Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents 34 SCOOP AUTUMN 2010
When Angus Stone picks
up the phone, he sounds
suspiciously like a man
who has just rolled out of
bed. You couldn t blame
the singer/songwriter if he had. Since releasing
A Book Like This -- his debut album with sister
Julia in 2007-- the folk duo has toured extensively
through Europe, the UK, America and Japan. At
home in Australia, the record debuted top 10 on
the ARIA album chart, and was nominated for six
ARIA awards. Now preparing for the release of
their highly anticipated follow-up, Down The Way,
Angus has returned to Australia for some deserved
downtime. A small yawn curls through his words
while answering questions, which may have come
a touch too early in the day.
Where are you at the moment?
I am on my grandparents yacht off Sydney actually.
We ve taken the last six or seven months off, and I m
just doing nothing -- drifting around, sleeping in my
car, staying at strangers places. This is the town that
I grew up in, so it has been pretty relaxing.
You've toured consistently over the past few
years, how did you find life on the road?
Yeah we were moving at quite a steady pace. Some-
times it s sad when you re not able to stay in one
place longer, and experience it the way you would
if you were travelling. But on the flip side, you get
to have a little taste of all the different parts of the
world. It s almost like you re scouting it out for
later in life.
You played at some iconic festivals like South by
Southwest in Texas and the Edinburgh Fringe.
Do you ever get nervous before playing those
sorts of shows?
Um, not really... it kind of depends. If I haven t
played for a while I get quite nervous. The other
day I played in front of a couple of people at
a house and my heartbeat was taking over my
breath; I was like oh I can t do this . But when
you re on the road and in the rhythm of playing in
front of people, it really feels like you re not doing
it for anyone else but yourself. You re just on stage
doing your thing.
Julia has commented that you both felt more
confident about recording your second album.
How did this affect the creative process?
It s kind of that thing where people are always
giving you advice on what to do, but you just
have to learn yourself. For me, this album was
about letting the songs breathe. Giving them
more time to figure out their own story. We
recorded the album at lots of different studios
around the world, so that gave the songs their
own little shoes as well.
One of the studios you recorded in was a con-
verted sawmill. Tell us about that experience.
It was in this little English town called Foye, and it
was so small there were probably only 15 houses.
Anyway, we had to walk for around half an hour to
get to the studio, going down this railway line that
runs along the river, and eventually cutting off into
the bush. When you get inside, it s just this magi-
cal old sawmill. But it also feels really eerie. We
recorded with the guy who is the caretaker there.
Everyday Julia and I would wake up at different
times, like I used to get up at one o clock and Julia
would be up at eight or nine. So you had to deal
with these two different personalities. We stayed
there recording for three or four weeks, and Down
that Way came from it.
The record continues with the beautiful,
melancholic sound of your debut, is there
something that attracts you to that style?
When I m writing I don t really think about how it
will sound. Whatever I start playing on the guitar I
just go with. It sort of happens on its own.
You teamed up with a lot of different musicians on
the record, including members of Martha Wain-
wright's band. What was that collaboration like?
Yeah it was really nice and comforting, to turn
around while playing and see the people you ve
looked up to and listened to from a young age
watching your show. And to have them tell you
about how your music makes them feel. It s a real
joy when you can trade those experiences. Now
we re playing with Matty Johnson (drummer from
Martha Wainwright s band) and he s coming on
our next tour. The things he has done in his life
are amazing, and to have someone like that on
board is just rad. The same goes for Martha. When
we were in New York, she took us into her house
and we would talk about all sorts of crazy stuff. It s
just nice to build those relationships from music.
How are you feeling about touring your new
album in Australia?
Yeah it s going to be good, there are a lot of songs
that I m really looking forward to playing. Some of
them are quite dark, and some of them fill me with
a lot of joy. We haven t played a show in Australia
for something like two years, so it will be nice to
get back to our roots and see some old crew.
We re just looking forward to hanging out with all
the people that we meet in different ports.
Angus and Julia Stone, various venues, March 28 -
April 1. tickets.oztix.com.au.
with Angus Stone
text jessica matthews
Links Archive Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page