It’s fair to say that things haven’t always been easy for the T-Byrds. However, with the band’s current regrouped line-up, a constant touring schedule that has both energized and solidified Tequila Mockingbyrd along with their ability to overcome any obstacle thrown in their way, this hard rocking Aussie outfit has proven that they are most certainly stronger than ever before. 

Tequila Mockingbyrd are relentlessly touring Europe whilst simultaneously road-testing material from their forthcoming new album. Following stand out sets at the likes of HRH Road Trip in Ibiza and Camden Rocks the trio recently embarked on their most extensive UK headline run to date.

Today Tequila Mockingbyrd unveil their brand new video for “Enjoy The Ride”, giving their fans a further taste of what is to come from the group’s new album. Speaking of the track drummer Josie said “This is our take on summer….A scoop of sunshine with an extra flake. Yes, the flake might melt into a sticky mess, but it still tastes damn sweet. Things aren’t always straightforward but if you believe in what you’re doing and are having a good time that’s what it’s all about! We shot a very fun DIY video for the track in and around St Kilda, our favourite spot in Melbourne where every day feels like a holiday!”

National Rock Review recently caught up with Tequila Mockingbyrd at their headline show at The Queen Vic in South Shields to talk about their new album, their songwriting process as well as the trials and tribulations of life on the road.

NRR: You recently finished some dates in mainland Europe. I wanted to speak to you first about the Barcelona incident because I had read about it online. Obviously, you had a lot of your equipment stolen, and it seems to becoming more and more commonplace these days. I just wondered what was your initial response when you realised what had happened and did you think you would be able to continue with the tour?
Jacinta: I think when you first see the van sitting on top of a Police tow truck you kind of go into panic mode. Then when you look into the van, you’ve got a bit of denial when you see your stuff is gone. You are like surely my guitar hasn’t gone, it’s probably just fallen in the back somewhere. Then eventually you have to accept what has happened. You have an initial moment of panic, where you are like do we stay, do we go, and what do we do? And so we decided to stay and continue with things really. Then there was the matter of trying to sort things out as well.
Josie: I think the worst part was that we got woken up by the Police at 5 am, just two hours after we went to bed. We were walking down the stairs to see what state the van was in not knowing if it was just a smashed window, or whether the van was going to be there.
Jacinta: I remember saying to Josie, oh I hope it’s only the front window or the side window. We get there and everything is just destroyed and there is glass all over the floor. It was a good van, it was blacked out, so they wouldn’t have known what was in there – that’s the thing.
Josie: You couldn’t see any of the gear or anything, but I guess it was a foreign number plate and a GB sticker parked in what turns out to be a ghetto slum in Barcelona. The amazing thing was how people came together to help us; because we wanted to carry on if we could carry on.
Firstly the van windows were fixed with cling film for three days, and we said to the promoters if you can get us a back line and secure parking every night we will do the shows. Then all of the people back home and in the UK really pulled together and raised over £6,000 in the end to replace everything and fix the van, which was insane. We had insurance but it doesn’t cover overnight thefts, and the van, the excess was so high that it wasn’t even worth claiming – you know how it is with those things.
Louisa: The Spanish people, in general, were really supportive. We had already played this one venue in Santander, and he had already wanted us to go back and do another gig. We had a day off later on and then obviously this incident happened. He actually set up a whole new gig for us, and he charged for the tickets 5 Euro and set up a bowl where people could put money into and he raised nearly 800 Euro for us and paid us. He gave me a guitar at the end of that show; the support we received was really tremendous.

NRR: Obviously, you’ve spent some time out in the studio in Melbourne recently writing and recording your new album. Can you share with us any details about that?
Josie: So it’s pretty much finished, it’s in the final stages of mixing and mastering at the moment. We are just working out how, what and when we are going to release it. We are playing a few of the tracks from it on this tour.
NRR: Do you have a time frame when you think the album is going to drop?
Josie: Either late this year or early next year just depending on a few things and how they all lineup. It’s not always all in our hands.
NRR: With being on tour so much, do you find that you spend a lot of time writing on the road?
Louisa: I would say individually we do a lot of stuff and then we put it together. When we recorded the album, I went out there for 8 weeks, but we already had bits and pieces that we had been working on.
Jacinta: Especially I think, with the two tours that we’ve done. The first tour we were all strangers and the emphasis of that tour was being strangers at least we are getting up there playing, whereas now I think as time passes and we’ve all found our way and got used to things there will be time now to actually write together and stuff. This current album, a lot of things were separate ideas that came together; not much of it I think was written on the last tour.
Josie: I don’t know, I think we all write in different ways. I will literally be sat on the toilet and something will come into my head and I will just get the phone out, and I’m in a public toilet singing something.
Louisa: Or in a bath; there are loads of voice mail memos where you can hear the water splashing around.
Jacinta: I think we’ve found with each of us, if it comes to you, it comes to you. We don’t really have sit downs until we really need to.
Louisa: All of our initial ideas are all on our voice memos really. Because I remember in Melbourne Jacinta playing me quite a few on her phone.
Jacinta: This morning Josie said, turn on your voice recorder and she sang a melody, and I said you know what’s funny – I went to my voice messages, the one before that which I recorded a few months ago and it was the exact same thing. It was a riff that I had written on the bass, and she had never heard it before. It was really similar.
Josie: I was actually lying in bed dying this morning after a very late night at Bannermans and this thing came into my head, and I didn’t even know where my phone was – I wasn’t getting out of bed, but she was next to me. I said hey chuck on your voice memo for a second, and I can’t even remember how it went now and then you played me the other one, I was like wow.
NRR: So you are very much on the same wavelength then.
All: Yeah.
NRR: You recently released your new single “Tell Me”. I was just wondering could you tell us a little bit about that song and the inspiration behind it?
Louisa: That’s a funny one because I wrote that one sort of before I joined the band, but then I shared it obviously with the girls and they really loved it.
Josie: That was your kind of audition.
Louisa: It was almost like my audition for the band in a way, yeah. I’d actually already done like a whole thing, I hadn’t released it, but I’d done a music video for it and stuff and it was in the pipeline to be released funnily enough. Then these girls popped up and I’d already come from another girl band before in the past, so it fell into place really well and when I shared it with them they were like lets rock this up. So we worked on it and produced it a bit more to make it sound Tequila or Tequila-fied if that’s word.
Josie: We Mocka-fucked it (laughing).
Louisa: I don’t normally like writing about personal relationships and stuff, but that one song is kind of a bit like a screw you in a way to someone in the past. It was just a fact that I went through so much with that relationship that all of the lyrics, in particular, were really like nails in the coffin, I had to get it off my chest if you know what I mean. Every time I sing it, it’s still got that intent behind it, I feel like I’m screaming at this person. Everyone else hearing it is like oh it’s got a cool riff and we can sing along with it.

