INTERVIEW Har-Ching Chiang
Hi Christina! Thank you for taking time out to speak with us. The most exciting thing right now is your debut album release.
Yeah, I’m very, very excited I think it’s due out 30th of August 6, 2013
I watched the trailer for it; you guys have been branded a number of things, “loosely folk” has been thrown around a bit. I noticed from the trailer that there was a use of various orchestral instruments. Can we be expecting a new sound or new influences and concepts in this next album?
I think probably not a new sound, but definitely exploring, broadening our sound a little bit. We were really honoured to have a Melbourne composer Tim Coghill come in, and he helped us with composing some brass sections and string sections. We kind of had some ideas of what we wanted and he came in and made it ten times better than we could ever have thought up which was really awesome. That was really great. There are a few songs that are very classic Paper Kites and there’s some other stuff that’s kind of broadening the sound a little bit, and introducing a few new layers of sound that make things a little more interesting, which is exciting for us.
Something else that must be really, really exciting is the north America tour.
Yeah, we are very, very stoked about that.
Two questions I’d like to ask: where are you most excited to play a show, and where are you most excited to visit?
The first half of the tour is the City and Colour support, which is very exciting. As for shows, it would definitely have to be one of the big shows that he’s doing. He’s doing some pretty big shows, particularly places like LA and Vegas. I’m really excited to play there. Obviously, we’ll be playing to crowds there that will be much bigger than the ones we’ll be playing when we’re doing our own shows. Very excited about that. I think as for a place to visit… I’ve been to the states before but I’m really excited about New York, which I think is kind of a given, but also with the City and Colour tour we’re doing quite a few shows down in the South. I think I’m really excited about seeing that part of America and it’s not kind of the place that you kind of usually would go on a holiday but I’m really exited to see those parts.
A turn for the serious here, I know that you have started a lot of your music in high school, yet the current trend is axing of the creative arts. What do you think of this?
Pretty much all of my subjects in Year 12 were creative arts subjects. It didn’t necessarily do much for my university score because I did all these artsy subjects; I didn’t get an amazing ENTER score. I talk about it to kids who are in Year 12 or going into Uni because I don’t understand why people who are creatively wired get disadvantaged doing the subjects they excel in. They don’t necessarily excel in physics and biology and because of that they get disadvantaged. A lot of those creative subjects are being axed. In Year 12 I did music, art and dance and they were my subjects. I think it’s so important for schools to have these subjects because I know that I am not necessarily academically wired but I am really creatively wired. If I didn’t have those options I would’ve struggling going through high school and actually enjoying high school and wanting to be there. So; definitely important.
Australian bands and celebrities have been starting to make it big. We have a lot of Australian actors making it in Hollywood, but a lot of Australian artists are still confined within the bubble of the Australian music industry. How was your experience in breaking through the confines of Australian music?
I think it can be a little bit difficult. As for being noticed publicly in the media and stuff like that I kind of liked it in a sense. A lot of the kinds of music artists who aren’t pop stars aren’t a big part of the media. I kind of like that, not because I don’t want them to be noticed, but I think it’s a nice sort of culture that isn’t the super-star culture that young kids idolise. And even big bands, guys like Gotye winning all these ARIAS but still just going on living their lives. That’s the way it should be, I think. But, definitely in Australia we are pretty limited in ways to get out there. There’re certain radio stations that really dictate what people listen to and if you’re a band that can’t make it onto radio stations it’s really hard to get your music heard. I guess the beauty these days of the internet is that you have some other ways now that people are actually able to access music in other ways, which is really good. In Australia this is becoming more and more predominant in that people are finding more music on the internet, on Facebook and on twitter.
Last question for what little time we have left; what advice do you have for those indie or alternative bands struggling to gain exposure in Australia?
I think for us it’s hard for opportunities to get exposed but at the same time we found it really important to not accept every offer but maintain integrity and choose carefully and just keep on writing.
The Paper Kites’s debut album ‘States’ is out August 30.