Sam Wilson from Australia’s Hey Baby!: “Stereotypes are stupid and pointless”

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Hey Baby!‘s chief guitar shredder Sam Wilson is one charismatic gal.

Brisbane’s brightest new garage rock quartet have recently arrived home after their first interstate tour, in support of their stupidly-fun debut single “1-800 WEED” – just one of the band’s self-proclaimed “fucking catchy songs.”

Sam took some time to confirm what makes her such a “nerd,” why she thinks stereotypes are “stupid and pointless” and some insights into the awesomeness of the Australian music scene.

Where did the inspiration for “1-800 WEED” come from?

I wish I could say something interesting like this was meant as some passionate anti-government anthem but we’re just not that interesting. It came out in the early days when Kacper and I would just hang out and jam. We had this cool riff and were trying to piece it into a song as well as talking about Kacper’s recent trip to America and how funny it would be to have a kind of weed delivery service. It all just progressed from there.

You have described yourself as a giant nerd – what makes you such a nerd?

Acceptance is just the final step of my nerd rehab program.  Step 1: denial, Step 2: anger, Step 3: bargaining, Step 4: depression, Step 5: acceptance. But if you need a bit more background to me then I suppose I kind of fit the nerd vibe because I can be super weird and socially awkward. Sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose. I also have an embarrassingly big collection of classic books and a deep rooted hard on for Harry Potter. Need I say more?

What do you love about being in a band?

I just love being able to play live music and hear it all come together. But everything we do wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if Hey Baby! wasn’t the way it is. We’re all just a bunch of good friends hanging out and making music we love together. We don’t take ourselves seriously and we’re always there to have as much fun as everyone else.

Are there any stereotypes people might have of being ‘the only girl in the band’ that you would like to challenge?

The only thing that bothers me is that there still seems to be some preconceptions that girls aren’t as good, especially in bands. I don’t even understand where the logic for that comes from other than the usual sexist stereotypes of gender roles. You don’t need man strength to play guitar, bash a drum, or come up with a catchy tune. So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, stereotypes are stupid and pointless.

How do you feel about the Australian music scene?

I’m so excited about it to be honest. I just get the feeling that something big is going to happen on the horizon for music in Australia. There are so many good alternative artists doing their own thing and creating fantastic music right in our backyard and it’s like we’re all growing off each other. I’m keeping an ear out for whatever happens next.

Does anything bother you about the representation of women in the Australian music industry?

Probably the biggest thing is that whenever a female artist breaks out in a genre other than pop it’s as if it is treated like a novelty. Like, ‘oh wow, a girl has created some good rock music, that’s so rare’. It’s not as rare as you’d think.

Are there any Australian female musicians you’re really into at the moment?

Like sexually? Nah I’m doing fine for myself at the moment thanks. Hahaha but seriously yeah there’s some girls killing it lately! Marie DeVita (WAAX), Courtney Barnett, and Sophie Hopes (Tired Lion) deserve so much love for what they’re doing, but Alex Lahey, Camp Cope, Cesira Aitken (the Jungle Giants), Alex the Astronaut, Ali Barter, Holly Rankin (Jack River), Hannah Joy (Middle Kids) are all creating their own pieces of magic too. I can’t wait to see what else starts coming out.

Which country is at the top of Hey Baby!’s touring list?

We were actually talking about this the other day. And we thought it would actually be so cool to tour the UK and US. We think we’d slot into a lot of fan bases in those areas which would be so fun.

What would you like to change about the music industry?

Sooooo much. Seriously, it breaks my heart to see so many talented musicians being kept down and out when there are mega million-dollar pop stars selling out amphitheaters who are just singing a song someone else has written for them. You walk by buskers in the street who have more talent and love for music in their bones than some of the most popular artists in the world. If people took more interest in discovering the music that really spoke to them rather than just loving the easily accessible commercial pop then these guys would have more of a chance. But then – so it goes.

What’s next from Hey Baby!?

World domination, obviously. But I’m only going to let slip that we’ll hopefully be recording another single before the year is out and maybe even an EP sometime soon. Other than that, I’m not revealing any of our strategies or war tactics, that wouldn’t be very Sun Tzu of us.

Connect with Sam and the rest of Hey Baby! on Facebook.

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