Aimee Francis Rocks Hard With Proudlove

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Aimee Francis interview with Nicole Hanratty LOAR lifeofarockstar.com

When you listen to multiple new artists every single day and a voice pops out at you as so different that you are moved to start sharing it with industry insiders, you know you have landed upon a star. In this case the star is Melbourne Australia’s Aimee Francis and as it turns out she has already been discovered by P!nk whom has tapped Francis to open up for her Sydney shows in Australia. Francis will play three nights in September (2nd, 4th, & 5th) for P!nk’s The Truth About Love tour at the Allphones Arena.

In the meantime, Aimee Francis is in the midst of her own tour of the states which included playing one night only in Los Angeles at Whisky A Go Go, playing multiple venues at SXSW and an upcoming show at Henrietta Hudson in New York on March 24th. After that Francis heads back to Australia where she has multiple dates lined up.

While Aimee Francis’s new single “Jetplane” grabbed my attention with its’ no frills pure rock gold vocals, (available on iTunes now), her songs “Hide and Seek,” “Control,” and “Live and Breathe” off of her previous album “Calm Before The Storm” are an incredible display of rock’s newest voice destined to dominate the airwaves.

I was thrilled to sit down and get to know the artist behind the powerful singer songwriter who can seriously rock a love song and hit you right in the soft spot. One listen to her belt out these lyrics and you’ll understand why every person who crosses the path of Aimee Francis is in awe: “The silence gives me no room to sleep… I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with what I thought would be. I’m in hate, I’m in hate, I’m in hate with what it’s turned out to be. I still miss your smile, would you hold me for a while? Wish I knew just what went wrong.” [“Hide and Seek” from “Calm Before The Storm”]

Aimee Francis has seen heartache and poured her pain into her art. She has dealt with depression and been told to “F*cking wake up.” She’s an independent artist who is working hard and ready to be the newest female voice of rock. And we’re ready for her…

Nicole: “Jetplane” is your newest single out.

Aimee: Yes.

Nicole: I love it!

Aimee: Thank you.

Nicole: It’s different than your previous EP.

Aimee: Yeah, it’s been two and a half years since I’ve released something new, so I guess I’ve just grown.

Nicole: The songs on the first EP are very, very love oriented. A little bit of heartbreak?

Aimee: Definitely. I agree with that one. (laughs) I went through a bit of a rough time with a breakup. My loved one was drink, and …

Nicole: Yes, one of your lines is “The bottle is my only friend.” [“Can’t You See” “Calm Before The Storm”]

Aimee: Yes totally. I was living in the Caribbean actually when I wrote that song, in the Dominican Republic. Yeah, that’s what it was, just wine and writing music. (laughs) That’s about it actually. It was really crazy. It was good though, cathartic.

Nicole: It seems like art comes from pain.

Aimee: Yeah, I probably get more inspired by pain than I do love. I don’t know why. I love being in love, but I don’t know if it’s the whole inspiration process, or what it is. I’ve heard a few musicians say that though.

Nicole: Do you feel like it’s a trap? If you don’t experience pain, you’re not going to be able to write?

Aimee: I did until I got into the current relationship I’ve been in, and that’s been three and a half years, and it’s all good, so these days, I’m writing about love–I’ve kind of opened my eyes–I can see other people’s experiences and other people’s lives. I just grab something from them because not all of what I’m writing is autobiographical. Sometimes, it’s about other people, and they have no idea, which is kind of cool.

Nicole: You’re working on a new album?

Aimee: I’m definitely going to be recording a new CD this year. Whether it’s going to be an EP, like a five-track EP or an album, or I might release the new EP in Australia, and when I come to do the American tour, I might record five or six more songs making an album because I’ve heard Americans prefer the whole ten-track album rather than an EP kind of thing.

Nicole: You’re trying to please the Americans?

Aimee: Yes, I love you guys! You’re so kind to me. Realistically, this is where I want to be – the amount of opportunity I’ve had in American so far compared to Australia, just because of Australia being isolated and being such a big country, but very small at the same time. Australians latch on to what you guys are doing. In a way – I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but Australians have tall poppy syndrome, where they won’t appreciate their own talent until someone else grabs it and goes oh, these Australians are awesome, or check this out, and then yes, she’s ours or he’s ours, and then they’ll latch on. It’s going to be an interesting year, exciting.

Aimee Francis, lifeofarockstar.com
Nicole: What town are you from?

Aimee: Originally – I was born in Melbourne, and then I moved to Sydney about a half ago.

Nicole: Who’s going to claim you as your own when you’re a star?

Aimee: That’s a good question actually. Someone asked me that the other day, “Are you a Melbourne girl, or are you a Sydney girl?” I always feel that Melbourne’s my home, but I guess Sydney’s my home these days.

Nicole: Ultimately, LA is where you want to live?

Aimee: Absolutely. I’m definitely going to be applying for a visa in the next two years.

Nicole: Which tattoo did you get yesterday?

Aimee: It’s in a serious peeling stage, but this one.

Nicole: That’s gorgeous!

Aimee: Yeah, so Proudlove is my great grandmother’s last name, so I got it for her.

Nicole: Awww…

Aimee: My nan’s still around. Yeah, so it’s her last name. F*cking – can you imagine? I wish I had it!

Nicole: So you’re going to be opening for P!nk in Australia?

Aimee: Yeah!

Nicole: How did that come to be?

Aimee: It was one of those serious – right time, right place – someone who heard my music and told the marketing manager of the Arena that she’s playing at. She contacted me.

Nicole: Wow, okay how did that feel?

