CWP #2 has been digitally released. And for those a little more kinaesthetic (touchy feely), it’s being released this Sunday at Chicks With Picks on CD. The follow up compilation is a little different, as this time acts have been recorded “live”, as opposed to the first Chicks With Picks album where a bunch of us donated pre-recorded songs.
But that’s not all that’s different. Not only are there a bunch of new different local Sydney female fronted acts, including Bandintexas, Maxine Kauter Trio, Sepora, Cherry on Top and SCABZ (plus more) on CWP #2, proceeds are being donated to a super worthy cause!!
I got down on my hands and knees first hand to uncover the dirt for this next interview with Mac and Sally – the head honcho Chick With Picksters. And let me tell you, if you laughed at our first interview with them, this one’s gonna get you in stitches all over again.
YM: It’s been a long time since the first CWP compilation album was released and a short while since you’ve taken over the reigns. Are you expecting a titillating build of anticipation with the release of CWP #2 this weekend?
Sally: Not really, but to try and build the buzz we will be dropping lots of passive aggressive hints that if you loved live music and cared about women you would be buying this album.
Mac: I have high and yet, reasonable hopes about the amount of CDs I intend on selling on Sunday. I feel like it’s pretty easy for people to ignore the online stuff about the album (SORRY!) but I will be pressuring people ALL NIGHT to buy the album and that’s a little harder to ignore. Mostly because I’ll be all up in their space and guilt-tripping. Hard. At all future CWP events until we reach our fundraising target of $100million.
Like I said, high yet reasonable hopes.
YM: The album is certainly an awesome collection of rock tunes. Is this genre intended or more a reflection of what’s being played on stage?
Sally: With some sets we didn’t get the whole performance seeing as the recording wasn’t the main priority and a couple of artists asked us to avoid or focus on certain songs but I did tend to go for more up tempo material where there was a choice and the best available performance in all instances. It was pretty hard in the case of SCABZ, we actually had to hire studio musicians to re-record a lot of their material to an acceptable standard.
Mac: The acts we picked for Fair Day were just some of our favourites and because we are both so #badarse, I guess that’s why we like rock? It wasn’t intentional and I actually think the bands are pretty diverse.
YM: Now the promo has indicated that all proceeds will be donated to Elsie Women’s Refuge in Glebe. What made you choose to give away the profits and not go and update your wardrobes (or pay the bands to update theirs)?
Sally: We feel like $5 isn’t much to ask for an 11 track album online – and the good thing about bandcamp is you can choose to donate more, which so far a couple of people have done – and $10 for a CD with 14 tracks is just a crazy bargain in my opinion. I tried to argue with Mac that it was too cheap but she just kept saying “Tell ‘em the price son!” and in the end I just gave up and went with the flow. You can also pay more for the CD if you want to make a bigger donation.
“Originally it was going to be a completely free download just to spread the music of the artists involved but when we realized that it was really good and could be a good seller we figured it would be a waste not to raise funds for a worthy cause.” – Sally
Initially, when we talked about recording we agreed that it’d be to fundraise for a cause or charity but I guess that was before Sally put over 100 hours of work into mixing and mastering. I don’t think she anticipated that much work and probably regrets the idea of donating ALL proceeds but she will just have to suck it up.
“I was all keen for donating to Elsie Women’s Refuge because I know the staff are freakin’ awesome and that supporting women and children fleeing domestic violence is something super close to my heart.” – Mac
YM: What songs are you tipping to be faves off the new release?
Sally: Nobody likes my taste in music, I’m not even allowed to use my iPod at Chicks With Picks anymore so I don’t know that my tip is really worth anything. I think maybe “I Don’t Answer To You” By Two Girls Will, because the outro to the previous track is Colleen saying “This next song is about fisting…”.
Mac: I have no feelings strongly one way or the other. I am a neutral party and I just do this for fun. HA!
I will say however, that it’s awesome to have SCABZ and Cherry On Top on the album because neither of those bands have EPs so I like that we’ve now given them a tiny something something.
YM: Any plans to share it with community radio like 2SER, FBi or 88.9 etc?
Sally: I’m going to pretend that I’ve already thought about that and I’m on top of things. The wheels are in motion.
Mac: I barely understand the internet. How does radio work?
“Like, it’s in the air, right? And you can be driving in your car in the middle of Australia and the noise can come out of your car. It sounds like the devil’s magic to me! Ask Sally.” – Mac
YM: What were the tricky parts of mixing and mastering a bunch of live recordings? Or was it smooth sailing?
