AMBY spoke with Austra’s Maya Postepski about being Torontonians, the songwriting process between six band members, and funny tour moments! Austra are soon to release their upcoming record Olympia, and AMBY just had to catch up to see what they have been up to lately. Want to know for yourself? Just have a read below!
AMBY: Hello there Austra, cheers for speaking with AMBY! How have you been, and what’s the band been up to?
MAYA: Hi AMBY- I’m doing great, enjoying some ‘time off’ which actually means we’re all in Toronto preparing our live show. It’s been experimenting with how we want to perform our new album. We’ve also been revamping the songs from Feel It Break to have some consistency and bring them up to date the new material.
AMBY: The artwork for your forthcoming record Olympia is so vibrant! Who or what inspired it?
MAYA: It was important for us that our music wasn’t pigeonholed into a ‘dark’ or gloomy category. There are serious moments but the album also has lot of playful sides to it so we chose to represent it with images that were more colourful and vibrant rather than mysterious.
AMBY: Speaking of Olympia, which songs are your favourite off the record and why?
MAYA: Hurt Me Now is a song that Katie and I developed together. At first she didn’t even like it but then we totally revamped it and I think it’s one of the strongest both vocally and musically. It really feels like an evolution in our sound and the way we work as a band.
AMBY: What’s the songwriting process like between the six band members?
MAYA: On this album Dorian, Katie and I spent time in the studio experimenting with new instruments- we chose to work in an almost exclusively analog studio. We wanted to approach making an electronic album using as many live, acoustic, and analog instruments as possible. The experience brought us closer together and working on songs this way was really engaging and fun for us- much more than the previous album which was largely done on a computer using MIDI instruments. Sari and Katie skillfully worked out the lyrics together.
AMBY: The band are fellow Torontonians! Has hailing from here had an influence on your music?
MAYA: It’s nice to be able to walk to each others houses and bump into each other in the street. I think the city is wonderful and thriving, there’s tons of amazing bands here. We’ve been away for so long on tour that these few months off are really enjoyable. I’ve been having a lot of fun in the city and spending time going for walks, hanging out in the park, just being present.
AMBY: What’s one of the funniest moments you’ve had on tour?
MAYA: Dorian filled the tour van’s Diesel tank with regular Gas in the middle of a snowstorm in Alberta. We ended up sitting in a gas station watching TV and playing cards for 8 hours, and maybe it saved our life- we were supposed to drive through a mountain in a storm in the night time. Yikes!
AMBY: What’s the best part about being in Austra?
MAYA: It feels like every member is unique and we’re like a big family, sometimes a dysfunctional family, but a great family nonetheless. I’m an only child so being in a band with 5 ‘brothers and sisters’ has been an interesting Psychological experiment that’s shaped me into a better Adult.
AMBY: What is your song of the year so far?
MAYA: THE Knife- Full of Fire
AMBY: What has you excited for the rest of 2013?
MAYA: I really look forward to going to Asia again- we’re probably going to be there in December.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Austra that nobody knows yet?
MAYA: Well that’s a secret! :)