In Conversation with Leanne Tennant at Red Deer Festival

Leanne Tennant has a wonderful ability to mix vulnerability with an unusual strength, and has been praised by the Courier Mail, Rolling Stone, and audiences throughout Australia. Lauren Muggleton, Online Content Assistant for Hot Chicks with Big Brains, caught up with Leanne for a quick chat before she shared her incredible sound on the Red Deer Music and Arts Festival stage.

Lauren Muggleton: Welcome to Red Deer! You’re no stranger to the festival though. As a bit of an experienced pro now, what are three tips you’d give people to both party hard and still be alive in the morning?

Leanne Tennant: This year I’ve brought mid-strength beer [Laughing]—that’s tip number one. An umbrella to share is another good tip, because it’s a little bit rainy this year. Couches are also always a great idea—that was something good last year. Just having something to sit on and claiming your spot in front of the stage early.

LM: Besides your lovely self, who should people go and see, and who are you most keen to watch throughout the day?

LT: Transvaal Diamond Syndicate I love. I’ve seen them a couple times before, they’re great. Kingfisha are really cool as well, and I just love The Preatures. I’ve only seen them once, but they just blew me away. Fire and Whistle Theory are also excellent.

LM: It’s been a little while since your album, Red Wine, Late Nights, came out. What have you been up to this year, and can we expect to hear new tunes anytime soon?

LT: I haven’t been doing a great deal, I’ve just been performing a lot. So, I think I’m going to take a little time off performing and just do some writing. That’s where my happy place is. I don’t want to put a deadline on it. I just want to write when the ideas come instead of trying to force it out. I’ve already started getting some writing done, it sounds very different to my current songs. I’m not intentionally trying to change my sound but I like so many different genres of music so it’s hard to stay in one area.

LM: You’re no stranger to the stage, I’m sure it’s had its amazing moments, but! What has been your most embarrassing onstage moment?

LT: Once I was on stage and it was really hot [Laughing] and there was sweat running down my leg. But I wasn’t sure whether it was sweat, it could have been wee [Laughing] And in that moment I was just hoping that it was sweat. This was actually at Red Deer fest last year. Mainly it’s just nerves and anxiety but hey, that’s pretty embarrassing.

LM: There aren’t many of us [women] in music these days but we’re slowly getting there. How important is it to have more women in the music scene, and to actively showcase their talents?

LT: It’s really important especially at a grassroots level.

You aren’t going to get your Preatures, your Chrissie Hyndes, and your Patti Smiths without nurturing women from very early stages.

Festival line-ups being a bit more inclusive and providing more opportunities for young women to get involved are all important.

Also, embracing women throughout their entire career—not just in their early 20s.


Answers by Leanne Tennant

Questions and Images by Lauren Muggleton

Edited and Compiled by Emma Kate Lewis

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