Stripped down to just voices, guitar and vintage drums, Hat Fitz and Cara are a duo both on and off stage.
They bring their soul connection to the stage, something unique that just grows with every performance. It is not just a live show they share but a personal invitation into the parody of their lives on the road together… often leaving the audiences in stitches! Cara spoke with The Echo about making music with the man she loves.
After a hard day, what is your go-to music?
We are working our way through our record collection at the moment as we play all music in the house on our HMV player. Last two albums were Cream Strange Brew, which always brings memories of growing up. Fitzy chose Rural Blues Goin’ up the Country.
How did you two meet?
We met at a festival in County Mayo where Fitzy came to one of my gigs and then later that night I sneaked out of mine to go catch a bit of his gig. We were both pretty curious and moved by each other’s music and presence.
What is it that attracted you to each other?
It’s hard to say, as he loved my voice and I loved his guitar playing and voice. I guess you could say it was his whole person that attracted me to him and the fact that the second time I saw him he asked me to dance. I admired his direct approach even though we were both a bit shy on the dancefloor at first.
How does the passion and story of your relationship feed into your music?
We are both passionate about music and even though we fell for each other pretty much immediately, the music came hand in hand along with that, where the first part of our relationship was on the phone between Ireland and Australia. Even then we would share our new ideas of compositions and play them down the phone to each other over the course of three months first before our initial meeting then another six months of playing our music down the phone to each other. Of course there were a fair few ballads that Fitzy would totally woo me over the phone with.
Did you ever imagine that you’d meet your soulmate who’d end up being your musical partner as well?
I was always looking. We had both always dreamed of this. It’s hard to imagine sometimes that it’s real as we are very lucky to find both in each other, as we know from experience that the road can be a lonely place and to be away from close family is hard enough. Sharing what you experience on the road is amazing and also seeing each other through the not-so-amazing times can be good to have each other to lean on, but sometimes when we hit a low point together that’s when we need to really try to rest up and be tender with each other, as we can both be tired and grumpy for a short time, then it’s all back on track.
What do you both do to recharge yourselves? As a couple that works together, do you need time out?
We love hanging out with each other, and so when we get back off the road and back home it is a transition time, which for me is quite a bump. Fitzy slips back in with ease, but for me it takes a while. I catch up with girlfriends, which is important, and Fitzy has some boy time. Also we’re straight back in with Fitzy’s kids the day we get off the plane, which is cool as they’re both pretty cruisy. It’s always good to see them again after we have been on tour.
Brings you back down to earth with a gentle bump.
What irritates you about each other? Does that make the songlist!
Well yes, it did make the songlist as that we wrote one recently that came from an immediate disagreement between the two of us. Fitzy was trying to serenade me with the mandolin yet playing it in such a menacing way that I could not help but pick up a pen and paper and start writing the melody and words to our Doing It Again song for the new album After The Rain.
What would you describe as each other’s strongest and most powerful feature – and what does it bring to you as a duo?
Fitzy’s would have to be his guitar playing – he has such a tone that he makes such a unique sound and technique in his playing. Also his riffs are relentless. I mean that as a compliment – his rhythm gets into a trance-like state and I cannot but help join in on the drums, no matter how I’m feeling with him. My strongest feature I guess would be my voice. I love to sing and make up harmonies and write melodies. I say that combined with Fitzy’s strong guitar playing. And when we get on a roll together there’s a certain trance-like state happens where we invite the crowd into this too; that could be our powerful feature, when we’re locked into the music together.
What should we expect for Mullum Music Festival?
New material from the new album After The Rain and maybe a few surprises.
Hat Fitz & Cara are at Mullum Music Festival 17–20 November.
For program and ticket info go to mullummusicfestival.com.