May talented women always speak for themselves! In the first of a 2-part interview series between a pair of local talents, Telstra Road To Discovery winner Liv Cartledge interviews Bella Venutti, lead singer of Laneway-winning Melbourne punks IV League. With a national support slot on Ali Barter’s A Suitable Girl tour, and rocking new tune Sylvia, our guest reporter Liv, herself an emerging legend having sold-out the single launch for her sweet first track You Got Me High, has plenty to discover for your information and pleasure.
Take it away Liv and Bella!
Liv: Hi Bella! HUGE Congratulations on being the triple j Unearthed winner to play Laneway Festival! How did it feel to perform such a large music festival?
Bella: Hi Liv! It was absolutely incredible playing Laneway. When we first started the band, our ultimate aspiration was to play at a major Australian music festival, and to have achieved that so early on in our careers really did feel like a dream. It was definitely the best show we’ve ever played.
Liv: Are you looking forward to touring with Ali Barter? Being a frontwoman yourself, I imagine it’s going to be particularly inspiring to be on the road supporting a fellow Aussie gal kicking big goals in the music industry.
Bella: I’m extremely excited about the tour with Ali! I think she’s doing really wonderful things within the Australian music industry at the moment. It’s so exciting to see a feminist musician that is continuing to carry the flame of movements such as the ‘riot grrrls’ from the 90s at the forefront of major radio stations and media. She’s paving the way for many more forward thinking women in rock to come!
Liv: Being a Melbourne based band, did you find it challenging to find your ‘IV League’ groove (which you clearly have!) and differentiate from other upcoming bands in a similar genre? How did you come to find your unique sound?
Bella: It certainly took us some time to find and solidify our sound. When we first started, I feel as though we were thrown into the abyss a little bit. Being very young and inspired by a myriad of artists sort of caused us to jump around and try to explore a little too much for one project in our live set. And living in Melbourne can really contribute to that too, there’s so many incredible bands, you can see one pretty much every night, so you can easily fall into the trap of wanting to be all of your idols. I think once we stopped thinking about what anyone else in the industry or any scenes were creating, that’s when our sound started to fall into place.
Liv: Tell me about the band structure. How did you guys meet? how long have you been playing together for? Do you all write together?
Bella: Lachie (Gilmour, lead guitarist) and I had been toying with the idea of playing music together since we met in 2013, and we ended up starting IV League on a whim in 2015 with the intention that it would be a two-piece. Lachie and I are the songwriters of the group and create all of the material, and it was when we added drums and bass that we really achieved the sound we desired. We’ve had a few changes in the line up along the way, but we’re super happy with the boys who play with us now!
Liv: I’ve had Sylvia on high rotation since catching wind of this tune. What inspired the lyrics?
Bella: Lyrically, Sylvia was inspired by the intense friendships we form in our teenage years, especially as girls, and how they can be so consuming and almost provide a form of escapism from the tougher aspects of growing up. I think a lot of the lyrics quite encapsulate what it was like for me living through summers as a teenager in the suburbs of Melbourne.
Thank you Liv and Bella! Stay tuned to read Bella’s interview of Liv in Part 2 tomorrow.
Melburnians, catch IV League at the Sylvia single launch this Saturday at Yah Yahs, plus all throughout Ali Barter’s Suitable Girl national tour. Dates below.
Now push your bike to the petrol station listening to Sylvia:
Saturday April 22 Yah Yah’s Melbourne ** SYLVIA Single Launch **
Supporting Ali Barter – A Suitable Girl Tour
Friday April 28 | The Workers Club | Geelong
Wednesday May 3 | Karova Lounge | Ballarat
Friday May 5 | Northcote Social Club, |Melbourne
Saturday May 6 | Jive Bar | Adelaide
Thursday May 18 | The Foundry | Brisbane
Thursday May 25 | Hudson Ballroom | Sydney
Saturday May 27 | Botany View Hotel | Sydney
Friday May 26 | Rad Bar | Wollongong