Party kids of Brisbane, don’t do anything other than go to The Flamin’ Galah tonight to have musical loose cannons Jazz Party fuck you right up. There’s no time for further ado, glorious lead singer-songwriter babe Loretta Miller answers the following questions to let you know exactly what you, Brisvegans, and you, Mullumbimbians, are in for over the next few days.
Congratulations on your killer launch show on Saturday, I danced, got drunk and had the best time! How was it for you, especially after such a huge week launching your debut album?
THANKS, honestly it was freaky. I swung between out of body experience, sheer terror, immense joy and a lot of relief that we pulled it off. Launching your album is different to any other gig and there were a lot of bodies and a lot of love in the room, so we’re pretty proud. It was definitely a proper ‘show’ which is not what we normally do ( but we’re very capable of) and I think we mixed the Monday Night vibe with the ‘show’ vibe quite well.
Special guest Tracey Miller added a beautiful, wise, mama bear moment to the show that felt special and unifying – tell me more about her contribution to Jazz Party, on the night and overall?
My mother shared so much of this musical style with me, long before I knew Darcy (McNulty) or any of the band members. I was raised listening to records and sleeping under tables at gigs. The first JP gig I went to, I called her and said. “HEY, it’s just people my age doing what you do!”
She came, she sang, she conquered the crowd. The people scream for her and yet she’s not a name in Melbourne music (although many musos know who she is and respect her). We think she’s a force and she should be recognised.
It’s tricky for me at times because we hang out, work together, party together, there’s a certain part of me trying to pull away and assert myself as my own artist and performer without always being ‘Tracey’s daughter’ or ‘Lisa’s niece’ (that’s Lisa Miller, my superstar aunt ) but I try to support her too. There’s definitely an element of younger people being afraid of anything or anyone older, and that’s a sad thing in our culture. Age should be no barrier, it’s all about badassery to me. Mum parties waaaay harder than we do and always steals my thunder (so I can’t have her at every show) but she is a true lover of music, an artist, ideas woman and was always a supporter of JP and musicians and art in general, so it’s honest to who we are to get her up on that big stage and have her tear it up.
After years of Monday nights, it looks like you’ve taken a huge step up this year as a band in putting out your first album. Can you tell me a bit about the energy brewing behind this – what were you hoping for, aiming for, desiring to achieve? Or was it a bit more of an organic, natural evolution?
I think we’re all pretty different in our wants and needs, it was definitely time for it, we’ve proved ourselves and worked really hard for nothing but love for a long while.
There was a certain amount of me wanting Darcy to be a little more appreciated in Australia’s music scene. It’s similar to what I said about my mother, his songs and his running of Jazz Party for over 4 and a half years, have people partying harder and crazier than anything you could believe possible on a Monday night or from a Jazz band or in a tiny venue, and yet people think the songs are covers, or they want to talk about Harry Angus (who is a part-time band member), I mean Harry is a bloody beautiful star, and he loves working with Darcy and the band, and we love working with him, he deserves to be adored for sure! Darcy doesn’t want to sell music or himself, so I thought an album would be something on the record. Something for history.
That, and it meant we got to play more and experiment musically in ways that you can’t do live. We could dig into old songs and give them new life.
One of my fave songs on the album is Jazz Dog, tell me more about it!
Totally JAZZ DOG Is such a grinder, it’s got that amazing Ethiopian-inspired feel to it. It’s one of a few tunes on the record (Flowers, Mountain Goat) that have been inspired by being a jazz muso in Melbourne, working hard and feeling little love, seeing your art community suffering losses or venues that have supported you close down, and all those things being compounded by the cold grey winter, they’re cynical but they’re also tongue in cheek and fun.
Jazz always seemed serious, inaccessible and definitely not available to someone like me – so Jazz Party has helped make this gorgeous music relatable, accessible, danceable, drinkable and FUN for me – thank you! How would you like others to experience Jazz Party for themselves?
Just as you say.
Back in the day, Jazz musos were the bad asses, and I see no reason why that can’t still be so. There is sadly very little music education happening in our country, kids get pretty much nothing at school, and considering Melbourne is seen as a music town, I think we need to step up. You don’t have to only enjoy one kind of music. The style that we play has always been seen as older people’s music, definitely not something that the kids would be partying, drinking, and dancing too, but that’s what’s happening. We want our gigs to feel immersive, like you’re at a house party and you can be free and loose and part of it – it’s more fun for us that way too.
For those wanting to experience more of this music – what’s your top 3 go-to albums or artists? Obviously Jazz Party’s Monday Night is number 1, but who else should we check out?
OK we LOVE Fats Waller his songwriting, playing and playfulness, any of his stuff. Dr. John’s Gumbo – Dr. John is great. Plus, The Bechet-Spanier Big Four 1940 – Sydney Bechet & Muggsy Spanier.
We’re also influenced by many other artists, Patsy Clines’ Greatest Hits is killer and Irma Thomas – Straight From The Soul
Then there’s the albums – Up For The Down Stroke by Parliament, Whats Going On? by Marvin Gaye, The Headphone Masterpiece by Cody Chestnutt, The Complete Library Of Congress Recordings by Jelly Roll Morton, Real Gone by Tom Waits.
Dinah Washington is a total boss, as is Koko Taylor and they’re both heroes of mine. It’s a big question I could go on!
What will the fine people of Brisbane be up for this Thursday night, plus the punters of Mullum and Queenscliff Music Festivals?
Freedom to have a good time if they want it! Kafka support us in Brisbane and they’re local legends. At Mullum, we’ll be the after party every night and they just get bigger, looser and better each night, we’re going to invite lots of other festival artists to join us for a song if they want. There’s going to be a HUGE music crew at Mullum, pretty excited! And then we’ll do our thing at Queenscliff too, it’s gonna be fun!
What do you love about Jazz Party?
One thing that really makes me love Jazz Party and the world of it, the cult of it if you will, is the attitude to music, I feel like we operate outside the boundaries that a lot of bands have, we do what we want to do and don’t try to force anything or be too pleasing to anyone. If you’ve been to a Monday night it’s musically dangerous, dirty chaos, some songs teeter on the edge of self-destruction whilst others lift the game to a new level. It’s a fine line between experimentation, cohesion and chaos. The IDGAF attitude appeals to many but then you have the songs, and musicianship on top to get away with it.
I think that’s what has made it special to so many party kids in Melbourne. Now go buy the album hahahaha.
You heard her – buy it here. Here’s a sneak peek of the goodness you’ll be buying:
Jazz Party Monday Night Album Launch Show
Brisbane – Thursday 16 November
The Flamin’ Galah
Tickets on sale now via tickets.oztix.com.au
Also appearing at:
Mullum Music Festival
16 – 19 November
Queenscliff Music Festival