INTERVIEW: Angus & Julia Stone at Governors Ball Music Festival
We caught up with Angus & Julia Stone before they smashed their late afternoon set at Governor's Ball Music Festival on Saturday – which the crowd was loving, swaying and singing along to the folk-indie tunes.
The brother and sister duo from Sydney are back after taking a few years’ break following the release of their sophomore album ‘Down the Way’ in 2010.
In August last year they dropped their new self-titled album, which reached the top 10 in multiple countries including Australia and New Zealand.
At the end of last month they published the video for their track ‘From The Stalls’ and next month they’ll be playing at Lollapalooza in Chicago.
MTV: What's been happening since the release of your new album?
Angus: We've been to Europe for some shows. For the last month or so we've just been hanging out, having some time off.
Julia: We did a few shows over here, like Coachella, then we went over to the Philippines and did a festival there. It was really cool… it was different. It was a rave festival so it was quite unusual, we were the only band playing and there were full pyrotechnics and stuff, fireworks and confetti cannons. It was a new experience for us.
MTV: How was Coachella?
Angus: It was awesome, it was wicked.
Julia: It was great to see AC/DC play. It was really nostalgic, they are amazing.
MTV: Who are you excited to see perform during Gov Ball?
Angus: To be honest I haven't even looked. But I know it's a pretty good lineup.
Julia: Future Islands, we saw them play at Laneway festival, they were just so awesome, he's an incredible performer. I think Björk is on tonight.
Angus: Yeah, that'll be great.
MTV: The video for 'From The Stalls,' how did that come together?
Julia: I was actually on holidays down in South Australia, visiting some friends. It's just such a beautiful part of the world and Angus came down to visit and we thought it was so magical we should make a video there and we worked with Keith before, he's done a couple of Angus's solo videos and he did ‘Big Jet Plane,’ so he flew down and shot it all on film and it was really nice, it was a five day shoot and it must have been the peak of summer so it was like 40-45 degree days, and we'd just melt through the day and then shoot early in the morning and late at night for sunsets and sunrises and then shoot in the nighttime. There was a lot of really funny, crazy kind of nights. Remember the last night we ran out of petrol on the way home after the last day shooting?
Angus: Oh yeah. We had this cool old Valiant and we were all just so frothing to get home. It was such a big week and we wrapped and then jumped in the Val and drove back. We just conked out in the middle of the desert, no fuel, it's like 3 in the morning.
Julia: Yeah, it's like you can't walk anywhere to get petrol and we were just hoping someone would pick up the phone. We had another van that had gone ahead back to the house and it was just lucky, the girl was just getting into bed and the phone was lighting up and she was like 'Oh, I better check it.' So they had to drive like an hour back with a little jerry can. But I think we ended up just leaving the Val on the side of the road.
Julia: And the police contacted our friend. It was wild, it was so beautiful, it's real wild country down South Australia. Just epic sunsets and sunrises and really lovely people. It's a good place in general.
MTV: What do you miss about Australia when you're touring internationally?
Julia: I think the beaches. The coast is just - there's really lovely beaches everywhere you go, but they're never as clean and there's just something really rugged about the Australian coastline. I think when you get back there you can really feel how lucky we are, it's just so pristine. You can be on a beach and there'll be nobody else in certain parts of Australia, where you can really get into nature and there's not many places like that left in the world.
MTV: What's next for you guys?
Angus: I've got a band on the side, I've actually just finished this record I've been working on. I'm just doing artwork for that at the moment and mixing and all that stuff. That's sort of something to keep us - a good change of work, you know? So a good way to renew your energy and be rested. So I'm pretty focused on that at the moment.
Julia: I'm just doing a bunch of co-writing, spending time in L.A. and New York and writing with other people and sort of don't know what it's for, maybe for other people, maybe for me. I've been enjoying that side of it.
MTV: Is it really different touring together and writing together compared to doing your own thing?
Julia: Yeah, I think it's different in the way it's different working with anyone. There's a certain dynamic and you find that whoever you're working with it's a whole unique experience and that's everyone, to the musicians to the engineers to the studio space you're in. Every element creates a certain atmosphere and feeling and I think that's what exciting about collaborating, you don't know what it's going to bring and you don't know what songs are going to come out of it. I think that's the real mystery of songwriting and creating, is just every time you start off with nothing and you end up with something and sometimes it's just amazing and sometimes it's not. It's cool.
MTV: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Angus: There's plenty, I was just looking at the lineup and thinking maybe Björk, it would be cool to work with her and do something. For me my friends are the best people to work with, back home, we've got studios set up around town and just walking in and playing with mates is pretty cool.
MTV: How do you performing in the U.S. compared to Australia?
Julia: Again, it's like songwriting. People are people, I think what makes a different vibe at each show is the combination of the venue and the sound you have and the mood the band are in and whether you have a good show or an ok show, sometimes it's the crowd, sometimes it's us and I feel like at least what our experiences have been with music, playing our music to crowds, that they are all kind of there to hear the music. More like if you play in a pub with a bar, you're going to get a different vibe to whether you're playing a theatre with seats, whether you play an outdoor music festival where there's a lot of drugs. All that stuff I think is more what creates a different atmosphere than the countries. I don't think American people are really that different to Australians or the French or Germans, we're all kind of after the same thing.
Angus: I don't know, the French can't clap in time.
Julia: Yeah, that's true.
Angus: It's a really strange phenomenon actually.
Julia: But they did get it at the Zenith show.
Angus: Oh yeah, that's true.
Julia: We were like 'Wooo!' It's really distracting, because you're trying to stay in the song.
MTV: Out of all of the shows that you've played, what are some really memorable ones?
Angus: Coachella was good, we played a show - Julia just mentioned - at Le Zénith in Paris and it was f*king incredible, it was crazy. It was just a really special night, one of those nights that clicked. Just the mass, it was quite a large show, it's like a small arena.
Julia: The crowd were really, there was a really excited energy and we could hear that backstage before we came out and it was like the gladiatorial sort of sense of just the stomping of the feet and I think that makes you feel excited and then you perform in that way, the band all jumped in. I think it was the end of a run as well and we were like pretty ready to go home, it was a really nice way to finish off the tour.
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