Mick Lindsay, described as a country-fried rock artist, is the headline act for this year’s Jackie Howe Festival. Mick spoke with Highlife Magazine about his new EP and being the headline act for the Concert Under the Stars.
This is the fifth annual Jackie Howe Festival coming up, have you been before?
No, I haven’t, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it though and I’ve heard it’s growing really rapidly. I know a lot of my Toowoomba friends and family, they’re all like, Oh, you’re playing Jackie Howe, we’re all coming out!’ I’m like ‘Oh wow’, so yeah, it should be a pretty good event!
You are this year’s headline act for Concert Under The Stars, why did you decide to get involved?
You know, I looked up the event and got a chance to find out a little bit about it, and I’m more than excited to be a part of it!
And you have a bit of history with the Jondaryan Woolshed, don’t you?
In 2005 I was doing a lot of country music competitions after I’d finished school, and I guess that was my first introduction to playing on stage and playing country music. And the Garden City Country Music Club holds their Annual Talent Quest out there, so in 2005 I won overall champion at Jondaryan – and then I’ve been invited back a few times as a guest artist since then. But, you know the Woolshed was definitely a launchpad as well, for me really getting on stage and honing my craft, I guess…doing my apprenticeship, as people say.
It will be quite nostalgic to be back there then!
Yeah it’s going to be really cool, I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and you know bringing my whole band. And I guess, so many years on, showing everyone from Jondaryan and Toowoomba what the new show is all about and reminisce on old times as well.
I know that you were in the carpentry trade before you transitioned into music, how exactly did you make that jump and get into country music?
Well, I was a tradesman when I was about 20 years old and I was working for about six months as a tradie, and I guess I was enjoying the music a lot more than my carpentry work. And then I end up telling the boss after Christmas holidays, I’m going to give this music thing a crack and haven’t looked back since. Yeah it worked out for the best, taking a leap of faith.
Were you always a fan of country music? Or a fan of the pop and rock that seem to show up in your music?
I’m a fan of just good music. I don’t think I really put songs into genres as much as I used to do. I think, definitely growing up dad used to play Slim Dusty songs around the campfire and my first album that I ever really listened to was Garth Brooks and Bryan Adams, and then the first CD I ever got given one birthday was the Keith Urban Golden Road Album – and so there was a lot of sort of rock and country and stuff in all my first kind of music that I listened to, I guess. But yeah, I’m not like flat out this isn’t country so I’m not playing it, you know, good music is good music and hopefully other people like the same sort of stuff.
It’s one of the best things about my job, I get to meet some really, really cool people on the road, and some bands I used to love have massive egos and attitudes, but it’s really good when you meet, Jimmy Barnes and Diesel in particular, I mean they’re just such cool guys and really down to earth. They rock out on stage but they come back to reality off stage, so it’s really admirable.
Congratulations on your latest EP This Song debuting in the ARIA Country Charts at number five this week! How would you describe your new EP?
Thank you very much. Well, I guess when I released my first album, it was, personally a learning curve on how things are recorded and, I feel like this latest EP is the sound that I was looking for. It’s kind of a mix between country, pop and rock, and just all music genres that I like, and I finally found a sound that was…it didn’t lose that country flavor but had that real sort of commercial sound as well, so, yeah I’m really happy with how it all turned out.
So a really good balance between all the things you love essentially?
Exactly! And I mean there’s a lot of diversity on the album, and so many people have contacted me saying “I love Track 1” and then someone else is like “No, no, no it’s not Track 1, it’s Track 4 that I love”. So, there’s kind of something for everybody there. And one of the things I love about performing live is it’s not strictly just country, it’s very diverse. So, I feel like the album represents what we do live a lot better than the first album.
You released your self-titled album in 2014 and it peaked at Number Three in the Australian iTunes country music charts, which must have been an amazing feeling to start with. But, how does it feel to be where you are now? How would you say you and your music have evolved since then?
I guess, back when I released my first album, I was fully independent and really, as much support as my friends and family and musicians gave me, I feel like it was very self-motivated and I was really running everything. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have really good management to actually help me out and basically allow me to focus more on the music and really hone the sound I was looking for. So, I’m a lot happier with the EP and really got the sound I was looking for.
It’s been a very busy year with you performance wise, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Definitely. The good thing about having a whole team of people around you, there’s always something more we can be doing, so even when I’m not on the road or you know there’s music development, there’s always something more to be done. So it’s been crazy. But, live performance is such an important part of what I do. I had a chat the other day with my manager that it’s not really about the music for me, it’s about the entertainment, the more people you can sit in front of me that are having a great time, the more accomplished I feel as a performer, and it’s awesome to be having some great events and some good solid crowds to be performing to, it makes my whole world go around.
Words and Interview by Raashi Agarwal
Images supplied by Mick Lindsay