Kate Miller-Heidke interview

Fresh from smashing all records in Australia for the fastest and most successful crowd-funded album ever, Kate Miller-Heidke is hitting the UK for a series of dates. We grabbed a few words with her: 

Hello Kate! How is the Australian winter treating you? 
This tour has been all over the place – we’ve jumped from tropical Cairns to cold crisp Victoria. Today I’m in Melbourne and there’s not a cloud in the sky. We’re about to hop on a plane to rainy Launceston, Tasmania.

You’re heading over to the UK to play some shows next week. What do you like about going to England and what do you get homesick for?
I love so many things about England – the history, the countryside, the food, London. Cobbled lanes. Black cabs. The Groucho Club. Albert Hall. I love it. My favourite times to be over there are spring and Christmas. I do miss the Australian breakfast – good coffee, perfectly poached eggs on sourdough with avocado and roasted tomato. Come on, English people! Get on it. You’ll never go back, I promise.

Your performance at The Komedia was one of the highlights of this year’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton. What can fans expect from your live shows this time around?
Thank you very much. I suppose these sets will be more of the same, but bigger. Hopefully I don’t tell many of the same jokes.

You’ll presumably be playing some stuff from your latest album, O Vertigo. This LP was crowd-funded and smashed all records for how quickly the money was raised. While this is obviously an amazing achievement, I wonder if it led to you feeling any extra pressure on your shoulders when recording the album, knowing just how high the level of expectation was from your fanbase?
In a way, yes, but I put shitloads of pressure on myself anyway. The success of the crowd-funding was a vote of confidence from fans – it actually made me feel more confident and more free in a way.

kate miller-heidkeDo you reckon you’ll go down the fan-funding route again in the future? It seems to be an increasingly popular and successful venture for many artists.
I’m not sure. I haven’t made any plans yet. It might be weird to do it twice in succession.

You’re performing in “The Death of Klinghoffer” for the New York Metropolitan Opera in October and November this year. That’s exciting!
I still can’t quite believe it’s real, to be honest. I’m pinching myself!

Is it hard to jump from being Opera Kate to Indie Legend Kate? Performing in operas and playing your own gigs must be very different disciplines. Does your mental/vocal preparation differ for each?
It’s hard in that it can be taxing for my voice. Staying vocally healthy is something I struggle with from time to time. Other than that, doing opera has been like this amazing holiday from myself. Getting to be part of a cast; not being the boss; being a small cog in a huge mechanism; playing a character. Being in someone else’s story. It’s like getting a little temporary reprieve. I couldn’t do it all the time, but I feel very lucky to have little windows into that world.

What else does 2014 have in store for you after this UK tour and the opera in NYC?
A tour of Europe opening for Ryan Keen, then back to Australia for a festival or two. Then I’m going to go to the beach and put a book over my face.

What’s on your stereo at the moment? Are there any hot new bands we should know about?
After shows, we’ve been listening to a lot of Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Airports’. As far as new music goes, I like Kishi Bashi, San Fermin, Megan Washington’s new album ‘There There’, Courtney Barnett.

Finally, tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you…
I once won a boiled-egg eating contest at the Gladstone Show.

If you are in England, then you can catch Kate at the following shows:

Wednesday 10th September NOTTINGHAM, THE BODEGA
Thursday 11th September LONDON, SCALA
Friday 12th September BRISTOL, LOUISIANA

Tickets are available from here



Interview by Bobby Townsend