Brendan: Hey everyone! Today I'm very excited to be speaking with the dazzling and

charismatic Ella Hooper from Killing Heidi.

How are you, Ella?

Ella: Whoo! I love that intro!

Brendan: Aww thank you!

Ella: Thank you! I'm feeling very good. I'm feeling pretty dazzling and pretty


Brendan : Oh. That's fantastic. So, you with Killing Heidi, are on the road at the moment for

a regional tour after the Capital City Tour in June. How is that going?

Ella: It's awesome. It's awesome. We've done Darwin already and now we're having a bit

of a break and then we pick it back up in Queensland and we're pretty much going

everywhere. We just felt like you know the city run went so well and it was so fun

we had to do a little bit more.

Brendan: Oh. Yeah. I agree. Definitely. Sweet. So, I gotta ask, writing and performing with

your brother Jesse, how's that go? Having your brother there with you all the

time, I mean, I know if I was writing music and touring with my older brother then

that would not –

Ella: Would not fly [laughs]

Brendan: - sound very good and that would not sell.

Ella: Well we always hear that. We always kind of had, "How do you work with your

sibling all driving you mad?" But the thing is, I don't think we know anything else.

We've been doing it for so long and we have had little breaks where we've worked

with other people and we've gotten away from each other and travelled and

things. There's always a special chemistry there that we actually both really

appreciate and go, "Now this is good, there's something here." And of course we

sort of bug each other and piss each other off sometimes as only siblings can. You

know what buttons to pushright. Usually it works really well and we kind of have a

little bit of that sibling ESP. We can tell when someone's wanting to say something

and is feeling funny about something and you would know the signs better than a

stranger or even a close friend. You just know. So that kind of comes in handy.

Brendan: Yeah. Definitely. Yeah so over the years since ... Because you started Killing Heidi

when you were 13 which, when I read that, it was like wow-

Ella: Mmm crazy.

Brendan: -that's insane. So, how do you think your songwriting and your musical skills has

developed over the years since you first started Killing Heidi?

Ella: Well it's definitely developed. I mean, I feel so lucky to be able to have done this

thing called music for 20 years, you know and I think when you start out you have

a really incredible period where you're a bit naïve and you don't really know the

rules. It's great so you don't hold yourself back because there are no rules. And

then you go through a stage where you learn, you sort of learn the ropes and get a

little bit inhibited and intimidated and think, "Oh my God, what am I doing?

Everyone out here is so much better than me." And then hopefully if you just keep

going, keep going, keep pushing through it you'll have a second coming of that

really free kind of creative period, which is what I feel like I'm going into now. I've

done it for so long that I'm confident, but I'm also not comparing myself to others

and I'm just kind of enjoying it and being in the moment and it's a really good

place to be.

Brendan: Yeah. Definitely. That's fantastic. So, back in '06, what was the ... I mean I'm sure

everyone's dying to know ... Why did you guys break up Killing Heidi in '06?

Ella: mmm .. That's a good question. We were just ... look we'd been doing it for 10

years straight by then and I think we just wanted a break. We just wanted to try

other things. Do something different. It was very all consuming when the band

was in its first heyday of playing all the time and of making albums all the time.

You really couldn't think about anything else, every day you had off was just you

know one day away from getting back onto making a new track or getting back in

the studio. So yeah, and that's all great when you're into it, but when you want a

break and you're not really able to take a break and you're not able to change

your head space out or think of other things. At such a young age I still hadn't

tried anything different and I was 20 something, 24 or whatever-

Brendan: 23, if my Spidey senses are right. Yep.

Ella: -yeah and I just was like, okay, I need to try something different. Which we did,

but also, I didn't know for sure whether that would be like, "Okay, we're never

getting back together, or we're going to take a break." It was genuinely just like

let's have a break and see what happens and then I think we all realised the break

is what we want and we want to make it like a permanent break.

Brendan: Yeah. Fair enough. Well, yeah I'm not going to hold that against you. So yeah,

okay. So, your performance style, as I was saying before I saw you back in June,

and I remember writing in my review of that show, that your energy on stage was

like a little kid in Toys R Us, who just had the most amazing Happy Meal ever-

Ella: [laughs]

Brendan: -so, how do you ... and well sorry ... With me being a live music journalist, my

focus is mainly on sound quality from both you guys the artists and the sound

mixer. Being nearly blind makes me focus on that. Then on top of that, energy

which you got down pat and how the artist engage their audience and kind of

interact with their crowd and feed off the energy. So, well first, how do you kind

of keep up that amazing energy time in and time out. And kind of, for new fans

listening that haven't experienced your shows, what can they expect? Addressing

those points I mentioned.

