We caught with Georgia Fair’s Jordan Wilson – vocals and acoustic guitar, and Ben Riley – Harmony vocals and guitar, to talk their latest album and all things Georgia Fair.
A Brief into to Georgia Fair…
Starting in high school, Jordan was approached by Ben Riley who had heard he played guitar and was talking up Nirvana. The two then started jamming every weekend in bens basement, listening to their favourite musicians and talking about escaping it all.
When they finished school they only wanted to be musicians, recorded in a friends attic and tried to get gigs in Sydney. Through high school they were scared to share their music with the outside world.
Debut album ‘all through winter was produced by Bill Reynolds (bass player of band of horses) in North Carolina, and recently released Second Album Trapped Flame was recorded in East West studios LA, working with Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow medicine show, Dropkick Murphys).
They learnt the ins and outs of making truthful music from Bill.
The shape of Trapped Flame began to form when they went up to Mangrove Mountain to finish some demos mid 2012 and they ended up with some of the final tracks that made the record, Fiery Night, Someday Soon and Plain Girls
They wanted it to be bare bones, minimal instrumentation but whatever is layed down takes a position, there must be a reason for everything.
Was it still exciting making a record the second time around or did it feel more like work this time?
No it was just as exciting I think we managed to change it up again this time around so it still felt new and fresh and we felt we had something to accomplish with it too.
What were the objectives of the album before you wrote it and do you think it came out the way you thought it would.
Um I think you could probably go along picking apart a record until you go insane, so I think obviously theres always something you would change, artists are constantly changing so whatever changes we would make will be on the next record.
Now I heard you were listening to a demo of broken wings, the eighth track off trapped flame, and broke down crying. What happened?
Yeah we’d just been putting together the demos together for the record and Broken Wings was one obviously. Jordan was in Melbourne and I was in Brisbane flying back home. And that song, listening to it at the airport it just floored me. It’s my favourite song off the record, I think it really typifies what Jordan and I do together, I dunno it just strikes a chord in me like no other song on the record does.
What was it like hanging out with Ted Hutt in LA before you got to recording the record. What did you guys talk about/do?
We kinda got over there for a few days before we started rehearsing and he just drove us around took us to his favourite haunts, we went to cafes and diners and talked about what music he’s into and what records he’s done. We talked about family and just got onto a personal level with him
Did the LA lifestyle suit you?
Not at first, when we first got over there I was like what the fuck are we doing here, but eventually I managed to find a side to LA that I really love and ended up really enjoying my time there
(While you were in America?) You also performed at SXSW, how was it being around so many different artists?
It was just basically another reminder of how friggen big the world is and how big the music industry is. I guess you spend a lot of time in Australia you can begin to think it’s a small world but when you do something like that you realize how damn big it is and how many bands there are
There were quite a few Aussie bands over there Gold Fields, Something for Kate, Seth Sentry was there, did you get to hang out with any of the Aussies?
Ah we hung out with a couple of them, we were kinda playing around at a few gigs and run into them and obviously playing the Aussie barbeque. We saw The Beards a few times and seeing them play was great along with Jack Carty.
And it was just kinda cruisey, it was a good feeling.
I think its easy to assume because you’re in the same band have the same taste in music you and Jordan must be pretty similar guys, What are some of the big differences between you two?
Uh… I don’t know, it’s crazy to think about that because we’ve been together for so long. I don’t know, that’s a really hard one to answer. A lot of the time I feel like we’re the same person.
So you’re very similar you’d say?
Well I guess we do have different strengths musically which we stick to, and then when we bring it together they really come to fruition but we obviously get along really well and have very similar mindsets.
Ever have any lovers tiffs?
Just as much as any other relationship, its like a marriage really. We have the odd screaming match and then come back to each other.
Who usually wins?
It’s very much an even keel.
Now you guys brought in Steve Sidelnyk on drums and Jonny Flagher on bass for this record who you had never met before, what was it like working with an engine room you’d never met before, did they slot right into the band?
Oh man they are just amazing players so they slotted right in and they were a great surrogate band.
We stressed it hard with Ted (Hutt) before we got over there that we wanted to have the same band throughout and he knew, he knew who we’d want to use. He had this two guys in mind and we rocked up at pre production, they hadn’t even met each other before either, but we all just managed to gel straight away.
And you guys recently added Sophia to the band on drums, how’s that working out?
Yeah she’s still with us, she’s been playing with us for a little while kinda getting deeper and deeper in. And she’s great, she’s really good for us. So yes that relationship is flourishing.
So what’s next for Georgia Fair? Have you thought about writing the next record or have been too busy touring to even think about it?
Well the writing’s constantly happening, we just put together some new songs actually. Obviously they’re still sounding relatively raw and fresh. We don’t really know what the next direction will be sound wise but I’m sure it will be a different avenue.
Just to finish up who’s your favourite artist of all time.
Shit, ah, Howling Wolf maybe? I’m a massive howling wolf fan.