The recent events involving unarmed black kids, teens and even men and women have sparked quite the conversation in this country. Every other day there’s a new #BlackLivesMatter movement around the US, but you have to stop and think, “Do people outside of these 50 states know and care what’s going on?” While we can’t speak for everyone, we can say that Animalia took notice early on up in Canada. The Tasmanian native was overwhelmed with the countless stories that made their way to her and having always wrote with an emotional conviction, she put pen to paper to and wrote her latest single and we talked about that, her process and what’s to come this spring when she drops her new record.
Kendra: I’ve interviewed a lot of artists from Australia but never any from Tasmania. What made you leave there and head to Canada?
Animalia: I grew up in a small town called Hobart. There weren’t a lot of opportunities for a musician to grow there, so when I was 20 I moved to Melbourne. But Melbourne didn’t feel right either, so I traveled around for a bit and lived in Ireland for a year. When my Visa ran out I wasn’t ready to go back to Australia, so I went to Canada instead and now I’ve been here for seven years.
Kendra: On a musical note, your latest single, “Paradise” is about all the news stories in recent years about kids losing their lives to gun violence. With so many, what was the one that made you say “enough” and pen this song?
Animalia: I’m pretty sure it was Michael Brown but perhaps I just remember it that way because that’s a young man’s name that still gets brought up a lot. There seemed to be so much gun violence happening at once, and like I say in the song, “Those names fade from memory a little too quickly.”
Kendra: You’ve noted you write quick but do you then mull over your work before you think it’s complete?
Animalia: I usually finish a song at about 80% done in one day, and then I’ll spend days tweaking and editing minor stuff to make it sound good. Usually the lyrics come last, but for “Paradise” it was written simultaneously with the music.
Kendra: What’s the most emotional song you’ve written to date and does it take you back to that part of your life every time you play it?
Animalia: Honestly, “Paradise” is definitely one of the most emotional songs I’ve ever written. It doesn’t necessarily take me back to that part of my life, but it definitely takes me back to what I was feeling at the time.
Kendra: How’s your upcoming April release going to vary and compare to 2014’s Mouth Full of Teeth?
Animalia: I think it’s a little more honest and less lyrically cryptic than Mouth Full of Teeth. I feel like I expose myself more in this upcoming album. It’s something I’ve been working on – being more open.
Kendra: With it being a new year and with you having a new album waiting to be released – can we expect you to hit the road around then?
Animalia: Yes! But no solidified plans just yet. But shows are for sure in the works.
Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape that best represented Tasmania, what five songs would you have to put on it?
Animalia: The songs that remind me of Tasmania are songs I listened to a lot while I was growing up there.
Bjork “Pagan Poetry”
Something For Kate “Monsters”
Frenzal Rhomb “Let’s Drink a Beer”
Radiohead “Paranoid Android”
Tool “The Patient“