NRR: We saw you out in Ibiza at HRH Road Trip and also at Camden Rocks. You have been playing some new tracks in your setlist. Have you been pleased with the response you’ve been receiving towards the new songs so far?
Josie: Yeah, it’s always difficult I think as an audience hearing new songs; people always want to hear the ones they know. It’s nice when we are playing songs and people are singing along, and we’ve got a bit used to that now. So it’s a bit strange now playing songs where people are bamboozled because it’s the first time that they’ve heard it.
Jacinta: But I’ve noticed looking out into the audience when we do play those new songs that nobody is sitting there like what is this? Sometimes there will be a moment when the song finishes where there will be a split second where you can tell they are processing it, and then there will be an uproar where you can tell they’ve loved it, so that’s what’s good because it could have gone either way. It would be awful if we were up there and people were like stuff your new songs, where’s the old stuff? (laughing) That hasn’t happened yet, so we are in luck.
NRR: There seems to be a bit of an Aussie invasion of the UK at the minute, especially with the whole Wrecking Crew tours, with the likes of yourselves, Massive and the Black Aces. Do you feel at home here in the UK now?
Jacinta: Ah yes (laughing). We will be in Spain or somewhere and I will say oh I’m looking forward to going home, but home as in England. The thing is over the last year or so – because I came here this time last year as well, I’ve made friends here, there are people I know here and it’s quite familiar to me now. So yeah, it feels like home, probably now I spend more time here than back there. When I’m back in Australia half that time is either processing that I’ve come back or preparing myself to leave again.
Josie: Even in the last year we’ve only played one show in Australia.
Louisa: You’ve been in the UK longer this year then you have been in Australia.
NRR: In terms of your own musical tastes I just wondered what’s the one album in your record collection that you couldn’t live without.
Jacinta: I’ve got few, that’s going to be hard. Maybe Kiss “Dynasty”, Def Leppard “Hysteria”; I don’t know, I’ve got a few.
Louisa: I’ve got a bit of a mixture, there’s some AC/DC stuff, but I quite like Alanis Morisette’s “Jagged Little Pill”, I think is probably one of my favourite ones.
Josie: For me, it would probably be Jimmy Eat World “Bleed American”. It was one of the first records I ever bought and it really got me into that kind of music.
Jacinta: We’ve got a vast taste in music in this band.
Josie: But it’s kind of cool because everyone brings something from a different era.
NRR: We are roughly halfway through the year, I just wondered what have you got on the cards for the rest of 2018?
Josie: So we are touring over here till basically early August pretty relentlessly. Then yeah, it’s really finishing off the album and getting that out is the plan.
Jacinta: Then in September we’ve got shows with The Treatment and Airrace, just around the UK.

Tequila Mockingbyrd will reprise their UK touring schedule at the end of July, as part of their ‘Seaside To City’ tour before joining up with Airrace and The Treatment as part of a formidable triple bill throughout September.
Tequila Mockingbyrd UK Tour Dates 2018 
Blackpool The Waterloo – Thu 26th w/ The Amorettes + Gorilla Riot
Bute Fest, Isle of Bute – Fri 27th
Manchester The Eagle Inn – Sat 28th
Brighton Hope and Ruin – Wed 1st
Hastings Black Market VIP – Thu 2nd
Skegness The Attic – Fri 3th
Morecambe The Platform –Sat 4th w/ Massive Wagons & Mason Hill
London The Fiddlers Elbow – Sun 5th
Cardiff Club For Bach – 21st w/ The Treatment + Airrace
London The Underworld – 22nd w/ The Treatment + Airrace
Norwich The Waterfront – 23rd  w/ The Treatment + Airrace
Cambridge The Portland – 24th w/ The Treatment + Airrace
Wolverhampton Slade Rooms – 27th w/ The Treatment + Airrace
Sheffield Corporation– 28th w/ The Treatment + Airrace
Newcastle The Cluny – 29th w/ The Treatment + Airrace
Glasgow Stereo 30th w/ The Treatment + Airrace

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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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