to
skate above and beyond the mainstream in her distinctive feisty fashion.
Chambers produced it with her band The Millionaires - Bill and Nash Chambers,
Nicholson, Jim Moginie, Jeff McCormack and John Watson.
She recorded it at brother Nash's Laguna locale - Foggy Mountain Studio
- a vast contrast to Jimmy Barnes home studio where she and Shane cut
their ARIA award winning Rattlin' Bones disc.
She also released the Chambers extended family disc Poppa Bill and
The Little Hillbillies and book in the interim.
Chambers mentor and latter day Austin singer-songwriter Patty Griffin
guests on Somewhere and Geelong Grammar graduate and fellow ARIA
winner Missy Higgins adds backing vocals to Beautiful Mess.
harmony singers include Camille Te Nahu, Brooke Harvey, Andy Toombs
and bassist James Gillard.
Kasey delivers subliminal salutes to Merle Haggard and long deceased
icons Hank Williams and Gram Parsons.
But Flood singer-songwriter and guitarist Kevin Bennett was the
surprise duet partner on Love Like A Hurricane.
"It's one of my favourite songs, I didn't think when it started
out it would be a duet," Chambers confessed.
"I went in the studio and thought I need a harmony on this.
Kevin Bennett is one of my favourite singers. When he came in the
studio to play on it he started singing it, trying to get the melody
of song. I thought 'shit that's awesome.' I'm going to take my vocals
out. It became a duet and is now one of my favourite moments on
THANK OLD HANK
the river runnin' wild never still/ you're the bird who's singing on my
window sill/ you're the light shining down/ you're the mansion on the
hill." - Someone Like Me - Kasey Chambers
Hank Williams homage she was oblivious to?
starts with the mansion on the hill in her joyous entrée song,
Someone Like Me, and seeing the light in the duet.
"You have listened closely," she quipped.
"I haven't even noticed those things until now. Maybe I just
stole them in a subliminal way. For me, as a writer, sometimes lines
are just in there because they rhyme. When a line comes to you from
you don't know where it's probably just something you listened to."
When you listen to as much music as the Chambers clan you tap into
a music font as deep as the richest memory banks in the galloping
believes her new album shares similarities with The Captain and
Barricades And Brick Walls.
"It was back to that Captain and Barricades kind of thing,"
"I took it song for song in the studio, concentrating on each song.
I even bring a different band in for each song. I didn't realise it was
quite so diverse until after I recorded it.
Carnival was more a concept album."
HAG AND PATSY
if you see someone lighting up the dark/ just tell him to bring back my
heart." - Bring Back My Heart - Kasey Chambers.
believes her creativity is pure spontaneity - it definitely has not been
tamed by success.
"Nothing is as planned as it might sound, they're all accidental
things that kind of happen," she explained.
"I feel the album is a positive vibe all around - a sad country moment
or two but generally a very positive record in general feel. The first
two songs starting with rhythm mandolin - that's what I wrote the whole
album with. I don't really play one but when I was writing the songs it
was a mandolin in my head I was hearing. It ended up being one of the
main rhythm instruments throughout the record - it's what it sounds like
in my head. I want it to sound like that when you first put it on."
The Merle Haggard Dixieland swing feel of Bring Back My Heart was
"When I was writing it I had this moment of Patsy Cline or something
like that in the way that I was singing," she recalled.
"The trumpet solo was icing on the cake. I had that idea when I was
writing it I could hear trumpet. That's weird, I never heard trumpet in
one of my songs before. I never thought about Merle in it but that's probably
where I've drawn some of that from."
BROWN OLD TIMEY
was a poor man wrong side of town/ said he loved a girl named Georgia
Brown/ Georgia's on the rich side living in sin/ but Johnny would have
done anything." - Georgia Brown - Kasey Chambers.
Chambers creates assertive women in the title track and the rollicking
hook-heavy Georgia Brown.
"They are different types of woman - new age and old timey kind,"
"Both are strong women from different times mouthing words. There
are no specific Georgia and Johnny's but I'm sure over the next few years
of playing the song will have Georgia and Johnnys coming up to me saying
is that about me?"
