Interview by Callum Sheppard.
Alongside Matt Carstens on the second week of the Coffee House Sessions tour were the brilliant Australian three-piece Germein, a trio of sisters making some beautiful music. Having had a busy year, especially in the U.K. supporting the likes of Little Mix, their penultimate show with CHS felt like a wonderfully settled end to the first part of their story. As always, Callum went down to chat to Georgia, Ella and Clara…
How has the whole tour gone?
It’s amazing, so awesome. This is the last day of Coffee House and it was so cool to end one of our last shows. Everyone was so sweet, they stuck around and listened and it’s a great venue, so thanks for having us!
Obviously you toured with Little Mix earlier in the year, was it particularly overwhelming at all?
Absolutely. There was anywhere between 15-35,000 people every night so it was amazing for us. We’d never played shows that big before, but the response was really great. The majority of people hadn’t heard of us before so everyone was so lovely and supportive.
Plans to come back to the U.K. again?
We’re hopefully going to be getting our work visas, as Aussies can. We’ll be coming back in March next year and basing ourselves here, hopefully Germany as well to do some shows. We love the audience here, and as much as we love Australia, we’ve had the endless summer.
How did you find as a new group in terms of getting radio play back home?
It’s interesting how the world’s gone, I think radio is so important. We’ve got a station called triple j, which is great for upcoming artists who are unsigned. There’s a lot of community radio in Australia that have been really supportive, even country radio as well. We’ve had a few spins on there. Mostly Spotify, that’s a great way for getting your music out there and on playlists, it’s awesome for an artist to get that next step. That’s what people are looking at these days, the playlists. Getting streamed and played definitely helps us when you want to get a bit more exposure! Back home there’s a lot of support and there’s so much over here.
For joining this tour, did they come to you or did you apply?
It was more of a joint thing, we had heard of Coalition before who are the sort of umbrella to Coffee House and they’d mentioned about it. We just sussed out when there was opportunities. Having just done the Little Mix tour, we wanted to follow it up with something smaller that we could meet people in the same areas that we came to. This was a perfect opportunity for that.
With tours like this, even if people aren’t here, word of mouth helps so much for artists like yourselves.
Yeah that’s so cool!
Any particular Australian artists you’ve been a massive fan of lately?
We’ve got Gang of Youths who are a fabulous rock band, we know their manager from another band we love called Tigertown. Obviously Kylie Minogue is an amazing performer so we take inspiration from her, The Temper Trap as well!
So for coming back here next March, will you be bringing new music with you when you return?
We’re just wrapping up an album at the moment and we’re recording it back home, but it’s so hard to keep finishing it because we’re constantly travelling. Gonna wrap that up once we’ve finished this tour, head back to Australia and hopefully have it out early next year! Got a heap of new songs, there’s about 3 or 4 out at the moment so it’s gonna be exciting to have 11 or 12.
Is it that difficult to record on the road or do you just sometimes use your phones if someone gets an idea?
With recording back home in our studio, it’s hard to make that portable to travel in and record on the road. I think for me it’s like voice memories, that kinda thing for ideas and then I’ll do a really crappy recording on the laptop or something like that. Workshopping songs, it’s a great way for us to gauge what the crowd likes and try out a few different things. Once you’ve recorded that and laid it to disc, that’s it. So it’s been great to workshop the songs over the last year as we’ve done them.
Is there anything in particular you’ve loved coming back to the U.K?
We’ve been here a few times now. I think it’s just the culture, the supportiveness behind arts as well. There’s so many different types of arts and the U.K. is so iconic for having such a great history with artists and musicians. You’ve got the likes of Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran, the old school bands like Queen and The Beatles. An amazing place to be for music and you guys have amazing festivals, just the people as well. We’ve played Isle of Wight Festival for the last four years now and the people there are just insane. I love Harry Potter as well!
Finally, what would you all say is currently the hardest thing for a group like ourselves getting forward? Spotify, the distance from Australia to the majority of the world?
Like you said, the technology nowadays, in some ways has been amazing for artists in terms of being a lot easier to produce, you can control a lot of your image through social media, having contact with fans that you wouldn’t have. However there’s a lot that works against you, because it means there’s a lot more competition, you’ve got to think of new ways to be creative with your sound and new ways to get yourself out there. Especially as an independent artist as we are at the moment, not on any record labels or management companies, we have to work a lot harder and probably have 5 or 6 different hats to your sleeve. Not just playing music, but also doing a whole bunch of other things which we love but it can be tough. Building up that traction after you’ve had something big, it’s a big rollercoaster. For us, it’s all about the journey and the experience, we hope just to keep doing it and working hard. We see it as a business as well as our passion, so we know that in any business you’ve got to make sacrifices. We’ve had some great rewards so far and hopefully it just keeps coming. We know there’s going to be more hard work. I think our tour manager said you only lose once you give up, so as long as you’re in the race you’re still winning!
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Matt Carstens Interview - Coffee House Sessions Tour