Words By: Laurent Shervington, Interviewee: Xanthea O’Connor
Hey Xanthea, how are you?
Hey! I’m good. Thanks for asking. Last Thursday I fell asleep while typing and hit my head on my laptop so I’m better this week than last week. I treat how many hours are in the day like people ask “how long is a piece of string” … except I’m realising there’s a definite number of hours in 24 hours and sleep is not just an optional activity. Looking forward to sleeping the whole way through next year (maybe).
I hear you’ve been recording some stuff recently, how is that going?
Saving my heart and thoughts as a bunch of sine waves has been pretty scary to be honest. I’m trying to put as little pressure on it as possible. My friend Jordan Shakespeare is working on the production and we recorded the thing in his living room, along with my magical violinist pal Jasmine Jeffs.
As I work managing bands, I’m used to all the business and strategy that comes with a release but having complete creative control AS WELL is kind of overwhelming. I’m hoping for it to all be done and out by my birthday in September. I’m trying not to think about it as anything more than a brief imprint of what I’m doing right now and all I can hope for is people I like, like it.
What does your songwriting process usually involve?
I get pretty sad and processing things on a keyboard seems like a really good reason to get out of bed sometimes. I tried to write a happy song once… a friend told me it sounded like the building theme song from The Sims. I’m working on it. I have a recurring dream that I bash out this absolute BANGER on the piano that actually has a melody but I can never remember it when I wake up.
What artists would you say have influence your music the most?
I can’t get enough of really brutal songwriting where people investigate their heartbreak / insecurities / anxieties / depression. I listened to A LOT of artists like Fiona Apple, The Dresden Dolls, Sarah Blasko… I really appreciate an artist that can express the ugliness of their grief.
Do you have any memories of past RTRFM Radiothon Parties?
I volunteered at my very first Radiothon last year, doing the door at The Bird. I saw The Love Junkies play after my shift and found enough change in the bottom of my bag for a beer. It was really nice.
Sorry I don’t have a more dramatic story… but I think that’s the wonderful thing about RTRFM parties! It’s this huge community of respectful music lovers out to listen to some awesome local music. That’s my kinda party.
What role do you think RTR play in the Perth music scene?
I see RTR having immense influence in the Perth music scene, in a vast number of ways. Since the demise of mid-to-large scale print media, it’s really taken over as one of the few truly effective places to promote local music from the very humble grassroots to the internationally touring sensations. It is a place to promote and communicate your art, develop your own voice and skills as a presenter on the station, or just have an excuse to spend time with like-minded music lovers.
It’s not accountable to large corporate bodies – only its subscribers who literally pay every year to keep it on air. When so much of our media is compromised by the interests of the rich and powerful, it is so refreshing and necessary to give a voice to people that would not necessarily have one otherwise. It also hosts killer parties. Like Radiothon. You should come.