Five minutes with Gabrielle Flanagan

"A lot of the time I work out what I’m trying to say and what my lyrics mean after the song is written..."

The talented Gabrielle Flanagan shares her thoughts with Clinton Hoy ahead of her return visit to the Lust for Live stage on August 20.

L4L: Playing in a band/picking up a guitar in high school is a rite of passage for a lot of people but you've gone much further - writing your own songs and working on an album of your own - how did that come about?

I’ve been writing songs on my acoustic guitar since i was about 12. Although the stories and topics have changed over the years the inspiration has always been the same, i write songs about people I'm fascinated by and experiences I’m having. My songs have always been a way for me to say what I’m feeling even if not sure what it is yet. I’ve been sharing my songs with my friends for years these days I’m just lucky enough to be able to share them with more and more people. That’s what this EP's about sharing my music, just like i have been with my friends for years.

L4L: I like that line "...even if I'm not sure" - does that make it hard to finish a song or do you push on and try and discover what the song is saying to you?

It actually as the opposite effect funny enough. In some ways I’m very connected to my songs and other ways I’m not. I’ve written a lot of songs over the last couple of years, I tend to write songs very quickly, so a lot of the time I work out what I’m trying to say and what my lyrics mean after the song is written, sometimes even months or years after. It’s a very crazy process!

L4L: Have you ever put something in a song you later wished you hadn't?

Not really. A lot of my songs are very personal, some songs I keep to myself or I only share with a few people rather than playing them at my gigs. I try to avoid sharing my negative or anger driven songs with large numbers of people, because usually the reason behind it has passed and everyone deserves forgiveness. I try to share my positive songs! But a sad song slips through every now and then.

L4L: Can you give us an insight into your song writing process? Is song writing for you a slowly crafted thing or more write and write and grab the bits you like?

Definitely write and write then pick through the material I come up with. I write a lot of lyrics down and come back to them later. I don't really have a specific writing process. A lot of the songs I write just happen when I sit down and play.

L4L: Can tell us a couple of artists you like who sound nothing like you?

The Temper trap, Coldplay, the Killers, Pink, The Police, Minnie Marks, The Script, Birds of Tokyo…

L4L: Are there any songwriters that inspire you?

John Mayer has been a big influence on my music, and Taylor Swift’s lyrics were always a big inspiration a few years back. Angus and Julia stone as well.

L4L: What are you planning for the next year?

Hopefully the upcoming EP will be out in soon, with that I'm hoping to have a few EP launches around Dubbo and Wellington to promote it. As well as music videos! I've got a big gig in Cobar coming up next month 4 on the floor on the 27th of August as well as supporting Fanny Lumsden on Friday the 28th of October at the Garden Hotel as a part of the Artlands Festival in Dubbo. Apart from that a whole bunch of writing, performing and jamming because that's just what I love to do!