Willow Beats – Music Interview
Australia-based boy-girl duo Willow Beats are heading off on tour later this week in support of their excellent new single, Merewif. We share a few words with vocalist Kalyani Mumtaz:
You were featured on Triple J Unearthed back in 2012 and have since been on the list for the Triple J Hottest 100 and played at Falls festival, at what point do you feel you’ve ‘made it’? Was winning the Parklife competition a pivotal point?
Does anyone feel like they’ve made it? I’ll feel like I made it when I can buy the 10 dollars section in the opshop regularly. I don’t think there’s ever a feeling of resolution in that sense, but flying to Hong Kong to play a gig made me feel very established. Also receiving cheese platters.
Where’s home for your heart, the slightly scuffed old toothbrush and trusty indented couch, is it the small venues and intimate gigs or is it part of the greater journey now playing the bigger festivals ?
Somewhere in between. Festivals are the highlight, feeling like you are a part of a community. But the more intimate festivals are the most fulfilling. Playing strawberry fields, coated in dust, with naked bodies being flung about was perhaps the pinnacle in my career so far. I would rather play to a smaller crowd that are enchanted than a large crowd of beer bottle smashing hooligans. They are fun too though.
Really keen to hear your version of ‘Space Oddity’ is there somewhere I can download it or have you featured this in recent tours?
You can download it for free on our soundcloud. We played it at the beginning but we don’t play so many songs from the oldest EP anymore.
Listening to your old tracks I couldn’t help feel there was a lazy Sunday afternoon acid trip overtone to it, or some kind of complex bizarre afterparty love triangle in a taxi at 4am thing happening – how do you describe your own music? You have previously noted the influence of nature and incorporating those elements to your work, and further related yourselves to Flume – is that where you still see yourself now and do the elves and monsters still live in your musical narratives? *Impressions are of course always subjective, mine are a result of past experience and vivid imagination, is how others see your work as important as how you perceive it?
I’m glad you feel that way. We have always felt playful with our music, trying not to take anything too seriously. Willow Beats was born in our big wooden family home, surrounded by cackling kookoobarras and gum trees. Complete chaos. I think that translates. I was always an avid reader growing up, with my nose stuck in a fairy tail. I like fantastical stories, stories that transport you to another world. With various themes intact, hopefully this takes each listener to their own private fantasy realm. Everything is subjective.
‘MEREWIF’ SINGLE TOUR
Friday 1 August – Mondo, Perth WA
Friday, 8 August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 9 August – Goodgod Nightclub, Sydney NSW
Friday 15 August – Rocket Bar, Adelaide SA
Saturday 16 August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
Tickets are on sale now. Grab yours here.
Interview by Damon Collum.