Holly Throsby a singer, song writer, musician from Sydney, tells us a little about her upcoming performance in Darwin called See. See is a musical adventure full of all the songs from her award-winning children’s album, ‘SEE!’ Holly and her band will be playing in the Spiegeltent for Hot August Nights!
1. Introduce yourself
Hi I’m Holly Throsby and I.. sing songs (laughs)
2. Where did the idea of ‘SEE!’ come from?
I have a God daughter called May and she is 6 years old and has a little brother. It was mainly just hanging out with them, driving them around in the car and I sort of just made up some songs for them for fun. They had some kids cd’s which I just thought were terrible and I thought maybe I could make one that was a bit better. So I tried – I don’t know if it turned out any better, but it was lots of fun.
So hanging out with them and their friends I could listen to the way their brains worked. I found it so interesting! I don’t have kids myself, but it just reminded me of what its like to be a kid again. When I was writing the lyrics for the track I just tried to think like a kid, that was my main objective. I just tried to remember what it was like to feel really wowed about the world, and I just went form there.
3. Give us rundown of the show
There are 4 of us on stage. I play the Guitar, and then we’ve got Bree Van Reyk, who’s been playing in my band for years and years. She plays drums and percussion and makes all kinds of sound effects with bells and whistles and stuff. Then Jens Birchall plays double bass, and our friend Nick Wales plays the fiddle – there’s lots of fiddle on the record. The show is quite similar to how the record sounds really, we tried to keep it very much in the same spirit. The songs are all in different order to fit the live show but it’s just really fun. There’s speaking in between and we kind of introduce the song and really talk to the kids. By the end of it there’s always this little moshpit in front of the stage full of cute little toddlers who just want to dance, so its really fun.
3. How about costumes and/ or make up?
We don’t really wear costumes but I made everyone in the band a playing card t-shirt with reference to this song on the album called diamonds are so shiny. There’s a whole verse about a deck of cards so I painted one for Bree, Jens and Nick. Their all different playing card t-shits and I always wear something colourful but I don’t really have an outfit perse.
4. What’s your spirit animal?
I really like horses, and I really like dogs. I always want to go horse riding all the time but I haven’t been since I was a kid but I keep planning on it. I have a chocolate Labrador I rekon I wouldn’t mind having her life. Yeah, she’s my bestie.
5. Have you been to the N.T before?
We’ve played at Darwin Festival before a couple of years ago, doing my regular music for grown ups. That’s actually the only time I’ve played in Darwin. So I really loved it last time, I thought it was great! It was really great that they’ve invited us to do this stuff. We did it for Sydney Festival and for the Festival centre in Melbourne. I never really set out to do live shows for the kids record I just wanted to release the album and that would be it. Then Sydney Festival approached us to do a show for them and I thought, oh god, this is either going to be the most humiliating thing I’ve ever done in my life or it will be really fun. And luckily it turned out to be quite fun. Which is great because you know, I’m not a children’s entertainer. Just doing a couple of shows I learned what works and what doesn’t. Its kind of fun for parents as well because its not dumb. I have no interest in talking down to kids. I just think that they’re heaps smarter than that. They are informative songs and I want it to be a source of enjoyment.
4. You’ve recorded some albums in unusual and remote locations, tell us about that?
Yeah, I recorded ‘See’ and my last album ‘Team’ in a 19th century church in Wildes Meadow, NSW. I often work with this producer called Tony Dupé and he’s had lots of different houses over on the south coast and southern highlands of NSW. So I haven’t actually spent a lot of time in actual studios except for when I made the Seeker Lover Seeper record with Sally (Seltmann) and Sarah (Blasko). We were in a proper studio for that, it was in New York, but I still felt boxed in, you know, you can’t go out and talk to cows. Its nice to be in the countryside to record.
7. What is your fondest teenage memory?
I was such a hippie when I was a teenager you know, I had doc boots and hair wraps and I taught myself how to ride a unicycle, and just used to go to the markets all the time and get fake tattoos. The lost boys was my favourite movie and I just liked dressing like all the vampires in that movie (laughs).
8 . Do you have some advice for young up coming performers/ musicians?
Ahh god. I guess, when I was a teenager I just used to write songs all the time. It was like all I wanted to do. I would just come home from school, I had a cassette player and I would record and write, record and write. I just did it so naturally even though I never thought about doing it as a career, it was always what I was naturally drawn to. Then I went to university and did a university degree which is obviously you know very interesting and is in my head in some way but it didn’t really apply to my career in the end. I guess one thing I learnt from that is to trust what you are naturally inclined to do. Don’t listen to other stuff that people tell you to do, and what people tell you to be. I just remember thinking when I was little that I could never make a career out of being a musician, and I’m still kind of surprised that I have, but it seems so obvious to me now how inclined I was to just doing it all the time. I think people need to play to their strengths.
9. What would you tell your 17 year olds self?
I’d probably tell my 17 year old self that it would be beneficial to go to university (laughs), but at the same time, try and be exactly who I was. Which I think I did but it does take a long time to work out who that is anyway.