Clare Bowditch: “Everything’s under wraps until you get there on the night”

clare bowditch

IF YOU’RE hard pushed to find time to run your business, raise a family and write your next album all at once, what’s the solution?

That’s easy: organise a national tour, invite Adalita along for the ride and let the pieces fall into place by themselves. At least, that’s what Clare Bowditch will be doing with her upcoming Winter Secrets Tour.

“I am sort of starting to write this new album,” she says. “My other project, my business, has been a very incredible but demanding lovechild. I thought maybe it was time to have a year off, which I do from time to time. But then I realised I write my best work after I’ve been talking with the people that I write for, which is my audience. So I needed to get back out on the road and hang out with them for a bit.”

The Winter Secrets Tour will see her do shows from Tasmania to Queensland through July and August, with the help of an old friend.

“I love Adalita,” Bowditch says. “We’ve worked together at various stages over the years. She’s a real inspiration to me; she’s a great artist who continues to make incredible work and she’s also very humble, which I definitely wouldn’t be if I was her. She’s insanely accomplished, but she’s also a good mate who makes great music. I love going on the road with her, and hopefully the audience will see a different side of her, as well as myself. Winter Secrets is very much a show-off, and we’ll make sure it’s one of the most memorable nights of your life, but everything’s under wraps until you get there on the night. The nature of Winter Secrets is that there are always lots of surprises.”

Bowditch’s new day job involves her Big Hearted Business project, which initially was meant to be a small affair, but quickly grew to something substantial.

“I thought it was just going to be a little thing that took a day a week, but it’s been a full time job for the past nine months,” she says. “Basically, we’re here to teach creative people about business and business people about creativity and why it makes sense. We make little mini movies called Inspiration Bombs, which are collaborations between artists like Claudia Karvan, Tex Perkins, Imogen Banks and people from different disciplines. We pair them with artists who make visuals for us, and we’ve been putting them up for free on the website as educational pieces. We also have a thing called (un-)Conference, which is an event where we get speakers from all over the world to come, and we put on a pretty unusual two-day event in Melbourne. We’ve just finished that a month ago.”

It’s been a long two-year wait since her last album, but Clare Bowditch fans won’t have to wait too much longer.

“My way of writing is to gather together at least a hundred sketches or half-finished ideas,” she says. “They’re sitting waiting, and have been for the last six months, and there are more coming every day. Then I dedicate a period of time to whittle them down, which I’ll probably do later in the year. It depends on which of my buddies I bump into between now and September too. This will be my eighth album I’ll start writing this year.”

Despite having a number of fingers in a number of pies, Bowditch has a strategy to cope with the different demands in her life.

“My realisation was during the challenge of writing The Winter I Chose Happiness,” she says. “I’ve kind of been challenging myself to slow down for a number of years, and I’ve accepted that when you’re creatively inclined, there’s always a degree of chaos in your life, so I’ve made a lot more room for quiet days at home. You come to a point of dynamic equilibrium with each project; some periods of the year I’m a stay-at-home mum, other periods I’m touring, other periods I’m working in the office. It certainly keeps it diverse.”

Despite the addition of a national tour and the writing of a new album in Bowditch’s life, anyone thinking the 39 year-old will be putting her feet up needs to think again.

“My friend and I are running a Big Hearted Business retreat in September, which will be great fun,” she says. “I’ll be playing shows and doing other work in places like Vietnam, as well as Australia. I’ll be continuing to create Inspiration Bombs with great Australian people, and constantly challenging myself to push through my own stories about what it means to be making music.”

When & Where:

Sooki Lounge, Belgrave July 17
Corner Hotel, Richmond July 18

For Forte Magazine

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