Somewhere is equal parts analysis and therapy.
"I get caught up in my world, I think I'm the only person that exists,"
"But there's so much going on in world that's bigger than me. It's
not a preachy song. It's really good to give that a thought, the little
things in life that you worry about are not that big at all."
ROAMS THE BIGGEST BACKYARD
I was a little girl I had the biggest backyard in the world/ It went on
for miles and miles, as wide as it was high/ down to the horizon, all
the way up to the sky/ every now and then I heard/ a Myall tree cry my
name." - Nullabor - The Biggest Backyard - Kasey Chambers.
no mystery about the identity of the minstrel in Nullabor - The
Biggest Backyard, the most autobiographical song on the disc.
"I'm someone who draws a lot from memories when it comes to
songwriting," Chambers revealed.
"I always have done - that's most obvious of those songs. Waking
up every morning - my brother Nash and me. We thought we were the
luckiest kids in the world - we had the biggest backyard in the
world. Every day it looked different - it was a new exploration
and adventure. We would look outside and see where we were. I only
have fond memories of that time."
Chambers also has a nice line in self-deprecation - especially in
the source of final song Train Wreck.
not a traditional yodelling song," Chambers conceded.
thinking when writing the song there are people out there who don't like
my voice and there are a lot of them," Chambers joked.
"My voice annoys them. I thought this song is going to send them
over the edge. It's the worst sounding thing you have ever heard if don't
like the sound of my voice - then stop before song 13."
bird me late last night/ if I hold my breath and do everything right/
you might come back/ if I colour my hair and I wear it down/ and I make
you laugh like a circus clown/ you might come back but I don't want you
that bad." - Little Bird - Kasey Chambers.
has shot a video for her album title track.
"I feel this album lends itself more to video clips than I felt before,"
"It's very visual in my head. I don't know if it comes across. Once
you get directors involved your visuals change a lot and go down a different
road. My visuals come from the point of view of memories and things like
that. They can't always be portrayed in a video clip the way that you
want. It's not always effective like that. It's a good thing I'm not a
video director. We shot it in Sydney - it's completely different. Some
of the treatments are different. It's just me in the main part of the
video. It's not like an actor video clip."
Chambers also hopes to build on success of her songs in TV shows such
as The Sopranos, CSI, Dawson's Creek, Underbelly, Days Of Our Lives
and Crossing Jordan.
"I even had a song in Days Of Our Lives around the same time
as The Sopranos," Chambers recalled.
"I have also had songs in a few other shows I don't even know the
names of. They're the best gigs to get. I don't have to do anything and
they just send me a cheque - it's making money while you sleep."
There won't be much time to sleep when Chambers tours here over spring
and summer to promote Little Bird on Liberation Records.
- NOT TRAIN WRECKS
like a train wreck baby/ ya makin' me crazy/ nobody can save me now/ It's
like a bottleneck pile up/ Ya jumped from high up/ And ya landed on your
feet somehow/ I'm on a one-way route/ I got no way out." - Train
Wreck - Kasey Chambers
she is keen to return to the biggest market in the world where she
has a strong fan base and scores airplay on thriving Americana stations.
"I would then like to take the album to America," Chamber
"I'm touring here from mid-September until they don't want to
hear us anymore. Next on the list is to look at some sort of U.S.
deal. Rattlin' Bones came out through Sugar Hill. Last time
I planned to go to Austin then Hurricane Ike struck. It closed a lot
of airports. I ended up not getting to Austin. When I'm in America
I really love it but when I'm back here it's the last thing on my
So is Kasey also making money from U.S. peers when she sleeps?
"Well, Nancy Sinatra did Barricades And Brick Walls,"
she recalled proudly.
also did Last Hard Bible."
What about the AFL finalists Carlton with whom the Chambers family shares
a passion with The Kernaghans?
"I would do The Captain for the Carlton Football Club if they
asked," she quipped.
That would be for Blues skipper Chris Judd and passionate country music
fan and utility star Andrew Walker - not the recently resurrected mother
and daughter duo The Judds, Naomi and Wynonna.
CLICK HERE for tour dates in Tonkgirl's
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