Q & A w/ Alex Gow of Oh Mercy

By: Jenna Samuel

We have a chat w/ Alex Gow from the Melbourne based (well not so Melbourne of late) band Oh Mercy who have just announced their When We Talk About Love album tour. They play Howler 22nd of August and you can get your tix here.

Written across three American cities and then home, Alex has described the album as his most personal to date, ‘Its genetics are the sum of my musical loves. Bacharach, Cohen, The Triffids. Grand, proud and not self-conscious. I accessed all that I’ve learnt, all that I know, and importantly, all that I love, to create this record.”

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1. Was the writing of the latest album done on your own or was it a collaborative process? I wrote 10 of the 12 on my own. The other two were co-written. One with Bruce Brody from New York (Of Patti Smith Group fame) and the second with Tofer Brown from Nashville. Two of the string arrangements were collaborations between myself and Ryan Ritchie. A local musician. He’s great at his job. Good hair too. I like writing on my own. I can write with real personality that way. Naturally.

2. How much of your success do you credit to Triple J? Heaps of it. Triple J’s support has been a monumental help. They broadcast my music to the country. I’m lucky and very grateful.
3. The music in ‘When we talk about Love’ is very personal. Where do you find inspiration? It took a long hard look at myself to write this album. About 18 months worth. The words were written in isolation. Thinking about a beautiful woman mostly.
4. You guys have a lot of live shows coming up around Australia, what can you tell us about touring, the good and the bad? Well Australia is bloody beautiful. In several, unique ways. I’m lucky to get to see so much of it. It’s often very moving. Plus, I have some good friends outside of Melbourne. I look forward to sharing some sweet lattes with them.
Bad – the early mornings after late nights. I require more sleep than the average gent. The late nights and early mornings can’t be helped. Part of the job. I’m not complaining. Just makes me feel like a spew. Sometimes I do.
5. It may have been 5 years ago but how do you think touring with Crowded House in 2010 shaped you into the musicians you are today? That’s hard to say. I grew up listening to Crowded House. I have always adored them. I still listen to their music regularly. And I guess in a lot of ways my music sounds like theirs. I love them. The tour only solidified that love.
6. It’s pretty difficult to not have an objective opinion about Melbourne if you’ve grown up in the culture but how do you think Melbourne compares to other cities in Australia? It’s a different city. Naturally. The coffee is better. The food is better. The booze is better. MCG is good. The art is good. I’m always really happy to come home to Melbourne after being away for a significant amount of time. It’s good.
7. How would you define yourselves as musicians in the sense of genre, performance? Well all the records are a little different from one and other. This latest one is a pop album. I guess. I don’t know. Stadium Lounge maybe.
8. Favourite venue, record store and musician originating from Melbourne?
Venue – I like playing in the country. Grab a pie and latte. Take a little drive.
Record Store – Records Paradise is cool. I did and instore there recently. They were cool people and they had a good collection.
Musician – Nick Cave is good. I like him.


With special guests to be announced – tickets on sale NOW


Saturday, 22nd August – Howler, Melbourne

Friday, 28th August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Saturday 29th August – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Friday 4th September – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane

Saturday 5th September – Darwin Railway, Darwin

Friday 18th September – Mojos, Fremantle

Saturday 19th September – Rosemount, Perth


Presented by Spotify, The Music, RRR and RTR