SXSW Preview – Jade McInally of Jade Imagine

by Alex Teitz
Jade McInally
 
Melbourne four piece Jade Imagine released their EP What the Fuck Was I Thinking in April on Courtney Barnett’s Milk! Records. The band is led by Jade McInally, who previously performed as Tantrums. McInally has also performed with Teeth and Tongue. She recorded many of the songs with Dave Mudie, drummer for Courtney Barnett.
 
Jade Imagine has not toured the US. We are looking forward to her following in Barnett’s footsteps in taking over the world.  We are pleased to present this interview with McInally. For info visit https://www.facebook.com/jadeimagineband/
 
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
 
JM: There’s no real ‘method’ to my madness, although I have noticed a loose pattern developing lately…Usually it begins with me going for a walk, or doing something kinda monotonous (doing the dishes, riding my bike, showering, etc) and that’s about the time when a melody or a lyric or a rhythm starts working its way into my brain… next thing, I’m humming it. That’s when I’ll usually reach for whichever instrument feels appropriate, or my phone to record it. By that stage sometimes I have all the parts for bass, drums, and vocal harmonies in my brain and I have to work pretty quickly to catch it all! Very disruptive, this musical beast!
 
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making What the Fuck Was I Thinking?
 
JM: Having blind faith in the process and trusting that all the pieces will come together the way they should.
 
FEMMUSIC: It sounds like Dave Mudie became your producer by fate. How was it working with him?
 
JM Yes, well he produced a few of the tracks; Stay Awake and Esteem, and then did a bit of other stuff here and there (overdubs, guest percussion, piano, etc)… working with him was effortless, fun, intuitive and quick. He has a great flow and we got so much done in such a small amount of time. It was a very fortuitous thing that we met and that he was free and keen to collaborate!
 
The other producer I worked with was Tim Harvey (he produced Walkin’ Around, Tell Her She’s Dreamin’, God Is A Crown and You & I). He was really there for me throughout the entire process. A lot of the vibe of the EP is his production and playing!
 
FEMMUSIC: Given you were working with Mudie, signing to Milk! Records was not a stretch. What made you sign with them? What benefits do you see in signing with a label?
 
JM: I would only ever work with people who I trust and believe in. Working Milk! Records was a no brainer. Jen and Courtney are extremely talented, driven, intelligent and plus they’re powerful women – who wouldn’t want to work with such inspiring role models?!
To be honest I didn’t expect to release my record with any label, but when this opportunity came up I thought that I would definitely be mad to turn it down.
Working with labels isn’t for everybody – I would always assess it on a case-by-case basis!
 
FEMMUSIC: How do you think your own music and vision has changed since the Tantrums?
 
JM: I (like to) think that I have a more refined and direct creative vision. Tantrums was a steep learning curve and I think that it was important to learn some of those lessons early on in my music career.
My own music now feels more true to who I am and the music I want to make now. But that’s not to say that I wasn’t diggin’ Tantrums when I was in that band!! Just a different time and a different place… It’s good to be open to change when you’re an artist. That’s how you grow and learn and make killer art.
 
FEMMUSIC: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned that you wish you knew earlier?
 
JM: The most incredible song can start with just one line, one melody. But you’ve got to believe in that little seed of an idea otherwise you wont give it the chance to grow and be an awesome song (Sorry, so corny)!!
 
FEMMUSIC:  As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
 
JM: Look, I think that I probably have. I know that I have been talked down to, treated as though I’m stupid, been ignored, been objectified… which, in the moment, is a horrible and angering feeling! But I also have been embraced, applauded, listened to and celebrated and I strongly believe that there are just downright dickheads out there who treat all people in a horrible way. I genuinely don’t think that me being a woman really changes anything. I like to see all people as equals. Gender issues and peoples senses of sexual-identity are becoming so fluid, broad and diverse that I really just think the best way to approach day to day life is to embrace and accept our humanity, above all else.
Jade McInally
 
FEMMUSIC: What’s one thing would you change about the music industry?
 
JM: Well for one, I would like to see the Australian Government demonstrating a higher appreciation and recognition of what the arts does for this country and for the world – and to support it more, financially.
 
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to tour with, or collaborate with, and why?
 
JM: I would really love to tour and/or collaborate with Ty Segall. I really love his musical ideas – I have for years – and the one time I saw him live was such a killer performance. Seeing that for a whole tour would be a dream come true!
 
I would also love to collaborate with St Vincent… mainly just to see how she gets those EPIC guitar sounds. Haha.
March 1st, 2018