Alex The Astronaut and Stella Donnelly, two of Australia’s best new songwriters, just hit the road together for a combined Aussie tour. We catch up with them to find out if they're still friends and what's to come for the future.
What made you want to do a tour together?
Alex: We’d played a bunch of festivals where we were on the same bill, and we got to meet up and hang out and suss each other’s music out. It was a pretty natural thing. We were both in a similar spot where we wanted to tour and it felt right to give it a shot and do it together. Do something different. We both got along really well.
Stella: We still get along really well! Nothing has changed.
Had you done much regional touring?
Stella: I love regional gigs. I love getting out of the cities. I feel like regional crowds appreciate gigs more. When I was a kid growing up in Perth and when artists came out all the bloody way to Perth to play, I was like, “Wow! Thank you for coming out here. We’re sorry it’s so far!” I think regional crowds are similar to that, so it’s a nice time!
Alex: I’d played in Byron and having people come up to you and say “I’ve driven seven hours for this” and you’re just shocked and like, “Who me?”. It’s a really humbling moment because you’re like, “I’m glad that I did this because it means something to some people and I’m glad that I got to meet them and talk to them.”
Alex, you’ve recently come back from studying in the USA and you’ve picked up an almost instant fan base with your EP, you must be pinching yourself.
Alex: When I came back, people were coming to shows and I was like “What kind of world is this? This is new. I like this.” I was so excited. I was so lucky. I just got to come back and have this perfect lovely welcoming group of people that were into my music. This is what I want to do and I’m so grateful.
Stella, you’ve been getting a great reception over in the US.
Stella: I haven’t played over there yet. It’s so lovely that I’m getting so much Spotify play over there. I’m off to play at SXSW next week and that will be the first show I play in the US. I’ve kind of played in lots of other people’s bands for eight years and eventually done my own stuff. So I’ve had a lot of time to prepare, but nothing prepares you for what it’s like when you do play these big shows.
What song of yours best describes you as a person?
Alex: At this point I’d say “Not Worth Hiding”, just because I think it was such a big song for me to write. I’ve released songs but I’ve never felt scared to release a song before that. It definitely means something to me.
Stella: I was scared to put out “Boys Will Be Boys” and I think that song sets my stance on things pretty strongly. People can learn a lot about me when I sing that song because of how I feel about a certain issue. That helps people to get to know you.
Alex: That’s something that we both share because we’re both singing about things that are quite important to us.