Christina Lacy has just had her hair cut in suburban Melbourne. Now she’s sheltering from the miserable weather inside of a small cafe, sipping a coffee, waiting for a call. A normal Thursday afternoon in anyone’s books. “I think I need a bit of a change so I just cut it a bit shorter” she muses. It’s here that the more normal topics of our conversation end, as Christina comprises one-fifth of Melbourne folk outfit The Paper Kites. She chats to me about their upcoming international tour as well as the release of their album States.

So it looks like you’ve got two big events coming up. You’re releasing an album and touring Australia, the USA and Canada.

Yeah – it’s jam packed at the moment… we’re really excited about the album coming out and doing an Australian tour and then the City and Color tour. Doing some of our own shows in the states kind of just tops it off really!

Is City and Color an artist that you’ve listened to over the years or is it more of a recent thing?

Nah, I love him. I’ve been listening to him for years… Sam [Bentley]’s wife is a die-hard fan! We all really love his music. It’ll be awesome just to see him play every night.

You’re also touring Australia and your hometown of Melbourne. Is this the first headline show that you’ll be playing at the Forum Theatre?

Yeah, definitely our first headline show at the forum, so it’s been very exciting but a little bit scary! You know, it’s a big venue and we kind of hope people will come!… We got to play some really amazing venues with Boy and Bear on their tour, but nothing headlining. So it’s really exciting.

So the album ‘States’ which is coming out – where did you guys record that?

We did a little bit in Melbourne and a little bit in Sydney… we went up to Sydney for a couple of weeks, and went to Albert Studio and worked there with Wayne Connolley who produced the whole album… We worked up there just to do the vocals. So we were there for a couple of weeks, just me and Sam.

Why did you choose Sydney to do the vocals?

Albert is the studio that Wayne Connolley works at, and it just kind of worked out. But i guess that it’s partly cost-wise, and also Wayne – it was easier for Wayne because he lives in Sydney and he’s based there, so it was like we split it up. I think we did two weeks down here and then we went up there for two weeks. I really enjoyed it… just kind of getting away a little bit to do the vocals.

Has Wayne Connolley produced all of your releases so far?

He produced Young North with us. We didn’t really use a producer for Woodland… It was still early on, and back then we didn’t even think about using a producer, it was pretty foreign to us… At the start it was kind of a funny thought because we’d just been in control of everything that we were creating and the way it was being recorded – but it was actually great to have someone like Wayne on board. It was really nice to have an experienced voice giving us advice… like, little ideas that we wouldn’t have thought of because we’ve been listening to the songs for so long already. So it was nice to have fresh ears to give some new inspiration. 

A big part of your band is the spectacular music videos you make. They’ve all got their own little concepts behind them. Do you guys think of those?

(Laughs) For most of them it has been. It’s vey much Sam who is the driving force for a lot of those concepts and then together we kind of develop them a little bit… ‘Bloom’ and ‘Featherstone’ and ‘Maker of My Time’ was all us. For the most recent video clip for ‘St Clarity’ we actually for the first time used a director/producer for the video, which was a really different experience because we hadn’t really done that before… So Natasha [Pincus] did that for us, and she’s done some amazing videos. She did Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’. We had this concept of a ‘bubble man’ and so we pitched that to her and she developed it into more of what it really is. So it was a bit of a collaboration I guess. We’re really stoked with the outcome.

Do you write all of the songs together or is it more of an individual effort?

It’s a little bit of both. Predominantly it’s individual… Sam does a lot of the writing and I think he finds it a bit easier to write by himself. But then there’ll be other times when him and i are hanging out and you know, he’ll show me something and then we’ll just keep working on it together and then we’ll just develop it together. By the end of the afternoon, we’ll have written a song together!… So yeah, it’s a bit of a mix but I’d definitely say it’s predominantly Sam. Sam’s our main writing man!

Everyone’s got a little bit of input though?

Yeah, definitely. Sam often writes the song in a pretty basic form and then brings it to the band… so yeah, it definitely has a little bit of everybody in it.

So you’re excited to take on the big American road trip that every touring band inevitably does at some point?

(Laughs) Yeah, we’re really excited. It’ll be interesting to see how excited we’ll be by the end (laughs) – because yeah, it’s like six weeks of traveling and we’re all going to be in the same little van together. Hopefully we don’t drive each other too crazy – we should be right. I keep thinking that i’m going to need to make some girl friends while i’m over there so that i don’t get sick of the boys. It would be nice if i could bring my best friend with me!

Well anyway, I’ll leave you there. Thanks for chatting!

No worries! See you.


By Niamh Crosbie