INTERVIEW: Runaway Belles

Hi folks, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi! We have been doing pretty well.  Runaway Belles HQ is the perfect place to be in isolation.  We have a home studio and have been collaborating on visuals with photographers and videographers over skype and zoom.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Weekend”?

It’s a song that tells a universal story of a complicated love. We produced this track ourselves and tracked the vocals, guitar, piano and cello in The Barn (Wally De Backer’s studio just outside Melbourne).  While we were at the studio we also found this great instrument called a whirly tube that generates harmonics when you swing it around above your head.  If you listen closely to the mix you will hear it humming beautifully through the choruses.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The Weekend is a song that was gifted to us by our friends in LA.  I first met Chris at Tony Mazerati’s studio in LA and when he heard our voices he said that he had this song he had written with his friend Manish that he thought would be perfect for us.  We immediately fell in love with the song.   Since then we’ve been back to LA a few times and both co-written with Chris and Manish.  They are amazing writers and lovely humans.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the single?

We planned the release for this single a few months ago before the Covid-19 crisis and had been chatting with re._stacks in Melbourne about them coming to Tassie to do a photoshoot and video for the single.  When the borders were closed we realised that we wouldn’t be able to do that.  Luckily for us though re._stacks had been experimenting with Skype portraiture so we suggested to do the press shots via skype.  They turned out so beautiful and really captured our world.  We then sent some home video footage we took around the house and garden here at Runaway Belles HQ and sent that through to him to edit together.  The teaser videos have been a huge success and everyone has been asking us for a whole clip so now we are going to make our own music video in collaboration with re._stacks.

How was the recording process?

This was one of our first songs we self produced so it was such a fun and liberating experience.  We have both recorded solo albums in the past with other producers and so it was really nice to take the reins on this.  We worked with Becki Whitton on vocal production and engineering which was so incredible.  She is such an amazing vocal producer because she has the perfect balance of emotional sensitivity and technical prowess required to capture the best possible performance from a vocalist.

What role does Tasmania play in your music?

Runaway Belles is not just a band. It’s a lifestyle. It’s about freedom and alternative ways of living and thriving as independent women in the world today.  We are best friends (some mistake us for sisters) and we live and work together as sing and play.  Which is so rare. Tassie is the perfect environment for us to live and work as we aren’t distracted by the busy noise of a big city.  We have nature all around and clear seasons that inspire periods of introspective creative work in the cooler months balanced with fun adventures and touring to play festivals in the warmer months.

How would you say our current times have actually influenced your music?

I would say it’s made us more courageous and innovative.  We’ve had to make the decision to forge ahead into what is a very uncertain future.  And we’ve had to re-think how we create work.  It’s been incredibly empowering working with re._stacks as we’ve realised we can create a lot of our own visual content and it’s encouraged us to share more of our private world with our audience.  In particular we’ve loved playing our live stream shows.  It is an expensive exercise to tour nationally and internationally so now we can play shows for our fans all over the world for free.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

We’ve been writing and recording lots of new material and we are very excited to have more songs to share this year.  We’ve been doing alot of co-writing too with artists from all over the world which has been a lot of fun.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Well if you tune in to our live stream shows we will be playing all our unreleased songs on Mondays in May.  We would love to hear from our fans on which ones are their favourites and get their views on what to release next. We will most likely announce our next single during one of these shows.

What else is happening next in Runaway Belles’ world?

Tash: I have been tending to the garden at Runaway Belles HQ.  The house is architecturally designed by Patrick Dorney (son of renowned mid century modernist architect Esmond Dorney) and, as part of its experimental sustainable design, is encased in a deciduous vine that drops its leaves in May. So for me, daily raking and counting the daffodils that are sprouting for the next month.

Emma: I will be picking apples and making apple wine with the wild yeast from the apple skins. I normally ferment it in demijohns but this year I’m on the hunt for a pinot barrel.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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