Music Becomes You

7 August 2013 | 10:47 am | Brendan Telford

"I’m doing my masters degree as well as a part-time job and doing music, and it’s a bit of a juggling act."

t feels like Kellie Lloyd has been entrenched in the local music scene forever, such is her standing in iconic three-piece institution Screamfeeder. And while the book isn't closed on that chapter, Lloyd has found a new lease of life out on her own, having released the excellent Magnetic North album last year which warmly showcased her songwriting talents without the backing of her brothers-in-arms, Tim Stewart and Dean Shwereb. However, before Magnetic North came to pass, Lloyd was at a crossroads, and the solo route was the unlikeliest road for her to travel down. The decision to go for it was an unconscious one.

“I did the solo thing once (her debut record, 1995's For Nothing And No One), and I hated it and never wanted to do that again,” she asserts. “I looked back at that time for so long with such negative thoughts. But I've always been a songwriter, and with Screamfeeder I would write songs on my own first, and as the years went on I felt stronger as a singer and a writer. But with Dean going overseas, I stopped writing for pretty much a year. It was unintentional, but life kind of moved on, then when I realised this was the case – bang! I started writing and all these songs fell out. So now I've changed jobs so I can have as much of the best of both worlds as I can right now.”

Lloyd spends a lot of time playing as a duo these days, with thunderous Tape/Off drummer Branko Cosic providing momentum, which has presented her with a new set of challenges.

“We've played together for a while now so it isn't that much to get back into the groove of things. However, on tour he pretty much has to follow my lead, otherwise I'd have to gallop along after him,” Lloyd laughs. “Because he's so loud, it often feels like we're battling each other instead of playing with each other. But that's the beauty of us playing – I hope I'm teaching him new skills to play along with someone other than in a band, because it's so different. We have had discussions about that, about restraint too. It comes to dynamics when you're a duo, and I think we do it really well.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

“It's a comfortable rapport, but it also means we'll be on our toes (when onstage), and that's how I prefer to play, as if the rug can be ripped out from under us at any stage. I never want to feel complacent. I've been doing this for a while now, me up there with a guitar, and I've done it for so long on bass, and it isn't like I don't feel like I know what I'm doing. But I felt defined by Screamfeeder for a very long time, which in some ways was good and in some ways was really unhealthy. And we haven't disbanded, we've just had to put that on the shelf for a while. But with Magnetic North it was all me, it was self-funded and self-released, every decision around that record was my own, and I felt that I achieved something really amazing. ”

Lloyd has set her goals high; the music won't escape her a second time.

“I'm doing my masters degree as well as a part-time job and doing music, and it's a bit of a juggling act,” she muses. “I'm hoping to incorporate it all together; have the music brought into the study, then take music to another level professionally. I just can't not have music in my life, so I'll continue to find all the ways that I can cram it into my life.”