Q&A: Meg Mac tells us why she’ll never stop making music
It’s sure to be a big few months for Aussie singer/songwriter Meg Mac. Having enjoyed a hugely successful launch for Low Blows, and now poised for a national tour, Meg has secured the adoration of Australian and international fans alike. If you haven’t heard Low Blows yet, check out our review and be sure to give the stellar debut record a listen ASAP.
Music Insight caught up with Meg as she prepared for her performance at Splendour in the Grass 2017.
How long was Low Blows in the making?
I got really into the Leon Bridges album when it came out, and I was very excited by the way it was made and how real it was. That’s why I flew to Dallas to try out a song in the studio with Niles City Sound. I booked in to make my album there in 2016, and I took with me all the songs I’d been writing over the last couple of years.
How do you feel you’ve grown as a lyricist since the MegMac EP? What lyrical themes have been your focus on Low Blows?
I think, because my writing is always so personal, it’s always changing as I change and figure things out. Low Blows covers a lot of the things I have been dealing with in my life, like wanting to be strong, wanting to stand up, to speak up and say no when I want to. I struggle with this and I know I’m not the only one.
You’ve spent a lot of time abroad in the last few years. Has a change in your environment led to a change in your song-writing process?
Of course; a lot of songs on this album were written while I was travelling and touring in America for the first time. The opening track came together in a hotel room on the tour I did with D’Angelo. One of the songs is called Brooklyn Apartment, which was inspired by my time living temporarily in Brooklyn. I write about my life and what I am experiencing.
The vocal takes on Low Blows are raw and moving. What inspired your approach to vocals on the record?
I love playing shows with my band; it’s what I live for. The way I sing at a show gives me this feeling I’ve never found in a recording studio. I wanted to find that on this album.
What did the Niles City Sound team bring to the record that it wouldn’t have had otherwise?
There was a reason I made my album at Niles City Sound and I’m not sure I will ever know what it could have been like without them! I was drawn to the guys and their way of doing things because it felt natural, powerful and real. [They have] an energy that I wanted to bring my songs to life with.
Electric Lady is an incredibly prestigious studio, by anyone’s standards. Did it feel like a big moment in your career to have your work mixed there?
You walk around and see all of the records that were made there, framed up on the walls – that’s when you realise how special a place it is. One of my songs was recorded downstairs in the big studio, and there were these murals that Jimi Hendrix had commissioned. I would just stare into the murals of space and aliens while doing my vocals. Very cool.
What led you to work with Myles Wootten of The Panics? Do you have a favourite track from their catalogue?
Myles is a friend who lives down the road, and we just hang out in his room making music, without thinking too much about it. I’ve got their latest album Hole In Your Pocket in my car, so I’ve been listening to that a lot.
What experience are you aiming to deliver with your live show? Will you be busting out any of your earlier tracks?
I’ve been playing a lot getting ready for Splendour, and I am getting really excited about the new songs. I think the way we recorded it has made it feel so good live. I’ll probably end up playing a lot of my songs, as much as I can fit in.
Did your time touring with D’Angelo inspire any change to your live performance?
That tour with D’Angelo is still one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had. I watched and listened every night; how he leads his band and how much energy and power he has on stage. You can feel his energy from the back of the room, and his music is so much bigger than you imagine when you’re there with him.
Do you have any plans after wrapping up the Australian leg of your tour in December?
Just got to keep on going, make more music and never stop.
Any last message for fans who enjoyed Low Blows?
I’d love for everyone to come to a show and experience it all live!