Wallis Bird’s Brutal Honesty at Caffe Lena August 22
Wallis Bird brings her visceral energy to Caffe Lena on Thursday, August 22.
Wallis Bird’s performances are high energy, they come at you with a whirlwind of force comprised of hard-hitting lyrics and joyous rhythms. Wallis’s most recent single, “Brutal Honesty” came to her when she realized something about herself. She has said, “One of the hardest things I’ve learned over the last two years is to not always say what’s on my mind.” In the song, she reflects on her words, how they may come across, and how sometimes they may not always sound as she meant them to. This song comes with an invitation into Wallis’s mind, perhaps to allow others to understand her better. It hinges on what many of us feel, how our inability to use our own language to aid us can lead us into unintended troubles.
Wallis has spent a lot of time the past couple of years thinking about change, both in the world around us and in her own life. Her sixth album, Woman, due for release in September, reflects on the difference in the world between her last release, 2016’s Home. “Well, the world’s changed a lot, and I’ve changed with it. The #MeToo movement, ‘Repeal The 8th ’, marriage equality in Australia, ‘Black Lives Matter’, Trump, Brexit, the rise of racism, the death of countless musical icons, the environmental crisis… And, I’m 36 now, so I’m officially a woman…!”
We were able to ask Wallis a few questions to get to know her a little better.
Sarah Lajeunesse: Who are your inspirations, both musically and for you as a person?
Wallis Bird: Ani DiFranco was a big lift in my spirits when I first heard her in 1995, my whole life: composition, humanity, force, power was boldend. I was 12. As a person, my Father is a wonderful, fun, positive man who showed me good music, my Mother showed me hilarity and knowledge and my girlfriend shows me a kind and broad future.
SJ: If someone had never listened to your music, what song would you pick for them to listen to? What song do you think encapsulates you as an artist? (Like “Hey, this is me. This is Wallis Bird!”)
WB: Well the song that has been the kindest to me that I love like a friend is ‘To My Bones’. It’s a youthful and passionate mantra to say thank you to the world for pure happiness. “Oh life I love you to my bones”. That line has taken me to some euphoric places and people
SJ: In light of the recent release of your track “Brutal Honesty”, I noticed on Facebook you posted “One of the hardest things I’ve learned over the last two years is to not always say what’s on my mind.” Could you explain this statement more?
WB: I learned not to critique the physical attributes of people’s lives such as their social status or their appearance which takes so much mental weight from me and those around me, that took practise to actively say “don’t go there”, but now I do it without thinking about it. I learned that my words are my portrait.
SJ: What do you think happens to a girl that finally makes her a woman? Or do you think it’s a state of mind sort of thing?
WB: What happens is that she ‘feels’ like a woman. Plain and simple. I also believe that gender goes far beyond the physical, it’s not about what’s between your legs but between your ears.
SJ: It has been over ten years since your album “Spoons”. How do you think you have changed as an artist and a person?
WB: In all ways I think just the passing of time has changed me. I’m a better musician and writer simply because of practice and output, I’m a calmer and more grounded person cos I’ve made so many mistakes, I feel at peace with my goal to search for inner happiness rather than money or fame, I simply want to be with the ones I love, look after them and make music without boundaries 🙂
SJ: If you had one piece of advice to give to other people, what would it be?
WB: Be kind.
SJ: What’s your favorite joke?
WB: Knock knock
To learn more about Wallis from the artist herself, there will be a podcast interview with Steve for Hangin’ & Sangin’, a podcast and radio show hosted by music journalist Kelly McCartney before the performance.
Advance ticket purchase and reservations are highly recommended for the Caffe Lena show.