Jess Kent interview
Jess Kent opened for the band on the 2016 NZ/Australia leg of the AHFOD Tour. We dropped the singer/songwriter/guitarist a line to find out how she got on.
Hello Jess, how are you?
I’m still on a high from the amazing fortnight we just experienced.
How was the tour?
It was such a huge opportunity to learn, and stretch ourselves. It was special and so, so fun.
When did you find out you were playing the tour?
We found out that we were jumping on the tour a month or two before. Took a minute to sink in – unreal!
Had you ever played in venues that big before? If not, how did you prepare for it?
I’d never performed in a stadium before now. I try to think of it as “big busking” so that I can get my head around it!
Do you think your busking background has helped you to play to crowds who don’t necessarily know you?
I think there’s something to be said for playing to crowds that are under no obligation to stop and listen to you… you have to learn some tactics and also have fun with it and be open to any outcome!
How did you feel on the first night of the tour in Auckland?
It was a bit of a whirlwind experience, and all pretty new but the band and I were pumped to get out there!
And how did it go?
It was such a euphoric experience. It’s like a time warp up there; you jump up, and it flies by and then you’re off stage again.
How about the rest of the tour, did it go as you hoped it would?
It went even better than we could have hoped. I learned from every show, and tried to apply what I’d learned to the next. Although.. *embarrassing story* I did run out at the first Melbourne show and shout, ‘hey Brisbane!!!’ to which Chris later passed on some very valuable advice… so I learned a lot of important lessons too!!! That’s how I try to treat everything. So the worst part really was when it ended.
Were the crowds responsive, with you being a homegrown act?
It was great to see them react when I make a comment about Adelaide, or Sydney… felt the Aussie love.
Was it interesting to see behind the scenes of a huge tour like that?
It was definitely different to the backstages I’m used to.
Did you get to watch Coldplay’s show?
We watched the show… a couple of times snuck out into the crowd to watch.
What did you think of it?
I thought it was incredible… the attention to detail, and precision of the whole band and crew working as a unit was inspiring to say the least.
Were you already a fan of the band?
I remember watching The Scientist on MTV or something, when it came out.
Did you manage to meet up with them at all?
We went to visit Government House in Victoria, with Jonny and Will which was really interesting and cool, and had a laugh. Chris passed on some priceless songwriting tips.
How about Lianne La Havas?
Lianne is a sweetheart.
For those reading who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe it?
The songwriting and rhythms are coming from the past in the form of reggae/ dancehall, hiphop and Britpop, and the beats are from the future.
So now the tour is done and Christmas is approaching, what are your plans?
I’m spending a couple of weeks in Adelaide writing and getting into album mode, then we fly out to LA and then come back to Australia for Laneway Festival.
And then what’s coming up for you in 2017?
Hopefully more touring!! And making the album.
Finally, the question we ask all our Coldplay.com interviewees, what’s your favourite Coldplay song, and why?
Fix You. Because it’s a song I wish I’d written.