After the release of her first single and with a new album looming, not even her birthday this week sees NZ’s Hollie Smith take a break. As she tells Rip Nicholson, she is running on “brute force and ignorance at the moment.”
HOLLIE SMITH interviewed @ 15:00 AEST Monday, November 16, 2015
For Street Press Australia [READ HERE]
“It’s going to be a very non-event I will be working. Everything’s out the window this year,” says Smith, whose Lady Dee tour has taken her away from the studio and into the hands of fans over in New Zealand and soon across the ditch. She’s just switched up her live game for recent shows at Whakatane and Raglan, performing with a three-piece band — keys, bass and drums — and showing off her guitar skills on a few numbers.
“I’ve written a lot of songs on this album on guitar and I’ve done a collaborative project a couple of years ago with Anika Moa and Boh Runga, who are quite predominant musicians here in NZ and I played guitar for that,” says Smith, who admits to being rusty on the chords but nonetheless is enjoying herself. “I love being able to stand up and I prefer to be with an instrument than without, so it worked out well and the band’s amazing, they make me look really good.”
“It’s about just watching two people being in a detrimental relationship or friendship. But, not being able to do anything about it.”
Gearing up for several Australian dates, the NZ soulstress assures her shows have been very well received. “They actually went really, really well. Raglan was really cool. It’s actually a very cool little hippy town and we had a nice party there. Whakatane was on a Sunday so it was a little bit more chilled,” she explains. “For the majority of the set, we were trying to show the new material just to break it in a little bit and so far it’s been really positive and a lot more energetic. It’s quite fun to do something different and make it more festival-friendly and just all-round have a little bit more fun on stage. I usually have more emotional performances.”
Smith’s latest offering, September’s Lady Dee, comes from an old emotion revisited, as conceived a few years prior. “It’s about just watching two people being in a detrimental relationship or friendship. But, not being able to do anything about it — having to stand back and wait for them to figure it out for themselves. There’s nothing you can kinda say or do about it. Just being there at the end of it when they do realise that [it’s not] working, at all,” adds Smith who came back to the track later on, making it the lead drop for the upcoming album. “Kinda wrote the first verse early on, about a situation, and cut it there and went and picked [up the second verse] recently and it took a different course than had originally planned. So just trying to thread those thoughts together.”
After the success of Smith’s first album Long Player (2007), anticipation for her latest has Smith running an uphill battle with a looming deadline.
“Currently I’m at breaking point because I’m desperate to get everything finished sort of before the end of the year. I’ve got limited days at home with a very limited studio space, so I can do it when cars stop driving past,” she laughs. “But, I’ve got so much going on this year that it’s been quite difficult to get that momentum and getting in the zone with things so I’m kinda just going on brute force and ignorance at the moment.”