All Our Exes Live In Texas: The busiest ‘nanna band’ in Australia
It’s a little bit funny – albeit fair in retrospect – when All Our Exes Live In Texas’ Georgia Mooney answers the phone in place of fellow member Hannah Crofts, who Music Insight was expecting to talk to.
“Hannah’s asleep on the back seat of the car,” Mooney chuckles.
“To be honest, we [performed] in Sydney last night and partied a bit too much, but it was so fun.”
The four folksters that make up the Exes are taking a three-hour drive to Milton, NSW, for the third show of a five-shows-in-five-nights stint. All up, the band are playing 17 shows around the country in celebration of their new single The Devil’s Part, and to road test new songs from their forthcoming debut album When We Fall – due out in March.
Mooney insists, however, that they don’t go hard all the time, or ever really at all.
“Last night was a bit of an exception because it was a hometown show, but normally we’re a bit of a nanna band – we’re up for a cup of tea and early to bed.”
It makes sense, considering all four members of the band share vocal duties.
“We’re not very rock ‘n’ roll in the sense of staying up all night and doing heaps of drugs and getting drunk. We’re quite concerned about just conserving our voices because we’ve got 40 shows left before the end of the year,” says Mooney.
“You kind of forget how hard it is to stay healthy on the road. I feel like this is the most potentially boring thing I’m about to say, but we made a little pact at the start of the tour to see if we could be fitter and healthier by the end of the tour, which is probably the opposite of what happens,” she laughs.
Despite having not yet released a full-length record, All Our Exes Live In Texas have lived it big since their formation in 2013.
Since releasing their debut EP at the end of that year, the group have toured with a range of national and international superstars, including The Backstreet Boys, Passenger, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Tiny Ruins. In preparation for this album, they have also shared the studio with Ryan Lewis of Macklemore fame.
Naturally, most of the process in creating this album has been quite different to the way the group went about piecing together their first EP.
“The EP was a while ago and more of a snap shot of our live show – we went in, bashed it out, and came out again. This time, we tracked everything individually and really took time on the production. It was quite a different process doing it over a few months and having all the instruments, not just our live show.”
The amount of crowd support the Exes had behind them was a big confidence booster heading into the full-length album, which started off as a crowdfunding project.
“That process was amazing,” says Mooney.
“Just having this overwhelming support from our listeners to help get that made. I think they feel involved in the process, so that’s really lovely. And it’s comforting to know some people will buy or have already bought the album.”
They recorded with producer Wayne Connolly (You Am I, Josh Pyke, Boy & Bear) in Sydney.
“He was amazing, and we really just wanted to get it right and the band’s sound right and we had lots of different instruments playing, so we took a lot of time in the studio between tours getting it ready.”
Normally we’re a bit of a nanna band – we’re up for a cup of tea and early to bed.
That isn’t to say the band didn’t struggle here and there – recording, after all, can be a very draining process.
“Recording is really hard,” says Mooney.
“It’s the most fun and absolute torture. You have moments of being like, ‘Yeah, this is cool,’ and moments of thinking, ‘This is absolutely awful, I don’t know, who am I? What am I doing with my life?’ You do 12-hour days in the studio. It’s a slog, a rollercoaster of emotions. But in the end, we’re happy with the result. We’re very proud of it.”
The Exes have also been busy on the filming front – last month they released a video for The Devil’s Part, directed and co-written by acclaimed Sydney filmmaker Nils Crompton.
“Hannah wrote the song and the song’s about being sort of stuck in the habit of making bad relationship decisions, which is quite a common thing, I think,” Mooney says.
“So we took that to Nils and we were kind of quite inspired by a lot of crime podcasts and reading up on cults and all that stuff, so Nils had this idea of going with a The Virgin Suicides, Heavenly Creatures themed films and take inspiration from that.
“There’s also 20 or so references to real-life cults, he was so meticulous with the details and he really researched things, so things we didn’t even fully realise until we went, ‘Oh wow, that’s related to that thing.’ It was really cool. We filmed in in the Blue Mountains just out of Sydney, a beautiful part of the world.”
They also recently covered Tame Impala’s track Eventually, which was filmed in a diner and inspired by a set the Exes saw them play in the US.
“We just love them, they’re amazing,” Mooney gushes.
“We recently went to the US to play some shows and then went to Nashville to a festival called Bonnaroo, and Tame Impala were doing the late night 2am set.
“We all sort of had this feeling of Aussie pride, we were like, ‘Yeah! Come on, fellas!’ It was the most amazing live show, and we just became super obsessed with their songs, and Eventually is a beautiful song. Production and sound aside, it’s a really well-written song so it’s quite fun to kind of flip the genre on its head and do a folky version.”
All Our Exes Live In Texas’ current tour wraps up in early November, but there will be barely any time to catch a breath before they’re on the road again.
“Straight after this tour, I think two days later, we’re going on a tour with Boy & Bear,” says Mooney.
“We’re doing the national and regional tour with them, about 25 shows. A couple of them played on our album as well. The plan is to go to the US early next year as well and play a few shows. It’s going to be great.”