Aimee: I was like f*ck. I was like oh shut up just because I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was just like, ‘Wow.’ I sent her my stuff and my pack and the rest of it. I guess some of P!nk’s people had to have heard it because it’s their night I guess, their venue, so yes, that just kind of fell into place really.

Nicole: That’s coming in September?

Aimee: That’s September, so what will happen is, I think I’m going to be coming back over to America in – I think it’s in June/July to record another five tracks maybe. Then, I’ll come back, and rehearse with the band, and get ready – get back to Sydney, I mean. I’ve got three shows with her, with P!nk in Sydney. Then September, October will be an Australian tour, publicity from the P!nk shows, and some new songs and the rest of it. I’ll go from there. I’m definitely saying, I was planning on doing an American tour this year, but just because of industry stuff, I haven’t yet. I want to make sure when I do it, everything’s right, and I scout the venue and scout the places, the cities where I’ve got the most fan base at the moment because it’s costly, and I’m 100% independent. I’ve got to make sure when I do do it, I do it right.

Nicole: There’s a lot that goes into it and planning …

Aimee: It’s crazy.

Nicole: …the business end.

Aimee: Yeah, it’s a cool business. I love the business side, which is kind of lucky, but I’ve been burned a couple of times. I’ve kind of come out this year – that’s why I had a bit of a break. I was just exhausted from being stuffed around, so I had a break for two years. Then I got really depressed, and I didn’t know why. I just wanted to sit home. My partner said, “F*cking wake up. You’re not happy. Get your sh*t together and start writing. Book a flight to LA and make sh*t happen.” And I recorded three tracks in the city, “Jetplane,” being one of them, and booked my flight to LA, and I got those South by Southwest gigs which I’m doing next week.

Nicole: I was going to ask you that next. How did that come about?

Aimee: It’s not official, so it’s one of the Red Gorilla things. I just hassled the promoters really, so I’ve got three gigs.

Nicole: Okay, so if you had to list three things that you think in your life got you to where you are today, what would you credit?

Aimee: Okay, so it would be my parents, my original live band, which were a bunch of guys. I was fifteen at the time, and they would’ve been in their 30’s kind of thing, and they just saw the potential, and they stuck with me. I did my first gig without them a couple weeks ago. When I moved to Sydney, I needed a band that were close to home kind of thing, so definitely, yes, Miles and TJ, drummer and guitarist, just amazing. I flew to America, and we supported Steel Panther, so they flew to America when we played the Viper Room, and paid for everything, and they just love it, so definitely them. My parents letting me leave school early, and not finishing the year eleven. I went to music college for two years. I got picked up by management. That’s three things, isn’t it?

Nicole: That was three.

Aimee: Otherwise, I would’ve said getting screwed over early. Management – just bad management really when I stayed here for a while in 2008. At the time, it wasn’t fun, but now that I can look back on it and learn from it, and get what I got out of it. I wasn’t good, but it is good now.

Nicole: It does seem to be a little crucial doesn’t it, to learn those lessons early in your career?

Aimee: Yes, I’m thankful that it’s not happening now because it does put you back, and you do get depressed about it, and you go, sh*t, I gotta get a real job, and you’ve got to pay for stuf…

Nicole: You’ve got more to lose.

Aimee: Yeah definitely. You’re on the line, big time. It makes me kind of want to push this even more this year. Anything I make is going straight back to my music. It’s thousands and thousands – I’ve spent a lot of money this year on the music. I’m starting to get good gigs, and it’s starting to pay off I think, hopefully. …I think it’s just about keeping my momentum going, keeping the hype going, meeting amazing people that want to help, that kind of stuff.

Nicole: I think the first time I heard you sing, it was a cover that you have of P!nk’s “Try.”

Aimee: Yes.

Nicole: Your voice is somewhat akin to hers. Is she an influence on you?

Aimee: I think she is subliminally. When her “I’m Not Dead” album came out, I would’ve been about 15/16. I think it was definitely inspirational, just because she’s got a guitar-driven influence. You can hear it. She’s got that rough vocal which I have. I get compared to her a lot, but I was listening to Aerosmith and the Stones, and mostly guys. I don’t get that much influence from girls just because I find when I’m listening to a chick sing, it’s kind of like competition. It sounds really weird, but I just go okay, so I just kind of pinpoint what I like and what I don’t like from certain songs, whereas, if it’s a guy, I go, what would I do if it was my version? Yes, definitely, I think she’s subliminally a big influence. I think she’s great.

Nicole: Well, I think aside from P!nk, Pat Benatar [for whom Aimee Francis has opened] Stevie Nicks, and Gwen Stefani there haven’t been a ton of rock female roll models and none recently …

Aimee: Yeah, you’re right, there hasn’t been a new female rock artist in a while really which is a sad thing – fingers crossed.

Nicole: We’re ready for Aimee Francis.

Aimee: Hopefully – fingers crossed.

AIMEE FRANCIS ON THE WEB
AimeeFrancis.com

WE ASKED AIMEE FRANCIS
Which song title most describes your personality?

A: “Dream on” by Aerosmith
I’ve got it tattooed on me as well, just because I’m so driven. It’s like stupid. I’ll wake up, and it’s like music. What do I have to do – before I go to sleep, it’s like, all right, did I send that email, oh, I’ve got to finish that song. It’s all music, and it’s always finding the right way, the right part, or getting someone new to hear the music, or just getting out there.

What’s the last album of someone else’s that you’ve purchased or downloaded?

A: That’s a really good question. I bought – I went to see Buckcherry the other night at the Viper Room. I haven’t listened to it because I haven’t got a CD player, but that was the last one.

By Nicole Hanratty
Posted March 9, 2013