On the Couch with Rachael Dease

Rachael Dease on the couchWho is Rachael Dease?
I’m a bit of weirdo I guess. I like stories, real stories about real people. We’re a completely messed up, curious and inspiring species really. For all my downfalls I think I have a great ability to empathise. That’s what tends to fuel my creativity.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
Hmmm… if I had any of the appropriate skillset, I’d be an astrophysicist. Unfortunately I have zero amount of those skills.

Who inspires you and why?
Anyone that puts others before themselves.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’d make our leaders, our people of influence, experience more art until they find what really moves them. I think that would actually positively affect decisions that are made. I’d also reinforce good manners. I’m old school like that.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Santa Monica / Topanga Canyon / Disneyland. After the New York season last year, I was lucky enough to spend a week with a couple of my favourite people in LA. I didn’t think it would really be my scene, but I adored it. Fascinating people, and there’s something about canyon country meeting the sea that’s pretty spectacular. Maybe it was good timing, but I felt really renewed.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
You can’t come to Perth and not do the beaches. Second to none. I’d also probably take them for a picnic in Hyde Park, it’s not really an attraction, or even exciting, but it’s one of my favourite places.

What are you currently reading?
James Ellroy’s My Dark Places

What are you currently listening to?
The National, Woodkid, Big Scary, William Basinski, Joe McKee & Jay Z

Happiness is?
Knowing what you want and getting what you need.

What does the future hold for you?
More sounds and shows and collaborations. Hopefully new friends, and adventures yet unknown!

Rachael Dease’s artistic practice encompasses the realms of pop culture and art music. Graduating with honours from WAAPA in composition, Dease is known as front woman and songwriter for the critically acclaimed band Schvendes, receiving twelve West Australian Music Industry Award nominations, and as the composer and chanteuse in Matt Lutton’s Antigone.

Proof of her diversity came in 2010, when Dease won the WAM Song of the Year in both the Pop and Experimental category. Dease has written the original score for Perth Theatre Company’s It’s Dark Outside, which recently received critical acclaim at Sydney Festival.

Currently Dease is working on her first solo record, collaborating with dub producer YLEM, and keeping a hand in her art music roots by working on a commission for new music ensemble Decibel. Her solo work has been likened to Beach House, PJ Harvey, Patti Smith and Nick Cave.

In 2012 Dease won the inaugural top tier Western Power Martin Sims Award for Best Overall Performance for Best Musical Work at Fringe World for her haunting contemporary song cycle City of Shadows.

This show was invited to New York Fringe Festival in August in which it wowed audiences and critics alike. In September City of Shadows will premiere it’s first full theatre season at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne.

For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Rachael Dease