Paris Wells Interview

Carla Efstratiou | 18 October 2010

You’ve played Meredith and Big Day Out. How do festivals compare to the smaller gigs?

I think each festival and gig has their own audience, for sure. Meredith is the most beautiful, attentive audience. They remember you, even two years later. It’s great. Big Day Out is a fantastic machine. It just runs like clockwork. I’ve been backstage at so many chaotic festivals where everyone is so fucking unorganised, you can’t even get a bottle of water. It’s hell. But Big Day Out is the opposite of that. Then the little gigs are more about you, you can really go all out and play for two hours or whatever you want and people feel they are a part of your music. They’re the real fans.

Cracking the Australian music industry is really tough, what advice would you give to aspiring artists?

I would definitely say don’t surround yourself with ‘Yes’ people like management. If you have a team around you with people who never tell you the truth, you are never going anywhere. I’ve got a critical team of people; even my mum puts her 10 cents in. I’ve just got pure honesty around me that I think it’s created a real reality to what I do. It’s helped me to stay grounded but also helped me to improve.

You supported Justin Timberlake and you’ve featured in the ads for Myer and Tourism Melbourne. How has that exposure been valuable to your growth as an artist?

If they’re chosen well, a couple of mainstream things are really positive. Learning how to do things on a commercial level is really important. The Justin tour functions like a completely different machine to any gig that I’m used to, it’s just on the next level. So to see it and to work within it is great and really good practice. From there you can slowly work towards it and maybe even work towards doing your own stadium one day.

So is that your ultimate goal, to get the admiration of the popular mainstream?

Absolutely, I went to A Tribe Called Quest at Festival Hall and that was a full little stadium in Melbourne packed out with this old school hip hop band, and there were girls there who were eighteen but knew every word. I looked around in that audience and I just thought to myself ‘If I could get here, it would be amazing.’ I was just so proud of Melbourne and Australia for knowing so much about a band that weren’t heavily played on a radio for the past 10 or 15 years, but can still pack out a stadium. it was just really impressive.

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