20 Questions for the Sunday Age

These are the unedited responses rather than what was actually printed in the Sunday Age.

What material possession couldn’t you live without?

I’m in love with my recently acquired Neumann 149 valve microphone. I’ve been recording a couple of new tracks for Only The Bones (the best of album that’s out this week) and the vocals sound like honey; it’s taken home recording to a whole new place. Frankly I can’t believe I’ve lived without one for so long, I certainly intend to never live without one again.

What book do you return to most often?

I have a very well thumbed Collected Works of Robert Graves and I’ve just recently reread The Master and Margherita and remembered all over again why it s one of my all time favourite novels.

If money were no object, where would you live?

Damn good question and one I ve been asking myself for a while since we’re rapidly growing out of our house. I rather fancy that big white place with the turrets in the middle of the Botanical Gardens, I ll have to get my agent on to it.

What would your last meal be?

You really need more of a context for this question, like is it my last
meal because I’m to be hanged the following morning for some heinous crime – comfort food, chopped liver, chicken soup, oven roasted chicken and potatoes and some cheesecake; or am I dying of a ghastly disease that has eaten the insides of my colon, bowel and stomach (from eating too much comfort food) – probably a fresh squeezed watercress, beetroot, apple and lemon juice, intravenously of course; or is the moment of death unknowable
at the time of said last meal anything that Willy cooks for me is pretty sensational but I’d be very happy if the meal included his Jerusalem artichoke and chestnut soup, cabbage & apple salad and mushroom pastries.

What do you love/hate about Melbourne?

Love : Autumn skies, Queen Victoria market, the botanical gardens, most of Collins Street, Williamstown

Hate : hot north winds, the taunting of summers false start followed by another month of winter weather in December, the mostly unrelieved flatness.

What has been the happiest day of your life?

13th February 1995 when I held my first baby girl fresh and dripping from my womb. Like nothing else I had ever experienced until the 28th of January 1998 and the 30th December 1999 when I got to hold the 2nd and 3rd.

What do you regret?

Most of my real estate decisions, never winning Powerball and not writing Moon River, that was a real blow.

Where do you escape to?

Recently I escaped from real life by being Patsy Cline. That was very
cool. I got to sing lots of great songs to adoring Patsy Cline fans, party afterwards and, no matter what time I got home, sleep 8 hours. After prolonged sleep deprivation that was definitely a highlight.

What are you afraid of?

Public speaking, car crashes, and just closing
my eyes to sleep when I hear the sound of a crying child.

What’s your favourite sound/smell?

Sound :my children laughing, one of my songs on the radio that isn’t It’s Only The Beginning

Smell: something delicious on the stove, the top of a new baby’s head, coffee, even though I don’t drink it much, this yummy fig bubble bath I’ve got.

What makes you happy to be alive?

It creeps up on me, walking around Williamstown with the sun coming up behind me and the moon still full and hanging around in the western sky is pretty sure fire. Playing music for people who are digging it, being in total control of my instrument, starting off on holiday with my family.

When did you last cry?

Last weekend from extreme frustration, don’t ask.

What was the last thing you bought that you shouldn’t have?

This question makes me realise that clearly I don t do enough shopping.

What are you good at?

making cakes, receiving massages

Have you ever had a mentor?

Dorland Bray was my first mentor. We met when I joined The Benders, a Melbourne band of which he was the drummer. We went on to form Do Re Mi, and he was the first person that I wrote a song with.

What’s your favourite piece of music?

This is an impossible question, music is something that works in tandem with your moods and surroundings how can anyone have one favourite piece?

I’ve set dinner party moods with Spain, Radiohead and Mel Torme, I’ve danced to the Sounds of Soweto, Prince and The Chemical Brothers, I’ve wailed to Tom Waites, Joni Mitchell and Dino Saluzzi.

When did you last get drunk?

I got completely smashed at a friends party about 3 years ago on Wild Turkey. Days later, I thought I was still recovering from the hangover, until I realised I was 6 weeks pregnant.

Who did you last kiss?

Willy, not a big Frenchie but slightly open with just a hint of inner lip,
he was going to bed before me. God, you guys get really personal.

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