Making music and catching waves with Seagull, McKisko and Jessie. L. Warren

In the lead up to our mid-winter gig with these incredible artists, the man behind Little Lake Records, Nick Huggins caught up with Chris (Seagull), Helen (McKisko) and Jessie to chat all things music making and the surf of Point Lonsdale...

NICK:
Helen, when we recorded the McKisko song ‘Mount Nebo’ (which is a mountain in Brisbane) we left the door of New Hall open to let the bird sounds in. How do the birds of Mount Nebo sound different to the birds in Point Lonsdale? 


HELEN: 
My friend Phil lives on Nebo and grew up in Sale in Victoria. She could hear the difference in the birds immediately. The Point Lonsdale birds sound busier, chattier, seem to have more to say. The mountain birds sound more solitary, like they're just singing for themselves.

NICK:
All three of you have made music with watery / oceanic themes, including collaborations with each other. Do you have ocean memories or inspired water moments that you would like to share?


HELEN:
The ocean features pretty heavily in my dreams, large bodies of water, waves. It supposedly indicates the emotional status. I also have this memory of being a child on a tourist boat from Lady Musgrave Island with my family. We had to leave the island early because a huge storm was coming. The waves were enormous and I was crying. The captain came over and assured me that there was nothing to worry about and that they only became concerned when the fire extinguisher fell off the wall. The fire extinguisher then fell off the wall. We made it, but I was sure it was the end of my tiny, seven year old life that day. I like the ocean. I am a little intimidated by the power of the deep deep.

JESSIE:
I once worked out of the Byron Bay Lighthouse for a summer, counting dolphins and monitoring their behaviours. We'd set up at 6AM most mornings and just watch the ocean all day. I wrote a lot of songs about dolphins that year. 

CHRIS:
One of my earliest memories of Pt Lonsdale is getting dumped by a wave on the back beach for the first time. I swirled around and swallowed some salt water. It was the first of many wipe outs. I think one thousand megalitres of water has crashed on my head at that beautiful beach.

NICK:
Would you like to share a memory of being in Point Lonsdale?

CHRIS:
I remember sitting on the rocks above Buckley's cave and watching the cool change come in.

HELEN:
Riding bikes along the beach path with Nick at high tide in stops and starts so as not to get washed away by the waves. And night riding up to the lighthouse under a gibbous moon. There were a couple of magical sunsets at the back beach too.

JESSIE:
Spontaneously going surfing during the mastering session with Nick Huggins. I had not been on a board for eighteen years, it showed. I still can't lift my arms.  

NICK:
Is there something about your work that people never ask you about, that you’d like people to know? 

JESSIE: People: "If you could collaborate with any musical collective in the world (dead or alive) who would it be?"
Me: "A pod of humpback whales."

CHRIS: I often write the initial guitar ideas while I'm watching TV. 

HELEN:
I don't really think about this, I guess that I'm always working on things. A quiet and slow chipping away.

NICK: Is there anything you think would be interesting or helpful to know for someone who hasn’t heard your music before? 

HELEN: 
People sometimes cry. Sometimes I cry. I'm working on that.

JESSIE:
It's best listened to in a dim room, better on a long train ride (Sydney to Newcastle would be ideal), but a bit too intense to listen to while in the bath.