Last Monday, I had the opportunity to chat with lovely ladies from Tequila Mockingbyrd. After a warm welcome from Estelle [Artois], Jess [Riley] & Josie [O’Toole], we got down to business…
MT: You’re currently doing a run with Massive and Black Aces. How have the shows been so far?
Josie: They’ve been insane. We didn’t really know what to expect, as it was our first time over here. We didn’t know if there’d be 10 people or 100 people. They’ve all been absolutely incredible though.
Estelle: Those boys [Massive and Black Aces] are a lot of fun as well so we’ve been having a great time.
Jess: It’s been cool seeing all the legendary venues as well; your country has a lot of rock and roll heritage!
MT: Your most recent album was released in Australia earlier this year. If I’m correct, it’s being released later this year in Europe?
EA: Yes, it got released in Australia in May and we’re hoping to have it out either later this year or early next year.
JT: We brought over a couple of hundred copies from ‘Oz and we’ve only got a few left! So if you want to get a cheeky early copy, then come down to the shows!
MT: I gather that this release is actually your debut album. What was the process behind it like?
EA: It’s kind of a summary of where we are as a band right now. We’ve been together for 4 years travelling through Australia and playing loads of shows there. We had one EP out prior to this in Australia, but this one is the summary of everything we’ve done to date and is sort of the ‘launching pad for our musical careers’. It’s got a lot of heavy stuff on there as well as some calmer things. So there’s a lot of texture through it! It was recorded at Lighthill studios in Australia, which is where Electric Mary recorded their albums. We’re massive fans of Electric Mary so we did our album with Ricki Rae there. He knows how to get the best out of you. We’re really happy with how that came out.
JT: And then there’s the Kangaroos that jump around outside whilst you are recording. Even for Australians, that’s weird…
JR: It doesn’t get more Australian than that!
EA: There might be some footage of us chasing Kangaroos around somewhere…
MT: Now you’ve just recently relocated to the UK if I’m correct…
EA: Already happened! *points to suitcases*
JT: We’re staying at my Parents place in their attic at the moment until they kick us out! We’d been doing the rounds in Australia for a few years and we’d kind of burning the candle at both ends and the middle
EA: There is no candle. It’s just a flame now!
JT: That’s true! Anyway, we got the opportunity to do this tour and it’s something we’ve always wanted to do which is take it to the limit.
EA: Mainly just do it full time. Which is what we’re doing now. Which is great, it’s been amazing.
JR: We kinda had a moment where when this tour came up and we’d run out of annual leave. We’d used it all up from touring in Australia so we kinda needed to quit or jobs in order to do this tour.
EA: When we found out that we were playing Hard Rock Hell we sort of looked at each other and said “Time to quit!”
JT: We may be quite mad moving over here, we don’t have a manager or label or anything. But you now, we just have a feeling it’s worth our time.
JR: Already we’ve had a good reception so far so it’s looking like a good decision so far!
MT: Now, let’s talk about the sort of equipment that you use for your live shows.
JR: And I’ve just got an endorsement that I’m really proud about! I’ve recently started using Wayne Jones bass gear. He’s an Australian manufacturer and it sounds really awesome. It’s 2000 watts of pumping bass glory and I love it!
JT: I like Meinl and Zyldjian cymbals. I’m not really loyal to any particular brand, I just use whatever sound good to me! Oh, and I use Pearl Eliminator pedals. I have a history of destroying kick pedals and that one has been the only one to put with my playing!
EA: Most of what I used on the album was a Blackstar series 1 stack which is super ballsy. I came across those amps by chance and with us being a 3 piece, we need to really build up the wall of sound. Guitar wise I use a Dean Z series Explorer. I used to use a Gibson and it let me down sadly so I was looking for a guitar within my price range and came across Dean.
MT: And finally, what advice would you give to a new band?
EA: Always have a plan. Have an immediate plan for the next few months and also have a plan for a year down the line. Always keep them evolving as well. Never just get to one landmark and stop. Be good to your band mates as well.
JR: Utilise your band mates. Give everyone different roles. A lot of times one person takes the lead and it can lead to people to be burnt out.
JT: Work but play hard too. No-ones in it for the money, so you need to make sure you are having fun doing it.
MT: Thanks for your time ladies!