THEAUSSIEWORD.COM catches up with Arissa and Brock from US duo The Neighborly.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
A mutual friend introduced us and then we ended up being neighbors on the same block. We both had worked in the music industry for years before we met and were excited to make music that enriched the place we lived.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Our stage of life and the lack of music that addresses that stage. We are raising families, we love our community and we have chosen to make music to encourage people in our same stage of life. We call it “music for the middle”.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
We want to write songs that carry people through different seasons of life and invest in our community. We want to write and record good music. We also want to model doing what we love in front of our kids and not giving up on our talents just because we are parents and/or adults.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
We have some singles we are going to release, focusing on our unique mashups and our acoustic sound. We have turn down a lot of shows right now because we don’t have enough time but we are focusing on mostly local opportunities.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
In many ways, the album is the the kind of record we always wanted to make but our previous professional jobs wouldn’t allow it. It was the first time we could be honest about who we were and where we were in life We wrote about what we were experiencing and our world view. The EP is folk rock with the an Americana authenticity but we are an Americana duet in the vein of The Civil Wars or The Weepies.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Many of our songs come from the conversations we have about where we are in our phase of life, things are parents taught us and values that have shaped us. We also write into things that the people around us are experiencing as encouragement to them.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
All of our songs are true of this, we are authentic about our faith, family and our worldview. The songs are genuine and transparent of us people. What we sing about would probably come up in conversation if you were talk to us in person.
Success, what is the secret to it?
The secret is to not define success as it’s defined for you. Success for us is using music to enrich ALL of the aspects of our life. Is it enriching us personally, our community, our families, our audience? Is yes, then that is success,
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Recording and releasing our first EP was the most challenging and rewarding thing we have done so far.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Adele Is authentic and honest. T-bone Burnett for production, Over the Rhine has been a huge artistic influence and John Mayer for his fluidity between genres. We really like Johnnyswim as an inspirational duo.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
We are focusing on a collection of songs that reflect our live acoustic performance style which includes original mashups of covers.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?
We would love to see our music used for movies and television shows. We actually write a lot so we aim to keep putting out fresh material.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
Playing music connects with people in a unique way and we meet so many great people. We don’t like having to say no as much as we have to in our phase of life.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Brock likes Tame Impala, Jet and Crowded House.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Music has become disposable with the singles culture. People don’t become invested with artists as easily. It’s hard to compete with the amount of new music coming out, its a saturated market.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
Authenticity to the human experience which transcends cultures.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
We do, we like to collaborate with other artists to cross pollinate audiences.
We would love to work with the producer Charlie Peacock.
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
You need to find small ways to start incorporating music into your life because not everyone can just drop everything and start touring tomorrow. Then as you improve and you grow your connections and relationships with your audience, your music has room to grow.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
We loved you, we know you, we ARE you. We respond on all social media platforms, reach out to us there!
Any last words?
Bloom where you are planted. Use your talents and gifts right where you are.
Thanks so much Brian!!
Arissa and Brock