Exclusive Interview with Genevieve Chadwick
Genevieve Chadwick

Genevieve Chadwick is the talent of John Butler, with the soul of Janis Joplin. A force truly to be reckoned with.

We sat down with Genevieve

Thank you for doing an interview with us. So a quick intro question – how did first get into music?

It all began while I was still in my mother’s womb. She went to a Dire Straits concert when she was heavily pregnant with me and Mark Knophler was wailing away on his guitar. Apparently, I was rolling around, having a great time! Mum thought there and then that I was going to be into music. I guess she didn’t realise to what extent.

Growing up, was there anyone who you looked up to, or has had a significant influence on you?

I had a great guitar teacher for about a year when I first started learning, his name was Allen Carmichael. He really believed in me and taught me a lot, not just how to play but how to make the guitar sing. He sounded like Simon and Garfunkle, was softly spoken and such a gentleman. I admired and respected him a lot and wish I could get in touch with him again.

A lot of your songs are about love, loss and freedom. How often do you source your inspiration from personal experience? Did you face any struggle in coming to terms with your own sexuality, and how did you overcome that?

I tend to write mostly from personal experience, It’s just how my songwriting flows.

I came out to a close friend at 15, her older sister was gay and I think that’s the reason I felt safe in telling her. From there I told a few more friends and before I knew it I was being spoken about on the school bus. I hated that my business was being told by someone other than me, I wasn’t ready to come out to the world or at least everyone at school. I confronted the girl who had been telling everyone, she wanted to fight me, I walked away and to my disgust, was verbally abused by a lot of kids I grew up with. They all jumped on the bandwagon and called me every name under the sun. It hurt but I held my head up high and walked away. It was just schoolyard crap really, kids being kids. I guess they hadn’t been exposed (is that the right word?) or had any understanding yet of the complexity of people’s sexuality. At that age, we were all discovering our sexual orientation. I guess I might have jumped the queue and figured mine out sooner. I struggled for a bit, I felt as though I didn’t fit anywhere in the world. I acted out and did a lot of reckless things. I was intrigued by the underworld and rebellion. It took a crazy car accident to finally wake me up, get my life together and realise that all I needed was to totally accept myself.

Most girls love musicians. What’s one of the craziest things a fan has done to get your attention?

Well… There was a girl who ended up being known as “The Back Door Stalker”. I was touring Victoria and had my best mate with me. He received a friend request from a girl on Face book and she acted as though she was interested in him. She managed to convince him to put her name on the door list at my show, pretending that she had never heard of me and that she wanted to go out to him. She turned up to the show, totally ditched my friend and then proceeded to crack on to me like no tomorrow! All of a sudden she seemed to know all about my movements from the last 6 months, everything about me and when I went to talk to other people she was nasty toward them. She then managed to appear almost everywhere we went. It was creepy.

“Whatever happens on tour, stays on tour” – does this phrase actually get used much? Can you please let us in on the juicy details of the unexpected things that happen on tour?

I would say that phrase is still being used, many crazy things happen while on tour, good, bad and ugly. You meet a lot of people who are out for a good time, there’s always a party to go to if you want and there are many kilometres to drive.

Recently I was in Tassie with Canadian, Faye Blais. We finished our show in Launceston and headed back to our room which was above a pub. It turned being that it was the local nightspot in town whose theme for the evening was “Tits and Tatts”, it was a classy joint. We went up to our room and it must have been directly above the speakers downstairs, it was so loud there was no way of going to sleep. We had a bottle of wine and decided to go drink it around the corner, just so we could wind down in some peace and quiet. Next thing you know, we’re being stopped by the cops, questioned and given tickets for drinking on the streets. Luckily it was only a caution; probably due to Faye’s award-winning smile and banter.

Of all the places that you have been to, which one has been your favourite and why?

Festivals are always a hit and a fav of mine. I’ve played Bluesfest in Byron Bay for the past 2 years, that has been incredible and inspiring! Woodford Folk Festival is a magic carpet ride. These days I like to try and hit surfing spots between shows. Recently a friend and I hit Byron Bay, Kirra and Crescent Head then I went home and surfed all around the South Coast, which is my favourite place. So beautiful, pristine and peaceful, it’s one of the nicest places on earth.