What is your name and role within Party Dozen?
I’m Kirsty, Kirky to my friends. I play saxophone in Party Dozen.
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m currently in Sydney. The music scene here is a bit all over the place lately but there’s some really interesting stuff happening. Lots of punk and heavier electronic acts are filtering through. People are really trying to keep the music scene alive and well. It feels like we’ve got a good community spirit at the moment, because we kind of have to band together with all the changes to the entertainment industry we’ve had to endure.
How did Party Dozen start?
Jonathan and I started the project in London partly because we were bored and lovely, but also because we wanted to make something more creative than what we’d previously done in our indie projects. I started out on drums and Jon on saxophone. That sounded terrible so we switched back to the instruments we were good at and just experimented until we thought it was worth playing a live show.
What’s been happening recently?
We recently released a fun track that we self titled ‘Party Dozen’. And we’ve been in the studio a lot and playing the odd show. Most recently we played Farmer and the Owl festival where I got my head split open by a microphone while I was setting up. It was a bit touch and go, but the paramedics gave me the all clear and we played my favourite set ever!
What programs / instruments do you use to perform live and record?
We do a lot of experimental sessions making loops and these make up the vibe of a party dozen track. Jonathan plays these on his sampler as he drums, it’s pretty impressive to watch actually. And I make a whole lot of noise through a saxophone plugged into a pedal board. Jonathan records, mixes and masters everything we do – he’s really clever like that. I trust his ears so much, he’s got great ideas and is always up for trying new things.
What or who influences your sound and songwriting?
We try and watch a lot of films together, and we talk about art a lot and see as much live music as possible. We love bands like Death Grips, Nick Cave, Iggy Pop and Dirty Three, these kind of bands really inspire us.
How do you go about writing music?
We try and improvise a lot on stage and in the studio. The stuff that sticks are the jams we think have an edge. When we go to record a track, we’ll normally improvise over a loop three times and pick the best take. It always changes when we play it live, which is heaps of fun. I hate the trend of having a record-perfect live set. In Party Dozen, we can twist and change what we do as we feel it out. Sometimes that’s when the best ideas happen!
Your new music video Party Dozen is out now, how did the video come about and who did you work with?
We worked with director Jack Saltmiras. The video was one of our studio live takes and it was filmed with a 360º camera that Jack then edited to rotate. He shot it in a mirror cube so that’s why you can always see one of us in the shot. It’s a bit nauseating and uncomfortable.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the film/edit/creative process for the making of the video?
We just had to be careful to not stuff it up. The nature of the way we record means it has to be recorded live. But Jack really wanted to do it in one take so we couldn’t do any audio edits as it had to line up. This put a little bit of pressure on us to get it right but it worked out in the end!
How do you prepare for live shows and what is it like playing live as an improv band?
It’s so much fun playing in Party Dozen! It’s a bit cheeky because we don’t really rehearse, but we’ve known each other for ten years so I feel like we’re so in tune with one another at this point. Our shows are so much fun and I know we both genuinely feel so much joy being on stage playing in Party Dozen. There’s nowhere else we’d rather be.
Kirsty, how do you get that sound from your Sax?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you. Just joking. But it’s not that wild… just a good mic, a smattering of pedals and a trusty old Marshall JCM800 amp head and you’ve got yourself a Kirsty Tickle special.
You’ve got a tour coming up, where you headed and what can we expect?
We’re heading to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. We’ll be playing a bunch of new tracks we’ve been working on, doing some improv and having a really good time! We can’t wait.
What do you like to do away from music?
We’re both really fond of water. Jon is super keen on a hot bath and I spend my free time by the ocean.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve been listening to Julia Jacklin’s new album lots, and also a lot of Ty Segall and his side project The C.I.A. Jonathan also introduced me to this Canadian band from the 70’s call Syrinx the other day and I’ve fallen in love with them!
Any secrets that you care to share?
Jonathan has singular transverse palmer creases on his palms and I have matching stigmata moles on my feet.
What’s planned for 2019?
Release another Party Dozen record. Play live lots. Party too much. Repeat in 2020.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I love a good taco. I’m happy anywhere our friends are, home is where the heart is etc etc.