PHOEBE GO'S IMPRESSIVE SOLO EP, PLAYER, IS A EUPHONIC DEBUT THAT'S HONEST AND RESOLVED. WE CHATTED TO HER ABOUT HOW SHE DOES IT AND WHAT'S UP NEXT.
GIVE US A SHORT HISTORY OF YOUR MUSICAL JOURNEY TO DATE.
I got into it all pretty young, from the age of about 15. I’ve had a couple of different music projects over the years, with my friends. First Snakadaktal and then Two People. I guess now, in a way, I’m getting back to my solo songwriting roots. I put out a solo EP last year and, so far, it feels like coming home. I love it.
WHAT WERE YOUR EARLY YEARS LIKE AND HOW DID YOU START MAKING MUSIC?
I was born in Ferntree Gully. I think I grew up pretty quickly, being the youngest, and also being thrown into the industry so young. My parents aren’t musicians, but they were always playing music in the house and in the car. So it was always around. We were always singing along. And I was always really hooked on listening to lyrics, thinking ‘what are they saying? What are they singing about?’. It felt like this secret pool of information or something. And I noticed that it made me understand myself better and it made me feel some really big things. Almost in a physical way. So yeah, I guess the older I got the more into songwriting I got, it was almost like a dependency. I started writing when I was about 10. The songs were bad, but it became a sort of way of life for me, something I didn’t have a choice in. I guess I still don’t. In a way that sets me apart from my family. They’re really really supportive, but maybe it’s a bit ‘other’ to them. I’m not totally sure.
WHAT'S YOUR SONGWRITING PROCESS LIKE? DOES IT COME EASY OR IS THE TENSION OF STRUGGLE MORE YOUR THING?
It’s evolved a lot over the years, and I feel like it will probably keep on evolving. It’s always been personal, but I don’t think it’s ever been this personal. In the last couple of years I’ve felt so much closer to myself creatively. I guess that comes with the territory of going it alone and seeing what you find. I feel pretty liberated having gone there, though. And I feel like it’s helped a lot with my confidence in myself. That doesn’t mean I have any idea what I’m fucking doing most of the time, but I think that’s sort of part of the job too. To be open to the idea of something that doesn’t exist yet. And it’s the most rewarding thing in the world, when you do. There are days that don’t click, for sure, and that can really get under my skin. But that’s part of it. I just keep showing up. I’m just trying to go easy on myself.
WHERE DO YOU PREFER TO WRITE? ARE YOU PARTICULAR ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE?
When I’m alone, I’m usually writing on the couch, or on the floor, or on my bed. It doesn’t really matter where I am. The studio that my friends have set up is in North Melbourne. That’s where we’re recording. And it rocks.
IT SEEMS THAT MUSIC-MAKING CAN BE A NECESSARILY INTROSPECTIVE AT TIMES, BUT CAN ALSO BE EXTREMELY COLLABORATIVE. HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH OTHERS? DO YOU LEAN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER ON THIS?
There are parts about it that are really internal and really solo for me. But I’m learning to share that a little more. And there’s definitely parts that I prefer to hand over, like the engineering and production side of things. I guess that just happens naturally when you find the right people. It’s not something I ever wanna force. But it feels so good to open up and trust someone, because that’s also how you learn. I guess it’s just really important that you can get around the person you’re working with and their approach to things. Yeah. It’s important that you can trust them. And it’s really important that you have fun together.
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU'D KNOWN WHEN YOU WERE JUST STARTING OUT?
I wish I’d known how much my instincts matter. Yeah. I wish someone had said ‘you’re actually the boss here’.
WHAT'S UP NEXT FOR YOU? ANY PROJECTS IN THE WORKS?
I’m going to Europe/UK for a couple months to tour. And then, new music! Damn I’m so excited. I’m recording with my friend Simon Lam who produced the last EP. I don’t really have a fixed idea on whether it will be an album or an EP or what. I’m just working toward making a bunch of work that I love. And growing further into myself. But yeah, my aim is to record 10 songs.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A FEW VINOS WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Haha. Um, maybe Nick Cave. Just cause… Nick Cave!