Prove your humanity

Ahead of the launch of her debut EP, Perth indie rocker Carla Geneve spoke to Grok about the release, touring and being vulnerable onstage.

Do you find that growing up in Albany and moving to Perth had a big impact on your music?

Yes, I think it would’ve. I guess it’s sort of like having the immediate change from living in regional WA to the city, because obviously there’s way less music in regional WA, so when you move to the city you experience it all at once. I guess that really affected me.


You’ve made quite the name for yourself now in the Perth community, but was it hard to get your foot in the door at first?

Not really, I think it’s really accepting and supportive. Everyone’s really kind.


You released Yesterday’s Clothes [May 9]. Can you tell me a bit about this track?

I guess it’s quite personal. I think it’s quite self-explanatory, but I think it’s probably the track on the EP that I had the best idea of how I wanted it to sound recorded.


With a lot of your songs, there’s a real sense of authenticity and vulnerability to them. Do you find it hard to perform songs like that to people and completely open up?

I think I do find it quite hard sometimes, the first couple of times I play a song. I’m not the most open person, so it’s funny I guess I would write such personal songs, but maybe it makes sense it’s my way of expressing myself sometimes. It can be hard especially if you know them—I find it a lot easier to play to people I don’t know, but if it’s people that know me and know what’s going on in my life it’s way harder.


I caught you play at the Freo arts centre on your 2001 single tour, you were great! How was that tour?

It was great. It was really fun to go over east. I feel like we’re a bit more used to touring now and starting to build a bit of an audience over east so we actually sold some tickets. It was so fun. I’ve been over enough times that I have friends there and friends supported us like my mate Dom Breen in Sydney, so we had a really good time.


What’s your favourite thing about touring and performing live?

My favourite thing about touring I guess is just the fact when you go somewhere and music brought you there. I try not to take that for granted, it’s very special for me. It’s very cool.


Your first EP is coming out early June, from a first listen it sounds great! What was the recording process like behind this one?

It’s pretty live. I wanted to make it sound as live as possible and to reflect a live show. We just did a few overdubs, we did it quite quickly in like a week or so.


Was it hard to pick which songs you wanted to include?

I think I had a pretty good idea which ones we wanted. We’d just been gigging them for so long now that they picked themselves.


Do you have a favourite song?

I don’t know… maybe the last track [I Hate You (For Making Me Not Want To Leave The City)] probably. I think it’s one of the oldest ones.


When I had a listen, I was really happy to finally hear a studio version of Juliet. That’s one of my favourite songs to hear you play live.

Oh cool! That was a funny one because I feel like it’s so long that I wasn’t sure how it would go record, but I’m glad that you like it.


What’s the inspiration behind that song?

That song I think is sort of about female friendships and connections and how powerful that is in a personal sense but also in a political and social sense.


Do you feel like your music has shifted or developed since you put out your first single, Greg’s Discount Chemist?

Yeah, I think so. Just gigging so much and I put a lot of time into it, obviously, it’s just natural that it’d change and grow with an artist as they change and grow and have different experiences. I guess it’s different but I’m different so it makes sense.


I saw that you’re supporting San Cisco in America in June. How’re you feeling about that?

Really excited.


What can we expect next from you?

Just more touring I think. The EP … I don’t know. Hopefully, we’ll get over east a bit more, do some more shows. Just stuff like that.


Carla Geneve’s debut EP is available on streaming services now.