Q&A with Hayley Mary of The Jezabels
Australian quartet The Jezabels just embarked on their fall North American tour in support of their newest release, Synthia, and for their fans, these shows couldn't come soon enough. Not only is the band in the U.S. at a rather strange and divided time - their tour kicked off the day after the presidential election - providing their fans with an escape from their daily lives and fears of the future, but these dates have been a long time coming. Earlier this year, The Jezabels were forced to put their extensive tour on hold due to keyboardist Heather Shannon's ovarian cancer relapse. But cue to half a year later, she's in remission and the band is ready to make up for lost time. We recently caught up with the band, who will be performing in Denver at Larimer Lounge on November 19th (Tickets HERE) to talk about Synthia, upcoming tour dates and plans for next year.
Interview by Dom Vigil
You are embarking on your North American tour in November! What about this upcoming month of tour dates are you most excited about?
Well it started off with a bang, because we arrived the day before the election, so we got to witness history. But, honestly we are just excited to be in North America again at all. We weren’t sure it was going to happen again. I miss the road trips, the people, the vastness and the different cultures, but catching up with fans again is probably the most exciting part.
I know you had to postpone these tour dates due to some unfortunate health issues - why was it important for you guys to reschedule as soon as Heather was well enough again?
We were really happy with the third album Synthia, and it was a massive kick in the guts to postpone the tour, because when you put something out you just feel compelled to give life to the recording by touring it. I suppose that’s why we came back as soon as humanly possible.
These shows are in support of your new album, Synthia, which you released at the beginning of this year. Are there any songs in particular from the album that you’re excited to play for fans?
We just did our first run of Australia in a couple of years and we got to try out some new tracks on them. The highlights vary from night to night, but I’m loving "Pleasure Drive" and "My Love is My Disease," and a few of the old ones are really shining again too.
Back when you were first working on the album, did you have any major goals or plans in mind? Do you feel that you accomplished what you wanted to with these songs?
Actually we had no plans whatsoever to even make an album! It came about when we were having a bit of hiatus, and had just gotten together to rehears for a one-off show. We were just playing around and coming up with a heap of ideas and thought we’d put them down.
What was the hardest or most difficult part about working on Synthia?
There was a stage there were we were close to finished, and some of us felt like the album was missing something. It had a lot of softness and beauty, but it was missing some agro; some attitude. We had a chat to decide what we wanted to do and thought, if you look at the album as a woman, sure she’s be pretty and beautiful, but maybe she’d be a bit of a pushover, so we went back to writing a couple more songs and they were great. So we got a more well-rounded balance between strength and vulnerability out of her, I think.
What was the most rewarding part?
The album was received really well, and that was something all our friends were saying we should be stoked about. We were of course, but in honesty, touring is always the most rewarding part.
You’re overseas right in time for the presidential election - do you think that the buzz around it and everything going on will have an effect on your performances?
Our first show was in LA and it was definitely a strange mood, but people started warming into it. By the end I think people were just glad to have their minds taken off it for a couple of hours. We have been talking to people in the crowds after and people have been really seriously upset, some of them even crying, which has made for more emotional crowds I guess, but if anything it has heightened the energy in the room. We’re yet to visit any red states, so we’ll see how the vibe goes there…
With 2016 winding down, what has the highlight of your year been so far?
Our hometown show in Sydney. I’ve never seen a Sydney crowd that awesome.
After these North American tour dates, do you have any other big plans coming up?
It’s a secret
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nothing in life is certain. We weren’t sure if we were going to make it over this time, so we can’t guarantee we will again, so if you ever were thinking of coming and checking us out, now would be the time.