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This Is Northern New South Wales

Interview – Heather Shannon, Keyboard and pianist with the Jezebels

Jezabels - Beach Hotel BB (5 of 12)


Hi Heather,

Thanks for talking to Common Ground today.

You’ve arrived at your next destination on the tour?

Yes we have. We have been doing a lot of travelling, and actually played in Cairns last night.  We’re playing in Surfers Paradise tonight, tomorrow night is Brisbane and I believe Bribie Island Saturday night and Byron Bay Sunday!

You all live in different places now but you originally met in Byron bay?

Yes, so three of us grew up in around Byron.  Our guitarist Sam grew up in Bangalow and Hayley and I grew up in Byron.   We went to Byron high school (giggles) and Byron primary. 

What do you love about Byron?  Are there places you love to visit when you’re here?

Yeah for sure.  We were just talking in the car about that.  Because we’ve been playing with a Bass player Pete, who grew up in Coffs Harbour and we drove into where were staying and it was like WOW 90’s coastal vibes.  You know it’s like that kind of aesthetic that makes you feel like you’re at home.    I always try and take a walk. Get out to see Tallows, Cosy Corner; it makes me feel like I’m recharging my batteries.  I’ve always been really thankful that I have a connection to that place.   When I go back, I feel very lucky.

So what’s it been like being back on the road and including some regional towns in this tour?

It’s been really great actually, we haven’t done a tour this large in a couple of years so the tour had given us the opportunity to go to a bunch of places, and play a bunch of regional towns. I think as a band its super hard to play regional; it costs a bit more money and can be hard to make it work. It’s been really great in that respect. The crowds have been awesome and it’s all free. 

There’s a lot of talk amongst your fans about the Corona Summer Sunsets Tours, everyone’s seem to be loving it.

It can sometimes feel a bit funny doing brand associating stuff, but as a friend noted the other day… Beers should be supporting live music because they bring people into their venues and it’s an awesome thing that Corona is doing

I agree.   With the large focus on keeping live music open, especially within NSW with #dontkillthemusic.

Do you have a favourite Jezebel’s song?

No not really, I can’t choose between them, but probably feels fresher playing some of the more recent stuff.  Sometimes they can get a bit to familiar.  I go through cycles. I’m really enjoying playing the Synthia tracks in the sets, but we have a bunch of older stuff as well. The Synthia stuff isn’t new, as its already three years old, but I do like playing it live.

What’s it like playing smaller venues or do you love the large festival crowds?

The smaller venues have been great; we’ve had really great turnouts and really high energy.  No Pressure, kind of a more relaxed vibe. 

The playing schedule looked really daunting.

Yeah the touring schedule did, but were on the home stretch, which is a bit sad actually. 

Do you think your performance style has changed of evolved since the last tour?

Well, yeah I think with the addition of the bass player it had changed a lot.   Sam and I used to compensate a lot, as we didn’t have a base player. We kind of think we should have done this earlier.  It takes everything to the next level and you feel your playing the instrument better and not trying to fill in sound gaps. I think hopefully we will just keep getting better. 

What can we expect from the Jezebels after ‘‘Synthia’’ do you have any new songs?

No we don’t, we’ve got demo’s floating around, but as far as having a solid creative vision we would like to do next we are no there yet.  It will happen along the line somewhere, were all still writing a lot for various other projects. In order for us to come together and do something meaning full we might have to have our separate paths and then some back together.  There’s no point in pushing stuff out that doesn’t have meaning.

Has it been fun coming together again after a big break and now touring together?

Yes, it’s been rally nice, we’re all really close friends and we all hang out and be silly.

Do you have any fun touring stories?

Ah, well actually last night we played in Cairns and for the first time in my life I watched some jelly wrestling!  It was really eye opening.  I asked one of the girls “like why the fuck are you doing this?”  She was like. “Oh I get a diving trip,” and said I’d give her money for the dive if you don’t want to do this.

Words and images by Lisa Gough – @lisagphotography

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