Aaron Kopanica interviews Jane Tyrrell from The Herd

The Herd have taken the hip hop world by the scruff of the neck and have busted out a huge variety of solid beats mixed with a endless amount of powerful politically fuelled lyrics within their new album ‘Summerland’. Aaron Kopanica from loudnlocal was lucky enough to steal some time out of Jane Tyrrell (vocals for The Herd) busy schedule to discuss life and music. Aaron: Hey Jane Aaron Kopanica here from Loudnlocal how you doing?

Jane: Good thanks

Aaron: So what are you up to? im not distracting you from anything too important am I?

Jane: Ah I’m trying to answer another question I’ve been given which is: what are my top 6 favorite songs ever and why? Its a really big call!

Aaron: Shit yeah that’s tough

Jane: yeah I know, I end up writing 2 pages per song then go back through my ipod and find another 4 I wanna add!

Aaron: Have you found a number one yet?

Jane: Nar its too hard!

Aaron: Don’t worry I wont ask you any in depth serious questions like that one.

Jane: Ah cheers otherwise you have me for days!

Aaron: You have been lucky enough to travel the country and the world with many amazing artists, who has been your favorite artist and you favorite place? and why?

Jane: Does it have to be with The Herd or any band I’ve been in?

Aaron: Nar anyone.

Jane: Ok well it was with the other band I work with ‘Fire kites’ and my favorite artist to travel with was Bill Callahan of ‘Smog’, and he just totally screwed me up every time I saw him, I was just so honored I could barely talk when I was in a room with him.
Best place I’ve ever been would have to be Africa, I spend 3 months in Zimbabwe learning all traditional dances and singing. It was really a life changing experience.

Aaron: Ah great, have you ever been to Seymour?

Jane: No I haven’t

Aaron: well I highly recommend you get there one day.

Jane: You get me a ticket and I’m there!!

Aaron: Consider it done!! so who are some of your personal influences?

Jane: Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald I guess from the old days, then contemporary would be someone like Martina Toplibird and someone like Camille.

Aaron: Do you ever get any spare time to get out and see some other hip hop artists?

Jane: Not really I don’t really get time to get out there and sink my teeth into it. Its funny being a vocalist in a hip hop band you seem to always find me in strange places, I go to a lot of shows and a lot of them aren’t hip hop funny enough, who’s someone I like at the moment…. I really like Illzilla from Melbourne.

Aaron: Yeah I was at the Herd gig in Melbourne the other night where they supported you.

Jane: Ah great, yeah well I used to sing with Mantra the MC five or six years ago when he was barely old enough to get into a club so I get all older sister on him now!

Aaron: The Herd are at the forefront of the expression of political themes in Australian hip hop, with your album ‘Summerland’ what are the main messages that you have tried to incorporate into the songs?

Jane: I guess the content of the lyrics is just stuff that we are interested in and I suppose we are all pretty interested in politics in general whether it is social or the hard hitting stuff. I mean there’s a few hot topics going on in there, like indigenous rights that’s something that’s still completely unresolved and which we get pretty fired up about and also the change of parliament is something that got us fired up hence the new single ‘the king is dead’. It’s just pretty much our everyday life pretty much anything that whips up 20 – 30 year olds heads.

Aaron: The latest Single ‘The king is dead’ is a very powerful song with a clear political view, are you happy with the way fans have received the song?

Jane: Yeah its always awesome to get a great response from the fans, but I mean we just make stuff that we feel we just have to get out of our system, I mean the day of the election we just had this elation on the day and we decided we needed to cement this so we started writing ‘the king is dead’.

Aaron: So where did the name Summerland come from or what inspired it?

Jane: Yeah it a place called Summerland point which is up between Sydney and Newcastle, its just this funny old town that you could tell in summer would be pumping with holiday makers and happiness, but we went in the off season and it was all gloomy and these massive houses were being renovated far beyond what we thought necessary in our eyes. It was just an interesting place to sit and contemplate the craziness of the city and talk politics and what we want to write about. So yeah that’s where it all comes from.

Aaron: Cool I’ll have to get up there someday and have a look.

Jane: Yeah its pretty funny! Dunno what you would do up there! haha take a boat or something
Aaron: Im sure I’d find something.

Jane: yeah, the fish and chips are good.

Aaron: mmm fish and chips

Aaron: Now Summerland is the bands 4th album, are there any plans for a 5th yet?

Jane: ahh yeah I think there will always be more, we have a lot more in us, and we all have a lot of solo stuff going on at the moment but yeah there’s nothing that’s gonna shut up The Herd.

Aaron: So are you experimenting with any solo work at the moment?

Jane: Yeah I’m planning to write one soon, I suppose it’s a bit of a scoop I guess but yeah next year I’m hoping to get that underway. I’m currently looking for the right producers to collaborate with.

Aaron: So what Type of style are you looking into?

Jane: Well that’s the question!haha I dabble in so much stuff, I dunno I guess you’d hear a lot of my influences coming through and I guess vocal procession, soul, Jazzy, thingy majig, haha

Aaron: Sounds good, I look forward to it. Now being such a large band do things ever get chaotic in the studio or when running Elefant Traks with so many different idea’s and different personalities?

Jane: Ah yeah! Its insane! Its like a tornado constantly. But it’s a really creative tornado, we kind of whip each other up to constantly keep moving, there’s really no time off your always taking in stuff and thinking about the next thing. I mean we get to know each other pretty well and we know how to bring each other down when we need to.

Aaron: you must have some pretty strong bonds?

Jane: Yeah we know each other fairly intimately, you get to hear, see and smell many things.

Aaron: Summerland is a very different album compared to your previous 3 not only in sound but also lyrically, what do you think changed?

Jane: I think everyone’s just kind of developed as musicians, lyricists and composers and all of us bring different things to the table which is great about having so many people because there are so many ideas. I mean we’re like fine cheeses were getting more elaborate and refined. I was involved a lot more with building up beats with just vocal and harmonies and I mean everyone was all hands in and just making it the best and biggest we possibly could. I think we’re always going be experimenting with new sounds. That the dream of being an artist, I couldn’t go to bed at night if I knew id reached my goal. We all constantly want to strive to be the best we can so in the future I think we’ll always have the same bases but well just get better.

Aaron: Now the question all us Loudnocal boys want to know the answer to has to do with the song Zug Zug, we want to know who the girl with the prosthetic leg was and did she really have another one signed by the prodigy?

Jane: haha yeah she was the coolest chick, her name was charlotte, she was from the UK. We met her in Byron Bay when we played at the Great Northern on ‘the sun never sets tour’ and it was a thumping gig and she was up the front getting down in a kind of Peter Garret style (both burst into laughter).
I thought ah she’s got character and then she came up to me after the gig and kept saying how wicked it was in her deep accent and told me she was on a quest traveling around the world checking out beats. Then she asked if I’d sign something so I said yeah fine do you want me to take it back for the guys to sign as well? That’s when she just clicked off her leg and gave it to me! Which was possibly the coolest moment ever, and it was even better walking backstage with this leg that felt surprisingly real and fleshy it was crazy. Then when I walked in and asked if the guys could sign this they were all like: ahhh noo way!! That’s awesome!! and they totally lost it. Then we couldn’t work out where was appropriate to sign it? I mean its someone’s leg! So yeah its one of those moments for life, its something I’ll take to the grave, I loved it. There was only one leg signed by the prodigy and she wanted us to sign the other one so we were pretty honored.

Aaron: That’s amazing.

Jane: yeah I hope she’s out there and looks at this and digs it.

Aaron: Well that’s about all I’ve got for you, thanks a lot for talking to us and be sure to come to Seymour and party with us someday.

Jane: haha yeah no problems, cool man thanks for that. Have a good rest of the day.

Aaron: I will thanks Jane catch ya.

  • http://duellsy.loudnlocal.com duellsy

    haha the prosthetic leg story never gets old, what a crack up!

  • http://www.creditrepairsolutionreviews.com Jeremy

    I was glad to hear that they were back in April this year (2011) with a concert. Don’t know their future plans, but I hope they do a full tour in US. Would love to see them again.