Interview with ELLA FENCE
Following the success of her debut EP WANDERLUST, Australian pop/folk artist Ella Fence releases her new single “Dancer”, produced by Vinnie LaDuce, giving us the first taste of her upcoming EP due for release mid 2017. AMNplify’s Pauli Dee spoke to Ella about the single, the EP and her upcoming #MotelTour
Pauli: Hey Ella. Happy Friday! What’s on for your day?
Ella: Well I’ll just be sharing all these new things that I’ve been doing. I just put out the “Dancer” film clip today as well as the single on spottily and iTunes and all the places you find music & we decided to put the film clip out on the same day just to put some visuals to go along with the song!
What are your emotions like, leading up to the release of a single like this?
It’s actually quite surprising because it’s very mixed!
You sort of romanticise the idea of putting music out. You know, I’ve put an EP and a couple of singles out before, but that was over a year ago and you sort of forget the experience & how much work goes into it & even once you have it out there, I had this sort of numb feeling about it. I think because I wasn’t performing it to anyone, it was just putting something out there and then waiting. Especially because this is a progression or a slight musical change from my first EP, I’m wondering how it’ll be perceived. I hope people like it, but I’m very happy with it and I’m very proud I believe people will like it, so…
I like it!
hahaha Thank you, well that makes two of us!
Yeah I’d love to just say “Oh it’s so exciting” but it’s actually quite a roller coaster of emotions and today’s going to be like that, with the film clip coming out and seeing people’s views on it.
Can you tell us what was behind the inspiration for the song?
Well I was playing Canadian Music week last year and I was in Toronto when I started writing this song. It started with lyrics, just a few bits and pieces here and there, which is how most of my music starts and I had some chords that I was playing around with in a bit of a melody and I wanted to check out what it would be like to collaborate with a few different people, so I did that and found a collaboration that really worked with Vinnie Laduce in Byron Bay, which is where we did the whole EP basically.
He really understood where the songs were going and he really pushed it to that next level musically and lyrically, so instead of being quite elusive around different ideas, we were really honing in and making the systematics very specific. But in terms of inspiration, it’s sort of a two-prong thing because the word “DANCER” applies to being in Toronto and we were out a lot and I did sort of have a fling while I was over there, so it’s about that, but it’s also about the busyness of life and someone being a social butterfly and just wanting to have alone time with them, instead of dancing with everyone, you know, not in a cheating way, but just sharing themselves with everyone when they really just want to spend intimate time with that one person.
When we got to the film clip stage, the dancer we used in the clip is a contemporary dancer who really articulates the emotions and feelings behind what I’m doing, so his character is really a shadow of my character in the clip. You’ll get it when you watch it, but that idea of body movement & interpretive dancing really intrigued me.
It comes across as a very honest song and maybe a song that came easy to you. Was it an easy song to write?
Oh yeah, it was easy. I think because the working relationship I have with Vinnie Laduce is so strong and fluent and quite in sync, I found it really easy to convey and articulate what we were trying to say.
There were a few versions before we went and got feedback from people that we trust and then it went through a couple of metamorphoses, mainly with the bridge lyrics, but in terms of ease of getting thoughts across, it was quite honest.
So it’s the lead single from a 6 track Ep coming soon. Is that right?
Yeah that’s the plan. I’d love to make it a full length album, but we haven’t really decided if we’re going to record a couple more songs, or if we’re going to make sort of interwoven tracks in between each track, so it sounds like one fluent idea, so you can listen to it like you’d listen to a record; from start to finish. I’m not 100% sure yet, but at this stage it’s the lead single from a body of work and there’ll be another single very soon, so keep an eye out for that one too!
So you’ve got some completed songs, ready to release?
Yes, they’re pretty much finished. They’re all well on track to be finished, but the first two singles are totally done, yes!
Is this “body of work” going to be different to “Wanderlust?”
Yeah it will be. Musically, it’s different. I think the song-writing ideas are stronger this time. I think this EP is more true to the style and theme of songs that I want to be singing about and I guess because the last EP was written when I was younger, the issues I was working on were slightly different and you go through different things. I feel like this one is more fun. The first EP felt quite serious. I wanted to make an impact, whereas this time I feel like it’s more about having fun and enjoying the time I have on stage with the band.
Are you planning to tour?
Yeah we’re doing something quite unconventional. We’re hiring motel rooms across the east coast and having exclusive show-cases to the audience inside the motel room, so it’s offering people a very different experience and it’s that side of the musician touring that people don’t often get to see, if at all.
I was talking to a friend of mine, who’s a really experienced musician and we were talking about the ‘realness’ of performing and he asked me if I’d rather play to 20 people who were absolutely invested in what you’re doing, watching you with all their attention and really having engaged conversation with you through music, or would you prefer to play to 200 people who are in a bar or a pub, they don’t really care what you’re doing. You know, there might be 20 people in that room that do care, so wouldn’t you rather just be with those people? So we just sorted of started workshopping with ideas of different platforms for people to be able to engage in the music, because this is a lot edgier than the first EP
Sounds like your excited to perform live for your fans. Do you have a preference between writing, recording and performing live?
That’s a hard question. When you imagine a live performance, you sort of imagine the flashing lights and when you imagine recording, you imagine sitting in a dark room, so both experiences have that fantastic, creative, beautiful moments, and then they also have those moments where you’re lugging all this gear into a motel room or going home really late, tired before getting up early to go to the next town! It also depends on what venue you play at or who’s there or sometimes it’s what happens before a gig or after a gig that makes it.
I’m definitely really keen, now that I’ve pretty much finished the EP and doing promotions and getting ready to take it out there and share, I’m looking forward to getting back into writing mode, but I feel like a really want to go and do something random and different to inspire that. I don’t know what that is yet, but you know, I don’t want to be writing about the same shit, so if I want it to come naturally, I’ve got to go and do something crazy like go and live in Switzerland in a hut or something. I don’t know something random!
Oh what a perfect Segway into my “One Random Minute” that I do at the end of my interviews, where I just ask a heap of random questions in a minute and if you answer them as quickly and honestly as you can, it can be a bit of fun! You ready?
One Random Minute…
Elvis or the Beatles?
Your favourite dessert?
What animal makes the best pet?
Do you have any pets?
Yep, I have a dog.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Avocado on toast and a coffee
Apples or bananas?
Beer, wine or spirit?
If you couldn’t sing, what would you be doing?
Ooh, someone asked me this the other day and I told him never to ask me that question again!
Probably just travelling really. I love that music can open that door as well, but sometimes I’d love to just travel for leisure! I’d love to see Japan.