Vikki Thorn is stepping out and taking stance on her own two feet for what will be the very first time in her musical career.
After 25 years spent singing and touring as one third of highly esteemed Australian folk rock band, The Waifs, Vikki has found her own voice and is set to head out on her debut Australian solo tour this March.
“I figure I’ve been doing it for 25 years and I’ve only really ever stepped on stage in The Waifs and it felt about time to do something else,” explains Vikki. “The Waifs have actually just wrapped up our 25th anniversary and it felt a little bit like a now or never moment, because it’s something I’ve thought and talked about for a very long time.
“I write a lot of songs that aren’t part of The Waifs narrative and that’ve come pretty much out of my time living here in the States and becoming a mother and all those things that aren’t as relevant in The Waifs music.”
Said to have found her own voice deep in the canyons of Utah, Vikki tells us locality plays a large role in her musical storytelling. This, accompanied by the experience of motherhood, themes of movement and even motocross, lead to an intrinsically beautiful collection of songs which weave through country blues and pay homage to her early passion for old school R&B.
“Where I live in the States I’m incredibly isolated over here – we live out on a farm in the middle of nowhere and it’s surrounded just by wilderness. That isolation has played a huge part in my writing,” expresses Vikki.
“As a singer, I’ve always listened to a lot of R&B – like the great soul singers – and I love belting it out you know, but I realise I don’t write R&B songs,” continues Vikki, “I pretty much write country-based folk songs, but I have this sort of soul sensibility I think in the way I deliver stuff.”
Now fronting her own Trio, Vikki will be joined by Heath Cullen and long term The Waifs bassist, Ben Franz.
“I think what I realised is that stepping on stage with my sister, we’d lean on each other in a lot of ways that we aren’t even aware of,” says Vikki, “And initially I was thinking, ‘Oh, this is a really big step for me’, but when I got into rehearsal with Heath and Ben – the guys I’m playing with – I just thought, ‘This is great. This is going to be so much fun!’ and of course, this is what I do and I’ve got no reason to be nervous outside of that context.”
And while Vikki is caught up in the whirlwind and excitement that is her solo journey, she acknowledges she doesn’t stray too far away from her roots.
“Some of the stories that have come out [in my music] are about the people and this place that I live in,” she explains, “And I guess that comes out of The Waifs ethos, there’s still a lot of storytelling in there, but it’s just more about my current experiences as a mother and a woman living out of Australia, in a crazy hick town.”
Vikki Thorn will be joined on stage at her Castlemaine show by Abbie Cardwell, a long-time influence of hers.
When & Where: Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – March 14
Written by Helena Metzke