Aussie rock royalty, Sarah McLeod is back again!
The talented vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, who first found fame in the late 1990’s with 3X ARIA Award-winning rock band The Superjesus, is back and just about to set off on another tour. The South Australian Rock’N’Roll Hall of Fame inductee released her debut solo album Beauty Was a Tiger in 2005, which peaked at #31 in the Top 40 ARIA Albums Chart. In August this year, she released her 4th solo album, Rocky’s Diner, which she plans to tour from October. A true Aussie rock chick and industry pro, Sarah’s ability to tell stories through her music is what keeps the fans coming back!
Sarah was kind enough to give us some of her time this week and just like her music, this Savvy Seven is nothing but honest. See below…
1) Who was your first musical inspiration?
I was a huge Beatles fan when I was growing up. My parents had all their early records so I grew up appreciating them chronologically, it wasn’t till I was older that I discovered their later records. Please Please Me” was my favorite record, and I would sing songs from that record to ANYONE who would listen. My sister Leah hated it because whenever she had friends over I would follow them around singing Beatles songs. Her friends used to ask me to sing more so I would get excited but then Leah would get angry. It was a push-pull situation!
2) What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Enjoy it, music is all about having a good time. How can you expect your fans to have fun if you’re on stage stressing. The only way to not be stressed is to be super well-rehearsed, so get in the rehearsal room and shred it out. That way when you hit the road you don’t have any nerves and you can bring the party. No one wants to see an under-confident performer.
3) What has been one of your most defining moments in your career?
Winning the ARIA for Best Rock Album. We were on tour in America and I left the boys in Chicago. Warner flew me back to Australia business class for one night only. I went to the awards, won, partied all night then took the red-eye back to LA with a connecting flight to Chicago where the guys were waiting backstage at our next gig at the Metro. I arrived 30 minutes before show time!
4) How has your music practising changed over time?
Initially, The Superjesus practised 5 days a week for over a year before we played one single show. After that, I practised very little because there was no need because we were on tour for years. Of late, I have started practising full on again because I’ve had to create this new show which is really ambitious. Playing bass and guitar at the same time has taken A LOT of work. I’ve had to re-learn all the songs in a different way in order to pull off all the parts at once whilst singing. It can be hard but it’s so worth it once it sticks.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Make sure your material is good. There’s no point spending years rehearsing a set that sucks. Be very self-critical and make sure what you are creating is the best possible work that you can do at that stage of your career. YouTube has a long memory. Also, and most importantly, trust your gut and follow your instincts, don’t let others railroad you into doing something that you don’t feel is right for you.
6) My biggest career mistake has been…
Listening to the advice of bad managers against my better judgment, but feeling they must know more than me because they are older than me.
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…what do you think can change that?
That we are in a period of adjustment. Technology is fantastic but it’s still a bit of a grey area about how to harness it monetarily for musicians. We need to be open to it and work out how to use it to our advantage.
You can watch Sarah McLeod’s official YouTube video for ‘Wild Hearts’ below:
See Sarah’s tour dates here. She kicks off on the 5th of October at Sol Bar on the Sunshine Coast!
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