Over the next two weeks, we interview the capable ladies and gentlemen speaking and performing at DOAS’ Issue #5 ‘FOOD’ launch on 12 May at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery in Collingwood.
We’re chuffed to have Hayley Couper and her band kick off the sounds at the launch. Originally from Tassie, Couper launched herself into the Melbourne music scene in 2010, promptly landing the Triple J UNEARTHED title not long after – quite the achievement if you didn’t already know. Couper and co have been working hard on producing an EP (with producer Woody Annison — Children Collide, Red Riders), and you, lucky punters, get a sneak peek at DOAS launch numero cinco.
Being a musician, how important is food to you and how do you relate to the theme food?
I could say we’re starving artists, living on cask wine and mi goreng but we’re not. I had the band over for a dinner party last night. Last week guitarist Michael had us over for Bloody Mary Mussels. We eat well. Admittedly, I’m a feeder. I like to cook for friends and fatten my lovers with food. Oh and food pays the bills. I cook Mexican for a living.
How would you describe the writing process of your songs?
Sometimes a melody might buzz around in my head for ages. Annoying me and entertaining me at the same time. I’ll come up with the bones of a song, at least a verse and a chorus, take it to the band room and it will come to life from there. We might demo a few different versions, stop for cigarette and listen back to it. Sometimes many cigarettes are smoked. I feel like I’m cheating if I don’t know what my songs are about. Lyrics and melody are the ultimate marriage. I always want them to as good alone as they are together.
Do you have any other writers or artists (not from a musical background) who are a large influence to you?
The first book I read that inspired me was The Outsider by Albert Camus. The first poem that inspired me was ‘Stop all the Clocks’ by W.H. Auden. I appreciate the simple rhyme structure and imagery. And often take this approach to lyrics. Last year drummer Francis gave me Sylvia Plath’s Ariel for Christmas. He says sometimes I remind him of her.
You’re described as dreamy rock; can you elaborate on this?
There’s a certain sound scape to the melodies and guitar tones that make the music dreamy and a bit moody. But it’s rocking at the same time. It’s hypnotic and rhythmic — it’s dreamers that drink too much.
What’s in store for Hayley Couper in the future?
The band and I recently recorded an EP with Woody Annison, who’s a total legend. We had a lot fun in the studio. And the record sounds great! Stay tuned for release dates in June. Until then though, you can hear the live version performed at Death of a Scenester magazine launch Saturday May 12th and at the Old Bar on Saturday May 26th.
For more info and sample sounds, visit hayleycouper.com