Heading to Australia for the first time this New Years for Falls Festival, Larry Heath caught up with New York's acclaimed artist Sharon Van Etten to talk about her highly anticipated tour down under, and much more as she relaxed at home in Brooklyn, New York.
It must be nice to be home... you’ve had such a crazy year
Yeah it’s been pretty intense *laughs*
I caught you at the beginning of that cycle at the SXSW. What has the year been like for you as it’s been one great story after another?
Yeah, it’s been constant travelling after constant travelling and this is my first break in a while so you’re catching me when I’m not with it!
*laughs* your eyes are only just open...
...I’m sitting on the couch right now at home!
Yes, very well deserved but the rest of the year you’ve got so much more to come, you’re going to Portugal at the end of the month and place like that I understand.
Yes, it'll be pretty hectic starting on the 24th again - and then after Australia I'll be having a break to start writing again which will be nice!
It must be hard when you are travelling all the time, to keep being creative!
Yes you really need to be creative with your time, it’s a balance.
You toured recently with Tennis? What was it like touring with them?
They are so sweet, Alaina will warm up for an hour before the show. I thought she was listening to a record then I realised she was singing a-capella in the room.
And those dates went very well I imagine?
Yeah they were good, the band and I found places to roam around by day and then we’d do the shows by night so it was a healthy balance.
You mentioned it before that you are coming to Australia, have you been down here before?
No, this is will be my first time playing down there, I can’t believe it’s actually happening!
We can’t wait to see you down here playing the Falls Festival but it’s an amazing festival to play at and are you going spend any real time down here or is it going to be in and out?
I think towards the end I have some proper time, and Australia is so much bigger than I realise so some travel days we will literally just be flying... but we have some days off so we can go into town and have dinner. I’ll need to get over the jet lag as I’m not sure how my body is going to react. I’ve never been on a flight as intense before as going to Australia.
The trick is to stay awake when you arrive and try to sleep at a normal hour, at least when you first arrive, that seems to do the trick for me anyway.
I'll keep it in mind!
Best of luck with the journey, we look forward to seeing you down here. The one thing I do like to ask artists when they’ve had an album out for over a year now is how are the songs from the album developing on the live front, have some songs changed quite a bit in the live settings?
When we first released the album we were safe and playing straight but we are so much more comfortable playing our songs now. We’ve had time to experiment to see how certain songs go and you can see we have fun.
Next year you are going to get the chance to write again, have there been any plans as to what you’ll do recording wise or who you’ll work with or is that so far in the future you don’t even have time to think about it?
The one thing I really want to do, as I really want to keep this band, I have a lot to work on back home and I’d love to share the songs I’ve written with my band and have them write their own part and all play together and experiment in the studio, practice and play in the studio.
Fair enough, I imagine on the road and having to be creative, do you jam with the band before you go onstage? How do you warm up?
Well, the sound checks usually go really well and go for a couple of hours, which can depend on how far we travelled, you know, but we do just connect with each other before the show. We don’t go out and party, we like quiet time, and we eat, write the set list together, talk about the stage and things like that so we just connect on a level and don’t do much beside the sound check really.
My last question for you. I’m coming over to New York for CMJ in October and I’ve been there a couple of times, but I always like to ask a local what the best places to eat are, in Brooklyn, say pizza or something you’d recommend.
I’d recommend Paulie Gee’s as well as Zebulon for really nice environment and straight up drinks and soul music, it’s my favourite place. Great music and vibe!
Can’t wait to check out those places, I know you are playing in Washington DC when I’m there but I’ll be seeing you at the end of year! Have a great evening!
Thank you and hope to run into you at some point.
SHARON VAN ETTEN TOUR DATES:
FALLS FESTIVAL, LORNE: SATURDAY DECEMBER 29. Sold out!
THE CORNER, MELBOURNE: SUNDAY DECEMBER 30 with special guests Grand Salvo. Tickets on sale now from The Corner box office.
FALLS FESTIVAL, MARION BAY: MONDAY DECEMBER 31. Tickets on sale now from The Falls website.
THE ZOO, BRISBANE: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 2 with special guests Little Scout + Heather Woods Broderick. Tickets on sale now from The Zoo & all Oztix outlets.
SOUTHBOUND, BUSSELTON WA: FRIDAY JANUARY 4. Tickets on sale now from the festival website.
SYDNEY FESTIVAL: SUNDAY JANUARY 6 @ The Famous Spiegeltent. Starts 5pm. Sold out!
SYDNEY FESTIVAL: TUESDAY JANUARY 8 @ The Famous Spiegeltent. Starts 7pm. Sold out!
SYDNEY FESTIVAL: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 9 @ The Famous Spiegeltent. Starts 7pm. Sold out!
SPUNK TONES: Saturday January 12 @ A&I Hall, Bangalow feat. Beach House, Sharon Van Etten, Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders, Wintercoats and Bored Nothing. Tickets on sale now from Oztix or at Barebones Art Space (44 Byron Street Bangalow), All Music & Vision (Ballina, Lismore).