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interview: jac stone

The advent and resulting clutter of Internet media has made it rather difficult for musicians to get themselves noticed. Supports for major bands are revered, festival line-ups coveted with even the smallest slots reserved for the creamiest crop the scouts can find.

Jac Stone can now tick these two milestones off her to-do list, having made it onto the Splendour in the Grass bill in 2010, followed by a support slot for Powderfinger’s farewell show in Brisbane. All this before she’d released her first EP, which, incidentally, she is releasing this week.

Jac’s career is on the up and up, and lip was lucky enough to have a chat to this talented young singer/songwriter/aspiring ‘rock chick’.

You’ve played some big shows before even having released an EP, how does it feel to be on stage with so many people around?
Of course it was very exciting. It was all really fun but it was so overwhelming, I hadn’t actually played with a band before so it was the first time for a lot of things. It wasn’t just the crowd, it was working with the band and I was just thrown into this world. Splendour was amazing and then we got the Powderfinger support and I can’t even remember it. It was so amazing, I’ve blanked it all out.

Do you intend to continue the band format?

Yeah definitely, I want to stick with the band. I’ve always been solo, I’ve been playing by myself since I was 13 or 14 so it was different and I love it. It’s nice to know that I can always go back and do small solo shows on my own, that’s where I started, but I really want to keep the whole band.

Was that a conscious decision?
It just happened with the EP I guess. Darren Middleton [of Powderfinger] and I just got other musicians in to play and it’s kind of happened. We’re lucky.

When you were growing up, was there an artist or a moment that made you want to pursue music?

Not anyone I can put my finger on. I listened to a lot of females, probably doing the same thing I wanted to do – solo acoustic guitar – so I listened to a lot of Jewel and Alanis Morrissette. But I’ve always wanted to be a bit of a rock chick and it’s slowly coming out.

Do you ever find it intimidating having to front the band and being the one that has to talk to the audience?
I think beforehand, you can think about that and be intimidated by it. Definitely, I get nervous and I’m working with such great musicians and they’re all well known and they’re all busy, they’ve already got amazing projects happening. It’s really overwhelming that I get to be on stage with these guys. But when you’re up there, you don’t really think about that, you can’t. I just have to be on my own and perform.

What would you be doing if you weren’t playing music?
I would probably be waitressing. My sister owns a coffee shop and I work with her, which I really enjoy, but that’s probably all I’d be doing. I’d be behind a coffee machine.

How have you found the music community in Brisbane? How has your reception been and have you found that it’s been a good place to be fostering your sound?
Definitely. I was on the Gold Coast for three years and coming to Brisbane was really exciting because you realise how small it is and how everybody knows each other. It’s so supportive and people want to help each other out.

Is there a question that you’ve always wanted to be asked?
I’m so new at the interviewing thing! I’m always really excited when people ask me about my songs though, because it’s something that’s never been asked before. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that.

Do you have a favourite song or one that you most enjoy playing or one that means the most to you?
The one that’s the most fun to play is River because it’s one of my most upbeat songs at the moment and we usually play that at the end of the set. My favourite is probably Leave Me Here, that’s the title track off the EP, it’s probably the most personal.

What’s it about?
No one’s asked me what that one’s about and I’ve been dreading that question. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to explain what it’s about when people ask but you’ve caught me off guard, I haven’t figured it out yet, but it’s basically about suffering from depression.

Where do you want your career to take you, ideally?
I just want to perform and make a living from it. I haven’t travelled at all, so I’d love to go overseas and play there.

What does feminism mean to you?
Wow. I’ve never been asked a question like that. You know what, I’m only 21 and I’ve never been crazy headstrong but hopefully, I can figure that out more when I get older. But I think it probably means a lot more to me that I realise.

Jac Stone will be releasing her debut EP at the Old Museum Building in Brisbane, this Friday, February 11. Click here for more details!

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