Katie Weston is a kick ass Melbourne singer songwriter doing alternative rock pop music. Her ep Say The Word is a kick ass 6 track release full of good catchy tunes that are seriously rocking. She is an incredible talent worthy of your time. Read on and find out why she is one of the hottest things on the Melbourne music scene.
1. Are you happy with the response to the EP so far?
I’m really proud of the EP. Totally wrapped with the response that I’ve gotten from people who have seen me play live or purchased it. I haven’t had a good chance to focus on getting the EP out "there" since we released it last year due to other demands but we’ve just finished the music video for the first single which will feature at the EP’s official launch this September.
2. How did you get into music?
I was one of those kids who loved music any way I could get it from a stupid young age – I started piano lessons when I was 6 or something. My parents’ taste in music was an influence back then; artists like Dire Straits, Paul Simon and John Farnham. I was a committed member of the Australian Girls Choir from age 8 to 18. That taught me a lot about musicality and vocal harmony. Then, of course, there the cool, high school music teacher that let’s you join the after hours band and write your own songs. I recorded two studio albums with that band during high-school which got me hooked on songwriting and studio time. I was also a music theatre junkle. I’ve ended up being a musician, recording artist, singer-songwriter, actor, composer and teacher. Go figure.
3. What has been the inspiration for the EP?
When I released by debut single "This Is What I Really Want", I felt constrained to keep it really simple and more on the pop side. As I had full control over the EP, I wanted it to have more attitude and presence. I wanted to write something that I would want to listen to. Classy, melodic, perhaps alternative pop-rock. Thick on the vocal layering, big guitars, well placed piano lines and the intention to set a different scene and mood with each track. I wanted to say – this is me as a songwriter and artist. This is what I like. Please enjoy!
4. What inspires you when writing your songs?
Well, I’m very big on the music dictating the mood and scene for the lyrics, so the music always comes first in the process. When working on lyrics, I either go with a scene that I’ve set up in the music, for example – "The Shakedown" opening riff was written and all I could think of was a girl trying to get some guy’s attention at a party. The alternative is if I’ve got some emotional connection to the music, I may write lyrics closer to my heart – "I’ve Been Waiting" is about my ambition.
5. How the Internet & social media played a part in getting your music out there?
It’s free promotion and advertising. You’ve gotta know how to take advantage of it and not abuse or overuse it, especially on social media sites.
6. Why film the new video clip at Hotel Barkly?
It was actually out third location choice! But it ended up being perfect. I’m a Melbourne girl through and through – the photos and cover of the EP were shot at The Corner Hotel and at The Rooftop Bar on Swanson Street over looking the city skyline. We wanted to carry that through in the video and bring it down to a more St.Kilda cosmo vibe using the beach and the iconic view from the Hotel Barkly balcony of the Palais Theatre and Luna Park.
8. What do you hope the EP will do for your music career?
If it gets picked up, I couldn’t be happier as I did invest a lot into making it the best it could possibly be. I didn’t release the EP for that reason though. I’d been a singer-songwriter for a long time, with a lot of material that had changed over the years with out officially releasing anything except a single. The EP was the first big step that had to happen.
9. What advice can you give to somebody wanting to make a music career?
Keep writing. It can only improve with time, experience and exposure to more music. Work with like-minded people. Gig. Gig. Gig. Gig. Gig.
10. What was it like playing at the Australian Open?
Awesome day. We (my band and I) opened for Bluejuice and got to play for a full hour which meant I could include a cool cover of "All The Love In The World" by Nine Inch Nails in the set. I was asked to play by Nova100 for a battle of the band type thing. I ended up winning out of all the support bands who played. Was excellent.
11. How did you get into writing for film & tv?
I’ve always been a massive film buff. I did a short stint at a Melbourne film school and ended up writing, directing and composing the music for my final short film "Foreseen", which actually starred a then unknown Chris Hemsworth (Thor). I mucked around writing and editing jingles for actor friends for fun. I then thought – f**k it. I’m gonna get a piece of paper to say that I actually know what I’m doing and last year I graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a music degree in Composition.
12. How is composing different to the stuff you write and play as an artist?
When I’m writing and playing my original artist material, I’m doing it very much for me. I’m writing songs that I want to perform as Katie Weston. As a composer, I’ve written a huge variety of works such as big band charts, full orchestral film scores, chamber music, experimental instrumental music, 30 second commercial tracks etc. All of which I enjoyed creating but not necessarily for myself. What’s really combined the two though has been the full length musical that I’ve been writing for the past 2 years. The show has combined my compositional approach with writing something that I would really like to hear. "Sugartown" recorded a very hot concept highlights album featuring gorgeous music theatre superstar Christie Whelan (Xanadu) this year and has just been picked up by New Musicals Australia (Sydney).
13. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d just die to work with American producer Joe Barresi (The Butterfly Effect, Coheed & Cambria) as these bands and their sound are such an influence. I’d be very interested to see what he could do with a chick alternative rock album with splashes of classy pop. I’d love to see how heavy and dark we could go. Wishful think of course!
11. What is next for Yourself?
Massive EP/Music Video launch at TRAK this September. Putting together a full stage show with sets, lighting design and hot rockin’ dancers. Then gigs. Then the album.