We would like to introduce our readers to Australian folk songstress Marta Pacek. Releasing her new album Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms on April 29th, Marta will be playing Canadian Music Week and will then return to Toronto on June 5th for her album release show at the Cadillac Lounge. Ahead of the record release and shows, we caught up with Marta Pacek to discuss heavy guitar solos, album titles, touring Ontario, and a family of flies. Here’s what she had to say:
AMBY: Hello Marta, welcome to our website! How are you and what have you been up to lately?
Marta Pacek: I’m great thanks. I’ve just finished a month long tour of my new album along the East Coast of Australia I’ve just taken a short break completely off the grid in the Australian Countryside. I stayed with some friends in their Rustic Home where they have three horses, three dogs and no phone reception. I always thought that living in the Country would be boring but my holiday was full of creative, entertaining and fulfilling experiences. None of which involved a phone, computer, or TV.
AMBY: You release your new album Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms on April 29th. What is one of your favorite memories from the writing and recording process?
Marta Pacek: There is a heavy guitar solo on the first track of the album “The Hunted” which Frank Koren played. There was a great moment for me in the studio where Frank had laid down the first take of the solo and my producer Brad Albetta turned to me to ask “what did you think of that?” I immediately said “I hate it” (I don’t really listen to a lot of lead guitar driven music). He shrugged his shoulders and said ‘I dunno, lets have another listen to it”. On the second listen I just fell in love with it and now it’s my favourite guitar part of the album. It was a lesson for me in how to stretch myself creatively by making choices I normally wouldn’t.
AMBY: Who were your biggest influences or inspirations on the LP?
Marta Pacek: At the time of writing the album I was living in NYC and commuting to Toronto in my van. There’s nothing like a lonely highway to get my feelings to bloom and I was listening to some really strong women singer/songwriters such as Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, and of course, Brad got me listening to his wife Martha’s music too. I continue to be intrigued with non-censorship in songwriting and have to admit that Baez’s approach to “Diamond’s and Rust” was on my mind when I sat down to write my own “Pass Me Over”. I Imagined the way I was feeling at that time was similar to how Joan was feeling when she wrote that song. So in a way it was more of an emotional influence rather than a musical one.
AMBY: What’s the significance behind the title Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms?
Marta Pacek: The title was lifted from my song “Thar She Blows” which I wrote about an elderly man of the sea who is haunted by visions of a woman from his past. His life is not a happy one because he is crippled with worry, regret and believes that the visions he is having are some sort of spiritual communication with her preventing him from moving on.
In the context of the song, I’m acknowledging the darkness in life. Evil exists in many forms but Voodoo won’t save you. Nor will prayer or worry. It won’t bring your loved one back, or protect you from this expensive world. They’re all just a false alarms. Don’t buy into them. I really like that sentiment so it made it to the front of the record.
AMBY: The release will be followed by a tour around Ontario, including a date at CMW in Toronto! What do you look forward to most regarding the tour?
Marta Pacek: I love touring, meeting new fans, sharing music with them. I just bought an Australian Made stomp box and I can’t wait to add some beats to our live show.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you while at a show?
Marta Pacek: Recently I played a little Festival in the Australian Country Side and suddenly a family of flies were determined to get into my mouth. I tried to keep singing but had to stop as I almost swallowed one. I accidentally said “Fucking Flies” into the mic and the audience thought it was hilarious. They came back for seconds and I ended the set early. It was pretty gross actually.
AMBY: Which Marta Pacek lyric is your personal favourite?
Marta Pacek: “There are Voodoo dolls and false alarms, there are vipers hissing secrets in the dark, there are princes, thieves and all their charms, there are villains selling dreams & plastic parts”.
AMBY: Who have you been listening to lately?
Marta Pacek: Well today I was listening to Neko Case and Sarah Blasko.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Marta Pacek that nobody knows yet?
Marta Pacek: I don’t like messy and cluttered spaces. If you have a messy house or studio, don’t invite me over. Unless we are friends, In which case I’ll probably help you tidy it up.
Thank you Marta Pacek, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout