WAM INTERVIEWS: Riley Pearce
Having played an excellent set at State Of The Art, Song Of The Year nominee Riley Pearce has been announced to play the first tour of the 2016/17 Wheatbelt Touring Circuit. He found time amongst his busy schedule to chat to WAM’s Matilda Chaney, digging out fan-girling moments, talking about man-flu and raising the importance of regional shows…
With two EPs (We Are Fools, Outside The Lines) and an impressive array of support slots under your belt, the last few years have been good to you. What’s been the best moment so far?
I played a show over in Sydney supporting a band from the states called Lord Huron right before they headed to Bluesfest. They’re possibly one of my top 5 favourite bands and the whole night was so surreal. The room was packed and I was probably fan-girling a bit to be honest. Tickets to the show were $50ish (from memory) and these two girls from Canada came up to me to say hi and that they’d bought tickets purely just to see me play. I was unbelievably chuffed!!
You recently played at State Of The Art Festival on June 6, how did you find it and did you stick around to check out any other acts?
I was rocking a serious case of man-flu that day so unfortunately couldn’t hang around long which was pretty disappointing. There were so many great acts and there was a nice turnout for my set, which definitely helped me feel better.
What was the hardest part of starting up in the music industry for you, and how did you get over that hurdle?
I suppose not knowing what to do, you have all these heroes you want to be like, or songs you want to get out there but there’s no “correct path” to take so it’s about learning that and then understanding that you need to do your own thing, write your songs, find ways to get your music out there and then things start getting clearer.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given or can give to get ahead in the music industry?
“Write great songs.” The more I try to get ahead by doing other things, the more I start to realise that things will naturally come if you have good music.
You’ve received a couple of WAM Song Of The Year nominations over the years. How has WAM contributed to your career?
WAM’s always been really supportive of my music. They have such a great community spirit and are always offering opportunities for WA acts to play live, get their music heard or get info about how the music industry works. It’s nice to have an organization to help so many artists at different stages of their career.
If you could pick one artist to collaborate with, who would they be and why?
Just one??? Really? That’s not fair…. Right now probably Paul Dempsey
Describe your dream gig.
Some sort of amphitheatre, with a huge orchestra behind me playing my songs. I wouldn’t care if there was nobody in the crowd to listen, I’d still be happy.
All right, back to reality. What has been the best set you’ve played in WA and why?
I think the first EP launch stands out in my head. It probably wasn’t the best I’ve played (at least I hope I’ve improved in the last 3 years) but it was just so much fun being surrounded by friends and family.
So, you’ve been locked in to the 2016/17 Wheatbelt Touring Circuit in July. What do you think the importance is of regional events like this for WA music?
It’s great to be able to bring events like this to regional towns that might not have such a big music scene. It’s also a great way for artists to be able to play to new crowds in ways that wouldn’t have been available to them previously.
You’ve played a heap of regional shows over the years, mostly in the South-West region, and one or two at the Quindanning. How do regional shows compare with playing in the metro areas?
I love playing in regional towns, always meet some interesting people and when everybody knows each other, it’s a real family atmosphere; everyone becomes friends after 1 beer.
Other than the playing the Wheatbelt Touring Circuit with The Kill Devil Hills, what else do you have planned for 2017?
At the moment I’m just writing and playing the odd shows around town, I’d like to have another track out by the end of the year but at the same time I don’t want to rush things.
Wheatbelt Touring Circuit
w/ THE KILL DEVIL HILLS
+ RILEY PEARCE
- Headliners all dates, plus w/ supports TBA –
Friday 15 July – The Riverside Hotel, Northam (w/ Kitt Byfield)
Saturday 16 July – Tivoli Room, The Cummins Theatre, Merredin (w/ Jayden Crook Band)
Sunday 17 July – Quindanning Inne (w/ Narrogin Musicians Association guest Thump)