pie rre ba r o ni
k a s e y c h a m b er s
With motherhood a full-time occupation, Kasey Chambers had no plans to record another solo album. But in a 12-day period, 14 songs unexpectedly crept up on her. Nick Milligan sits down with Kasey Chambers to discuss the creation of her new album, Little Bird.
b S i n rg d After stepping inside the Delany Hotel to escape the drizzling rain on Newcastle’s Darby Street, Kasey Chambers wastes no time in gravitating toward one of the open fires. However, the dour weather has failed to dampen the songwriter’s desire to speak about her new solo record, Little Bird. It’s been five years since her last solo outing, 2006’s Carnival, and Chambers is quick to point out that she was not expecting to release a follow-up any time soon. But inspiration appeared seemingly from nowhere, and the Central Coast resident poured out 14 new songs in 12 days. So where did this outburst of creativity come from? “I wish I knew, so I could turn it on again — but it’s not that easy,” laughs Chambers. Though the singer does attribute it to the admission that she had no plans to make another record. “[The writing] wasn’t long after I’d told everyone, like my brother Nash, who manages me, and the label Liberation, ‘Look, I’m just not creative at the moment. I don’t want
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you to sit around waiting for an album. I’m not going to have one this year. I’m in mum mode.’ Maybe that took the pressure off and the songs started coming out. I wanted to get back to writing, just because I was writing and not towards something.” Once the inspiration arrived, there was no stopping the flow of material. “Normally I have to go and sit in a room, but these songs were coming no matter what I was doing,” smiles Chambers. “I’d have the kids running around and doing my daily life stuff, but it was like these songs were just coming out.” An album release is a massive commitment for any artist, especially a full-time parent, but Chambers isn’t worried about joining the touring and media circus that has now begun. “When I have a bunch of new songs, I’m excited to get out there and talk about them, so it seems like the natural thing to do next,” Chambers said. “A lot of artists don’t like the whole promo thing, and I get that to a certain extent, but I just want to shout it from the rooftops! I’m excited
about all these songs and I don’t want them to sit in my bedroom, I want to share them with everyone.” Over the past ten years, Chambers has remained a commercially successful purveyor of country music, and she’s certainly qualified to sing about the great outdoors. Along with her brother Nash, Chambers grew up on the plains of the Nullabor, travelling with her father who at the time was a professional fox hunter. Sleeping in the back of his truck, Kasey and Nash would always wake up to a new area of the desert. On the song ‘Nullabor, The Biggest Backyard’ from Little Bird, Chambers sings a love song to that childhood playground. Compared to those early days, Chambers is now a lady of leisure, but she would like to take her two children to the Nullabor one day. “I still feel like the Nullabor is my home,” says Chambers. “Even though I’m so settled where I am and I love my living room — god, I could never live on the Nullabor again. I’ve
become a bit too spoiled now — I like my hot shower and my hotel room when we’re on the road. But I’d love to take my kids out there one day. My eldest son, Talon, is eight and my little one, Arlo, just turned three — they’re living such a normal life. People see that we play music and that we travel around, but that’s not really the main part of my life. It’s school lunches and swimming lessons and P&T meetings. Apart from gigs, which my kids think is normal too, they’re growing up with the TV on all the time and Nintendo. I’d love to take them to the outback and say, ‘This is how I grew up.’ My little one probably wouldn’t get it quite yet, but my eldest son is really quite fascinated by other cultures and by the Aboriginal culture, and he’s fascinated by the fact that I used to live like the Aboriginal way of life. I’d love to show them that not everyone grows up in a house.” Kasey Chambers performs at Newcastle Civic Theatre on November 14, with sales through Ticketek. Little Bird is out now through Liberation.
reverb magazine issue #052 — November 2010 21