Sally: It was really hard. I can’t even.Actually it was ok. I’ve done it before but nothing on this sort of scale, mostly acoustic stuff. The trickiest thing about mixing live recordings is the spill – every sound source overlaps, e.g. the vocal mic is full of drums etc. The other problem was that I didn’t think to use an overhead mic on the drums in Bandintexas and SCABZ’s set but thanks to the spill in the vocal mics I was able to use the backing vocals as pseudo-overheads and I didn’t gate the floor tom mic so it still gave me plenty of cymbal detail.
I’ve never mixed different sets for one album before and that was rather frustrating trying to match them all together, I’m mostly self-taught apart from a basic start in mixing at TAFE so I imagine there are much quicker and easier ways to do things than I go about them! I had to go back over the mix of each act repeatedly as each one got better to catch the other sets up to it, make sure they all have a similar balance and reverb etc. I also found Mac screaming in just about every recording in the room mic and sometimes the stage vocal mics picked her up as well.
Mastering is hard. It took about two weeks of bouncing down all the tracks, trying them out on the Townie P.A, realizing I’d botched it and starting over again. I was playing my masters side by side with tracks I like the production of and trying to match them.
“I didn’t manage to crack the magical secrets of Crowded House or Paul Simon but I feel like it landed somewhere in the middle of all the other examples. I know nobody cares about this stuff but you did ask…” – Sally
Mac: LOUD NOISES. I LIKE SOUND.
I obviously don’t understand sound stuff. I just rock up to Chicks with Picks looking semi decent so that people don’t talk to Sally because she hates everyone.
The trickiest part, for me, was hearing Sally in her room (we live together and our bedrooms share a wall) mixing/mastering the recordings and just as I was about to get really caught up in the chorus, she’d skip back to the start and tweak something. I seriously heard the Fair Day recording from Sally’s room over 150 times.
It’s only fair; Sally puts up with the sex noises from my room. And my farting.
YM: If you could have a few minutes on any media platform to sing the praises of the CWP musician’s… what would you choose and what would you say/do?
Sally: We are looking into advertising in porn actually, we think that an inconveniently timed pop up ad is a great way to get people’s attention. I think we would have a flashing sign saying “Are you coming???” with a link to this months Facebook CWP event invite and one of those coding tricks where the no button keeps running away from the mouse.
Oh and something about the musicians probably, I’ll think of it later. Something about home grown talent and the vibe I expect. Maybe something about Kelly from Bandintexas’ leather jacket.
Mac: I feel like radio would probably be the best platform to promote our musicians. I don’t understand it, but I know that’s where music comes from. Sometimes. Not sure what I’d say because I’m impulsive and would just make something up on the spot. Most likely some sort of offer to expose my breasts if you come to our gigs and support women in music.
“I wouldn’t actually expose my breasts; I would just link them to my facebook profile.” – Mac
YM: When is the launch, where and what time. And how much does it cost to buy the CWP #2?? (This is for those living under rocks or first time YM readers!)
Sally: I don’t know, ask Mac.
Mac: The Chicks with Picks #2 album will be launched at Chicks with Picks on Sunday, May 18. It’ll kick off around 4.30PM at the Town Hall Hotel, Newtown which is a pub at Newtown Station. It’s free to attend CWP. The CD will be a measly $10 and you can buy it online at www.chickswithpicks.bandcamp.com for $5.
We do STRONGLY encourage donations above these minimum fees as it is, of course, a fundraiser for women in need. Alternatively, if you’re desperate for the album but are on welfare payments/below the poverty line, we do offer “pay what you can afford”/free CDs in exchange for sharing the album on your facebook or encouraging your friends with $$ to buy one.
For accessible prices, approach me at any future Chicks with Picks events
YM: On a totally different subject: what fashion do the miss most and can’t wait to wear again (or for the first time)??
Sally: I miss being fashionably late. Now people just call me unreliable.
Mac: I don’t understand nor follow the ebbs and flows of fashion. I could say the same about Sally, but I won’t cause that would just be mean. But really, I had blue hair like, 6 months ago and now she has blue hair. She is a little behind. I wear what I want to wear or not wear, according to whatever it is I pull out of my “worn buy not yet dirty enough to wash” pile. Fashion when it inhibits on physical or psychological comfort is absurd to me.
I wore Doc Martins that were too small to the last CWP and I STILL have scabs from blisters. I *never* do shit like that.
Also, bras are stupid. No judgement but they are stupid and I’m judging you.
YM: Anything else?
Sally: If a tree falls on a mime in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does anyone care?
Mac: Yes, Sally has a Brenda account. I don’t understand dating apps but I just think you should know that Sally has one and sometimes I offer her dating advice. I’m so great at dating advice; I’m thinking about starting a column in some lefty-newspaper.
On a completely unrelated topic, I’m single.
(All photos by Stef2026)