'Here I Am' and here to stay, Kate Aumonier talks playing to a
crowd, living the dream and loving Axl Rose...
I am a confirmed Kate Aumonier fan. Having now been to three of her
live performances, I can now sing along in perfect unison to 'Morning
After Girl' and 'Fall from Grace', two of Kate's songs that won her
the attention of Glyn Johns (legendary producer) and eventuallly
Sanctuary Records. With production credits linking her to the likes
of Gordon Raphael and Ethan Johns (The Strokes), Kate's forthcoming
album demonstrates a perfect mix of rocky attitude and soulful
And hey, lets not forget that Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt both
invited Kate personally to appear on their Tucsan Sessions album...
Feisty and fun-loving, with a mane of curly hair, Kate provides a
gorgeous backlash to the media hussies in the industry today, and
proves that being a successful female solo artist can be more than
reducing oneself to wearing as few clothes as possible.' It's all
about being true to yourself', says Aumonier, with a twinkle in her
And who better to talk about being true to oneself than the girl who
consistently refused to compromise herself for the sake of being a
media darling, and stood true to her main assertion that its the
music that matters..
Where did the passion for music all start then?
I've always loved music, but I think I really started to get into it
(starts laughing) because I had this massive crush on this guy, and
he was utterly obsessed with Pearl Jam! Being a bit of a big bird at
school, and not being too confident with the boys, in order to get
him to notice me, I had to know about the band, but then they took me
by surprise and I really enjoyed it and became a bit of a fan!
I was a rock-chick for a long time, Guns and Roses, Counting Crows, I
was really into all that stuff.
I think it was that type of music that really got me into going to
see live gigs, and that's when I started to fall in love with the
whole buzz around playing live. I used to go and just dance like a
mad woman, it was great. I remember being too young to go and see Axl
Rose in Milton Keynes.. I was absolutely gutted. I remember crying
when my brother walked out the door with his mates to go and see him.
The man was a long haired legend..
So, would you say Guns and Roses had any lasting influences then?
Well, I can't see any immediate similarities between myself and Axl,
but you never know, I mean, I do get told I'm quite ballsy in my
songs, maybe that's part of the subtle influence! But I grew up
listening to artists like Carole King, Cat Stevens, Texas and James
Taylor, and they all definitely gave me a taste for singing.
I think the key influences were Sheryl Crow and Lenny Kravitz
though. Sheryl Crow was the one who inspired me to open my mouth and
have a go. I also had a classical education in music, so putting that
into practice whilst using all that I'd learnt from the artists I'd
mentioned earlier, just seemed like a perfect mix for interesting
What gives you the real buzz, writing the music, or performing live
Oh god, both are great, you can't possibly pick between the two! Very
different buzzes for each. I love playing live on stage, there's
nothing quite like it. The best time was when I was touring with Dr
John, and his band played for me in the penultimate gig of his tour.
But then obviously on stage you have things to worry about, like
embarrassing yourself, not that I really care too much. I've never
done anything too ridiculous on stage, but I remember one night I
made the huge mistake of wearing very high stiletto heels, which were
agony to wear anyway, and as I was coming off stage I managed to fall
on my arse in front of most of the crew down an entire flight of
But its all good fun. And writing music is brilliant too, when you
know that you've hit upon a good chorus or verse, it is the best
feeling in the world.
Going back to being ballsy, is this a stage persona or does it
reflect on yourself?
(laughing) well, all the songs on the album are drawn from personal
experience, so if people think they sound ballsy then I guess that's
me! Nah, I think I'm fairly laid back though, I just get fits of
feistiness occasionally, as much as the next girl. That's when I end
up writing tracks like 'Morning After Girl', with that sort of anger
at myself, that I had fallen for the boy's classic line again. I
guess that song might come across as a little arsy! But I think
that's healthy. A bit of healthy justified aggro. Anyway, I think the
music industry is a lot more open to women expressing themselves
freely through their songs now. Folks like Norah Jones and Avril
Lavigne have really paved the way for that sort of approach. When
Sheryl Crow first started, I think it was harder for her to get
But no, I don't deliberately try to be ballsy, I think my music is
too varied to be categorised by one word. Some of the songs are quite
melancholy in tone, some are quite attitudesy, some are just meant to
be light hearted and comical, like 'Laugh As You Fall', which is all
about..er.. having one too many and falling over. I remember the
first time we performed that song live, afterwards we were walking
across a dark car park and I fell down this hole, typically me! And
no, I wasn't laughing as I fell then, I must confess, it bloody
With an attitude to life every bit as intriguing as her album, Kate
Aumonier is a really amazing talent who deserves to be paid a
significant amount of attention to. Her forthcoming album, 'Here I
Am', will be released on July 12th and is a total must have for any
Interview © 2004
Related>> Album review
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