Siskin River’s Savvy Seven

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A compact duo with big sound, Siskin River deliver an original style of folky blues and roots, with a stomping groove factor, delectable riffs, fast fingers, and evocative lyrics. With Tullara’s unique style of percussive guitar tapping and Shalane’s earthy vocals, the sisters have featured at an astounding number of festivals across Australia including the Woodford Folk Festival, Falls, Caloundra, Queenscliff, Port Fairy, Festival of the Sun and Fairbridge (to name a few). Last month they launched their new album The Hours They Keep.

Drawing on her experiences in the industry, these are Shalane Connor’s savvy seven tips –

1. The best live music venues in my area are…

We come from Ramornie, which is near Grafton NSW. The Saraton Theatre is incredible… though we’re yet to play there as it seats a thousand people! We’ll be launching our album at ‘The Pelican Playhouse‘, which is super lovely. A little old theatre that seats a hundred, and is usually home to local theatre productions and musicals. Our favourite Grafton pub for live music is Roches Hotel. Family vibe, and super nice staff 🙂

2.  The music scene in Northern New South Wales is… 

If you’re looking at the Byron Bay, Mullum, and Yamba – Amazing! Otherwise it’s the same as most country towns I think. Mostly a pub scene, which has it’s pro’s (beer) and con’s (beer).

3. My top tip for artists who self-manage is…

Think six to nine months in advance. Most festival applications close around that period, and if you don’t apply, you won’t be playing! Also, don’t get discouraged by other musicians who appear to miraculously fly ahead to ‘success’. You never know how much they’ve dished out for a publicist, or who they know behind the scene. There’s a lot of politics and cliques in the industry, and it can really get to you when you’re working really hard and honestly, but in the end it’s all just comparisons to someone elses journey you know very little about. Save dollars when you can, because you’ll need them.

4.  In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is… 

The wide-spread expectation that music should be free and instantly accessible..

It’s the digital age and musicians need to actually tour extensively in order to make a living from it. This part I’m a fan of, because I think live musicians deserve the most cred. BUT to constantly feel like you need to give things away for free, or perform for “great exposure”, whilst trying to save money to record or make a music clip, or pay rent… In most cases it isn’t feasible. This is more a problem for musicians rather than the ‘Industry’ I guess… I don’t really get the industry. In a sense I don’t really feel a part of an industry, because I’m personally connected to every venue, festival, email, album-sale, and smile that comes our way.

5. When on the road, my favourite pit stops are… 

Anywhere with coffee and a view.

6. My biggest career mistake has been…

I don’t know… Probably something seemingly trivial like not taking a mailing list to gigs.

7. My best advice for emerging artists is…

It will take time, and you’ll have to work for it. Work is good though.

You can find more Siskin River on FacebookYoutube and on their website.

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