NOT SO ORDINARY CITIZENS | SINGER SONGWRITER : TORI ZIETSCH | SEAVERA
Posted on November 17, 2013
“Words are my weapon but they’re also my ruin”
— Not So Ordinary
Citizens Interview —
T o r i Z i e t s c h
chats to us about her inspirations; recently being featured on Triple J’s Unearthed; the release of Seavera’s debut Single ‘Caving’ and new project; the upcoming EP due to be recorded in Melbourne..
HC: You have shared the mic with such talents as Angus Stone and MT WARNING. How were these experiences and did they share any words of wisdom with you?
Yeah, they’re awesome. I actually met them both back near home in Byron! There’s something truly magical about that place. Mikey (MT WARNING) is like family to me. I remember when I was about fifteen I would go and watch him play at this wonderful place called the Treehouse and I would be completely hypnotized by his performance..
I love everything about what he does musically, and he’s been a real inspiration to me personally, so to be invited to sing on his record was an incredibly humbling experience. He carries a real sense of freedom in the way that he lives and creates and it has definitely resonated strongly with me. Angus was a great inspiration to me from a very young age, I remember teaching myself songs he’d written when I first picked up the guitar, so as you can imagine it was quite surreal to be able to sing on his latest record. ‘Monsters’ is a killer track.
HC: Congrats on Launching Seavera in the intimate Southside Tea Room setting last month . Your performance was very captivating. Tell us about your plans with Seavera, and how the name came about?
Thank you! Releasing Seavera was a really defining moment for me. It’s been a great personal journey as well as a musical one and I’m so grateful to be working with people I love on a project that I love. I feel boundless and inspired and that is a really beautiful thing. At the moment I am working on getting together my first EP, which is marvelous and exciting and a little bit daunting… but the time has never felt so right. There’ll be more to hear in 2014 so listen out! As for the name, it’s a bit kooky, but I was enchanted by the idea of creating something that held meaning for me. Vera is a name with Slavic origin meaning ‘faith’. The sea and its movements are greatly defined by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun. I think it’s beautiful to recognize that all of the constituents of the earth are supporting each other; and more extraordinarily, that we fit into that cycle somehow too. Just as the sea is not as wayward as it seems, we are not so lost, and it’s humbling to put faith in something greater than ourselves. And that’s what Seavera means to me. It’s weird and maybe it only makes sense to me, but that’s okay too.
HC: You mentioned between songs on-stage that you had been reading a lot of poetry, in particular Yeats. Has this inspired your songwriting? What else moves you, to put pen to paper? Any particular rituals or routines involved with getting creative?
Yes! I first started reading Yeats when I was in High School. He had this obscure vision of the world and I was drawn to the way he translated his views on life and mysticism into writing. Another poet I’ve recently become quite attached to is Enid Moodie Heddle. She was a twentieth century Australian writer and teacher and I recently found a collection of poems she wrote called ‘Sagitta Says’ in one of my favorite bookstores in the city. At times when I’m reading her poetry it feels as if someone is travelling through my body and re-arranging my organs so that I can experience feelings in a more profound way. It’s a beautiful thing to read something and to have it really move you. I have lots of messy notebooks full of scrambled words and drawings and I’ll quite often build songs around them, but I always write from a feeling, whether that is anxiety or loneliness, happiness or appreciation. Every song has its own world of inspiration and the process is quite erratic, but I guess that’s what keeps it interesting.
HC: Your onstage persona gave us a little insight to Seavera. Is the Tori onstage different to the Tori in everyday life?
Haha. Sometimes I wish onstage Tori would tone down a little from real-life Tori but generally I find it difficult to distinguish the two. A lot of the songs I perform are quite personal and so they affect me in quite a real way when I’m onstage. And of course there’s the inevitable nervous banter; I can get a bit carried away. Words are my weapon but they’re also my ruin… What was it I said the other night? Povitive? Not positive. Povitive. Povitively brilliant.
HC: You come across as very worldly wise for your relatively young years, where do you think this has come from?
It’s interesting you know. I’ve had a lot of people say similar things to me over the years, and I’ve often felt quite out of place and different to a lot of people my own age. But I tend to believe that we kind of use age to excuse/explain our actions and decisions you know? I’m not saying that it’s wrong to associate behavioral patterns with age, because it’s sort of comforting to experience things in a somewhat organised way. That, and neurologically it has a lot of relevance. But it also comes back to the life we’ve lived. Everyone is so different, and every experience is relevant to our lives. I had to make a lot of ‘adult’ decisions when I was a kid, and I’m happy for that, because it has had ample influence on the person that I am today, and I like that person.
HC: Has growing up in the Northern Rivers Region helped to shape you into the musician you are today? Does the Community support young talents?
Yes, definitely. I didn’t have the distraction of the city as a kid. I was raised in a small town. You had trees to climb in your backyard, mini-golf, and the 7am school holiday shuttle bus to Byron Bay. And I love the countryside. My dad is a whole-hearted believer that bushwalking is the greatest gift of the earth so I spent a lot of time in leech-infested rainforests. And whilst I’ve had my fair share of stinging-nettle wounds, I’ve had a lot of time to hone in on my songwriting skills. I definitely held on to music all the way through my childhood, but I must give credit to my high-school music teacher. She’s a beautiful woman, and she encouraged me in so many ways. I started playing in public when I was about fourteen. There are a lot of opportunities for kids under 18 to get themselves out there in the Northern Rivers, and I am super grateful to have been given the opportunities to express myself in that way from such a young age. I think it saved me from a lot of trouble too, haha.
HC: Who inspires you… what is currently on high rotation musically?
Most recently: Sharon Van Etten, Cat Power, The National, The Velvet Underground, The Flaming Lips, Fiona Apple, and Cher. Always Cher.
HC: Are there any quirky or interesting facts your fans may like to know about you?
I’m addicted to coffee… I spent the first ten months of 2013 sharing a bed with my housemate/BFF… and for some reason more often than not I have Lionel Ritchie singing in my head.. OH WHAT A FEELING, DANCIN’ ON THE CEILING
HC: We wish you all the best for the future Tori; we look forward to following your career…
And P.S we love the person you are too, you are ‘povitively brilliant’!!
Thanks so much! BIG love xoxo
Recently featured on Triple J’s Unearthed, read the bio and reviews on Seavera’s debut Single ‘Caving’
New Single ‘Caving’ released in 2016
on You Tube here
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