Ella: Well, thank you so much for you know picking up what I'm putting down and

feeling that energy and feeling that vibe, because that's definitely something I try

to invest in and I really try to invest in having a connection with the crowd and

talking to the crowd and sharing something. I don't just clock on, clock off. And

especially with this reunion and having stepped away from it for 10 years, I'm

coming back with nothing but likev energy and enthusiasm for building that

connection and I don't want to let one gig slip through the net when that isn't

there because then there definitely would've been a few towards the end of

Killing Heidi the first time around where we were just exhausted or we'd done

that same gig several times and maybe just maybe we would've been not as

present as I want us to be now.

So I really love that you felt that and that everyone coming to the Killing Heidi

version 2.0 show is saying that. And saying like, "Oh my goodness. It's just you guys

look like you're having a ball and you're all on fire and Ella you're giving so much."

I'm like, so how do I do that? I don't know, I just commit. I'm not the most fitness

Betty or exercise guru or yoga girl. I just, when I perform I find a wellspring of

energy that I don't find any other way. Singing opens it up for me because its

genuine, I'm genuinely feeling what I'm saying and then I'm moving my body in

accordance with what I'm saying and what I want you to feel as the crowd. And I

can't exactly explain just how it happens, but it happens and I keep it up for an

hour and a bit and then I fall down in a heap. [laughs]

Brendan: [laughs] I could imagine, because ... Well, I was reviewing a show recently where

you know they had a lot of energy too and I actually referred to that guy as like a

monkey on speed so, I love my analogies, but I was thinking, wow how do you guys

still manage to sing and perform these songs at perfect sound –

Ella: It’s hard-

Brendan: -whilst running around the stage.

Ella: -that's the tricky bit. It's jumping up and down. Your singing is always going to

suffer a little bit. I've thought about this a lot. I'm like, "Oh, what should I, should

I jump and perform right now, or should I really nail the note." And it's sometimes

a choice you have to make and you're like, "Well, I can get the note. It might not

be beautiful, but I'm going to keep moving." Sometimes you really need to just

stop and commit and sing and I think I usually choose sound over visuals until I get

too excited and then I just can't stop moving and I'm just dancing my butt off and I

might not sing so brilliantly at that stage, but hopefully it's a mix.

Brendan: Well, yeah. I didn't notice any gaps in the awesome sound so ...

Ella: Thank you. I'm a bit of a perfectionist ... So I'm kind of like ... I can hear where

it's not perfect, but usually I think if you're giving your energy to the crowd they

don't mind if you hit a dull note here or there if you are giving everything on

another level.

Brendan: mmm Well, definitely. So, I mean, you started Killing Heidi when you were 13,

released the first album when you were 16 and wow. And then you've gone on to

do some incredible things. What's been the biggest challenge for you, you reckon?

Ella: Mmmm..I guess transitions. Transitions are challenging when you're sort of trying

to change your sound or change your ... How you're perceived. I think I've changed

a lot as an artist and I've gone through lots of different stages, but I will always be

the girl from Killing Heidi to most people and that's fine because I am the girl

from Killing Heidi. But it's taken me a fair while to sort of accept that and see

that as a strength and not be ... Not feel pigeonholed, you know, like I've realised

that this is my own pigeonhole that I can actually use and own and make the most

of and it's not limiting as I once maybe, kind of, thought it was a bit limiting to

just be the girl from Killing Heidi because I want to be a lot of other things as

well. But now I'm realising I'm a bit older and wiser and a little bit more crafty

and I'm like, "No, this is actually only limiting if I let it be."

Brendan: Well, it's a pretty awesome pigeonhole, if it is a pigeonhole so-

Ella: Thanks. Yeah. I've realised that now.

Brendan: Oh that's fantastic. I've read that you've got the ... Let's see if my shotty eyes can

read this right. The Telstra Road to Discovery Project. Tell me a little bit more

about that.

Ella: I have to cut you off there, because that's actually, no more.

Brendan: Oh well my bad.

Ella: Yeah. No, that's okay. Google you know, is a double edged sword.

Brendan: Yeah. Well you did mention earlier that you're doing some teaching, so-

Ella: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Brendan: Kind of inspiring young minds.

