Angus & Julia Stone

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Angus & Julia Stone

She’s got this way. These are four words that seem to accurately sum up Julia Stone, and also happen to be the same four words Angus Stone croons through the band’s track ‘Grizzly Bear’.
Julia has a way with words, of bringing you in through the band’s music and of captivating your attention. On stage the effect on onlookers is much the same, but what may seem like confidence is actually Julia dealing with her own nerves of the spotlight.
“When we started playing music my way of dealing with insecurities, or my lack of sureness of who I am, and being nervous about being on stage, was to kind of be more confident than I actually was,” she says pausing briefly.
“I feel like now I dance between the two where if I’m feeling nervous or like I don’t have anything to say or I don’t know what to say, I’m much more comfortable just doing whatever in the situation, and I think that’s been a growing up sort of process. The less I judge myself the more I feel okay about however it looks and however it comes across.”
“I feel proud and confident of the woman I am and others I feel unsure of the steps I’m taking and the world, so I think each show has elements of those parts of me,” she adds.
Now sharing the stage with her younger brother Angus, after reforming Angus & Julia Stone in 2014, there’s a pleasant give and take in their performance. In writing it’s been much the same, and undeniably a chance for growth as brother and sister as well as musicians individually.
“To a degree there was a level of trepidation: how does this work sitting in a room together and singing line for line and jamming on songs and to be open enough to allow each other to do that?” she says.
“Song writing for both of us is such a personal thing and you have to have so much trust when you co-write . To allow yourself to say whatever you want to say and not be embarrassed about what it is – you just have to go for it.
“Working with Angus again I feel like that’s a well you can never get to the bottom of, you can always become more open and become more trusting. I think what makes any relationship exciting is the potential for a deeper understanding of the other person and feeling that sense of safety and trust. To really be vulnerable and go for things and maybe say things that may be uncomfortable and from a place that you don’t even understand. Rewind back to a year before reforming and Julia Stone and her band were celebrating a band member’s birthday at Hotel Amour in Paris. At that moment her brother Angus and his band stepped through the door. It would be expected if it weren’t for neither of them knowing the other was in Paris, let alone what city in the world.
From some serendipitous coincidence, the connection was made again and 12 or so months saw the siblings together in the same studio alongside Californian producer Rick Rubin.
“We weren’t that in contact at the time and we were very immersed in our own projects,” she says.
“The Hotel Amour situation was particularly interesting and serendipitous and just really unexpected because I had absolutely no idea that Angus was in France. We’re sitting there as a band having a birthday dinner for one of our band members in our favourite restaurant in France and in walks Angus’ best mate.
“Then the rest of the band and Angus. He had no idea I was doing a show there and it was just a really beautiful moment and quite funny as well. I guess the stars were just aligning and making sure we hadn’t forgot each other too much, so when it came time to make the next decision [as Angus & Julia Stone] those moments had helped us make them.”
Angus & Julia will both be in the same town, at the same time, but on a much more planned nature, as the band head down to Queenscliff later this month to perform at the Queenscliff Music Festival.
“I got taken there once by a friend who used to visit there as a kid,” Julia says.
“I went on this trip for about four days and I just loved the place. I think it’s so beautiful and peaceful and when I heard we were playing the Queenscliff Music Festival this year it was a really exciting. I’m super excited for Angus to show him, not that I’m a local or anything, but I think I know a few shops and cafes – I had a really fun time there and I think it’ll be nice for the fun band.
“I remember having deep fried pineapple fritters from the fish ‘n’ chip shop and that was amazing. It’s just such an Aussie experience, a really nice small aussie town. I love the city and living there but if you were ever going to go out of the city, I’d go there.”
Written by Amanda Sherring
When & Where: Queenscliff Music Festival – November 28-30