Perth singer/songwriter Toby launches her new album, Nobody Told Me, at the Fremantle Arts Centre this Saturday, February 21, with support from Maera Paki, Morgan Bain and Winters Mile, not to mention a 10 piece backing band. TRAVIS JOHNSON checks in.
You seem to have kept busy since last we spoke.
My world has kinda turned upside down in the best ways possible. Its been a huge year or so. I got married at the end of 2013 to the love of my life, Amy. She then got pregnant through a local fertility clinic and we then set off on a four month tour of Europe. It was huge and pretty amazing. In the meantime I also went over to Seattle twice to record the new album, plus some shows in the USA. In November last year my beautiful little son Angus was born and, well, the last three months have been a mixture of baby spew, baby poo, getting peed on often and trying to get some sleep in between it all – plus a bunch of WA shows thrown in.
How does performing in Europe contrast with Australia?
I love performing to Euro audiences. They get what I do. They listen to every word and every chord. We become more theatrical on stage. They even laugh at my shitty jokes. We tend to play to real music lovers. People who go out of their way to be a part of what you do- to meet you, to try and look after you, to show you a good time. The Aussie crowds are great – generally a little more drunk but a lot of fun. Our Aussie gigs tend to be way more rocky. It really depends on the venue and the audience as to how the show goes.
You recorded in Seattle with Ryan Hadlock. What prompted that decision?
I really wanted a different sound for this new album. I wanted to strip this album back and create a sound more like our actual stage show. I wanted that live and raw feel. I was loving the sound of The Lumineers, so I checked out their producer, Ryan Hadlock. I shot through an email, really not expecting to hear back from him, but a few days later he invited me over to Seattle. It was incredible. I went over twice and recorded at Bear Creek Studio.
It was great to work with Ryan – to hand over some control for the first time ever and to trust a little more. Plus working and sleeping and eating in the one spot really worked well – the album and the music was the only focus. This was new to me and I loved the way it worked and flowed.
Tell us about the album.
Nobody Told Me is different to my last album. It flows more, I believe. It has a bit of a country twang in there. It’s more fun. The songs are more happy. There’s some stories that don’t belong to me. It was a new approach to writing. I have been more stable and happier place in my life for the last few years and I believe this shows in the music and lyrics.
What’s the rest of year hold in store for you?
It’s a big year ahead. We have three tours of Europe, a bunch of festivals world-wide, a three week Canadian tour, some shows in the USA and a bunch of touring around Australia. Hopefully I will find some time between touring and changing dirty nappies to finally write some new tunes. I think 2015 is going to be my best year so far. Fingers crossed.