Melbourne singer-songwriter Jess Locke will leave you in a reflective state with the nostalgic tones of her sunkissed music.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I started playing guitar around the age of twelve and it seemed totally natural to me that if I played an instrument, I should make up songs as well. I don't think my songs were particularly good at first and I don't remember most of them. At that point, I just had this incredible urge to do it. It was cathartic and very personal. I didn't really play in bands with other people growing up so for a long time, it was just me and an acoustic guitar. I suppose that is what's at the roots of what I do. Over the years, my music has become more fleshed out and doesn't fit into the acoustic/solo person genre any more. I have always been interested in mixing genres and messing with conventions, but even just instinctively, I tend to incorporate bits of what i hear around me into what i make, whether it's folk, pop, punk or whatever. So the aesthetics of my recordings and live performances are continually changing, and I think it needs to, otherwise I would get bored. But, I almost always begin with songwriting. I think, if I have a solid base to work with then I have much more freedom in what I can do with it in terms of sounds.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Existential turmoil. Sadness. Outrage. And, also, it just feels good.
What can punters expect from a Jess Locke live show?
Senseless muttering, sadness, nonchalance and a bit of fatigue.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
'Question Everything'. I think it was my second year Philosophy lecturer.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
There is a song by Two Steps on The Water that I don't know the name of but I've seen them play live and it kills me every time - "You put words in my mouth. I wasn't hungry". If anyone can find a recording of it, that would be great.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Anything by The Brutal Poodles.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
Olympia, at the Northcote Social Club. It was great. Olympia is very impressive and she has some angelic back up singers. Also, whoever did the lighting really nailed it.
Tell us about the bands or people in your music community that inspire you.
My ideas about making and playing music have been hugely influenced by DIY philosophy, which is essentially just the notion that you don't need fancy instruments or studios to make music and if you can't get a gig at a venue then you can put one on in your living room. There are infinite ways in which people can create and share music. The essential elements are you and your creativity. I feel really lucky to have been involved with the people at Lesstalk, Blackwire, Beat Disc and Poison City Records (just to name a few) who's primary motivation for putting on shows and releasing music is pure love and not money or ego. I couldn't do what I do without them.
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
I've got another album in the works which, hopefully, will be recorded by the end of the year. Other than that... a few local live shows and lots of photos of my cat.