The Kat Wilson Trio have just released a debut EP, We Are Bored. Wilson recently took time out for a few sound questions…
How far do you all go back and what brought you together to play?
I’ve known Bek (Jenner) since we were ratty teenagers and over the years when I’ve needed a drummer to play a certain show she’s always been at the top of the list. It was at a previous launch we really sat in the pocket sonically together, so I asked her if she’d consider playing in a new Kat Wilson outfit as a trio. Belle (Harvey) my bass player is a fairly recent addition to the trio. I’ve followed her own music career for a few years and have always admired her talent and love for the industry. She had been helping book some gigs for us in January and by mid-February she joined the Kat Wilson family and the all gal trio was created.
What do you feel gels you as friends and musicians?
A mutual love for music, drum click and being weird. I think being women in the Perth music scene has really bonded us, it’s great to stand together to strive for change in what we believe and at the same time be completely content dancing around on stage together. Although the music I write is somewhat political and can be heavy at times it’s really important to me that we enjoy what we do and like each other as humans. Humour is everything.
You live with Bek, is it a particularly musical household?
There have been nights where you can barely walk through the house there are so many instruments everywhere. We also have a really old organ that only plays at the loudest possible level so yes, it’s musical. We do have a Harry Potter style room under the stairs so we try to keep ugly music stuff in there but it always seems to overflow everywhere.
You describe the band’s music as coastal blues – and I recall you liked Caitlin Nienaber’s (RTR FM Breakfast) description ‘breezy blues’ – what in your background has led you this create this kind of music?
When I was about 13 I discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and BB King so that became my bread and butter of music as I started playing electric. Then around 16 I discovered Josh Pyke and Paul Kelly which took me on a folk walk so I guess both genres moulded together and helped create the Breezy Blues style we play live. Some days are more breezy when I pull the old banjo out though.
You recorded the EP at Real2Reel in Bunbury with James Newhouse. Sounds like it was a busy and intensive couple of days. Could you describe the experience?
It was a pretty crazy, amazing three days in the Reel2Real studio. Looking from the outside to record an EP in such a short period of time can seem somewhat insane but it was honestly a dream for me. I love that feeling of being completely consumed with the music. It’s that ‘we’ve been tracking for eight hours’ feeling of tiredness and all of a sudden you’re hit with a creative moment. James was incredible in facilitating our creativity. On the second day I was sitting with James in the mixing room while drums and bass were tracking live and started exploring tuning beer bottles and hitting them with mallets which ended up as the instrumental in our last track. It’s these types of weird music moments that happen when the experience is intense and beautifully overwhelming.
Could you say a little about each of the tracks on the EP?
It’s a four track EP called We Are Bored – many of the songs are a statement about finding and realising when you’re in a state of boredom. It could be anything… bored with work, bored with your lifestyle or even yourself. It’s to simply recognise the issues that this can bring internally and the importance of talking to others and sharing the season of life you find yourself in. I think we can be a bit obsessed with being mindful and present, but the reality is our day to day lives can often be mindless.
When I started to believe what people thought of me, my ignorance to current issues and chosen exclusion from society I recognised my state of boredom. I then let myself breathe a little and looked to make a change in the culture I live in which then made a change in my head space. Three or the four songs address the strive for change. All this said, the second track, Alright, is just a big old love song about my man-friend and how much I adore him. Had to slip that track into the EP (laughs).
What are your newer songs sounding like moving forward?
They are leaning towards a louder and more heavy blues sound with some fun drum beats. The electric guitar lines are more roaring with layered delays and boosters. We are also doing a lot of creating with harmonies. From the songwriting side I just wrote a song about issues like the need to close the camps and bringing refugees back. I got a lot of songs to write about because there is so much going on in our backyard at the moment.
Describe what your shows are like…
Sometimes after shows it feels like we’ve become a family with the crowd. We like to chat, have a laugh and bop around on stage. Everyone is welcome to express themselves and be accepted at our shows. We want people to feel safe and free. There’s also a lot of mid song banter between the trio on stage.
Now that the EP is released, what are you plans and hopes from here?
I’d like to release a few live videos and keep a conversation going with friends and fans. We have the songs written and ready for the next EP so amongst gigging as much as possible in the next few months we’ll look to record and release again sooner rather than later.
Kat Wilson Trio launch We Are Bored on March 31, at Four5Nine Bar (Rosemount Hotel) with help from Rabbit’s Foot, Tashi and Woolly Mammoth. Full details at www.facebook.com/events/1660540914037007/