Q & A: Megan Washington
Words by Lauren Ziegler - Published on March 27, 2014
Spending much of last year on the other side of the world in London retiring from live shows (for a while) to working on new material, as well as adopting a little dachshund doge, Megan Washington is finally back.
While it has been rather quite on the new music front for Washington in the years between her breakthrough debut album I Believe You Liar in 2010, and the quietly released follow up mini-album Insomnia in 2011; she has worked on a few projects here and there with the likes of likes Deep Sea Arcade and The Bamboos, and a film with Tim Rogers.
With new song Who Are You, to boot, Megan Washington once again showcases her ability to write a heart wrenching, yet surprisingly catchy, happy-sad song; the first taste off of a currently unnamed and long-awaited second studio album.
Having played at Adeleade’s WOMADelaide 2014 this year, as well as the inaugural Lost Picnic Festival in Sydney this weekend, it’s clear that Megan Washington’s appeal hasn’t died down over those absent years.
Questions by Roger Ma
How’s your dachshund?
Still in quarantine, masterminding his villainous escape.
How was moving and living in London over last year to recording/writing new material?
It was many things. It was difficult, but then some songs were easy, some people were difficult, then there were really easy patches. At least I can speak the language.
Why did you decide to make the move?
I went there to work with Sam Dixon, who is an expat Aussie in London. We did my record together and he is a bloody legend.
With the breakout success of your 2010 debut album, was there pressure in approaching the song writing process the second time around?
Not really. I’d already made ‘Insomnia’ that not many people listened to (including me) so that was “record 2” for me in a lot of ways
Your songs are much loved by many as your approach to music and lyrics is done in a very honest, open way – yet I’ve heard you say in a interview that to you, your songs don’t have any meaning to them/you’ve only recently discovered that your songs have meaning now; what made you changed your mind about your songs?
I think what I meant was that I never really know what I’m writing about when I’m writing. I’m usually just… writing stuff that feels right all together. It’s only afterwards that I can see where it was coming from. Unless I’m writing a pop song. Then you have to know.
Do you still carry around a notebook that you write random things down with, when you get an idea and stuff?
Correcto. The current one is pale pink.
How have you reacted to the warm reception to the new single Who Are You?
Gratefully. I was convinced everyone thought I was dead. Not dead, guys. Just making another record.
Who Are You is a new fresher sound for you; did a particular song/artist/or album influence the way the song/new album sounds?
Sam told me I wasn’t allowed to put any annoying bullshit into my songs, so I tried not to. We listened to lots of 80’s new wave, Tears for Fears, 10cc, Talk Talk. You can’t really hear it in Who Are You, though.
When can we expect the new album to be out?
I’ll tell you as soon as I know.
10 minutes before going on stage, what’s your mindset like?
Depends on the stage. Lately I’ve been getting really nervous before shows, but I quite enjoy it.
After you finish a gig what do you like to do?
Discuss the gig in arduous detail with my band members until their eyes roll back in their skulls and they beg me to shut up.
Do you prefer playing with the band in larger venues or as a solo performer in smaller venues?
I prefer solo everything, because then I get to play slow, sad songs of heartbreak, but people understandably get tired of that so I need to band to play happy fast songs.
What’s the story behind people yelling out “PLAY CLEMENTINE!” at your gigs? And should people still yell out “PLAY CLEMENTINE!” after you’ve finished playing Clementine? Does that still happen?
It doesn’t happen anymore. That guy was so funny. He basically yelled at me through the entire gig to “PLAY CLEMENTINE” and then I did, and he still yelled it afterwards.
You did that song in French with Deep Sea Arcade, and frequently collaborate with The Bamboos; who would your dream collaboration be with?
Bruno Mars. I think he is a genius.
What iPhone game are you currently addicted to?
Candy Crush and Badlands.
Megan Washington will also play two special intimate show at The Rev in Brisbane on Friday, April 4 and The Howler in Melbourne on Saturday, April 12.