Woodes Interview - Here To Stay

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Meet Woodes, one of the most exciting names in Australian indie musicThe recent release of 'Dots' showcases the artist's talent. This track is a driving, sonic wonderland. 

Along with the stunning new single, Woodes is currently on tour with Gold Coast heavyweight, Paces.

We had the opportunity to chat to this talented artist about her love of music, the development of the Woodes project, along with her new single 'Dots'.

One thing is for certain, Woodes is here to stay!

Futuremag Music: What's your relationship with music been over the years? How'd you move into song writing, and the artistic side of things?

Woodes: Music has been a dear friend throughout my life. I started with piano at 8 years old and was in the school choir/music ensembles all through both Primary and High School. At the end of Primary I began orchestral percussion, which allowed for me to travel outside of QLD for music and join orchestra pits for musicals. I love mallet percussion and I love musical theatre. I began song writing around then, too. I was 11. A friend of mine showed me how she’d started making up her own things on the piano and I was pretty shocked that you could just do that if you wanted. My first song was singing over the top of one of her ideas. 

From there I started showing people – I was pretty shy about it, but once I started singing I felt more comfortable. It was the in between moments on stage that made me anxious. But music has always been such a natural exploration for me. It’s connected me with friends and has allowed for me to travel and learn. It’s my favourite kind of problem solving and my favourite kind of release. 

I moved to Melbourne to study composition at The VCA and through that I really started to explore music production. I was a little tired of trying to explain what was in my head to others. When I’d hear a song and start dissecting its layers I wanted to be able to make what I heard. I got caught up in creating atmospheres and little worlds to live within. At the time it felt really natural and fascinating. I didn’t really call what I was doing ‘being a music producer’ – it took a while for me to say that. 

For the university period I stopped playing live and just ended up experimenting with different sounds and pieces of gear. I wanted to grow as a producer and really figure out what I wanted my music to sound like. I was kind of exhausting – searching for ‘my sound’ – you have so many variables to play with it and concepts floating in your head. After I’d written for years I looked back at the sounds and noticed the theme... my sound was my voice... my choices... my history… my instruments... my influences. I stopped looking at what others were doing. It’s so refreshing to stop comparing yourself to others. I still have to remind myself. 

Around that time I formed a character project. For that character I made up styling references on tumblr, film clip concepts, dream collaborator lists, bios, brand values and put it all on a secret website. I made mood boards and read copious interviews of my favourites. I wanted to be a creative director and a film clip director and a record producer and a music writer. A big part of this research was figuring out how artists have longevity. This led me to a massive business plan. I also reached out for collaboration and for a team. By the end of university Woodes was ready to be out of beta mode. It has taken years. But that time has flown. 

This is the first year I have worked as a songwriter/producer, full time.  

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Futuremag Music: Triple J premiered your most recent track ‘Dots’, can you tell us what’s the meaning and/or inspiration behind this song?

Woodes: Dots was written on my first trip to LA. I’d stopped into LA before, but this was my first writing trip. I got along with Scott Effman straight away. Since that initial meet up we’ve worked together on a bunch of tracks. I love when sessions evolve into great friendships. In the first session we talked a lot about geo tagging/location services on devices and how they teetered on the edge of helpful and creepy. It can be so strange when everyone’s checking in everywhere. Like a little map of intersecting moments. 

We began with that – visioning giant spherical orbs on a field. All lighting up in different parts. We found an atmosphere to start. I got on the mic and left it on loop for ages. I built an army with my voice and from there the song moved into a powerful quest. Marching on. I see different terrains and places when I listen back. 

We played it live for the first time at SXSW this year. When I showed it to my band for the first time we all got really excited thinking about parts. For a while we just played to the track experimenting in our own little bubbles.

Futuremag Music: What has the experience been like touring with Paces on his ‘Creepin’ tour so far?

Woodes: Touring with Mikey (Paces) and his team has been awesome. Some of the nicest people in music. It feels like a holiday every weekend. I met Mikey after we both played Beyond the Valley at New Years after being twitter friends for a while - It was my first festival slot through triple j unearthed. 

I went to his set at BTV and it felt like a giant cruise boat vacation. There’s a lot of variation in each of his songs with arrangements and vocalists, plus the visuals EGO does are huge! It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of that vacation every night. We also have a great tour family with Muki and Feki too! Backstage and road trips have been a lot of fun.

I also love touring to regional areas since I come from Townsville originally. The crowds have been so passionate. We do a version of ‘I Belong Here’ and everyone screams the words back at me. My heart melts Every. Single. Time. 

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Futuremag Music: With the release of upcoming EP, would we expect to see a tour to come along with it?

Woodes: We just announced an East Coast Tour for early 2018. I’m already in planning mode. I have some beautiful supports joining us. 

From the Woodes set you can expect a lot of group vocals, new instruments and new arrangements. My new EP is 7 tracks, so there will be a bunch of new things to share. I’ve been reconfiguring the live set with new instrument possibilities. So keen!!! 

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Futuremag Music: If you could make a cocktail called 'Woodes', what would you put into it to be best describe you and your music?

Woodes: Instead of a cocktail lets make a "Woodes Salad for Fairies & other folk."

  • 8 tiny glitter painted pine cones. 
  • 5 white rose petals. 
  • 3 cherry blossoms. 
  • 12 dandelion seeds. 
  • A pinch of moss.
  • Dust with nutmeg. 

Optional Salad dressing: Dragon blood*, balsamic vinegar & 4 mustard seeds. *substitute in blood orange depending on dietary needs. 

Futuremag Music: Do we expect to see some exciting collaborations or new music from Woodes next year?

Woodes: A full EP will be out first thing next year. Working on film clips and a stack of fresh collaborations. It’s a busy time. I love it!