Aussie group All Our Exes Live in Texas are about to take the States by storm! Taking their name from a George Strait song, these ladies combine their voices and talents for an alt-country project that is as fresh as it is traditional. We were fortunate enough to interview them before they hit the road, in which they discuss their origin story, opening for the Backstreet Boys, and Texas! Read it below.
Thrillcall: Let’s start with your band’s name, which is lifted from a George Strait tune. What made you agree on such a moniker, given that it is quite long and maybe slightly geographically confusing?
All Our Exes Live in Texas: Haha I love this question. When we first put the band together it was for an O Brother Where Art Thou Tribute night in Sydney with a bunch of folk and bluegrass bands–one of the band leaders told the four of us to put a set together. We had all studied jazz, played piano but hadn’t really played stringed instruments before–Georgia [Mooney] even bought a Mandolin for this show. We learnt thirty minutes worth of tunes and had to come up with a band name within a week. We typed world’s worst/best country song titles and the George Strait song was on the list and we thought it was awesome – we never expected to get a second gig let alone be four years on having just released our first record! If we were to think about it now we would probably be called ‘All Our Exes Live in Newtown’ (a suburb of Sydney, Australia).
TC: All Our Exes Live in Texas were a hot ticket at SXSW this year in Austin; how many jokes about running into your former lovers did you endure?
AOELIT: Haha you already know us too well! Tonnes! Actually most of the jokes were focused around how we don’t actually have any exes in Texas and that we were at SXSW to make some.
TC: At SXSW, Georgia Mooney was interviewed by CNN about US politics, revealing that you all were inspired by the Women’s March on Inauguration Day to write your first protest song. Where can people hear this anthem?
AOELIT: We have been writing that particular song with Tony Buchen a wonderful Australian producer in his LA studio – it’s not actually finished yet but almost there!! We plan to finish it when we tour the US with Midnight Oil at the end of May, and then work out how we will put it out (if it will be formal or just via our socials). We haven’t discussed a title but my vote is “Women are the shit so get on board or get out” 😉
TC: Everyone contributes equally on songwriting, which probably sounds a lot easier in theory than it is in practice. Do you ever wish only one person were making all the decisions?
AOELIT: No not at all. I love that there are four of us or else I fear I would just write the same song over and over again. Being able to bring a half written song to the group and have other songwriters add/push me to make it better is an amazing experience. And if you don’t like someone’s suggestion also learning how to politely put your foot down or also learning how to let something go. I wrote a song recently and just couldn’t come up with a bridge, so took it to the group and we all came up with one together – and now I bloody love the song and it wouldn’t have sounded like it does if we hadn’t collaborated on it!
TC: All Our Exes somehow, perhaps accidentally, were selected as the opening act to tour Australia with the Backstreet Boys a couple years back, which gave you a taste of stadium-arena fame. What were some highlights from that experience?
AOELIT: I’ll never get bored of talking about this experience. It was just a moment of ‘oh my god, anything can happen’ – a small folk band from Sydney were chosen to support the Backstreet Boys arena tour! Meeting them was the biggest highlight, then Kevin teaching us the Backstreet’s Back dance, dancing side of stage and jumping up and down with AJ during their performance… They were the loveliest people and the tour is something we will all remember forever. The show had been billed as ‘Backstreet Boys + Special Guests’ and when we were announced a bunch of fans were really upset. They had been expecting a famous pop star to be joining them not some folk band from Newtown. So we received a few not-so-great messages on our Facebook but my mum personally wrote them all back 😉 By the third show the audience was on our team and I think we gained a lot of converted fans!
All Our Exes Live in Texas Tour Dates
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