Clare chats to Getmusic about life on the road with kids, modern day addictions, and the P Word....(politics).- Interview by Mariam Wardak
1. Modern Day Addiction takes a satirical look at everyday life, issues and addictions in today’s world. What would you call your biggest vice in this modern day world?
I have the sort of personality that could go anywhere. You could say I was addicted to creative writing- I like being inspired all the time. I can be addicted to different things all the time, it could be coffee one day and it could be shitty magazines the next.2. You gave up internet and electricity at night as part of the Modern Day Addiction experiment. How did you go?
I quickly learned that when you give up one addiction, you multiply another one! Because I couldn’t use electricity at night, I was frantic during the day trying to get everything done, as you could probably tell from my Tweets. So that’s when a coffee addiction transpired. 3. You and your husband (and co-producer) Marty Brown have always kind of been a two-man ship, but with Modern Day Addiction, you opened the door to new collaborators (and a whole new country!) What led to making this leap?
Marty and I have created five albums before this one, and we wanted to shake it up a bit. We wanted to learn from the people around us, make our world bigger.4. What’s it like recording an album and touring with kids?
The kids trundle along - we’re lucky to have a good band of family and friends around us. It’s very chaotic, it’s wonderful, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. We’ve spent the last two years of our life travelling back and forth, and I’m just about ready to settle into the suburbs (between you and me, I’m really not)! I’m in exactly the same position as everyone else who wants to have a creative life and a family. It’s always a challenge, but there’s a few of us doing it now. My friend Rachael Power wrote a book about it called ‘The Divided Heart. ‘We’re all struggling with the same things. We can’t all have private jets or nannies, even the wealthy music stars I know who have families struggle with it. 5. Casio keyboards play a big role in the album’s sound – is this a play on the ‘Modern’ component?
Yes, it’s an immediate into the themes I want to discuss – that every generation think they’re the best thing since sliced bread! When you hear a Casio keyboards, it takes you back to the high trends f the 1980s, it’s like a bit of comic relief, like putting on 3D glasses and becoming a comic for a little while. 6. Some of the album is about body image issues, were you drawing on personal experience here or things you have witnessed?
I have not met a woman of our generation who hasn’t been affected by the world we live in- there is an extraordinary amount of focus on how we look. In the 1950s, women were almost in a more difficult position, because there was less openness or sharing of these feelings. Women often think that perfect bodies equals perfect lives –it’s a very pervasive way of thinking. But I’ve long had the thought that it would be good to remind ourselves of what matters, which is what I’ve tried to do with the album.7. Last month, you played Splendour in the Grass….did you manage to find time to check out any acts?
Laura Marling - extraordinary as you could expect. I was on the promo trail quite a bit, but I managed to catch The Strokes, Scissor Sisters and The Women of Letters forum was great too. 8. You recently interviewed our current PM Julia Gillard – and you’re quite politically minded in general. Do you think that the current lack of interest in politics from young Australians has been fuelled by some of the vices you talk about in your album?
I think the politicians can squarely blame themselves for that. Young Australians were all waiting for someone to stand up for what they believe in and no one did. One of the things I wanted to challenge Ms Gillard on was that we want to know who we’re voting for and who we’re not voting for. Politics is one of the great modern day addictions- I found it very hard to refrain from watching the late night election updates during the MDA experiment! 9. What would be the first thing you would change/introduce if you were PM?
Free ice cream cruising through every neighbourhood of Australia- Choc Tops, nuts, and live music playing from the roof. It can only be good music though. 10. Was there anything that surprised you about J-Gill?
I was surprised by how open she was. No restrictions were put on the interview, she gave me an hour and allowed me to say what I wanted and didn’t fob me off very often at all.11. Who is on your iPod/stereo at the moment?
Eva Popov, Bridezilla, El Pero Del Mar, Queen and David Bowie. Oh and thanks to my daughter, ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ from the Glee soundtrack is on there as well.12. First album you ever bought?
Michael Jackson’s Thriller13. Best live show you’ve been too?
Jeff Buckley or Leonard Cohen. Special mentions go out to Gillian Welch and Bon Iver.Clare's new studio album - Modern Day Addiction - is out now.