Amy Shark

Amy Shark is riding the crest of the perfect wave that does not look like breaking any time soon. Amy has had a massive two years topped off with the ARIA award winning album Love Monster. Adelaide fans have the chance to see Amy play at the Superloop Adelaide 500 this Friday with Vance Joy which promises to be a great night of music. Amy speaks to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles on Love Monster, touring and working with the likes of Mark Hoppus and Billy Corgan.

Congratulations, everything is going really well for you right now continuing to get bigger and bigger.
Well that’s what I make out it to be like anyway. No, it is going good. Life is good right now.

Do you feel like pinching yourself sometimes when you look at what you have achieved? Most people would think it’s literally been an overnight thing but you definitely have been building for quite some time.
Yeah. I totally have those moments where I’m … you know, because I’m so busy a lot of the time it’s hard to just take a second and realise how much has happened in two years and where I was before all this happened. I’m usually just working all the time or travelling and touring. Actually the other day I was in LA and it was like one of those moments I was talking to Billy Corgan, we were in the studio and he started talking about Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain and I’m like oh yeah that’s right, you’re like a legend and I’m in a studio with you, it was like really bizarre. I have these moment every now and then where they present themselves and I’m like wow I’m not sure if I’m meant to be here.

Do you get a chance to stop and reflect to take it all in?
Like I said just in stages. I guess for me, I don’t if it’s just my personality or if this happens to everybody but I kind to a stage where I want to be better. I want to write a really good song and then write another really good song, then you want a really good album and then you want a really great live performance. I think you just want to keep getting better and better I guess. So that’s just in my blood. I’m pretty competitive. Competitive in my own life. You know? I try and be the best at what I’m trying to do. I think I’m a bit of a confidence player. So I’m confident that people seemed to have enjoyed Love Monster and now I’m like oh well I kind of know what I’m doing. So I’m just more excited to just keep doing it.

When you were recording Love Monster, did you have that feeling or that sense that the songs that you were working on had that special quality about them? Listening to the album it just hangs together so well with so many strong songs that clearly have resonated with a lot of people.
Thank you. Yeah, I felt the same. Even in demo form I always thought I had a collection of songs that were really special. I wrapped the album and then Mark Hoppus, Jack Antonoff and Joel Little came on board at the very end of the album. I had to actually get rid of some songs to make room for those ones. I felt confident going into the studio. I also know what Dann Hume is capable of and he was really excited just by listening to the demos.

Once we started working we were on fire. I felt like we were high fiving each other at every second. It’s not high fiving in that, oh man we’ve got such a good album here. We were just so proud of ourselves. None of us knew what anyone was going to connect with or enjoy. We knew through our ears, that this is good stuff, I loved that. I could live in that studio. I could do that more so than anything. I love just building a song from nothing.

The songs that you spoke about that you had to get rid of. Do you revisit those? Maybe for an EP or something in between albums? Or do you just kind of put them aside and move on?
I don’t know. I still revisit them every now and then. I listen to it and I’m like oh god I really, really still love that song. But I move so quick like, I move on really quick. I’m writing all the time and I feel it’s just natural to be, well this song is the best song now. I don’t know if it’s because it is or if it’s just newer. I guess that’s where my team comes in and we go through all the songs. But yeah, it’s a possibility. I feel like I’m growing and improving and I really understand it now. I feel like I’m good at songwriting and crafting songs and writing them. That’s my thing.

Did you intend for some of the songs to be so personal in nature or is that just the way that the songs evolved and took shape?
I think it’s the only way. I listen to so many different playlists. I guess now that I’ve been in so many different writing sessions, I can hear when it’s typical writing session lyrics. I can point them out from a mile away. I just never want to be that and I think a part of the reason why I like writing songs is because I’m telling my stories. I couldn’t do it any other way. That’s the funny part of it is me remembering a little moment or a big moment or an evening or an episode or whatever of my own life and just putting in fragments of that into a melody and then having it out there as a song. Then seeing if anyone else feels the same way and that’s the fun part.

Does it feel therapeutic in some ways as well?
One hundred percent, I started writing songs for therapy. It’s just like a bigger, longer therapy session I guess just because I can sort make something so big out of something so small and like endless little things that have happened in my life. I’ve lived like a whole other life so there’s so many things that I had buried and that’s the way I vent.

Do you feel like a proud mum when you’re releasing new singles such as Mess Her Up? 
Seeing my babies out there! Totally! I’m like the proudest mum in the world. I just can’t believe that these group of songs won album of the year. I’m still in shock. Love Monster was such a huge sort of thing for me. I think because I put every part of me in that, I was so passionate about it and forgot that there was any kind of chance of getting a pat on the back at the end. So when all that happened it was like, I didn’t need it but it was really nice. You know? I didn’t think I wanted it as much as I actually did. You know? I think I really needed that. It was just a perfect ending to what I thought was a really special album.

Is it too early to start thinking about the next album?
Well I think it’s definitely too early for me to be talking about but it’s not too early for me to have started it if you want to take what you want from that.
I’m always working on the next thing. I’m always working on new songs.

Working with people like Mark Hoppus and as you mentioned Billy Corgan must be a huge buzz?
It is. It’s a buzz when, I was sort of hit up by Billy’s manager. He sent me the email that Billy wrote him, he’s like, that Shark girl’s in LA for a bit. Can I get her in a session? I was like, that was pretty cool that I randomly come into LA and I get to write with these big rock stars. It definitely is incredible and it is a very big pinch myself moment.

Are you excited to be playing the Superloop Adelaide 500 on Friday night with Vance Joy in Adelaide?
I’m really looking forward to this Friday. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. And I love Adelaide too.

Do you find that there’s more pressure playing to fuelled up motor sport fans after a long day track side?
Oh the thing is like I had like nine years of men yelling out to me at pubs and clubs what they want to hear. I’ve become really good at my banter back and knowing what to say in those circumstances. I think I’m ready for it. My set’s pretty energetic and if people have time to yell out, good on them. It’s not a show that gives you any time for that. I think we’re all going to have a really good time.

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Amy Shark and Vance Joy at the Superloop Adelaide 500 After Concert on Friday 1 March. Tickets from the Superloop Adelaide 500 website.

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