Audio Interview: Brooke Fraser

 Hey guys!

Recently I've had the pleasure to do a few phone interviews and really enjoyed them.

It's just an amazing opportunity being able to speak to people involved in the music business and if there's no chance we can meet up, having little chats about music on the phone seems to be a really good solution. 

Being able to tape those conversations also allows me to bring back the audio interviews.
(I've already done one with Tyler Ward a few years ago.)

Just about two weeks ago I spoke to the lovely Brooke Fraser.

Brooke Fraser is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. She made herself a name in the industry with three very successful folk-pop albums.
(You probably remember her hit song "Something In The Water" from a few years ago.)

Album releases:
What To Do With Daylight (2003)
Albertine (2006)
Flags (2010)
Brutal Romantic (2014)

Over the years Brooke's style changed from folk/pop to electronic pop with singer/songwriter elements.

In the interview we spoke about said new style, touring, malfunctioning stage equipment, advices and a lot more.

Note: You'll find four soundcloud memos in the interview, they are snippets from the interview. So it really makes sense to listen to them to be part of the full interview. I really hope you enjoy this concept!


house in the sand: So Brooke, you're currently on tour. You spent a few days in Germany, is that correct?

Brooke Fraser: Yeah!

HITS: So how are you enjoying it so far? Is it a nice trip?

Brooke: Yes, yes it's been great. I was actually here for a long time in Germany before the start of the tour as well, so I feel very at home here.

HITS: That's lovely! And how's touring life treating you so far? It's a world tour actually!

Brooke: Yes! It's been fantastic, a lot of flying, a lot of jet lag. But it's wonderful, I love what I do and it's amazing to be out to play my music to people all around the world.

HITS: So you've just mentioned you play to a lot of people. Would you say the different cities offer different crowds?

Brooke: Yes! Definitely!

HITS: Are the reactions completely different from each other? Are some crowds a bit more quiet than others? Are there differences in the way they appreciate the music?

Brooke: Yeah, definitely. It always takes me a few songs to work out what kind of crowd I have. Recently I've noticed particularly in Germany and Switzerland people are a little bit more reserved so they take a little bit more convincing to kind of losen up and move around. Which is fun but, you know, I have to adjust and really try to make people feel at home and welcome.

HITS: It sounds like a bit of a challenge.
 (Listen to soundcloud memo for the following question!)

HITS: I've also noticed that some of your new songs involve a lot more multiple layered vocals. You tour with a band, can you tell us a bit more about the people you tour with?

Brooke: Well yeah, our set up kind of changes depending on the tour we're doing. So the first three months of the year we had a full band and production. In Europe, where the album just came out, we're playing small clubs so it's just myself and one of the band members on stage doing everything.
So we're working a lot with samples and I have the vocal fx machine that I use in my songs which works really well. Apart from the Berlin show where it malfunctioned. But usually it's fine and we can manage to cover a lot of the parts between the two of us.

HITS: That sounds amazing.
(Listen to soundcloud memo for the following question!)

You also must have a few days off, so are there any typical things you want to do whenever you visit a certain city?

Brooke: I actually don't have any days off on tour this year. So maybe one day, that would be nice.

HITS: I guess it would! So what are your touring essentials? You're on the road pretty much all the time, so are there any things you take with you for home comfort?

Brooke: Umm, it's hard when you go on long trips like I do. Usually my essentials, as there are not many I can bring, are small packets of laundry detergent to do my laundry in the hotel sink.
And um, what else... My favourite cardigan to wrap up and keep warm. And yeah, other than that not much else really.

HITS: Maybe music could be a part. Do you have a little travel playlist? Because the blog I run also features a lot of indie musicians, so maybe you have some insider tips of smaller acts you could share with us?

Brooke: Yeah, there's a duo from New Zealand called BROODS, I don't know if they've come to Germany yet. I think they are really great! I've had the great opportunity to work with a lot of DJs in the past few months doing remixes of some of my songs, so I listen to some great electronic artists like Zimmer.

HITS: Amazing, thanks for sharing them with us. Let's talk about your music now! Your new released album is a bit different compared to your old releases.
(Listen to soundcloud memo for the following question!)

HITS: That sounds amazing! You also spent a lot of time writing in Sweden. Do you think cities in general inspire your music a lot? Or was it just that certain place you wanted to go?

Brooke: Umm, I'm not sure. I think I'm very influenced by my environment.
 So you know, Sweden, Stockholm was a big part of this album but also a very small Swedish island called Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea where there's nothing. There's just fields and an old seatown and nothing much else. And that ended up being quite a key place for the record coming together.
 So I think I really need that, I really love the haffle and baffle and architecture of cities but I think it's also good to get the perdictive of wide and open spaces and simple living as well.

HITS: I've noticed you're really active on social media. Would you say it's a big part of the music industry nowadays?

Brooke: Yeah I think it is. I definitely understand artists who don't want to be on social media and I think there's a part of my personality that tends towards not wanting to give too much away.
But at the same time as an artist and as a global artist these days it's an amazing opportunity to be able to reach your fans who might live in places where you might never get the opportunity to tour. So I think for that reason it's a really invaluable tool.

HITS: I also think it's a great place for the smaller acts to get their music out there.

Brooke: Yeah, definitely!

HITS: Speaking about the smaller acts: a lot of them read this blog.
(Listen to soundcloud memo for the following question!)

And that's it.
I really hope you enjoyed reading and listening as much as I enjoyed speaking to Brooke.
Many thanks to Brooke herself for being super lovely and many thanks to Conny for her amazing work organising the interview.

Brooke Fraser online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Brooke Fraser press kit | Answers: Brooke Fraser

1 comment:

  1. This is really great. :) Talking to a popular woman.
    Your english is great and your voice sounds so sweet. :D
    This interview is very great and those questions were pretty interesting.
    I actually have already heard of Broods and listened to a few of their songs. Their music is really nice, but I think that I have to listen more of their songs to get a clear opinion.
    Have a nice weekend and keep up the good work.
    Greetings, Mia


Let me know what you think! :)