Jai Price took some time to chat with Syndey trio ‘Little May’ last Saturday before they graced the stage with their presence at the ‘City of Wanneroo Presents: British India’ concert.
Had you guys always planned a career in music, or was it something that came about randomly?
Hannah: It definitely wasn’t in my line of sight. I really wanted to do something in the entertainment world, whether it was acting, dancing, when I was younger, and then started doing teaching and personal training at one point. It was just a mixed bag. And then, Liz put it to me and at school we just wrote songs as a hobby, instead of going to parties and things like that. She really wanted to give it a go, and asked me if I wanted to join, and I said yes, and then we got Annie on board as well, so that’s my story.
Annie: I knew the girls from school and then we just started jamming, writing a bit, and playing songs, doing little gigs and open mic nights. Then it just kind of all happened from there.
So how long did it take to snowball from those small gigs to where you are now?
A: Well that was four years ago that we started. There was a long time of playing lots of little gigs, and then we started getting real gigs in actual music venues as opposed to open mic nights. We were really excited and had no idea what we were doing at that point.
What inspires your songwriting? Do you all collaborate?
Liz: We all chip in. Hannah and I have written the most recent releases, but we all write songs, which I think is really valuable for variety’s sake, so you don’t get sick of someone’s particular style. What inspires us? Anything, really. Lately we’ve been trying to write through making up stories as opposed to writing about our own feelings, I think that can get a bit self-indulgent sometimes. Not always, but we’ve done it a lot, so it’s kind of nice to try something else.
Do you find that’s successful?
L: Yeah, it’s been really fun and different, I’m enjoying it.
Speaking of fun, your music videos look like they’re a lot of fun to produce. How much work goes into them?
L: I don’t know if we find them fun, I think we find them incredibly stressful and like, the bane of our existence sometimes.
A: The last couple we didn’t really have much involvement in. For the Remind Me video, we were a big fan of the artist, Daniel O’Toole. We kind of just said “we love your style, do you want to just do something crazy and weird?” and he came up with that idea, which we thought was awesome.
L: And then, same thing for Seven Hours. We got someone who we loved and just let them have free reign, really. With the earlier ones, we definitely had more of a say in them.
H:: It took a long time to do those ones because we were so involved and it was a lot of getting people in. Starting music you don’t really have much money. It was harder and a lot more DIY, whereas now we have the luxury of being able to say to somebody “you can do what you want with it.” In the beginning, when you’re trying to build your own image and everything, there’s a lot more involvement. We’re still very involved and I think we will do more videos. We’d love to start directing them and maybe even be in them.
L: I think now because we’re a little bit older and probably better at conveying or communicating what we would like in a video, whereas in the earlier days we were just like “I don’t know”. In saying that, Boardwalks was super fun to film, it was very genuine. We just went on a holiday and our friend filmed it.
A: We borrowed a guy’s ute.
Speaking of Boardwalks, on the YouTube video I noticed it had a comment that you responded to, talking about how it got them through a rough time. How does it feel knowing that your music has that impact on people’s lives?
L: I think, for me, personally, I think that’s the biggest encouragement ever. That’s the nicest thing to hear. There’s so much that’s fun about being in the music industry, but that for me is the ultimate compliment and achievement, I think.
Lastly, who are your influences?
L: We all have different ones. I am very influenced by Radiohead, I have like staple influences, that’s about it.
Do you find your influences mesh well together, or is there conflict?
A: There’s some conflict sometimes.
L: What are some of the conflicts?
H: Well, I was very much into Bruce Springsteen for a really long time— still am, love the Boss—, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, loved Taylor Swift for a while there, when I was younger, so that was a bit of a conflict of interest, but now I’ve kind of moved on from that.
A: I think it’s cool though. We all have different tastes and it’s cool to pick bits of it and see how it meshes. It maybe makes a more interesting end result that if we all loved the same thing and then maybe we would just end up copying that.