We interviewed Sarah Mary Chadwick, who will be headlining NGV Friday Nights at NGV International on Friday 18 November 2016.
How has would you say your song writing has changed as a solo artist, from your time in Batrider?
In terms of what I offer, not a lot really. Obviously as a solo person you dont have to be as flexible as you do when writing with other people, you dont have to consider their motivations or creative output. Probably i just do more, as I find it a lot easier working at my own pace, than with others.
What was your creative motivation behind your latest release Roses Always Die?
My only creative motivation really is the enjoyment I get from writing at home, and generally I enjoy playing live as well. I am quite insular in my attitudes towards making music and art. I think with this album I was concerned with song writing craft, and seeing how much you can cull from arrangements and songs without compromising their impact or power. I think that record is about death and repetition and types of love.
If your music was an artwork what would it look like?
My own drawing.
Do you have a favourite artist/artwork?
uh i really like a video thing by Paul Mccarthy called ‘Pirate Party’ I think. I like weird gross sexual stuff.
What’s your favourite gig you have played to date?
The shows that I played around the release of my last album were all really great, had the pleasure of playing with some of my favourite bands/people (Fair Maiden, Garbage and the Flowers, Matt Kennedy, Love Chants, Jonny Telafone, Symbolic Order, Small World Experience and my partner Stef Crase (summer Flake)) so that was fun.
What inspires/influences your music the most?
In a lot ways making music is one of the few (healthy) coping mechanisms I have. So i guess mostly influenced and inspired by life, there always seems to be more than enough going on to fill dozens of songs up.
What song do you wish you wrote?
Ride, Lana Del Rey
What part of making music excites you the most?
Like I say, the best part for me is writing at home by myself. When I get into the swing of things, I write everyday, and when I get that momentum up, its really enjoyable. I can make as much work as I like and just chuck away anything thats shit, I enjoy the feeling of the excess.
What is your favourite part of being involved in Friday Nights at NGV?
I almost always enjoy playing live, and its good to play to different people in new places.
What can someone expect from your live show?
I have heard people say ‘ this is too fucking depressing’ and walk out more than a few times.
Tell us about the last song you created?
uh, wrote one this morning, kind of about all in all, we are still standing, kind of a post trauma ballad? maybe. wrote it like i normally do, on my big organ at home, recorded it on my phone for posterity. i have big visual diaries as songwriting books, so i write all the chords and words in there, I got sick of having millions of scraps of paper floating around about five years ago.
What are you working on now?
Uh, a few things. I have another album written, and want to do some more recording earlyish next year. I am working on a book of images to be put out next year, alongside a rarities cassette. Im always tinkering away, really.
Viktor&Rolf once said “At the start of our career, the art world showed a lot more interest in our work than the fashion world did…. in museums we were simply making what we imagined in our minds and the response came from the art world”. What is the most surprising response you’ve had to your work?
Because my music is very personal and self-centric, it is somewhat gratifying that people like it and are able to find space in it to experience it themselves, i think that is surprising. Also, that people find the visual art I do to be worthwhile and valid is something that I am surprised by as I am virtually unskilled! but I’m pleased about that, its nice when people enjoy what you do.