Twenty-four-year-old New Zealander Marlon Williams made a pretty good impression when he played Mullum Music Festival last year, claiming the title as one of the most talked about acts on the bill. He is joined by an upcoming young artist with a very old soul, Melody Pool.
When did you start singing?
MP: grew up singing. My family are all musicians, so I sang with my dad onstage for the first time when I was young
MW: I started singing in my primary school choir, aged about 10 or so.
Was it a natural thing for you to choose music as a career?
MP: Growing up in this lifestyle, definitely. I’ve been around music and the music industry all of my life, so it felt quite natural to fall into it.
MW: If my voice ever goes I’ll be out on the streets. Should probably smoke less…
MP: Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Stevie Nicks, Chelsea Wolfe, Angel Olsen, Laura Marling, Agnes Obel… the list goes on.
MW: I read Philip K Dick for his horrifying explorations into the fragility of reality and Graham Greene for his crippling insights into pity and guilt. I listen to bluegrass music.
What has been the biggest struggle or obstacle thus far?
MP: Learning who I am and growing into my own skin. It’s liberating when you feel you’re starting to achieve that.
MW: Keeping up with writing while you’re presenting old material to people night in, night out is really hard
What are the pitfalls that you have wanted to avoid?
MP: Sharks and users.
MW: Getting complacent is my biggest fear, musically. As soon as you’re satisfied, you’re dead.
What has been the biggest surprise for you as a musician?
MP: That music doesn’t always make the world go around. Liza Minnelli was right; it’s money.
MW: How you can still find more to a song even after the hundredth time playing it.
How do you approach songwriting?
MP: With a bleeding heart, fierce mind, broken nails and a bottle of whiskey.
MW: Frantically, noncommittally. I hate looking too closely at what I write.
What are the stories that you love to tell the most?
MP: The stories of womanhood.
MW: Stories where there’s a glaring, hideous tragedy that doesn’t get properly addressed.
How would you describe your co-headline?
MP: Tall, dark and handsome.
MW: It’s a steadily growing thing. We’re learning songs together as we go and also learning about each other. Like a Disney movie…
What should we expect for your show in Mullumbimby?
MP: Honest songs that could hurt your heart but probably give you some clarity. My favourite.
MW: Fireworks, oompah bands and free samples of shampoo. And some delicate bluegrass harmonies.
St Martin’s Mullumbimby on Friday at 8pm. Tickets on www.mullummusic.com or 6684 6195.