• Holly O'Kelly

Coffee Chats With Suzi

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

You recently released your debut EP ‘I like it better indoors’ tell us a bit about that and how it came to be?

I am so stoked that it's finally out in the world! I didn't plan on releasing it, I spent most of the summer in the studio with my good friend Rachael Ward who's producing my full band EP, and we were planning on releasing that early this year, but because of Corona, we decided to push it back. I've never played live shows with the band before and it’s something that's really new to me and I'm really excited to do, so I didn't really want to release that until I was able to follow that up and do what I had planned.

I was in Europe earlier this year, and I got back from Europe and I had to do that two week isolation, I wasn't allowed to leave my room. That made me go ‘what am I going to do in this time?’ So I was like f**k it! I'm going to get all the b-sides from my initial EP, record them myself, put them on an EP and release them into the world. That was the only thing I could do that would keep me sane at that time.

I’ve had such a great response from it so far, I’m so happy with everything!

What was it like recording in total isolation?

Yeah, it was an interesting challenge, I suppose! I was doing a pro-tools class at uni during that time, so I was learning a lot about the program as I was recording, which was difficult but I really enjoyed it.

I think it was super fun and I learnt along the way. They're not exactly top quality recordings, but now I get to look back and say ‘I did that!’ which is such a good feeling.

If you had to choose, which would be your favourite track and why?

Oh my god, they’re like my children! My favourite track for me personally as an artist is definitely 'Everything Changes'. I think that came from the most vulnerable part of myself and it was quite a process to write.

In terms of playing the songs, I really love playing 'At Least My Dog Still Loves Me'. Everyone gets around that track and enjoys it. And I really enjoy it!

You’re known for loving a good glass of wine on stage, Which venue has your favourite house wine?

I work at a winery, so I want to say there but I’ve only performed there once.

I’m going to have to go with this venue down on the peninsula that I play at all the time, it's called Gods Kitchen. Basically, they always have $5 wine specials, and they’re always really good! I think anyone down this way will understand, I’ve definitely got a bit wine drunk there a few times.

What’s on your dream rider?

The thing is, I hate drinking before a show because I get way too anxious, so I wouldn't put alcohol on it. I always just love chips and dip and cheeses and things. I would enjoy just grazing before a show in my greenroom I suppose. You can tell I work at a winery!

What’s the limit? Can I ask for a PlayStation? Jenga? The sky is the limit I suppose, the worst they can say is no. I’d see what I can get.

We have been told you used to be a bit of a fangirl prior to making music, tell us a bit about that?

I was really into a lot of bands when I was a kid. I was that person who would line-up for hours outside venues, days on end, just to get that front row. I love live music that much.

We had a conversation about this earlier, our love for 5 Seconds of Summer when we were kids. I just remember specifically, I think that was the first show I ever went too. 5SOS at the forum, in 2015 or 14. I had the meet and greet tickets and I thought ‘Oh my god! This is the best thing ever!’

I remember I had gotten a call from... I guess it was the band’s label that day or something to be like ‘This is where you have to go for the meet and greet’ and then I met with their PR lady and she brought us in. Finally, I had realised, there are all these jobs in the industry that I had no idea about. That’s when I was like okay, I’m going to study music business, I’m going to work in this industry, and I’m going to sing and follow my dreams. That ended up being such a major thing for me.

There’s such a stigma around being a fangirl now in the industry, I loved being a fan of all those bands and that time in my life.

I absolutely agree. I also think it's such a thing where women cop so much shit for liking bands like One Direction or 5 Seconds of Summer. But when men like some kind of blokey band like ACDC, it’s like they’re legendary and everyone should like that band. But if a bunch of girls like 5 Seconds of Summer, it’s like ‘oh they’re just girls and their opinions are invalid, so 5SOS suck’ It’s such a shitty dynamic that just pisses me off.

Who are some of your musical inspirations now and what is it you love about them?

I think my biggest inspiration as an artist is definitely Bec Stevens. I am such a big fan of hers, she's an Adelaide based singer-songwriter, and she's really cool. I think her style really resonates with me and I really love everything she stands for as an artist, which is really cool.

I just love gaining inspiration from all of these local bands. It kind of comes from everywhere though, it’s always a tricky question for me. I’m just a lover of so many different genres and artists, they all inspire me to continue doing what I’m doing.

Obviously Camp Cope too, Georgia Maq is such a big role model in the industry. Artists like Courtney Barnett, Bec Stevens and all those kick-ass women who keep doing their thing.

In terms of what people might not expect from me, I always just listened to super emo old school Pierce The Veil, old school Sleeping With Sirens. Mayday Parade was my shit! I frothed that whole scene, my dream was just to go to Warped Tour one day. I don’t think people would expect that but that was such a huge part of me wanting to be a musician and become a songwriter and do all this stuff.

What has been your craziest live show experience so far?

It's been such a long time, I'm just honestly trying to remember what it was like to ever play live shows! I played this Festival in Warrandyte and it was kind of a Battle of The Bands but more open genre. It was really strange because it was all these really cool rock bands doing all their cool rock stuff, and then I got up with my little mini-Maton and I was singing songs and there were all these kids dancing and it was such a humbling experience.

I just posted the photo of it, It’s my favourite photo in the world of all these kids just having a dance while I’m singing about being sad! It was so much fun. I actually ended up coming 2nd or something in that whole contest, and I got a heap of money and stuff, but it was humbling because all these blokey male bands were doing their thing and there I was, a solo woman with my little guitar. I think that was probably one of my favourites.

Also, live streams, the open mic with Ali Barter was probably the best experience of my life! It was huge. I love her so much, I was trying to play it cool but I have been such a big fan since I can even remember. I think I saw her at a Face The Music conference, and I saw her there doing a talk about her songs with Stella Donnelly and Greta Ray. That was incredible. When I saw those 3 inspirational women, I was like this is awesome! Why am I not doing this? It was a very full-circle experience to play a song for her. It was so nice to be there.

If you could open for any act when shows come back, who would it be?

I would LOVE to play with Bec Stevens, obviously! I’m also really a huge fan of The Lazy Susans, I love Dear Seattle. That would be awesome, there’s just so many! I could just list my entire Spotify playlist and be stoked with any of them.

Tell us about your dog!

My dog’s name is Roxy, she is a pointer cross with a beagle. She’s really small and little but she runs really quick. I wrote a song about her. She’s just the best. We hang out every day now that I’m in iso and go for walks all the time and she keeps me pretty sane.

Can we expect much coming up in the near future for you and your music?

This is top secret info, you’re the first person to get it! I will be releasing a single in the next few months, which will be the first single off my actual EP with the full band. It sounds so good, and I’m so stoked about it because I’ve wanted to release it for so long!

I’ll have a single coming out soon, and then hopefully I’ll be able to do some DIY house shows with 50 people or something, whatever the restrictions are. There’s stuff happening! It’s all happening, It’s all looking up!

Are you a tea or a coffee person? (How do you take your drink of choice)

I have a little mug tattooed on my wrist, and people always ask me if it’s tea or coffee, and it’s always a different answer whenever someone asks.

I’m a barista! So I drink a lot of coffee, I love coffee. I normally just have a latte, I drink soy milk, sometimes almond just to mix it up. BUT! I also love tea. I just love English Breakfast Tea, so can I say both? It makes a good barista, you’ve got to know your stuff.

Stream 'I Like It Better Indoors' Here

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