Leanne Tennant is set to return to the Tanks stage after the completion of her debut album, Pull Up Your Britches. Through a twisted path of Front-Porch Folk & Horror-Country/Blues, this Cairns musician will showcase what to expect from the new album. Described by Bill Chambers (The Hillbillykillers) as a serious Australian talent, Leanne weaves a rare mixture of styles driven by raw honesty, acoustic guitar and playful vocals. Todd Macalpine catches up with Leanne ahead of her CD launch at the Tanks on the 15th of August.
NQMP:- In the press release you mention the album features saw, chains and Billy the Bohdran, do tell..
Leanne Tennant:- I wrote 2 songs on the album (Boom Boom & Black Snake Calls) that from the initial outset I could hear chains and weird percussion in my head. It was soon after that I started mucking around with Black Snake when I met a chick called Julia Fujita who happened to play the saw. I couldn’t resist trying to incorporate it into the song so we started mucking around and it went from there. I love quirky stuff and the chain idea/percussion stemmed from my love of very old Blues Music and obsession with Quentin Tarantino movies.
NQMP:- You worked with Mark Myers locally on the production, who is certainly building a name for himself of late. How did you find working with Mark?
Leanne Tennant:- Working with Mark was great. He’s patient and was open to all my weird ideas. He also jumped in on the album in Black Snake and Boom Boom when I told him what I wanted to achieve percussively. I basically shot off a bunch of ideas to him that I could hear in my head but was unsure how to create the sounds. He jumped into the studio and mucked around with a heap of different percussion pieces to emulate what I was describing.
NQMP:- Where did the Album title come from?
Leanne Tennant:- The title is actually from the 1st line in the first verse of Boom Boom. It kinda represents when there comes a time in someones life where they need to smarten up, pull your head in and move on.
NQMP:- How did becoming a mother recently effect the writing process?
Leanne Tennant:- I started writing new material when I was pregnant and made the decision I had to keep writing while I had the spare time. I took quite a lot on in that first year but I knew I had to finish it before Willow could walk or else it would’ve been virtually impossible to write, record, gig etc, while running around yelling at a little person to stop eating chalk, running into things and the general daily mayhem that followers her around. She has taught me a lot in this first year and I’m blessed to have her around and remind me what’s important, to put things in perspective and to help me “Pull Up My Britches”
NQMP:- Bill Chambers (father of Casey Chambers) plays on the album, how did that collaboration come about?
Leanne Tennant:- Bill and I became friends a couple of years ago after a stint at Tamworth Country Music Festival. We wrote a song together which features on the album, “Hills of Home” which is about missing home and in my case it was Cairns and the hills that reminded me of Cairns. After writing it Bill said he wanted to record it and put it either on his album or onto mine, whichever came first. It’s always great working with Bill as he has a great deal of belief in what I do even though my style is quite far removed from the artists he normally works with. He’s introduced me to a lot of music which has changed my perception of ‘Country’ music and I guess that some of this has soaked in and created that Horror-Country vibe I have happening in Black Snake and Boom Boom.
NQMP:- So where we can we buy a copy of the CD?
Leanne Tennant:- At this stage the album will be available to purchase at the Tanks launch. After the launch people can contact me via Facebook, Email or my website which will be launched soon. It will also be up on iTunes at some point however I’m holding off on doing that for a little while to concentrate on distributing it myself.
Photo by Pete Dillon
Set to release August 15 2014 at Tanks Arts Centre with support acts starting at 7:30pm. Leanne is contactable via Facebook, Twitter:-