INTERVIEW WITH ALI BARTER BY BRENDAN LEWIS 23/08/2017
Brendan: Since 2013, you’ve won TripleJ Unearthed and earned yourself a slot on the
lineup of Laneway Festival that year, supported bands such as The Rubens,
Vance Joy and Cloud Control and recently released your debut album ‘A
Suitable Girl’ which packs quite a punch, with a tour following soon! Whats
been the highlights and biggest challenges so far?
Ali: Recording an album was definitely the hardest part. It was super fun and
amazing too but it really is a labour of love and I was pretty burnt out by
the end. However, touring and the response from audiences just brought
me back to life. I love playing shows with my band and travelling to
different cities and towns and playing and meeting amazing people who
come to my shows. It’s the best. Oh and hitting #58 in the triple j Hottest
100 was unbelievable. I was in complete shock. I still kinda cant believe it!
Brendan: People that follow my reviews know I’m very picky when it comes to solo
singer-songwriters, but your style of pop/rock, grunge/rock that reminds
me of bands such as ‘Garbage’ ‘Stevie Nicks’ ‘The Preatures’ and ‘Lash’,
really separates you from the rest of the pack in my opinion. How do you
plan to evolve with your music and stay ahead of the pack musically?
Ali: Oh thank you! Well, I really just make music that I like. I’m not thinking
about how to stay ahead of the pack. I just want to make music that
resonates with me and excites me. I have been demoing up new songs
lately and already they sound a bit more developed than the last record
and I think that just comes from experience with writing and recording lots
Brendan: what was the main theme and musical intent/story behind the songs off
your debut album?
Ali: These song were about my experience in my late 20s, coming to terms with
myself, accepting myself and letting stuff go. I had to get really honest
with how I was feeling to move froward because I was holding myself back
with fear and anger and insecurity and by writing about it really openly, I
was able to let it all go.
Brendan: Your songs have some pretty catchy hooks, thought provoking lyrics and
some good ol’ rock ’n roll energy, does your live performance meet all
those attributes on stage? And what can fans expect at your live shows?
Ali: My shows are a lot of fun. Very loud and full of energy. My band are
incredible so we have a good time on stage. We try to make it bigger and
more rockin than the recordings.
Brendan: I see, well figuratively, you lived in Papua New Guinea for a lot of your
child hood, before moving to Cairns and finally back home to Melbourne,
how has that all effected your music and songwriting approach?
Ali: I’m not sure if it did. I was 10 when we moved to Melbourne and I didn't
start writing my own songs and playing til I was 24ish. I have remained a
traveller however, from my upbringing, so I guess I like to move around
a lot. I’m inspired by travel and new places and freedom so in that way, it’s
affected my songwriting.
Brendan: I noticed before you got back into music in 2013 you were a self proclaimed
‘rat bag’ tell me more about that? I’m intrigued
Ali: Oh I was just a bit of a party kid. Got into trouble, stayed out late, worked
in hospo and had a good time. I didn't get serious about life until I was
Brendan: And finally, what advice would you give young Aussies wanting to follow in
Ali: Write lots of songs, play lots of gigs and trust yourself.
Brendan: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me Ali, and I look
forward to catching you on tour! – Brendan