Five Minutes With Willow Beats
Words of wisdom teeth and debut albums with our fave forest fairies.
While we haven't heard any new music from our beloved Willow Beats camp in 2015, they've spun around the country a couple of times, and as you'll see below, have been f'in hard at work putting together their debut longplayer. They're headed back to the west this weekend, playing at The Rosemount Hotel on Saturday 12 December (event HERE), so we figured it'd be a great time to catch up with them to recap on 2015, and see what's coming in 2016.
Header image via lens kings Voena.
Hey guys, it’s been a while, we miss you! Let’s start with the Tkay tour – how was it, what were some highlights from life on the road?
Kalyani: Touring was fun. Porches were good to have around as they are very entertaining guys. They didn’t change their pants the whole tour. In Tasmania we all went to MONA. The Marina Abramovic exhibition happened to be showing. It was a really valuable experience. A lot of the work was based on finding stillness and tranquillity - counting grains of rice and soaking up energies from giant crystals. A welcome moment of reflection within the chaos of tour.
Show-wise, most recently you played Strawberry Fields for the third year in the row, what takes you back there every year and how was the 2015 edition (and were you lucky enough to catch the boss Alex Paioff in full spiritual flight at any stage)?
Narayana: We've been lucky enough to play Strawberry three years in a row. It's a beautiful festival with a lot of thought put into the visual aesthetics. The stage we played on this year was spectacular! Really beautiful crowd and vibe. And yeah I ran into Alex a couple of times. First time, words seemed to fail him, instead he was flaring his nostrils and puffing like a bull before charging off. Second time I saw him he had mud on his face and announced very euphorically that he had finally found his spirit animal (which I later found out was a gorilla).
You’ve been working on Willow Beats’ first full length record, how’s that been going and what can you tell peeps about it so far?
K: Narayana just moved back onto the family property (Gumtrees) right down the driveway from my room. It’s much better now because I can go home for cups of tea and to play my piano when I need to write more intricate melodies and chords. The songs are very detailed and complex with lots of little segments. We have been working on this album for about 10 months now and the lyrics have been documenting my year, which is cool to look back on.
N: It's smoother than our other work. I'd say more floaty and trippy. Aloooot of attention to fine detail with a ton of micro edits. I'm back in my home town surrounded by forests which is having a lush impact on the album. I've been recording a lot of my surroundings and working them in. Particularly birds. I have a bamboo pole that a tie a microphone to and stick up trees.
We saw that Kaly has to get her wisdom teeth out – that looks like it’s going to be/has been painful – how long has it been a problem for her?
K: It was fucked. My throat has been infected on and off all year making it nearly impossible to sing sometimes. I got them removed about a month ago - it was fun because of the laughing gas but then it wore off and the pain was terrible. The surgeon teased my gold Supra hightops and my grandma is such a slow driver it took us an hour to get home. Now that my mouth works properly the process has sped up considerably.
You’re coming back to Perth soon (which is awesome), then what happens for you guys over the New Year’s Period, and when will everyone get to hear some new tunes from you!?
N: Yep we're playing Rosemount hotel this Saturday. Looking forward to kicking it Perth again. Also keen to see Leon Osborn play. We basically have our heads down writing until the album's done. I can't say exactly when you can expect to hear new tracks but it's looking like early next year...