Interview: Tullara Connors – In the Studio
Australian singer/songwriter Tullara Connors has quickly developed a reputation as one of the country’s brightest up-and-coming performers. Her guitar playing has been described as ‘beautifully complex and intricate while within an instant raw and powerful’. Tullara is currently recording her debut EP, and this month Mojo Junction was lucky enough to speak with her about the recording process and what is to come in 2016.
1) You’re in the middle of making an EP, how is it all going?
Amazingly! I’m working with some incredible people; it’s all very exciting. So far I’ve recorded five out of six songs with a band—drums, bass, guitar, vocals, plus some special guest features on a few tracks. I’m going back down to Melbourne really soon to record the last song acoustically. Then the mixing process will begin!
2) Has the process been different to other times you have recorded?
Completely. For starters, this is the first time I’ve ever recorded with a band! Secondly, I’ve been writing songs since I was fifteen, so in preparation for the EP I sent twenty-five songs to Aurora Jane (the producer) and after lots of listening and discussing, we narrowed it down to twelve favourites, then eventually six. I’ve never had so many song options before, so it was hard to choose the strongest songs, especially with the knowledge that those remaining may never be recorded. Before going into the studio I had three days to rehearse with the band—three days to transform the songs I’d written in my bedroom with me and my guitar, into songs that now have a full band behind them. It’s been a very rewarding process, both mentally and emotionally. It’s a great feeling putting my music out there.
3) Tell us a little about the musicians, the studio and producer?
The EP is being recorded as a three-piece, Aurora Jane on bass guitar, Cat Leahy (Sal Kimber/This Way North) on drums, and me on guitar and vocals. Jane and Cat are incredible musicians with years of experience; I feel very privileged to be working with them. There’re also a number of guest artists including Josh Bennett (Bombay Royale) on dilruba and tabla, Parvyn Kaur Singh (Bombay Royale) on backing vocals, Tim Bennett on bass guitar, and Willow Stahlut (The Imprints) on violin.
Aurora Jane (featured on bass guitar) is also the producer and engineer. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Jane, she’s amazing! Very dedicated to the project and knows how to get the best out of me. When it comes to recording I think it’s important to work with someone that you trust and respect. Songs are close to the heart; the end product needs to be a representation of that. The EP is being recorded at ‘Sunshine Recorder’ in Port Melbourne, a state-of-the-art studio with amazing gear, a very comfortable vibe, and awesome people.
4) Did these songs come together over a number of years, or are they new?
They’re all within the last two-and-a-half years, mostly during the last year. It was a challenging process choosing the final six, as this is my first recording as a solo act, so I wanted the songs to represent my journey over the last few years. It’s exciting to be recording them and putting the songs out there! I’m really looking forward to hearing what people think of the EP!
5) Do you have plans to tour the EP once it is complete?
Most definitely. I’m planning to release and tour the EP in April and May all around Australia. Hopefully overseas in July and August. Then back to Aus for the summer festivals! The EP is a mix of folk, roots, and pop. I’ll be doing a crowd-funding campaign in February so the EP will be available for pre-order then.
Check out a video of Tullara Connors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlqQYODzy8Y
Like Tullara Connors on FB: www.facebook.com/tullaraconnorsmusic