Earlier this week Australian country singer/songstress Kasey Chambers released her latest, Storybook, in the states (It dropped last September in Australia.) exclusively through Amazon.com. The album, a collection of covers, is an ode to the songwriters who have most prominently influenced Chambers’ own life and sound, including Gram Parsons, Gillian Welch, and Townes Van Zandt. The album’s accompanying US tour began today in Santa Monica and wraps August 18th in Lyons, CO. In addition, Chambers already has an upcoming fall release, a collaboration with her husband, Shane Nicholson, entitled Wreck & Ruin. I recently got a chance to chat with Chambers about her latest endeavors and those to be expected in the near future.
Izzy Cihak: Your Storybook was released in America this week. You’ve said the album is a collection of “tributes” to the artists who have influenced you. What is it about a song, if there is a shared sentiment, that leads it to have a significant impact on you?
Kasey Chambers: The choice of the songs on the Storybook album was more often about the artist that I was covering than the actual song. These singer/songwriters all had some sort of influence on my life through their music. They all inspired me in so many different ways, and not only just with their lyrics and melodies, but also with their way of publicly wearing their heart on their sleeve, which helped me to feel more comfortable to do the same. I love the power of music…
IC: You recently published an autobiography. How was the process of writing in that manner? Do you feel as though you were able to express or clarify yourself to your fans in a way that you hadn’t thus far with your music?
KC: I feel like writing the book was really just a more open extension on what I had already been doing for years. I have always given so much of myself in my songs and feel so lucky that I have an opportunity to share my life with strangers. I must admit, writing the book was definitely not as enjoyable as writing an album – it was draining and confronting at times and I had to step away from it for a while because of a lot of the things I was dealing with by being so honest in the book. I guess it’s a lot harder to be cryptic in an autobiography than on an album… and pointless…
IC: What have been your highlights of 2012 thus far?
KC: My husband, Shane Nicholson, and I have written and recorded another album together this year, which has been the highlight for me. It is amazing to get to be so creative with someone you’re married to (even though we end up in a few arguments, of course). I absolutely love the sound we create together. The album is called Wreck & Ruin and will be out in the USA.
IC: You’re currently touring the US. How do you feel like touring the states compares to Australia and what should US fans expect of the upcoming gigs?
KC: One of the things that I love about playing in the States is that most of the time I am playing to people who have grown up listening to and being inspired by a lot of the same music as I have because I was mostly influenced by traditional American country and Americana type music. It makes for an instant connection between myself and the audience, which I love.
IC: What can fans expect from you for the rest of the year?
KC: Wreck & Ruin is released in Australia in early September, and mid-September we head back over to USA to play the Americana Awards, which we are soooo excited about. We’ve never even been to the Americana Festival before, but we’ve heard so much about it. Shane and I will then spend the rest of the year touring in Australia and then will, hopefully, get back to the USA early next year for some more touring.