It’s been twenty years since triple j unearthed the Hooper siblings as Killing Heidi with their disarming folk pop song, ‘Kettle’. The band soon expanded into colourful teenage power pop and burst onto the national and international stage with their breakthrough debut album Reflector, released in March 2000. Reflector then went onto to take out four ARIA awards and reach 4 x platinum status. The early naughties belonged to Killing Heidi with Weir placing #2 and Mascara #14 in triple j’s Hottest 100. The Hooper siblings also won the critically-acclaimed APRA songwriters of the year award, cementing them as a seminal part of the Aussie indie music story.
The Aussie Rock Pop darlings will head out on the road with their first national tour in more than a decade this June with supports ILUKA and Eliza & The Delusionals. We recently caught up with Ella and Jesse ahead of their massive national tour to ask them their advice for the aspiring musician as well as a few questions on their own experiences as a band. Let’s get to it!
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why?
Ella: Well I was obsessed with Bob Dylan from a young age but I also loved pop groups like The Spice Girls. Joni Mitchell would have to be an all rounder for inspo. Incredible writer, player, able to make both successful ‘pop’ music and high art.
2) What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Jesse: Eat healthy and get as much sleep as you can, and drink plenty of water!
3) What has been one of your most defining moments in your career?
Ella: There’s the big accolades and awards nights, which look glam but they don’t change your trajectory really. It was probably Taking the reigns after the first few years of success with Killing Heidi, we took a risk to change our team, leave traditional record companies and do it ourselves, We learnt SO much. Embarking on the journey of self education that came after KH.
4) How has your music practice changed over time?
Jesse: I think as you get older finding the time for regular practice gets harder, so get as much in while you are young as you can!
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Ella: Create a supportive scene around your music, if there isn’t a pre-existing one. It helps to have a little network of people to play with, share gear with etc. No band is an island. And if you are – good luck!
6) My biggest career mistake has been…
Jesse: Working less when you are successful!
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…
Jesse: The local media supporting local artists!
Ella: The streaming issue. It was really nice when people paid good money for good music. Nowadays you better tour your butt off and make good merch if you want to earn a living. And that doesn’t suit ALL artists, so it’s tricky.
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