Interview: Taasha Coates Is Anything But Melancholy

taasha-coates-promo-0529-low-rgbAdelaide darling, Taasha Coates, exudes energy, passion and music. It is this drive that has seen the musician move on from fronting The Audreys, to making a solo album, “…and Her Melancholy Sweethearts”. Recently returned from Nashville, with a busy working and parenting schedule, she kindly squeezed in some time to chat to Glam before embarking on a national tour. Over a soda water in the Festival Centre café, we asked what had led to the decision to do a solo album.

“Tristan [Goodall…fellow Audreyist] has suggested this for years”, Taasha tells us. “And I never really took it seriously. But then he wanted to take some time off the road, so I didn’t have anything else to do! But then I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do so the idea sort of drifted for a while. I finally decided I wanted to do a country record.  Then, like a lot of the Audrey’s records, it didn’t quite turn out the way I planned…it isn’t that country. But that was the original idea, going into the project, so that’s why I got Shane Nicholson on board.”

First single off the album is This House is Gonna Burn, written by Coates, as are all of the numbers. And the film clip is already garnering huge positivity on YouTube. So how much creative input did Coates have into the clip?

“Oh quite a bit, really. I picked the sexy man, for instance! I had a meeting with the director and we shared ideas for the treatment, but he came up with the final product.”

The clip was filmed in Kuitpo Forest, Hans Heysen’s cottage in Hahndorf, and Port Eliot. And it also features a car which has many a petrol-head excited.

Coates agrees. “Oh my god, how good is that car??? We both had to drive it, and when the director told me to turn the radio on, the knobs would come off in my hand…at one stage one of the windscreen wipers flew off…it was hilarious…we loved that old car.”

Not being one to do things by halves, Coates has topped off her country phase with a trip to Nashville and Austin.

“I went to Austin to do a song-writing residency at a place called The House of Songs, and then I did some song-writing with some Austin song-writers. We were finishing off some incomplete songs by Albert Brumley, who was an American Gospel composer. And then we went up to the Ozarks to perform the songs for his family, which was an amazing experience. After that we went to Nashville to the Americana Festival, where we also performed the songs and I did a set of my own material.”

Whilst in Nashville, Coates met Steve Earl, and has posted photos of the encounter on her web-site. It was a fan-girl moment for her.

“I was so un-cool”, she laughs, “I saw him in the bar and I so I walked over to him. In my mind I was going to say something really cool, and instead I was just goofy!”

Along with recording, touring, song-writing and teaching music, this powerhouse of a woman also has two sons, aged five and two. Has parenthood changed her as a musician?

“I think it’s changed my approach to my career, in a nice way. When you have children you care so much less about yourself and that can be really freeing as an artist. You don’t care so much about success, or what people think. It very much fed my decision to go solo. Because it was out of my comfort zone. “

All this, and she has also been nominated for a Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition Award for When I Die which is from the new album.

In her comfort zone, or out of it. Cool or goofy. Taasha Coates is a force of nature.

Interviewed by Tracey Korsten



Film Clip:




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