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Interview with Alison Wonderland

Straight out of the sweaty depths of some of Australia’s finest warehouses, and putting together her Calm Down EP, Alison Wonderland took some time to chat to our own Jordan Mulvey about her electric sounds, DJ names, free gifts and musical eggs?

Jordan:
Hey Alison, I hope I’m not interrupting some sort of month long festival of celebration in preparation for the Calm Down EP’s release!?

Alison: No, no! Not at all.

Jordan:
Now I read a while back that the Alison Wonderland name was thought up at the last minute and only meant to be temporary. I have always wanted a pseudonym to write under, do you think you’d be able to think me up one?

Alison:
That’s correct! I’m so glad that you actually know that. I’ll have to think, hold up. What’s your name? “Jordan” Okay, Jordan… (Background conversations of utmost DJ name bestowing secrecy). … MILO! Yes, Milo. I hope to see DJ Milo at festivals now.

Jordan:
So you are taking control of Triple J tomorrow with your ‘Take 5’, now as your roots are so varied; coming from classical and indie and now to super mega lord DJ/Producer, can we expect the list to be all over the place?

Alison:
You know what, and I’m really sad about this; when I got asked to do my Take 5 for Triple J I had plans for years, on what I was going to say, if I EVER did a Take 5, and at the last minute they told me they wants a Take 5 of new music. But! I can tell you my original Take 5 list? My original list was:

1. Silent Shout – The Knife

2. A Day in the Life – The Beatles

3. Losing my Edge – LCD Soundsystem

4. Sabotage – Beastie Boys

5. Graceland – Paul Simon

That was my fucking five! And I couldn’t do it! So I’m just going to go in and make it clear that these were my original five.

Jordan:
Recently you uploaded a photo of a pair of boots customized with your EP cover sent to you courtesy of Dr Martens! That is so incredibly rad. Are you expecting any other gifts in the mail?

Alison:
How rad are they! Look, I don’t ever expect gifts in the mail. But if I had to ask for something, it would probably be… A lifetime supply of … give me a second … PIZZA! Yes, definitely a lifetime supply of pizza. That’s what I would ask for… Write it down!

Jordan:
I’ve noticed your Grey Goose guzzling tendencies when live, is a Grey Goose sponsorship a possibility?

Alison:
Oh god, I think that would be a terrible idea to be sponsored by Grey Goose. I think that would actually be a disaster if they did that. I would spiral out of control!

Jordan:
So the Calm Down EP is being dropped on the 27th, can we expect an album launch tour?

Alison:
The 27th of June, that’s correct. I’m doing some dates around the release, but they are, you know, I can’t say too much. I’m heading back to LA a few days after the record drops. So I don’t really want to say too much right now, because everything’s up in the air, everything is very hush hush. No comment sorry!

Jordan:
Back to the EP, I heard in a late interview that you had just a pile of unreleased tracks you were sitting on; (I think in the interview you spoke of them as eggs ready to hatch) are we going to get any of these on Calm Down?

Alison:
Wow, you have really done your research, I don’t even need to speak! Yes, there is one track that I have been sitting on, that I actually wrote 3 years ago that will be on the EP; I’m playing cello on it too.

Jordan:
I’ve actually heard an early release of the EP and I thought it was brilliant, I really enjoyed it; can you tell us which track is the recently hatched egg?

Alison:
You’ve already listened to it!? That’s scary, and you liked it? Did somebody pay you to say that?

Jordan:
No, your mum hasn’t paid me off.

Alison:
Oh, damn; we should be friends! It’s actually track number 5 and those vocals are from 3 years ago that I did on my iPhone voice memo so you know, YOLO…

Jordan:
You also use a lot of different sounds with a fair shake of experimentation in your live sets, is the EP going to reflect this too?

Alison:
I hope so, I don’t really know. I don’t write with an ending in mind, nothing is preconceived. I don’t know, I just wrote how I felt. There’s no answer to that sorry.

Jordan:
Now, I love the I Want U film clip, it looked like a lot of fun to do. Very reminiscent of Kubrick’s The Shining and The Exorcist. Where were the ideas for the clip born?

Alison:
Yes! Funnily enough I had just watched The Shining, but I had also watched Lynch’s Twin Peaks for the second time in like a year, so when I was speaking to the director I was pretty adamant that we did something with that sort of vibe. Also! I made it very clear when I was doing it to not glamourise anyone, any of the people in the clip. It’s quite drab. Except for that one strange lady, no one was wearing makeup, I wasn’t wearing makeup, and it wasn’t supposed to be about being glamourised.

I have to say, after doing that bit on the bed, my knees had bruises on them. It looked like 30 seconds of it but that was definitely not 30 seconds of filming!

Jordan:
You’ve just finished the Wonderland Warehouse Tour, I wrote a piece on the Brisbane leg of the tour; have you read it yet? I understand you’re very busy so no pressure.

Alison:
Oh you did! Wait, which city were you in? That’s sick! Did you enjoy it? Sorry about that drunken speech afterwards… I’ll have a look into it.

Jordan:
There was a glimpse of a story posted to your Facebook concerning you being allowed to DJ at a Gold Coast strip club. How’d that go down?

Alison:
I can’t believe you are asking me this… Well, after the after party on the Gold Coast I went to a strip club with my booking agent. Number 1! The strippers recognised me. So I took advantage of that and asked if I could DJ, and they let me! It was the best gig ever!

Jordan:
Scrolling through the comments on your social media feeds, it seems as if a strong 80% are professions of love made out to you from boys, girls, men and women alike. How does it feel to be staring down the title of Bachelorette of the year?

Alison:
Oh yeah, marriage proposals. That’s weird because I’m a total geek, so I find it strange that I get proposed to a lot. I think it’s funny, I don’t actually know if they realise what they are getting into when they ask to marry me. Yeah, it’s strange. I would prefer that they wrote about how they liked my DJ set, but that’s fine… A bit creepy, yeah. Sometimes I feel as if going through and asking “are you even old enough to be married?” I don’t think I would ever marry somebody who asked for my hand on the Facebook wall to be honest; it would have to be a little more face-to-face.

Jordan:
Thank you for your time Alison, it was a pleasure chatting with you. I can’t wait until everybody is as hyped with the contents of the Calm Down EP as I am. Hopefully I’ll catch up with you on the road again at some point in the future!

Alison:
Thanks for the good interview! I’m so happy you knew all your facts and were excited with it all. Come and say hi next time I’m in Brisbane!




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