Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Kate Miller-Heidke

Australia is buzzing with some fantastic musical acts, and Kate Miller-Heidke has to be one of their top artists! With a unique voice and amazing new album Nightflight, she has conquered her homeland and has now made her way to North American shores! Yaz had the opportunity of speaking to her about music, Brisbane, touring and magpies, so take a read at this interview with the lovely Kate Miller-Heidke!

AMBY: In three words how would you describe the new album Nightflight?

Kate: Cinematic, dark, hopeful.

AMBY: Sarah is a great song and the video is darkly terrific, what has the response been like to it?

Kate: Thanks very much!  That song seems to be a talking point for people, especially at the shows.  People are curious about the back-story, whether it’s true or not.

AMBY: You are quite the storyteller lyrically, what is the songwriting process like?
Kate: It’s generally a collaboration – I’ve been writing with my partner/guitarist/producer Keir Nuttall for several years now. We both write lyrics and melody, but he grew up listening to heavy metal so we have quite divergent musical backgrounds.  We mostly write separately, then come together and finish each other’s songs.  I write with a piano and a pen, and occasionally with Garageband.
AMBY: Tell me about Fatty Gets A Stylist.
Kate: It’s Keir’s project really, a side project.  Electronic pop music.  I disguised my voice, using a much lower range and a much more ‘thick fold’ sound.  I really like the record.
AMBY: You are touring with Ben Folds Five who you mention in the song Sarah, how did that come together?
Kate: I’ve toured several times with Ben Folds solo – he’s one of my musical heroes and it’s always a joy to be on the road with him.  Of course I was a Ben Folds Five fan when I was younger – Sarah is set in 1997, when I saw Ben Folds Five play at the Livid Festival in Queensland, Australia.
AMBY: There seems to be quite the burgeoning music scene in Brisbane, who should we be keeping an eye out for?
Kate: Ben Salter, Emma Louise, Ballpark Music, too many to name and I’m going to forget some and they’ll be mad at me so I’m going to stop now.
AMBY: What were the last albums that you bought?
Kate: Kathleen Edwards’ Voyageur, 151A by Kishi Bashi, Baby caught the bus by Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes.
AMBY: Men At Work or INXS?
Kate: Men at Work, or even better, Colin Hay solo.
AMBY: If you could be any character in fiction, whom would it be?
Kate: I like this question.  It’s hard to choose.  I’m going to go with Anne of Green Gables, but only for the first book where she’s still a bit of an outcast and there’s all that sizzling sexual tension with Gilbert Blythe.  She ends up with a pretty boring life in the sequels.
AMBY: Tell me something about you that nobody knows.
Kate: I got attacked by magpies when I was a kid, riding my bike.  In Australia, magpies can be really ferocious and they try to peck out the eyes of sheep, humans and other animals, whatever they can.  I hate magpies.
Currently on tour with Ben Folds, Kate is to play the Kool Haus this Monday the 15th, in Toronto, and I am completely ecstatic for the show! Her other tour dates can be viewed here. Take a listen to a track we really enjoy, Sarah, below! Last but not least, thank you Kate, for giving me your answers!
Alicia Atout

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