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Into the Deep End- Aurora Jane

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fresh off the success of her new album, ‘Deep End’, and at the peak of her musical popularity, Australian Pop-folk princess Aurora Jane has never had it better in her half-a-decade career. The Soulmate-fan checks in from the road to talk about her new album and the upcoming India show.   


Greetings from Eclectic Vibes. 2010 seems to be a busy year for the band. What has been the             most memorable moment so far?
Holding a copy of ‘Deep End’ in my hands after 2 years of work in studios across the world was an amazing feeling. Sooo looking forward to getting the new sound out there… it is great to be back on the electric!

For those who haven’t heard of the band, can you tell us a little bit about Aurora Jane and Massive Change…How you guys got together…and about your music and influences.
The Aurora Jane thang has been rolling for about 5 years now… we were all initially based out of Australia, but the Massive Change crew has expanded to incorporate Indian and Canadian band members also…and growing! I have a core –team at the moment who are playing the majority of the ‘Deep End’ launch shows around the world this year…but the interchangeable nature of the band allows different textures and explorations creatively which I really enjoy.

How would you best describe your sound in terms of genre?

The new ‘Deep End’ era is all about electric guitar.. the strat features on 90% of the album… funk meets rock, with nuances of fusion and psychedellica … the band has 5 vocalists right now (all the players sing), and horns to add to the usual guitar, bass, drums & keys… the new arrangements are much broader… new band members Dani Fry & Mal Webb bring great energy to the mix.
 Tell us about your new album- “Deep End”. How different is it from your previous efforts?

It’s a whole new sound. I recorded it in Mumbai, Toronto, Melbourne & Byron Bay with about 15 different players … we brought the diverse studio sounds together at mix-down in Sydney with co-producer Tony Buchen. It’s not such a mellow vibe… but is definitely a happy album … lotsa funk sounds, syncopated to the max … a few screaming guitar solo’s from me … and from Dhruv Ghanekar too – wild whammy shit! But, the focus is still on strong songs… the live shows promise mad impro and diversion… but on the disc every sound and space has been considered.

You recorded the album in Blue Frog studios, Mumbai. Tell us more about the experience. Anything you liked or disliked about the whole set-up?

Blue Frog is about the coolest landing pad a touring musician could roll in to. Working with Chintan & Camille is a breeze, they are both extremely skilled and cruisy as f*&^! The all-nighters we pulled in there early on were a blast.. we were mostly demoing at that stage, and it gave the guys a good chance to test the capabilities of the gear and the rooms too. You cant go past the SSL desks and amazing assortment of  mics in those sound designed rooms.

Tell us more about the recording process. Did you take a different approach, this time around?
Yeah, the tracks were mostly built from the bass-line up… I play bass as well as guitar, and spent a lot of time with a few different rhythm sections appropriate to each track working out a solid but intricate foundation for each song… we layered from there with guitars, horns, keys, multi-vox…but mostly lots of guitar… there are a lot more guitar solos and guitar layers in general on this album… I set myself a challenge with this album to write something that was musically very rich prior to adding the vocal melody and theme… it is challenging working this way…but fun learning to create songs from a multitude of angles. Tony Buchen, who co-produced, really helped me create a strong relationship between all the tracks in pre-production prior to mix-down. It was at that stage where so much of the dimension and additional keys, percussion and weird-ass delays were added.

Lyrically, what do you mostly sing about? Give us a little insight into the songwriting course of the band?

I would say for the most part of late that my lyrics have become less literal on the whole…I like people to be able to interpret them from their own perspective…. I did have a goal and common theme in mind for the majority of tracks on the album. It is damn hard to write happy music that isn’t cheesy… yet I kind of got sick of hearing myself and other artists complain a lot… I decided if I was gonna tackle politics it would be from a different perspective to the past… more abstract.  I believe this album makes a statement about creating your reality with your thoughts and actions, and that unified in an awareness of the law of attraction, humanity will build a positive future.

The “Deep End” tour kicks off in Australia in May. You’re supposed to play onstage with new members Mal Webb and Dani Fry. Excited?

Absolutely. They have both been huge inspiration for many years, it is an honor to have them in the band. Dani has one of my favorite voices in the world, and Mal is a super-human, multi-instrumental vocal experimenter... the vibe and sounds they bring to the new material is great. Fingers crossed they are both coming to India in June with me J

You’re also supposed to return to India in June to tour and release your album. What are your expectations with regards to that?

We hope to squeeze as many dates as we can into a 3 week time-frame. I’m really looking forward to sharing the new album with Indian fans. The electric arrangements and big band vibe will definitely suit the Indian fan base … well, I believe so anyway.. I am also really excited about catching up with all of my friends, and having some of them guest at shows also. Keep your eyes on my website for dates…seems the lead time for shows is a lot shorter in India than the rest of the world...monsoon maybe? When does that start? We always seem to come for monsoon lol!

 Any Indian bands/artists that you really like?

I have more respect for Indian Blues band ‘Soulmate’ as a live act than any other band we have played with in the world. Their consistent sound and ability to hold an audience for hours is astonishing! Style and stamina… I cant go past the amazing combo of Tips’s powerful voice and Rudy’s liquid guitar voicings. Also, HFT - they blow my mind! AJ is a close friend of mine and plays beautiful slide guitar on the last track of the album, Home.

 How does Aurora Jane’s music fit into the Australia scene in general and how do you think your music will be perceived worldwide?

Time will tell! We start the tour today…we are on the road right now... I hope that the new sound is perceived at innovative, yet accessible…I am really happy to be letting loose with a lot more rippin’ guitar solos… I think the upbeat rock and funk stuff is great fun to play live, so looking forward to our upcoming festival dates here and in Canada… the Aussie scene is very rock and roots focused at the moment, so hoping we can stir it up a little!

 Any last words for your existing or soon to be converted devouts, here in India?
We can’t wait to come back and share the new tunes with you! Come and experience the ‘Deep End’ live. Cant wait! Oh, and Tim is craving for good paneer.


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