There’s a moment in most artists’ young lives when they realise music will shape their future and define who they are. Kasey Chambers didn’t have to wait for that moment; music is part of her DNA. It’s not like there was a choice.
Daughter of Bill Chambers, a musician and part-time fox trapper, she lived her childhood on the Nullarbor plains, where grabbing a guitar and singing around the campfire became as natural as looking for the remote and putting on the telly.
She is now a mother herself with two small children to fellow musician and former husband Shane Nicholson and a child from a previous relationship.
‘I’d like to say it’s a breeze,’ laughs Kasey at the prospect of juggling her creative life with her family, ‘but I am not always good at it!’
‘These days it is more the norm – it’s pretty common these days to have it like that. You take every day as it comes. It doesn’t always work out but for the most part I have a fairly good balance.
I am lucky that both the kids’ dads have the same jobs as I have where it’s not 9–5. So you sit down and do the dates and come up with something. I am in the studio this day. For the most part it works!’
‘I am going to be recording at Studio 301, which I am excited about. I have spent a lot of time in Byron. I love that area, and it’s a good excuse to spend a bit longer with the kids!
I have a bunch of music with me; the producer that I am using lives around the area; and the musos are mainly all local guys that I will be recording with, so I am excited about that. They are all people I have never worked with in the studio before!’
Kasey has decided that she wants this album to be different. That’s why she’s chosen different players and a different place.
‘That’s what it was about. I have made a lot of records with a lot of the same people. It will be more of an excitement value to come out with. I think it will help bring out something different.’
Although she’s got a swag of new songs, direction-wise Kasey believes ‘it’s hard to know where it will go before you get in the studio, and with using a new producer, but I have the songs that I wrote two years ago that I have been playing on the road, and songs that I wrote last week. I actually like not knowing!’
For a woman with so much on her plate it’s surprising that she still manages to find time to get into the studio.
‘To be honest, being a mum and having most of your life taken up with that makes it hard sometimes, but I take the hard times and the good times. It makes it hard to be creative to find that moment, and sometimes at the end of the day you want to sit down and I have to run with it; and sometimes it means I am bathing the children and I am writing a song and if it is coming I have to go with it. It will happen when it happens. Freaking out and forcing it makes it worse. You know what? It will happen when it’s ready. Sometimes I will write five songs in a week.’
Catch the irrepressible Kasey Chambers at Bluesfest. For program and gig information go to bluesfest.com.au.