Off the back of a huge European tour, the Beautiful Girls are stopping off here in Port Macquarie as headliners of this year’s Wildwood Festival. FOCUS chatted to front man Mat McHugh …
You’re currently on tour overseas; what have been some of the highlights from this trip?
Well, the European tour has just wrapped up; I’m currently in the Southern Californian Desert. The shows were really fun. We played in an old church in Stuttgart, on an Airstream trailer by the sea in the UK, stayed at a tulip farm in the Netherlands and swam in ancient Roman hot springs under a tiny town in the French countryside.
Tell us about some the projects you’ve been working on of late …
I’m just about to release an album of electronic remixes of my tracks called Mat McHugh meets The Yum Yums that has been a couple years in the making. I also just released a new Beautiful Girls song called Beautiful World, as well working on a whole album of digital reggae music, made on a Casio keyboard, under the working title Maggotbrain.
You seem to always be progressing and evolving musically. What inspires you
to keep the wheels on the road, so to speak?
I guess that, first and foremost, I’m a music fan. There’s so much amazing music, and when I listen to it I feel like I have a lot of work still to do. I always want to be creative and make something new, as well as express myself and hopefully connect with people. It’s a challenge and a riddle and a devotion, all at once. I’m not really interested in repeating myself, because I don’t see the point.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?
Not specifically related to music, but my father, before he died, would always tell me that people are all the same and that nobody is better than anyone else. I’ve seen a lot of people change who they are as soon as people start clapping for them. I believe the truth in life comes from the relationships we have and the connections we have with each other. I approach art and music with that in mind always. We’re all in this mess together.
We are excited to have to have you heading Wildwood Festival this year … are you looking forward to playing in Port Macquarie again?
For sure! It will be the first Beautiful Girls show in Australia in quite a while, so I’m excited for it. The weather will be warming up, and the vibes will be high.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve been listening to Julian Lage, Lucinda Williams, Ben Howard, Burial, The Slits, Talking Heads and Nirvana.
If you could invite three people to dinner, past or present, who would it be and why?
My dad, because I’d like to talk to him as an adult, and I’ve never had the chance. I had to work a lot of things out for myself, and I’d like to ask him how he thinks I did. I’d invite my mum, because I’d love for her to have the chance to see him again. And I’d invite my son, because he’s my best friend, and I love hanging out with him.
Plans for the next 12 months?
I’m going to try and finish up a couple of records I’ve been working on. I’ve been a little lazy, but I think it’s time I release a good chunk of music. I don’t know what they’re going to be called, though. I’ll probably just go with my usual method of choosing the path of most resistance – the idea of people getting a clear picture horrifies me. If I have to be a cartoon character, I’d prefer the screen to be cracked and broken.
Dont miss this year’s Wildwood.
Saturday 29th September – Cassegrain Winery.