Rave It Up recently had a chat to Australian singer Alex L’Estrange about his latest song and video clip Nothing To Hide.
Alex, since this is your first time on Rave It Up, we’d love to get to know you a bit better. Firstly we’d all love to know, how did you originally get started in the industry?
I’ve always played music ever since I was a kid. My father was a hi-fi speaker designer and my mother was a classical pianist. But when I was about 12, I started a punk band and it all went from there.
Were there any other careers that you wanted to pursuit or was it always music?
I toyed with heaps of other stuff. I even started studying economics and journalism at university for a couple of years. But I could never seem to throw myself into it like the other students did; my passion was undeniably in music.
What have you found the hardest thing about the industry?
I think trying to find a place for your own music amongst a huge plethora of artists. And trying to forget what others might think your music should sound like and just making the songs you want.
Have you had any issues with haters or bullying throughout your career?
I think everyone hits turbulence at various points during their career, however I can’t recall anything very noteworthy.
What advice would you give to the readers who might be experiencing some bullying in their life?
I don’t think there’s a straight answer for this. It really depends on the circumstance and the person. But I always try to remember that nothing like that is ever the end of the world, and having love and respect for yourself and others is paramount to a nice life.
You have just released a new song called Nothing To Hide. What is the song about? Is it inspired by anything in particular?
I wrote it the day this stranger broke into my house and led me to this mansion she was living at alone. She divulged her life story to me and afterwards, I realised that the song was for her.
How long did the song take to write?
I wrote it all in one session that day.
You once said that something you love about the song is it evokes a whole range of different moods and atmospheres within different people, and an interesting part of it is hearing a fan’s interpretation of the song. What’s the most interesting interpretation you have heard from a fan about the song?
Someone told me the song was a ghost manically soaring through a desert.
The video clip is also now up on YouTube for everyone to check out, and it features mannequins. Why did you decide to film it that way?
It was actually the director Corey Donaldson’s interpretation of the song.
How many mannequins did you have altogether for the video?
I think five. They were all super creepy.
How come you decided not to feature yourself in the video clip?
Where I can, I try and avoid this. I’d rather give visuals that complement the music, and stop people thinking about whose mouth the words are coming out of.
Did you choose the filming locations yourself?
Corey Donaldson was all over this!
How long did it take to film?
He shot the whole thing with a small team and our beautiful actor Cecilia Griffiths in a day. Was a crazy quick turn around.
Your EP Auchenflower is also now out. Is it true that you named the EP after the Brisbane suburb where they were written?
Yeah I lived in a basement type room in a house in Auchenflower for most of the writing. I always loved the name.
Which song is your favourite off the EP?
Probably OH&S, it has the most whack production.
And which song was the most memorable to write?
Definitely Reconsider. I wrote it when I was so bummed out one day after hearing something that made me very sad on the news.
For the most part, Auchenflower was self-produced. What was your greatest challenge with this?
Trying to be your own objective judge as to whether something is working or not. It is so easy to lose perspective. I’m lucky that I have some friends who are always able to point me in the right direction if I’m losing it.
You just finished traveling around the country supporting Holy Holy on their Darwinism national tour. What was your favourite part about touring?
Travelling Australia is an awesome time. We have such a huge and diverse country. It was amazing to try and captivate new crowds each night in a new place and hope that they felt something, enough to check the record out.
You are set to launch your EP with a headline hometown show at Black Bear Lodge on January 28. What can we all expect from this show?
My friend Daggy Man is opening for me and he is a rare gem. And I’ve got a slightly different band playing with me this time. Zac Moynihan is still on the drums but the steez lords from These Guy will be joining me on bass and guitar. It’s going to be so nice.
Even though you have already achieved so much in your career, what else can we expect from you in the future?
This is just my first EP. I have so much more material that I want to release. Hopefully you like it.
What advice would you give to the readers who want to follow their dreams of becoming a singer or songwriter?
Learn as much as possible about your craft and work really really work hard!
As a closing statement, and what is probably the most important question. Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 14-year-old self?
I’d tell him to just keep enjoying being a kid, and to maybe learn French and music theory…but I doubt he’d listen.
If the listeners would like to contact you or find out what you are up to, where should they go?
You can check me on the net at www.alexlestrange.com
Thank you so much for having a chat to us today Alex.
– Interviewed by Lauren Yeates