Ella: Exactly. I do a lot of mentoring and do a lot of, sort of work with the next

generation of songwriters and singers and performers and I love doing that.

Brendan: That's fantastic.

Ella: Yeah. It feels really good after all these years of getting things right and getting

things wrong it's a great thing to share.

Brendan: Yeah. Definitely. Well, sharing is caring. So-

Ella: Yeah.

Brendan: Yeah. Definitely. So, back to starting at 13, which that really just baffles me that

it started at 13, like God if I hit musical talent like that when I was 13, wow. But

so what kind of started the musical spark for you?

Ella: Being a fan. Being a big lover of music. I just grew up listening to records, CDs,

vinyls, tapes you know my parents had a really good music collection at home and

I just loved the way that they would get home from work and put a song on and it

would be like the start of their evening, the end of their day, a mood changer, a

way of communicating. We definitely were a bit of a music effaced household. So

that, Jesse and I just got that loud and clear and that became the inspiration to

try and do it ourselves because we just didn't think there's anything cooler that

you can do, other than you know making music is the the pinnacle of what we

cared about and what we thought was cool so we just started having a go really


Brendan: Yeah. Well, I mean, I don't think there is anything cooler than writing and

performing music and yeah ...

Ella: Well everybody, all artists are different too, like, I'm sure for a painter, painting is

the pinnacle and for a sculptor, sculpting is the pinnacle. And I just you know.. I

grew up in a house where there was records ... I love music.

Brendan: Now, music. Just music. Lock it in Freddy. So, you've accomplished a somewhat

amazing milestones. You've won four ARIA Awards. Four time platinum status and

some APRA Songwriter of the Year and everything. Kind of what's been the

highlight or highlights of your memories of your career so far?

Ella: mmm I mean that's ... You make it sound pretty good. I think it's just longevity.

Longevity. All those awards and accolades are amazing to have. They make you

feel really appreciated and they make you think okay cool people like this. That's

really nice. I feel supported. I want to keep going. But the stuff that really makes

you feel proud on the inside, even in your subconscious is just the fact that we're

still going. The fact that we have sort of, I think, almost our longevity. We're just

experimenting with it now with this brief 20 year reunion and the regional run and

the city run. I feel like another layer of pride, it's probably my new favourite thing

that we've ever done is keep going and find a new way to be activated in 2017,

which I just didn't see coming you know. It's a real treat.

Brendan: Yeah. Definitely. And I've got two more questions because we're running out of

time but unfortunately. So, ok, if I say the funniest most W-T-F memory because

I'm sure you've got plenty of them because you've played in so many gigs of so

many capacities to so many people, kind of what's the one memory that comes to

mind that really makes you go W-T-F?

Ella: Okay. Okay. A hard one. A time when ... I have to think of them quickly because

usually they're all tied in the other stories and stuff but let me think ...

Brendan: The first one that comes to mind.

Ella: I'd probably say ... Early, early days going over to LA and playing the Roxy and the

Viper Room in LA. Being a very underage teenager myself who one summer ago

was bored out of my mind in high school twisting my hair and writing songs in the

back of my high school book. Next summer I'm in LA at the Viper Room, which is

Johnny Depp’s rock and roll club right on Sunset Strip and I’m like “what is going

on?” I'm playing shows, doing showcases, that first culture shock, I'll never forget

it. It was very weird and it really blew my mind.

Brendan: Wow. Nice. And finally, what's kind of happening behind the scenes at the moment

and is there going to be some more Killing Heidi music in the near future?

Ella: I don't think so. We're just so happy playing the old songs and so far the fans are

really like you know are appreciating that and we're happy to share that. It's often

mentioned, but there are no plans to make any in the near future. We're just

doing the reunion and we'll see how that goes but there's always some gig popping

up here, there, and everywhere and perhaps something for New Year's Eve. Stay

tuned. Stay in touch on all of our socials and we will let you know if anything

exciting is coming in that form.

Brendan: Awesome. Well I vote for more music so-

Ella: Aww thank you.

Brendan: Well it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you and I'm amongst the millions

that ... You were my teenage crush growing up so ...

Ella: Awww thank you.

Brendan: No worries. And I can't wait to see you in Newcastle, well not really see you, but I

can't wait to experience the show in Newcastle in a couple of weeks. Thank you so

much Ella.

Ella: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me and I will see you there.

Brendan: Will do. Looking forward to it.