When you speak to someone on a Monday and ask what they are up to, it’s not uncommon to hear the standard mundane tasks that may have been delayed doing over the weekend. This was not the case for Abbe May, who at the time of her chat with Forte was “currently laying on the beach with Bertie Blackman. We have had a couple days celebrating WA music for the WAM Festival, which I was involved in as a curator for heaps of artists from Western Australia who I think are awesome, and we cheekily flew in Bertie Blackman to perform.”
May was ecstatic to be asked to curate the event due to her love of the music culture of Western Australia, her home state.
“Everyone is really supportive of each other, there is no really bitching, everyone knows everyone, and everyone loans gear and helps out. It’s a pretty cool hot bed of talent and because it’s such a small scene you can’t be a dickhead, so I think that’s why it’s so great if you want to make music.”
Starting out as a guitar heavy rocker, she has more recently progressed into more of an enigmatic electronic pop-star. According to May, the movement to a more electronic sound was inspired by her interest in new emerging ways of producing songs.
“I think it’s really strange to be a purist and have these strange ideals about how music should be made, and that it’s not real if computers are involved. It’s a modern world and technology has always been a big part of pushing music. I mean, look at the advent of the microphone or the electric guitar and how big of an impact those advancements of technology have changed.
“I think it’s really important to embrace samplers and software that can really push the boundaries of what you can do both live and in the studio. Electronica is not soulless, it’s 2016 and pretty exciting to be making music with these new sounds.”
As the first single release to her album Bitchcraft, May’s song ‘Doomsday Clock’ addresses her fears of global catastrophe that may be impending on society.
“I think artists have a responsibility to use their work to effect change. Whether or not that means emotional change by singing about their own experiences with love and the many ways it comes, or whether they are more so in the Midnight Oil frame of mind where they really want to discuss political and environmental issues. I think artists have a responsibility to express themselves; it’s always been an important medium for connecting with people.”
Written by Alex Callan
When & Where: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne – November 24, The Grand Hotel, Mornington – November 25, Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff – November 26 & The Workers Club, Geelong – December 2