Brendan: Hey everyone, Brendan the Blind Guy here. Today I'm speaking to the incredibly
dazzling rising star, Meg Mac. How are you Meg?
Meg Mac: I'm good, how are you?
Brendan: I'm good, thank you. So at the moment you're on the album tour for your debut
album which - congratulations, it's an amazing album and it reached #2 in the Aria
charts! So how's the tour going so far?
Meg Mac: It's good. I've just been to Tasmania, and then I head to New South Wales this week.
Brendan: Aw nice.
Meg Mac: It’s ok.
Brendan: Yeah. Sweet. And so I read this morning that over 20 of the dates have sold out
already, that's impressive!
Meg Mac: Yeah.
Meg Mac: Yeah it's pretty cool, yeah.
Brendan: So yeah wow. So, on your new album, tell me a little bit about the path going down
the album and the production and the kind of theme behind it all.
Meg Mac: Well, I made the album in Fort Worth, in Texas.
Brendan: Oh yeah?
Meg Mac: And I heard about this group called Niles City Sound, because they had produced
and worked on Leon Bridges' album.
Meg Mac: And I was obsessed with that album. And I really liked them, so I met them
backstage at the festival here in Australia and Leon Bridges was playing and then we
kind of organised for me to go over there and just spend a day in the studio and try
out a song. So I did that, I had one day with the guys, I fell in love with the studio,
fell in love with the guys and everything and then kind of booked in to make the
whole album there.
Brendan: Oh wow. Yeah great. So definitely paid off going over to Texas to do the album?
Meg Mac: I know it's a long flight, but it's worth it.
Brendan: Yeah. Well worth it. So as far as your music and lyrics go, your music is very unique
yet fits in perfectly with today's pop scene. Tell me a little bit, kind of your formula
and approach to writing the music and the lyrics.
Meg Mac: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I guess when I started - and even talking about like how I
write songs, people are always kind of surprised that the lyrics and the piano and
singing, narrative and stuff all kind of happens at the same time.
Meg Mac: So I kind of just sit down at the piano and just, play. And everything happens at the
same time. So I don't write the lyrics separate to the song, and then bring them and
turn them into music. It kind of all happens at the same time. And yeah usually I just
sit at the piano and it's like, I guess a very personal kind of thing. I like to be by
myself, I like to make the room dark, shut all the curtains, make sure no one can hear
me and just kind of sing for hours.
Brendan: Yep. Yeah wow. So yeah well it definitely works. It sounds like it's a very natural
process that just comes to you. Yeah. So, what started your musical career? Because I
read that you started singing from the time you could, you know, pretty much talk.
So what kind of brought you up and brought out the passion for music?
Meg Mac: Growing up with music was a big part of my family. My dad would play so much
music, and my mum played the piano, she played accordion, she's - well my parents
are both Irish but they ... music was a big part of it, and we just grew up singing, like
things. Like I learned to spell my last name, because it's a bit difficult to spell, in a
Brendan: Oh, right!
Meg Mac: Just used music in everyday life, I guess. And it wasn't until I'd left school, so it
would have been like, 17 or 18, and I started playing that I discovered that you could
just play chords on a piano, and that's when I really got obsessed with ... you know I
kind of thought about it seriously.
Brendan: Hm. Wow. Yeah so music's always been a natural part to you. That's great.
Meg Mac: Yeah.
Brendan: Yeah. So in your career so far, because you're building up momentum in your career
just insanely quickly. Selling out shows all around the world, playing in festivals
here and in the U.S. and everything. So what's been the highlight for you so far?
Meg Mac: Well, I did one tour where I was the support act for D'Angelo, in America. And I got
to kind of travel around America and play the opening - opening up for D'Angelo
every night. And that kind of still has stuck with me as like, a very inspirational, a
Brendan: Yeah wow.
Meg Mac: - a big part of my life and I'll always remember that forever. That's sort of been one
of the best experiences. And probably playing Splendour in the Grass. That was
Brendan: Yeah. Fantastic. So a lot of people underestimate the struggles of touring and think
it's all rainbows and butterflies and, you know, smooth sailing the whole time.
You've, as I've said before, are building up momentum really quickly, flying all
around the world, and there's so much demand. People just want more more more.
What's kind of been the biggest challenge for you, and how have you kind of
Meg Mac: Hm.
Brendan: Or has it been pretty much all rainbows and butterflies?
Meg Mac: [laughs] I mean it's never all rainbows and butterflies, but I don't know, I just - I
think when things get harder, or when things, you know when things get harder, the
good things get better, if that makes sense -
Brendan: Yeah, yeah.
Meg Mac: - So it might be the big trip to get home or rehearsals, or driving, recording, all that
stuff, but then the reward at the end is that you get to play that show or you get to
sing your song, and the high you get from that makes all the hard stuff worth it. It
feel like it works out, it all balances out.
Brendan: Yeah. So I suppose the expression of, "Nothing worth truly having ever comes easy,"
and you know, makes it more rewarding.
Meg Mac: Yes. Yeah, that's how I look at it anyway.
Brendan: Yeah that's fantastic. So I read that when you were recording the album, that
apparently you were convinced that there was a ghost in Electric Lady studios during
the song, "Bright Light?" Oh no it's -
Meg Mac: Yeah, "Shining Bright.”
Brendan: Oh, complete mind blank, sorry.
