Getting to Know Ali E – Music interview

Ali E photo by Simone Morahan

You might have encountered Melbourne-based Ali Edmonds (aka Ali E) in cahoots with a handful of bands including Damn Terran, Heavy Beach and Little Athletics. Well, now she returns with ‘We Are Strangers’ from her forthcoming solo album. We asked her to tell us more about herself:

I am Ali E. The E stands for elephant, or egg, or epiphany, or Edmonds. I spent a lot of time in the You Yangs where I developed a taste for small, crunchy bugs and building mud-brick houses. After living on the cusp of being heralded queen of the broken twigs and undergrowth, I made my way to Melbourne and discovered I had eight siblings and grew up in a country town called Hamilton. I’ve been playing music ever since.

We Are Strangers is a song that I used to play with a loop pedal for solo gigs. Actually there’s a little bit of Little Athletics in there. The very first riff is a adaptation to a riff I wrote for a Little Athletics song way back in the dark ages. I always liked that riff though. Anyway, for We Are Strangers, I worked on it with my current band and it came together pretty well. So we recorded it. And now it’s my new single. It’s about a bunch of stuff including people being complacent, hating crockery, and following orders.

Melbourne is sunny, cold, windy, quiet, noisy. And it’s the same. It’s the same all day, everyday. Nothing really changes. It’s good to leave Melbourne and it’s good to come back to Melbourne. Melbourne’s a pretty great city to live in.

I spend too much time thinking. And cleaning. I clean to think; I clean to get things done. I think to get things done. Then I usually just have a nap.

My single launch at The Workers Club will be on Friday July 18. Right, smack-bang in the middle of winter. And at this rate the weather will most likely be windy, cold and rainy. But inside at the Workers Club it will be warm, friendly, alcoholy and musicy – it’ll be a place where everybody knows your name (*cue Cheers theme song). But quite seriously, it will be fun – I’ve organised a line up of bands that I’ve never played with before so am really looking forward to seeing them play – Bad Family and Grand Prismatic. Also there will be some guest appearances from other local musos during my set.

It might surprise people to learn that if I could be a cartographer I would.

In the future the battery inside the clock that I’m looking at will, eventually, die. Once dead, I’ll take that battery to the Aldi supermarket in Brunswick, and put it in the battery recycle bin, and I’ll wonder, if it will ever really be recycled.


Ali E launches her single at The Workers Club in Melbourne on July 18. Details here. She’ll also be heading to Sydney on 31st July. Details here.

bobby townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend. Photo courtesy of Simone Morahan.