Meg Mac: That's all good. That song is pretty much just me, that song. Just me on the piano and
I ended up recording that one at Electric Lady, which is where I mixed the album and
I'm in the room by myself and John, who was in the control room, started telling me
this ghost story about the sightings of this ghost in the room that I'm in, and he's like
telling me where in the room it was seen and stuff. So I'm in there by myself and it's
like, I don't know, the studio has a lot of history, I don't know if you know that much,
but you know it's like, a pretty iconic studio and it's just like, really spooky - I feel
like he did it deliberately to maybe like bring out some sort of performance in me.
Brendan: [laughs] Wow. So do you think it worked? Do you think it kind of altered the sound
of the song?
Meg Mac: I don't know. It can be kind of spooky, that song. When I play it live now, it's just got
this atmospheric sounds in the background as well, that kind of add to the spookiness
Brendan: Oh. Yeah wow. Yeah definitely keen to hear you live, play that song. In all of your
stories so far, because I'm sure you've got plenty of them, what's the first one that
comes to mind when I say, hilarious, kind of “WTF?"
Meg Mac: Hm. I don't know. I remember playing a show in America and there was someone in
the audience wearing a horse head, on their head. And it was like, really big, like
almost the size of a horse's head. And I'm singing, and it was like there was just this
horse in the audience, bopping along. I don't know, that's probably one of those
moments where I was like, weird. It was also one of the most bizarre moments I've
had on stage.
Brendan: Wow. That would be pretty hilarious. Bit distracting at the same time to, I could
Meg Mac: Yeah. It was just kind of making me laugh every time I looked at the horse.
Brendan: [laughs] Wow. Nice. So me being a live music journalist, I love kind of analysing
points at a show of sound quality from you guys, and the sound mixers, number 1.
But also I address points like crowd interaction, their charisma on stage, and how
you interact with the crowd and such kind of-
Meg Mac: Yeah.
Brendan: - What's to expect at your shows, and how do you address those points?
Meg Mac: I guess it's like a lot of singing, there's moments where it is just me. Then it's
moments where it's the whole band, like backing singers and everything. But it's
always lots of different, I guess, I don't know what the word would be. There's lots of
different points in the show that move and change. I like to maybe tell some stories
sometimes about where the song came from, or a story about where the song was
recorded or something like that. I really like it when people sing along. So I started
the tour, I've done 8 shows now and at all the shows, people have been singing
along. It's like such a, I don't know, hard to explain the feeling you get when you're
singing, and then you can hear everyone singing back at you, and it's almost like
you're all singing the song together, and I really like those moments of the show.
Brendan: Yeah. Wow. So yeah that's definitely feeding off of the audience's energy right there.
Meg Mac: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brendan: So, getting ready for your shows, like is there any kind of quirky rituals or any
special kind routines for you to get ready for your shows?
Meg Mac: Yeah I guess I would do like a warm-up to myself that probably from the outside
looks really weird, or stuff like that. I don't know I just do, I just do what you're
meant to do I guess to warm up your voice and make sure you're relaxed and doing
stretches and everything. I mean I do have this portable steamer, that I like to steam
before the show. And I always look a little bit strange with that.
Brendan: Fair enough. Yeah. Well yeah we've all got our special little rituals, some people like
to do push-ups in their tighty whities or whatever, so you know. So you're saying you
like to elaborate on the stories of your songs onstage and everything. What's the
story behind your new single, or well the single, "Low Blows?”
Meg Mac: "Low Blows" is a song that I wrote - I wrote it in Melbourne, at my home in
Melbourne, just in my bedroom. I'm one of those people that, I'm pretty quiet and in
certain situations when I start to feel uncomfortable I tend to not say anything or I
won't, I find it difficult to speak up for myself. Which I think a lot of people feel that,
I've discovered. So "Low Blows" is kind of me dealing with that, and looking back
and seeing when I should've spoken up, and just dealing with that and trying to
Brendan: Yeah that's great. Very inspirational message, yeah.
Meg Mac: Yeah, I guess so.
Brendan: So what's kind of happening behind the scenes at the moment, and what can us fans
expect in the near future from Meg Mac?
Meg Mac: I guess at the moment it's all about taking my album to the stage, so now my tour is
going to go for the next month or two? And then I've got some festivals coming up,
so it's lots of, like, bringing everything to life and then I'm definitely in the
background secretly working on more stuff.
Brendan: Aw Uh huh!
Meg Mac: Which hopefully I'll get to share later.
Brendan: Wow. So, can't share any of those secrets of what you're working on?
Meg Mac: I feel I've got a lot of exciting shows coming up.
Brendan: Oh okay, fair enough.
Meg Mac: I think, pretty exciting. Then the next step can come.
Brendan: Yeah. Great. And finally, what kind of message would you have to the fans,
especially ones that are kind of inspired by you and looking to follow in your
Meg Mac: I love, at my show, we end, like I end the show with "Roll Up Your Sleeves," and
that's one of the songs that I've definitely heard the most from people who that song
has like, helped them in some way or meant something to them. And that's one the
songs that everyone always sings along. So I end my whole show with like, so many
people singing, "Everything is going to be alright," back at me. And that makes me
feel really good, so I hope that it makes everyone else feel really good as well. And
that's always how I end the show.
Brendan: Oh wow, that's awesome. Well, unfortunately we're out of time. But it's been an
absolute pleasure chatting to you. And I can't wait to catch you at the Entrance
Leagues tomorrow night!
Meg Mac: I'm excited. My first show in the Central Coast.
Brendan: Yep. We'll I'm sure the Central Coast fans, us, well me and everyone else will
absolutely love you and want to bring you back for many more shows.
Meg Mac: I hope so.
Brendan: Well thank you very much for your chat and, yeah. I'll see you then.
Meg Mac: Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow.
Brendan: Will do.
Meg Mac: See ya, thank you!